Arctic: Polarstern begins the biggest ever Arctic climate and wildlife expedition

Last updated at 05:29
The research ship will be part of the 'biggest scientific experiment ever undertaken in the Arctic'

Scientists are calling it the biggest Arctic expedition of all time.

So what's happening?

A huge ship, called the The German Research Vessel Polarstern, is about to head to the North Pole where it'll be left to get stuck in the sea-ice and drift across the top of the world.

Scientists are hoping to study all aspects of the climate system in the Arctic - the ice, the ocean, and the wildlife.

They'll visit the ship throughout the year and use it as a base to study the climate.

The ship will set off in the afternoon and drift in the Arctic for a year

The ship leaves Tromso in Norway in the afternoon, and is expected to drift in the sea until October 2020.

19 countries are involved in the project and scientists hope that, by the end, they'll have a better of understanding of how the Arctic climate is changing and might change in the future.

polarstern-ship-arctic.Getty Images
At 120 metres long, the Polarstern is a pretty big ship for a pretty huge mission.

As well as their demanding work, the scientists will also have to cope with the harsh weather and be on alert for bears!

For half the year the Sun will not rise above the horizon and temperatures will dip down to -45C.

Good luck to the team out there!

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