too many exclamation points

Each of the days we’ve been out in the field has been nicer than the last.  The weather has been nicer, and I’ve also been less tired.  I guess I finally beat the jet-lag: just in time to turn around and go home.  Tomorrow is the last day.  One more day in the lab plus packing up.

Yesterday was gorgeous here.  Who knew I needed to come to the Arctic to get my vitamin D quota for the year?  It was 37 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday in Tempelfjorden.

we shed our outer layers in the warm sunshine

When we first drove onto the ice I was a little nervous.  It had rained since our last outing, which weighed down the snow, as well as causing some melting.  The snow thickness was a little less and it was also slushy in places.  It’s better not to think about how you’re driving on a skin <70cm thick over a vast deep fjord when you’re on the snow mobile.

Don’t worry.  It wasn’t going to break or anything.  The ice is pretty amazing.  I feel very lucky to be seeing all this in person.  The weight of the snow actually pushes the ice down below the natural water line – that is, below the level that it would float too by itself, as illustrated by a slab that we cut out and then replaced in our work area.

a cut slab of ice demonstrates the buoyancy of sea ice not weighed down by snow

It seemed we had gotten better at doing our slew of measurements.  At the end of the day we had a little time to drive closer to that glacier.  Apparently it’s not that safe near the interface, but we got just close enough for a better view.  Amazing.


Finally we were back in town, had another late dinner, and walked back to the place where we’re staying.  On the way we stopped at a sun dial that Squid on the Ice wanted to see during the midnight sun.  Sadly it was too cloudy for the sun dial to cast a good shadow, but I did stop to appreciate these lovely high clouds.

Cirrus clouds lit by the midnight sun!

    • Fred and Sandy
    • April 27th, 2011

    Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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