Going back in time to better understand the future is what scientists from Princeton University have done recently. They recovered 1 million years old ice samples from Antarctica. Ice that preserved ancient air and climate information in from of tiny bubbles. Their research results have been published last month in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) providing a snapshot of the climate in the past.
A new book gives an overview of the current state of research and of research gaps concerning litter in our oceans: “Marine Anthropogenic Litter” will be released by Springer-Verlag as an Open Access publication in June 2015. The editors, Melanie Bergmann and Lars Gutow from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and Michael Klages from the University of Gothenburg’s Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, brought together experts from around the globe to contribute to the book. Estimates of the amount of litter in the world’s oceans, its distribution, effects on humans and biota, and prevention strategies are just some of the complex topics addressed in the book’s 16 chapters.
The Ross Ice Shelf, a thick, floating tongue of solid ice the size of Spain, is the biggest of the many such barriers that ring Antarctica and keep its ice sheets from sliding into the sea. Yet the shape of the sea floor beneath—a critical factor in how fast the shelf might melt—is virtually unknown. The ice keeps sonar-carrying ships out, and the water beneath it blocks radar. “It's the least known piece of ocean floor on our planet,” says Robin Bell, a geophysicist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York.
The race for the South Pole between Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott is one of the most legendary and tragic stories in polar history. Even today, new testimonies and historical artefacts of the Terra Nova expedition are found. They give a better insight into the events leading to the drama as well as showing the circumstances and environments endured by the men of the expedition. Recently, a new set of 52 negatives has been discovered, but which will come under the hammer of an auctioneer soon.
Russia had announced the construction of a new generation of nuclear icebreakers in 2009. The first icebreaker had been laid down in 2013 and is scheduled for commission in 2017. Now, the second ship, named Sibir, has been keel-laid in Murmansk on May 26. A number of high-ranking officials were present at this occasion.
A group of 58 experts met in Hobart mid-May to discuss strategies for future operations in Antarctic waters as sea-ice cover increases and strengthens in parts of Antarctica.
The Russian Far East regions are among the most remote areas in the world. Transportation means are limited due to the vastness and distances of the region. However, at a meeting of the Russian Academy of Science the head of the Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin presented ideas to change that.
Australian scientists have created a “future ocean” under the Antarctic sea ice to measure the impact of ocean acidification on seafloor communities.
Antarctic marine scientists who have been eavesdropping on the world’s largest creature, the blue whale, have detected individuals singing from almost 750 km away. The researchers, part of a six week Australia-New Zealand Antarctic Ecosystem Voyage on the RV Tangaroa to the Southern Ocean returned to Wellington, New Zealand on March 11.