My name is Refael Klein.
I’m a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, which supports research carried out by NOAA and other scientific institutions.
Last year, I was managing our facility in American Samoa, enjoying a tropical climate. This year, I will be at the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, trying to stay warm.
I invite you to come along on the journey. Let me be your guide to life and science at the South Pole.
Over the course of the next 13 months, I will be supporting over a dozen climate science research projects, working alongside scientists and engineers studying everything from subatomic particles to the Southern Lights.
This summer, we will learn about ice core drilling and carbon dioxide (CO2) sampling, and in the spring, we’ll watch the Ozone Hole form.
The South Pole is not an easy place to survive, and day-to-day life can be challenge even for the most intrepid.
This year, 50 of us will winter over, enduring months of complete darkness and the coldest temperatures in the world. Not all handle the isolation well, but most everyone leaves with a story to tell and an experience they can’t fully put into words.
Over the ensuing months, I’ll try my best to be descriptive and give you a true taste of what it is like to be a modern-day Antarctic explorer.
It will take me a few days to get from the United States to the South Pole. My first stop will be in Christchurch, New Zealand, the jumping off point for those heading to the “Ice”. It’s a long flight.
I’ll see you there.
Look for Refael Klein’s weekly blogs from the South Pole here on Science World.