Friday, November 25, 2011

Brinicle Video

Okay, the weather's better for paddling today but I'm still not out in my kayak. Have to be home for the roof repair worker coming sometime this morning to fix the roof shingled less than a year ago which leaked in the wind & rain. The landlady is not happy about the roof leaking.
Also have to be home when Bernie gets back from the Rainbow Kitchen, so I can help him carry up the hill to University House 2 the cannoli lunch he's made.
Since I can't spend an hour out on the water, I won't pout. I checked out a video my cousin found on the internet -- a video of a brine icicle forming under sea ice. It's been nicknamed a "brinicle."
Y'see, when there's particularly cold air over sea water, like -20 degrees C over water hovering near the freezing point, sometimes a draft of warmish water rises. It freezes at the surface, and the dense, saltier water left behind sinks from the new ice in a column of cold water. It looks like a stalactite or an icicle growing downward from the sea ice at the surface. And if it reaches the sea bottom, the ice freezes, trapping any living thing on the bottom at that spot.
As well, you can read a little more about the science of seawater circulation in the Arctic by reading a profile I wrote on oceanographer Dr Chris Garrett. It's on-line at the website, along with many other profiles on Canadian scientists.

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