We’re starting this 2023 season in the Gulf of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. In 2024, we return to Greenland.
Our expeditions start this week with a fourteen-day trip to the high seas and some offshore support for a film and science group. We are also pleased to announce a multi-year relationship with the Ocean Genome Atlas Project, beginning this summer [below]. Lastly, for those of you considering a trip north with us in the future, you can get out on the water with ArcticEarth in July and August… a bit closer to home. How does the gateway to the Arctic tie to the north and the rest of the planet?
Lots of preventative maintenance and repair wrapped up recently: a new shaft seal and rope-cutter went onto the propeller shaft, thanks to the expertise of Mike Richardson, Steph Cech, and Matt Graham at Lyman Morse yard in Camden. While hauled, we also landed alongside URCHIN, one of our three Good Hope 56′ expedition sister ships designed by Ed Joy.
Captain Alejandro Jara Villameura will drive the 2023 ArcticEarth SOUTH season. Originally from Barcelona, he skippered vessels in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and SouthEast Asia before discovering Chilean Patagonia, South Georgia, and Antarctica. In 2023, he skippered the former Pelagic Australis (Witness) for Greenpeace. He speaks Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, some Italian. Alex loves wildlife, documentaries, and is a keen mechanic and cook.
Ocean Genome Atlas Project
San Francisco Baykeeper founder Mike Herz introduced me to Peter Molnar this winter, co-founder of the Ocean Genome Atlas Project (OGAP). This ambitious effort is deploying state-of-the-art mobile labs throughout the world’s oceans, sampling millions of planktonic and benthic organisms, observing, documenting and performing a full range of genomic analysis and finally employing artificial intelligence (AI) to process the datasets. After several trips, including one onboard the Vinson of Antarctica, the work has been chosen as United Nations Ocean Shot Project.
“Will undoubtedly shape our understanding of the global ecosystem for decades to come.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies
A new book is available in fall of 2023, by celebrated genome scientist J. Craig Venter. Our production team sailed and filmed with Craig and his team off and on over a five-year period, producing two films commissioned by the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel as part of their QUEST initiative [trailer for one below].
In his Substack weekly column The Crucial Years, the astute Bill McKibben points to the ClimateReanalyzer.org of the Climate Change Institute of UMaine. Freaky data: since March, the ocean is very suddenly getting warmer at the surface (at left, dark line on top). As the BBC pointed out, the numbers are extreme.
In March, sea surface temperatures off the east coast of North America were as much as 13.8C higher than the 1981-2011 average.
“It’s not yet well established, why such a rapid change, and such a huge change is happening,” said Karina Von Schuckmann, the lead author of a new study and an oceanographer at the research group Mercator Ocean International.