February 21 at 4 pm, 1600 UTC, the Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica 2007-2009 rolled in to Troll Station. The field part of this large IPY project has been successfully completed.
The station crew seeing the traverse coming in to Troll Station
The traverse was welcomed by the entire station crew, by the directors of the Norwegian Polar Institute, by representatives of the Norwegian government, and by guests from South Africa, Germany, and Canada – including the South African Minister of Science and Technology, visiting en route from SANAE to Novolazarevskaya.
A visit by a delegation of guests to the Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development, including ministers and secretaries of 14 other countries, had also planned to be at Troll Station to welcome the traverse and to discuss climate change issues relating to Antarctica. Their flight from Cape Town was delayed by weather, but the delegation will meet the traverse team at Troll Station a day later.
The traverse has been a highlight of the Norwegian-US scientific collaboration during the International Polar Year, drawing significant logistic and scientific contributions from the Norwegian Research Council, the National Science Foundation of the USA, and the Norwegian Polar Institute. Says expedition leader of the second traverse season, Tom Neumann: “This project has been carried out in the true spirit of the International Polar Year. Neither the US nor Norway could have completed this project, either scientifically or logistically, on their own. Our collaboration has been the key feature of this project.”
Jan-Gunnar Winther, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, and expedition leader during the first season, also points out that this has been the largest Norwegian science project in Antarctica since the International Geophysical Year 50 years ago.
All the scientists involved in the project are already busy at work with all the data collected en route, and dozens of scientific papers will follow. The 12 traverse crew members, the crew members of previous parts of the traverse, and innumerable support staff are happy to see that their efforts will bring forward yet another piece of knowledge to the giant puzzle that is the climate of the icy continent.