Antarctica

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Why China's Antarctica Presence Is Worrying Some

Country rapidly expanding polar presence

(Newser) - China took a long time to get to Antarctica, but the country is now boosting its presence there at a rate that some experts find alarming, according to the New York Times . The country has now opened a fourth research station on the frozen continent and knows where it will... More »

Beneath Antarctica's Blood Falls, a Clue to Mars?

'Subglacial world' of briny water could hint at life elsewhere

(Newser) - The chillingly named Blood Falls is a fascinating feature of Antarctica's landscape : Interrupting the blanket of frozen white, the falls is a liquid, rusty red. (It's no coincidence that the falls looks rusty: The water gets its color from oxidized iron it carries.) And, as a researcher... More »

Antarctica May Have Hit Its Highest Temperature Ever

Readings at 2 separate stations reportedly reached the low 60s

(Newser) - A recently published study and two weather station readings suggest that Antarctica may be exhibiting the effects of global warming, the Guardian reports. A March 24 reading at the Esperanza Base south of Argentina registered a balmy 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than 30 degrees above average for... More »

Antarctica Sex Offender Gets 3-Year Sentence

Lab manager plotted to abuse girl in UK, police say

(Newser) - A laboratory manager for the British Antarctic Survey is going to be remembered not for his scientific achievements, but as the world's southernmost pedophile. Police in Britain say Simon Rouen, 36, exchanged emails with undercover officers in the UK while working at an Antarctic research station and expressed a... More »

Scientists Unlock Key of Octopus's Blue Blood

New research could explain why they'll thrive in warming Antarctic waters

(Newser) - Unlike human royalty, a species of octopus that thrives in frigid Antarctic waters has actual blue blood, and scientists think they've figured out its advantage: The key is a blue-hued protein called hemocyanin—which Phys.org notes is comparable to hemoglobin in vertebrates, and which distributes oxygen throughout the... More »

Scientists Find Fish Under 2.5K Feet of Antarctic Ice

They expected to find only microbes in the dark, tiny wedge of seawater

(Newser) - With the help of a special hot-water drill, a large, multidisciplinary team of scientists has become the first to bore through the Ross Ice Shelf—the biggest body of floating ice in the world, roughly the size of France—and sample life below nearly 2,500 feet of ice. What... More »

Underwater Bot Finds Surprisingly Thick Antarctic Ice

SeaBED uses sonar to map the hard-to-reach ice, which is as thick as 65 feet

(Newser) - Until now, scientists have measured ice thickness using satellite images, visual estimates, and by drilling holes in the ice itself. But in Antarctica, much of the floating ice is actually underwater, with ice so thick that drilling and satellite images just don't work. For the past four years, a... More »

Scientists Find Key Culprit in Antarctic Ice Melt

Underwater storms bringing warm water to polar ice: study

(Newser) - Storms aren't just a result of global warming, they may actually be causing the unstoppable Antarctic ice melt . Robots patrolling more than 3,250 feet below the Weddell Sea have discovered underwater storms are helping thaw Antarctic ice as they drive warm water toward polar ice shelves. Essentially, researchers... More »

Antarctic Thaw Reveals Explorer's 100-Year-Old Journal

George Murray Levick described photos in old notebook

(Newser) - Surgeon, zoologist, and photographer George Murray Levick took part in a 1910-1913 Antarctic expedition as part of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's crew, and while Scott perished on a journey back from the South Pole, Levick made it off the continent alive. He didn't accompany Scott to the pole,... More »

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 »

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