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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 17:20 EDT

NASA Briefs Media About First Arctic Oceanographic Voyage

June 4, 2010

NASA will hold a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 8 to preview the agency’s first dedicated oceanographic research voyage. During the mission, scientists will study changing Arctic climate and ice conditions affecting ocean ecosystems.

The “Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment” mission, or ICESCAPE, will investigate how climate change in the Arctic may be altering the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. The voyage will collect critical observations to compare to NASA’s satellite views of ocean biology and sea ice. The data will improve scientists’ understanding of this key component of Earth’s climate system.

The five-week voyage begins June 15, departing from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy. The ship will sail through the Bering Strait into the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the northern coast of Alaska. More than 40 scientists will use an array of instruments to sample the physical and chemical characteristics of the ocean and sea ice, as well as the biological characteristics of the microscopic plant and animal life that regulate the flow of carbon into and out of the sea. A second voyage is planned for 2011.

The teleconference participants are:

-     Paula Bontempi, ocean biology and biogeochemistry program manager, NASA Headquarters, Washington

-     Kevin Arrigo, ICESCAPE chief scientist, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.

-     Don Perovich, ICESCAPE co-chief scientist, U. S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, N.H.

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact Steve Cole at 202-358-0918 or stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov for dial-in instructions. Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s Web site at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

For more information on ICESCAPE, visit: http://www.espo.nasa.gov/icescape