Dear Polar Scientists,
I like to watch Frozen Planet on tv because it’s interesting because there’s lots of strange creatures that live in the arctic. My favorite is the Woolly Bear caterpillar.
My question to you is; What is the temperature of the water where you are and how do you protect yourself from the cold water?
Adelina Brown | Second Grade | Beaubien Elementary | Chicago, IL
I like the Frozen Planet too. The Icy Finger of Death Brinicle time lapse video is my favorite, and we saw the place they filmed that shot two days ago. The water where we are diving is -1.8°C or 28°F. That’s below freezing for fresh water and the approximate freezing temperature for sea (or salt) water. However, that is still much “warmer” than the air temperature has ever reached since we’ve been here. In fact, when we drill a fresh dive hole we see steam rising off the sea water (like a hot tub) which gives a false impression of warmth.
We try our best to protect ourselves from the cold water. We have special dry suits and dry gloves for scuba diving to make sure we are in minimal contact with the water. Our mouths are the only exposed part of our body and they go numb almost immediately. I had a glove leak once during a dive, and although I was able to finish the science goals for the dive, it was quite painful.