The quest for the oldest ice on Earth

A team of European scientists heads to East Antarctica to locate the oldest ice on Earth. The team’s goal is to search for a suitable site to drill an ice core to capture 1.5 million years of Earth’s climate history. Such a core will answer important questions about big shifts in the past record of Earth’s climate and ultimately improve our knowledge of future climate.

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World's largest marine protected area declared in Antarctica

The Ross Sea region is one of the most pristine environments in the world. After five years of failed negotiations, conservationists worldwide have now reason to celebrate. During the Antarctica conservation meeting in Hobart in the end of October delegates from 24 countries and the European Union have finally agreed that the Ross Sea in Antarctica, will become the world's largest marine protected area. The new protected area will cover 1.55 million square kilometres.

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Antarctic mystery solved? Scientists say ocean fossils found in mountains are cause for concern over future sea levels

Tiny ocean fossils distributed widely across rock surfaces in the Transantarctic Mountains point to the potential for a substantial rise in global sea levels under conditions of continued global warming, according to a new study.

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Scientists pinpoint beginning of current global warming trend

Human-induced global warming began much earlier than previously thought. New research suggests that warming started about 180 years ago near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Researchers in Australia found evidence for the early onset of warming after analysing 500 years of climate data from ice cores, corals, sediment layers and tree rings.

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Seals help solve Antarctic bottom water mystery

Oceanographic instruments attached to the heads of Antarctic elephant seals have assisted scientists better understand the role melting ice shelves are having in regulating global ocean temperatures. During their foraging dives the animals collected data and helped researchers to identify a new source of bottom water production in East Antarctica.

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Small fish in the bigger picture of the Southern Ocean ecosystem

The Southern Ocean is still a very big white spot on the knowledge map despite its importance for the world’s climate and as an important habitat for many marine organisms. Now, scientists from Australia and the European Union have joined forces to better understand the role of micronekton in the marine food web, holding the first project meeting of the new partnership in Hobart today. The Mesopelagic Southern Ocean Prey and Predators (MESOPP) project focuses on micronekton, which are small fishes, crustacean, squids and jellies that measure between 1 and 20cm.

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Radical action for more gender equality in Antarctic science

Antarctica is not a man’s world - not anymore. Women have played an important role in the advancement of Antarctic science especially in the last 50 years. An on-line collection of biographies of successful female scientists who worked in Antarctica celebrates that. Hopes are that the carriers of these women will inspire young girls to follow in their footsteps.

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ICE AGE movie characters experience winter at Scott Base in Antarctica

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.

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First sunrise and start of winter flights at New Zealand’s Antarctic Scott Base

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.

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Antarctic sea ice may be a mercury source in the food web

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.

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