North to Petermann!

I’m now traveling toward Petermann Glacier, site of the enormous ice shelf detachment.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3783460/PT/Petermann_before_after_300dpi_km_added.jpg
NASA MODIS imagery illustrating the largest detachment observed in Greenland. The data are processed in-house at Byrd Polar Research Center.

I predicted the event would occur last year. This was on the heels of the record-warm summer 2008. I lead a leg of a Greenpeace cruise to the area to install an array of sensors at Petermann. Among the sensors are two time lapse cameras, like that shown below. Provided the equipment survived the winter, we will recover a historic set of photos to share with the world!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3783460/PT/Petermann_TL_Camera_Jason_Box_EIS.jpg

With the help of Alun Hubbard,  we also have 7 GPS along flow to visit; one is on the ice island! See the equipment distribution below…

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3783460/PT/Petermann_instrumentation_2009-2010_Box_and_Hubbard.gif

This is a very remote site, requiring 30 flight hours to get the aircraft from Greenland’s main airport hub in Kangerlussuaq.

I’m now sitting in the WiFi-equipped airport departure-lounge here in Kangerlussuaq, waiting to board to arrive Ilulissat; one night, then to Qarsut and Uummannaq 24 August, were I will rendezvous with sailing vessel Gambo and it’s owner Alun Hubbard. We are sending the boat north with: fuel, food, and a very able crew…

Gambo in southern seas

Sailing Vessel Gambo

24-28 August, Alun and I will then refine details of the plan (air charter). We expect the air charter “Lucky Bird” to pick us up on 28 August. We expect to be on site at Petermann ~30 August. I will return via Copenhagen. I should be in Copenhagen either 2 or 8 September and back to Ohio 12 September or sooner. Note that delays are not only always possible, but should never come as a surprise. The weather is more of a factor here than in the mid-latitudes.

Thanks all for support! I will update this post as often as I can.