Tuesday, November 27, 2007

November 27, 2007
York County Maine

Time:5 pm
Latitude: 43.08 N
Longitude: 70.73 w
Temperature: 3°C(38°F)
Wind speed: 17 knots
Wind Chill: -4°C(25°F)
Clouds: partly cloudy-35%
Wind direction: West
Relative Humidity:64%
Barometric Pressure: rising
Precipitation: 0

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Less than a week to go and I am all packed. It is finally getting cold at nights but warm during the day. Today it is only -5°C at McMurdo so not too cold. The activity in Antarctica is growing as flights are probably landing every day bringing in new personnel and supplies. The New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing is responsible for the "big" planes flying from New Zealand to Antarctica and between the larger camps, like the WAIS Divide camp where I will be in less than 3 weeks. You can take a virtual tour of the NYANG at http://astro.uchicago.edu/cara/vtour/nyang. There are other planes in Antarctica, Twin Otters, a DC-3 Bassler, and helicopters but the NYANG C-130s fly the brunt of the cargo. They can not land any where in Antarctica but require a larger groomed airstrip. Because of the amount of gear and number of field personnel at WAIS Divide camp there will be C-130 flight on a regular basis. These planes are very exciting to fly in but they are not heated, only have webbing sling seats where you sit shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee with other passengers. No beverage cart on these flights.

Around town I still a few errands to run to secure things here. For anyone following my route on a map - Boston Logan airport will be the first location at 42.37 degrees north latitude and 71.00 degrees west longitude.

For anyone that will be trading observations with me, I will be building a 3d quadrat outside my tent at WAIS Divide camp. If you have not heard of 3d quadrats before, they are an easy way to consider the systems nature of Earth, including the global climate system - www.tufts.edu/as/wright_center/3dqp. Each 3d quadrat is 1 cubic meter defined by a structure of, in my case, pvc tubing. Within that 3 dimensional structure you can more easily observe (and test) many of the variables that interact together to create what we experience as weather and climate. Global weather and climate (remember that climate is an average of weather over time - 30 years or more by definition) is simply too big to see and understand all at once. Though contained in each 1 cubic meter on Earth are all the same components and processes that occur in the global system. Depending where you are on Earth your 3d quadrat may have more or less of some of the chemical and physical components but they are all probably present. The processes that occur throughout the global system also all occur in my 3d quadrat. We will talk much more about all of this throughout. The 3d quadrat image above is from my backyard. This is what it looked like before I added more weather instruments. At this point only a pray flag weather vane, a soil thermometer, a precipitation gauge, a snow depth gauge (using marks on one of the upright tubes for bigger snow storms) and a regular thermometer are shown on the 3d quadrat in this image.

1 comment:

Happy Feet said...

Hi,have a good trip
happy feet