11 November 2017 Lab Work!

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Neville Nazareth
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That is so cool that you are part of a team that could help scientists understand climate change! How fascinating! I love that you included the data tables - looking at them makes me feel reassured that crossing stuff out and adding more columns is okay!

Cutting those ice cores must require a lot of patience, because of how fragile it is and how precise you have to be to get it to 2 mm. That is very admirable and impressive!

As a quick question, are there any other factors besides salinity and pH that you could use to map the Ross Sea Ice and thus hopefully understand climate change?

Re: Neville Nazareth commented on 11 November 2017 Lab Work!

Hello Neville,

Nice to hear from you again. I appreciate that you are taking the time
to read the journals and ask questions! The data tables here are
actually pretty messy a lot! They eventually get retyped but in the
field and even in the lab, we all make mistakes and end up crossing
stuff out and rewriting!

The thin sections do take a lot of time. If I break them, I have to
recut them and there is only so much ice core. It is a nerve-racking
process! I would hate to screw up and not be able to get a pic as a
result of my errors.

I think there are many avenues that are being explored in terms of
establishing a great set of baseline data within the Ross Sea. Some
people are measuring various aspects of the water below the ice and
others, like our team, are helping to map free board and snow board as
well as ice thickness, extent, multi and single year ice!

Once the entire baseline picture is complete, they can then start to
assess impacts year to year as a result of climate change! Currently
however, there is just not enough of the baseline data to develop an
accurate "beginning" pic.

Two more weeks! See you soon,

Mrs. Bault

On 11/11/17 5:13 AM, PolarTREC wrote:

Thomas Nguyen
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More Research

Hi Mrs. Bault!

As Neville stated before, cutting the ice sheet to 2 mm is really awesome!

In the cold room, were there any other tools in the cold room other than vertical band saw? How hard was it to guide the ice core with the gloves on? How many attempts did it take to perfect one of the ice sheets?

As for the office lab tests, how would you measure the stable isotopes (Carbon, Oxygen, and Uranium) of the cores? What could conductivity measurements of the ice cores indicate about the Ross Sea Ice cores (perhaps concentration of salt in the brine samples)?
And is there any existing trend data about conductivity, pH, salinity, and/or temperature of the ice over time?

Final set of questions (the presentation from several days ago…sorry :))… Yongli’s discussion about deuterium was really interesting, but I’m still a little confused on what the symbols (18O…carbon 18) and what the trend indicates. I see there are four regression lines (and the equations for those four lines on the right), but what does each line represent and how can the study of deuterium contribute to the study of sea ice levels in Antarctica?



P.S: Was this part pun intended (south...)?
"He is recovering and will be okay with time, but it is a definite reminder of the harsh conditions that exist here and how quickly things can turn south."

Re: Thomas Nguyen commented on 11 November 2017 Lab Work!

Hello again,

more great questions! Keep them coming.

There is a table on which to work and the light table. Otherwise the
cold room is basically a freezer with shelving on one side and a power
outlet. If you were in need of other tools, certainly they could be
brought in. It just depends upon the needs of the team. The lab techs
here get it ready for you!

Gloves make everything more difficult. It is clumsy but you wouldn't
dare work without them for heat reasons but also for safety! The
guiding of the ice cores is not terribly difficult but getting the thin
sections to emerge without breaking apart is much more difficult!

I have still not perfected the thin section slicing. You can actually
feel the ice breaking as it goes through the blade. Slow and steady
seems to be the best, but if you catch a snag, chances are you will have
to start over. I get lucky a lot and sometimes make it through with
just one try. I started with 5mm sections and have worked my way down!

Picarro (L2130-i analyzer) is the name of the device used to sample and
determine isotope measurements. The water samples are being shipped
back to the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) for this analysis.
You can look this equipment up on-line and get all of the pertinent
information about how it works!

Conductivity is very much related to the measure of the salinity and
it changes depending upon the depth of the core. We are taking salinity
measurements every 10 cm down the length and at the top salinity is is
about 6 parts per thousand and in the middle about 3-4 while at the
bottom around 6 again. The sea is about 35 parts per thousand!

We are collecting these measurements to get a good set of baseline data.
Right now, it doesn't exist so we can't see trends at this point at
least not more than a couple of years of annual sea ice which is not a
good overall picture. All the more reason to collect this data!

As far as the deuterium question, I will forward this to Yongli and let
him answer that for you!

The pun was actually not intentional, but now that you pointed it out...

Penguin video is now properly uploaded. I had some difficulty uploading
the high res. video so the quality is quite poor, but it is there!

See you in a few weeks,

Mrs. Bault

On 11/12/17 10:03 AM, PolarTREC wrote:

Seasonal Sea Ice Production in the Ross Sea


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Location: Crary Lab, McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Weather Summary: Mild, Sunny and Clear but with a storm approaching!
Temperature: 16˚ F
Wind Chill: 6˚ F
Wind Speed: 16 mph

Seasonal Sea Ice Production in the Ross Sea Journals

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