The first women at the South Pole

Forty-five years ago the first six women set foot at the South Pole in November 1969. These women were: New Zealander Pamela Young who worked under the New Zealand Antarctic programme as a field assistant to her biologist husband; Lois Jones, a geochemist at Ohio State University, who headed an all-female team consisting of Terry Lee Tickhill Terrell, Eileen McSaveney and Kay Lindsay to a study lakes in Antarctica's Dry Valleys and Jean Pearson, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

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South Korea opens new Antarctic cooperation office in Christchurch, New Zealand

Amongst the nations that are showing a growing interest in Antarctica are many Asian countries such as China, India, Japan and South Korea. Several new stations have been constructed and the national research efforts are increased step by step.

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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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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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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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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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Successor for the German ice breaker “Polarstern”.

This spring Reederei F. Laeisz G.m.b.H. received the contract award for consulting services concerning design and construction of a future German research icebreaker. Today, Tuesday, 22 July 2014, representatives of the shipping company and the Alfred Wegener Institute additionally signed a contract for ship management in Bremerhaven.

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New biogeographical atlas for the Southern Ocean and its marine life.

A new atlas, providing the most thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean, is published this week by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). Leading marine biologists and oceanographers from all over the world spent the last four years compiling everything they know about ocean species from microbes to whales.

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Greenhouse Gases in the Southern Ocean: First Evidence of Active Methane Emission at the Antarctic Seafloor

During an expedition with the German research vessel Polarstern off the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, an international team of scientists discovered more than 130 active methane seeps at the seafloor. According to chief scientist and MARUM researcher Gerhard Bohrmann, this is the first report of greenhouse gases seeping out of the seabed in the Southern Ocean. The finding was recently published in the Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

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