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> May 22, 2006 - On Top of the World (or Greenland, at least), We are finally here!
Kevin_McMahon
post May 23 2006, 09:27 PM
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As we flew north towards Summit Camp, I looked out the window of the plane to see an incredible site. I fumbled around for my camera and took this photograph of the edge of the ice sheet. Wow. It is hard to believe that I will be spending the next couple weeks on top of the ice.

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To get to Summit camp, we had to fly two more hours over the ice sheet. As we prepared to land at Summit, I was very nervous. blink.gif I did not know what it would feel like to land on snow and ice. Would it be bumpy? Would we slide for miles? Much to my surprise, the landing was one of the smoothest plane landings that I have experienced. The 109th Air National Guard did a great job landing the plane on the skiway.

Below is a picture of me happy to be at Summit.

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The landing was not the only surprise for me today. It was a clear sunny day and we could see for miles in all directions. Even though the temperature was -25 degrees Celsius, it did not seem that cold.

It is so pretty here. The blue sky and the white snow are sights I will never forget. You can see for miles in all directions and all you can see is white and blue. When you walk, the snow crunches under your boots. This place is truly one of the most unique places in the world.

The living quarters are pretty unique too. Here is my home for the next two and one-half weeks. What do you think of my living quarters?

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We took it easy today. We explored the camp and walked to our remote site where many of our air and snow measurements will take place. It is about Ĺ mile from the center of the camp.

There are three main things we will be exploring at Summit. First, we will be taking measurements of the types and amounts of particles that have landed on the ice sheet. Many of these particles come from the burning of fossil fuels. These particles are emitted from factories, power plants, and cars and can travel very long distances in the air to land here. We are trying to figure out exactly what particles are here and how much of them are here.

Second, we are trying to find out what happens to these particles when they land on the ice. Do they stay the same? Does the light from the sun break them down into different particles?

These first two goals require us to take a lot of measurements and make a lot of observations.

The third thing that we are doing is an experiment for my 6th grade classes. The students are exploring this question: How does air pollution affect the ice sheet? The students have come up with hypotheses and have designed an experiment to perform here. I will explain it in more detail in a later journal entry. Stay tuned for more information! Donít forget to visit the photo gallery for more pictures.
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