Finally we are on our way to Greenland. Since two years we are preparing this scientific campaign on board of RV Belgica to visit different fjords in SW Greenland to sample and investigate the change in water column and seafloor processes as a consequence of glacier melting. The preparation phase was very intense since it is one of the first cruises in this wider area that will have a similar holistic and integrated approach by covering phyto- and zooplankton, benthic fauna, biogeochemistry, biodiversity, food web interactions and carbon sequestration. We have people on board from 8 different nationalities, each with their own specific expertise but all keen to integrate their knowledge for a better understanding of these climate change-driven shifts in ecosystem processes.
However before we sailed off there was an event on board of the RV Belgica in the old harbor of Reykjavik where we presented our scientific cruise objectives to local invitees including the former president of Iceland, now Chairman of the Arctic Circle. The interest in our planned work was high and the call for outreach of our research results strong. It showed how high climate change-related research has finally been put on most political agendas
On the 13th of July 9.30 am we left Reykjavik. Leaving the harbor is always an exciting event. Accompanied by an amazingly rich seabird life and a beautiful scenery of the Icelandic mountains we set sail to Greenland in slightly stormy weather. It made several of us aware of the new shaky environment where we will live and work for the next 3 weeks. However the warm welcome by the Belgica Crew, the amazing ship the new RV Belgica is, its facilities and the efficiency of its organization, the great food we get on board, and the diverse team of senior and junior scientists made us only looking forward to this Greenlandic adventure
Thank you BELSPO for financing the CANOE project and providing us this ship time;
Also a special thanks goes to Lorenz Meire from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and NIOZ by bringing this research topic under our attention and pointing us in the right direction.
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You want to read more about the science? https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-023-01218-y