The Terrestrial Multidisciplinary distributed Observatories for the Study of Arctic Connections (T-MOSAiC) began as an initiative of the Terrestrial Working Group of IASC in April 2017. The aim is to coordinate complementary activities that will both aid and benefit from MOSAiC by extending the work to the lands surrounding the Arctic Ocean and to the northern communities who live on those lands.
What is MOSAiC ?
The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) is a largescale IASC program that centres on the freeze-in and drifting of the research icebreaker Polarstern across the central Arctic Ocean, from October 2019 to October 2020. Observations from this ship will be complemented by studies from other ships, ice camps, moorings, aircraft overflights, and satellite remote sensing. The program covers many disciplinary studies, with the primary aim to address the question: “What are the causes and consequences of an evolving and diminished Arctic sea ice cover?” MOSAiC is the result of many years of planning and resource coordination among nations, and will be one of IASC’s flagship research achievements.
What are the scientific objectives of T-MOSAiC ?
T-MOSAiC will address the overarching question: what are the implications of changing sea ice, oceanography and climate of the Arctic Ocean for the surrounding land-based geosystems, ecosystems and human systems? The program will focus on hypotheses related to gradients, discontinuities (regime shifts), feedbacks and extreme events. It will place the 2019-20 window of MOSAiC observations in the central Arctic Ocean into a broader temporal and spatial context by synthesizing data records throughout the circumpolar terrestrial environment, with emphasis on new land-based observations throughout the T-MOSAiC year 2020, and now extended to 2021.
What are the research themes of T-MOSAiC ?
The program will cover a broad range of themes including past and present changes in climate, biodiversity, vegetation and landscapes, changes in the terrestrial cryosphere and hydrosphere, and effects on engineered infrastructure on northern lands.
How is T-MOSAiC supported ?
T-MOSAiC is supported through three tracks of funding and in-kind resources. Firstly, dedicated funding has been obtained for certain networking activities. The Government of Portugal has provided funding through the University of Lisbon for the T-MOSAiC secretariat, and IASC has provided funds for workshops, specifically to support the participation of early career researchers. Additional workshop support has been provided by centres and programs in Canada, notably the Centre for Northern Studies (CEN), the NCE program ArcticNet and the CFREF program Sentinel North. Secondly, new proposals and developing projects have included links to T-MOSAiC, as a way to foster international collaboration and to place specific studies in a broad circumpolar context. Finally, ongoing programs in the Arctic are providing data, expertise and other in-kind support to T-MOSAiC.
What are the programs and projects connected to T-MOSAiC ?
This is an ever increasing list, and includes INTERACT, RATIC, Siberian-Megatransect, Nunataryak, GTN-P, IASOA, Sentinel North, Northern Gradient, MOSES, ITEX, ArcticNet, and HILDEN, as well as individual projects
How is T-MOSAiC managed and coordinated ?
T-MOSAiC is managed through an Executive Committee, with scientific direction provided by a Steering Committee. Day-to-day operations are coordinated through the T-MOSAiC Science Coordinator, Mr. Diogo Folhas, who is based at the T-MOSAiC Secretariat at the University of Lisbon.