The following is an excerpt from Sara Goudarzi | October 16, 2017 | BBC.com |
Vladimir Romanovsky walks through the dense black spruce forest with ease. Not once does he stop or slow down to balance himself on the cushy moss beneath his feet insulating the permafrost.
It’s a warm day in July, and the scientist is looking for a box that he and his team have installed on the ground. It’s hidden nearly six miles (10km) north of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, where he’s a professor of geophysics and heads the Permafrost Laboratory.
The box, which is covered by tree branches, contains a data collector connected to a thermometer installed below ground for measuring permafrost temperature at different depths. Permafrost is any earth material that remains at or below 0C (32F) for at least two consecutive years.
Romanovsky connects his laptop to the data collector to transfer the temperature data for this location – called Goldstream III – which he will later add to an online database accessible to both scientists and interested individuals.
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