Image: Polie Ethan Good braces himself at the geographic South Pole during a storm that grounded flights for four days. Several weather records were broken during the storm, with wind gusts flirting near 40 knots. Photo Credit: Al Baker
Antarctic Sun: We were sitting in the South Pole Station cargo office on Saturday morning, Nov. 6, when Logistics manager Paddy Douglas announced that there was a storm coming.
A team of explorers and scientists have today completed the first there-and-back crossing of Antarctica in wheeled vehicles. The 10-man team of the Moon Regan Transantarctic Expedition arrived back at Union Glacier in the early hours of Friday 17 December, 20 days after setting off from the same point to cross the continent.
Image: It takes a special hot-water drill two days and 4,800 gallons of jet fuel to melt one of the nearly two-mile-deep holes in the Antarctic ice that will contain the optical detectors of the IceCube neutrino telescope. Photo by James Roth
There's nothing like temperatures that can reach minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit to keep you on your toes. For engineers Erik Verhagen and Camille Parisel, working in Antarctica on a project appropriately called "IceCube" is both challenging and exciting. While there are ways to get used to the harsh climate, these experts have to be very resourceful to fix technical difficulties so far away from "civilization."
New space research published this week (Thursday 21 October) in the journal Nature, has settled decades of scientific debate. Researchers from the University of California (UCLA) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have found the final link between electrons trapped in space and the glow of light from the upper atmosphere known as the diffuse aurora. The research will help us understand 'space weather', with benefits for the satellite, power grid and aviation industries, and how space storms affect the Earth's atmosphere from the top down.
The yearly depletion of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica - more commonly referred to as the "ozone hole" - started in early August 2010 and is now expanding toward its annual maximum. The hole in the ozone layer typically reaches its maximum area in late September or early October, though atmospheric scientists must wait a few weeks after the maximum to pinpoint when the trend of ozone depletion has slowed down and reversed.