April 29, 2004
Weather: fine
Temperature: -8.5 degrees Celsius (5:12 a.m.)
Wind direction: south east
Wind speed: 2 m/s
Barometer: 797hPa

Today is the first time we had a day off. Now that Japan is having their so called "Golden Week", we thought we might as well take a break. We will also be receiving our food and equipment supplies for the second half of the expedition, so we had to check the equipment and the shortage of various resources. We put the solar panels out in the sun all day and charged all of the electronic equipment, such as personal computers, digital cameras, digital video cameras, and satellite mobile phones. The solar charger system worked without any problem and kept producing electricity continuously.

Yellow Dust

Today I have plenty of time so I would like to talk about yellow dust. I think many people have heard about the yellow dust from China. Yellow dust is said to originate from the Gobi Deserts, the Ocher Plateau and the Taklamakan Desert. It reaches Japan during the spring season (March to May). If you see cars looking dirty after a rain at this time of year, it is due to the yellow dust. It is actually carried all over the world, not to mention China, but also Korea, Japan, Hawaii, Alaska and Greenland as well.

In the midst of snow sampling

Yellow dust has interesting characteristics. For example, it contains inorganic nutrients such as magnesium, and when dropped onto a sea like the Pacific Ocean, it enriches the sea by becoming nutrients for phytoplankton. It can also help clouds to form and has a neutralizing effect on acid rain.

As mentioned above, this yellow dust has various effects on the environment and thus it has been a focus of constant attention. However, there are still a lot of things that are not known and waiting to be researched into. My mission here is to research the effect of yellow dust on Greeland's atmosphere via analysis of aerosol and snow sampling.

Tetsuji Nagatani      

April 2004
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May 2004
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June 2004
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