There's a place that only penguins have known.

Far from human exploration and habitation.

More Photos

What is all this about?

We study how climate change impacts a polar hotspot.

Between November 2010 and January 2011, the US Research Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer was joined by the Swedish Icebreaker Oden for a two-boat expedition to the Amundsen Sea. Scientists on the Palmer focussed on understanding the climate-sensitive dynamics of the open water region, known as a "polynya." Oden scientists investigated the sea ice ecosystem nearby. Both groups aimed to improve our understanding of how climate change will impact this important ecosystem. Check out the blog from the Palmer expedition by clicking on the red button to the right. Photos from the trip can also be viewed separately or within the blog. Educator resources are being developed. Stay tuned!

Question of the Day

  • What are Polynyas and why are they important to study?

    Polynyas, are recurring areas of seasonally open water surrounded by ice.

    Energy and material transfer between the atmosphere, polar surface ocean, and the deep sea in polynas provide polar ecosystems with just the right ingredients needed for high productivity and intense biogeochemical recycling.

    Polynyas may be the key to understanding the future of Polar Regions since their extent is expected to increase with anthropogenic warming.