Living Lab Radio: December 15, 2019 | CAI

Living Lab Radio: December 15, 2019

Dec 15, 2019

Hundreds of researchers are taking turns spending two months aboard the icebreaker Polarstern, as it drifts with the Arctic sea ice in which it is stuck - deliberately.
Credit Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Esther Horvath (CC-BY 4.0) /

“We get to read the whole book. Normally, you go out for a couple of months. It's like you have a complicated mystery and you get two chapters and you're supposed to figure out what's going on. But here, we've already started. We’re there in the fall, when the ice begins to freeze, we'll watch it evolve through the whole winter and see what happens when summer comes.” – Don Perovich

This week on Living Lab Radio:

  • Volcanologist Jess Pheonix explains why predicting volcanic eruptions isn’t currently possible, and even forecasting them is difficult. The deadly Whakaari eruption is just the latest example.
  • Don Perovich of Dartmouth College compares studying Arctic sea ice a few months a year to trying to understand a mystery novel by reading two chapters. That’s why a new expedition that involves a ship (deliberately) stuck in the ice for a whole year is such a boon.
  • Manuel Bohn of Leipsig University says kids asked to communicate via Skype without sound developed rudimentary languages in an hour. He’d love to see what happens when they try to teach that language to others.
  • Communication researcher Jeff Hall worries Americans aren’t getting enough social interaction, but says simple more-is-better advice misses key points about the type and quality of interactions – and the importance of alone time.