Thursday, December 26, 2013

Arctic Science: A Post-Christmas Rhyme

Aerial view of the edge of the ice in Nunavut.
Credit: Doc Searls 
from Santa Barbara, USA
Tis the day after Christmas,
all the presents unwrapped.
The North Pole: Santa snoozes
savoring a post-Christmas nap.

Enjoy your slumber, Santa
for soon there will be work,
because near the North Pole
keys to science mysteries lurk.

An ice-covered ocean,
the Arctic region reacts
measurably to changing temps,
which poses global impacts.

Some scientists who travel north
sink buoys in the Arctic deep.
Data on water temp, speed
and salinity, the buoys keep.

Arctic ice sheets shift and change,
hampering long-term projects.
But buoys drift and move with ease,
helping track greenhouse effects.

The completed 300-piece jigsaw puzzle "Winter's Nap,"
art by Tom Newsom, and manufactured by Ceaco.
The Arctic Ocean is a sink
for the greenhouse gas, CO2.
But changing climate could upset
carbon balance and native crew.

Arctic plants and animals
witness CO2 changes first-hand.
How a rise will impact life,
scientists have studies planned.

More work concerns the permafrost:

Frozen within Arctic soils,
CO2 rests in large amounts.
Melting can expose the gas.
In air, this means higher gas counts.

But seasonal snow can protect
the soil from permafrost-melt.
Tracking snow patterns over time
can portray future climate health.

Drilling, fishing, snowmobiling and more
Arctic researchers hunt for science solutions galore.
If they stopped for a wink and let the silence restore,
they might hear a wheeze from an old Santa’s snore.


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