Antarctica

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Antarctic Ice Is Growing —But Why?

NASA scientists seek to explain expanding ice

(Newser) - Amid the rising calamity of climate change, Antarctic sea ice has hit an all-time high—but why? Well, scientists aren't quite sure, the Smithsonian reports. "It's really not surprising to people in the climate field that not every location on the face of Earth is acting as... More »

Antarctic Fish Have Ice in Their Veins

Antifreeze proteins appear to prevent melting

(Newser) - How do the fish that thrive in the waters around Antarctica prevent their blood from turning to ice? Turns out at least some of them don't. Scientists have long known that the group of fish species known as notothenioids have an antifreeze protein in their blood that prevents them... More »

Freshwater Fueling Antarctic Sea Rise

Coastal waters rising faster than rest of ocean

(Newser) - Around 61% of the world's freshwater is locked up in Antarctic ice—but a new study warns that accelerating melting on the continent is helping push up the sea levels around it. Researchers found that between 1992 and 2011, sea levels rose more around Antarctica than in the Southern... More »

Scientists Find Life Half a Mile Below Antarctic Ice

The active ecosystem is below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

(Newser) - A half a mile below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, in a lake that hasn’t been touched by sunshine or wind in millions of years, life goes on. A large US expedition called WISSARD , led by a professor at Montana State University, has unearthed a thriving... More »

Antarctica's New Scourge: Tourists

Number of humans is soaring in a fragile ecosystem

(Newser) - The fanny-pack set is now the bane of even Antarctica's existence: A new study published in PLoS Biology is warning that, yes, tourists are threatening the frigid environment of the globe's least populated continent. "Many people think that Antarctica is well protected from threats to its biodiversity... More »

Antarctica's Melting Speed Doubles

Compared to measurements just a few years ago

(Newser) - If we needed more disturbing news on a melting Antarctica, scientists are supplying it. Days after we learned that the melting of the West Antarctica ice sheet is apparently unstoppable , researchers find that the continent is disappearing twice as quickly as it was when last measured. Information from Europe's... More »

To Scientists' Horror, Antarctic Ice Begins Unstoppable Collapse

Point of no return has passed, researchers say

(Newser) - Two groups of scientists studying the West Antarctica ice sheet have come to the same chilling conclusion: The mighty glaciers have begun a thaw that will cause sea levels to rise 10 feet or more and there's nothing we can do about it. "A large sector of the... More »

Antarctic Iceberg Is 6 Times Size of Manhattan

Could pose shipping problems in Antarctic winter

(Newser) - Last year, a huge chunk of ice broke off of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica—and an iceberg six times the size of Manhattan was born. Dubbed B31, the iceberg "is now well out of Pine Island Bay and will soon join the more general flow in the Southern... More »

Scientists Revive 1,500-Year-Old Life Form

Moss dating back to Roman Empire easily returns to life

(Newser) - Have a craving for 1,500-year-old moss? Just dig some up from Antarctic permafrost, expose it to light and healthy temperatures, and presto, you've got moss, National Geographic reports. Scientists from Britain did just that, marking the first time a multicellular organism that old has regenerated so easily. In... More »

In Antarctica, a Waterfall Runs Red

Inside the wonders of Blood Falls

(Newser) - It's as eerie as it is breathtaking and surprising: a waterfall in Antarctica that runs blood-red. The appropriately named Blood Falls drops five stories from the Taylor Glacier and into Lake Bonney, its bright red hue like a wound through the glacier. The Smithsonian digs into the story behind... More »

Even Deeper 'Grand Canyon' Found Under Antarctic Ice

It's almost 2 miles at its deepest

(Newser) - It looks like the Grand Canyon has some pretty stiff competition near both poles. In August, scientists announced they had found a Greenland canyon that dwarfs the famed one in Arizona. Now, researchers have repeated the feat—and then some—in the Antarctic. Phys.Org reports that a group of... More »

Trapped Ships Break Free of Antarctic Ice

Before rescue ship can reach them

(Newser) - Two ships that have been trapped near Antarctica broke free of their icy prisons today—before the US ship coming to rescue them could even arrive. A crack appeared in the ice surrounding the Akademik Shokalskiy and the Xue Long following a change in wind direction, the captain of the... More »

US Joins in Antarctic Ship Rescue Effort

Coast Guard cutter to aid Russian, Chinese ships

(Newser) - First a Russian ship got trapped in Antarctic ice; then a Chinese ship got stuck trying to rescue it. Finally, passengers on the MV Akademik Shokalskiy were rescued late this week via helicopter while crew members remained. The saga continues amid concerns about the Chinese vessel : Now the US Coast... More »

52 Rescued From Stranded Antarctic Ship

Ship will now transport them to Tasmania

(Newser) - Help has finally arrived for 52 tourists and scientists who have been trapped on a ship stranded in Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve. A Chinese helicopter has ferried the adventurers in batches to the Aurora Australis ship that will bring them out out of Antarctic waters and to Tasmania by... More »

Helicopter Rescue Set for Ship Stranded in Antarctica

Chopper will lift 52 scientists, tourists, but leave crew

(Newser) - Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for more than a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter within hours. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Centre said today that weather conditions had improved in the area and rescue operations were... More »

Rare Photos Found From 1915 Antarctic Expedition

Negatives are discovered frozen in hut's darkroom

(Newser) - Ghostly images of a nearly 100-year-old Antarctic expedition have been rescued from a block of ice and processed for the first time, Guardia reports. They date back to 1915, when an advance team for Sir Ernest Shackleton called the Ross Sea Party arrived to set up supply depots for the... More »

Icebreaker Trying to Rescue Antarctic Ship Gets Stuck

Chinese vessel is within sight, but it might take another 2 days

(Newser) - The captain of a Chinese icebreaker trying to rescue an icebound vessel in the Antarctic puts it diplomatically to CNN : "The current ice condition is exceeding our capabilities to break through further." In other words, it's stuck, too. The good news is that the Chinese ship is... More »

Rescue 2 Days Off for Antarctic Cruise Stranded in Ice

Passengers said to be in high spirits nonetheless

(Newser) - An Antarctic adventure cruise has become stuck in ice after a storm, and rescue ships are at least two days away—but to judge from the dispatches from the ship, the people aboard don't seem to mind. The Akademik Shokalskiy sent out a distress call yesterday, News.com.au... More »

Antarctica May Hold a Stash of Diamonds

Researchers suspect the gem is there, but mining is banned until 2041

(Newser) - As a scramble for the Arctic's resources looms, scientists have spotted evidence of mineral riches at the planet's southern pole. An Australian-led team discovered rocks signaling large diamond deposits on the icy slopes of Mount Meredith, which is located in East Antarctica, the BBC reports. (They didn't... More »

Found: Coldest Spot on Earth

'Soul-crushing' -136F recorded in Antarctica

(Newser) - If you're reading this in a spot just below the crest of an ice ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau, you're probably frozen solid by now. Researchers using satellite data say the area is the coldest place on Earth, with a record low of -136 Fahrenheit (-93.2... More »

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