Archive | January, 2011
Relief on the main deck

The Day That Lasted Two Days

Today’s story starts yesterday evening, and it features valuable items lost at the bottom of the sea, a midnight rescue plan sketched out on a napkin, a grappling hook as tall as a person, and a creature that looks like a space flower. We had come to Cape Adare to help Bruce Huber of Lamont-Doherty […]

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Snow petrel on deck

To Cape Adare

We heard that in New Jersey it’s been snowy and very cold. So be proud! You’re in a place that’s colder than Antarctica right now. After four days of work in the waters of the central Ross Sea, the Palmer headed northwest toward the opening of the Southern Ocean. The northernmost end is called Cape […]

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Flight of Antarctic petrels

How Scientists Look for the Truth

Today I toured around the work stations of each of the scientists studying Modified Circumpolar Deep Water: Drs. Josh Kohut, Chris Measures, Phoebe Lam, Angelicque White, Allen Milligan, and Adam Kustka. They’re all here because they have a hypothesis about how MCDW contributes to the summer blooms of phytoplankton that provide so much food to […]

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Moving water

Getting to Know MCDW

We’ve talked a lot about Modified Circumpolar Deep Water recently. It’s the water that our gliders are looking for, and our scientists think the nutrients it carries cause the great blooms of food during the Ross Sea’s summers. Let’s take a day to get to know it. MCDW starts out in water 400 meters (1320 […]

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Ready for launch

‘Glider Base, This is Zodiac’

In walkie-talkie etiquette, you call to the person you want to talk to, then identify yourself. So when ‘Glider Base, this is Zodiac’ comes over the radio, it means that someone in a little inflatable rubber boat (called a zodiac) wants to talk to the person who is running the gliders. Six of us were […]

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glider prep

Out Comes the Science Equipment

Last night, Captain Yousri Maghrabi steered the Palmer toward Station A, at 76.5 degrees south, 170 degrees east. It’s just a patch of open water about 40 miles northeast of Ross Island, but oceanographers have been measuring water here since the mid-1990s. When we got there, the only land left visible were Ross and Beaufort […]

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Dr. Kohut’s Welcome

Watch chief scientist Josh Kohut welcome you to our Ross Sea Connection cruise, speaking from above the ice pier at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Jan 19, 2011.

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species diversity

Breaking Ice with Skuas, Seals, Penguins, and Whales

This evening at 6 p.m., the Palmer cast off its lines, weighed anchor, started its great engines rumbling, and set off through the pack ice. After a few safety briefings, everyone flooded out onto the decks for a display of sea ice and wildlife like nothing I have seen before. The temperature was about 30 […]

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Setting up the Main Lab (time-lapse)

Scientists set up their equipment in the main lab of the Palmer before getting underway. This time lapse video shows a 360 degree view of the main lab over 37 minutes.

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boarding in shadow

Antarctica by Redeye

Yesterday we didn’t sleep much. We boarded our plane to Antarctica at 10 p.m., and by 4:20 in the morning we were standing on a carpet of sea ice. The sun was warm on my face, the sky was a spotless blue, and not many people needed their Big Red parkas. The temperature rose to […]

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