TARA POLAR STATION :
Studying the Arctic, sentinel of the climate
The Arctic, an unknown continent revealing the climate crisis
The Arctic Ocean is a remote and extreme environment, of which we know little about. It is unknown how the organisms living there cope with the extreme seasonality of light, temperature, sea ice, and how they survive the long polar night, which lasts for almost half the year. In recent decades, this unique ecosystem has been increasingly threatened by global warming and anthropic pollution. The speed of change and the fact that what happens in the Arctic impacts the entire planet makes it a real sentinel.
Better understanding the impact of climate change in the Arctic and on the rest of the planet
Improving knowledge of biodiversity on Earth by exploring regions inaccessible today
Revealing the unique adaptations that enabled life in this extreme environment.
Analysing the consequences of melting sea ice and pollution on these unique and fragile ecosystems
Observing Arctic fish stocks and the impact of the arrival of more temperate species
Discovering new molecules/species/processes with new potential applications
- 10 consecutive missions until 2045
- 20 people and 2 dogs
- 90 % of the time locked in pack ice
- 18 consecutive months of mission
Tara Polar Station will contribute to the deployment in the Arctic of France’s Polar Strategy:
“Balancing the Extremes” by 2030
A drifting polar science station
Designed by architect Olivier Petit and the Tara Ocean Foundation
125 m3 de HVO
2 200 milles
Scientific consortium of the Tara Polar Station program
Oceanographer, University of Maine (USA)
Biologist, ENS/CNRS (France)
Oceanographer, Laval University / CNRS (Canada / France)
marine ecologist, University in Tromsø, Norway
sea ice ecologist, University in Tromsø, Norway
marine ecologist, University in Tromsø, Norway
marine biogeochamistry, University in Tromsø
molecular ecologist, AWI, Germany
acoustics and fish ecology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
atmosphere microphysics, EPFL
atmosphere chemistry, CNRS/Sorbonne
sea ice physics, Max Planck Institute
nivologist, ULaval/CNRS, Canada
glaciologist and oceanographer, University Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
sea ice physics, Alfred-Wegener
sea ice and climate modeller, CNRS
sea ice biology and biogeochemistry, Aarhus University, Denmark
polar marine climate scientist, AWI
biological oceanographer, ULaval/CNRS, Canada
oceanographer, Oregon SU, USA
biological oceanographer, Swiss Polar
Institute, Switzerland Marine Biology
marine biologist, AWI, Germany
microbiologist, ULaval, Canada
sea ice microbiologist, U of Washington
microbial oceanographer, EMBL, Europe
cell biologist, U of Southampton, UK
lipids expert, CEA/CNRS, France
metabolomics expert, MPI, Germany
Silvia Gonzalez Acinas
An unprecedented scientific and human adventure at the North Pole
The drifting polar scientific base entitled Tara Polar Station will embark scientists from all over the world on multiple successive drifts, until 2045.
Climatologists, biologists, physicists, glaciologists, oceanographers, artists, physicians, journalists, and sailors will unite and live together aboard Tara Polar Station to make observations and conduct experiments on site, under temperatures ranging between -20° and -45°C in the heart of the polar night in winter. This future French mission already brings together the CNRS, the French Polar Institute, the CEA, the CNES in France, Laval University in Quebec, the University of Maine in the United States, the Swiss Polar Institute in Switzerland, Alfred Wegener Institute: Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, the Arctic Research Center in Denmark, etc.
These institutions will frame a multidisciplinary scientific approach in order to discover the many secrets of this still little-known environment, yet so decisive in understanding the causes and consequences of climate change.
This project has been cofunded by the State within the framework of France 2030 and cofunded by the European Union – Next Generation EU within the framework of the France Relance plan.
Identifying changes in the Arctic
The explorations of Tara Polar Station will refine the predictions of weather models in Europe by 2050 and the consequences of climate change on the functioning of our planet. These results will be used to improve policies concerning the governance of the Arctic and the global Ocean.
Unravel the mysteries of the first actor present in all facets of ocean biodiversity, its fundamental basis: the microbiome.
2020 – 2022
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.
2006 – 2008
To examine the biodiversity of coral reefs and their evolution in the face of climate change and the presence of man
2016 – 2018
An expedition to the heart of the biodiversity of the planktonic world, with the Ocean under the microscope.
2009 – 2013
Expedition dedicated to the scourge of plastic pollution, with the Mediterranean as our laboratory.
2014 – 2014
Back to origins
The schooner Tara
A vessel dedicated to scientific research and environmental protection. Tara has been sailing the seas and oceans of the world to discover marines ecosystems since 1989.
Discover our commitments and research for the climate
Marine Biodiversity & Pollution Research
How to reduce pollution in the ocean?