The iisPACS group (Isotopic Investigation of Sea-ice and Precipitation in the Arctic Climate System), led by Xiahong Feng and Eric Posmentier of Dartmouth College, and John Burkhart of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. The group is researching how sea ice extent affects sea surface evaporation and land precipitation in Arctic regions, and how this effect impacts the Arctic Climate System. In order to attempt to answer this question, we precipitation samples will be collected at various sites across the Arctic and measure the oxygen and hydrogen isotopic composition of the water. These isotopic measurements will be combined with weather information, sea ice satellite observations, and numerical models to quantify how the amount of land precipitation is regulated by sea ice extent.
One of the new stations we are setting up is located at Summit. With all precipitation falling as snow in this extreme environment, a challenge is presented in collecting these samples by only collecting the falling snow and not blowing snow, along with the sampler being able to withstand the adverse weather conditions. Our research assistant, Anthony Faiia, designed a snow sampler that will help to eliminate these challenges. While at Summit, we helped set up the sampler and solved any issues. Let the snow sampling begin!