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9 August 2020
It’s getting hard to keep track as there have been so many bears lately. Visits in the evening-to-early-morning going into last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then here again last night (Monday). And this morning at 4:30 am.
8 August 2020
The real highlight of the evening for me was the group photo time prior to the festivities. We set up a line of flags, the 20 flags of MOSAiC nations, all strung next to each other. This was placed just beyond a scenic melt pond. In front of that pond we put the big MOSAiC flag, held tight on some boards.
7 August 2020
Today is not Sunday. Nor was yesterday. But we’ve spent both mornings onboard the ship like on a typical Sunday because we’ve had a polar bear around the area. First thing yesterday morning there was an announcement over the intercom about a bear on the port side. As is typically the case, people run for their cameras and head out to the decks.
6 August 2020
Flying out over this diverse ice pack. One thing that struck me about the flight was the number of dirty ice floes. There are many others like our floe, and some that are much dirtier, black and gray.
5 August 2020
Last week there would be periods of the day when melt was rampant, but then periods when the surface would freeze. Thin layers of ice would form on the top of melt ponds. That phenomenon has shifted now and we are not really seeing major shifts during the day anymore; the system appears to be mostly in a permanent melt state.
4 August 2020
The many faces of ice. So fascinating. Today I found myself sitting on the surface, digging through little pockets of this ice and that ice. Exploring their different textures and sounds. And tastes (mostly fresh!).
3 August 2020
“…out here in our Arctic bubble there are actually days that I don’t even think about the coronavirus. It doesn’t even pop into my head. I guess this would be impossible at home. But out here there is no virus, no social distance needed.”
22 July 2020
Another day of intense sun and this changes the surface in dramatic ways. The snow is melting fast. We’ve put down some boards to minimize melt near the tower, and these work, but the snow all around melts, leaving pillars with boards on top.
21 July 2020
There are these beautiful days out over the Arctic ice. Vibrant blue sky with a piercing sun. Today was one of those days. Warm out, and the sun overpowering. Just like with a strong wind, I found myself turning away from the sun when possible. When facing the sun it feels like my skin is cooking.
20 July 2020
If the ice decides to come together, it will simply destroy anything in its way. That’s what happened to our so-called ASFS50 station. A 1000-pound station flipped upside down by the ice back during Leg 2.
19 July 2020
The ice around us, at least on the Fortress, is filthy. In many locations it is brown with sediment. Many small rocks have been found, suggesting that this ice was initially formed as land-fast ice along the Siberian Shelf. A recent satellite radar image shows that this floe is somewhat different from the ice around us.
18 July 2020
Wow, it has been intense out. The skies cleared, leaving us bathed in full sun all day. Full bright sun, nearly twice as bright as a typical sunny day back home because of the high albedo surface. Photons coming in from all directions. It’s time to make sure you’ve got your sunscreen and sunglasses that can black out all stray light.
17 July 2020
We ran into the floe. Directly. While scientifically we decided it would be best to moor to the floe along the ship’s port side to facilitate CTD operations, others onboard have been concerned about the Polarstern’s ability to hold its position alongside the floe in the face of ice pressure.
16 July 2020
The new character of this floe revealed itself in the first steps. Schlump, schlump. Through shin-deep snow into a blue slush below. Most steps were this way for our full 3-hour tour.
15 July 2020
There hasn’t been much to be excited about lately, but the through of stepping off the ship onto our floe again is very exciting. Time to get after it once again. We’ve been busily planning our coming moves. How will we modify the set up to be lighter on the ice and more nimble.
14 July 2020
Our first solid reference came when we found the “Monster,” which is a large buoy installation that was on the edge of camp. Then some smaller stations for measuring ice temperature and optics… then, there in the distance, was our flux station. Standing proud. I knew it would be there because I’ve been tracking the data… But somehow still, the visual contact was so relieving.
13 July 2020
Last night we did have a visitor, two actually. A mom and a cub. Such a tiny little cub, born earlier this year. They walked all around the ship, up on top of ridges hopping between little floes, peeking out from behind blocks of ice. This must be such a curious site for them.
19 June 2020
The latest post from The Geo Models blog.
15 June 2020
Anchors up, and underway. After a few days of turnover, we are now on our way. We’ve said goodbye to our Leg3 colleagues, after absorbing as much information as possible on their experiences, the state of the instrumentation, and ideas on how to proceed.