In late summer the snow banks on these mountains turn pink, known as “watermelon snow”, thanks to blooming extremophiles.
How do organisms survive extreme conditions – and how can their adaptations help us develop better technology?
Scientist and seal, under the Antarctic ice.
McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory
Microphones on the seafloor recorded life under the Antarctic ice for two years – inadvertently catching seal trills and chirps that are above the range of human hearing. Could they be for navigation?
Whales are rediscovering their old haunts in the Arctic and Southern oceans after centuries of hunting.
There has been a rapid redirection of resources towards COVID-19-related research. In the long term, this resource reallocation is likely to result in budget cuts in all research areas.
Members of Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition (1907–1909) gather round a gramophone player in Antarctica.
Artist Unknown/Getty Images
A strong mind was key to surviving the monotony faced by Antarctic explorers enduring the isolation of long, remote winters.
The Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station.
Living sustainably has its challenges, but none greater than in the climate and geography of Antarctica.
Field camp on the East Antarctic ice sheet.
Some 58 metres of sea level rise is locked up in Antartica’s ice sheets, and it’s melting faster than expected.
The research vessel must dodge dangerous icebergs as it drills for sediment core samples.
A paleooceanographer describes her ninth sea expedition, this time retrieving cylindrical ‘cores’ of the sediment and rock that’s as much as two miles down at the ocean floor.
Sea ice responds to changes in winds and ocean currents, sometimes with origins thousands of kilometres away.
Antarctic sea ice cover fell to an all-time low recently and hasn’t yet recovered. Why? The initial answers could lie in an unlikely place – the tropics.
In Antarctica, many countries want a piece of the action.
There are some limits on what countries can do in the Antarctic, but not when it comes to science.
Under the terms of the current treaty all commercial mining is forbidden, but rumblings of discontent are stirring beneath the ice.
A different kind of international dialogue.
Kyle Glenn on Unsplash
A flavor of diplomacy that focuses on science cuts through political differences and finds new ways for nations to work together.
Mosses are sensitive to even minor changes in their living conditions.
Mosses are sensitive to even minor changes in their living conditions, and scientists traditionally tramped through difficult terrain to collect data on them.
Celebrity cows: Southern Girl and Iceberg enjoy a ‘hay cocktail’ at the Commodore Hotel in New York.
Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, contact for re-use
What would possess an Antarctic expedition to take dairy cows to the icy continent? Back in 1933, Admiral Byrd did so for reasons of image-making, publicity and territorial ambition.
Senator Jacqui Lambie, speaking on Q&A.
During a Q&A discussion about climate change, Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie said it was four degrees hotter 110,000 years ago. Is that right?
Antarctica hangs in the balance. Five cities have the chance of securing the future of this fragile continent.
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
It’s one of the remotest places on Earth and yet is still claimed by six nations – including Australia.
Antarctica’s delicate ecosystem could be under threat from invasive species.
A warming Earth could see invading species arrive in Antarctica via the floating “taxi service” of the sea. That could be a threat to the southern continent’s delicate ecosystem.
Ancient air bubbles preserved in Antarctic ice.
The Ellsworth Mountains Project
What gaps have the CSIRO cuts left in climate research?
Where the ice meets the sea: Antarctica’s ice shelves play a key role in how fast ice sheets melt.
Antarctica image from www.shutterstock.com
As the world warms, Antarctica’s melting ice will likely reach the point of no return.