Station Mike, Weather ship 'Polarfront' station

Location of Station Mike, Weather ship 'Polarfront' station
Location of Station Mike, Weather ship 'Polarfront' station

Why is it interesting for scientists to observe the ocean here?

Station M is strategically placed with respect to oceanographic climate studies. Warm water from the Atlantic Ocean flows into the Norwegian Sea and on to the polar regions where it cools, becomes denser and sinks down to the deep returning to the Atlantic as a cold, dense, bottom current. This is a part of the global thermohaline circulation (pdf EUR-OCEANS : poster ocean conveyor belt) which describes the large-scale movement of water masses that snakes around the entire globe. Monitoring this circulation also makes it possible to observe any on-going changes.

The main current system (schematic) in the Nordic Seas with the position of the weather ship station M (MIKE). The open hatched arrows indicate the surface current patterns, and the black arrows indicate the deep/bottom current. Courtesy of Dr. Svein Østerhus, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
Credits : University of Bergen , Norway

Scientists or technicians in charge of the observatory

Svein Østerhus
Ingunn Skjelvan

Name of their institution

Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen and Berknes Center for Climate Research, Norway

Distance from shore

300 nautical miles (555km) from the coast

Max depth

2200 m