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Antarctica

Plastic waste in Antarctica reveals scale of global pollution: Greenpeace

OSLO: Plastic waste and toxic chemicals found in remote parts of the Antarctic this year add to evidence that pollution is spreading to the ends of the Earth, environmental group Greenpeace said on Thursday. Microplastics - tiny bits of plastic from the breakdown of everything from shopping bags to car tires - were detected in nine of 17 water samples collected off the Antarctic peninsula by a Greenpeace vessel in early 2018, it said. And seven of nine snow samples taken on land in Antarctica found chemicals known as…

Antarctica: a laboratory for climate change

A decade ago, a thick layer of ice covered the Collins Glacier on Antarctica's King George Island. Now, the rocky landscape is visible to the naked eye, in a region that is both a victim of and a laboratory for climate change. "I had the opportunity to come here over a 15-year period, and even within a human's lifetime, you can already see the changes brought about by climate change," the director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), Marcelo Leppe, told AFP. Observers can now see "rocks that we weren't seeing…

100-year-old fruitcake found in Antarctica in ‘perfect condition’

Have you ever been confused about what food to take on an adventure or mountain expedition? Well, fruitcake could be the best choice. It may not be flashy, but the dessert can survive in just about any environment – and it can last a century, if that’s what you need. Conservators from the New Zealand-based Antarctic Heritage Trust discovered the 106-years-old treat in a hut on Cape Adare in East Antarctica. According to a statement released by the trust, the cake probably dates back to the Terra Nova expedition…

‘Antarctica will be a much greener place in the future’

MIAMI: Plant life is growing on Antarctica like never before in modern times, fueled by global warming which is melting ice and transforming the landscape from white to green, researchers said Thursday. Scientists studying moss in an area spanning 400 miles (640 kilometers) have found a sharp increase in growth over the past 50 years, said the report in the journal Current Biology. Plant life exists on only about 0.3 percent of Antarctica. "Temperature increases over roughly the past half century on the Antarctic…

Study finds Antarctica is more vulnerable to global warming than thought

PARIS: East Antarctica’s massive ice sheet may be more exposed to global warming than long assumed, according to a study Monday that shows how strong winds can erode ice shelves that help hold it in place. There is enough frozen water sitting on top of the world's polar continent to raise sea level by dozens of metres and redraw the world map if it melts. But understanding the dynamics of the region -- which includes the much smaller West Antarctica ice sheet -- has proven difficult. Up to now, scientists have…

Kerry becomes first US top diplomat to visit Antarctica

McMURDO STATION: Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest-ranking US government official to visit Antarctica Friday, citing global risks of climate change and the importance of aggressive action to counter it. An ardent champion in the fight against climate change, Kerry's historic tour -- one of his last trips as the top US diplomat -- came two weeks after the October 28 international agreement that created the world's largest marine protected area. After arriving at the McMurdo Station, a United States…

John Kerry is going to Antarctica as first US top diplomat

WASHINGTON: John Kerry, an ardent champion of the fight against climate change, will become the first top US diplomat to visit Antarctica, where the world's largest protected marine reserve was just created. The State Department announced Friday the itinerary for Kerry in what will be one of his last trips as secretary of state before President Barack Obama's administration ends on January 20. During his November 10-18 world tour, Kerry will visit Antarctica, New Zealand, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco – for…

Deal struck for world’s biggest marine reserve in Antarctica

SYDNEY: The world's largest marine reserve aimed at protecting the pristine wilderness of Antarctica will be created after a "momentous" agreement was finally reached Friday, with Russia dropping its long-held opposition. The deal, sealed by the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) at an annual meeting in Hobart after years of negotiations, will see a massive US and New Zealand-backed marine protected area established in the Ross Sea. It will cover more than 1.55 million square kilometres (600,000…