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The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We'll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction www.polarprediction.net

The IcePod The IcePod

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The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We'll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction www.polarprediction.net

    The IcePod with Lasse Rabenstein and Panagiotis Kountouris – Let the Data Speak to You

    The IcePod with Lasse Rabenstein and Panagiotis Kountouris – Let the Data Speak to You

    In the first episode of The IcePod, season 2, we talk to Lasse Rabenstein and Panagiotis Kountouris. They run the start-up Drift+Noise Polar Services, which could potentially become the ‘one-stop solution for ice information'. 

    "If I were the captain of a fishing vessel sailing north of Svalbard..." – In this episode, Lasse and Panos tell us about their start-up company, which primarily aims to support shipping activities in polar regions fjnd a safe path through the ice. To that end, they are developing products such as an app that integrates various information, such as satellite data and ice-drift forecasts, to provide users with an easy-to-use solution, "so that the data speaks to you", Panos says. While a forecast is always subject to uncertainty, users need a truly accurate forecast; for them "the perfect product is a perfect forecast", he adds. However, "on a ship in the Arctic, you can still feel like you're back in the 1990s", says Lasse – low bandwidth is one of the issues Drift+Noise is trying to solve with its service. 

    As an intermediate provider that passes information from data providers to end users, there is a need to take care of customers – communication and user feedback are key to further improving the company's products. "And… it's really important to educate people by showing them what the innovations are", the company partners add. "Especially the new generations of captains and ice pilots will appreciate getting any information they need to run their operations."

    Here's the playlist from Lasse: 

    - Der Traum ist aus - Ton Steine Scherben

    - Child in Time - Deep Purple

    - Alles muss man selber machen lassen - Deichkind 

    - Nordisch by Nature - Fettes Brot

    - Verdächtig - Systemabsturz

    - Feed Your Head - Kalkbrenner

    The IcePod is produced by the International Coordination Office of the Polar Prediction Project, a project initiated by the World Meteorological Organization to improve weather and sea ice forecasting in the polar regions. For any question or feedback, please contact polarprediction@gmail.com.

    • 53 Min.
    The IcePod Season 2

    The IcePod Season 2

    In the first season, Sara Pasqualetto and Kirstin Werner of the International Polar Prediction Coordination Office invited participants from the MOSAiC expedition who spent a year drifting through Arctic sea ice on the German research icebreaker RV Polarstern. Guests on the podcast were able to share details from the MOSAiC expedition about their scientific work on the ice, as well as about life on board, insights that would otherwise have been left untold. The episodes were broadcast on the community radio station Radio Weser TV in Bremen and Bremerhaven and are still available on Spotify and other podcast platforms.

    In the second season of The IcePod, Kirstin Werner continues to invite podcast guests to bring along their favorite songs and get to know the guests a little better that way. In particular, the second season is about learning more about a range of activities in the Arctic and Antarctic that require good forecasts of environmental conditions. At high latitudes, reliable weather and sea ice forecasts are key to safe operations. However, data on weather and sea ice at the poles are still relatively sparse because these areas are difficult to access. As a result, accurate forecasts are still lacking in these regions. In Season 2 of The IcePod, Kirstin talks to Drift+Noise Polar Services, a start-up that turns forecast data into applied services. You'll also hear from Hurtigruten, a major coastal ferry service and cruise company in Norway, an Antarctic expedition leader, and a helicopter pilot working on Polarstern. Stay tuned and watch out for the next episodes of The IcePod.

    The IcePod is produced by the International Coordination Office of the Polar Prediction Project, a project initiated by the World Meteorological Organization to improve weather and sea ice forecasting in the polar regions. For any question or feedback, please contact polarprediction@gmail.com.

    • 2 Min.
    Bonus Episode Five (in German) – with RV Polarstern Captain Thomas Wunderlich

    Bonus Episode Five (in German) – with RV Polarstern Captain Thomas Wunderlich

    Surprise, surprise! After the final episode with Matt Shupe, we have another one for you. In this German edition of The IcePod, we talk to Captain Thomas Wunderlich who took over the command of the German research icebreaker RV Polarstern for leg 4 and 5 of the MOSAiC expedition in June 2020. 

    Thomas Wunderlich is one of currently three captains on board Polarstern; together with his colleague Captain Stefan Schwarze he made sure that scientists could carry out their work during the one-year drifting MOSAiC ice camp in the central Arctic. How to become the captain of the 39 year-old Lady Polarstern, and what is the role of a captain when the ship is not actively moving but just drifting through sea-ice floes? Not only we learn about the bunch of items Thomas Wunderlich always takes with him aboard when leaving for the north or south (we only mention 'night socks' here), but also we hear about how to pursue a career at sea, about the different marine officer grades and on the general aspects of seafaring in Germany and around the world.  

    'There are the dead, there are the living, and there are sailors', Thomas Wunderlich quotes an unknown source; his life is divided into six months at sea and six months at home each year, both being intensive times of living, and yes, Thomas Wunderlich also likes to be on land, using his spare time for work in the garden or to explore the beautiful Spreewald area south of Berlin, which is home for Captain Wunderlich. 

    Wunderlich tells us about the moment, many years ago, when for the first time he had heard that something called the MOSAiC expedition was discussed. And he revisits with us the precious moment when he met his Captain colleague Stefan Schwarze somewhere at the sea-ice edge in June last year. Yes, he can't deny, they gave each other a hug when he took over the command after leg 3. After all, in times when it is uncertain whether a MOSAiC expedition can continue even under pandemic circumstances, it was also his endorsement to expedition lead Markus Rex to keep on going, thanks to the brilliant logistic efforts that made seemingly impossible things possible. 

    There is one common goal at a research vessel, which is making the scientists happy by enabling them to do their research; for which both parties need to be treated overly respectfully on board, and this has worked out very well for Thomas Wunderlich's leg 4 and 5 of MOSAiC. "While we, the captain and crew, can take water samples, we cannot analyze them. But at the same time, if there wasn't us, the ship would still sit in Bremerhaven." In October 2020, after one year in the ice, Thomas Wunderlich maneuvered RV Polarstern back home to Bremerhaven. The moment has been hilarious and very emotional when the vessel entered port on a sunny early October morning, accompanied by the many welcome-honking escort boats and happy-waving people at the quay.

    If you miss the music, find Thomas Wunderlich's playlist on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0WL49FCRP76g5QR2cipqGe

    For updates and other materials, check also our website https://theicepodcast.home.blog/

    Music from https://filmmusic.io "Sweeter Vermouth" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

    Licence: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/)

    Photo credit: Lianna Nixon

    Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto

    • 1 Std. 30 Min.
    Final Episode with Matt Shupe – The Great Expectations

    Final Episode with Matt Shupe – The Great Expectations

    Here's the final episode of The IcePod's season 1.  It's a pretty special one because we got to meet one of the highest-ranked people of MOSAiC – it's Matt Shupe. Matt has been the co-lead of the expedition and stayed onboard Polarstern for the first, the dark one, and the fourth, the light leg of the one-year expedition.

    Matt really is a cloud person; he has been working on his sweet spot of research, the Arctic mixed-phase clouds, since basically forever. As a PhD student, he has already been involved into the Arctic drifting expedition SHEBA  in 1997, and could thus bring on his experience camping on the ice into the new project.

    After his return from the Arctic, he always wanted to go back to better understand what's going on there in terms of atmosphere/sea-ice interactions. When he met the German physicist Klaus Dethloff who by the time worked at the Alfred Wegener Institute, they realized they'd have similar dreams on an Arctic overwintering campaign.  It took them quite some years and efforts to champion on these paired ideas, but eventually they got more people convinced and the German research vessel Polarstern on board.

    In retrospect, Matt summarizes the expedition like this: "My expectations were not necessarily the plan of the Arctic, but the Arctic came up and said 'Hey, this is what I am right now'."  From COVID-19 to logistical issues, not to mention the fast drift of the ice floe, the MOSAiC expedition was sometimes not as they had pictured. But great expectations can only be topped by the unexpected reality, which turned out to be amazing, not only due to the various observations during polar night and day, but also to the team spirit, the human relationships and particularly the Italian card game connection that built over time on an Arctic island in the sun.

    What are Matt's plans for the future? While looking at the "old stuff" may be in "some ways less sexy", it's a necessary step to pave the way to the next big thing of the future of Arctic research, which Matt is confident on is in great hands.

    If you miss the music, find the very special playlist that Matt created for you on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1SfJzVTcH6aF4lkhW6zNAA
    If you want to listen to the full episode with music, listen to Radio Weser.TV on the first Saturday each month 12–2 pm UTC at https://www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/, or check back with us at polarprediction@gmail.com
    For updates and other materials, check also our website: https://theicepodcast.home.blog/
    The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction initiative to improve weather and sea-ice forecast in the Arctic and Antarctic. 
    Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto 
    Music from https://filmmusic.io
    "Sweeter Vermouth" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) 
    Licence: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/) 
    Photo credit:  MOSAiC consortium

    • 1 Std. 26 Min.
    Episode Eleven – Zoe and the Quiet Ocean

    Episode Eleven – Zoe and the Quiet Ocean

    Number Eleven! It's the ocean episode. As we finally enter the last leg of the MOSAiC expedition, we get to talk to Zoe Koenig who is an Arctic physical oceanographer at the University of Bergen and the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø. Zoe was leading team Ocean during leg 5 which clearly differed from the previous ones as the original MOSAiC ice floe had disintegrated and Polarstern now was looking for a new home.

    Zoe always had a close relation to the ocean as she grew up in Brittany and spent her childhood's vacation sailing with the family off the French coasts. So the ocean has always been her special place of freedom, and even for some people it is just a blue out of the blue, she will always find a different shade of blue.  The white is adding to the blue in the Arctic where the sea ice cover calms down the ocean moving; it's the quietness that fascinates Zoe.

    This wasn't Zoe's first time drifting in the Arctic – during her PhD, she joined the Norwegian Young Sea Ice Experiment N-ICE on board the vessel Lance. And so she brought all her experience on how to measure the speed of the ocean, its temperature, and how salty it is into MOSAiC. Team Ocean was a small but busy team. To make sure no one gets bored by taking the same measurements over and over, Zoe introduced a rotating system so that everyone could run the different instruments. While they only built a light version of the previous ice camp during the last leg, Zoe and her team still had to work hard to maintain from refreezing the various holes in the ice to plunge the ocean instruments.

    Polarstern had a shortage of cheese and chocolate during the last part of the cruise but Zoe and her team made it back healthy and in time to be heartily welcomed in Bremerhaven in October last year. But, sadly, the pandemic was still ongoing and it felt odd to come back to a world of people hidden behind masks and with no hugs.

    If you miss the music, find the very special playlist that Zoe created for you on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/66D1gefJOv2sTeRUUc7oQC?si=XamqE-pPSBCPTk-HyxNprw
    If you want to listen to the full episode with music, listen to Radio Weser.TV on the first Saturday each month 12–2 pm UTC at https://www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/, or check back with us at polarprediction@gmail.com
    For updates and other materials, check also our website: https://theicepodcast.home.blog/
    The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction initiative to improve weather and sea-ice forecast in the Arctic and Antarctic. 
    Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto 
    Music from https://filmmusic.io
    "Sweeter Vermouth" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) 
    Licence: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/) 
    Photo credit:  Lianna Nixon

    • 1 Std. 19 Min.
    Episode Ten – Binoculars are My Weapons

    Episode Ten – Binoculars are My Weapons

    For the tenth episode of The IcePod, we jump from the scientific part to the logistical aspects of the expedition. To carry out research in the living room of the polar bears requires people who take care of keeping everybody safe. "The binoculars are my weapons", says Laura Schmidt, member of the Safety and Logistics Team during MOSAiC leg 4.

    Laura grew up in the alpine environment of Southern Germany which paved the way into the Arctic easily.  Studying geography was a way to merge her passion for outdoor activities with scientific curiosity. And, Greenland was her first love – during her Master's degree she joined an excursion to the frozen super island and always wanted to come back.

    This is what she did. As a self-employed, she has been guiding tourists through the extreme Greenlandic nature home to the Inuits. "In Greenland, everything is much different. Here,  nature tells you what to do." One has to be able to read and feel the landscape in order to enjoy and get home safely and to deal with a pretty tough enemy when exploring Arctic environments: fog.

    Safety was also the keyword for Laura's role onboard Polarstern. The polar bear watch was amongst a number of responsibilities to make sure scientists and crew could carry on with their jobs. But shooting a polar bear would only be the very last option she really had. There are a lot of other things that come first, such as retreating or using a flaring gun, explains Laura in the episode: "I would never want to be the person who shoots a polar bear."

    It would be normal to wonder if Laura ever feels afraid, when working in such an extreme environment. But for her, fear is part of the job, and in the right doses, it is actually a key aspect to make her aware of her surroundings and keep her alert to perceive changes and dangers around her.

    As part of a close team of researchers and professionals sharing the same home for three months, Laura had the opportunity to occasionally step out of her logistics role and contribute to other activities in the MOSAiC camp. That's how she got to feel being part of the atmosphere team, launching weather balloons and sending messages to the blue Arctic skies.

    If you miss the music, find the very special playlist that Laura created on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6KsIAB0aQx14AQYgfnmXFd?si=dRCFn3LsQW6MA3qUndVMIw
    If you want to listen to the full episode with music, listen to Radio Weser.TV on the first Saturday each month 12–2 pm UTC at https://www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/, or check back with us at polarprediction@gmail.com
    For updates and other materials, check also our website: https://theicepodcast.home.blog/
    The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction initiative to improve weather and sea-ice forecast in the Arctic and Antarctic. 
    Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto 
    Music from https://filmmusic.io
    "Sweeter Vermouth" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) 
    Licence: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/) 
    Photo credit:  Lianna Nixon

    • 1 Std. 14 Min.

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