The IcePod podcast episode 8 with sea-ice scientist Stefanie Arndt
episode eight of the IcePod “Snowflakes, Pee Bottles, and a Mosaic of Floes", we get to hear back from one of our
previous guests – Stefanie Arndt who already spoke with us before
leaving for the Arctic (Bonus Episode One).
After 145 days away from her home in Bremerhaven, she tells us all
about MOSAiC expedition leg 3. Stefanie Arndt is a sea-ice scientist at
the German Alfred Wegener Institute, and she has a special sense of
snow. While Antarctic snow has been her first love, this time Steffi
ventured northern fields and flirted with Arctic snowflakes.
After she managed to survive the shortage of muesli brought from her
home just at the end of the transit on board the Russian support
icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn that brought leg 3 to the ice camp during
the return of sun, Steffi led Team Ice during a challenging time: Not
only it was the coldest leg of MOSAiC but there was lots of uncertainty
due to very dynamic ice conditions. In addition, the leg got extended
because of the pandemic that let no aircraft leaving from Svalbard for
the planned exchange with the next leg. But Steffi and her team adapted
well to the altered circumstances, studying spring conditions much
longer into the season than expected – as the days became longer the
sea ice energy and ice albedo changed and eventually the MOSAiC ice floe
became a mosaic of floes…
What to do when something's becoming very urgent on the ice? Steffi
gives some yet unknown insights to the logistic challenges of MOSAiC. Or
did you already know that pee bottles were an item due to the no-pee
policy for MOSAiC field work?
Even polar scientists are not immune to Arctic temperatures so one
has to find a strategy for sampling snow at -40°C. MOSAiC's Smilla had a
pretty elaborate way using warming pads and two layers of warm gloves
under her pair of plastic gloves to not contaminate the snow. Another
way to keep yourself warm is to "walk five hundred miles" across the ice
ridges. Luckily, there was always hot tea when returning from a long
day out on the camp to a warm and cosy home called Polarstern.
While Corona was affecting life on land, Steffi and the team of leg 3
had still chance to collect hugs before leaving the ice and go back
home. Something she could draw on for the months to come...
--- The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the
people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the
German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in
the Arctic. It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener
Institute and Radio Weser.TV where the full episode with music will
be played at www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/. For dates check back with [hidden email].
Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto
--------------------------------------------- Dr. Kirstin Werner Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) International Coordination Office Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bussestrasse 24 D-27570 Bremerhaven Germany