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Major expedition targets Thwaites Glacier

Major expedition targets Thwaites Glacier

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device The US icebreaker Nathaniel B Palmer leaves Punta Arenas in Chile on Tuesday to begin an expedition to Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier.The huge ice stream in West Antarctica is currently melting, and scientists want to understand its likely future contribution to sea-level rise.If all of Thwaites' frozen bulk were to give way, it would add 80cm to the height of the world's oceans."How much, how fast? That's our mantra," said Dr Robert Larter."These are the questions we're asking about Thwaites," the British Antarctic Survey scientist told BBC News before leaving Chile. Dr Larter will be directing operations on the Palmer when it gets on site. What is the purpose of th...
Antarctic Weddell expedition targets Shackleton's lost ship

Antarctic Weddell expedition targets Shackleton's lost ship

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device A scientific expedition in the Antarctic is set to depart its current location to go in search of Sir Ernest Shackleton's lost ship.The team has been investigating the Larsen C Ice Shelf and the continent's biggest iceberg, known as A68.And this puts it just a few hundred km from the last recorded position of the famous British explorer's vessel, the Endurance.The polar steam-yacht was crushed in sea-ice and sank in November 1915. Shackleton's extraordinary escape from this loss, saving his crew, means there is considerable interest in finding the wreck.Endurance should be resting on the ocean floor, some 3,000m down.The Weddell Sea Expedit...
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...
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...