Damages suffered by the Argentine icebreaker Almirante Irizar when fire broke out on board, are far more serious than originally announced and full repairs could take more than the estimated two years revealed this week the Buenos Aires press.
Argentina officially thanked this Monday Great Britain's cooperation offer in support of Argentine Antarctic activities.
Argentina has decided to accept the Brazilian offer of the polar vessel Ary Rongel for the coming Antarctic campaign 2007/08 next December which means the British option has been discarded.
Britain has offered Argentina support for its Antarctic operations following the recent fire that broke out in icebreaker Almirante Irizar and which could force the vessel out of action for almost two years.
Argentine icebreaker Almirante Irizar is ablaze in the South Atlantic and all the crew has abandoned ship in an orderly way, with no loss of life or injured, reported the Argentine Navy Wednesday in a press conference in Buenos Aires.
The most recent El Niño, the periodic weather pattern that can have repercussions around the world from torrential rains and floods in the Americas and Africa to droughts and brush fires in Australia and Asia, has now ended and a transition to its mirror image, La Niña, is a substantial possibility, according to the latest United Nations forecast.
On the eve of International Polar Year, Britain's Science and Innovation Minister Malcolm Wicks is visiting the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera research station this week. During the visit, the Minister will have an opportunity to see first-hand the prestigious Government-funded facility that carries out world-leading research into global environmental issues.
A Japanese whaling ship which was crippled by a fire and laden with fuel begun moving away from Antarctica under its own power, confirmed on Sunday an official from Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research following on reports from the New Zealand press.
The Norwegian flagged Nordkapp which ran aground in the South Shetlands Islands at the end of January has caused no environmental damage and no traces of pollution have been found at or around Deception Island according to a release from the Norwegian Coastal Voyage cruise company.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the world's richest man is currently on an Antarctica cruise in one of the largest and most luxurious private super-yachts belonging to his associate Paul Allen.