Barrow — Our First Day of Testing

Today we spent most of the day on the ice.  We collected data from 7 ice cores, and Hajo and Marc collected several of their own.

Breakfast with Russell

Breakfast with Russell -- Ken Golden, David Lubbers, Russell the Ram, Hajo Eiken.

We started out by loading 3 sleds with our experimental gear, covering it to keep it dry, and tying it down tightly so it wouldn’t bounce or slide.  Then we rode out to the site of Hajo’s mass balance data collection, and chose a patch of ice that is hopefully very uniform — the same snow cover, thickness, etc.  It is first year sea ice, which means it was open water last summer.  It is about 1.5 meters thick, and there is a bit of algae at the bottom next to the sea water.  Then we took cores, and did electrical measurements.

Ken & Christian coring ice.

Ken and David with an ice core.

Field testing. The grey sky is called 'water sky', because it appears over open water (the ocean), not far from the ice where we are testing.

Algae -- the stuff at about the bottom of the food chain -- on the bottom of the ice core!

Glen Roy, our Native Alaskan Polar Bear Hunter. Glen Roy has lived in Barrow all his life.

Glen Roy came with us (in fact, he led the way), to watch for polar bears, while we were too engrossed in our testing to be much help. If he saw one, he would first show flares and buckshot to try to scare it away. He does carry slugs in case the bear can’t be dissuaded.  Part way to our testing site, Glen Roy stopped and showed us the polar bear tracks from last Thursday.  It was one large and one young polar bear.  He says there are a lot of polar bears here this year, because of the whaling.

Bow-head whale bones. They are a pretty arch way, but mostly I just wanted to touch one.

More Pictures from today: http://www5.snapfish.com/snapfish/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=6512844008/a=21299206_21299206/

More about Barrow:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrow,_Alaska

http://www.cityofbarrow.org/content/view/5/5/

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