Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

As USF scientists prepare to leave Antarctica, the hard cold arrives

Baby, it's cold outside

We're at our last stop, Joinville Island, and it feels like winter- Antarctic style.

Even though we are at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, which is our northernmost point beginning our science ops, it is far colder here than anywhere else we've been.

The wind is coming out of the south off the ice. And the local ocean current is bringing cold water and big icebergs up from the coast of the Weddell Sea to the east of us. The combination has given us temperatures of minus-4 Fahrenheit and a wind chill of minus-40.

The ocean is at freezing temperature (28 degrees) and, particularly at night, ice has been forming right before our eyes. New, rapidly forming ice often forms little extrusions known as "frost flowers" that will coat the sea surface in meadows. We've seen penguins running across newly formed sea ice.

Along with the cold water, the Antarctic coastal current has brought us silverfish from the Weddell Sea, where they are still plentiful. Our silverfish team will be able to compare them with the fish we captured at Charcot Island and Marguerite Bay to see how closely related they are.

Our investigation is near an end. We will be departing within 24 hours to once more brave the waters of the Drake Passage.

I will try to get one more report to you before we leave the ship. We're also bringing home a video report. Limited bandwidth prevents us from sending it along until we get back to the States. Look for it in a couple weeks on

In the meantime, it has been a pleasure to bring you along with us.

As USF scientists prepare to leave Antarctica, the hard cold arrives 04/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 1:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: The importance of Kwon Alexander's return


    Greg Auman talks the importance of Kwon Alexander's return Sunday in Buffalo in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, pictured during training camp in July at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Top 5 at Noon: Live from Gainesville before Spencer's speech; Why Trump's definition of 'fake news' is wrong


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on

    Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute and self-described creator of the term "alt-right,"  will speak at the University of Florida today. [Getty]
  3. After 25 years, Dia de los Muertos celebration in Dunedin canceled by hurricane


    Chalk up one more victim to Hurricane Irma: The huge Dia de los Muertos Fiesta that was originally planned for Saturday in Dunedin was scrapped for what would have been the 25th year of the Mexican folk heritage celebration.

    At last year's Dia de los Muertos, Casa Tina owner Tina Marie Avila (crouching) shows her "Ofrenda," or Day of the Dead alter. What would have been the 25th annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta on Saturday had to be canceled this year because of Hurricane Irma. The folk festival will be back next year.
JIM DAMASKE   |   Times (2016)
  4. Rick Baker and Recycling: Will he keep it? It's complicated. Very complicated.


    At Wednesday night’s Council of Neighborhood Associations’ mayoral forum, perhaps the biggest news of the night was former mayor Rick Baker’s remarks on recycling.

    Rick Baker's position on the city's recycling program was the news of Wednesday's mayoral forum. On Thursday, the former mayor still demurred when asked if you would promise to keep the program as his opponent Mayor Rick Kriseman has done
  5. Howard Altman: Kathy Castor plans Tampa ceremony honoring Vietnam-era veterans


    James Butler was a Marine captain who piloted helicopters in Vietnam and flew 988 missions there.

    James Butler, 74, of Carrollwood Village, was a Marine captain during the Vietnam War and flew nearly 1,000 missions as a helicopter pilot. [Courtesy of James Butler]