Identifying changes to assess in Arctic their impact for the future


Warning sign of global warming

This part of the planet on the edge of the North Pole is warming three times faster than other parts of the world. The sea ice, a fine layer of salty ice is gradually disappearing. It is melting so fast that we are undoubtedly the last generation to still have a chance of protecting it or of knowing the unique marine biodiversity which depends upon it.

  • 70 % of the volume of sea ice has disappeared in 40 years
  • 4 000 m deep
  • 6 months of polar night per year
  • 10 km per day drift of sea ice
© Fondation Tara Océan

Our expeditions

Tara Arctic


On the edge of the Arctic, Tara the most northerly sailing ship ever

In 2006, the young team from Tara and the CNRS embarked on an extraordinary human and scientific adventure: to cross the Arctic Ocean drifting with the sea ice for 18 months in the wake of the Fram, and carrying out scientific research into climate change with the European Commission.

Tara Oceans

Analyses in progress

First sailing ship to sail round the Arctic Ocean in one season.

For the first time in history, Tara and the researchers from the Tara Océans expedition were able to observe the biodiversity of the plankton in the Russian and Canadian Arctic, and to compare it to other oceanic ecosystems. It is unique, endemic to the Arctic and invaluable to humanity.

See the expedition
  • 9 months of expedition to complete the voyage in 2013

  • 100 %of species still endemic up to now

Chris Bowler, scientific co-director of the Arctic expedition:

This ocean is home to a singular planktonic ecosystem unlike any other, not even that of the Southern Antarctic Ocean. The icy conditions and long intense nights at these latitudes are at the origin of a diversity of species unlike any other. It is full of adaptation mechanisms, evolutions and genes which are, of course, unknown and that we are about to alter forever.

Culture point

The Arctic is one of the last remaining big natural protected spaces on the planet, a fragile ecosystem which is home to a biodiversity as rich as it is unknown.

L'équipage installe les instruments scientifiques sur la banquise en Arctique

Mais encore …


Tara Arctic

A high-risk 18-month expedition drifting with the sea ice on the edge of the North Pole to see the effects of climate change.

Tara Arctic

2006 – 2008

Expedition in progress

Mission Microbiomes

Unravel the mysteries of the first actor present in all facets of ocean biodiversity, its fundamental basis: the microbiome.

Mission Microbiomes

2020 – 2022


Tara Oceans

An expedition to the heart of the biodiversity of the planktonic world, with the Ocean under the microscope.

Tara Oceans

2009 – 2013

Our scientific publications


Exploring Arctic transpolar drift during dramatic sea ice retreat.

Gascard, J.-C., E. Bourgois, H. Bourmaud, B. et al.

Tara Arctic


Melt pond formation and temporal evolution at drifting station Tara during summer 2007

Sankelo, P., Haapala, J.,Heiler, I. and E. Rinne.

Tara Arctic
Tara Arctic
Tara Arctic
Tara Arctic
Tara Arctic


Validation of atmospheric reanalyzes over the central Arctic Ocean

Jakobson, E., T. Vihma, T. Palo, al.

Tara Arctic


Low-level jet characteristics over the Arctic Ocean in spring and summer.

Jakobson, L., T. Vihma, E. Jakobson, T. et al.

Tara Arctic


Linking the effective thermal conductivity of snow to its shear strength and density

Florent Domine, Josué Bock, Samuel Morin, et al.

Tara Arctic


Sea-ice thickness measurement based on the dispersion of ice swell.

David Marsan, Jerome Weiss, Eric Larose, et al.

Tara Arctic
Tara Arctic
Tara Arctic
Tara Arctic
Culture Ocean

Immerse yourself in our expeditions

Fighting to protect marine biodiversity from pollution

How can we reduce pollution in the ocean?

Learning more about biodiversity to help better protect it

Discover our commitments and climate research

Our partners

Major partner