“Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have been working with a host of international collaborators to present the most detailed map yet of Antarctica’s landmass. [...] The map allows scientists to analyse, in much greater detail, the bed below the Antarctic ice sheet.” Quoted from the British Antarctic Survey press release.
“Although they live in similarly extreme ecosystems at opposite ends of the world, Antarctic insects appear to employ entirely different methods at the genetic level to cope with extremely dry conditions than their counterparts that live north of the Arctic Circle.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.
“With data from 73 ice and sediment core monitoring sites around the world, scientists have reconstructed Earth’s temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.
“A century after Western explorers first crossed the dangerous landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctic, researchers [...] have successfully deployed a self-guided robot that uses ground-penetrating radar to map deadly crevasses hidden in ice-covered terrains.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.
“The robustness of food webs of Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems has been compared for the first time, revealing that global warming can affect the biodiversity of these ecosystems in different ways despite the similarities between them.” Quoted from the University of Western Australia press release.
A team of U.S. ice-coring scientists and engineers in Antarctica, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), has recovered from the ice sheet a record of past climate and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that extends back 68,000 years.
“The International North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling project results indicate that melting of the Antarctic ice sheet may have contributed more to sea level rise than melting of the Greeland ice sheet some 100,000 years ago.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
The edge of the Greenland ice sheet, near Kangerlussuaq. Peter West, NSF.
“Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.” Quoted from the Executive Summary of the Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report
The British Antarctic Survey team encountered drilling difficulties in their attempt to drill through 3 kilomters of Antarctic ice and into the subglacial waters of Lake Ellsworth. They will return to the UK to decide if a new attempt is possible.
Three teams of scientists from Russia, Britain and the United States are drilling through Antarctic ice to penetrate subglacial “lakes” of liquid water trapped in the ice. They might find interesting forms of life that can live in the extreme conditions of these lakes – without sunlight.
“Researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) describe in a new publication a viable community of bacteria that ekes out a living in a dark, salty and subfreezing environment beneath nearly 20 meters of ice in one of Antarctica’s most isolated lakes.”
“The average area covered by the Antarctic ozone hole this year was the second smallest in the last 20 years, according to data from NASA satellites. Scientists attribute the change to warmer temperatures in the Antarctic lower stratosphere.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
Natural gas from shale is being called the current energy game changer. Methane hydrate deposits could be the next major source of natural gas. These deposits are known to occur along continental margins worldwide and their hydrocarbon content exceeds that of coal, oil and natural gas combined. Developing them could make countries like Japan self-sufficient.
“Analysis of small, repeating earthquakes in an Antarctic ice sheet may not only lead to an understanding of glacial movement, but may also shed light on stick slip earthquakes like those on the San Andreas Fault or in Haiti.” Quoted from the PSU press release.
“A National Science Foundation-funded radio telescope in Antarctica has found an extraordinary galaxy cluster that may force astronomers to rethink how galaxy clusters and the galaxies that inhabit them evolve.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
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