It was a relatively warm winter in the western Arctic this year; the lows were only ‐42°C. That was still chilly enough to sting the fingers and toes of the more than 150 scientists participating in the SHEBA project—a multiprong, yearlong international study of polar environmental conditions whose data‐gathering phase ended this October. (SHEBA stands for Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean.) The base of operations for the project was a Canadian icebreaker named Dea Groseilliers that was intentionally frozen into a region of multiyear ice and set to drift with the ice pack. With the ship serving as a hotel (featuring, we're told, gourmet meals), power source, communications base and repair facility, researchers fanned out over the ice to deploy radiometers, launch balloons, poke instruments into the ice and even descend in diver's sear into the frigid ocean waters.

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