Friday, March 2, 2012

Dawning of the Temperatures of Aquarius

The usual labors continue apace at South Pole Station. The weather has been a bit variable, regarding wind/visibility, and the temperatures have ventured into the -60s°F range several times in the last few days. Of course, this is the coolest we have seen thus far, but in several months these temperatures will feel relatively warm, compared to those 30-40°F colder coming our way. I hope we will manage to hit -110°F this year, or at least just surpass my "personal best" of -103°F. Regardless, even these temperatures are hard on machinery. The snow mobile a utility technician was riding around on his rounds yesterday was protesting MIGHTILY at running in these temperatures.

I'm not only a big advocate of relying on my legs, which pretty much perform the same regardless of the ambient temperature, but am also a big fan of not using lights outside whilst traversing between buildings. Hopefully some of the first-timers will figure out that not blinding yourself with a flashlight/headlamp lets your eyes adjust much better. With the high-contrast nature of this landscape, dark buildings stand out quite starkly against the snow, if you just have the patience to let your own optics adjust. Biology can trump technology, and I much prefer eating to filling a tank with pre-mix fuel.

"Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons."

~R. Buckminster Fuller

1 comment:

Teacher said...

Thought of you this weekend when we re-watched our THING series and White Out. Our weather has been wierd - 60 degrees one day, snow the next and then the desert wind. It will be interesting to see what affect the ENSO cycle will have this year.