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Starting tomorrow: 24 Days of #KitchenOceanography

So I wanted to make a super cool advent calendar for my godson: One kitchen oceanography experiment every single day. But then he ended up falling in love with LEGO Hogwards. So what’s the best godmother in the world to do? Of course I packed 24 parcels of that instead (all nicely building upon each other, of course. Which means I had to build pretty much the whole thing in order to be able to pack it in a sensible way…).

Anyway. I still did the 24 days of #KitchenOceanography, and I will be sharing them, one by one, over the next 24 days, starting tomorrow! And I am super excited about it.

I don’t usually ask for this, but please tell your friends about it, share my posts, send out links. And then please also give me feedback so I can improve it for next year, when my godson will be given this, whether he likes it or not :-) And when I am also planning to publish this on paper, so it’s an actual gift (and it’ll be published so you can get your hands on it, too, if you like!)

Below are the details of how it’s going to work and what kind of equipment we’ll need (everything always both in German and English, as will be all the following 24 days!)

Find the whole story that connects all the experiments here (Links will be added to the experiments as they go live one each day).

Nansen’s dead water explained on YouTube

Remember the experiment on Nansen’s observation of “dead water” that Elin & myself set up as part of GEOF213? Our movies of this experiment are now featured in a brilliant Youtube video by my friend, the german science communicator Doktor Wissenschaft! Check it out! (English subtitles available)

I feel so proud to have contributed to such a cool video! :-)


P.S.: Doktor Wissenschaft also has an Instagram profile which is totally worth checking out. He posts interesting physics, chemistry and biology facts in twice daily. And occasionally he includes cool ocean and climate facts, supplied by yours truly. If you have fascinating facts that should be featured on Doktor Wissenschaft, please feel free to let me know and I will happily forward them!

One of Doktor Wissenschaft’s facts on Instagram: “If all Antarctic ice did melt, sea level would rise by approximately 58 meters”

Burning soap bubbles

The other day I was thinking about fun experiments to do on a Birthday party for kids (won’t spoiler here whose kid that might be, and also, coincidentally, it was on Jenny’s Birthday! Happy Birthday, Jenny! :-)) and I realized I never posted the “burning soap bubbles”. Probably because I still can’t think of a good reason why it belongs on a blog on “adventures in teaching and oceanography”, but since I dug out the movies that my friend Dési made and narrated more than 2 years ago, and it’s fun to watch, (and also it’s much faster for me to google my blog for this experiment than to search for it on my phone if I ever need it again): here we go!

English short version of Dési’s narration: Take dish soap and mix it in water. Bubble lighter gas into the water to create bubbles. Take them up in your hand, bring a lighter close, and that’s it! It doesn’t get hot or anything, but it looks very impressive!

Even on a no-waves day, Store Lungegårdsvannet is one of my favourite #wavewatching spots

I love how below you see the sharp edges of where the bridge’s shadow makes it possible to look into the water, when it is impossible to see anything where the sky is being reflected. But you see the equally sharp edge of the reflection of the mountains on the other side where you can’t look into the water. Isn’t physics just amazing?

Also I don’t know what it is, but I really like this perspective on the bridge :-)

Planetary Rossby waves — a side view

What I find really fascinating about the planetary Rossby wave experiment is to look from the side and see the columns develop and move around the tank.

Here is a side-view camera plus the top view, both cameras rotating with the tank. The movie is sped up 20x so in about 22 seconds, you will have a good idea of what happens:

And here is the same movie in real time. Here you can really beautifully watch the plumes of dense water sinking to the bottom while the whole column is rotating.

One thing to avoid when running this experiment: Don’t put the ice cube too close to the side of the tank, otherwise it will get stuck there. I don’t know if it was surface tension keeping it so close to the wall or if, since it couldn’t rotate, it decided not to move at all, but in any case: If the ice cube is too close to the wall, it will get stuck. In our case, the dense water then sank down in the small gap between the sloped bottom and the wall of the tank (as you see in the picture below, which is looking under the sloping bottom towards the deep end of the tank).

You still see columns forming underneath the sloping bottom, but that wasn’t quite what we were aiming to do…


Kiel to Bergen, the mini series. Part 16, in which I am almost home in Bergen

And now we have arrived in the part of Norway that, to me, feels like home rather than “oh wow, impressive landscape”. Even though the landscape is still impressive! But also very familiar now.

And very beautiful!

Especially with these low clouds randomly hanging out above the fjords.

And are you going to be disappointed if I tell you that I will be taking the night train on my way back home?

Kiel to Bergen, the mini series. Part 15, in which the weather gets worse but the rivers more interesting

I love the little meandering river in the picture above!

We are now approaching the west coast of Norway and all prejudices when it comes to weather over there are being confirmed. It’s grey and overcast. Still, there is a lot of cool water watching to be done on this train ride!

I think it was around this point of my 7 hour train ride, from which I sent a minutt for minutt live broadcast to my friend Kristin, that she pointed out that she had just noticed the common thread in the pictures I was sending: Water!

What a surprise… ;-)

Anyway, it’s getting darker outside, so the quality of the pictures is rapidly decreasing, but I will still show you some rapids in the rivers.

Because they just look super awesome!

And again, waves breaking upstream because the river is flowing so fast, it’s ripping their bases away from underneath them.

And some impressive gorges!

…and very low-hanging clouds.

But the landscape is a lot lusher and greener again!

And I love water falls.

And rapids.

And more water falls!

Fløyen in the clouds

Yesterday, I went for a quick walk up Fløyen and really enjoyed it, despite the view being slightly different from what is usually shown on the postcards.

Nice, some wake watching!

I like walking through a forest and then occasionally getting glimpses of the city and the fjord!

Although the glimpses became less and less clear the higher up I went.

Up top there wasn’t much of a view left.

But I like the almost mystical mood in the fog and clouds!

And I like how in Bergen, there is wave watching at all kinds of different heights. Like here on the fire water pond as well as the wake of that incoming ferry in Vågen.

Or in my favourite puddle!

Some Bergen pics because this city is so pretty

Since it’s raining today (finally! I can’t be distracted by good weather all the time!) it’s time to post some Bergen pics! And yes, Kristin, they are all water-related. Sorry not sorry!

I don’t know how many of these I’ve taken over the years, but I still like this view!

And apparently I am really into reflections in puddles right now.

Next day with more sun shine! It really looks like fall already, doesn’t it?

Gotta love the low clouds (at least if cloud cover isn’t more than in this picture ;-))

And gotta love the port.

Somehow the water on these chairs was really fascinating to me.

Ha. When I vacated my seat here, some tourists were very happy to take it over from me.

Clearly they hadn’t seen what I saw, or they didn’t realize how quickly that rain front would move in… :-D