Protecting the continent’s remaining pristine wilderness areas is urgent, but achievable.
Who owns the Moon?
Henglein and Steets/Getty Images
US and international law conflicts about who would be in charge if a private company established a Moon base or colonized Mars.
Aerial view of a glacier in the Antarctic peninsula region.
Getty Images/Mario Tama
Two centuries after it was first sighted by Russian explorers, Antarctica is a key site for studying the future of Earth's climate – and for global scientific cooperation.
Technology, such as satellite systems, can be used for both military and scientific purposes.
‘Dual use’ technology – technology used for both peaceful and military purposes – is allowed in Antarctica, according to the treaty.
Brazil, home to the Amazon, is one of just five ‘mega-wilderness’ countries.
More than two-thirds of Earth's remaining wilderness is in the hands of just five countries, according to a new global map. A concerted conservation effort is needed to save our last wild places.
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.
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.
A photo from Sea Shepherd allegedly shows a Japanese whaling vessel with a dead minke whale on board.
EPA/GLENN LOCKITCH / SEA SHEPHERD HANDOUT
Japan is once again allegedly killing whales in Antarctica. But after taking Japan to international court in 2014, there's not much Australia can do.
Next year the Ross Sea will be home to the world’s largest marine reserve.
Andrew Mandemaker/Wikimedia Commons
After years of stalled negotiations, China has ended its opposition to the world's largest marine park off Antarctica - part of a wider trend towards increased Chinese involvement in global governance.
The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long sails from Fremantle Harbour on its way home from Antarctica.
Australia and China both have a keen interest in the frozen continent. And while they don't agree on everything, there is great scope for scientific collaboration.