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Ten years of planning, 300 scientists from 20 countries, 100 tons of equipment. All of this heads towards the Arctic in the Polarstern Icebreaker. The aim of this gigantic operation was to understand what is happening in the ocean that is cooling our planet and how climate change is causing damage to the site which then spreads like a snowball. Everything that has been discovered there is in “Arctic Expedition: A Year on Ice”, the documentary is scheduled to premiere on Odisseia channel this Saturday, October 23rd. but that you can see at different times over the next few days
Divided into two parts, the production has unbelievable images of landscapes that look like paintings, polar bears that are only friendly from afar – they reach 60 kilometers an hour and, if starving, can be dangerous – and ice sheets that start to move up and breaking with an unbearable noise as if it were in the middle of an earthquake.
With installations below 40ºC, the first team was installed on September 21, 2019. Over the months, more specialists arrived. Biologists, bear guards, photographers, snow physicists, ice teams, atmosphere teams, etc. Manuel Dall’Osto, who currently works at the Institute of Sea Sciences in Barcelona (Spain), joined the group in July 2020. The chemist who studies cloud formation in the oceans has never seen night in the 100 days when was in the Arctic – there were colleagues who, on the other hand, did not have the right to sun. The workdays lasted 15 hours, there were no weekends and the worst part was the relationship between people – confined to the same space for months.
However, the expedition was a success – until the surprise of Manuel Dall’Osto – and what the scientists discovered is unprecedented and can be discovered in the documentary now applied by Odyssey. To the Observer, the chemist explained what surprised him the most and what he thinks will mark the spectators.
[veja aqui imagens da expedição:]
How many days was part of the expedition?
In total I was there for around 100 days, between July and October [de 2020]. It took 100 days, 95 without seeing a single star because at the North Pole and it was always daylight. I haven’t seen the night for over two months.
When did you start preparing for this expedition?
About two years ago. We had to prepare and maximize resources. The biggest problem was that there were about 50 people on the boat. It may sound like a lot, but 50 people to manage an Arctic expedition is not a lot. We had to think about who to send. There were also equipment that arrived from other countries and that he had to learn to use. There was not enough space for all the scientists, so, for example, I had to handle equipment from the UK and the US. However, a preparation is mostly mental. When we go on polar expeditions it is always magical, we see polar bears, beautiful landscapes. But at the same time, we are far from civilization for a long time. Last year was particularly tough because of Covid-19.
Were you confined when you started getting ready to leave?
My preparation started during Covid-19, yes. I already had my parents confined, they were one of the first to be quarantined and I didn’t know if I could go to the North Pole. Preparation started in March and there were many questions. Should we go? Should we stay? Do we have a moral obligation not to undertake the greatest expedition ever to the Arctic? When we decided to leave, we were in isolation in Germany before we set sail, locked up for two weeks without being able to leave a room. Food was left at the door and we waited five minutes to pick it up.
Was it your first polar expedition?
No, I’ve already made some. I went to Antarctica three times. Then I went to the North Pole and went on a Korean expedition.
Was this Arctic expedition the longest you’ve done to date?
Yes. I had been to Antarctica before but had been to land a few times. This was the longest and by far the most challenging project. We had to do things well, it’s very expensive. There was a lot of stress to the mix.
Was it like they only had one chance?
Exactly. And then we’re on a ship and how people are going to get tired, nervous, they disagree. It’s like a marathon. It’s lonely and we have to be careful to manage everything. If not, by the second month we are depressed and crying all the time.
What was your role in the team?
I’m a chemist and I study clouds in the oceans, especially at the North Pole and the South Pole. What I do is try to understand how clouds are formed at the North Pole. I work in a darkroom where we can simulate the ocean and atmosphere. Doing a lot of experiments, what I did was collect ice and water from the Arctic. After simulating waves, we get particles and some units that simulate clouds. It was there to bring the clouds and the ocean together. It’s very difficult to predict the clouds there. They cool the Arctic, and if we have a cloud today, we don’t have much sun and so the Arctic doesn’t heat up.