Friday, March 1, 2013

Beat the temperature record!

At breakfast yesterday, we heard that it was cold outside. Really cold. On-the-way-to-breaking-records cold. So, of course, our entire table full of breakfasting scientists immediately scattered to find cameras, and hurried over to the met office to get photos. Minus 51 degrees, people.

(Actually, we were a little overexcited. I have identical pictures from the 5 minutes before at -49.4, -49.5, etc. And it got colder than -51 later, while I was working.)

Yesterday was the coldest February 28th on record at Eureka, and there have been temperature measurements made continuously since the 50s. Turn out we broke another low temperature record for today, too.

Being so nice out, and because the lidar was running so smoothly, Jane and I did the only sensible thing: We went for a walk on the fjord. Thank goodness it wasn't windy! See those two little dots on the ice? That's us. James took this photo and managed to get it onto the internet before we were even back from our walk. We only went out for about half an hour, but that was enough time to take a little stroll over the sea ice.
Each different part of the ice sounds completely different from each other part. Some parts are crunchy, some are squeaky, some kind of creak as you step on them. Sounds were also carrying really effectively. You can see how far out on the ice we were. My labmate Zen was about the same distance in the other direction (he was at the 0PAL lab, up on a ladder, and could see us), and he could hear our normal-voice-level conversation! Using "indoor voices", our words were still echoing off of the buildings a kilometer away.

So far, contacts + ski goggles have been the best recipe for not getting my vision completely iced over. I wear glasses usually, and even with goggles overtop, I never last very long before having both lenses frosted to the point I can only see really bright lights. That's not so fun. I wasn't sure how the contacts would work out. Considering that exposed eyelashes end up frosted together in under 3 minutes, contacts freezing onto your eyeballs is an actual real-life worry. Not to mention the dryness, which definitely does not help. Inside the station, we're at about 14% relative humidity, and outside we're in a polar desert. Anyways, the contacts were a bit of an experiment, and I have to say that they were quite wonderful! Hands-down, vision is the most difficult part of working and playing outside when it's this cold, so this development is great.

1 comment:

  1. Such great stuff, and a record for my b-day, awww you shouldn't have. :)