The heat from the deep

Water temperatures in the West Antarctic shelf are rising. The reason for this increase lies in warmer waters rising from the deep due to climate change. Thus, it is likely to increase the melting of glaciers from below and the acceleration of glacial fluxes. These scenarios are predicted by scientists of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Oceanography in Kiel, Germany together with colleagues from the United Kingdom, USA and Japan. The results of their study have been published in the international journal Science.

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Governmental support for South Georgia and its wildlife

The UK Government has awarded the South Georgia Heritage Trust nearly £250,000 of funding, helping to secure the survival of one of the world’s most important seabird sanctuaries on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. Supporting the world’s largest rat eradication, the grant comes from the Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund (Darwin Plus), an internationally renowned programme which gives funding to help protect some of the world’s most threatened species in the UK’s Overseas Territories. Ten other projects will receive grants thanks to £1.5 million of new government funding to protect biodiversity and the natural environment in the UK’s Overseas Territories.

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Love is in the air – Kittiwakes choose their mates via odor

Mate choice is often the most important decision in the lives of humans and animals. This also holds true for Arctic animals. Scientists at the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology at the Vetmeduni Vienna have compared the preen gland chemicals of black-legged kittiwakes with genes that play a role in immunity. Kittiwakes that smell similarly to each other also have similar genes for immunity. Since the birds prefer to mate with unrelated mates, the scientists have now found the likely mechanism by which they recognize relatedness.

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Critical future for Canadian polar bears

Climate change hits hard on Arctic inhabitants. Its impact doesn’t stop before the king of the Arctic, the polar bear. Polar bears need sea ice because their prey mainly lives on it. Shifts in the timing and duration of ice cover, especially the possible lengthening of ice-free periods, may impact polar bears under projected warming before the end of the 21st century. This is the result of an international study published just recently in the journal PLOS One.

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The Cerny Inuit Collection presents Abraham Anghik Ruben

Born in 1951 in the Canadian Northwest Territories, Abraham Anghik Ruben grew up on the land surrounded by nature and hearing legends, until he was forced to go to a school located far from his home. After this difficult time, he turned to art to find his roots.

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Plane crashed on King George Island

A C-130 Hercules belonging to the Brazilian air force (FAB) crash-landed near the Chilean Base Eduardo Frei on King George Island on November 27 2014. Luckily, there were no casualties and the resulting fire on one of the jet engines was put out quickly.

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Oceanwide Expeditions helps to recover ROV seagliders

With an extraordinary rescue operation the crews of the two cruise ships MV Plancius and MV Ortelius managed to recover unmanned remote controlled seagliders in the Greenland Sea a few days ago. With this action, Oceanwide Expeditions helped the oceanographer Dr. Katrin Latarius from AWI to successfully complete a scientific measurement program in the Greenland Sea. Oceanwide Expeditions adjusted its routes for the search of the seagliders. The ships stopped in the open sea, the crews were launching inflatable Zodiac boats into the water in order to rescue the two autonomous underwater vehicles of AWI out of the water.

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A window into the past – Notebook from Scott’s last expedition found in Antarctica

The race to the South Pole between Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott is one of the most exciting and most tragic events in the history of polar exploration. Although a lot of the details are known, new artefacts appear out of the ice of Antarctica every now and then and shed light on further details on the fate of some of the expedition members. A photographer’s notebook left behind a century ago at Captain Scott’s last expedition base at Cape Evans, Antarctica, has been now discovered and conserved by New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust.

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Bluefin tuna found hunting for mackerel in East Greenland waters

August 2012 was an extraordinary month for Greenland because of the heat wave. But also in the waters off the coast of East Greenland an unusual event was observed. Fishermen and biologist caught 3 large Bluefin tuna while conducting an exploratory fishing survey for mackerel. The appearance of this fish species in these waters is a very rare event and there had been no scientific reports so far north as the Denmark Strait.

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Bringing Antarctica to the world – The Icefest in Christchurch, New Zealand

Biannually Antarctica comes to the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, in form of the Icefest which celebrates Christchurch’s close linkages with Antarctica. This year it was held from 27 September to 12 October 2014.

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