24 December 2009
A week from tonight, I’ll be on my way to Antarctica. Ann Posegate of NEEF, and I are about to embark on a trip that will take us to the bottom of the World, and to the South Pole itself. Our goal is to share the journey and the science with those of you who read these ramblings on science. For students who are thinking of a career in Science, we hope you will see that the process of discovery is not just wearing a white lab coat and sitting in an office all the time!
Glen Kinoshita works at the South pole and did an incredible time lapse of a full moon with a spectacular Aurora Australis!
To understand the world, we have to observe it. That means doing science in places that are very inhospitable. Antarctica is the only continent on Earth that humans have not naturally inhabited. Even today the residents are mainly there to support science. The National Science Foundation has given us the very rare opportunity to see places that very few people will see except on TV or in books.
The video below is the last plane out from the Pole before the long dark winter sets in. Only about 50 people stay through the long winter. They endure 24 hours of darkness and temps. around -90F. Only in an extreme emergency can someone be evacuated out during this time.
Visitors have been increasing rapidly around the edges and especially in the Antarctic Peninsula. This is a real worry because humans have a very bad habit of loving a place to death. The harsh conditions there will give protection but not forever. Antarctica belongs to no country. It’s not even the property of the humans who live on this planet. It belongs to all the life on this planet.
Let’s keep it that way.
This is a video by Anthony Powell that speaks for itself:
And finally Keith Beattie walks on a warm day (-22F) from the Amundsen Scott station to the South Pole.
The place, the people and the science is a story that needs to be told. I hope I can do that while inspiring those who will someday take up the mantle of science at the bottom of the world in the great white quiet.
I leave you with my personal favourite- no self respecting meteorologist could not possibly just LOVE this video!!