November was a busy month for cruise vessels: eleven cruise ships visited South Georgia between the 9th and 29th, according to the South Georgia Newsletter. One cruise ship, Ortelius, reached the rarely visited South Sandwich Islands and was able to put scientist Tom Hart ashore on Saunders Island where he took soil samples and set up two camera-traps to monitor the penguin colonies.
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.
A labor appeals court in north-central Argentina ruled that the construction of a Monsanto plant is unconstitutional, halting work on the site. The three judge court ruled 2-1 in favor of the activists who filed a legal appeal against Monsanto’s GMO seed plant on environmental protection grounds in the municipality of Malvinas Argentinas, located in central Cordoba Province.
Europe needs an extra seven billion bees to pollinate its crops, with Britain in the poor position of having less than a quarter of the honeybees it requires. The demand for insect pollination across Europe is outpacing the growth of honeybee colonies as farmers grow more oil-bearing crops like oilseed rape and sunflowers, and also fruit.
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.
Weather records have tumbled across North America, as all 50 US states saw freezing temperatures. The most extreme arctic blasts, blamed on a weather pattern known as the polar vortex, were said to have affected nearly 190 million people.
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.
Earth’s gassy twin has been discovered in another solar system 200 light years away. The planet, known as KOI-314c, weighs the same as the Earth but is 60% larger, leading scientists to suspect it has a thick gaseous atmosphere.
Residents of the Midwestern United States braced for the coldest weather in two decades, temperatures that forecasters warned would be life-threatening. An estimated one third of the US population has been affected by the extreme weather conditions that also reached neighboring Canada.
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.