The Arctic probably is the fastest warming region on this planet. It never was as apparent as this winter. Several heat waves had struck the High Arctic and temperatures rose up to 5°C above the 30-year average. This and the fact that less sea ice had been formed last year as well had led to a new record low of Arctic sea ice extent in winter. Only 14.4 million square meters of the Arctic Ocean had been covered with sea ice. The unusual warming period als has led to strange weather phenomenas on the entire northern hemisphere this winter.
When Sir John Franklin and his 128 men vanished without a trace in the Canadian Arctic in 1845, it led to the biggest and longest search and rescue missions in the history of polar exploration. More than 50 years, numerous ships and explorers made their way into the high north to look for the expedition and simultaneously for a passage through the Canadian Archipelago. The passage eventually was found, but the expedition and its two ships remained lost for almost two centuries. Until 2014, when the HMS Erebus, Franklin’s flag ship was found. Now, another search party also found the second ship, HMS Terror… almost 100 km south of its presumed sinking spot and perfectly intact.
What are a sloth and a weasel doing in Antarctica? The two costume characters of the current ICE AGE movie “Collision Course” are in Antarctica to help 5-12 year olds to understand Antarctica and its relationship to climate change. Antarctica New Zealand and 20th Century Fox NZ are collaborating to create a video series that teaches young New Zealanders about the icy continent.
Energy for communities in the Canadian High Arctic always is relying on external supplies mostly by ship. Despite less ice along the eastern coast and the early opening of the Northwest Passage which makes it easier for supply ships to reach the remote communities in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, it still is a difficult and especially costly affair. Ironically, as the communities will receive oil and diesel for energy production, they add to the climate change by burning fossil fuels. Clyde River will now go a different way.
Today, maintaining communications coverage north of Svalbard is a great challenge, but a new Norwegian research project promises a groundbreaking solution for far-north Arctic areas.
A phenomena normal for thousands of people is celebrated in Antarctica: The first sunrise after months of darkness. The return of the light is also the start for an important Antarctic summer season for New Zealand as it signifies 60-years since the construction of Sir Edmund Hillary’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition Hut, the original Scott Base.
Climate change is threatening to expose hazardous waste at an abandoned camp thought to be buried forever in the Greenland Ice Sheet, new research has found. Camp Century, a United States military base built within the Greenland ice sheet in 1959, doubled as a top-secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles during the Cold War. When the camp was decommissioned in 1967, its infrastructure and waste were abandoned
New research has found methylmercury -- a potent neurotoxin - in sea ice in the Southern Ocean. The results are the first to show that sea-ice bacteria can change mercury into methylmercury, a more toxic form that can contaminate the marine environment, including fish and birds.
A remnant population of woolly mammoths on a remote Alaska island was likely pushed to extinction by rising sea levels and a lack of access to fresh water, according to a newly published study.
Living and working in the remote areas of Antarctica is not only fun and excitement, but also risky and dangerous at times. Medical services are far and basic and medical practitioners need a lot of various skills to ensure adequate service. Recently, five Australian Antarctic Division doctors have undertaken an eight-day Winter Expedition Medicine course at Bronte Park, Tasmania.
Until now, most expeditions for tourists into the Antarctic used ships to visit penguins and massive icebergs. But now, a new way to travel, which had been reserved for station and scientific personnel will be available also for tourists: regular scheduled flights to Antarctica.