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Antarctica: “Strange & Cold,” Images From the Lost Continent

Adelie penguins, Antarctica. (Karl Nielsen)

I got a couple of e-mails asking how our son Karl was doing, so i figure it’s time for a quick update.

Those of you who follow this blog and my daily newspaper columns in Bay Area News Group-East Bay newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, may recall my periodic tales of our son, Karl Nielsen, and his adventures working and taking photographs in Antarctica, backpacking and taking photographs in Nepal and Thailand, and working as a whitewater rafting guide (and taking photographs) in Alaska.
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Posted on Monday, October 12th, 2009
Under: Antarctica, Karl Nielsen | 1 Comment »

Happy Holidays from Antarctica!

Merry Christmas from Karl at MacMurdo Station in Antarctica
cold xmas2

While I was on vacation last week, we got the above Christmas card from our son, Karl, who’s down working and taking photographs at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

“Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas! Boy it’s cold. Now I know why Santa has that warm beard.” /Gary

Posted on Monday, December 29th, 2008
Under: Antarctica, Karl Nielsen | No Comments »

Global Warming: Will 2008 be one of the 10 warmest years on record?

Adeli penguins in Antarctica. Photo by Karl Nielsen
antarctic2 penguins

Federal science agencies release annual temperature data, highlighting urgent need for action on global warming.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
Under: Antarctica, Global warming, Penguins | No Comments »

Ice stories: Exploratorium webcasts live from Antarctica

Gary: I thought you might be interested in the following information.

Ice Stories Schedule — Webcasts Live from Antarctica In Celebration of the International Polar Year (2007-2008) The Exploratorium ventures to the bottom of the world on January 4, 11, 12, 18 and 25 in the Exploratorium’s Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio and On-line at:

Made possible by the National Science Foundation.

In celebration of the International Polar Year (2007-2008), the Exploratorium’s webcast crew will be talking with scientists at McMurdo Station and the South Pole about the myriad of research being done there.

Meet scientists pulling giant cores of ice from miles down, watch as penguins dive under the ice, and see scientists reach for the sky with their weather balloons! Learn about the giant trap under the ice that catches the tiniest particles from outer space, and a new 10-meter telescope at the South Pole. These programs and webcasts will be shown at

Go to:
Raphael Rosen, Public Information Department, The Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA,

Raphael: I’m always interested in the Exploratorium’s programs, but I have an added incentive this year because our son, Karl, is working waaay down there through next March!

In fact, even as we speak, Karl is 200 miles from anywhere, living in a tent at a tiny Western Antarctic Ice Shelf (WAIS) scientific research camp. He’s helping those same scientists you mention above who are “pulling giant cores of ice from miles down.”

The scientists are drilling holes two miles deep in the ice and bringing up ice cores in the hollow drill bits with 1,000-year-old air bubbles trapped inside so they can analyze the air to see what the weather was like a thousand years ago.

Karl called his mom and me the other night via satellite phone to let us know what was going on … like the 50-60 mph winds … and whiteout conditions … and minus 20 degree temperatures.

He’s definitely going to have a whiteout Christmas this year! /Gary

** Read “Dog & Cat food made with wild game” below.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2007
Under: Antarctica, Ice | No Comments »