News & information on Antarctica & the Southern Ocean

Antarctic History, Geography and Policy


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 »

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 »

100 Years since Shackleton’s Epic Journey

This year marks the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s epic expedition to traverse Antarctica in 1915. He had previously failed to reach the South Pole with Robert Scott on the Discovery expedition in 1902-03, and subsequently on the Nimrod expedition in 1907-09 without Scott. This journey would also fail to achieve its goal but would prove to be one of the Antarctic’s greatest stories of survival.… Read more »

Sir Douglas Mawson - Australia’s Greatest Antarctic Explorer

Sir Douglas Mawson is widely regarded as Australia’s greatest Antarctic explorer for mapping untrodden areas and surviving some of the most harrowing situations.… Read more »

What is the Antarctic Treaty?

The Antarctic Treaty applies to the entire region south of 60° South Latitude. It effectively stops nations from making territorial claims or from exploiting Antarctic resources.… Read more »

Richard Byrd’s Epic Flights

US Navy Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd was one of the greatest American polar explorers, leading the first flight over the South Pole in 1929.… Read more »

Antarctic governance a symbol of international cooperation

Antarctica doesn’t have a government - it is governed by international agreement. As such, Antarctic governance is an example of international cooperation at a rare scale.… Read more »