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5 August 2022

#AntarcticLog: Greetings from the Puerto Rico Trench

Greetings from the deepest place in the Atlantic Ocean!  So far I’m reporting from the surface, but every day human-operated vehicle (HOV) Alvin carries scientists deeper. I mean, if you knew you had access to 99% of the seafloor — where before you had access to 2/3 — wouldn’t you head for the deepest spots?

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29 July 2022

#AntarcticLog: Down with Alvin

Down with Alvin!  That’s where the scientists aboard R/V Atlantis are headed.  As Alvin Science Verification Expedition chief scientist Adam Soule says, “our human brain is good at seeing what’s different in an environment — anything from organic shapes to unusual colors.” 

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22 July 2022

#AntarticLog: To sea we go!

And now for something completely different. #AntarcticLog heads to the deep sea, where carbon sinks, where the sea is black, and where the tiny submersible Alvin — able to carry three people — will soon be shining its light on unseen territory. 

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15 July 2022

#AntarcticLog: Summertime

By Karen Romano Young The question of summer Arctic ice extent is up in the air — not to say it’s unknown.  NASA goes to extra effort to assure the detailed accuracy of its measurements, including a new effort beginning this summer.  Given the 40-plus-year coverage from space provided by the ICESat satellites, including ICESat-2, placed in orbit in 2018,  our understanding of the volume of sea ice is exquisite any time …

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8 July 2022

#AntarcticLog: Invisible Volcanoes

Artist Karen Roman Young shows us what we can learn about the below-ice geology of Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica.

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10 June 2022

#AntarcticLog: Hanging loose in Hawaii

Aloha! I’ve arrived in Hawaii, and am writing this on the lanai of my tiny rental cottage in a grove of coffee trees.  The sea is two miles below; we’re just “up mauka” (uphill) of Kahalu’u Beach Park, the newest Mission Blue Hope Spot, set aside for special efforts to maintain its waters, and the coral beneath. What’s threatening them? Sea temperature rise, ocean acidification, pollution from land, and yes, snorkeling. 

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23 May 2022

#AntarcticLog: Communicating climate science

I’ve been listening to teachers, and reading their words. They’re overtired, overworked, underpaid, and, when it comes to science teachers, extra worried: they’re concerned about the hard line that has been drawn by many people against science. 

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13 May 2022

#AntarcticLog: It’s tough getting to Antarctica

I think we’ve established that it’s not easy to get to Antarctica. Ever since the Drake Passage opened ten million years ago, letting the Southern Ocean circle the Antarctic continent, it has rendered human arrival there perilous and arduous.

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6 May 2022

#AntarcticLog: A Reef Called HOPE

#AntarcticLog is a series of comics by Karen Romano Young. You can find the originals here. You know, writing about climate change is a struggle.  I want to share the information kids and other people need (in my view) while trying not to send their outlook through the floor.  Among the most dire stories come from coral reefs — so vital, so damaged, and so at risk.  And yet there’s incredible …

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15 April 2022

#AntarcticLog: Getting Graphic

At times the trouble isn’t finding science stories, it’s finding how to tell them. In comics, the words are vital, but the images are, dare I say, even more important.  Why? Because they’re what catches your attention, clues you in, inviting you to read, and — in the best cases — they work to convey aspects of the science that just wouldn’t work as well in words. And, as experts in science education and communication know, the more modes you use to tell the story, the more eyes you’re going to get on your work. 

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8 April 2022

#AntarcticLog: Not just for kids

Illustrated stories are for kids, right? Not right at all! People of all ages read, laugh and cry over, learn from, and love pictures.  

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1 April 2022

#AntarcticLog: A Lite-Brite of SciArt

I got my start at Scholastic News, a classroom magazine for 11 and 12-year-olds that covered everything — so I had to interview everyone who was making news. I quickly realized that the people I liked talking to the most were scientists. They were the most passionate, the most enthralled, and they had the biggest lives — even as they focused on a small research topic or specific geographic area. To me they were dots of light that — like the Lite-Brite toy I’d grown up with — formed pictures. 

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18 March 2022

#AntarcticLog: (Climate) refugees

Sometimes there just aren’t words to express my response to what’s going on. That’s what led me to comics in the first place — a grievous story of walrus stranded by climate change — and it’s what leads me on. What “does not compute” in words can make a connection in visuals. 

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11 March 2022

#AntarcticLog: Coming together for science

My Twitter feed is full of calls for peace. And last week’s #AntarcticLog post had a call for “more science!” Coming right up. Actually, Antarctica is proof that we can have peace and science, and that the countries of the world can come together to secure it. 

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4 March 2022

#AntarcticLog: A season at Palmer Station

Palmer is on Anvers Island on the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, a prime location for biology, such as Oregon State University researcher Thomas DesVignes’ study of icefish, aided by fishing from the deck of the Laurence M. Gould. Palmer’s supply ship…

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18 February 2022

#AntarcticLog: Being a Roughneck

Meet Ian Cortez, a roughneck (driller) working to bring sediment up from the seafloor to give scientists data that will allow them to tell the story of Antarctica’s deep past. Ian’s a second-generation roughneck, inspired by his father, who did as Ian is doing — leaving home and family in the Philippines to work at sea aboard the JR. 

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11 February 2022

#AntarcticLog: Where is that giant ice chunk now?

How long has that big chunk of Larsen C ice shelf called A-68A been floating around the Southern Ocean? Almost the whole time I’ve been drawing #AntarcticLog comics. Number 7 reported on its calving in the Weddell Sea.  Some chunk! Its area was equivalent to the entire state of Delaware. 

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28 January 2022

#AntarcticLog: How much? How Fast?

How Much? How Fast? 

That’s the big question International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration scientists are digging into as they explore above, below, and beyond this immense, powerful, thawing glacier. 

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7 January 2022

#AntarcticLog: Happy New Year!

New Year’s is a great time for a life review — a look at past, present, and future.  First, here’s a peek at Antarctic auld lang syne, in the form of ancient penguins. 

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24 December 2021

#AntarcticLog: In appreciation of dogs

It can be far easier for furry, four-footed friends to cross treacherous Antarctic ridges and formations than people or vehicles. Time was, back in the age of the heroic explorers, dogs were helpful for transport, warmth, companionship — and sometimes, food. 

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