State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School



The weather became increasingly cloudy yesterday with low visibility and snow. That means no flying. The forecast for the next 24 hours doesn’t look promising either. As usual in the Arctic it’s better not to forecast — everything might change within hours.
Getting ready to get ice-cores together with colleagues from University of Alberta.
In addition to the standard suite of samples that we usually take, this year we will take ice-core samples to see how the melting sea ice below is affecting the ice. Our colleagues from the team CASIMBO, at the University of Alberta, have shared pictures of their ice-cores with us.
An ice-core under polarized light showing snow cover on top and ice crystals forming below.
To get a feeling for the amount of work necessary to drill an ice-core, I tried to join CASIMBO out on the ice via snowmobile, but due to the bad weather we had to return to the base. The wind and snow was picking up, and clouds prevented us from judging the condition of snow-covered surface we were driving on. (There are no roads here!) The risk of getting lost was far too great. I wore several layers of clothing, including three pairs of heavy socks, but was still shivering in the cold.
Not much to see in bad weather. Total white-out.
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