Woke up and looked out: iceberg. Because of the amazingly quiet sea, we arrived so early in the Antarctic that they decided to give us an extra zodiac tour, where ”zodiac” is the rubber boats
Woke up and looked out: iceberg.
Because of the amazingly quiet sea, we arrived so early in the Antarctic that they decided to give us an extra zodiac tour, where ”zodiac” is the rubber boats they transport us with.
I wrote ”Trump drowns you” on my chest. Do you see that the upper part is red? It’s because I thought that ”r” was the middle letter of his name, so I had to clean my chest and write again. I’m not that good in math.
We visited the ”mud room” where we put on our outdoor gear and life jackets and changed our shoes for rubber boats. Or ”wellies” as they’re called in the UK, as I learned on this trip. In my school they taught us ”wellingtons”, but it’s actually just wellies.
Then they took us out ten at a time. They checked our clothes, we cleaned our boots, showed our ID cards and one by one we were led to the boats. I was the last in my boat. Walked down the stairs and got their hands and was just about to enter the boat when they asked about my gloves. I didn’t have any. Renting cap and gloves in Ushuaia was 15 dollars, and I thought that was too much. A lady screamed: ”You came to Antarctica without gloves?!” and then they said it was impossible for me to enter the boat. If I ran to the shop and bought gloves, and came back in time, I might be able to enter a later boat.
I ran upstairs to the shop. They had simple finger gloves for 25 USD, and water proof gloves for 140 USD. I took the finger gloves and ran down. Minus 10 USD. For gloves that also wasn’t approved, officially. In Swedish we call this ”dumsnål”, when you’re so cheap it gets stupid and you end up paying a lot more. I ran down again, and got a place on the last boat, where all were Chinese.
It was nice. We saw ice bergs, birds, seals, penguins. All the Antarctic stuff.
Most of all we felt the feeling of actually being there. Trying to somehow mentally photograph the area and bring it with us for the rest of our lives, as we sit in comfy chairs on sunny beaches, having a drink and enjoying life.
Then, on the inside, we had a lecture about ice. It’s old snow. It doesn’t snow a lot in Antarctica. It’s our driest continent. But as the snow never melts, it becomes ice. So the ice that is leaving Antarctica, was built many thousand years ago. So when it melts, it doesn’t come back even if we somehow get the temperature back. So how much ice are we currently losing? Between 1992 and 2017: 3 trillion tons. With the ice currently being 30 million km^3 , we’d lose all of it in 250.000 years, which would raise our sea about 60 meters, erasing several countries and our largest cities. But our present Co2 emissions are a lot higher compared to 1992, so it’d take many years fewer. And emissions are currently growing. If they grow at 2% per year, it’d take only 430 years to deplete Antarctica! (That sounds too fast, but remember that 2% per year means a doubling in about 35 years, so we’d be emitting 5000 times more in 430 years). Now, they’re not growing by 2% since our population is expected to even out at 11 billion, so the math gets less troubling. But be it 430 or 250.000 years – Antarctica is melting.
We’re currently losing 3.3 millimetres per year, and this is expected to rise to a meter for 100 years. And so far, reality is exceeding our expectations. A disadvantage with global warming is all the natural feedback loops. It’s us warming us right now. In the future, it could be the planet warming itself. So mathematical economists projecting that “the perfect heat increase is 3.5 Celsius” simply calculate on things they don’t understand at all, and should not be listened to. You might keep your job, but wouldn’t be appreciated by your future.
After the lecture, we got our ice price. The iceberg was spotted today at 8:05, and a guy I met in the gym had guessed 8:10, and got his tea cup. So there was no new storm slowing us. I should have known – ”if you don’t know anything else but the present, then the future will most likely be like the present” is the first rule of probability. On the other hand, a tea cup? No thanks. I prefer a light backpack 🙂
In the evening, we had karaoke! I thought there’d be tons of people, but there were like three Chinese singers. All songs seemed to be Communist Party songs.
Maybe that’s why no one was there. So I sang tons of songs. Eminem, Abba, Amy Winehouse, ”Anarchy in the UK” by Sex Pistols etc. A Communist party woman even came up and danced with me. Weirdest karaoke night ever.
People went to sleep, but I had a very good time in the bar. A Chinese lady was drinking eight Jameson whiskys, accompanied by a famous photographer from Shaanxi. I asked if they wanted to be on a photo on my blog, but they declined. You never know what kind of politics there might be here! What if I wrote that I slept with them and whispered secrets into their ears?
The bar workers were all lovely. The Indian guy in the middle invited me to Delhi, which he’d show me all of. For free! I said ”please, yes!”. I hope he didn’t change his mind later though, when seeing my behaviour change :p
In the end of the night I taped this sign on the gym door. I meant to do it yesterday, but as I fell asleep at 4, it seemed a bit unnecessary.