It is a fantastic time to be interested in polar science.
Right now at Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica a team of British scientists and engineers are drilling through 3 km of ice to reach the Lake Windermere sized Lake Ellsworth. This picture was posted on their www site EllsworthLIVE this morning, and it shows that where they are, the Sun never goes down at this time of year.
In a couple of days they will be done and hopefully be in a position to answer questions about the limits of life on our planet, and the glacial history of Antarctica.
Pointing to the future Martin Siegert has led the project which has had a website from the very beginning. It has been a long road and took over 15 years of planning and preparation to get to this stage, and there are scientists and engineers from many UK Universities and Institutes plus international partners.
In the next few days we will know if they succeeded this year.
As an aside I do get a bit bored when people talk down the science that gets funded in the UK when stuff like this is going on. For example, next year in polar research another British project – the NERC Ice Sheet Stability Programme - will see a tractor train crossing one of the regions of Antarctica which is melting the most rapidly whilst a ship is working in the Amundsen Sea offshore of the ice.
It is a good time to be in science whether as a researcher or engineer.