Skip Navigation
September 11, 2019

Jessie Creamean to spend 4 months on ship trapped in Arctic ice to study climate

In a few days, a research vessel called the RV Polarstern will depart Norway and spend a year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in the ice. More than 600 researchers from 19 countries will board the ship in various stages, participating in the world’s most ambitious Arctic science expedition to date.

Jessie Creamean, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, will be one of them. Starting Sept. 12, Creamean will spend about four months on board the ship, floating toward the North Pole and collecting thousands of ice, snow, seawater, and air samples along the way. Her goal is to determine how biological processes from microbes – like algae and bacteria – in the water, ice, and snow are affecting atmospheric conditions that form clouds.

“Especially up in the Arctic, clouds are like thermostats – they can reflect radiation from the sun or trap heat from the Earth’s surface,” said Creamean, whose colleagues on the project include senior research scientist Paul DeMott and University Distinguished Professor Sonia Kreidenweis. For example, if clouds cause sea ice to melt faster, this could lead to more sunlight exposure in the ocean, and more production of algae that can affect local ecology.

Read the full Source article, “CSU researcher Jessie Creamean to board ship trapped in drifting Arctic ice.”

Photo at top: Research scientist Jessie Creamean holds a basket starfish during a previous Arctic expedition called INARCO II. She boards another Arctic-bound ship this month.