Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Recover North Pole Mooring From 2 Miles Deep In Ocean

Date:
May 14, 2002
Source:
University Of Washington
Summary:
Scientists returned last week from the North Pole after recovering 3,500 pounds of instruments and equipment from a mooring anchored to the seafloor for a full year, eight times longer than the only previous mooring at the pole.

Scientists returned last week from the North Pole after recovering 3,500 pounds of instruments and equipment from a mooring anchored to the seafloor for a full year, eight times longer than the only previous mooring at the pole.

The recovery – which involved hauling miles of cable and instruments out of a 4-foot-wide hole in the ice, with three divers in special dry suits standing by in case the mooring became snarled under the ice – was part of this year's North Pole Environmental Observatory camp April 18-28. Led by oceanographer James Morison of the UW's Applied Physics Laboratory, the North Pole Environmental Observatory program is a 5-year, $3.9 million project funded by the National Science Foundation to take the year-round pulse of the Arctic Ocean and learn how the world's northernmost sea helps regulate global climate.

Scientists hope data from instruments on the mooring will help them understand, among other things, changes in the top layer of cold water (28 degrees Fahrenheit) that acts as a barricade against a deeper, but warmer, layer of water capable of causing melting whenever it reaches the underside of the polar ice cap.

That upper, very cold layer grew thinner and warmer in the last decade. That trend is now reverting toward conditions prior to 1990, according to survey work done during the last two years of the North Pole Environmental Observatory program, while the warming is slowly spreading to deeper parts of the Arctic Ocean, Morison says.

In addition to recovering the mooring during this year's camp, polar scientists and engineers installed a new mooring for the coming year. And, as in the past two years, they conducted surveys of water conditions across hundreds of miles and deployed a fleet of sophisticated drifting buoys on the ice. This year one of the buoys carries a camera linked to the Internet so scientists can relate conditions on the ice to readings received via satellite from their instruments. View the images at http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/ or at the NOAA site http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/gallery_np.html. Images are usually updated every six hours although the camera can be used more frequently if needed and can be zoomed.

The North Pole Environmental Observatory program involves researchers and engineers from the University of Washington, NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, the Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., Japanese Marine Science and Technology Center in Yokosuka City, Oregon State University and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Fourteen researchers and engineers traveled to the ice. The worst weather, with winds of 30 to 35 miles per hour causing poor visibility, came at the start of the operation and delayed flights to the ice for two days. Most days temperatures were minus 13 to minus 30 F. A few days were sunny, without wind and a balmy minus 5.

The observatory program was staged this year from a privately operated camp, dubbed Borneo, that is established each April near the pole for tourist and commercial enterprises from France, Russia, Canada and Norway. While tourists cross-country skied to the pole and rode hot-air balloons, observatory researchers used the station as the starting point for their various projects. The place where scientists returned to retrieve the mooring, for example, was roughly 60 miles north of Borneo. A smaller base camp, with two 8- by 12-foot tents, was installed there for the work.

As in past years, staging and logistics were possible with the cooperation and support from the Defence Research Establishment Atlantic, part of the Canadian Department of National Defence, and the staff at its station at Alert on Ellesmere Island.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Washington. "Scientists Recover North Pole Mooring From 2 Miles Deep In Ocean." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020509073159.htm>.
University Of Washington. (2002, May 14). Scientists Recover North Pole Mooring From 2 Miles Deep In Ocean. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020509073159.htm
University Of Washington. "Scientists Recover North Pole Mooring From 2 Miles Deep In Ocean." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020509073159.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A giant wall of dust slowly moves north over the Phoenix area after a summer monsoon thunderstorm. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A rare baby Lemur is among several baby animals getting their public debut at a Cleveland zoo. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins