Friday, June 8, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

It was cold last night. Toes, fingers, noses, and ears are such good radiators of heat. Hats, gloves, socks to bed, a double-walled tent, plywood flooring, a foam mattress, and two sleeping bags, and still one feels the cold. I have resisted using a hot water bottle, and toe warmers, but I am rethinking this through. I have been told sleeping at Summit is generally more difficult because of the altitude. The altitude causes the barometric pressure to be about 90% that found at sea level. However, I think any difficulty I might be having falling into a long, deep sleep is because of the cold. I have had no headaches, nausea, or other related altitude problems. I tend to drink the bulk of my liquids before 2 pm. Some afterwards, but I limit it. There is nothing like having to get dressed to go to the outhouse in the cold. I am trying to avoid this. Crunching by my tent late in the night or very early in the morning depending on one's perspective, the mutterings and the not always gentle closing of the outhouse door indicates that others are not so fortunate.

The sky is hazy, and there is a light wind blowing from the Southwest bringing fresh air into the clean air sector. No planes today, at least none are scheduled. This is good. Their exhaust plays havoc on the experimental readings. Weather is constantly being monitored on site, and correlated to the data concerning the atmospheric gases collected. However, I use information collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for this blog. A picture of the site is given to the right. NOAA has a wealth of information (weather, climate, fisheries, etc.) available to the public, and I keep it as a favorite on my home computer. While not connected to this project, or even to atmospheric science, another site I recommend is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) It has a wealth of information about health, medicine, and disease. Places where individuals can obtain valid and reliable information is critical to an informed and capable citizen of the world.

Four more empty gas bottles were moved today. We used the new electric snowmobile. I had never driven a snowmobile. Driving this one was great fun. The electric snowmobile is used because it does not emit pollutants. Therefore, its use does not affect gas readings taken in the clean air sector. The trade offs for using the electric snowmobile are that the machine is less powerful, it has a shorter range, and it needs a source of electricity for recharging. Regardless, using the snowmobile is easier than dragging the bottles on the banana sled.

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