Supplying stations in East Antarctica is a long and costly affair due to the vastness and the distances. Most of the time, stations receive their supplies via ship, which is less expensive but more time consuming. To change this, the Royal Australian Air Force has successfully flown the final flight into East Antarctica in a series of proof of concept flights by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in support of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).
Over past decades, the mean temperature on the Earth’s surface has been noticeably rising. What we call “climate warming” is to a large extent due to anthropogenic emissions of CO2 that amplify the natural greenhouse effect. Observations, though, show that there has been hardly or almost no increase in the surface temperature of inland Antarctica over the same period. Scientists from the University of Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven have been trying to find out why Antarctica should constitute an exception to the global greenhouse effect. They have now published the results of their research based on satellite surveys and radiative transfer calculations in an article for the journal “Geophysical Research Letters”.
A comprehensive suite of scientific measurements on board the icebreaker Aurora Australis aims to improve the knowledge about food webs in the Southern Ocean. The ship has reached the Kerguelen Islands in the Southern Indian Ocean and the measurement program is under way.
Sea ice physicists of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) have developed a new method that allows them for the first time to efficiently determine the distribution and thickness of what researchers call a sub-ice platelet layer. This several metre thick layer of delicate ice crystals is predominantly found beneath coastal Antarctic sea ice, and at present knowledge about its spatial distribution is very limited. This phenomenon, which is also known as platelet ice, is of central importance in the coastal regions of the Antarctic, influencing sea ice properties and the associated ecosystem in various ways, and serving as an indicator for the state of melting ice shelves. The researchers published their results with open access in the current issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
IAATO Executive Director Dr Kim Crosbie and IAATO Member Mr Jérôme Poncet of Golden Fleece Expeditions have been awarded the Queen's Polar Medal. Kim has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to the knowledge of Polar visitor management. Jérôme for his pioneering efforts in supplying logistics in support of Polar science and wildlife documentaries for over 40 years.
Two years on Antarctic sea ice: Longest autonomous time series to observe snow depth. Since January 2014 two snow depth buoys deliver continuously information about the snow depth on Antarctic sea ice. During this time they traveled 5.200 kilometers and each took more than 17.500 measurements along the route.
For the first time in 5 years a passenger cruise ship stands a good chance of reaching Mawson’s historic hut in Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica after two large icebergs have moved out of the way
Henry Worsley, a descendant of famous Captain Frank Worsley from Shackleton’s ship “Endurance”, had attempted to cross the Antarctic continent unaided and alone. After having travelled over 900 miles in 71 days, Worsley fell ill and had to be evacuated and hospitalized. Last Sunday, January 24th, he sadly passed away in Punta Arenas after a multiple organ failure.
Penguins share many features with other birds despite their inability to fly. Especially the feathers are remarkable in terms of insulation and drag reduction. A new study by mechanical aerospace engineers from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) reveals another secret: why penguin do not freeze over when coming out of the icy waters of the Antarctic. The new findings may help to prevent airplane hulls and especially wings from icing in the future.
A research expedition is underway to study the distribution of Antarctic krill between Heard Island and Antarctica in the Southern Indian Ocean in an area known as the Kerguelen Axis.