Antarctica News

AIM Spacecraft Observes Early Noctilucent Ice Clouds Over Antarctica

December 2, 2016

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NASA Observes Early Noctilucent Ice Clouds Over Antarctica

Data from NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere spacecraft shows the sky over Antarctica is glowing electric blue due to the start of noctilucent, or night-shining, cloud season in the Southern Hemisphere – and an early one at that. Noctilucent clouds are Earth’s highest clouds, sandwiched between Earth and space 50 miles above the […]

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Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf Will Disintegrate Before the End of the Decade

May 15, 2015

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Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf Nearing Its Final Act

A newly published NASA study reveals that the last remaining section of Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf is weakening and will likely to disintegrate completely before the end of the decade. A team led by Ala Khazendar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, found the remnant of the Larsen B Ice Shelf […]

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Computer Simulations Reveal Melting in East Antarctica Yields Unstoppable Sea-Level Rise

May 6, 2014

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Computer Simulations Show Ice Melting in East Antarctica Yields Unstoppable Sea Level Rise

A new study based on computer simulations reveals that the melting of ice on East Antarctica’s shore could result in an unstoppable sea-level rise. The melting of a rather small ice volume on East Antarctica’s shore could trigger a persistent ice discharge into the ocean, resulting in unstoppable sea-level rise for thousands of years to […]

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AIM Monitors Electric-Blue Noctilucent Clouds over Antarctica

December 24, 2013

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Electric Blue Clouds Appear over Antarctica

New data from NASA’s AIM spacecraft show a vast bank of noctilucent clouds blanketing Antarctica. Data from NASA’s AIM spacecraft show that noctilucent clouds are like a great “geophysical light bulb.” They turn on every year in late spring, reaching almost full intensity over a period of no more than 5 to 10 days. News […]

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Researchers Discover the Coldest Place on Earth

December 11, 2013

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Researchers Discover the Coldest Place in the World

While analyzing detailed global surface temperature maps, researchers discovered the coldest place on Earth: a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau. What is the coldest place on Earth? It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit […]

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Scientists Discover Giant Ice Channels Beneath Antarctic Ice Shelf

October 7, 2013

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Scientists Discover Giant Channels Beneath Antarctic Ice Shelf

Using satellite images and airborne radar measurements, a team of scientists has discovered giant channels of ice beneath the Antarctic ice shelf. Scientists have discovered huge ice channels beneath a floating ice shelf in Antarctica. At 250 meters high, the channels are almost as tall as the Eiffel tower and stretch hundreds of kilometers along […]

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Scientists Discover Life in the Sediments of an Antarctic Subglacial Lake

September 11, 2013

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Researchers Discover Life in the Sediments of an Antarctic Subglacial Lake

Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey have discovered evidence of diverse life forms in the sediments of an Antarctic subglacial lake for the first time. Evidence of diverse life forms dating back nearly a hundred thousand years has been found in subglacial lake sediments by a group of British scientists. The possibility that extreme life […]

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Researchers Retrieve Water and Sediment Samples from Subglacial Lake Whillans

January 30, 2013

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Scientists Believe an Aquatic System is Buried Beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet

A NSF funded research team has reached a subglacial lake and retrieved water and sediment samples that may contain microscopic life that has been isolated from direct contact with the atmosphere for thousands of years. In a first-of-its-kind feat of science and engineering, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research team has successfully drilled through 800 […]

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British Team Fails to Reach Lake Ellsworth

December 28, 2012

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The Lake Ellsworth team earlier this month, in happier times.
Credit: Courtesy of the British Antarctic Survey

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) arrived in western Antarctica earlier in December, preparing for their anticipated mission to drill into Lake Ellsworth, a subglacial lake. After days of hard work, the team announced that it was stopping its efforts, stymied by a technical problem. The team was one of three groups in Antarctica attempting to […]

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Invasive Species King Crabs Could Wipe Out Antarctic Ecosystems

December 18, 2012

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N-yaldwyni-Palmer-Deep-Katrien-Heirman

Colder temperatures have kept crabs out of Antarctic seas for 30 million years, but warmer waters from the ocean depths are now intruding onto the continental shelf, and this seems to be changing the delicate ecological balance. An analysis¹ has suggested that 1.5 million crabs already inhabit Palmer Deep, an ocean floor valley. Native organisms […]

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A Comprehensive Review on the Ice Melt in Antarctica & Greenland

November 30, 2012

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joughin-polar-iceberg

A new study has come up with the most accurate estimate yet for the melting of the polar ice sheets, possibly ending decades of uncertainty about whether the sheets will melt further or actually gain mass in the face of climate change. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science. The ice sheets in […]

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Antarctic Lake Vida Has a Bounty of Microbial Life

November 27, 2012

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lake-vida-microbial-life

Lake Vida in Antarctica is covered by an ice cap up to 27 meters thick, is six times saltier than sea water, and with an average temperature of −13 °C is one of the coldest aquatic environments on the planet. However, it is teeming with microbial life. The scientists published their findings in the journal […]

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British and American Teams Hunt for Life Under Antarctic Ice

November 22, 2012

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lake-ellsworth-drilling

Next week, UK glaciologists are heading to Lake Ellsworth to prepare for a new drilling stage that will start December 5. They hope to reach the lake and start examining sediments to find signs of life. The team will try to understand the history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which has the potential to […]

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New Emperor Penguin Colonies Discovered in Antarctica

November 9, 2012

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emperor penguin colony

Scientists observed two new colonies totaling 6,000 emperor penguin chicks near Mertz Glacier in Antarctica, raising the estimated population in this area to about three fold of what was previously thought. While about 2500 chicks of emperor penguins are raised this year at the colony close to the French Dumont d’Urville Station, two new colonies […]

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Antarctica is Home to the World’s Largest Wetland

November 1, 2012

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blood-falls-antarctica

While to most observers, Antarctica is a barren wasteland, there are many who see it as something completely different. There’s a rich network of rivers and enormous lakes, which happen to be covered by ice. Thanks to radar imagery, John Priscu managed to see through the ice. The ice is several thousand meters thick at […]

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Leopard Seals Suction Feed on Krill like Whales

October 30, 2012

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leopard-seal-open-mouth

The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), one of Antarctica’s apex predators, kills penguins and smaller seals in a violent yet efficient manner. However, it seems that that’s not the only thing that H. leptonyx eats. A new study reports that H. leptonyx uses suction feeding to eat large amounts of krill, which is akin to how […]

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Plans to Protect Antarctic Sea Faces Difficult Challenges

October 17, 2012

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weddell-seal-antarctic-toothfish

The seas surrounding Antarctica are among the world’s most pristine, but fishing vessels are set to move in. Next week, there is a meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) that may try to contain the rush to access the region’s natural resources. There are currently four proposals to […]

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Ancient Antarctica Was Much Warmer and Wetter than Previously Suspected

June 18, 2012

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Antarctica during the middle Miocene epoch

In an effort to better understand what the future of climate change may look like, a team of scientists examined plant leaf wax remnants in sediment core samples taken from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, finding that ancient Antarctica was much warmer and wetter than previously suspected. Pasadena, California — A new university-led study with […]

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