The German icebreaker and research vessel Polarstern at shore in Tromso, Norway, Wednesday Sept. 19, 2019. Scientists from more than a dozen nations are preparing to launch the biggest and most complex research expedition ever attempted in the central Arctic. About 100 researchers will set sail Friday from Tromso, Norway, aboard the German icebreaker Polarstern in an effort to understand how climate change is affecting the Arctic and regions beyond. (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/NTB Scanpix via AP)

Scientists prepare for year-long expedition to Arctic center

September 20, 2019 - 2:15 am

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists from more than a dozen nations are preparing to launch the biggest and most complex research expedition ever attempted in the central Arctic.

About 100 researchers will set sail Friday from Tromsoe, Norway, aboard a German icebreaker in an effort to understand how climate change is affecting the Arctic and regions beyond.

The aim is to anchor the RV Polarstern to a large ice floe and slowly drift with the current as the sea freezes around the vessel and scientists conduct experiments throughout the entire Arctic year — including the pitch-black winter months.

The 140-million-euro ($158 million) expedition is being spearheaded by Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute but also involves scientists from 19 countries including the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

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