November 16, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 9

The ice has been trucking along quickly to the north, and with the recent drift we have finally moved north of our original installation position and are now on our way towards the North Pole.


November 15, 2019

Dirty glaciers all over the world

Dirty glaciers are the most understudied kind, Truffer said. Scientists have not accounted for their quirky properties in models. Those numbers are important because so many people depend on glacial melt as their water supply, including millions in India, China and Bangladesh.


Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 8

Crack by our tower widened today, but things are still stable. It’s up to 1m in places. The rest of the area went through a major shift. Satellite maps show a large region of shear and that shear basically ripped our flow in half just outside the outer wall of the Fortress.


November 8, 2019

Which came first in Alaska: cabins or bats?

Jesika Reimer, a bat expert and consultant who lives in Anchorage, has in the past taken people up on those offers. Reimer has held in her hands little brown bats from the Northwest Territories to the Tanana River. Along with a few colleagues around Alaska, she is sharing new information about the farthest-north bat.


October 31, 2019

Little brown bats remain a northern mystery

“There really could be bats in your belfry this Halloween, or it turns out, they may be snuggled up in your wood pile.” At the risk of plagiarizing myself, that is the lead sentence of my first science column, which appeared on this day 25 years ago.


October 30, 2019

“Oreo cookie” stratigraphy and the geologic setting of the Frog Legs Gorge

While the “frog legs gorge” post was supposed to be a bit funny, the real purpose of it was to link outcrop patterns with geologic structure. This follow-up post tries to put the frog legs’ underlying structure into a broader context within the Appalachian Valley and Ridge…


A playlist of spooky sites and sounds

Dr. Frankenstein aside, science doesn’t intend to be spooky. Sometimes it just comes out that way. Scientific endeavors have revealed some eerie places and a symphony of scary sounds from all over the planet — everything from bellowing sand dunes and whistling lightning, to groaning ice shelves of Antarctica. We got them here in our 2019 Halloween playlist. 


October 25, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 7

In addition to personnel exchanges, scientific equipment was shifted between the two vessels using helicopters and snow mobiles. Akadomik Federov makes his way to the ice edge and Polarstern stays alone at the MOSAiC ice floe.


October 24, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 6: cargo & polar bears

…Then this evening the mom and cub showed up again. Meandering across the ice and right through Met City where we had been about 20 minutes prior. They walked the power line and messed with an ice sensor.


October 22, 2019

Google Earth and a simple model explain a weird pattern seen in LiDAR hillshade

Is this a bizarre and gigantic fossil discovery? An unsolved mystery akin to the face on Mars? Unfortunately, this is just another set of compressional folds within the Appalachian Valley and Ridge, but they do stand out in the hillshade due to their interesting topographic pattern.