News & information on Antarctica & the Southern Ocean

Articles


How Antarctic clouds could help reveal the effects of climate change

Antarctica’s massive ice sheet acts as a global heat sink. As a result, changes in the make-up of Antarctic clouds, such as the amount of ground they cover or how much radiation they absorb, can have ripple effects as far away as the tropics. Climate change researchers need to understand the physics of these clouds if they are to correctly work out how weather around the globe will change as the polar regions warm.… Read more »

The US National Ice Center - naming Antarctic icebergs

Icebergs are created when large chunks of freshwater ice break off Antarctic ice shelves or glaciers and calve into the Southern Ocean. To be classified as an iceberg, the ice extruding from the water must be at least five metres above sea level, be between 30-50 metres thick, and must cover an area of at least 500 square meters. Icebergs can have a direct effect on the sea bed, scouring the seafloor where it makes contact. But who monitors icebergs? And how big can they get?… Read more »

CSIRO RV Investigator to study underwater volcanoes in Southern Ocean

A CSIRO Marine National Facility research vessel has departed from Fremantle in Western Australia and headed to the remote subantarctic islands to research the link between active volcanoes on the seafloor and the mobilisation of iron which enriches and supports life in the Southern Ocean.… Read more »

Royal Mail celebrates Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition

In collaboration with the Royal Geographical Society and the Scott Polar Research Institute, the Royal Mail in the UK has launched a set of special stamps to mark 100 years since the remarkable story of survival of Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance. Shackleton’s heroism and resourcefulness have made him one of the most celebrated sailors and leaders of all time.… Read more »

Flying lab to study how the Southern Ocean absorbs carbon

A team of scientists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be taking off in a specially-modified Gulfstream V jet this month as they survey remote parts of the Southern Ocean.… Read more »

Prof Rob DeConto explains how polar ice sheet movements can help to predict future sea level rise [video]

Rob DeConto, Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, explains his research on ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, and how these can predict future sea level rise.… Read more »

Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica - the canary in the mine for climate change? [Video]

The Pine Island Glacier, one of the major glaciers draining the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is rapidly thinning and, at 3mm per decade, is currently the single biggest contributor to sea level rise. The head of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Professor Jane Francis, discusses the iSTAR programme undertaken by BAS which seeks to gain a better understanding of the complexities of this relatively fast moving and thinning glacier, as well as the overall stability of the entire Ice Sheet.… Read more »

Prof Tim Naish of the Antarctic Research Centre explains how Antarctica's history is relevant in predicting future sea levels [Video]

Prof Tim Naish, Director of the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, explains how the geological record in Antarctica is relevant in predicting future sea-levels.… Read more »

Dr Steve Rintoul on thermal expansion and melting Antarctic ice shelves [video]

Dr Steve Rintoul of the CSIRO explains the part ocean thermal expansion has to play in rising sea levels, the interaction between oceans and ice shelves, and how Antarctic Bottom Water is warming.… Read more »

Type-C Killer whales commute long distances from Antarctica to temperate zones

A team led by Regina Eisert of Gateway Antarctica at New Zealand's Canterbury University, has found that Type-C Killer Whales travel great distances from the Ross Sea to waters north of New Zealand.… Read more »