WTF: Scientists use rubber ducks to understand global warming
This is probably the least expensive investment NASA’s made all year. Or Ever. Researchers dropped 90 rubber ducks into holes in Greenland’s fastest moving glacier, the Jakobshavn Glacier in Baffin Bay, between Greenland and Canada.
They’ve each been labeled with the words “science experiment” and “reward” in three languages, along with an e-mail address.
If they’re found scientists will have the ability to track how the water moves through the ice and provide information about the movement of glaciers. Scientists are still unsure about why glaciers speed up in summer and head towards the sea.
One theory is that the summer sun melts ice on top of the glacier’s surface, creating pools that flow into tubular holes in the glacier called moulins. These moulins carry some water to the bottom of the glacier, where it acts as a lubricant to speed the movement of ice toward the coast.
The Jakobshavn Glacier is believed to be the source of the iceberg that sank the Titanic in 1912 and its important to researchers because it discharges nearly 7 per cent of all the ice coming off Greenland.
In such remote areas, how the hell do they expect anyone to come across one of the ducks. You don’t need to be a scientist to figure that out.