Snow Woman Stephanie Arendt takes her readers on a journey to one of the most remote regions on Earth – 4,000 kilometers from the nearest populated area and 14,000 kilometers from Berlin.
The poetic narration of the beauty of the ice and the seemingly out-of-this-world ball almost makes the reader forget the sweltering temperatures prevailing there. For example, Arendt describes “diamond dust” that falls as a gentle, shiny rain on the frigid surfaces of Antarctica – a phenomenon in which water vapor freezes into tiny ice crystals.
Three times colder than the freezer room at home
Arndt shows average temperatures of -55°C in Antarctica with the comparison being three times colder than a freezer compartment at home. It also clearly describes the practical problems caused by the extreme cold for the research teams. For example, when a sea ice physicist can’t unravel a screw stuck to a gauge with her densely padded polar gloves, and she suffers from excruciating frostbite she tries to do everything without gloves.
Experiments from 13 expeditions to the polar regions are not limited to encounters with curious penguins, which Arendt persuaded to prevent from falling into a snow hole half a meter deep. It also shows how dangerous such research trips are. The description of polar bear rangers in the Arctic is not only part of everyday life or how the research vessel Polarstern plunged into the crack of an emerging iceberg.
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