Context and Objectives

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
© Fondation Tara Océan
© Louison Wary

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

  • Length

    26 meters

  • Width

    13.8 meters

  • Draught

    2,30 meters

  • Crew

    20 people

  • Desalinator

    300 liters/hour

  • Deadweight

    175 tons

  • Maximum height

    7,9 meters

  • Hull thickness

    18 millimeters

  • Fuel capacity

    125 m3 de HVO

  • Sleeping accommodation


  • Autonomy

    2 200 milles

  • Flag


Tara Polar Station


Scientific consortium of the Tara Polar Station program

Lee Karp Boss

Lee Karp-Boss

Oceanographer, University of Maine (USA)

Chris Bowler, Co-directeur de la Mission Microbiomes.

Chris Bowler

Biologist, ENS/CNRS (France)

Marcel Babin, Océanographe, Université Laval/CNRS

Marcel Babin

Oceanographer, Laval University / CNRS (Canada / France)


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.

© Louison Wary

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.


Discover Tara Polar Station

In immersion

Research field


Upcoming mission

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.

Mais encore…

Analysis in progress

Microbiomes Mission

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

Microbiomes Mission

2020 – 2022


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


Tara Pacific

To examine the biodiversity of coral reefs and their evolution in the face of climate change and the presence of man

Tara Pacific

2016 – 2018


Tara Oceans

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

Tara Oceans

2009 – 2013

Analysis in progress

Tara Microplastics

An expedition along 9 major European rivers to describe and understand the origins and flux of plastic waste.

Tara Microplastics

2019 – 2019

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.

Dessin technique de la goélette Tara.
Discover the schooner\:px-10{ width: 100vw; position: relative; left: 50%; right: 50%; margin-left: -50vw; margin-right: -50vw; }

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Arctic Research

Discover our commitments and research for the climate

Marine Biodiversity & Pollution Research

How to reduce pollution in the ocean?