Tags: Emily Venables

Measuring ocean conductivity, temperature and density

Oceanographers Simon Boxall and Emily Venables
Oceanographers Simon Boxall and Emily Venables plan the CTD drop, to measure ocean conductivity (salinity), temperature and density.
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Science plans

Emily Venables science presentation

After breakfast, Simon, Carol and I presented the science background to the voyagers, told them about what we did last year and our plans for this year. Later we heard from Joe, Sunand and Francesca about energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of buildings. This kicked off plenty of discussions and was a really useful exchange information for us all. Ko and Ludvig joined us in the afternoon, and as they did we tried a CTD dip, only to discover that having installed new and supposedly better software, it wasn’t working any more… Soon after that, it materialised that all wasn’t going to plan for Dave and Carol either.

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Arrival and unpacking

Preparation, preparation

Hello all, sorry for being quiet since our arrival in Greenland, but we’ve been working hard on trying to extract data from our CTD. Even after many hours sitting in a container battling with a computer we’ve not yet managed to get any data out of it. Rewinding slightly…

It was fantastic to see the old faces of last year’s Noorderlight trip at the airport on Thursday evening and to meet the rest of the crowd on the expedition. The Iceland flight was delayed somewhat, but with all the excitement we didn’t really notice! On Friday we were delivered to Greenland in style with our very own charter of a Fokker 50 aeroplane, delivered to the port in less style on an ancient bus, and ferried to the ship in zodiac inflatables, finally arriving at 4pm GMT, 5pm British summer time, 4pm Iceland time and 2pm Greenland time. There was so much confusion over what time we were working on that each room on board ended up being in a different time zone! The ship is great and so is its crew. To us scientists it’s much more like we’re used to in our research, just without the winches!! That afternoon/evening we were welcomed aboard, had our safety briefings and set about unpacking as we steamed out of the fjord.

Last chance to write on dry land – Part 2

ARGO float launch

We still don’t know if we can expect anything else to be in our container than toothbrushes but we hope to find our ARGO float somewhere in there.

Let me tell you a little more about these fantastic pieces of kit. Observing the ocean is a costly and time consuming business. As our crew will soon find out, dangling a temperature and salinity probe over the side of the boat then hauling it up again takes a while and gives us one single profile of temperature and salinity – a speck in the ocean and a snapshot in time. ARGO floats are like self contained profilers, sinking to whatever depth we tell them to and then travelling along with an ocean current and popping up when we tell them to, transmitting temperature and salinity information back to the ARGOS satellite array, then sinking again for another cycle.
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Last chance to write on dry land – Part 1

Hello and welcome to my blog! This is my last chance to write to you on dry land, as tomorrow I’ll be spending many hours on a train heading from the west coast of Scotland down to London to join the rest of the team. I’m incredibly excited now about visiting West Greenland, but cannot yet imagine how it will feel to see a glacier that is losing 20 million tonnes of ice a day. Climate change is real, and we’ll be seeing its effect right before our eyes.
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