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108 Shooting the Northern Lights

20 . 10 . 2020

Notes

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It's Aurora season and capturing this amazing phenomenon in the ionosphere isn't as difficult as you think. Chris and Henry look at photos and discuss their experiences and stories around the pictures. The most important things to watch out for is to dress warm (because it's cold), watch stray light, expose long, use a tripod if you can, include something nice in the foreground, maybe even a reflection in water and if you're on a ship, time the waves and find a fix foreground.

Get in touch! Got feedback? Did you miss a topic we should cover? Do you want to get get a deeper insight or an update on a previous topic? Email us or find us online at curiouslypolar.com, on Twitter, on Insta

107 It's Gone!

30 . 09 . 2020

Notes

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Once a thick and resilient structure, Arctic sea ice is now thinner and more vulnerable to the seasons than ever before, according to new NASA research. 2020's Arctic sea ice cover shrank to the second-lowest extent since modern record-keeping began in the late 1970s. An analysis of satellite data by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder shows that the 2020 minimum extent, which was likely reached on Sept. 15, measured 3.74 million square kilometres (1.44 million square miles).

Combining satellite data and submarine sonars, the study reveals that 70 percent of today's ice cover consists of seasonal ice, the stuff that forms and melts within a single year, instead of thicker, established ice. While younger sea ice does grow faster, more coverage is not always better. Seasonal sea ice, no matter how extensive, cannot trump the durability of old age and volume.

With a flimsier foundation, Arctic sea ice will find itself increasingly beholden to the whims of the wind and weather. It will also melt far more easily come summertime and especially as global warming continues to heat up our seasons and our oceans.

106 The Impact of Covid-19 on Polar Research

11 . 08 . 2020

Notes

Video version of this episode

As COVID-19 sweeps the planet, measure to contain the virus are affecting research programs on both, the Arctic and Antarctic. While in the Arctic, travel restrictions of countries like Norway, Greenland, Canada and the US restricts resupply of existing projects on the Greenlandic icecap as well as in the Arctic Ocean, the far south is even more affected. Medical care in Antarctica being limited, most research programs have been put on halt and are going to have to take a gap year. And even though no project is being cancelled, no activities are being cancelled, it's all just being postponed, there are only a few years left to make some very significant changes to avoid the worst of climate change consequences, and science can’t afford to wait an entire year.

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