What's it like to live more than 900 miles (nearly 1,500 kilometers) from McMurdo Station in West Antarctica? The video podcast Life @ Byrd Surface Camp, Podcast #5 in a series produced by the POLENET project, describes life at the camp during the 2009-2010 field season.
The Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET) is a network of Global Positioning System (GPS) and seismic stations in Antarctica and Greenland that measures changes in the ice sheets as they respond to climate change. The measurements will help answer critical questions about ice sheet behavior in a warming world and can be used to predict sea level rise accompanying global warming and to interpret climate change records.
The GPS stations measure vertical and horizontal movements of bedrock, while the seismic stations characterize physical properties of the ice-rock interface, lithosphere, and mantle. Combined with satellite data, the data offer a more complete picture of the ice sheet's current state, potential changes in the near future, and its overall size during the last glacial maximum. These data will also be used to infer sub-ice sheet geology and the terrestrial heat flux, critical inputs to models of glacier movement.
The project is an International Polar Year project with 29 countries participating. The Ohio State University leads the international consortium.