Programmed Multicopter Flies Through the Arctic Autonomously

How do you successfully pilot a remote-controlled helicopter in the remote expanses of the Arctic Ocean when the compass can’t provide reliable positioning data? Engineers on board the Alfred Wegener Institute’s research icebreaker Polarstern specially programmed a multicopter, allowing it to navigate despite the deviations produced by the Earth’s magnetic field near the North Pole. The researchers recently celebrated the copter’s first successful autonomous flight and landing on an ice floe.

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Inspiring Explorers Expedition 2015 to South Georgia

To mark the centenary of Shackleton’s crossing the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust offers for three young people the opportunity of a life-time to participate in a fully sponsored ski-touring trip attempting to repeat Shackleton’s crossing in October 2015.

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Antarctica New Zealand launches global outreach platform

Antarctica New Zealand has launched a digital platform which makes thousands of images and videos of New Zealand’s Antarctic history available to the public. Originally designed as a photo archive, this affectionately named tool, ADAM, is a custom-designed web-platform showcasing more than 40,000 images dating back to 1957.

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Choosing the right crew for Antarctic expeditions

Who makes the right team to work on an Antarctic Base? Cyril Jaksic, a PhD student from Lincoln University in New Zealand, made this question part of his thesis. His research investigates the combination of social needs and personality traits that best predict a person’s adaptation to the extreme environment.

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International agreement restricts fishing in Arctic Ocean

The opening of the Arctic Ocean due to climate change will also open the race for the presumed resources. Next to minerals and fossil fuels, fisheries will play an important role in the considerations of governments. However, an important step to protect the marine environment from overexploitation has now been taken.

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Coal mining in Svalbard as a political tool

Despite growing numbers of tourism in Svalbard, coal mining still takes the lions share in revenues of the archipelago. The Norwegian government has now decided to continue the financial subsidiaries for this controversial production of raw materials. It seems as if this decision has been taken rather by arguments in terms of security policy than in economical terms.

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Ban Ki-moon visits AWI research base

Together with AWI researchers and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Norway Ban Ki-moon launched a radio-sonde. He was impressed by the balloon and the technical possibilities. In front of the glacier he called for action against the climate change.

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Polar bears on the edge

Polar bears are the iconic species in the Arctic. Many books have been published in the past on polar bears covering many topics ranging from pure photography to ecology and protection. The latest book written by polar expert Morten Jørgensen goes a different way. Instead of just recapitating facts on the ecology of bears and how they can be protected, he presents facts why the protection measurements on polar bears in many areas have failed and which improvements need to be taken to ameliorate the situation. He uncovers and presents how scientific data was misused for the sake of economics and to the disadvantage of the bears. But he also presents ideas how to improve the situation and how all of us can work together to save the king from its downfall.

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Happy Birthday Greenland’s National Flag!

Greenland is Danish, isn’t it? The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. Although still under Danish sovereignty, Greenland has been granted a high degree of autonomy including self-rule. One sign of Greenland’s autonomy is Erfalasorput, Greenland’s flag of red and white. This standard is now celebrating its 30th birthday.

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Polar bears vs. Dolphins in Svalbard

The king of the Arctic has a wide range of different food sources. Due to the vastness of the area and its unforgiving climate, polar bears need a high energy-rich diet, mostly consisting of seals with their thick layer of blubber. But seals are not the only polar inhabitant with a delicious fat layer around them to protect them from the cold. Also other marine mammals, especially whales and dolphins rely on this form of insulation. But how should a polar bear hunt a purely aquatic animal? A group of Norwegian researchers coincidentally found an answer and some previously unknown behavior.

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