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We Walked on the Ice of the Sea

Today was the first chance to get out and walk around on the ice. You don’t just toss the gangplank out on any old piece of ice. The ice experts stood in the bridge conferring with the crew about what patches of ice looked promising. Then a few Coast Guard crew members went out on the ice to make sure it was strong enough to hold a dozen people and several sleds full of scientific equipment.

A large part of the work on this cruise is figuring out the role of sea ice in the ecosystem. Algae grow under and in the ice, using energy from the sun; other organisms eat the algae to get their energy, and that energy ripples through the food web.

It was a balmy 34 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree C.) when we went out on the ice, but the wind made it feel much chillier.

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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