When the ice-breaker Oden leaves Punta Arenas in Chile on 8 December for the Oden Southern Ocean Expedition 2010-2011 there will be three chemists, three earth scientists and two marine ecologists from the University of Gothenburg on board.

The scientific leader of the expedition is Katarina Abrahamsson, Professor of Analytical and Marine Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg, who is well accustomed to Antarctic voyages.

The research scientists are divided between four different projects, all of which are funded by the Swedish Research Council, with support from the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. One project is additionally part-funded by the Swedish National Space Board. Measurements and sampling will mainly be done in the Amundsen Sea.

During the expedition the research scientists will write travelogues. If time permits, they will also answer questions.

The participants in the expedition and their projects will be presented in more detail on the website: science.gu.se/antarktis

The research scientists’ travelogues will also be regularly published there.

A brief presentation follows here.

TTHE CARBON DIOXIDE system in sea ice, snow and sea
In the project ”Comparison of the carbon dioxide system and sea-atmosphere flows in polynias with opposed sea-ice trends in the western Antarctic”, the research scientists will study the processes that govern the flow of carbon dioxide between sea, ice and air. This will be done by studying the actual carbon dioxide system and by studying the biological processes that take place in the sea ice. A sub-project is funded by the Swedish National Space Board, with the aim of creating a system for calculating the level of carbon dioxide in the sea surface via satellite surveillance.
Contact:
Melissa Chierici, Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg, +46(0)31 786 9114
Anders Torstensson, Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg, +46(0)70 446 7032

CIRCULATION OF WARM seawater and meltwater from glaciers
The inland ice sheets in Antarctica are successively built up from accumulated snow. This is offset by ice being exported by the glaciers that slowly move down towards the sea, where floating glacier tongues known as shelf ice sheets, which may be up to 1 000 metres thick, are formed. The research scientists will study the circulation of circumpolar deep water into the Amundsen Sea to examine why the shelf ice sheets in West Antarctica are becoming ever thinner. They will also empty a measuring buoy positioned in a deep trench of one year of data on speed of current, temperature and salinity.
Contact:
Anna WĂĄhlin, Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, +46(0)31 786 2866
Lars Arneborg, Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, +46(0)31 786 2886

PARASITE AND INFECTION foci in Antarctic seals
What is the actual state of health of Antarctic seals? The research scientists will find this out by examining which parasites, viruses and bacteria are present in the Antarctic seal populations. Certain parasites and diseases have existed in seals for millions of years, such as seal lice, while seal distemper was carried down to the Antarctic in the 1950s. It is principally crabeater seals that will be surveyed, by taking blood samples, bacterial and viral samples, a biopsy for environmental toxin analysis and DNA, but Wedell seals, Ross seals and a few leopard seals may also be included in the study.
Contact:
Karin HĂĄrding, Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg, +46(0)31 786 2624

COUPLED BIOCHEMICAL CYCLING of halocarbons and mercury
Halocarbons are a collection of greenhouse gases produced in the marine environment. Mercury is released in the burning of coal in coal-fired power plants and is dispersed with the winds across the whole globe and deposited in substantial quantities in the polar regions. During the expedition the research scientists will take samples to analyse mercury in air, sea water and ice. They will also examine how these gases interact and how global warming will affect the production of halocarbons in seawater and the deposition of mercury in the marine environment.
Contact:
Katarina Abrahamsson, Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg, +46(0)31 786 9051
Katarina GĂĄrdfeldt, Gothenburg Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Gothenburg, +46(0)31 772 4963

The expedition voyage will end on 14 January when the ship arrives at McMurdo, Antarctica. The research scientists will then fly to Christchurch in New Zealand, from where they will travel home.

Participants in the Oden Southern Ocean Expedition 2010/11

Katarina Abrahamsson, Professor and scientific expedition leader
Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg and Director of Sven Lovén Centre
– lives in Gothenburg, leaves on 4 December for her fourth trip to the Antarctic (and has five previous trips to the Arctic under her belt)

Lars Arneborg, docent in oceanography, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg – lives in Ulricehamn and leaves on 5 December for his first trip to the Antarctic

Melissa Chierici, docent in marine and analytical chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Gothenburg – born and raised in Eskilstuna, lives in Gothenburg, leaves on 30 November for her fifth trip to the Antarctic

Agneta Fransson, visiting lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg – grew up in Växjö, lives in Gothenburg and Mollösund, leaves on 30 November for her sixth trip to the Antarctic

Karin Hårding, docent in marine ecology, Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg – grew up in Piteå and Örnsköldssvik, lives in Gothenburg, leaves on 1 December for her first trip to the Antarctic

Anders Torstensson, PhD student, Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg
– from Kumla near Örebro, lives in Gothenburg, leaves on 3 December for his first trip to the Antarctic

Anna Wåhlin, docent in oceanography, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg – from Gothenburg, leaves on 5 December for her second trip to the Antarctic

Katarina Gårdfeldt, Gothenburg Centre for Environment and Sustainability (GMV) at the University of Gothenburg – from Gothenburg, leaves on 4 December for her first trip to the Antarctic (but has three previous trips to the Arctic under her belt)

Sarka Langer, Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg and IVL – first trip to the Antarctic

Anna Granfors, Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg – first trip to the Antarctic

Niklas Forsgard, Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg – first trip to the Antarctic
Första resan till Antarktis.

CONTACT for further information:
Katarina Abrahamsson, Professor and scientific expedition leader
Department of Chemistry and Director of the Sven Lovén Centre
+46(0)31 786 9051
+46(0)76 622 9051
k@chem.gu.se