That same spring Walter’s colleague at Fairbanks, Vladimir Romanovsky, whose computer simulations are some of those predicting a dramatic thaw this century, made an unrelated visit to Cherskii and observed Walter swimming in the icy lakes: “She’s a tough girl,” he says simply. By summer Walter found herself in the hospital with pneumonia. “But a couple of months later, and with a good dose of Russian antibiotics, I was back in the lakes,” she recalls. When winter came again, the drill changed from snorkeling to shoveling. For hours at a time Walter dug away at the snow atop the ice, clearing paths above the seeps and marking them with flags as she went. “The Siberians were laughing their heads off at how much money we were spending to come to Siberia to shovel snow off the frozen lakes,” she says. But no one was laughing when the world learned about her hard-won findings.
Proof for a Spike