Antarctica

Antarctica
Saturday, January 11th 2014 - 07:48 UTC

Russian vessel incident triggers debate on Antarctica growing tourist industry

French Polar Institute director Yves Frenot was furious with incident that distracted several icebreakers from their normal duties

The challenging rescue operation launched after a Russian ship became trapped in Antarctic pack ice in December shows the inherent risks facing the frozen continent's burgeoning tourist industry, experts say. Antarctica represents one of the last frontiers for adventurous travelers, an icy wonderland of glaciers, emperor penguins and seemingly endless white expanses.

Wednesday, January 8th 2014 - 05:25 UTC

Russian and Chinese vessels break loose from Antarctic ice

MV Akademik Shokalskiy caught in Commonwealth Bay on Christmas Day had to also spend New Year surrounded by ice

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) confirmed Wednesday that the entrapped Antarctic ships, the Akademik Shokalskiy and the Xue Long (Snow Dragon), have broken free from the ice in Antarctica and are no longer in need of assistance.

Wednesday, January 8th 2014 - 01:00 UTC

IAATO expedition vessel helps HCA chart Antarctic waters

Stephen Wilkins, skipper of the yacht Xplore

An IAATO sailing yacht has demonstrated that private and commercial vessels on expeditions in Antarctica can perform official hydrographic surveys and produce navigational charts that are still much needed for the region. Results were presented at the 13th Conference of the Hydrographic Commission on Antarctica (HCA) in Cadiz, Spain 3-5 December, hosted by the Spanish Navy.

Sunday, January 5th 2014 - 14:41 UTC

US icebreaker sent to Antarctica to rescue Chinese and Russian trapped vessels

The Polar Star is expected to reach the ice packed Commonwealth Bay

A U.S. Coast Guard heavy icebreaker left Australia for Antarctica on Sunday to rescue more than 120 crew members aboard two icebreakers trapped in pack ice near the frozen continent’s eastern edge, officials said. The 122-meter cutter, the Polar Star, is responding to a Jan. 3 request from Australia, Russia and China to assist the Russian and Chinese ships.

Friday, January 3rd 2014 - 14:43 UTC

Chinese icebreaker trapped in Antarctica after rescuing passengers from Russian vessel

“Snow Dragon” waiting for a change in tidal conditions, with “Aurora Australis” on stand-by

The Chinese icebreaker that helped rescue 52 passengers from a Russian ship stranded in Antarctic ice found itself stuck in heavy ice, further complicating the 9-day “roller-coaster” rescue operation. “Snow Dragon” (Xue Long) had ferried the passengers from the stranded Russian ship to an Australian icebreaker late on Thursday.

Thursday, January 2nd 2014 - 16:00 UTC

China starts to build its fourth Antarctica base: more planned

“Great Wall” on Antarctica’s King George Island, China's fist Antarctica base

Just days after the Chinese rover Jade Rabbit settled down on the moon, China is setting out to bolster its presence in another remote place: Antarctica. Chinese state media said on Thursday that construction workers are en route to the future site of China’s fourth Antarctic research station, after a pit stop at one of its other bases.

Thursday, January 2nd 2014 - 15:49 UTC

Chinese helicopter rescues stranded passengers from Russian vessel trapped in Antarctic ice

The Snow Dragon helicopter lands next to Akademic Shokalskiy to pick up the passengers

A Chinese helicopter reached on Thursday a Russian ship stranded in Antarctica for nine days to pick up 52 passengers who spent Christmas and the New Year trapped in ice, the expedition leader has said.

Wednesday, December 25th 2013 - 22:03 UTC

Three icebreakers to the rescue of Antarctica trapped Russia's 'Akademic Shokalskiy'

The Russian vessel trapped by ice every summer travels to Antarctica

Seventy four people spent Christmas aboard a cruise ship that has become stuck in the ice in a remote region off the coast of Antarctica and rescue vessels are at least two days away, according to Australian maritime officials. Three icebreakers are sailing to the rescue.

Wednesday, December 18th 2013 - 07:05 UTC

Kimberlite rocks found in Antarctica could mean the territory is rich in diamonds

Even if found they can't be exploited because of Antarctic treaties specifically banning mining

The prospect that Antarctica could be rich in diamonds was published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, following the discovery by a team of a telltale rock called kimberlite in the Prince Charles Mountains in East Antarctica.

Tuesday, December 17th 2013 - 17:51 UTC

West Antarctic ice sheet loss, one of the multi-year projects to be started this year by BAS

British Antarctic Territory Commissioner Peter Hayes has sent his well wishes to UK base commanders

With the Antarctic Summer well underway, British Antarctic Territory Commissioner Peter Hayes has sent his well wishes to British Antarctic Survey staff (BAS) working on the continent over the coming months. In a recent letter to UK Base commanders Dr Hayes commented:

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