Researchers break the ice / News / The Foreigner

Researchers break the ice. Scientists in northern Norway are studying climate change in what has been voted the most claustrophobic lab in the world. The Svartisen Sub-glacial Laboratory, Nordland, is beneath 200m of ice in Engabreen.There are tunnels under this ice that are allowing scientists to gather samples for their experiments. The tunnels are created by using hoses of hot water to melt the ice, making a 2 metre by 70 centimetre (approximately 6.5 by 2.3 foot) doorway. Once they are made, scientists only have a few hours before they close again.

svartisensub-glaciallaboratory, norwayengabreenglacier



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Researchers break the ice

Published on Monday, 30th January, 2012 at 12:22 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith   .

Scientists in northern Norway are studying climate change in what has been voted the most claustrophobic lab in the world.

Engabreen tunnel entrance (L), ice surface above lab (R)
Engabreen tunnel entrance (L), ice surface above lab (R)
Photo: Hallgeir Elvehøy / NVE.


The Svartisen Sub-glacial Laboratory, Nordland, is beneath 200m of ice in Engabreen.There are tunnels under this ice that are allowing scientists to gather samples for their experiments.

The tunnels are created by using hoses of hot water to melt the ice, making a 2 metre by 70 centimetre (approximately 6.5 by 2.3 foot) doorway. Once they are made, scientists only have a few hours before they close again.

Partially agreeing with the ‘claustrophobic’ description Dr Miriam Jackson, at the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), told forskning.no, “it can probably feel a bit special knowing the glacier’s forces are shrinking the tunnel’s exit apertures whilst working deep in the research tunnel.”

Many scientists from different institutions have been able to use the lab to work on experiments.

“This gives us new knowledge about how glaciers move, and among other things help to close the gaps in knowledge about how climate change impacts on large ice sheets like Greenland and Antarctica,” said Dr Jackson.

NVE says the lab includes the following facilities:

  • Fully-equipped living quarters with beds for up to 8 researchers in four bedrooms, kitchen with cooking facilities, dining/living area, bathroom including shower etc.
  • Three laboratory rooms, freezer and workshop;
  • Hot-water system for melting sub-glacial tunnels;
  • Computer, electronics supplies, miscellaneous tools and heavy equipment;
  • Telephone system throughout the tunnel system, including at the main entrance, in the living area, and in each of the laboratory rooms.


Published on Monday, 30th January, 2012 at 12:22 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith   .

This post has the following tags: svartisensub-glaciallaboratory, norwayengabreenglacier.





  
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