Monday, November 12, 2012
Antarctica Nov 5
I have been embedded with an atmospheric scientist, Dr. Lars Kalnajs, who is calculating the effects of bromine evaporation from the sea on ozone depletion in the Troposphere (our atmosphere).
The interaction between salt, sea ice, frigid temperature, and sunlight releases bromine, which is absorbed on the frost flowers (snow flakes) of the ice and then released into the atmosphere. This atmospheric depletion can cause harmful atmospheric ozone depletion.
There are 3 teams of scientists that are working on the effects of bromine in the atmosphere.
The first, Dr. Rachel Obbard of Dartmouth is studying frost flowers, which are delicate ice crystals that form on the sea ice (ice slow flake). She takes collects these ice crystals in a net, and sends them to Dartmouth to be analyzed to see the percentage and location of bromine in each ice crystal.
The next team, led by Tim Hay, is from New Zealand. They analyze and measure the composition of various gasses in the atmosphere including bromine.
The last team, led by Dr. Lars Kalnajs, is measuring atmospheric ozone depletion caused by the release of Bromines from the sea ice.
Lars has set up four 8-foot towers that will collect this data. They are located at Minna bluff, Cape Bird, Marlborough Point, on Lorne. He is in Antarctica to check this equipment and make sure all is functioning. The data goes back to The University of Colorado where it will be analyzed.
Today I traveled with Lars to Minna Bluff, a site that juts into the sea ice. Perfect to collect this data.
Every trip is a feast for the eyes...
Posted by Diane Tuft