ARCTIC ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
BEAUFORT SCALE WIND FORCE SCALE
No Description Velocity km/h
0 Calm 0
1 Light Air 1.6
2 Light breeze 6.4
3 Gentle breeze 14.5
4 Moderate breeze 22.5
5 Fresh breeze 32
6 Strong breeze 42
7 Moderate gale 53
8 Fresh gale 67
9 Strong gale 83
10 Whole gale 100
11 Storm 120
12 Hurricane 147
A small and hard-to-detect piece of ice hazardous to shipping. It is smaller than a ice berg. Invisible and usually noticed too late.
Gravity-driven winds caused by colder, heavier air rushing down from the high polar plateau. Very cold winds flowing down a slope.
Frozen waves of snowed blown along the surface. Very difficult to cross by foot diagonally during blizzard white-out conditions. Ridges run parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind.
Snow that has filled the gap in a crevasse. Often strong enough to support weight, allowing passage over a gap
A thin sheet of see-through ice as though painted on a rock. Also called black ice.
The sun reflecting from the ice leading to sunburn. The diminished of ozone also increases the ultraviolet exposure with increased sunburn risks. Use high-factor sun UV blockers.
SPF UV absorption
Apply sunscreen frequently; 15 minutes before entering water and at exit. UV protective clothing pieces can be bought. Use wide-brimmed hats.
Characteristics of good sunglasses for using in Arctic conditions
100% UV absorption
Visible light transmission 5 to 10% (less than 8% shouldn’t worn while driving). Normal sunglasses transmit 15% to 25% visible light
Lens material: polycarbonate or glass
Large lenses with no distortion, wrap-around design, close fit to face, stable on face; light in weight
– Water causes freezing of hands, wear a pair of surgical latex gloves undet your worker gloves and you will be able to work with wet ropes painlessly
– Steel becomes acutely cold. A woodenhandled tool goes a long way
– Antartica goes for your weakest point. Loss of glove or goggles can mean your death
– Never go out alone in bad weather. If very bad, you must be tied to one another. Sign the book when you leave base
– Take crampons and ice picks along on long hauls outside. It may save your life
– It is possible to die of thirst in artic conditions. One can’t drink ice
– It may be funny jumping into near-zero water. Just remember, although improbable, you may go into a heart dysrythmia which is incurable and may last lifelong
– Check the fire escapes of the base. Don’t be surprised if they are not user-friendly
– Beware of “black ice”. It’s invisible and slippery beyond belief
– When working hard, you can start sweating. If that sweat freezes over, you are in trouble. The trick is keeping ventilation in balance with energy expenditure