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
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
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.
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.