2011-07-02 15:37:49Tales of the Cryosphere Kid - ReUpdated
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Tales of the Cryosphere Kid

Posted on 9 July 2011 by Daniel Bailey

Skeptical Science’s very own Robert Way is a steely-eyed veteran of the Climate Wars.  An Inuit descendent and native of Northern Labrador, Robert Way has seen his share of action in the Cryosphere.

What’s that?  You say you’ve never heard of the Cryosphere?  Well, that’s a tale that grew in the tellin’.  Pull up a chair, pardner, and sit a spell.  Many’s the story of that intrepid scientist, from the time he used his Schmidt hammer to fend off hungry polar bears to the time he stopped up a raging volcano in the Antarctic Peninsula with his tuque.  But this here tale ain’t about any of them.  Lemme tell you about how Robert Way got his nickname of reknown…

The Cryosphere Kid

Robert Way was a young-un at Uni when he was tabbed to take part in CryoEx, a student exchange program where they send the students with the most aptitude and potential (and some say sass) off to far and distant icy lands where the learnin’s tough and the pemmican’s tougher.  In Robert Way’s case they sent him to the worst of all places in winter:  Hell, Norway.

HellIn those days, Hell was under control of Utgard-Loki and the Frost Giants from the northern Jotunheimen Mountains.  Instead of being a place of fire and brimstone like under the previous administration, Hell had become a place of ice, snow, permafrost, glaciers and ice caps (known locally as the Cryosphere).  While not personally bothered by the cold and snow, Robert Way took pity on the locals who were forced to scavenge food from the nearby frozen river by cutting the river into blocks and carting those containing fish home on big poles stuck into the ice cubes (which is where we get fish sticks from).

Robert Way skated up the frozen Bifrost River into the southern Jotunheimen to have a few beers with Surtr and his Fire Giants.  Winning Surtr’s flaming sword in a game of chance (Surtr still claims the dice were loaded), Robert Way returned to Hell, setting the hilltops ablaze as he came.  Hell - WarmThis had the primary effect of driving off the Frost Giants as well as freeing Hell from its icy prison.  The secondary effects were the invention of the volcano and the cooking of the frozen fish-sticks (the local mayor, a former fishing boat captain named Long John of the Silver Hand, started a restaurant chain based on the new delicacy).

The celebration following the melting of Hell lasted many weeks and many kegs of mead, during which Robert Way was given the nickname The Cryosphere Kid.

The Cryosphere Kid nabs the Garfield Weston Award

Real life, while itself colorful, is more straightforward.  In it Robert Way is a master's student, studying at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is currently working on a study quantifying glacier changes in northern Labrador over the past 6000 years. Robert Way has studied at the University of Ottawa, University of Oslo, Athabasca University and the University of New Brunswick. He has conducted field work in Antarctica, Iceland, Labrador, Norway, Patagonia and Svalbard. As an Inuit descendent climate change is a very important issue for him and particularly how changes in the cryosphere impact daily life in the North.

Map

As a result of his passion for his studies and his participation in CryoEx, Robert Way is one of seven master’s students from across Canada to be awarded a prestigious Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research.  Sponsored by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, the $15,000 prize is awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership in northern natural science research.

As the largest privately funded student awards that are specifically targeted for northern research in Canada, these awards have significantly raised the profile of northern research nationally and encouraged top-level graduate students to select a northern focus for their theses.

A native of Labrador and a student of geography, Robert Way’s research is centered around determining the Little Ice Age glacial extents in the Torngat Mountains and involves a combination of lichenometry (using lichen growth to determine the age of exposed rock), remote sensing and on the ground field measurements.

Ultimately, Robert Way hopes his research will help in piecing together a glacial history for the climatically sensitive region.  And he hopes to one day get another tuque.

2011-07-02 15:50:41
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Think of it as Pecos Bill does Ragnarok

2011-07-03 09:22:18Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.205.62

Daniel, this is certainly something else and I am honored to have you write this about me :P

Talk about blindsiding me, I didn't even see it coming :P a great post and if you have any questions or anything about any of the stuff then im certainly here to answer haah

I was thinking that maybe I could put a map there of where the field work is being done or a picture or something just because people probably don't realize where labrador is.

2011-07-03 09:44:21
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.15

$15k huh?  Robert's on the AGW alarmist gravy train!

2011-07-03 12:18:25
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Updated with map added (the upload graphic function wasn't working last nite and it was too late (past 2 am) to reboot to fix it).

Been hankerin' to try out some of John's sticky-hints, so this is my first post using some of them.

And now I get to cross that bit about writing a story with a tuque in it off my bucket list.  :-)

2011-07-03 17:17:51
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.15.37

Only in it for the money eh? Typical scientist living the high life.....oh, wait......that's bankers.

Nice job Yooper. Had to google what a tuque was!.

2011-07-04 00:56:18
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.15
Looks like Labrador is missing from the map.
2011-07-04 07:37:28
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229
Daniel, LOL re your bucket list :-)
2011-07-04 08:32:46
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Thanks for the kind words; it was a fun post to write.  Added a link to the Labrador page at the Atlas of Canada website.

2011-07-05 06:11:21Bump
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Bumpedy-bump

2011-07-05 09:11:00
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.15
Looks good to me. I've got it on the schedule towards the end of the week.
2011-07-05 09:31:19
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
124.180.60.176

And to really show what a tough place Hell is, check out the freight depot

2011-07-07 23:17:42
Anne-Marie Blackburn
Anne-Marie Blackburn
bioluminescence@hotmail.co...
212.139.95.193

Great stuff all round

2011-07-08 00:04:13Comic strip for the SkS Weekly Digest
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

This article could readily be trnnslated into a comic strip for posting in the SkS Weekly Digest.

Another strip could be "Captain SkS" starring John Cook and his endless battles against the "Evil Empire."

2011-07-08 04:52:49
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.161.194

This is great! It's good to see some humour lightening up SkS posts. 

Question for Robert: does Hell ever freeze over?

2011-07-08 04:55:31oops
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.161.194

oops

2011-07-08 07:46:44
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
188.152.84.232

The only thing that is missing is a few memorable words by The Cryosphere Kid :)

2011-07-08 10:22:37comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.162.53

Hell can freeze over. It will happen when the republicans in the United States vote for comprehensive climate change legislation...

Some memborable words from the "Cryosphere Kid" eh? Got anything in mind :P

2011-07-08 12:06:40
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.44.143

No, it will probably happen within 20 years, at which time Hell will be melting.