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Archive for April, 2009

To Capture a Polar Bear

DEADHORSE, ALASKA-- Currently, the best scientific estimate of the worldwide population of polar bears is about 20,000 to 25,000 animals. This population – which is “circumpolar” and stretches all the way around the Arctic – is... {Read More »}

Experiments with Phytoplankton Growing Close to Icebergs

ABOARD THE RVIB N. B. PALMER, ON THE SOUTHERN OCEAN– We are experimenting with iron additions to phytoplankton populations to see possible effects of icebergs as a source of iron... {Read More »}

On the Edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

KAKTOVIK, ALASKA-- The size of polar bears always amazes me. This bear had paws that were as wide as my hand is long, and it was not even a large male. The largest males can weigh over 1500 lbs, twice as much as this bear... {Read More »}

Smashcast Interviews Polar Scientists

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA-- Smashcast visited the Exploratorium on Saturday, April 18th, to work on the Ice Stories project and meet four Antarctic scientists... {Read More »}

Primary Productivity at an Iceberg Site

ABOARD THE RVIB N. B. PALMER, ON THE SOUTHERN OCEAN– Not only do we want to know about what type of phytoplankton grow close to icebergs but we also want to know how well they grow... {Read More »}

The Iceberg Alley

ABOARD THE RVIB N. B. PALMER, ON THE SOUTHERN OCEAN– Within 40 nautical miles southeast of C18A iceberg, we found an area known as the Iceberg Alley: a large concentration of icebergs in western Weddell Sea, moving in a north-northeast direction following the clockwise circulation around the Weddell Sea gyre. Hundreds of icebergs... {Read More »}

Racing to Prepare

DEADHORSE, ALASKA-- Deadhorse is surprisingly accessible, but it is definitely in a wildly remote place; yesterday I woke to sunny skies and a temperature of -17 degrees (Fahrenheit). Spring warmth is coming – three weeks ago it was 30 below – but it is still winter here in the Arctic... {Read More »}

Starting at the End of the Road

DEADHORSE, ALASKA-- When I began thinking about logistics for this project, one of the first questions I had was “How do you get to the Arctic?” I had done field work in wildnerness areas before, but nothing as remote as northern Alaska. For our first season on capturing polar bears... {Read More »}

A Trip to the Ice Edge

ABOARD THE RVIB N. B. PALMER, ON THE SOUTHERN OCEAN– After a four day trek looking for other icebergs we might want to study, we came back to continue studying iceberg C18A... {Read More »}

It’s a Blue Ocean

ABOARD THE RVIB N. B. PALMER, ON THE SOUTHERN OCEAN-- We are all used to thinking of the ocean as blue. Sometimes greenish, if close to the coast, or brownish if a lot of sediments are delivered at a river’s mouth, but mostly it is blue; a clear blue close to coral reefs, a dark blue when seen from space or a grayish blue during a storm. Why is the ocean blue?... {Read More »}