The processes intensified in the area around the research station in May. The floe moved 186 miles in a month and broke up due to the intensive drift, said Ivan Frolov, director of Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute or AARI, over the phone.
Arctic Storm Shatters Thin Sea Ice: News
The researchers belonged to AARI, which began sending scientists on year long expeditions to the Arctic in 1937. The expedition this year, the 40th (the expeditions were suspended following World War II), was to a location on the northwest periphery of the Canadian Basin, unidentifiable except as a point on a map – 85 degrees northern latitude and 142 degrees western longitude. The temperatures last month averaged negative 11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit). Winds whipped at a swift 10 miles per hour.
The ice floe was between six and 13 feet thick, and was chosen for its sturdiness, said Frolov. The station SP-40 was set up in October last year. The researchers came onboard in April.
They proceeded to set up instruments to study the Arctic from the stratosphere to the ocean's depths - things like the ocean's salinity and the plankton species living there. They measured ozone in the atmosphere, used a drone to monitor wind speeds and other parameters.