SASx Arctic Baseline Project

The international, one-year Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS) to be conducted in 2021 will significantly expand the scope of measurements in the Arctic with a set of standardized, core biophysical datasets representing a single-year “snapshot” of Arctic status, to be fully replicated with another synoptic survey a decade later in 2030. 


The accelerating rate of biophysical and ecosystem changes now occurring in the Arctic, however, coupled with the continuing lack of knowledge at an annual/interseasonal scale and on a wider regional scale argues for replicating these core measurements on an annual basis.


Global Oceans is launching the development of an “extended SAS” (SASx) initiative - the SASx Arctic Baseline Project -  to conduct an annual series of Arctic Ocean transects, including summer and winter transects, each year over the next decade between 2021 and 2031. The SASx project will utilize PolarMARV-configured chartered icebreaking vessels from the commercial sector to replicate core, standardized environmental datasets established by SAS, as an annual time series.


Measuring ongoing transformations at higher resolution in the Arctic is vital for understanding changes and geographic shifts in ecosystems and populations, for building more accurate biophysical models of the region, and for global climate modeling. This effort will better inform the international community about how we should best respond to challenging and far-reaching resource management and regulatory questions for the Arctic Ocean.


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Project Highlights

SASx Science Deck: Instrumentation & Deep-Sea Vehicles

In addition to modular laboratories, workshops, and other operational equipment mobilized on deck with the MARV model, Global Oceans will facilitate access to required sampling equipment, deep-sea vehicles, analytical instrumentation, supplies, and supporting infrastructure to meet annual SASx program schedules.

SASx Arctic Baseline Project

Funding the SASx Arctic Baseline Project Decade

Funding the decade of SASx expeditions will be sought from a combination of philanthropic, governmental, and intergovernmental agency support. Global Oceans is proposing an independent multi-donor facility to fund and administer the project in the form of a Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF).

SASx Arctic Baseline Project

Project Team & Advisors