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Clearing ice on Healy

An Icy Burden

Clearing ice from the decks of the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy was a regular task for ship's crew during a 2011 cruise in the Chukchi, Beaufort, and Bering Seas. Wintertime Arctic conditions were harsh; wind speeds topped 70 miles per hour, and the wind chill dipped to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, causing water-swept decks to freeze. WHOI biologist Carin Ashjian and colleagues appreciated the crew's work as they used Healy to study marine life and the physical dynamics of the region in early winter, such as water temperature and the extent of sea ice. Previously, scientists have only studied the region during winter from ice camps or from ships purposly frozen into the ice. (Photo courtesy of Carin Ashjian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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