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Archive for January, 2009

Our Series of Unfortunate Events

AGAP-SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA– On January 6th, we sat around after dinner discussing how miraculous it was that nothing had gone wrong. This clearly was the cosmic queue for everything to go wrong in the next 27 hours... {Read More »}

Ripple in Still Water…

RECOVERY LAKE ‘B’, ANTARCTICA– We are currently camped out in the Recovery Lakes region, and one of the main features of the snow surface is that it is flat, flat, flat... {Read More »}

It’s the Snow, Stupid!

RECOVERY LAKE 'B', ANTARCTICA-- It's the snow, stupid! …that determines many factors for this traverse, that is. For instance, the changing snow surface impacts our fuel consumption quite a bit. In softer snow, the four vehicles use much more fuel... {Read More »}

A Typical Day in an Atypical Place

AGAP-SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA– Once we began flying at AGAP, we quickly got into a routine of collecting data, downloading, archiving and running a quality control procedure. We are operating 24 hours a day in two teams... {Read More »}

Pack It Up, Pack It In!

SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA– Let it begin! Another concerted effort today to get the train packed up. We will have an open house this evening for our fellow residents of the South Pole, and so we are also trying to clean up a little bit... {Read More »}

Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds

SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA-- On December 16, I flew to the South Pole. To get to the pole, we fly on specially outfitted LC-130 Hercules cargo planes which are operated by the New York Air National Guard. These planes have skis on them so they can land on the ice runway... {Read More »}

Penguins’ Best Friends Are Minke Whales

CAPE ROYDS, ANTARCTICA-- I’m sure Inuits have a name for it, but otherwise it’s the fizzing sound as great expanses of ice dissolve so rapidly that any air still between its spaces or molecules is released into the atmosphere. We heard that sound... {Read More »}


MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA-- (By Ron Hipschman) Why do the hands on clocks go "clockwise?" Seems like a circular definition, but if you looked closely at sundials in the northern hemisphere, you'd notice that the shadow of the sun moves around the sundial... {Read More »}

Pressure Ridges

SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA-- Before I left McMurdo, I got a tour of the pressure ridges near Scott Base (the New Zealand station very close to McMurdo). The pressure ridges are formed by tidal forces... {Read More »}

Mining Ice

OFFSHORE NEW HARBOR CAMP, ANTARCTICA-- You might be surprised to know that water is one of the most scarce resources in Antarctica. It makes Antarctic camping very difficult... {Read More »}