Overview of the MOSAiC expedition- Atmosphere

Matthew D. Shupe*, Markus Rex, Byron Blomquist, P.O. G. Persson, Julia Schmale, Taneil Uttal, Dietrich Althausen, Hélène Angot, Stephen Archer, Ludovic Bariteau, Ivo Beck, John Bilberry, Silvia Bucci, Clifton Buck, Matt Boyer, Zoé Brasseur, Ian M. Brooks, Radiance Calmer, John Cassano, Vagner CastroDavid Chu, David Costa, Christopher J. Cox, Jessie Creamean, Susanne Crewell, Sandro Dahlke, Ellen Damm, Gijs de Boer, Holger Deckelmann, Klaus Dethloff, Marina Dütsch, Kerstin Ebell, André Ehrlich, Jody Ellis, Ronny Engelmann, Allison A. Fong, Markus M. Frey, Michael R. Gallagher, Laurens Ganzeveld, Rolf Gradinger, Jürgen Graeser, Vernon Greenamyer, Hannes Griesche, Steele Griffiths, Jonathan Hamilton, Günther Heinemann, Detlev Helmig, Andreas Herber, Céline Heuzé, Julian Hofer, Todd Houchens, Dean Howard, Jun Inoue, Hans Werner Jacobi, Ralf Jaiser, Tuija Jokinen, Olivier Jourdan, Gina Jozef, Wessley King, Amelie Kirchgaessner, Marcus Klingebiel, Misha Krassovski, Thomas Krumpen, Astrid Lampert, William Landing, Tiia Laurila, Dale Lawrence, Michael Lonardi, Brice Loose, Christof Lüpkes, Maximilian Maahn, Andreas Macke, Wieslaw Maslowski, Christopher Marsay, Marion Maturilli, Mario Mech, Sara Morris, Manuel Moser, Marcel Nicolaus, Paul Ortega, Jackson Osborn, Falk Pätzold, Donald K. Perovich, Tuukka Petäjä, Christian Pilz, Roberta Pirazzini, Kevin Posman, Heath Powers, Kerri A. Pratt, Andreas Preußer, Lauriane Quéléver, Martin Radenz, Benjamin Rabe, Annette Rinke, Torsten Sachs, Alexander Schulz, Holger Siebert, Tercio Silva, Amy Solomon, Anja Sommerfeld, Gunnar Spreen, Mark Stephens, Andreas Stohl, Gunilla Svensson, Janek Uin, Juarez Viegas, Christiane Voigt, Peter von der Gathen, Birgit Wehner, Jeffrey M. Welker, Manfred Wendisch, Martin Werner, Zhou Qing Xie, Fange Yue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


With the Arctic rapidly changing, the needs to observe, understand, and model the changes are essential. To support these needs, an annual cycle of observations of atmospheric properties, processes, and interactions were made while drifting with the sea ice across the central Arctic during the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition from October 2019 to September 2020. An international team designed and implemented the comprehensive program to document and characterize all aspects of the Arctic atmospheric system in unprecedented detail, using a variety of approaches, and across multiple scales. These measurements were coordinated with other observational teams to explore crosscutting and coupled interactions with the Arctic Ocean, sea ice, and ecosystem through a variety of physical and biogeochemical processes. This overview outlines the breadth and complexity of the atmospheric research program, which was organized into 4 subgroups: atmospheric state, clouds and precipitation, gases and aerosols, and energy budgets. Atmospheric variability over the annual cycle revealed important influences from a persistent large-scale winter circulation pattern, leading to some storms with pressure and winds that were outside the interquartile range of past conditions suggested by long-term reanalysis. Similarly, the MOSAiC location was warmer and wetter in summer than the reanalysis climatology, in part due to its close proximity to the sea ice edge. The comprehensiveness of the observational program for characterizing and analyzing atmospheric phenomena is demonstrated via a winter case study examining air mass transitions and a summer case study examining vertical atmospheric evolution. Overall, the MOSAiC atmospheric program successfully met its objectives and was the most comprehensive atmospheric measurement program to date conducted over the Arctic sea ice. The obtained data will support a broad range of coupled-system scientific research and provide an important foundation for advancing multiscale modeling capabilities in the Arctic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00060
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2022


  • Arctic
  • Atmosphere
  • Field campaign


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