Today (0702/12), I went sampling the OTCs in Teltet, which is a nunatak (=ice free region within a matrix of ice) near the Princess Elisabeth Station. It only takes 15 minutes by skidoo, but it looks like a different world compared with the busy Utsteinen ridge where people are working to make our stay as comfortable as possible.
Two journalists from RTL-TVI who are interested in the BELDIVA project and other projects funded by BelSPO and the FWO-Flanders joined us to take some pictures and shoot a movie about the sampling of microbial habitats. I needed to answer some questions in French; quite difficult to be honest (see picture).
|Interview of Elie by journalists of RTL-TVI|
They also interviewed me about the drilling of Lake Vostok, which is a so called sub-glacial lake. It is covered by the more than 4 km thick ice sheet and was probably isolated from the air more than 15 million years ago. Yesterday, Russian scientists succeeded to drill the lake and sample the lake water; an effort which took more than 20 years. Hopefully the lake isn’t contaminated with bacteria or other microorganisms and kerosene, which sits on top of the lake ice as a result of the drilling of the Vostok Ice core; an important record which enabled scientists to study past climate changes during the past 420000 years. In case the lake was contaminated, this will be regarded as one of the biggest ecological disasters in Antarctica. It would mean that we impacted on a unique ecosystem which was free of anthropogenic influence during its 15 million years history. Let’s hope for the best !http://www.rtl.be/videos/video/382362.aspx?CategoryID=496
Something important I need to mention: today it was (finally) colder than in Belgium J The weather is changing and winter is approaching here…