Even the most sceptical physical scientist in the field team says “it’s getting dark around here – there’s something in this algal blooming”. Yesterday was a good measurement day to the team. They have collected hyperspectral data for a range of different ice surface environments, colonised by differing amounts of algae. What seems to be clear is that more algae equate to lower albedo. We need to be cautious about saying that it is only the algae lowering the albedo because we do not know how much mineral debris and black carbon is in the ice surface. Whatever, the field team are in good spirits and enthusiastic about what they are measuring.
Today is a day of camp maintenance. The mess tent needs to be moved, a couple of the personal tents will need to be repitched, and the other have their stakes redrilled. These stakes are bamboo poles really, and they are put into holes drilled in the ice, since there is no soil to push in a peg or metal skewer as you would on land. The team reckons that everything needs to be moved every 4-7 days.
Tris hopes to be flying his quadcopter this afternoon, and Chris is setting up algal productivity experiments, so there will be no rest for the wicked today.