This year the extent of summer sea ice in the Antarctic is the lowest on record. The Antarctic sea ice minimum marks the day – typically towards end of February – when sea ice reaches its smallest extent at the end of the summer melt season, before expanding again as the winter sets in. This year, sea ice extent contracted to 2.28m sq km on 13 February, according to data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
The residential ship, The World, has broken the record for the most southerly navigation reaching 78°43•997´S and 163°41•421´W at the Bay of Whales in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. The World recorded this polar record at 10:41hrs ship’s time on Saturday. Commanded by Captain Dag H. Saevik this is the furthest south any vessel has ever sailed.
A major rescue operation took place in Ushuaia, Argentine Tierra del Fuego when a cruise vessel from National Geographic, which was non operational since limping back from Antarctica a month ago was hauled on to a special tug-carrier and is now preparing for its piggy-back trip to a Dutch ship yard for repairs.
Personnel from HMS Protector have removed equipment abandoned more than 30 years ago on a remote island in Antarctica. The ice patrol ship attempted to remove equipment three years ago from Brabant Island – the second largest island of the Palmer Archipelago within the British Antarctic Territory – but were thwarted by bad weather.
The Argentine Navy's ARA Islas Malvinas set sail Friday enroute to Antarctica to take part in the joint operation with the Chilean Navy in the Combined Naval Antarctic Patrol -- better known for its Spanish acronym PANC (Patrulla Antártica Naval Combinada) -- to control maritime traffic and address environmental issues in the area.
Argentina and Chile are already alternatively operating the Antarctica Combined Naval Patrolling, (PANC), which is responsible for maritime control and safety, including search and rescue missions, in the Southern Ocean particularly significant in summer months because of the increase in tourism traffic.
On the twenty fifth anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty Protocol on Environmental Protection, British Minister for Polar Regions, Sir Alan Duncan underlined the hsitoric contribution and role played by the UK in Antarctica and in elaborating the protocol. Sir Duncan also pointed out that Antarctica has been the scene of considerable cooperation between the UK and Argentina, both within the Treaty system and in the field of science, an area where I hope we may be able to do even more in the coming years.
More than 70 female scientists from all around the world have embarked upon a voyage to the South Pole with the common objectives of battling climate change and making a name for women in science. As part of the Homeward Bound initiative, an Australian program aimed at increasing the female representation in science, the group set upon what will be the largest ever all-women expedition to Antarctica.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Antarctica Friday, in preparation for an international climate-change conference to be held in Marrakesh next week, at a time the world foresees different environmental policies under Trump.
Two Uruguayan young scientists are on board Ice Patrol HMS Protector en route to the Falkland Islands and Antarctica and will be participating in a research program on human impact on the Antarctic marine environment including pollution mainly by plastic made products. Federico Weinstein and Carolina Rodríguez belong to the Faculty of Sciences and represent the resumption of long standing links between the Ice Patrol and Montevideo.