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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences

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What is happening to our weather? The answers are hiding in Arctic air by Dr Helen Czerski

(from The Guardian)

What is happening to our weather? The answers are hiding in Arctic air by Dr Helen Czerski

Dr Helen Czerski, UCL Mechanical Engineering

I am standing on the ocean. Ahead of me, the world is split into two perfect halves: blue sky above, white sea ice below. The view is clean and simple, but a continuous waltz of swirling and shunting is hidden inside those two colours: the inner workings of the Arctic engine.

This place is special for many reasons, and to appreciate one of the most unusual all I need to do is to live; to breathe. The air is -2C, but the air coming from my lungs is invisible. The familiar wisps of cold breath that I associate with crisp winter air in Britain are absent. They cannot form here. And that anomaly is connected in a fundamental way to our presence here, on a scientific expedition to study this environment. For two months, the Swedish icebreaker Oden is home to 74 of us, living and working at the top of the world to tap into the stories that the blue and the white have to tell…

 

Banner image by Ida Kinner features Arctic expedition ship Oden

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