Antarctica

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Countries Race to Find Oldest Ice Core in Antarctica

10-nation team of scientists hopes to find a 1.5M-year-old sample

(Newser) - It's nearly summer in Antarctica, and scientists from 10 European countries are now on their way to the world's iciest continent to find the best location to drill for a 1.5-million-year-old chunk of ice core. Given the conditions, they have only a short window to complete their... More »

Scientists Discover Giant Antarctic Sea Monster

Kaikaifilu hervei lived 66M years ago and was more than 32 feet long

(Newser) - After a day of braving bad weather and hiking through knee-deep mud, Chilean scientists on one of the final days of their expedition to Antarctica discovered possibly the largest monster ever to swim its waters, according to a press release . What they found was a mosasaur skull approximately 4 feet... More »

A Historic Antarctica Trip Is Underway

John Kerry plans to visit US base near South Pole

(Newser) - US Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest-ranking American official to visit Antarctica on Friday when he landed for a two-day trip. Kerry, who will hear from scientists about the impact of climate change on the frozen continent, left from New Zealand after being held up for about a... More »

Deal Creates World's Biggest Marine Protected Zone

24 countries, EU finally reached agreement

(Newser) - The countries that decide the fate of Antarctica reached a historic agreement on Friday to create the world's largest marine protected area in the ocean next to the frozen continent. The agreement comes after years of diplomatic wrangling and high-level talks between the US and Russia, which has rejected... More »

Climate Scientist Dies in Antarctica Accident

Snowmobile plunged 100 feet into crevasse

(Newser) - America's close-knit team of Antarctic researchers is mourning a colleague who died in one of the continent's most dangerous areas. Climate scientist Gordon Hamilton, a 50-year-old Scotsman, died Saturday when his snowmobile plunged into a crevasse in an area known as the "Shear Zone," 25 miles... More »

In Algae, a Key to White Cliffs of Dover

They could in theory be replicated in the Antarctic—in millions of years

(Newser) - Had William Shakespeare had a chance to peruse a new study, he might have praised nitrate for the dizzying view from atop the White Cliffs of Dover. That’s because the tiny algae, known as coccolithophores, which helped form the famous cliffs some 100 million years ago benefited from a... More »

Daring Antarctic Rescue Is Complete

It took 2 hectic days of flying to get 2 US workers to Chile

(Newser) - A small plane with two sick US workers arrived safely in Chile late Wednesday after leaving Antarctica in a daring rescue mission from a remote South Pole research station, officials say. After making a stop for a few hours at a British station on the edge of Antarctica, the two... More »

Worker at World's Most Remote Place Needs Rescue

There have only been 2 previous South Pole winter rescues

(Newser) - At least one worker is seriously ill at the US South Pole station, and because it is winter in Antarctica, it would be easier to reach the unidentified person if he or she were anywhere else on the planet—or even on the International Space Station. The worker is one... More »

Sea Levels Set to Rise Much Faster Than Expected

Collapsing ice cliffs could accelerate Antarctic melt

(Newser) - Warmer air, less-frigid water, and gravity may combine to make parts of Antarctica's western ice sheet melt far faster than scientists had thought, raising sea levels much more than expected by the end of the century, according to a new study. New physics-based computer simulations forecast dramatic increases in... More »

UK Wants Public to Name Vessel, Gets 'Boaty McBoatface'

The man who first suggested the name has since apologized

(Newser) - When the Natural Environment Research Council in the UK put the naming of its $300 million Antarctic survey vessel to a public vote online, well, the Internet had a little fun. NERC asked for "an inspirational name that exemplifies the work" the ship will do, and suggestions ranged from... More »

150K 'Dead' Penguins Might Just Be Chilling Elsewhere

They may have only abandoned their colony: expert

(Newser) - Troubled by the apparent deaths of 150,000 penguins since a Rhode Island-sized iceberg crashed into Antarctica in 2010? Good news: There might be an alternative explanation for their disappearance. No one has actually found the bodies of 150,000 Adélie penguins that vanished from a colony at Cape... More »

Iceberg Crashes Into Antarctica, Kills 150K Penguins

Suddenly, their food source was 40 miles away

(Newser) - Penguins have been recorded living at Cape Denison in Antarctica's Commonwealth Bay for 100 years, the Guardian reports. But their time could be nearly up. According to CNN , 150,000 penguins in the Cape Denison colony have died since an iceberg nearly the size of Rhode Island crashed into... More »

You Can Now Get a Passport to Antarctica

Either go to New York, or do it online

(Newser) - If you want to get your hands on a passport to Antarctica, you now can, sort of, Hyperallergic reports. But instead of bureaucrats and red tape, you'll head to New York City's Jane Lombard Gallery , where artist Lucy Orta tells the New York Times that you'd best... More »

Explorer Attempts Antarctic Feat, Dies 30 Miles Short

Henry Worsley suffers organ failure 71 days into epic journey

(Newser) - An explorer trying to complete a historic trek across Antarctica covered 913 miles over 71 days on his own—only to die 30 miles short of his goal, reports the Guardian . Henry Worsley, a 55-year-old former British army officer, died of "complete organ failure" after being airlifted out, says... More »

Vast Find Made in Unknown Region of Antarctica

We know more about the surface of Mars than the bed of Antarctica

(Newser) - For more than 50 years, scientists from across the globe have been painstakingly mapping both poles, trying to get an accurate sense of the rock hidden beneath the ice sheets. Now, thanks to satellite data from multiple organizations and "serendipitous reconnaissance radio-echo sounding data" over the canyons of Antarctica,... More »

Japan to Begin 3-Month Antarctic Whale Hunt

Critics say whales don't need to be killed for conservation research

(Newser) - Japan is wasting little time in resuming its "scientific" whale hunte : Its whaling fleet will leave Tuesday for the Antarctic for a three-month, scaled-down hunt, the government says, despite protests. Monday's announcement comes days after Japan submitted its final plan to the International Whaling Commission after the... More »

Controversial Study Finds Antarctica Is Actually Gaining Ice

But that doesn't mean global warming isn't still a huge problem

(Newser) - A recent NASA study has come to a shocking conclusion that contradicts a host of other studies, multitudes of climate scientists, the UN, and even other scientists at NASA: Antarctica is actually gaining more ice than it's losing, despite global warming. How's that possible? Live Science reports the... More »

The Ozone Hole Is Nearing Record Size

It's now larger than the entirety of North America

(Newser) - Scientists who assumed the infamous ozone hole over Antarctica was steadily shrinking received an unpleasant surprise last month: The hole is approaching a size unseen in nine years, Popular Science reports. According to Live Science , in October researchers at the German Aerospace Center recorded the size of the hole in... More »

All Antarctic Ice Would Melt If We Burned All Fossil Fuels

Seas could rise 160 feet: study

(Newser) - If we were to burn all of the planet's fossil fuel reserves, we would be saying goodbye to the entire Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. That's the takeaway from an international study announced today, Reuters reports. "To be blunt: If we burn it all, we melt it... More »

Surprise Find in Antarctica: Oldest Animal Sperm

It dates back 50M years, from a worm

(Newser) - They were looking for mammal bones, but scientists exploring an island in the Antarctic instead stumbled across an unexpected milestone—the world's oldest animal sperm. They found it inside a fossilized cocoon made by some type of worm (possibly a crayfish worm) 50 million years ago, reports Nature . It... More »

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