Ice

(Reis) First of all, the ice in Antarctica is amazing. So densely packed together. The Kapitan Khlebnikov (our ship) just eats away at it, slicing a clear path for itself, and rejecting all ice that come in its way. White clouds of ice getting shoved away from the hull. Penguins staring up at awe at this giant boat, as they jump away in the nick of time. And as I look around all I can see for miles is Ice, Ice and more Ice. It’s brilliant, it’s pristine, it’s just so WHITE. The pale color reflecting 90% of all sun rays, instantly giving me a headache. Brilliant blues hiding just beneath the towering tabular icebergs.

But ice isn’t just a beautiful floating element that visitors love to photograph. It’s the base of a complex food chain in the Antarctic. One of the things that global warming is effecting in the Antarctic, is the food chain. The whole thing starts with ice. On the ice grows the algae. The plankton eats the algae. The krill eat the plankton. The penguins, seals, and even some of the gigantic baleen whales eat the krill. The leopard seal eats the other seals and the penguins. The orcas eat the penguins, seals, whales, and even scavenge on dead sea birds. Which all starts with the ice.

Also, there is a surprising amount of different kinds of sea ice. Frazil, Grease, Fast, Pancake, Pack. And to measure the ratio of ice to water you use fractions. AAHHHH! MATH!!  Not so much ice is 5/10. Full pack ice is a 10/10. And you can fill in the blanks.

The thing about icebergs is that 80-90% of them are underwater! The one that the Titanic hit was about 100 meters (300 feet) long. And they estimated it weighed 100,000 tons. Can you believe it?? The biggest iceberg ever recorded was about the size of Manhattan Island! It’s SO cool.

The youngest ever on the Ross Ice Shelf?

Ice shelves float above the ocean. From our ship, we took helicopters and actually landed on the Ross Ice Shelf, the biggest ice shelf in the world covering 18,200 square miles! It is about the size of France or Spain. Along with our new friend Dylan, we were highly likely THE youngest people EVER on the Ross Ice Shelf.

Finally, the fact that the Antarctic Continent doubles in size during the winter is mind blowing! In the winter it freezes, on average, .7 square miles per second. That’s 450 11 x 11 soccer fields in one second!

The ice in Antarctica is so powerful. Which is why I love it so much.

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12 Responses to “Ice”

  1. Great post. Why not a red parka!!!! Thought that you liked math. Once saw a cartoon that had krill holding a sign…”Kill the whale”.
    I agree that the ice is indeed magnificant, but not as cute as the penguins!
    Cheers….bibi

  2. Dear Reis,
    You must be having an amazing time in Antarctica! I wish I could go someday!
    Anyway, I really liked your post and I hope we can skype soon!
    Your Friend,
    Lauren A. 🙂

  3. Dear Reis,

    Antartica sounds fun. Those iceburgs must be really big! There must be alot of iceburgs underwater. It must be fun to travel the world because you get to see so many amazing things! Great post!

    ~Hannah M 😀

  4. Reis,
    I can’t believe that in the winter Antarctica gains a soccer field length of ice every second! It blew my mind. I never knew that 80-90% of icebergs are underwater. I wish I could be swimming and then see an iceberg underwater that has a little cave in it that leads somewhere. That would be so awesome. I learned many things while reading your blog post “Ice”. For example, I never knew that icebergs are at the bottom of the food chain. Thank you for teaching me so much.
    Your friend,
    Matthew

  5. Dear Reis,

    Antarctica souds so much fun and really cold. It is very interesting that 80-90% of the icebergs are underwater. You’re
    lucky that you get to go to Antarctica.

    Hope you are having fun!
    ~Barrett

  6. Hi Reis!

    I think you are really lucky to get to go to Antarctica!! I’ve always wanted to go their. It is cool that their are many different types of ice.

    From,
    Isabella

  7. Dear Reis,
    Hey, what’s up. It is really cool that you are learning about all the things we are, but you’re at the actual place. I know it is FREEZEING there, how many layers did you where, and what were they? I know you guys have eaten some really weird stuff, what was the weirdest one?

    See you later,
    Brian

  8. How was the Kapitan Khlebnikov? Was it relaxing at all? It must be a really good boat if it could just go right throw the heavy ice. How were the Penguins, were they really cute. If you can please answer all my questions at http://andrew18.edublogs.org
    thanks!!!
    Keep up the grate blogging.

  9. Dear Reis,
    I thought it was really cool that you saw a penguin. Were they kinda creepy? Did the penguin or penguins stare at you? That’d freak me out!!! So, have you crashed in to something on your boat??? Please comment on my blog some time. It’s mitchell18.edublogs.org. See ya!!!!

    Mitchell

  10. Hi reis,
    Antartica cool (literly)!

  11. Hi Reis,
    Did you know that 98% of Antarctica’s surface is covered in ice?! or that it attracts cold weather scientists from around the world? And Antarctica is one of the worlds most unexplored contents in the world. I hoped you enjoyed my fun facts.
    Your friend,
    Tuck

  12. I love all of your penguin hats!!!!!!!!!