Summit Station is the home of the Greenland Environmental Observatory (GEOSummit) http://www.geosummit.org/, where year-round monitoring of key climate variables are conducted to study air-snow interactions, knowledge of which is crucial for interpreting data from ice cores drilled in the area and elsewhere. The station is located atop 3200 m of ice and is nearly 400 km from the nearest point of land. Summit supports a diversity of scientific research.
Professor Konrad Steffen has been coming to Summit Station since 1995, conducting various research projects, including the Automated Weather Station (AWS), Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) and the construction to the 50 meter Swiss tower. The Swiss tower serves as a vertical scientific lab, where multiple collaborative research projects take place.
Last night was a difficult night of sleeping at Summit. The temperature was not too bad, it was only -15 F, but the winds were gusting up to 40mph, which created an incredible amount of noise from the flapping tents. Oh, and don’t forget 24 hours of daylight! I tried to sleep, but by 2:00am I accepted the fact that it was going to be difficult to get some good sleep, so I just tried to rest. I was relieved when 7:00am rolled around. I put on my outer layers and walked to the Big House to eat breakfast.
As the rest of the team rolled in, I continued to upload my recent journals. At 11:00am we had Snow Machine training at the maintenance building. The amount of training that takes place here is incredible, mostly due to the extreme environment and potential for injury or death. Luke, the mechanic, provided our Snow Machine training.
After snow machine training we ate lunch at the Big House. John Fonseca, the camp manager, provided a station update immediately following lunch. His main message was focused on the weather and how it affects all operation here at Summit, including the research.
We were disappointed that we could not get to the Summit AWS today. Koni needs to download the data, and Nikko and Simon need to dig a snow pit. If the forecasts hold true, we will not be able to reach the AWS until Monday at the earliest. This means that we will need to find other projects that need to be done on station.
As we sat around the Big House looking for things to do, Rosemary, the cook, was baking some fresh cookies!
Later in the day, we watched the weather worsen. Almost complete whiteout conditions and temperatures dipping below -17 F with wind chill hitting -49 F. Tonight will be another interesting night in the Arctic Oven tent.
Tomorrow, we will look at the AWS a little closer and see what kind of data the instruments provide. Until tomorrow, stay warm (or cool if your reading this in warmer places!).