Black and Bloom

Ewa’s blog of the first 16 days…….

We have just had a partial crew change, with Andy and Jim returning to Leeds and Alex A(nesio), Liane and Laura coming into camp. The transition has been pretty smooth, and all is well at camp. It has started snowing again, and there is more snow now than there was at the weekend.

Andy kindly send me this blog from Ewa, and some photos to give you a feel about life on the snow.

Space station on ice……….

We are now half way through a second season on Greenland Ice Sheet. It’s both different and similar to last year’s fieldwork. We arrived over a month earlier than last year to capture the snow/ice transition. Until the landing we were not sure how much snow (if any) would be there, but we were welcomed by the soft 30cm of whiteness; which made softer beds for sleeping and a flatter floor in the tents.

On the other hand, all the water for cooking and washing needed to be melted from snow and walking included a lot of falling, ankle-deep, into the unexpected water holes. Just like last year, our ‘space stations’ were set up as a lab and a mess tent. Boxes with thousands of sampling bottles and bags were arranged, as well as rolls and rolls of duct tape to fix or build anything we could have possibly forgotten.

Like last year, big metal boxes are serving us as seats; cardboard boxes are turned into the tables, but we’ve now learned to work and arrange the limited space better. Science activities have started frantically and intensely right from the beginning in the fear of snow disappearing in a rain event or warm weather. We had already sampled kilograms of snow by the end of day 2.

After 16 days of almost constant sunlight and increasing temperatures the snow hasn’t completely melted yet and we have resumed last year’s well-worn routine of morning porridge, sampling, processing samples in the lab, dinner, and finally sleep.

Our old friend—the ice—is peeking from underneath the snow in places and we are ready to discover the secrets of algae waking up from their dreams underneath the snow.

 

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