Almost out of nowhere we were given a surprise opportunity to fly one more survey line on our second-to-last day in Antarctica, and we jumped at it!
Ross Ice Shelf Archives - State of the Planet
The Rosetta team made two big accomplishments this week: Our lidar returned some beautiful 3D images of the sea ice topography, which can be used to study small details of the ice. And our own Chloe Gustafson won first place in the Antarctic Turkey Trot. She now holds the honor of being the first woman to win the race!
The theme of the past week has been the weather. Weather is of course always happening, but in the lingo of McMurdo Station, ‘weather’ means ‘bad weather.’
The word “crevasse” sends shivers down the spine of anyone who works on a glacier. Sometimes hundreds of feet deep and hidden beneath a thin layer of snow, these cracks have claimed the lives of many polar explorers and scientists. They also appear quite frequently in our sensors as we fly our survey flights for Rosetta-Ice.
For scientists mapping Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf, data collection flights require a demanding schedule: The day starts at 4am and sometimes continues throughout the night.
Even though our tent is within a short drive of McMurdo (a small town with most of the safety and logistical equipment on the entire continent), we still need to prepare ourselves for sudden, extreme weather. Every time we leave the relative safety of McMurdo, we carry our Extreme Cold Weather equipment and our tent has emergency food and sleeping equipment.
With the Rosetta-Ice team delayed in New Zealand, let’s take a minute to discuss why Antarctica’s weather is so forbidding.
We have embarked! Our third Antarctic field season is underway, putting us only 18 flights away from completing our mission to map the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in Antarctica.
With its mission complete, the Rosetta-Ice Project will give scientists an unprecedented look at the Ross Ice Shelf and how it’s changing with the climate.
This past winter, reporters from the New York Times went along for the ride with scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory as they flew their mission of discovery over Antarctica.