Solar power – creates the icescape and reduces fuel consumption
There was rain overnight two days ago, and this removed a lot of the micro-topography of the ice surface. Just how bumpy and sugary the ice surface is determines the habitats in which the microbes can grow at the ice surface, so the last two days have been pretty busy for the team as they watched the sun melt a new rotten, sugary ice surface and saw the microbes grow into the new habitats. There has been a lot of sampling and collection of spectra of the ice surface, which shows both the darkness and the algae growing in these new evolving habitats. Joe and Johan have also been making a digital elevation model of the main sampling area which will show how the surface has changed over time.
Jim has looked at his first air filters and reports that the air has been pretty clean so far. This has been helped in a significant way by the solar panels we are using. The generator has not been run for a week, so there is less chance of local contamination, and we are confident that we are sampling the aerosol carried by the winds blowing over Greenland. The other good news is that our fuel consumption is well down too.