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Tag: Antarctic

Antarctic expedition hopes for Ernest Shackleton bonus

Antarctic expedition hopes for Ernest Shackleton bonus

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceA scientific expedition will next year try to find the Endurance, the ill-fated ship of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The vessel sank in 1915, crushed by sea-ice in the Weddell Sea and lost in 3,000m of water. Shackleton and his crew were forced into lifeboats to make an extraordinary and heroic escape across the Southern Ocean. UK researcher Prof Julian Dowdeswell will lead the international effort.He expects to have the cruise on station in January/February. Locating the shipwreck is not the primary goal of the expedition; the major objective is to visit and study the Larsen C Ice Shelf, which last July calved one of the biggest icebergs ever recorded in Antarctica. But because Larsen is so close to the last known position of the En...
Big increase in Antarctic snowfall

Big increase in Antarctic snowfall

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceScientists have compiled a record of snowfall in Antarctica going back 200 years. The study shows there has been a significant increase in precipitation over the period, up 10%. Some 272 billion tonnes more snow were being dumped on the White Continent annually in the decade 2001-2010 compared with 1801-1810. This yearly extra is equivalent to twice the water volume found today in the Dead Sea. Put another way, it is the amount of water you would need to cover New Zealand to a depth of 1m. Dr Liz Thomas presented the results of the study at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly here in Vienna, Austria. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) researcher said the work was undertaken to try to put current ice losses into a broader context...
UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition

UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceScientists will set out in the next week to study an Antarctic realm that has been hidden for thousands of years.A British Antarctic Survey-led team will explore the seabed ecosystem exposed when a giant iceberg broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula in 2017. The organisation has also released the first video of the berg, which covers almost 6,000 sq km.Its true scale begins to emerge in a shot filmed from an aircraft flown along its edge. Urgent missionAn international team will spend three weeks, from February to March, on board the research ship RRS James Clark Ross, navigating ice-infested waters to reach the remote Larsen C ice shelf from which the berg calved.British Antarctic Survey marine biologist Dr Katrin Linse, who is leading the mi...
Antarctic base comes out of deep freeze

Antarctic base comes out of deep freeze

Science
The advance party sent in to open up Britain’s mothballed Antarctic base have found no damage. Halley station was closed in March and staff withdrawn because of uncertainty over the behaviour of cracks in the Brunt Ice Shelf - the flowing, floating platform on which it sits. The base was secured and left to the elements, with temperatures dipping down to around -50C. But the first arrivals say Halley is none the worse for its shut-down. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) flew a party of 12 into the base to start switching all the utilities back on - the power and heating. One fear was that windows might have broken in a storm and that this could have allowed snow to get inside. But that has not been the case. Halley operations manager John Eager said: "The team was very pleased to find th
UK's Halley Antarctic base set for second closure

UK's Halley Antarctic base set for second closure

Science
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) will once again close its Halley station at the end of the coming Southern Hemisphere summer.The base sits on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf, which is currently being incised by two large developing cracks.BAS withdrew its staff from Halley this past winter because of uncertainty over how these fissures would evolve.The survey has now confirmed it will do the same again when the approaching summer season comes to an end."What we are witnessing is the power and unpredictability of nature," said BAS director Prof Dame Jane Francis."The safety of our staff is our priority in these circumstances. Our Antarctic summer research operation will continue as planned, and we are confident of mounting a fast uplift of personnel should fracturing of the ice shelf occur...