Saturday, January 19, 2013

Walking the walk: Climate change researcher takes fossil-fueled trip to Antarctica, then drives a vehicle that gets two miles per gallon of fossil fuel

Into Antarctica's Dark Depths -
Michael Becker, a doctoral student at McGill University, was a scientific diver on an expedition to Lake Untersee, Antarctica.

I’m standing 2,600 miles from human civilization.
I’m a Ph.D. student at McGill University working with Wayne Pollard to study the effects of climate change on polar deserts in the high Arctic. While I work primarily in the Arctic, I had worked in the Antarctic before
The Long, Cold Slog -
But passion isn’t cheap or efficient down here. Expect to shell out around $150,000 for a modified Toyota Hilux. And once it’s down here and driving in the snow with large payloads, these gas-hounds will guzzle down and spit out a whopping two miles per gallon. You read that right – 2 m.p.g.; that’s worse than the U.S military’s 38-ton Buffalo Mine Clearance Vehicle. Our shuttle service to camp wouldn’t be cheap either, running at about $30,000 for the round-trip ferry of gear and personnel. But hey, we ain’t walking.

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