Showing Archived Posts

South Pole Station Gears Up for Busy ‘Nightlife’

Posted April 19th, 2016 at 1:34 pm (UTC-4)
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Dusk gives way to night. The first stars and planets have come out, and all that remains of the sun’s memory is a thin band of blue sky on the horizon. SOUTH POLE JOURNALRefael Klein blogs about his year working and living at the South Pole. Read his earlier posts here. With the skies darkening, experiments at the […]

Isolated and Alone, South Pole Workers Face Unexpected Emergencies

Posted March 29th, 2016 at 3:11 pm (UTC-4)
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From horizon to horizon, in every direction, blue-grey skies descend into a flat, grey, monochromatic landscape that is only disrupted by strong winds and cloud cover. SOUTH POLE JOURNALRefael Klein blogs about his year working and living at the South Pole. Read his earlier posts here. The sun circles at nearly the same height each day, its zenith […]

South Polies Tackle Last-Minute Preps to Survive Brutal Winter

Posted March 23rd, 2016 at 9:14 am (UTC-4)
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The last plane left two weeks ago and everyone is settling into their wintertime roles. SOUTH POLE JOURNALRefael Klein blogs about his year working and living at the South Pole. Read his earlier posts here. Station population sits at 50 and most departments are only a fraction of the size they once were. Although the summer crew left […]

Bright Spots of Ceres; Rotten Tomatoes Produces Energy; Black Hole Flashes Red

Posted March 16th, 2016 at 1:58 pm (UTC-4)
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Earth Based Telescope Provides New Insight on the Bright Spots of Ceres The dwarf planet Ceres is the largest body in the asteroid belt, which is a large collection of small to very large space rocks between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Among the features of the dwarf planet that’s fascinated a lot of […]

South Pole Summer Camp Helps Combat Winter Blues

Posted March 15th, 2016 at 11:25 am (UTC-4)
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Construction on the Amundson-Scott elevated station began in 1998 and was completed in 2008. SOUTH POLE JOURNALRefael Klein blogs about his year working and living at the South Pole. Read his earlier posts here. During the height of construction, the summer population at the South Pole ballooned to over 250 people. To accommodate the overflow in personnel, plastic, […]

Stranded Until Spring: Last Flight Leaves South Pole Before Winter Hits

Posted March 8th, 2016 at 10:30 am (UTC-4)
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It’s the season of long shadows. The ice cap is a maze of dark and light. The smallest protrusions of snow create as much shade as a beach umbrella at high noon. As I walk to work, I’m accompanied by a 20-foot projection of myself. It marches silently through a windswept landscape, numb to the […]

South Pole Diary: In Giant Parkas, Rank Is Less Apparent

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 10:23 am (UTC-4)
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Supporting world-class, meaningful scientific research in a unique landscape makes working at the Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO) one of the most enjoyable positions I’ve held in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. SOUTH POLE JOURNALRefael Klein blogs about his year working and living at the South Pole. You can read his earlier posts here. The data collected by […]

Posted February 8th, 2016 at 3:55 pm (UTC-4)
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Much has been written about the wide reaching impact of the “Little Ice Age,” a period of global cooling that lasted approximately from the mid-13th to the mid-19th centuries. Now, an international team of researchers say they have come across another extraordinary, extended period of cooling that took place in the northern hemisphere between 536 […]

New Ebola Drugs Possible; New Weather Satellite; Bacteria or Virus?

Posted January 22nd, 2016 at 12:44 pm (UTC-4)
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Ebola Antibodies Could Lead to Effective Vaccines and Therapies According to the Centers for Disease Control, the 2014 West African Ebola Epidemic killed 11,316 people with about 28,638 suspected, probable, and confirmed cases of the deadly disease. The worst outbreak of Ebola in history prompted researchers from around the world to work on developing ways […]

On Balmy, Below-Zero Day at South Pole, There’s Work to Do

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 3:46 pm (UTC-4)
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After a month at the South Pole, you begin to adapt to the frigid conditions. Your body becomes more efficient at generating heat and your metabolism shifts into overdrive — every calorie you consume is burned. As your tolerance of the polar environment changes, so do your perceptions of warm and cold. My first week […]