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> stuck in the ice cont
Robert_Oddo
post Jun 21 2005, 12:22 AM
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Steve,
What's the temperature like up there? Is there a noticeable difference in temperature between night and day?

On another note, it seems like the ice is quite thick. Is is uniformly one thickness or does it vary quite a bit. This time of year I assume the ice breaks up at some point. How fast does this occur? Thanks. Enjoy
Bob
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Steve_Marshall
post Jun 21 2005, 04:48 AM
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Hey Bob, good to hear from you!

The temperature has been pretty constant, mostly in the lower thirtys, but today if felt like arctic summer or something. I don't have the official reading, but I'd say it was close to 40F. The wind has also been pretty calm, so it has felt comfortable just wearing a light jacket.

Since the sun stays up all the time, there isn't much variation in the temperature between "night" and "day." Although I have read there is some cooling at "night" since the sun is lower on the horizon (sort of like when it gets cooler in the evening in other areas as the sun starts to set), I think any variation depends more on the local weather conditions than the time of day.

In terms of the thickness of the ice, it does vary significantly. We often come across "leads" (cracks of open water between ice flows), and other areas of "first year" ice which is ice that was formed this season and is about one to three feet thick. In yet other areas, you get "multiyear" ice and pressure ridges formed when two ice flows collide. These areas can be two meters (about 6 feet) or more. The ice we were stuck in was at least 8 feet thick.

The breakup of the ice is very quick. It already seems like I have seen a lot more open water areas and individual ice flows rather than large continuous sheets than what I saw when we first started. The chief scientist said around this time of year, the edge of the ice cover will retreat by meters a week (if not days).

Thanks again for the questions, and thanks for checking in!

Steve
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