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.
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.
The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica stretched for the third time this year to reach cities in the south of Argentina and Chile according to the Izaña Atmospheric research centre in Tenerife, Canary Islands.
Channels nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower gouge into the undersides of floating ice in western Antarctica. The recently discovered channels could influence how quickly Antarctic ice sheets slip into the sea, melt, and contribute to rising sea levels.
Antarctic krill are usually less than 6 cm in length, but their size belies the major role they play in sustaining much of the life in the Southern Ocean. They are the primary food source for many species of whales, seals, penguins and fish.
For the first time, scientists have documented an acceleration in the melt rate of permafrost, or ground ice, in a section of Antarctica where the ice had been considered stable. The melt rates are comparable with the Arctic, where accelerated melting of permafrost has become a regularly recurring phenomenon, and the change could offer a preview of melting permafrost in other parts of a warming Antarctic continent.
Pine Island Glacier (PIG), the longest and fastest flowing glacier in the Antarctic, has spawned a huge iceberg. The block measures about 720 sq km in area - roughly eight times the size of Manhattan Island in New York.
Argentina’s Antarctica campaigns are losing their flair and the country is having difficulties to fill vacancies for the 2013/14 season. This follows repeated claims of alleged corruption and delays in supplying the bases and stations plus an overall lack of support from the Defence ministry.
News this week that Argentina had decided to undertake fisheries research in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is not connected in any way to the Falklands, Acting Governor Sandra Tyler-Haywood has assured.
A tugboat from the Chilean Navy equipped for environmental emergencies is trying to determine the position where the remains of the Chinese factory ship Kai Xin went down in Antarctica last week after catching fire and left adrift by the 97 member crew rescued by a Norwegian vessel and a reefer.