Studying Arctic Climate Change

CBS News science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg took a first-hand look at the effects of climate change from the place scientists consider "ground zero" for measuring and understanding what's happening to our planet - the Arctic. Read his reports for "The CBS Evening News" and his dispatches for CBSNews.com.





Aug. 18, 2007

Part Four: Inuit Life Threatened By Climate Change



(CBS)
An Arctic community is witnessing global warming firsthand. Shorter winters and thinning ice is affecting everything from the amount of ice offshore to animals they hunt. It has elders worried about their future, reports Daniel Sieberg. More...









Aug. 15, 2007

Part Three: Ocean Currents And Climate Change



(CBS)
How do ocean currents in the Arctic affect our weather? Daniel Sieberg introduces us to a scientist who's using an old maritime tradition to explain the complexities of climate change. More...





Aug. 14, 2007

Part Two: Arctic Climate Change Is Food For Thought



(CBS)
Did you know that changes in the Arctic can have a big effect on the food we eat? Daniel Sieberg travels to the Arctic Circle to learn more about how global warming affects the food chain - from plankton to polar bears. More...





Aug. 13, 2007

Part One: An Arctic Journey



(CBS)
Many scientists say that humans are accelerating climate change and global warming. To better understand the struggles facing our planet, Daniel Sieberg followed scientists to where the changes are rapid and visible: the Arctic. More...







July 22, 2007

A Resolute Ending To Our Trip



(CBS / Chloe Arensberg)
RESOLUTE, Nunavut, Canada - Nothing about surviving in the High Arctic is easy. From the harsh climes to the isolation to the difficulty getting around, anyone here must contend with a vast expanse of untamed wilderness. Not that you have to tell that to the 229 or so Inuit and scientists who live here. We've been in Resolute for three days now, and as brief (southern) visitors, it'd be difficult to remain much longer. My wool hat's off to those who can make it. After three weeks away from home during this Arctic odyssey, tomorrow we return. More...








July 20, 2007

Dropped Off In Resolute, Canada



(CBS / Chloe Arensberg)
RESOLUTE, Nunavut, Canada -- Here's what's disconcerting: being left with all of your baggage, on a gravel air strip considerably north of the Arctic circle, without a single familiar face around you. Odd after 15 days with the same people, all of them lovely, and seventy-six percent of them named Paul. We've just gotten off the ship in Resolute, Nunavut. The area is literally known by its Mars-like terrain. Even NASA acknowledges it. Producer Chloe Arensberg blogs on the new surroundings. More...










(CBS / Chloe Arensberg)
RESOLUTE, Nunavut, Canada -- Well, we're officially back on dry land. After a flurry of packing this morning, followed by a round of goodbyes and farewell photos with the scientists and Coast Guard, we then flew by helicopter just a couple miles to Cornwallis Island and the town (hamlet? village?) of Resolute. It was tough to leave the Louis, the place we called home for more than two weeks. It was especially hard to leave my dad. He's staying onboard for the next leg, about a week or so to Kugluktuk. For me, Chloe and Mark, our new surroundings are slightly overwhelming, and we're going to need some time to adjust. More...









(CBS / Chloe Arensberg)
APPROACHING CORNWALLIS ISLAND -- Yesterday was filled with adventure, from standing atop of a rocky plateau on Devon Island to interviewing the chief mate, Bryon Gibbons, onboard a Zodiac with an iceberg as a backdrop. We even had a chance to (safely) drink water from the iceberg. Magical. See photos. More...









(CBS/Daniel Sieberg)
LANCASTER SOUND -- With our time on the Louis rapidly coming to a close we're madly getting as much material on tape as we can. It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we're just trying to take it all in while we can. Plus the time with my dad Doug Sieberg, pictured at left, has been so special. He'll be staying on the Louis until Kugluktuk, and then he may leave the Arctic forever after 30 years of coming here. I feel so lucky to have seen his work firsthand after growing up with stories and photos. Sometimes I think he was born about 200 years too late, with his passion for the open seas and wood-hulled tall ships and the life of a mariner. More...










306196OFF BAFFIN ISLAND -- We've hit "land fast" ice, which means rough going and the possibility scientists may not get all the sampling stops they want. The ice here is not only thick it's connected (or "fastened") to the island coasts, so there's no wriggle room or openings to steer the ship through. It's just bump and grind, and the captain is also using the ship's "bubbler," which creates massive bubbles of air around the hull to help keep the ice from re-forming and break it up a bit. The ship has been shaking back and forth since late last night, and it'll likely be that way for the rest of the day. More...








(CBS)
NEAR THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE - Overcast today but lots of sizable ice floes to brighten the atmosphere. It's Sunday, so the Coast Guard crew is wearing their dress whites, and there'll likely be something special on the menu tonight. Mark and I have been invited to the captain's supper, so we'll see how that goes. I hope my dad will be there, too. I'll have to find him this afternoon when he's finished working to see if he got the secret summons. I also managed to get a decent sleep last night, mainly because we weren't carving through nearly as much ice. More...








(CBS)
BAFFIN BAY - Did Chloe lose her hair? Did they shave my eyebrows off?? Did we walk a gangplank into the ocean??? Did Mark even participate?!? The answer to one of those questions is yes. Can you guess? Well, if you've seen the photos then you know it's the last one. The crossing ceremony was (finally, and more on that later) held yesterday afternoon. Ultimately it was harmless and in good fun. But that doesn't mean we didn't suffer. Here is what I was told to do... More...









(Steve Romaine)
BAFFIN BAY -- Today is the day. We can't avoid the crossing ceremony any longer, and is slated to happen this afternoon. If you don't hear back from us later this evening it's because we're recovering. Or locked in the brig or something more diabolical. (ATTENTION: PLEASE SEND IMMEDIATE HELP TO THE ARCTIC CIRCLE.) Chloe is grappling with the taunts of head shaving and whether it's all for real, I'm bracing for freezing temperatures since it takes place on the flight deck, and Mark seems to be gloating more than anything. (He already has short hair and fears no Fahrenheit.) All I can discern from my sources so far is that we'll get wet, but likely not with water. Um, yuck?
More...










(CBS / Daniel Sieberg)
NEAR BAFFIN ISLAND -- Ice. We wanted it, and we got it. Last night we began encountering ice floes and pack ice, some only a year old, some much older and therefore likely thicker and harder. It made for a tough night's rest, banging and bouncing as the Louis broke through it all. But the views are spectacular. As the sun flirted with the horizon around midnight it was almost otherworldly. This morning it's equally amazing, and we've spotted a few seals and Arctic gulls already. We expect it to be like this for a while, surrounded by ice, and that's just fine with us.
More...








July 11, 2007

Walking On An Iceberg



(CBS)
ON AN ICEBERG -- The CBS crew took a helicopter ride from the Louis S. St-Laurent to a nearby iceberg. Producer Chloe Arensberg blogs about the unforgetable experience. Check out the pictures. More...











(CBS)
JUST NORTH OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE -- Well, we've officially crossed, but the initiation ceremony has been delayed because of an extended science stop yesterday. (I think it's just prolonged our anxiety!) We're expecting to go through it this afternoon. The mystery deepened this morning when we were asked by a Coast Guard crew member what our ransom demands will be. (??) We'll reveal all later -- unless we're sworn to secrecy by Neptune.

Last night we saw the sun barely kiss the limitless horizon around midnight and then begin to slowly rise again. We've reached the land of the midnight sun, but we haven't even begun our adventure to break through massive sheets of packed ice in our journey northward.
More...










(CBS)
NEAR THE ARCTIC CIRCLE - Hello from "north of 60," as in 60 degrees north. We're edging ever closer to the Arctic Circle (now in Davis Strait), and that means enduring the time-honored nautical traditional of the "crossing ceremony." Call it initiation, call it a hazing, but there are rumors of head-shaving and eating rather unappetizing ocean delights. All first-timers have to go through it. More...












(CBS)
LABRADOR SEA, OFF THE COAST OF GREENLAND - I've mentioned the over-eating tendency onboard, and along with that comes the oversleeping. (Or maybe it's just catching up from years of lost sleep.) I'm not convinced the excess food and slumber are related, but I am certain that all of us have slept longer and more soundly than we have in a long time.

We stopped for several hours today while the scientists conducted their research, gathered samples and lowered the rosette and other instruments. It's a clearer day, and we seem to have dodged any inclement weather in the immediate area but there's apparently still a possibility of rough waters ahead. More...










(CBS)
LABRADOR SEA - I thought I'd start with some lighthearted fare today and write about the food onboard the ship. My theory is that if I'm writing about it then that probably means I'm not eating it. Don't get me wrong - the food is delicious. And therein lies the problem. With three scheduled meals a day and so many choices of entrée or another bun or some potato salad or an extra helping of casserole, I have to force myself to spend a little time in the gym. It'd be easy to return home carrying an extra life preserver around my waist. Randy, the chief cook, is eager to please all palates and no serving is too large. Not that I'm complaining - it's a luxury to have someone (actually a team of cooks) make your meals and clean the dishes all day. I just have to pace myself. And keep my eye on the treadmill. More...












(CBS/Chloe Arensberg)
STRAIT OF BELLE ISLE -- First "small" iceberg spotted off the port side of the ship. My dad referred to it as a "growler," likely one that broke off further north and may have run aground near shore. It'll slowly just melt away. Hard to know just how big it is, especially beneath the surface. More...













NEAR THE STRAIT OF BELLE ISLE -- I woke up this morning and realized that being away from my BlackBerry and cell phone even for a few days has exposed that I'm not as socially well-adjusted as I thought I was. Or maybe I'm just rusty. More...









July 5, 2007

Life Aboard Ship






THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE -- CBS News tech correspondent Daniel Sieberg settles into life about ship, as the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent cruises through the Gulf of St. Lawrence. With satellite Internet and radio, TV and a gym, it's not half bad. Watch a
video tour of his bunk. More...











July 4, 2007

Surviving At Sea






( )
HALIFAX, N.S. -- Traveling aboard a Coast Guard vessel, especially one the size of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent (slightly longer than a football field), means learning the nautical ropes first. Even before we leave the Dartmouth harbor we've been through several safety drills from fire to first aid to familiarization with the ship's layout. We've also experienced the rather humbling struggle of donning an immersion suit. If you've never seen one, it's like sealing your whole body in a yellow astronaut glove, right up to your eyebrows. In an emergency, you're expected to wriggle your way into it in 30-40 seconds. It's all about surviving a dip in the freezing waters of the Arctic. Check out some photos we took from the ship.
More...





















July 2, 2007

Getting Ready






NEW YORK -- The salesperson at the outdoor store looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for sweaters and long underwear. It was 85 degrees outside in Manhattan, and here I was shopping for fleece and wool socks. But it's going to be necessary as I make my way northward aboard the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent icebreaker into Canada's Arctic. The ship officially departs Halifax, N.S., on Wednesday, and I'm in the middle of last-minute preparations.
More...








  • Daniel Sieberg

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