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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.  

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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

Image of Earth from space, with focus on the Arctic. Text is dense, but summary is that summer is the time when Arctic ice melts most drastically and when it is most difficult to measure ice from orbit. Sea ice has been shrinking more and more for at least 15 years.

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

A print and drawing of a topographical map of part of Antarctica; text says, “Look, it’s Mount Sidley, Antarctica’s highest volcano…first sighted by Admiral Robert Byrd in 1934.” The text also explains that years later using ice-penetrating radar, researchers determined there were 91 volcanoes in that area.

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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1 July 2022

#AntarcticLog: Six years of science comics

Karen Romano Young shares highlights of her (now six!) years of drawing the Antarctic Log.

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24 June 2022

#AntarcticLog: Picturing time

How do you picture time? Does that seem like a strange notion? Not to a visual storyteller like me. Is time a wheel? a sphere? a line? a line with wrinkles? (Don’t forget, I’m a children’s book author, too.)  

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17 June 2022

#AntarcticLog: Advocating on behalf of coral

Presenting…Cindi Punihaole, the Program Director of ReefTeach, a coral reef advocate — making a public policy difference as well as a personal impact — at Kahalu’u Bay, Mission Blue newest Hope Spot.  Cindi — who has lived and relied on the Bay all her life, has observed the changes taking place there over recent decades, as the sea level has risen, sea temperature and acidity have soared, and the number of tourists visiting the Big Island of Hawaii has skyrocketed. 

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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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