Articles on Antarctic

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Australia (whose flag is pictured on the right) is one of several countries with a big stake in the South Pole. Josh Landis/US NSF/Wikimedia

Why Australians should care about the South Pole

It's one of the remotest places on Earth and yet is still claimed by six nations – including Australia.
Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf photographed in October 2011 from NASA’s DC-8 research aircraft during an Operation IceBridge flight. Michael Studinger/NASA

Shrinking of Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating

Researchers find that ice around Antarctica shrank quickly last decade, raising concerns over this buttress against melting land-based ice and future sea-level rise.
These clouds – formed high in the Antarctic atmosphere during spring – provide a place where ozone-destroying chemicals can form. sandwich/Flickr

Ozone hole closing for the year, but full recovery is decades away

Imagine an environmental crisis caused by a colourless, odourless gas, in minute concentrations, building up in the atmosphere. There is no expert consensus, but in the face of considerable uncertainty…
Catch from Japan’s previous whaling program. The new program will kill fewer whales. EPA/TIM WATTERS / SEA SHEPHERD

Japan’s new whaling program is a small win for whales, but…

This week, Japan announced a research plan for its New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean, to replace previous programs. In March this year, Japan’s previous whaling program, JARPA…
Antarctica has actually been protected from sea ice melt by the ozone hole. Vassil Tzvetanov

The ozone hole leaves a lasting impression on southern climate

Many people think of sunburn and skin cancer when they hear about the ozone hole. But more ultraviolet (UV) radiation isn’t the only problem. The ozone hole has also led to dramatic changes in Southern…
Monitoring penguins by an automated camera set up by the Australian Antarctic Division at Whitney Point near Casey station. Australian Antarctic Division/Colin Southwell

Is Australia’s claim to Antarctica at risk?

While Australia’s commitment to a 20-year plan for Antarctica has been welcomed by some it has also raised concerns over the nation’s ability to fulfil a credible research role in the south polar region…
A brighter future for Australia’s Antarctic research. Flickr/Christopher Michel

A 20-year plan welcomed for Australia in the Antarctic

The Antarctic is a vast and inhospitable place with a time scale all of its own. For the scientists who travel there to carry out research, a project can sometimes take years to plan and even longer to…
Expanding protected areas to safeguard the unique biodiversity, such as these emperor penguins, is just part of the Australian research role in Antarctica. Australian Antarctic Division

Private funding could help Australia’s role in the Antarctic

The Australian government’s blueprint for the Antarctic is due out soon. Given the recent cuts in public funding for science, what hope is there for any extra monies for the polar region. And what should…
Ice cores reveal that Antarctica was polluted long before Scott and Amundsen set foot there. Andrew Mandemaker/Wikimedia Commons

Our pollution reached Antarctica long before the great explorers

Lead pollution from Australia reached Antarctica in 1889 – long before the frozen continent’s golden age of exploration – and has remained there ever since, new research shows. In our study, published…
Sea ice, coming to an Antarctic sea near you. Brocken Inaglory

Data error discovery slows trend of growing Antarctic sea ice

The amount of the earth’s ocean surface covered by sea ice has been continually observed by satellites and its extent estimated since 1978. The trend has been for shrinking sea ice in the Arctic and, more…

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