Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blue ice

Coming to terms with Nature,
by Antonio Turiel

A colleague of mine is occasionally engaged in oceanographic campaigns in Antarctica. A couple of years ago he found himself revisiting an area that he had seen for the first time some 20 years earlier. Coming back, he told me many stories about his travel; of how he had seen his old oceanographic ship, his colleagues on board..... After that, he became pensive and he told me, "You know, the worst is not that each year there is more free sea. 20 years ago, the icebergs were white. Now they are blue." I said, "yes," and we both remained silent.

The color of the ice is related the amount of air which remains trapped inside. As the ice is trapped in higher depths and is more compressed, the air escapes and the ices becomes more and more blue. Those icebergs seen by my colleague hadn't seen the light of the sun for a long time; perhaps centuries......

Continue reading the complete post in Spanish, or in Italian


Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)