Dutch scientific expedition to Svalbard supported by Oceanwide Expeditions

This august, the expedition vessel M/V Ortelius, owned by the Dutch company Oceanwide Expeditions, will host over 60 scientists for the largest Dutch scientific expedition ever to the Arctic. “Scientific Expedition Edgeøya Spitsbergen” takes researchers from a wide variety of disciplines to one of the most remote areas of the archipelago. The main purpose of the expedition is to measure the effects of human activities in the Arctic.

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Warm ocean water is melting the largest glacier in East Antarctica from below

The melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet by warm ocean waters has recently attracted a lot of attention. So far, the glaciers on the East Antarctic ice sheet were thought to be relatively immune to this kind of melting. However, new research by Australian Scientists showed that the Totten Glacier is melting.

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The secret life of penguins revealed

More than 1.5 million volunteers from around the world have counted penguins in 175,000 online images in a unique citizen science project called Penguin Watch revealing some surprising facts.

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Russian leadership in CCAMLR can help Southern Ocean Conservation

As the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) today celebrates the 35th anniversary of the Convention, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance is calling on Russia to take the lead on conservation of Antarctic waters.

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Macquarie Island iconic species dying out due to climate change

New research, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology reveals that old growth cushion plants and mosses estimated to be hundreds of years old on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island are being decimated by recent climate change.

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1 Million year old ice from Allan Hills in Antarctica holds climate information

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.

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Spotlight on marine litter: A new book presents the current state of research

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.

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What lies beneath: Scientists plan to look under the Ross Ice Shelf

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.

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EU boost for polar science

A new initiative to enhance the integration of Europe’s scientific and operational capabilities in the Polar Regions has been funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

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Pictures from Scotts last expedition to be auctioned

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.

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