Merry Christmas Guys
Short, sweet and completely awesome. Our good friend Clinton Berry, you see, is a professional diver on a team of more than 80 researchers, engineers and divers who are plunging into Antarctic waters in an effort to mimic predicted future ocean conditions and study the effects of acidification.
As Clint himself put it (via email): “Working with a lot of good people on a project that is actually designed to help the environment, as opposed to destroying it, is nice.”
For the first time, scientists are trying to mimic future Antarctic Ocean conditions. When carbon dioxide dissolves from the atmosphere into the ocean, the water becomes more acidic; by 2100, the ocean is predicted to be 2.5 times more acidic than it is today. The theory will be tested by Clint’s team, which is setting up sensor-, tube- and pump-filled underwater chambers that will boost CO2 levels on the ocean floor.
Following Clint on Facebook and via email has been a hoot. So far, he has apparently:
1. Taken part in an overnight training hike where he and his team slept on the ice in orange "bivvie" bags (pictured below).
2. Went for a rip on an ATV and learned how to rescue it from the sheets of blue ice the cover the landscape.
3. Went for another rip on a Hagglund, a tank-like vehicle designed for snowy terrain. He also learned how to drive it in a blizzard using nothing but GPS.
4. Supervised various dives, unloaded equipment from an icebreaker, mocked a TV crew that lost an airborne drone camera…and mailed out a bunch of Christmas cards!
In short, I’m having a lot of fun living vicariously through the pride of Winchester, Ont. (even if he is a Canadiens and a Dolphins fan). And there’s more vicarious living to come (from India; more on this later)…
I’ll sign off for now with a few choice photos from Clint’s adventures. Good luck saving the planet, man!