Saturday, February 21, 2009


to the shadow friends for their analysis and comparison of the
Antarctic data to that of the California Current...

You're right! The CTD profiles is confusing and a little weird.
Sea ice really does change the salinity of the top of the ocean. And
it can vary dramatically depending on what season and where you are.
Because we visit Antarctica in the summer, when sea ice is melting,
usually we see a really fresh layer of water near the surface.
Because that water is fresh, it is lighter, and it stays on top. I
think the experiments you have planned sound like a great idea! One
thing that's pretty cool to do is just to watch what happens to the
temperature of a glass of ice water if you pour some salt in it. Any

You're also right that the temperature change is gradual compared
with California. But what's really interesting is that it gets
warmer the farther you go down towards the bottom. That's strange for
most people because usually warm water floats on top of cold. But in
Antarctica, especially the Amundsen Sea, the salt is more important
to the density than temperature. So warm water will sink below cold
water if it is salty enough.

For everyone else (?) reading, we've broken the 1000 mile to port
mark and continue forging on. Winds are picking up again after a
short period of blue sky yesterday afternoon. Drafts of the cruise
report sections are being reviewed, and I'm getting ready to settle
in to watch a movie. Unfortunately, I've been having trouble keeping
my eyes open whenever I sit down to watch a movie or read a book. I
guess a gentle rocking helps inspire sleep no matter how old you are...


  1. Thanks for all the interesting posts - good luck with your thesis

  2. Thanks for the opportunity to inteact with you!