How to prepare for an Arctic campaign (part 2)

Part of preparing for a climate study in the Arctic involves preparing for polar bear emergencies.  Blog followers will ask themselves: wait, but aren‘t we flying? Yes! But…safety training includes polar bear protection, as emergency landing on the ice is (an unlikely) possibility.

An image from the Arctic landscape… and a typical road sign in that region (photo credits: Pavel Krobot)

The ice is the home of the polar bears. Bears are very curious, and extraordinarily well adjusted to the Arctic environment. For a polar bear, a group of scientists means a great opportunity for some extra dinner. So even though many of us are faced by comments around „You‘re going to the Arctic: I hope you will see a polar bear“ we actually really want to avoid seeing one (other than from the plane).

But you never know, so better to prepare for the emergency case.  This is why 6 of us spent a day at AWI Bremerhaven to learn about polar bears and their behaviors.   We learned how to avoid meeting a bear, how to scare bears (hint: they don‘t like loud noises, including banging on cooking pots), and what to do when you see one from far away. For the troubling worst-case scenario of a bear attack, we were also trained on how to handle a rifle.

Insights from the group include: rifles are surprisingly heavy; we were lucky to have Arctic-like wind conditions as storm „Ylenia“ was passing the Bremerhaven area during our training; and fingers crossed for spotting a bear from the air!

#AC3 #funding #ArcticAmplification (AC)3 AISAM Arctic Atacama Atmospheric boundary layer AWI Bremenhaven AWIPEV AWIPEW CFMIP-GASS climate cloud radar cloud radars clouds COST gender gap GEWEX HALO HALO-(AC)³ HAMAG HATPRO hyperarid ITCZ JOYRAD94 Kölnische Rundschau Maria S. Merian MiRAC-A model intercomparison Ny-Ålesund outreach Polar 5 Polar 6 PolarStern Precipitation PROBE COST Action radiosondes STEM STEMM Svalbard tropical convection videodocumentary Water Vapor Wetoo Winter school women in science

From: Sabrina Schnitt

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