There are many science programs in progress this year at Casey, but one of the notable projects this season would be the Law Dome ice drilling team; a collaborative mission between US and Australian programs.

With the advance team having left the other week to head up the hill to set up camp, today 10 researchers will join them for the next three months up on the ice. They aim to drill a few hundred metres down into pre-industrial ice, for a handful of tiny molecules to fill a crucial gap in our current climate models.

How do they achieve this? Once the ice sample is drilled it will be placed in a specially built vacuum chamber and melted on site. The water will release trapped gases which can then be captured and stored for analysis in both the US and Australia.

This field ice melting unit has affectionately been called the Hot Tub Time Machine.

Speaking of naming things, what do you call the shed specifically built for the unit? If the unit is designed in America and the housing is designed in Australia, you end up calling it the (American accent) Melter (then Aussie accent) Shelta.

More information is available on the Div website news article.

Posted by Bren

Antarctic expeditioner and avid hiker.