Measuring the depth of the snow

Published on 15.06.2009 - Emirates NBD Greenland Quest

Because one of the main aims of Adrian Hayes's Emirates NBD Greenland Quest is to focus public attention on global warming, the expedition's tasks include taking scientific readings and measurements every evening.

As we have stressed many times already, virtually every day, reports from this expedition fall into two categories: information about the trio's progress and observations about issues associated with Global Warming.

Recently, the emphasis of this latter part has been on changes to our planet's water resources, which is a major problem if ever there was one. The big question is (update 12th June): how much water do we need for our everyday lives (three litres if we are to believe the dispatch from that particular day) and how much water are we able to save? Then we have the following comments: one person in every three in the world has no access to public hygiene worthy of the name; one person in five has no access to any proper drinking water; a child dies every 15 seconds from causes linked to using and drinking polluted water.

As part of their aim of making people aware of the problems, Hayes's team has set itself a demanding programme of daily observations: "Our task every day," wrote Hayes on 9th June, "is to measure the precipitation falling on the island's icecap (which, of course, is one of the factors affecting the rate at which the ice melts). So, every evening, we measure the depth of the snow at the location where we set up camp. We do this simply by pushing a probe of some kind through the ice until it won't go any further. This depth indicates the amount of snow that fell during the past year. Every 4 or 5 days, we also take measurements of the density of this snow ..."

Their position: 68°05'06" N / 44°20'15" W. They have covered 908 km so far and still have another 784 to do.

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