To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In 1981, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research endorsed a program for ship-based collection of Antarctic iceberg data, to be coordinated by the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI). From the austral summers 1982/1983 to 1997/1998, icebergs were recorded from most, and up to 2009/10 by fewer research vessels. The NPI database makes up 80% of the SCAR International Iceberg Database presented here, the remainder being Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition observations. The database contains positions of 374 142 icebergs resulting from 34 662 observations. Within these, 298 235 icebergs are classified into different size categories. The ship-based data are particularly useful because they include systematic observations of smaller icebergs not covered by current satellite-based datasets. Here, we assess regional and seasonal variations in iceberg density and total quantities, we identify drift patterns and exit zones from the continent, and we discuss iceberg dissolution rates and calving rates. There are significant differences in the extent of icebergs observed over the 30 plus years of observations, but much of these can be ascribed to differences in observation density and location. In the summer, Antarctic icebergs >10 m in length number ~130 000 of which 1000 are found north of the Southern Ocean boundary.
Roald Amundsen’s exact route from the top of the Axel Heiberg glacier to the South Pole and back in 1911–1912 has always been somewhat unclear because he never observed his longitude during his southern journey. His approach was simply to steer approximately in a true southerly direction by magnetic compass as long as obstacles did not force him to deviate. The fact that he only knew approximately where he was most of the time on the polar plateau never caused any severe problems for him, but it complicated the search for a depot during the return journey. Based on Amundsen’s bearings of some peaks in the Transantarctic Mountains, in combination with his compass courses adjusted with accurate values for the magnetic declination at the time, this paper elucidates Amundsen’s actual route across the polar plateau in 1911–1912. The main result is that Amundsen must have taken a more easterly route than what previously has been assumed.
Establishing an accurate chronology is crucial for interpretation of ice core-based climatic records. While high snow accumulation rates characterise coastal Antarctica, thus enabling recovery of highly resolved climatic records, summertime melting at such low-elevation sites offers challenges in establishing a reliable chronological framework through traditional approaches using the seasonality of stable water isotope and ionic proxy records. Here, we assess visual stratigraphy (VS) obtained from line-scan images as a proxy for annual layer counting in firn section (top 50 m) of the IND-36/B9 ice core (dated 1919–2016 CE) from the Djupranen Ice Rise in central Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. We also used these images to obtain melt history for the site and found that traditional thickness-based quantification of melt proportion results in significant overestimations. Since density has dominant control on VS profile over the firn section, we first used circulant single-spectrum analysis to remove the secular trend and then we extracted the seasonal VS signals attributed to dust and sea-salt inclusions. We find that melt layers do not significantly alter the VS records if masked during pre-processing. The age–depth model based on the reconstructed VS profile revealed an excellent match with identified time-markers within an uncertainty of ±2 years.
In this chapter Germany’s positions on Antarctica, the law of the sea and on air and space law are examined. Concerning the law of the sea, Germany’s response to the Turkey-Libya memorandum of understanding is criticised as one-sided. Further, Germany’s position on migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean are addressed and criticised as often vague or inexistent. Regarding the South China Sea dispute, it is asserted that Germany takes a more outspoken and active position while avoiding an open and direct confrontation with China. In light of the increasing importance of the Arctic region, Germany developed new policy guidelines in which more restrictive regulation is advocated. In the last part, air and space law, Germany’s activities in preventing an arms race in outer space are addressed, paying particular attention to United Nations negotiations. Moreover, Germany’s criticism of India over an anti-satellite missile test is evaluated as a call for a legally binding instrument prohibiting the destruction of space objects.
The macroalgae of the Balleny Islands (66°15′S–67°35′S and 162°30′E–165°00′E) have been infrequently collected and the flora remains poorly known. This chain of islands is located on the edge of the Antarctic Circle in the northern Ross Sea, ~250 km north of the coast of northern Victoria Land, and it represents the most northerly land in the Ross Sea region. As well as being very remote, access to these islands is difficult given the highly variable prevailing ice conditions. We summarize the macroalgal floras of the Balleny Islands and the Ross Sea, including reporting new records, extending the known distribution of other taxa and highlighting the need for further taxonomic research on some of the most common and widespread species. Many of the taxa reported have been collected on few occasions and, as a consequence, there is insufficient material available, including reproductively mature samples, for some species to be fully documented. While these collections are providing intriguing insights into the relationships between the macroalgae found around the Antarctic continent, the full biodiversity of the Balleny Islands remains to be investigated, and further collections are required to enable detailed comparisons with other parts of the Antarctic region.
Scott Base was built in the summer of 1956/7 at Pram Point, Ross Island, initially to provide accommodation for the Ross Sea Support Party of the Commonwealth Transantarctic Expedition (NZ TAE) and for the New Zealand International Geophysical Year Antarctic Expedition (NZ IGY). It has generally been accepted that it was built primarily by and for the Ross Sea Support Party. This is reflected in naming one of the last, conserved, original huts (Hut A) after the NZ TAE and also in ignoring the existence of the other original huts (Hut G and H) still in use. The contribution of the NZ IGY programme to Scott Base (SB) has received little recognition. Furthermore, SB provided a presence in the Ross Dependency to support the New Zealand claimant position. The specifications for the base buildings were developed by a joint committee from both expeditions with final design by the Ministry of Works of the New Zealand Government. The base was constructed and largely paid for by the New Zealand Government. This note briefly reviews what occurred during the conception, design, construction and payment for the base.
The temperature experienced by micro-invertebrates in extreme environments (such as those of Antarctica) is a pivotal parameter regarding these animals' ecology and physiology. However, at present, detailed knowledge of microhabitat physical conditions in Antarctica is limited, as well as being biased towards sub-Antarctic and Maritime Antarctic regions. To better understand the temperature conditions experienced in the microhabitats of Continental Antarctica by the native microfauna, we recorded temperatures year round in ponds and soils in an area of the Victoria Land coast and compared these measurements with air temperature data from the closest automatic weather station. We identified an important difference in temperature dynamics between the air, soil and pond datasets. Ponds were the warmest sites overall, differing by up to 7.5°C in comparison with the air temperature due to their greater thermal capacity, which also drove their patterns of freeze-thaw cycles and mean daily thermal excursion.
The polar region is the area surrounding the Earth’s geographical poles (Antarctica, Arctic). While glacially induced faults are well known in the formerly glaciated areas of Northern Europe, such faults within the Arctic and Antarctica are unidentified, although the theory of their physical mechanism would allow their presence. Mainly, the fact that most of the polar region is covered either by ocean (Arctic) or ice sheets (Antarctica, Greenland) prevents detailed analysis of those regions with respect to glacially induced faults. However, there are several indications that suggest an existence of glacially induced faults in the polar region. Here, we summarize findings about potential glacially induced faults in Northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard on the northern hemisphere and revisit the seismicity in Antarctica.
As Ngāi Tahu (southern Maori), we take issue with widespread reference in scholarly publication to Polynesian voyagers reaching the Antarctic, an idea that originated in the translation of Rarotongan traditions in the nineteenth century. Analysis of those indicates that they contain no plausible reference to Antarctic seafaring. Southern Māori interests have extended into the Subantarctic Islands for 800 years but there is no reference to Antarctica in our historical traditions. Our archaeology and history document a southern boundary to Māori occupation at Port Ross (Auckland Islands), despite habitable islands existing further south. We think it is very unlikely that Māori or other Polynesian voyaging reached the Antarctic.
The discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole in 1985 is chronicled, making the analogy with the concept of the “black swan,” a metaphor for unprecedented events. The ozone layer in the stratosphere acts as a shield for life on the Earth, by blocking harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Concern mounted in the 1970s that compounds known as chlorofluorocarbons, used as refrigerants and coolants, could be slowly destroying the ozone layer. Joe Farman and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) found that ozone levels in the stratosphere had dropped dramatically during the Antarctic spring season in the 1980s, creating a “hole” in the ozone layer. US scientist Susan Solomon led an expedition to make measurements of the ozone hole and worked with colleagues to explain the cause: cold Antarctic temperatures allowed the formation of polar stratospheric clouds that catalyzed chemical reactions involving CFCs, leading to rapid ozone loss.
Proteases are widely used in industrial processes, and the discovery of new, more kinetically efficient proteases can have a positive impact on industry. Enzymes from Antarctic microorganisms exhibit cold-adaptive properties, making them useful in biotechnology. The cold and harsh environment of Antarctica makes it a valuable source for new biotechnologically related enzymes. In this study, we characterized two cold-adapted proteases purified from Pseudoalteromonas issachenkonii P14M1-4 and Flavobacterium frigidimaris ANT34-7, isolated from King George Island, Antarctica, and compared these with proteases from the non-cold-adapted bacteria Bacillus licheniformis and Geobacillus stearothermophilus. The best temperature growing conditions were used for protease purification and characterization. The protease from P. issachenkonii P14M1-4 was identified as a 40–43 kDa metal-dependent subtilisin-like serine protease and the protease from F. frigidimaris ANT34-7 was identified as a 28 kDa metalloprotease. The enzymes showed an optimum temperature of between 35°C and 40°C and an optimum pH in the neutral to alkaline range. Their activation energies, catalytic constants and growth capacities at different temperatures categorize them as cold-adapted enzymes. We conclude that the characteristics exhibited by these proteases make them useful for biotechnological purposes requiring high activity at low temperatures. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first characterization of a cold-adapted protease from F. frigidimaris.
Antarctica’s Pole of Inaccessibility (Southern Pole of Inaccessibility (SPI)) is the point on the Antarctic continent farthest from its edge. Existing literature exhibits disagreement over its location. Using two revisions of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’s Antarctic Digital Database, we calculate modern-day positions for the SPI around 10 years apart, based on the position of the “outer” Antarctic coastline, i.e. its boundary with the ocean. These show that the position of the SPI in the year 2010 was around 83° 54’ S, 64° 53’ E, shifting on the order of 1 km per year as a result of changes of a similar magnitude in the Amery, Ronne-Filchner and Ross Ice Shelves. Excepting a position of the SPI calculated by British Antarctic Survey in 2005, to which it is very close, our newly calculated position differs by 150–900 km from others reported in the literature. We also consider the “inner” SPI, defined by the coastline with floating ice removed. The position of this SPI in 2010 is estimated as 83°37’ S, 53° 43’ E, differing significantly from other reported positions. Earlier cartographic data are probably not sufficiently accurate to allow its rate of change to be calculated meaningfully.
Sexual harassment is a common experience for women and those from other underrepresented groups in (white) male-dominated fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Women are especially vulnerable to sexual harassment during remote scientific fieldwork. To date, most of the limited research on fieldwork harassment has focused on individual experiences. There is an urgent need for research on organizational approaches to fieldwork sexual harassment. This study fills this gap by examining sexual harassment prevention by National Antarctic Programs. It draws on a desktop analysis of 36 National Antarctic Program websites with a focus on the current availability and quality of sexual harassment policies and procedures in expeditioner handbooks/field manuals. Findings show that very few National Antarctic Programs make their expeditioner handbooks/field manuals publicly available (n = 9), and even fewer mention sexual harassment in the documentation or describe how to lodge a complaint (n = 3). This article concludes by offering some reasons as to why National Antarctic Programs may be neglecting this issue. It also provides practical recommendations for developing more substantive content in expeditioner handbooks/field manuals and for building inclusive fieldwork environments for a diverse range of expeditioners.
This article presents the main aspects of the design solutions (based on the application of sensors MEMS and cantilevers), testing and applying of the multi-functional borehole logger ANTTIC (Antarctic Thermo-barometer, Inclinometer, Caliper) for geophysical high-precision monitoring (when simultaneous registering of temperature, pressure, axis inclination angle and radii of borehole cross-sections at 12 points), which is designed specifically for ultra-low temperatures and ultra-high pressures, and to determine an elliptical borehole shape and registration anisotropy factor in deep ice boreholes in the central region of Eastern Antarctica, in the areas of dome A at the Kunlun station (China) and/or of lake Vostok at the Vostok station (Russia).
This paper traces France’s role in the Antarctic from 1840, when explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville discovered the slice of the white continent he named Terre Adélie, to the present day. Since World War II, Terre Adélie has been the site of a host of performances of sovereignty: the French have built bases, drawn maps, conducted scientific investigations and erected plaques. But France’s commitment to Terre Adélie has been tested and has fallen into crisis several times. The history of France in Antarctica is a tale of ambition, ambivalence, trade-offs and political strategy. This paper aims to elucidate this story, focusing on the concept of sovereignty and the nexus of scientific and political interests. I argue that France’s relationship with the Antarctic has been characterised by continual tension, by peaks and troughs and by brinkmanship on the part of actors with their own stakes. While there is broad agreement that Terre Adélie serves a fundamental national interest, I show that France’s ambitions on the white continent are far from decided. With its focus on France, which has largely been left out of the growing body of literature on the Antarctic, this paper contributes to building a robust historical understanding of Antarctic claims.
Species distribution modelling studies the relationship between species occurrence records and their environmental setting, providing a valuable approach to predicting species distribution in the Southern Ocean (SO), a challenging region to investigate due to its remoteness and extreme weather and sea conditions. The specificity of SO studies, including restricted field access and sampling, the paucity of observations and difficulties in conducting biological experiments, limit the performance of species distribution models. In this review, we discuss some issues that may influence model performance when preparing datasets and calibrating models, namely the selection and quality of environmental descriptors, the spatial and temporal biases that may affect the quality of occurrence data, the choice of modelling algorithms and the spatial scale and limits of the projection area. We stress the importance of evaluating and communicating model uncertainties, and the most common evaluation metrics are reviewed and discussed accordingly. Based on a selection of case studies on SO benthic invertebrates, we highlight important cautions to take and pitfalls to avoid when modelling the distribution of SO species, and we provide some guidelines along with potential methods and original solutions that can be used for improving model performance.
Place names serve a symbolic function in enforcing colonial power over landscapes. Within colonial locales, place names reproduce and reflect the ideological goals of settlers to reinforce or claim space for an individual, group or nation. One toponymically understudied colonial region where place names play a prominent role is the Antarctic, where the names of research bases promote the cultural power of settler nations to symbolically claim the continental landscape. As Antarctica is a geopolitically contested space, Antarctic research base names serve as an ideological purpose in reinforcing claims to the Antarctic, contrasting the ostensibly scientific purpose of research bases. This paper examines Antarctic research base names by categorising and interpreting their naming sources through a critical toponymic lens. This paper discusses general Antarctic naming trends and establishes possible reasons and outcomes of their employment, using three primary arguments: (1) Antarctic research base names are often nationalistic and reflect the implicit geopolitical goals of settler nations, (2) Antarctic research base names reflect and reproduce ongoing polar colonialism and (3) contestation over the naming of Antarctic research bases exemplifies the iconographical and cultural conflict between Antarctic nations. This paper seeks to provoke a future toponymic investigation into Antarctica and study Antarctic cultural landscapes more generally.
The Southern Hemisphere lichen genus Villophora in subfamily Teloschistoideae is analyzed based on DNA sequence data. Six species are described, five of which are new to science: V. darwiniana and V. wallaceana grow on lignum and bark in southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego; V. onas and V. patagonica are lichenicolous or saxicolous on rocks in southern Patagonia; V. rimicola is saxicolous in Antarctica. Based on a three-gene DNA analysis, Tayloriellina is shown to be closely related to Villophora, and Tayloriellina microphyllina is established as a new combination. A key is provided to all species of the two genera. Raesaeneniana maulensis is combined into Villophora.
We provide our perspective on the species-level taxonomy of notothenioid fishes, the dominant component of the fish fauna of Antarctica. There are 140 species in 45 genera, an increase of 15% since the previous summary in 2000. Biogeographically, 30 species are non-Antarctic, 33 are sub-Antarctic and 77 are Antarctic. The checklist is documented with footnotes that provide the rationale for our decisions. Supplementary Material provides additional details for our decisions on two species of Pogonophryne.