5 June, 2000
Those little chemical hand-warmers were science's gift to me today. I am convinced that someone who worked in polar studies invented them to make fieldwork possible. A troop of 6 of us went charging out to the ice-sheet today on SkiDoos, intent on drilling 20 meters down and extracting the ice core. We had a nifty new device that powered the corer into the ice and out again. Sounds simple but the work is still very hard. Once the possible core depth is reached each time, the ice core must be hand broken from the ice below it before the machine can be used pull it back out. Not easy to do by a vertical pull. Those ice cores you read about are gained one meter (or less) at a time. My job was to cut and staple the end of a polyethylene sleeve, plus label it for each ice core. I also wrote down the length and assigned core number in the field notebook. Of course this necessitated the removal of my warm gloves to do the cutting, labeling, and writing, thus, the reason for my total admiration for whomever invented those neat little hand- warmers. We worked over 8 hours in the field today. It certainly was an eye-opener to just how dedicated some scientists are to getting those pieces of evidence necessary to answer their questions.
The weather was actually somewhat moderated today. The winds were about 15 knots out on the ice-sheet, but here in camp they were less. It is a little after 10:00 pm and bits of blue sky are peeking through the clouds, with winds only at 3-4 knots and the temperatures a mild -12 C. Someone plant the palm trees, summer is here./
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