State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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Commenter Q & A

qaScience is just starting to get underway, so I thought this would be a good time to respond to some commenter questions. Just so you know, I’m doing this all by email, not internet, so I can’t reply in-line to your comments.

Richard: What is the break down on crew versus scientists on board?

The breakdown is actually between science, Raytheon, and Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). ECO is responsible for running the ship and Raytheon is responsible for assisting science in labs and on the deck. We have 29 science, 14 Raytheon, and 23 ECO.

Nancy: What a wonderful, interesting set of pictures. They make me feel as if I am there with you on your ship. Did you have to do anything special to clean off the PVC pieces? Was it the first time you took samples of mud from the seafloor?

Thanks. We actually tried vacuuming each other to get the PVC off, but it didn’t work. The stuff finally came off when we walked down the very windy dock to the ship. And yes, this will be the first time that I help sample mud from the seafloor.

Erik: Good Day Mrs. T, I envy you, your cruise to Antarctica. I am a semi-retired yacht captain working ashore, so would love to follow your research. You said you are studying ocean currents. What is your background?

Your job sounds pretty cool too! I’m a doctoral candidate in ocean and climate physics. Most of my background is in the tropics, so this cold weather stuff is all new to me. I use equipment called Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (LADCPs) to measure ocean velocity using sound. I’ll post more about the mechanics of that later on. Where did you sail as a yacht captain?

RW: Found you through the Happiness Project. I cannot believe you are going to Antarctica. When my children were just little we watched a documentary about such a vessel. And we have read a Madeleine L’Engle book about such a trip. I am super excited to have discovered your blog.

First, major thanks to the happiness project and Gretchen Rubin for promoting my blog. And thank you for reminding me about the Madeleine L’Engle book! I have a signed, hard cover copy of that book somewhere in my mother’s house and I highly recommend it.

RW: Hope the waters have settled for you. How long before you reach your destination?

Funny you should mention it. The waters have settled, but the pack ice is too thick to move through. We’re turning around and trying a different route to the Larsen B ice shelf. Our best guess is a few days, but we just don’t know.

In case you’re wondering, I took that photo yesterday from the bridge. A post all about icebergs will be coming soon!

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