Venezuelan scientists and military officers set out Friday on their country's first expedition to Antarctica, leaving Friday from Uruguay's capital Montevideo aboard the Uruguayan naval research ship Oyarbide.
Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected this Friday in Punta Arenas, extreme south of Chile, before his flight on Saturday to his country's Antarctic base Comandante Ferraz, reports the local press.
Two scientists have claimed that climate change was not the only cause of the collapse of a 500 billion tons ice shelf in Antarctica six years ago. The 200 meters thick, 3.250 square kilometers Larsen B shelf broke apart in March 2002.
The Russian icebreaker Vasili Golovnin contracted by the Argentine government to help with this year's Antarctic season is currently supplying fuel to Argentina's permanent base Marambio in the Antarctic Peninsula.
It had always been technically difficult to harvest the abundant valuable krill known to populate the ocean waters around Antarctica and preserve their quality in the process. In recently breaking in a new trawling technology, however, Norwegian company Aker Biomarine ASA has made the feat suddenly possible.
China has come to the rescue of Argentina's Antarctic effort with the icebreaker Xuelong (Snow Dragon) scheduled to call in Buenos Aires next January 25 and load 200 cubic meters of general cargo for Argentine bases.
HMS ENDURANCE breaking through the ice North of James Ross Island, the ship is currently transferring scientist to Mount Haddington where they will be carrying out ice drilling for the next 2 months.
Brazil's government managed petroleum corporation Petrobras is involved in Antarctic research and development sponsoring the renewal of the Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station, and the acquisition of research equipment for the Oceanographic Support Ship Ary Rongel.
Western Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula have lost billons of tons of the continent's ice mass which means the Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking and at a rate that has increased dramatically between 1996 and 2006 according to a report published in the latest edition of Nature Geoscience.
Venezuela prepares to move into Antarctica following the naming of a Presidential Commission on Antarctica with the purpose of advising President Hugo Chavez on an official policy on the matter.