Pole trekkers measure snow and ice
Arctic trekkers Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen are collaborating with scientists from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre, including Walt Meier, by taking snow and ice measurements on their way to the North Pole.
The two are on the first-ever summer crossing to the pole as part of Greenpeace’s “Project Thin Ice.”
Dupre and Larsen are measuring “sea ice freeboard,” or the amount of ice above the water line. They’re also measuring snow depth on top of the sea ice, as well as collecting and preserving snow samples.
Dupre and Larsen place snow samples in specially-prepared freezer bags that travel close to the outside of their sleds to prevent melting.
The on-the-ground data will help scientists make their data more accurate.
These measurements will check data received from the NASA Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite, which is used to measure and monitor sea ice thickness and the changes that ice undergoes throughout the year.
The snow samples will also help scientists understand the presence and amount of pollution, dust, and other contaminants in Arctic snow, as well as the movement of particles in the atmosphere.
These polar snow samples are normally extremely difficult to obtain because they require long treks across a sampling line.
Meier said it’s extremely expensive to do this kind of research, so the two polar trekkers are providing the centre with a “great opportunity to get some data.”
You can follow their trek at www.oneworldexpedition.com.