The IcePod announces the release of episode eight, Snowflakes, Pee Bottles, and a Mosaic of Floes. The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. Hosts talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic, The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC). It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and Radio Weser.TV, where the full episode with music will be played.
In episode eight of The IcePod, Snowflakes, Pee Bottles, and a Mosaic of Floes, hosts get to hear back from one of their previous guests – Stefanie Arndt, who already spoke with them before leaving for the Arctic (Bonus Episode One). After 145 days away from her home in Bremerhaven, she tells 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 cozy 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 episode with music is also played at online (Bremen) on:
Friday, 11 December 2020, 7:00–9:00 a.m. UTC (9:00–11:00 a.m. CET); and
Saturday, 19 December 2020, 2:00–4:00 p.m. UTC (4:00–6:00 p.m. CET).
To access the podcast, go to:
The IcePod webpage