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Q.  What do things sound like in the Arctic?  Other than the drone of the ship you're on what do you hear?  Does ice make noise?  Do you hear animal sounds?

- Bill, University of Washington, Seattle


A.  You can hear the sound of the ice breaking wherever you are on the ship.  The crew sleep up in the front, so I am not sure how they can survive with all of that noise.  Plus the ship rolls and vibrates from shaking the ice.  It can be like a little earthquake or a big earthquake.  We do not hear animal sounds.  There has actually only been about 5 animal sightings that I know of (polar bears and walruses).  There is a pinging that sounds like jeans in a dryer when the button is hitting the sides.  It is from the sonar sounding off the bottom.   We also have many announcements that are broadcast over the ship's intercom.  If you have anymore questions, I will be glad to answer them.

- Ms. Grimes

Q.  Hi.  It's nice to see the photos of the people and activities aboard the Polar Star.  I have two questions: 

1.  What do the scientists do with the measurements made by the CTD? 
2.  Do any of the measurements show climate change in the Arctic?

Thank you!
Dick, University of Washington, Seattle

A.  1.  What do scientists do with the measurements made by the CTD?  Research is being done to find out where the water is coming from and also what properties they carry. Also, data that is collected today is compared with previous data from past years.  It is also used to calculate water measurements at different depths.  This also verifies and improves theoretical and modeling studies of the ocean. 

2.  Do any of the measurements show climate change in the Arctic?  This region has been poorly measured in the past. The answer is hard to say but we do see changes from the sparse data of the past, e.g. 1994, Arctic Crossing.

- Ms. Grimes

Q.  Hello, my name is Kristina and I am from Pentucket Regional Middle School.  I was just wondering how cold it is there?  Is the water really cold?  Also I was wondering if u could send me a picture of a polar bear cuz I've never seen one!

Thank you, Kristina

A.  Kristina,
Thank you for e-mailing me.  The weather in the Arctic can get very cold.  Because it is the end of summer, it is between 30-35 degrees F.  It can get in the negative numbers during the winter.  The water is also very cold.  It is around 30-33 degrees F.  BUUUURRRRR!  I will be happy to send you a picture of a polar bear.  The picture was taken when I was flying from Barrow, Alaska to the ship.  We flew over this polar bear and I took the picture.  Enjoy!  {On-line readers can see the picture in Ms. Grimes August 19 report.}