Antarctica News

Antarctic Icebergs Have Surprise Role in Slowing Warming

The biggest icebergs breaking off Antarctica unexpectedly help to slow global warming as they melt away into the chill Southern Ocean, scientists said on Monday.   The rare Manhattan-sized icebergs, which may become more frequent in coming decades because of climate change, release a vast trail of iron and other nutrients that act as fertilisers for algae and other tiny plant-like organisms in the ocean.   These extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, a natural ally for human efforts to limit the pace of climate change blamed on man-made greenhouse gas emissions.  

A massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. (Image Credit: NASA/John Sonntag)

Vast Iceberg Poised to Crack off Antarctica

A vast iceberg, expected to be one of the biggest ever recorded with an area almost the size of the U.S. state of Delaware or the Caribbean island state of Trinidad and Tobago, is poised to break off Antarctica. A rift, slowly developing across the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula in recent years, expanded abruptly last month, growing by about 18 km (11 miles). It is now more than 80 km long with just 20 km left before it snaps, scientists said. "The Larsen C Ice shelf in Antarctica is primed to shed an area of more than 5,000 square km (1,930 square miles) following further

Crevasses near the grounding line of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica. (Credits: University of Washington/I. Joughin)

Accelerating Antarctic Thaw Speeds Sea Level Rise

An accelerating thaw of Antarctica has pushed up world sea levels by almost a centimeter since the early 1990s in a risk for coasts from Pacific islands to Florida, an international team of scientists said on Thursday.Antarctica has enough ice to raise seas by 58 meters (190 ft) if it ever all melted, dwarfing frozen stores in places from Greenland to the Himalayas and making its future the biggest uncertainty in understanding global warming and ocean levels.The frozen continent lost almost three trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, the 84 scientists said in what they called the most complete

Antarctic Survey Vessel Wyatt Earp passing an iceberg in Antarctica.. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Wyatt Earp Continues Antarctic Mission

biological, oceanographic and meteorological experiments and observations as part of Operation SOUTHERN DISCOVERY.   Wyatt Earp is fitted with equipment such as multi-beam echo sounders, sediment grabs, sub-bottom profilers and underwater cameras.   The work the vessel completes whilst in Antarctica will directly contribute to safe navigation around Australian Stations, particularly to aid some of the cruise ships that navigate around un-surveyed waters in these regions.   The team on the vessel are conducting bathymetric surveying of the approaches to Davis Station in order to facilitate

Joint hydrographic and seabed characterization survey in coastal waters off Davis station, Antarctica. (Photo: Royal Australian Navy)

Australian Scientists Study the Antarctic

further examine the data to determine the relationships between the shape and composition of the seafloor and what lives there. This information can then be used to better manage this unique environment. Marine geoscientist Dr. Alix Post participated in a voyage to the Sabrina Coast region of East Antarctica on board the RV Investigator. The voyage, led by Macquarie University, completed the most extensive hydrographic survey in East Antarctica to date and collected long sediment cores that contain a rich archive of climate information. In addition, the survey completed detailed assessments of benthic

Photo: Blackmagic Design

4K Camera Captures Subsea Footage for BBC and NHK

submersibles are so packed with gear that space is at a premium, and we were able to replace hundreds of pounds of gear with a tiny, lightweight camera.”   With several expeditions complete, so far the Micro Studio Camera 4K has completed 60 dives and three months of deep sea work in Antarctica.   “We keep the camera running the entire dive, which usually lasts eight hours, because you never know what you are going to see, and you don't want to miss anything,” Frey said. “While we aren’t the first to dive in Antarctica, we are the first to dive to 1,000

Thermal wavelength image of a large iceberg, which has calved off the Larsen C ice shelf. Darker colors are colder, and brighter colors are warmer, so the rift between the iceberg and the ice shelf appears as a thin line of slightly warmer area. Image from July 12, 2017, from the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. (Image: NASA Worldview)

Giant Iceberg Breaks off Antarctica

One of the biggest icebergs on record has broken away from Antarctica, scientists said on Wednesday, creating an extra hazard for ships around the continent as it breaks up.   The one trillion tonne iceberg, measuring 5,800 square km, calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica sometime between July 10 and 12, said scientists at the University of Swansea and the British Antarctic Survey.   The iceberg, which is roughly the size of the U.S. state of Delaware or the Indonesian island of Bali, has been close to breaking off for a few months.   Throughout the Antarctic winter

Artist impression Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) for the Australian Antarctic Division.  (Photo: Radio Holland)

IT Package Ordered for Australian Arctic Research Ship

Vessel (ASRV) newbuild for the Australian Antarctic Division.   The 160m ASRV is a survey vessel which combines icebreaking, survey and supply activities. The vessel will be able to break ice up to 1.65 meters at a speed of 3 knots and will supply Australia’s permanent research stations in Antarctica and Macquarie Island with cargo, equipment and personnel.   Radio Holland said it will deliver a large IT infrastructure consisting of central IT cabinets and various switching cabinets located at strategic positions on the vessel. The network will be used as the infrastructure for various

Antarctic Survey Vessel Wyatt Earp Surveying Newcomb Bay. Photo: ABHSO Dyer, Royal Australian Navy

Australian Navy Surveys Antarctica

Survey Team returned from a six-week Antarctic expedition to collect essential data for navigational charts and scientific research. The team sailed from Hobart in RSV Aurora Australis on December 11, 2013 to conduct a hydrographic survey in the vicinity of Casey Station, a permanent base in Antarctica managed by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). The Officer in Charge of the survey team, Lieutenant Peter Waring, said the cold climate task was challenging and fascinating: “We conducted the survey from onboard the Australian Hydrographic Service’s nine meter Antarctic Survey

The robot submarine ready for launch from an icebreaker offshore Antarctica.

Thickness of Antarctic Sea Ice Surpass Expectations

  Antarctica's ice paradox has yet another puzzling layer. Not only is the amount of sea ice increasing each year, but an underwater robot now shows the ice is also much thicker than was previously thought, a new study reports. The discovery adds to the ongoing mystery of Antarctica's expanding sea ice. According to climate models, the region's sea ice should be shrinking each year because of global warming. Instead, satellite observations show the ice is expanding, and the continent's sea ice has set new records for the past three winters. At the same time, Antarctica's ice sheet (the

The front of Antarctica's Getz Ice Shelf. (Photo: Jeremy Harbeck/NASA)

Strong El Niño Events Cause Large Antarctic Ice Loss -Study

at the University of California San Diego. Paolo is now a postdoctoral scholar at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Paolo and his colleagues, including Scripps glaciologist Helen Fricker, discovered that a strong El Niño event causes ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica to gain mass at the surface and melt from below at the same time, losing up to five times more ice from basal melting than they gain from increased snowfall. The study used satellite observations of the height of the ice shelves from 1994 to 2017.   “We’ve described for the first

Adélie penguin populations have increased by 69% in East Antarctica over the past 30 years. (Photo Louise Emmerson)

Adélie Penguin Population Doubles

 Adélie penguin populations in East Antarctica have almost doubled over the past 30 years, according to research published in PLOS ONE today. Australian Antarctic Division seabird ecologists, Dr Colin Southwell and Dr Louise Emmerson, alongside colleagues from Australia, France and Japan, found that the five main regional populations of Adélie penguins in East Antarctica have increased by 69 per cent since 1980. The team used aerial photographs and ground-based observations to count Adélie penguins during recent summer breeding seasons at 99 sites located along 4500 km

Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) today agreed to set aside more than 1 million square kilometres of the Ross Sea Image ASOC

Antarctica’s Ross Sea Gets Protection

aside more than 1 million square kilometres of the Ross Sea in recognition of its incredible scientific and biodiversity values.   CCAMLR committed to creating a system of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean in 2009 and has been discussing the creation of MPAs in the Ross Sea and East Antarctica for several years. Claire Christian, director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, said  “ASOC is thrilled to see that CCAMLR has protected 1.55 million square km of the Ross Sea, 1.12 million square kilometers of which will be fully protected with the remaining area designated

MERMAC R10 AHC -ROV (Photo: MacArtney Group)

ROV Winch Supplied for Antarctica Expedition

Antarctica expedition benefits from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) winch supplied by MacArtney Underwater Technology. An icebreaking polar supply and research vessel is to map out underwater conditions in the icy waters in terms of subsurface and marine life.    The winch system, which was acquired through Swedish SubSea Solutions on the part of University of Gothenburg, will be put to good use on board South African icebreaking polar supply and research vessel S. A. Agulhas II designed to carry out scientific research and supply to South African research stations in Antarctica. Soon it

Autonomous underwater vehicle Boaty McBoatface (Photo: NOC)

Boaty McBoatface Completes First Antarctic Mission

The National Oceanography Center’s (NOC) autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Autosub Long Range (ALR), known affectionately around the world as ‘Boaty McBoatface’, was recovered last month following its first under-ice mission beneath the Filchner Ice Shelf in West Antarctica.From January to February 2018, the AUV was deployed in the southern Weddell Sea during RV Polarstern cruise PS111 as part of the Filchner Ice Shelf System (FISS) Project – a collaboration involving leading U.K. research institutions including the NOC, British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Met Office Hadley Center

Pine Island Glacier rift seen from the Digital Mapping System camera aboard NASA's DC-8 on Oct. 26, 2011 (Image Credit: NASA / DMS)

Huge Iceberg Broken off Antarctica Heads for Open Ocean

now in existence - that broke off from an Antarctic glacier and is heading into the open ocean. NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt said on Wednesday the iceberg covers about 255 square miles (660 square km) and is up to a third of a mile (500 meters) thick. Known as B31, the iceberg separated from Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier last November, Brunt added. "It's one that's large enough that it warrants monitoring," Brunt said in a telephone interview, noting that U.S. government organizations including the National Ice Center keep an eye on dozens of icebergs at any given time. The

© sichkarenko_com / Adobe Stock

Polar Sea Ice the Size of India Vanishes in Record Heat

Sea ice off Antarctica and in the Arctic is at record lows for this time of year after declining by twice the size of Alaska in a sign of rising global temperatures, climate scientists say.   Against a trend of global warming and a steady retreat of ice at earth's northern tip, ice floating on the Southern Ocean off Antarctica has tended to expand in recent years.   But now it is shrinking at both ends of the planet, a development alarming scientists and to which a build-up of man-made greenhouse gases, an El Nino weather event that this year unlocked heat from the Pacific Ocean and

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