In The Field

On board the Amundsen: Goodbye and adieu

Spending one week on board the CCGS Amundsen has been a humbling, inspiring, and altogether amazing experience for me. As I said before, it has been a great privilege, too – not even Nature’s science reporters often get to see spots as grandiose and pristine as the Canadian Arctic.

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Change comes faster to this unique environment than most of us would have thought ten or twenty years ago. With climate change and global warming proceeding at an unexpected pace, it seems doubtful now if we can preserve even to the next generation the Arctic as we knew it.

It is important that scientists bring this unconvenient truth to the attention of decision-makers and to the world’s public. It is equally important that scientists understand the complexity of changes in the Arctic and what they may bring about. Without this detailed knowledge any strategy of mitigation or adaptation will all too easily fail.

From everything I have seen during my short stay, from the commitment, enthusiasm and hard work of everybody I have met here, I have no doubt that the CFL study will very substantially add to this knowledge. My week on board the Amundsen has certainly widened my own understanding of this fragile environment.

Many thanks to David Barber, Dan Leitch, the Canadian Coast Guard, all CFL scientists, and the amazing Amundsen crew, for having made this possible.

Quirin Schiermeier

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