The first 2017 Black and Bloom field team are heading back to Greenland in just under 2 days time to begin their snow – slush – ice field camp.
This year kicks off with Jim McQuaid, Jenine McCutcheon and Andy Connelley from Leeds University working on the particulates, and Chris Williamson, Alex Holland and Ewa Poniecka from Bristol and Cardiff heading up the microbiology. The team will put-in to S6 on the 31st of May for a 4 week campaign. Mid-way through, Liane Benning, Alex Anesio and Laura Perini will swap with some team members to join on the ice.
This year’s first Black and Bloom camp is all about understanding the early melt dynamics, and the factors that promote / prevent algal bloom formation on the ice. This means some camping hardship for our team as they monitor the surface environment transitioning from snow to slush to bare ice. But it will all be worth it to answer some of the tough questions remaining about the drivers of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s increasing melt.
Good preparation has been key for this early deployment. The team have undergone more advanced gun training with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, have been testing their new lab toys endlessly, and have devoted many hours to ordering, packing and sending all gear over to Greenland ready for our arrival.
The initial field team will fly to Kangerlussuaq on Friday morning after a night’s transit in Copenhagen, leaving them 4 days to prep all the remaining gear from last year and the newly arrived kit. Then they’ll jump aboard Air Greenland’s trusty Sikorsky S-61 helicopter for deployment onto the ice sheet.
Watch blackandbloom.org and our twitter feed @GlacierAlbedo to keep up-to-date with the team’s progress in the field, and to find out about the work of our second 2017 field team who are heading onto the ice a little later.