Scientists flee breaking ice floe

16 Russian scientists have lived on this ice floe for more than six months. (Photo Severnash)

The ice floe carrying the Russia’s floating research station “North Pole-39” is breaking up and the scientists have to move the station over to another ice floe.


The new ice floe should be solid enough to keep the station floating until the scheduled date for pick-up, sometime in August-September, Vladimir Sokolv from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute told RIA Novosti.

Russia has had floating research stations in the Arctic since 1937. Only three times has a station had to be evacuated before schedule. The last time was in 2010, when the icebreaker “Rossiya” had to go out and rescue the people on the floating station “North Pole-37” already in May.

16 Russian scientists have lived on the ice floe since October 2011. They have been conducting oceanographic, glacial, meteorological, hydrographic and other types of observations while the research station floated along with the sea ice. The ice floe is now in the area 83°N 115°W. Since the beginning of the mission it has drifted 1117 kilometers.

Meanwhile, China is planning to put its first floating research station on an ice floe in the Artic this summer. It is planned to be operational from July to September and consist of scientists from China, France, Japan, Finland, South Korea and Iceland, RIA Novosti reports.