Posts Tagged ‘ross sea’

Where in the world are the Iridium Satellites

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Nilsen taught Amelia, Sara and myself how to track the iridium satellites over a specific point on earth using Gpredict.

http://gpredict.oz9aec.net/

We chose RU26 as our point of interest to see what iridium satellites are in the sky and where they are based on the gliders last position coordinates. After we plugged in the coordinates, we clicked on all of the "+" and "s" iridium satellites to add them to the list we wanted to search for. The program can search for almost any public satellite ranging from GPS to Iridium. After we set all of our parameters we got this screen:

This screen shows a bunch of information. Some key info we can look at right away is if there are any satellites above RU26 and if so, at what angle above the horizon. We can also pick a future date and time (such as a future glider call-back secession) and see if there will be any iridium satellites for the glider to communicate with.

Next week we are going to explore the range of the iridium antenna and check on future glider communications to make sure we have substantial satellite coverage.

Chris Filosa, Nilsen Strandskov, Amelia Snow, and Sara Borsetti

Ice Ice Baby: Ross Sea

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

For the first post of the spring semester I thought it would be a good idea to find a good source of information. I found an excellent site that has a Java App that opens up and shows a world map. This map is the base of hundreds of overlays ranging from underwater cameras to bathymetry of the Ross Sea.

Here are some samples of the program:

This is the base map of the Ross Sea

Here is the Bathymetry:

Here is Chlorophyll:

The program does a whole lot and you can spend hours looking at all of the different overlays.

http://www.geomapapp.org/

Here is some more info that the program links to:

This is sea surface salinity

This is the Mixed Layer Depth:

This week our group is going to play around with the program and see what it can do to help our glider mission!

And here is the link to the Oceanography Club National Aquarium Pictures:

http://s951.photobucket.com/albums/ad360/dogfish246/National%20Aquarium/

Chris Filosa, Abe Gelb and Amanda Jones

Refined Ross Sea Outreach Group

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

User Friendly climatology and sea ice cover information on the Ross Sea - Jessica Castoro, Christel Walker, Abe Gelb

Last week the Climatology group for the Ross Sea posted a really cool website. This website is run by scientists at Scott Bass on Ross Island in Antarctica. It has a lot of information important to scientific data collection. This week we thought we would break this website down a little more for you guys. Some of the information on this website is in units that many people are unfamiliar with, such as Celsius. To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit you have to multiply by 9, divide by 5 and add 32. So let’s say that the temperature on Ross Island was -10.7 ᴼCelsius. What’s that in Fahrenheit, you say? It converts to 12.74 ᴼFahrenheit. That’s a bit of a difference.  Now what about kts? Kts stands for knots. One knot is 1.1508 miles per hour. So let’s say we hear that wind speeds have reached 16.2 kts. How many miles per hour is that? Well its 16.2kts multiplied by 1.1508 which equals…18.64 miles per hour. That’s a pretty fast wind.  What about if we see wind force measured in Bft? What’s a Bft? Bft is the abbreviation for the Beaufort scale. It tells us how intensity of the weather based mainly on wind power. Each Beaufort number includes a certain wind speed so our 18.64 mile per hour wind registers a Beaufort number of 5. It is described as being a “Fresh breeze” and will cause moderate longer waves in the ocean. This can mess up some planned research ideas. Now a wind chill is just the temperature of the air with the strength of the wind. If the wind isn’t blowing it’s pretty cold, but with a strong wind it can get frigid. And what about a dew point? Well, a dew point is the temperature at which the moisture in the air turns into liquid water.  I think my work here is done. These are all the basic conversions and other information you guys need to know in order to interpret all the data on that awesome website. Enjoy :)

Jessica Castoro

The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf in Antarctica. Most of the ice is underwater because ice is less dense then seawater. It's around the size of France. The shelf itself pushes out into the ocean about one and half to three meters a day, that is the size of a car each day moving out into the ocean. The ice is slowly melting away at an incredible speed, which can cause major problems for both the animals living in the Antarctic and also the coastal landscapes, beaches, cities, and other urban homelands on other continents.

"This is a picture of the movement of glaciers feeding the Ross Ice Shelf. Speedy central ice streams which move up to 800 meters per year, are shown in red; their slower tributaries appear in blue. Like rivers, glaciers have drainage basins. The areas, which collect snowfall that feeds the ice streams and ultimately the ice shelf, are outlined in black." NASA

http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/weather/SBweather/sbweather.html

This is a website that shows current weather conditions in Antarctica. It shows temperature, rain & snowfall,and wind measurements. It also has some really cool graphs to show changes in all of these areas. These graphs are updated every ten minutes. Measurements are from the Ross Sea from a weather station operated by New Zealand.

History
Sir James Clark Ross was born on April 15th, 1800. He is most known for discovering the Ross Sea; however, there are some other things he has also accomplished. Some being that he joined the navy at the age of 12 and later became a Captain. His status as Captain is what allowed him control of the British fleet for discovery purposes. In 1841 James Ross discovered Mount Erebus, a 12000? tall mountain in the middle of Antarctica, he named it after one of his ships. He also founded the Ross Sea ice shelf but he originally named it the Victoria Barrier. The Ross sea was found by accident, Ross was originally looking for the southern magnetic force.

Christel Walker

Ross Sea Group

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf in Antarctica. It is roughly six hundred kilometers long and between ten and fifty meters above sea level. Most of the ice is underwater because ice is less dense then seawater. The Ross Ice Shelf is around the size of France. The shelf itself pushes out into the ocean about one and half to three meters a day, that is the size of a car each day moving out into the ocean. The ice is slowly melting away at an incredible speed, which can cause major problems for both animal life living in the Antarctic and also the coastal landscapes, beaches, cities, and other urban homelands on other continents.

Image of Sea Ice Concentrations of Antarctica:

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/antarctic.seaice.color.000.png

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_daily_concentration_hires.png

http://nsidc.org/data/iceshelves_images/index_modis.html

Here's a little something about Ross Sea climatology:

http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/weather/SBweather/sbweather.html


This is a website that shows current weather conditions in Antarctica. It shows temperature, precipitation, snow and wind measurements. It also has some really cool graphs to show changes in all of these areas. These graphs are updated every ten minutes. Measurements are from the Ross Sea from a weather station operated by New Zealand.

History (Dan ravs and crew)

In 1841 James Ross discovered Mount Erebus, a 12000' tall mountain in the middle of Antarctica. He named it after one of his ships. He also founded the ross sea ic shelfm but he did mot name it that. he originally named it the Victoria Barrier!!! the ross sea was found by accident, ross was origionally looing for the southern magnetic force

here is my partners stuff

Sir James Clark Ross was born on April 15th, 1800. He is most known for discovering the Ross Sea; however, there are some other things he has also accomplished. Some being that he joined the navy at the age of 12 and later became a Captain. His status as Captain is what allowed him control of the British fleet for discovery purposes.

Who is on First. What is on Second. I don’t know is on Third.

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

Similarities and differences involving the history of the Ross and Amundsen Seas

Both are named after famous explorers, the Ross Sea after Sir James Clark Ross who was born in 1800 and was the nephew of the famous Scottish explorer Sir John Ross, and Amundsen Sea after Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian polar explorer. Both men were experienced explorers and had been in several expeditions before reaching the waters which they named after themselves. Both areas are different in that the Ross Sea has incredible biological diversity and a long history of human exploration and scientific research. Marine life is as abundant now as it was thousands of years ago; whereas the Amundsen Sea’s extreme temperatures and living environment allow for its only inhabitants to include bacteria and microscopic plankton. Only in recent years new organisms sea urchins, sea cucumbers, brittle stars and star fish, crustaceans, and various kinds of worm-like creatures have been discovered. Maybe a colossal squid as well.

Explorations Routes:

On his voyage Sir James Clark Ross was asked by England because of all of the experience that he had sailing in the Arctic, to sail to Tasmania and make a permanent settlement there so that he could make magnetic observations. During his trip in the Arctic he found the north magnetic pole. On his expedition to the south he made a stop in Hobart. On his quest for the south magnetic pole he made numerous stops including ones in: The Auckland Islands and the Campbell Island. Then he traveled south some more until he crossed over the Antarctic Circle where he encountered an Antarctic pack of ice not explored by men. After long days he broke into a clearing of just water, which he named the Ross Sea!!! That Journey Lasted from October 5th 1839 to January 9th 1840.

By his own choice to discover the South Pole on June 3rd 1910, Amundsen left Norway on a small ship called the Fram and headed south. At Maderia, a Portuguese island is where Amundsen informed his crew about the journey they were about to make and everyone was aboard with the plan. From there he continued south to the Cape Town and on January 14th, 1911, Amundsen, along with his fellow crew members, arrived at Bay of Whales at the eastern edge of  Ross Ice Shelf; also known as the Great Ice Barrier. They then proceeded to finish the journey via skis and dog sled. On December 14th, 1912, Amundsen reached the South Pole. After proudly marking the spot with the Norwegian flag, they wrote letters of accomplishment and returned back to their base camp on January 25th, 1912. After finishing their time at the South Pole, they arrived at Hobart, Australia and it is on March 7th, 1912 that they were recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments.

Documentations:

Sir James Clark Ross has no clear documented sources for the Ross expedition specifically, but overall ocean voyages were riskier as we go farther into the past.

Roald Amundsen has written several works and kept journals of his explorations. The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the “Fram,” 1910-1912, he recalls his journey to the South Pole from the start to finish. In his book he writes about the history of the Antarctic, he names previous expeditions, and explorers like Sir James Clark Ross and their contributions to the land. The book also tells about his plans and preparations, possible routes and the reason for why he kept the expedition a secret from Captain Scott. The book was first published in 1912 in Norwegian and it was published in the United States in 2001.

Damages to the Seas:

Both the Ross and Amundsen Seas are suffering from the fast melting ice. In the Amundsen Sea a possible reason for the melting of the ice sheet is that because warm water is constantly eating away at it, the pressure is weakening on all ends of the ice shelf. As a result, it is losing pressure, and losing strength. Similar in the Ross Sea the warm water is melting away the Ross Ice Shelf and Overwhelming evidence suggests that over-fishing has profoundly damaged most of the surrounding ecosystems.

Now to kind of jump from talking about James Ross and Roald Amundsen, we should figure this question out.

Who saw Antarctica first? There are three men who are credited with first seeing Antarctica in 1820. It’s rather weird to think that there were actually three explorers in the same area within months of each other. If Twitter was around in the 1820’s, this could have been avoided.

Palmer: Yo, I just discovered a continent, what up! #Legendary

Nathaniel B. Palmer of the USA, Edward Bransfield of Great Britain, and Fabian von Bellingshausen of Russia. Nathaniel, as you all know very well now, was noted as the first American explorer to discover and set foot on Antarctica. To reiterate Palmer’s path, and looking at this amazing map, Palmer leaves the Punta Arenas [Volcano] and arrives at Anvers Island and manages to avoid giant colossal squid. However, this is very ambiguous as soon as one crosses over from American history books to other cultures.

Looking at Edward Bransfield’s expedition representing Great Britain, you can see how I drew it on Google Earth his start from the Stanley, Falkland Islands. His crew will then venture towards the South Shetland Islands, where Bransfield would name the strait between Antarctica and the islands after himself. On January 30th, traveling down his strait, Edward will spot Trinity Peninsula, which is the most northern point of the continent which was the official discovery of Antarctica – in Britain. After naming mountains and islands for himself and his [late] King, like all explorers, Bransfield and crew set sail back out with Gamage Point to their backs in a sense to the Western edge of Antarctica, and as if you look at the map, their voyage will end  almost in the middle of nowhere, where they will be teleported by unseen forces back home in an instant. However, unknown to Bransfield, just two days prior to Edward reaching the Shetlands, Bellingshausen already “discovered” Antarctica.

If we zoom over to Fabian von Bellingshausen’s expedition, which some would argue that it occurred from 1819-1821, you can see in this lovely image of expeditions all around Antarctica, Fabian’s circumnavigation around Antarctica. You can describe Bellingshausen journey around the circle of frigid frozen fantasies as an opportunity to set a much larger world record. On the map here, you can see how Fabian persistently tries to get to mainland Antarctica, but is repelled by thick ice. On his way of completing his circumnavigation, Faddey [Fadian in Russian] sails around the Amundsen Sea, nears the point of the untouched and presently known Palmer Land, heads back out past Gamage Point to end his voyage. With this discovery taking place on the 28th January, the facts would definitely put Bellingshausen at the first to discover Antarctica.

However, aside from these 3 expeditions, there is one man [and a crew of people I suppose] who can be credited with the thought of a southern continent.

James Cook. His second voyage (1772-75). Many Europeans believed that there was still an undiscovered continent suitable for European Settlement (so much for the Revolutionary War) in the Southern Hemisphere. The fascinating thing was that Cook was able to figure out that Antarctica was not a suitable place for living despite the fact that Cook failed to actually sight any part of the Antarctica continent. He was able to establish however that a continent must exist.

Quote: “…there may be a Continent or large tract of land near the Pole, I will not deny,” “… we have seen a part of it. The excessive cold, the many islands and vast floats of ice all tend to prove that there must be land to the South” (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1997/antpanel/4past.htm Exhibit 9).

Das, Dan, Tiffany, Mario, Nina, and THE DRAGON SLAYER.

A well oiled machine

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Ross  Sea Outreach - Christel Jess & Abe

This week,  we just fine tuned our ideas for what we want our outreach website to look like. There were 2 main changes from last weeks plans.

1.) We discussed it with the other outreach groups and agreed that one collaborative outreach website would be best. We want this website to be formatted in such a way that does not segregate out topics so much but offers all of the collective information and lessons we have to offer.

2.)Since not everyone is a scientist, we decided that the lessons on the website should be geared toward that of a 4th-8th grade science level. Higher level material will be available as well for those who are interested.

Virtual Blackboard

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Hello all,

This week, our task is to begin brainstorming ideas for the outreach website on the Ross Sea. Firstly, we believe that our website should somehow be in correlation with the entire project going on in the Antarctic. That is to say that there should be a general outreach website for the entire project, and the Ross Sea should be able to be selected as an option on that page.

Once selected, we would like the Ross Sea outreach page to act as a virtual blackboard. We want to go beyond just presenting facts and actually  explain the facts being presented. Some of these facts include weather patterns that can possibly affect the gliders, ice conditions, updates about the biology of the area, and the history of the Ross Sea itself. Every separate category will be listed on the left hand side of the website, and when you select something it will show up in the main body of the website. There needs to be a lot of images to go along with the particular category that is being described and links to similar ideas will also be hyper linked in to the text.

To support all of this, video's will be added in where necessary to further help understanding. An example of this would be a video explaining the mechanics of a glider and how it works. The final touch to the website will consist of using appealing colors and having all selectable items organized in such a way that anyone can navigate the site.

Christel, Jess, and Abe

Ross Sea Outreach

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Christel Wakler, Jessica Castoro, Abe Gelb

Our goal this week was to scour the internet for already existing outreach programs going on for the Ross sea. This is our results:

An article written by John Weller about his goal to try to save the Ross Sea’s ecosystem from over fishing and problems caused by man’s actions: www.seaweb.org/getinvolved/oceanvoices/JohnWeller.php

The Last Ocean is a multimedia outreach project that aims to bring the Ross Sea to life and promote conservation efforts in what is perhaps the most pristine open-ocean ecosystem left on Earth. this is an outreach program trying to get the Ross Sea to be a protected area by educating the public about it, especially the dangers of overfishing and whalingYou can also find out more about the project on its Facebook page and on Twitter at LastOcean. http://www.lastocean.com/

Ross sea penguins:

http://icestories.exploratorium.edu/dispatches/antarctic-projects/ross-sea-penguins/

Ross sea travel guide, just in case anyone wants to visit:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Ross_Sea

Picture of the natural color of the Ross Sea and the Chlorophyll content from NASA:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=37556

Interesting picture showing a phytoplankton bloom under and within the ice shelf in the Ross Sea, with an explanation:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8517

http://www.nzaht.org/AHT/RSHRP/
this is an outreach program trying to preserve the history of the Ross Sea & the artifacts found there. it's basically trying to preserve the artifacts from the first expeditions to the Ross Sea.

Colossal

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Christel, Jess, and Abe

Before we start designing and educational outlook, we decided it would be smart to see if anything interesting was going on in the Ross Sea. When we searched for news stories in the area, the first article that showed up was about a colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) caught by longlines of fishermen. The one they caught was only 20 feet long (6 meters) and still had alot of room to grow.

The Image above shows that these squid can potentially grow up to 20 meters long (60 feet). Realistically, the estimated maximum size of these colossal squid is still an impressive 40 feet long. Our interest in these beasts is that we are planning to send scientists to study this area. As seen below, the colossal squid is armed with swivelling hooks. These hooks can rotate a full 360 degrees. Along with the swivelling hooks, the colossal squid is armed with three pointed hooks.  

The colossal squid is the only known predator of the sperm whale. The image below shows a beached whale that is coverd in scars from a battle with one of these mighty squid. The largest ever specimen was caught in the Ross Sea on February 22, 2007.  It weighed 495 kg (1,091 lb) and was measured at 33 feet long.

The squid was preserved and can now be found at The Meuseum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.