Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements
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There are indications that in the future the rather neglected South polar region will receive as much, if not more, attention from societies for geographical research and from persons with means and an adventurous turn of mind that has been hitherto bestowed upon the opposite portion of the world's surface.
The very fact of the area embraced within the antarctic circle having been visited only at rare intervals suggests that the explorer may reap far richer rewards by attempts to penetrate beyond the southern ice barrier than are to be gained by arctic discoveries.
The chief impediment in the way of antarctic exploration is the absence of easily accessible starting points for expeditions and of bases from which to operate. Long distances must be covered before the actual scene of work is reached. When an attack upon the North Pole is to be made, a few days' sail will convey the exploring party from civilization to the ice fields. The absence of similar favorable conditions in the Southern Hemisphere has served to discourage attempts to reach the South Pole.
For a long time there existed a popular belief that the ice barrier surrounding the South polar region was impenetrable. Lately this theory has been received with little veneration. The experiences and information gained by the Norwegian Borchgrevink several years ago have convinced him that the difficulties to be encountered in the South seas are less formidable than has been supposed. He pressed his claims so eloquently as to convince English capitalists of the great possibilities held out by attacks upon the South Pole, and the expedition which has just left Hobart, Australia, on the steamer Southern Cross, was the result.
The German Government, too, is favoring antarctic research, and may be expected to send out a well-equipped vessel next fall. Lieutenant Gerlache, of the Belgian, is now steaming about somewhere in the vicinity of Graham's Land. Altogether the prospect of interesting and valuable antarctic discoveries is promising.
Reproduced with permission: L.L. Dyche, Explorations (Newspaper Clippings Related to Polar Exploration), Vol. 1 & 2. University Archives, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, KS.
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