FROM THE FIELD
Melting Glaciers

The Oden and the Polarstern Cross Paths

by |March 3, 2010
A helicopter view of the Oden heading home

A helicopter view of the Oden heading home. Credit: Frank Nitsche.

We successfully finished our scientific work in the Amundsen Sea and are now heading back to Punta Arenas, at the tip of South America. It will take eight to nine days to get there depending on the weather and winds. Just before we left the Amundsen Sea we passed the German ice-breaker ship, the Polarstern. They had a helicopter on board, so we we were able to meet and exchange preliminary research results. Because of the preparation and expense to get to this remote location, it is important to avoid duplicating our mapping and sampling efforts.
We were lucky to have favorable weather for most of our expedition–only a few days of strong winds and record low sea ice. It was also unusually warm. Temperatures mostly varied between 28 to 35 degrees F (-5 to 2 degrees C), which is probably related to the low sea ice cover.

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