Studying the Cryosphere

Field photoIn 1972, a group of scientists set up camp on ice floes in the Beaufort Sea. The AIDJEX program was the first major Western sea ice experiment constructed specifically to answer questions about how sea ice moves and changes in response to the influence of ocean and atmosphere. This 1972 pilot study was followed by the AIDJEX field program in 1975 and 1976.

The experiment was designed to collect coordinated measurements over at least one year, in order to have the right combination of data for understanding atmosphere and ice interactions. Read more ...

Research in Harsh Conditions: Field work on the East Antarctic Plateau may sound like a fun adventure. But imagine coming in from working in the constant freezing wind to warm up in a tent that is 28°F. As NSIDC researcher Ted Scambos says, "Staying warm and protecting your skin are the main concerns. Temperatures are frigid even in summer, -5 to -22°F. But the wind is the real danger." Wind chill temperatures can reach -51°F. Now imagine living and working in those conditions for weeks.