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Chronicles from Concordia

A day in Dumont d’Urville

9 Feb 2017, 16:11 UTC
A day in Dumont d’Urville
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Crossing cracks. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–D. Schmitt
Didier Schmitt is a member of the space Task Force at the European External Action Service. He is a regular opinion writer in major newspapers and magazines and has published a book on foresight. He will be contributing to this blog during his visit to Concordia – we join him at the coastal station Dumont d'Urville:
We walked on the sea-ice with an expert as it started melting around the island were the station is. It was fascinating, although I was a bit anxious. Under the first ice crust that can break – and it did – there is 20-30 cm freezing-cold water and then soft ice (locally called 'sorbet'…). We took survival equipment and radios to call for help and helicopters are never far away…
Iceberg swimming pools. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–D. Schmitt
The landscape was marvellous as we walked between icebergs caught in ice-sheets of various textures. A few noises remind us that the glacier is very active and that we cannot go close to it – it advances by 2 m a day on average!
Penguins look for fishing openings; they are curious and wonder what we are doing here. A seal was spotted ...

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