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25 November 2022

#AntarcticLog: Wonders of the World 

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t truly see the world through rose-colored glasses, as this comic may make it appear.  But I’m looking for hope wherever it may be found, including, this month, the COP27 gathering in Egypt. 


18 November 2022

#AntarcticLog: Under the Sheet

Artist Karen Romano Young explores some of the secrets of the Antarctic ice sheet and how science helps reveal them.


11 November 2022

#AntarcticLog: Keeping tabs on baby penguins 

I first heard of Stéphanie Jenouvrier and her WHOI colleagues’ work assessing emperor penguins a few years ago, when I was working on my book about Antarctica and climate change. Their work had allowed them to connect projected global temperature rise with its impact on emperor penguins, making the big birds a “sentinel species” for environmental change. 


21 October 2022

#AntarcticLog: The Ant-Antarctic

This week, artist Karen Romano Young takes us to the Arctic, another area of the world especially affected by climate change.


14 October 2022

#AntarcticLog: Breaking ice to do some science

You could call is bush-whacking. You could call it trail-blazing.  Or you could call it ice-breaking — and not in the sense of warming up a chilly party, either.  


10 October 2022

Youth astrobiology education continues at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science

On July 16, 2003, the famed former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nelson Mandela stood in front of a crowd in the midst of the founding of the Mindset Network and said “education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world”.


7 October 2022

#AntarcticLog: Back to the ice!

It’s springtime in Antarctica, and the scientists are heading back to the ice. Not only the scientists, but the support people working at the stations, and yes, even a few science communicators and artists. Among the first to travel to McMurdo and the South Pole in the wake of the Covid pandemic is Lauren Lipuma, editor of the U.S. Antarctic Program (and the National Science Foundation’s) newspaper, The Antarctic Sun.


30 September 2022

#AntarcticLog: The wombat connection

I’m in Crownpoint, New Mexico this week, researching future comics at Navajo Technical University– and learned that the campus here used to have more trees. Piñon and juniper have died because of recent drought, says Abishek Roychowdhury, who teaches environmental science here. 


23 September 2022

#AntarcticLog: Why did the ship cross the Drake Passage?

Why did the R/V Laurence M. Gould cross the fierce, fearsome Drake Passage? To get to the other side — to the Antarctic Peninsula and Palmer Station. 


16 September 2022

#AntarcticLog: The importance of research ships

I learn so much from drawing ships.  Here is E/V Nautilus, from an artist-in-residence and science communications tour I did in 2015. Nautilus is the mother ship to Hercules, a deep-diving ROV. 


9 September 2022

#AntarcticLog: A close look at a glacier’s edge

The Alvin Science Verification Expedition may be over (science? verified!) but the research and findings are ongoing.  What’s more, the scientists aboard bring plenty of fascinating stories to the table — not all of them related to Alvin. 


2 September 2022

#AntarcticLog: (Climate) refugees

More than the population of Australia. That’s how many people the United Nations Refugee Agency says are refugees. These numbers are unimaginable, inconceivable, and overwhelming. 


26 August 2022

#AntarcticLog: Finishing up with Alvin

Hello from the tail end of the Alvin Science Verification Expedition, in which we worked to verify the submersible Alvin’s ability to carry scientists, their equipment, and samples to depths of 6500 meters.  The upshot: human-operated vehicle HOV Alvin is ready, willing, and able indeed. 


19 August 2022

#AntarcticLog: Alvin dive 5101

Greetings once again from sea, this time the Caribbean Sea, off the Cayman Islands to be precise, way down deep at the Mid-Cayman Rise.  Today is Alvin dive 5101, on the Beebe Vent Field (named for the deep-sea pioneer William Beebe who, with Otis Barton, descended 417m in the bathysphere in 1930, the year Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was founded), the deepest known hydrothermal vents in the world. Wonder what we’ll find… 


12 August 2022

#AntarcticLog: Diving on the Mid-Cayman Rise

Leg 2 of the Alvin Science Verification Expedition finds us once again exploring new territory. After all, that’s the point of certifying Alvin to dive 6500 meters — to give us access to much more of the sea floor.  Today we’re diving on the Mid-Cayman Rise, a spreading center in the Earth’s crust at the deepest point in the Caribbean.  


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?


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.” 


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. 


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 …


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.