We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Five Lessons Learned at an Arctic Research Station

By Andrew Moseman
Jul 16, 2008 10:45 PMNov 5, 2019 8:43 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

On Monday we brought you the story of the Russian scientists forced to evacuate their Arctic research station because their ice floe melted. Today, Naturehas an interview with Jürgen Graeser, a German scientist who spent the winter with the Russians at North Pole 35. So what did Graeser learn during his time up there? 1. Bring a flare gun. Graeser guesses that the team had 30 or so separate run-ins with polar bears, but none of them turned deadly because the flares scared off the bears. 2. Russian scientists are "helpful and warmhearted," he says, and the language barrier is no big deal if you spend all your time studying atmospheric wind speeds and temperatures. 3. Speaking of temperatures, they can vary wildly in the Arctic. During "extreme temperature inversions," Graeser says, the air 100 meters above ground could be 15 degrees Celsius—27 degrees Fahrenheit—warmer than air at ground level. 4. Things change quickly: In April, an airplane could still land on the ice floe. In July, it had shrunk and cracked to the point that Russia had to evacuate the scientists. 5. The best way to celebrate the sun's return after a dark Arctic winter? Shish kebabs.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.