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Abrupt Climate Change - Ice cores from Patagonia
This project is supported by a grant from NOAA, Office of Global Programs
Paul Mayewski, Andrei Kurbatov, Dan Dixon, Erich Osterberg,UMaine
Charlie Porter, Patagonia Research Foundation and UMaine
Mike Ellis and Scott Mason, Stonehaven Productions, Canada
February 20, 2005 to March 22, 2005
Questions from Ms White's 7th grade class:
- What was the dog's name?
The dog's name is Punky or perhaps Punchie?
- What makes a good site to collect ice cores?
A good core site needs to have a low (less than -5°C) mean annual temperature and
good annual layer preservation.
- Are there volcanoes in the area where you will travel? If yes, are
There is a non-active volcano very close to Cordillera Darwin but the nearest active volcano is beyond Punta Arenas.
- Will you have any native guides?
No native guides (unless you count Juan on the boat!). We assume you mean a guide on land.
- What season is it?
The season is late summer.
- How many hours of daylight do you have now?
About 15-16 hours of daylight.
- What is a churrasco made of? The main ingredient in a Churrasco is beef steak, we also had avocado, lettuce, and tomato - YUM!
- Do children, (like those at the laundry) have to work, do they go to
The children do attend school, in fact there is a very nice new school. The girls at the laundry were helping out their parents with the family business. The next time we went to the laundry (a Friday) the mother was there, but the girls were not.
- How do moulins get started?
See the detailed answer in the journal entry for March 7. Moulins are a started by melt water falling into a crack or crevasse.
- Is the boat at risk from the calving glacier?
Ocean Tramp was not at risk because it was moored quite a distance down the fjord from the glacier. It cetainly would have been had we gotten it too close. When we carried the gear to shore in the Zodiac, we had to be careful not to get too close. That is why we landed at the beach not the snout of the glacier.
- Mrs. White's question: You mentioned the Ellis glacier is stagnant and
mass is lost from melting. Is the mass regained? Is the annual mass
increasing or decreasing? Is the glacier at equilibrium?
A percentage of mass is regained, but overall the annual net gain is lower than the annual net loss. Stagnent means that the glacier is no longer in equilibrium, and most of the mass is lost through melting. The large calving glacier, named "Calv", that was near the base camp was in equilibrium, that is, actively flowing. That is what some people call a healthy glacier.
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