Two British scientific research vessels coincided in Montevideo in early May at the end of the Antarctic season, in their way back to Southampton. Icebreaker RRS Shackleton and RRS James Clark Ross with sophisticated scientific research equipment and tens of experts in different disciplines spent months in Antarctica and returned to Montevideo, a traditional call port the British Antarctic Survey, BAS.
Every two years BAS leads a scientific research survey of the fish resources on behalf of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. This time Dr. Mark Belchier from BAS was head of the team of experts that carried out the survey.
The longest and most comprehensive study to date of what penguins eat is published this month. The study, published in the journal Marine Biology, examines the diets of gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) at Bird Island, South Georgia over a 22 year period and is part of a project investigating the Southern Ocean ecosystem and its response to change
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has decided not to winter at Halley VI Research Station for safety reasons. The station, which is located on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, will shut down between March and November 2017.
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.
A team of European scientists heads to East Antarctica this month to locate the oldest ice on Earth. The team is part of an EU-funded research consortium from ten European countries whose aim is to search for a suitable site to drill an ice core to capture 1.5 million years of Earth’s climate history.
A forty year study on a remote Antarctic island shows that while populations of two penguin species are declining, while a third is increasing. Analysis of census data from Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands reveals that, between 1978 and 2016, the number of chinstrap penguin pairs declined by nearly 70%.
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.
A review of breeding distributions, population trends, threats and key priorities for conservation actions on land and at sea for the 29 species covered by the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) has been published in the journal Biological Conservation. It reveals increased conservation efforts are required in order to secure a sustainable future for albatrosses and large petrels.
The rapid warming of the Antarctic Peninsula, which occurred from the early-1950s to the late 1990s, has paused. Stabilisation of the ozone hole along with natural climate variability were significant in bringing about the change. Together these influences have now caused the northern part of the peninsula to enter a temporary cooling phase.