It is really cold(-20 degrees)
Why is it important to know how Antarctica has changed when other frozen places in the world are easier to get?
Because it is so big and its a massive contenent and has 90% of the fresh water in the world and it gives you a start to something that hasn't been discovered.
Is there a risk of cracking the ice?
Yes definitley. In the winter it ghets really thck but by febury its almost gone, sea ice gets very thick, there is a big risk of it cracking but also the risk of it moving, what causes it to crack is the wind and storms, there can be other stresses on the the ice and also when the ice gets warm it gets colder.
What preparations have been made for drilling to get underway?
The real planning began when we orderd our drills, the scientist have been doing there work by making sure we drill in the right place.
How much time have you spent in Antarctica and has working there changed a lot since you first went there?
I first went to antarctica when I was young and I have been down to antarctica many times in the past few years, it has changed because when we first went it was really cold and the base wasn't very strong but now the base is really comfy. It has definitly changed a lot with the communtication.
What has been the warmest temperature in Antarctica?
Maybe you could do some more research but normally it is about -10 degrees but in summer it can get up to 3degrees, but the size of antarctica makes it longer.
How does the drill reach 1000m?
If you thing of a telescope it gets thinner and thinner as it goes deepe, it complex and its not easily explained.
What information are you hoping to find out and do you expect this to be different to previous drill core information?
The project has two main things, we are studying paleontology and the other is what we call tetonic plates. We can find out how everything forms and scientists like to know how everything forms.
How many different nationalities of scientists are there? Do you all get along and do you all use the same methods even though you are from different countries?
There are 4 nations involved america, italy,newzealand and ourselves, it doesn't matter aboutwhat language we speak because most of the german and italian scientists can read english and most scientists get along and they all use the same methods.
How do you get the air bags under the sea ice to support the drill rig?
Some people may not even be aware that we put them uder the ice and we mention ed before about the drilling and we try and nuetralasie the weight by putting big air bags under. We put the airbags down when they are not blown up and the divers go down and blow it up it is very risky for the divers but they are trained.
What are your hours of work, weekends, breaks and holidays etc for this type of work?
We give the breaks by having turns, when people take a break only about two people can break at a time untill it is finished.
Do you use the same drill bits to drill through ice and rock and how often do you have to change them? What are the drill bits made of?
Drilling through ice and drilling through rock use quote different technology, we can sometimes use hot water drills and we force the hot water through and it burns, we also use diamond drills, they are not actually diamonds they are made of what is called grey diamonds and each one costs 45 thousand dollars.
What do you miss most when working in Antarctica?
Probably my wife and children and also trees and grass, and when you come home you suddenly realise the smell of the grass that isn't in anarctica.
Why does the sea riser need to be straight?
We think into the seadrill and if thats not straight the coreing tubes will rub in the inside and the whole thing starts to slow down.
Do you need any special skills to work at the drilling place, if so what skills? Renee.
A lot of the jobs need skills like mountaniers and nurses and scientists and managers and helicopter pilots and about a year ago there was almost no woman but now almost two thrds of staff are woman.
Has drilling ever had to be halted for any reason and are there people who are against drilling in such a pristine environment?
Drills sometimes break, hydrloic hoses burst.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007