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The mission


On September 13th, the new Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen left her homeport of Québec City for a one-year mission in the high Canadian Arctic. On board, 44 crewmen and 38 researchers from 9 different countries with only one goal in mind; to reach the Beaufort Sea and study the Mackenzie Shelf ecosystem.

Largely funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES) is a multidisciplinary network of scientists interested in all the different angles of the Mackenzie Shelf ecosystem, from carbon molecules to polar bears. In particular, CASES focuses on the impacts of climate warming on the biological and physical processes of the Mackenzie Shelf system.

Results from this one year expedition will enable researchers to better understand the carbon cycle and eventually predict the amount of atmospheric carbon sequestered in the event of an ice free Arctic Ocean.

As a sink for ever increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, the Arctic Ocean is a regulator of global climate and therefore its study may provide insight not only on the possible repercussions of climate warming in the northern latitudes, but on a more global scale.

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