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Antarctic News Archives - Environment

A collection of older (2003-2004) news items that relate to the environment of Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands. All links will take you to sites outside of the PRISM site. Use your back button to return.

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Environmental News - 2004

  • Nov. 21, 2004 - Scientists In A Cold War Over Antarctic Lake - Cox
    While a Russian team is determined to drill to the bottom of Lake Vostok in Antarctica to search for isolated microscopic life forms, other scientists worry that the drilling may contaminate the lake and ruin the possibility of getting important information from the lake

  • Oct. 11, 2004 - Climate: Worrisome Trends In Antarctica - Space Daily
    New reports on Antarctica show that ice shelves are thinning and collapsing, glaciers are speeding up, and improvements in the ozone hole may raise temperatures in the continent's interior. Many of the changes are unprecedented and were not part of current climate models.Sea level rise from ice melt may be beyond current projections.

  • Oct. 1, 2004 - Antarctic Ozone Hole Smaller This Year - The Ozone Hole
    The ozone hole over Antarctica is almost 20% smaller this year than last.

  • Sept 24, 2004 - West Antarctic Glaciers Speed Up - BBC
    PRISM scientists were part of a US- Chilean team whose newest data shows that West Antarctic glaciers are moving faster and shrinking more. The rate of shrinkage has accelerated substantially since the 1990s. It is not clear whether this is a natural cycle or the onset of a long-term change.

  • Sept 24, 2004 - New Structure Found Deep Within West Antarctic Ice Sheet - Space Daily
    A distinctive fold deep in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet recently discovered by ice-penetrating radar, indicates that the bulk of the sheet has moved rapidly in the past. This leads to additional questions about whether the whole ice sheet is as impervious to climate change as had previously been thought.

  • Sept 22, 2004 - Ice Collapse Speeds Up Glaciers - BBC
    Satellite data have confirmed the hypothesis that the collapse of the Larson B ice shelf two years ago has caused glaciers in that area to flow more rapidly.

  • Sept 17, 2004 - Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Development... - Space Daily
    Rapid growth of the Antarctic ice sheet 14 million years ago had a vast effect on global climate. Scientists studying deep sea sediments are beginning to be able to trace the relationships between the ice sheet size, high latitude temperatures and global carbon cycling.

  • Sept 2, 2004 - Envisat Witnesses Return Of South Polar Ozone Hole - Space Daily
    The ozone hole over the Antarctic has opened again, but it appeared two weeks later than last year's.

  • August 19, 2004 - Antarctic Craters Reveal Strike - BBC
    Satellite technology has allowed scientists to view and map enormous craters, probably caused by asteroid or comet fragments,under the ice sheet of Antarctica.The largest of these craters is about 200 miles X 200 miles.

  • August 11, 2004 - Tempers Are Rising In Antarctica - Timesunion
    Lake Vostok in central Antarctica is becoming a source of contention between Russian and U.S. scientists. Russia wants to drill completely through the ice into the lake and be the first to study it in depth, but U.S. scientists are worried about contamination. The Russians plan to start drilling again in December. (Photo and more information on Lake Vostok).

  • August 5, 2004 - Dispute Over Life In Antarctic Lake - Space Daily
    Whether Lake Vostok is a sterile lake that can safely be drilled or is a potential source of undiscovered life that could be contaminated by drilling is a hotly debated issue right now. Microbes have been found in an ice core from the lake.

  • July 21, 2004 - New Martian Meteorite Found In Antarctica - SpaceDaily
    A 715 gram meteorite found last December in the TransAntarctic Mountains has been examined and found to be from Mars. Meteorites such as this help scientists interpret the data coming back from Mars rovers. (Similar story with photo of the meteorite from SF Gate).

  • July 8, 2004 - Lake Under Antarctic Ice May Be Divided - Space Daily
    An NSF funded study shows that Lake Vostok, a lake that is deep under Antarctic ice, seems to be divided into two deep basins. Scientists speculate that the lake might harbor two distinct ecosystems.
  • June 28, 2004 - NASA Spacecraft Detects Volcanic Activity In Antarctica - Space Daily
    The NASA spacecraft, EO-1 , has taken a wonderful photograph of the active volcanic lake in the crater of Mount Erebus in Antarctica. Several photographs were taken after the initial detection of the heat signature. Testing in the Antarctic region will teach the satellite how to recognize other active volcanoes.

  • June 10, 2004 - Ice Core Reveals Worrying Truth About Earth's Climate - New Zealand Herald
    The oldest ice core taken from Antarctica has provided details of the eight previous ice ages and shows that the present climate would be highly stable if it were not for man-made greenhouse gases. (Similar story from BBC. Photos from British Antarctic Survey. Article from Nature).

  • June 4, 2004 - Special Status Declared Over Dry Valleys - 70 South
    The Antarctic Treaty Consultative group declared that the Dry Valleys of Antarctica will be the first Antarctic "Specially Managed Area." This designation will help protect this area.

  • May 21, 2004 - Scientists Discover Undersea Volcano Off Antarctica - Newswise (Hamilton College)
    A scientific team mapping the ocean floor has discovered what they believe to be an active and previously unknown volcano in Antarctic Sound. This volcano appears to be on the continental shelf.

  • May 20, 2004 - Icebreakers Polluting Antarctica - The Australian
    High levels of a chemical that sometimes added to marine paint has shown up in Antarctic waters. Some environmentalists want to ban the use of this chemical on ships that travel to Antarctica to protect the marine organisms there.

  • May 19, 2004 - One Of Largest Meteorites Among Thousands Processed by NASA... - CNews
    NASA's Johnson Space Center is the home to Big Lew, the largest meteorite found in Antarctica since the United States began collecting them in 1975. It weighs 250 pounds. It was discovered in the 1980s.

  • May 2, 2004 - Global Warming Could Soon Make Antarctica The Only Place To Live... - New Zealand Herald
    According to a British scientist, Antarctica may be the world's only habitable continent next century unless global warming is controlled.
  • April 21, 2004 - Thrill Seekers A Headache for Scientists... - Post-Gazette
    Tourists are increasingly interested in Antarctica, but scientists fear that they may be putting the ecosystem at risk. Careful rules have been enacted for scientists to protect the environment and they are hoping that the tourist industry will honor those rules.

  • Mar. 6, 2004 - Glacial Melt Indicates Global Warming Changes - ABC
    A team of international scientists have reported that the Brown glacier, on sub-Antarctic Heard Island is melting much faster than expected. It appears it is melting at 4 times its normal rate.

  • Feb. 27, 2004 - South Korean National Assembly Passes Antarctic Environmental Law - Yonhap News
    South Korea's Parliament passed a law to protect the Antarctic Environment and promote scientific research, as part of an international protocol.

  • Feb. 23, 2004 - Ice Sheets Caused Massive Sea Level Change in Late Cretaceous - Newswise/NSF
    Sediment cores from the New Jersey coastal plain indicate that ice sheets likely caused massive sea level changes in the late Cretaceous, a period previously thought to be ice-free.This is consistent with the belief of a few scientists that Antarctic ice sheets grew and decayed during this period.

  • Feb. 10, 2004 - Life in Icy Waters - Earth Observatory
    Open water areas in the sea ice, called polynyas, appear to be of great importance to the survival of many species. These areas support the growth of phytoplankton, the foundation of the Antarctic food web.

  • Feb. 10 , 2004 - British Antarctic Survey Ozone - BAS
    Most current report on the Antarctic ozone hole with links to satellite images.

  • Feb. 1, 2004 - Tectonic Puzzle - Antarctic Sun
    A report on research being done to study tectonic shifts in Antarctic, both past and present.

  • Jan. 26, 2004 - Puzzling Height Of Polar Clouds Revealed - Innovations Report
    Mesospheric clouds at the South Pole are typically two miles higher than those at the North Pole. Scientists have concluded this is due to differences in solar radiation in the two areas.

  • Jan. 6, 2004 - Time To Clean Up The Ice - NZ Herald
    Winter Quarters Bay outside McMurdo Station is one of the most polluted harbors in the world in terms of oil in spite of better environmental awareness and cleanup efforts since 1989. Studies continue to try to determine the impact of scientific and tourist groups on the continent.

Environment - 2003

  • Dec. 18, 2003 - Massive Salinity Changes In Oceans - Science a GoGo
    Scientists are reporting that tropical ocean waters have become saltier while oceans closer to the poles have become less salty over the past 40 years. This is apparently related to global warming and is of concern since these changes can affect patterns of global precipitation.

  • Dec. 12, 2003 - Study Reveals Complex Changes In West Antarctic Ice Streams - Ohio State University
    IceSat data when compared with NASA's Airborne Topography Mapper data indicates substantial changes to all the West Antarctic ice streams over the past 5 years. Some are slowing down almost to a stop, while others are flowing faster.

  • Dec. 2, 2003 - Landscapes on Buried Glaciers...Help Decipher Recent Ice Ages On Mars - NSF
    Studies in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica are providing information that may explain some similar features being seen on Mars.

  • Nov. 21, 2003 - White Continent To Go Black - BBC News
    A total eclipse of the sun will be viewed by a select few scientists and tourists on November 23 (US). This is a rare event which only lasts a few minutes. See Nov. 24 report.

  • Nov. 19, 2003 - Building A Highway To the Pole - New Zealand Herald
    A convoy of bulldozers and other heavy equipment is on its way from McMurdo Station to survey a route to the South Pole. Many fear the impact on the environment.

  • Nov. 19, 2003 - Seasonal Ozone Hole Disappeared - Yahoo
    The seasonal ozone hole over the South Pole has disappeared for this year.

  • Nov. 13, 2003 - Antarctic Ice Has 'Decreased 20% Since 1950's - ANANOVA
    A significant and steady decrease in the amount of sea ice around Antarctica over the past 50 years, resulting in a net loss of about 20%, was reported by Australian researchers. This finding is based on ice core data. More from The Guardian

  • Nov. 12, 2003 - Antarctic and Arctic Sea Ice Marching To Different Drivers - Science Daily
    A satellite record shows that sea ice has decreased in the Arctic and the Antarctic over the past 30 years. The Arctic has showed a steady loss, while the loss in the Antarctic was primarily due to losses 1973-1977.

  • Nov. 5 , 2003 - Record Loss of Ozone Over Antarctica - Scoop
    Analysis of satellite data indicates that a record amount of ozone was destroyed over Antarctica this September. More than 47 million tons was lost on Sept. 25 alone.

  • Nov. 5, 2003 - Explanation Offered For Antarctica's "Blood Falls" - Science Daily
    Analysis indicates that the reddish material seeping from the side of a glacier in the Taylor Dry Valley is ferric dioxide and probably came from an ancient salt water lake.

  • Nov. 4, 2003 - Storm Helps Split Huge Iceberg... - RedNova
    A powerful storm has caused B-15, an iceberg as big as Jamaica, to split into two pieces. Both pieces are still grounded on the floor of the Ross Sea. (Image from MSNBC)

  • Nov. 3, 2003 - Melting Polar Ice Shelves Linked To Warmer Seas - New Zealand News
    The disintegration of the Larsen Ice Shelf has been linked to warmer seas. Scientists have seen dramatic thinning of the ice shelf, and predict that it may disappear entirely within 70 years. This loss could trigger a catastrophic loss of ice from the continent, raising sea levels.

  • Oct. 14, 2003 - Massive Antarctic Iceberg Breaks In Two - University of Wisconsin
    B-15A, a hundred mile iceberg, has split into two pieces. This was seen on satellite photos. It is not yet clear whether this will ease or complicate access for ships in the Ross Sea. (Images from National Ice Center)

  • Oct. 10, 2003 - Antarctic Ozone Hole Brings Stronger Winds - CBC News
    A Canadian scientist has shown that the Antarctic ozone hole appears to be changing wind patterns and ocean currents in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Oct. 2 , 2003 - Huge Iceberg Wreaks Havoc... - Stanford Report
    Study of the ecological impact of a huge iceberg (C-19) in the Ross Sea, shows that it had a negative impact on penguin populations and phytoplankton growth. (Similar story in Science Daily)

  • September 25, 2003 - Ozone Hole Approaches, But Falls Short Of, Record - NASA
    This year's ozone "hole" in the Antarctic is the second largest ever observed. It is larger than North America, but smaller than the one seen in 2000.

  • September 5, 2003 - Antarctic Ozone Hole Grew More Rapidly this Year - CBC News
    United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WHO) reported that the annual ozone hole in the Antarctic has grown more rapidly than usual this year. At the same time, it also reported that the world had been making steady progress towards the recovery of the ozone layer.

  • August 27, 2003 - ...Tides Control Flow of Antarctic Ice Streams - Science Daily
    Scientists have established a clear link between the tides and ice streams in the Antarctic which display a slip-stick type behavior. (Graphic from Spaceflight Now)

  • August 22, 2003 - 2003 Ozone Hole May Be Record Size - Pakistan Daily Times
    The ozone hole over the Antarctic is growing at a rate that suggests it may reach record size this year. The ozone hole currently covers all of the Antarctic. Its full size will not be known until the end of September.

  • August 11, 2003 - ...Antarctic Lake Will Fizz Like A Soda - NASA
    Scientists report that water from Lake Vostok in Antarctica would gush forth like a shaken can of soda if the lake is disturbed, due to unusually high concentrations of dissolved gases in the water. Drilling in the area may need to be reconsidered.

  • August 6, 2003 - Strong Seism in Argentine Falklands - MercoPress
    A seismic wave (tsunami) caused by a 7.3 Richter scale earthquake hit the Argentine Polar Base on the South Orkneys this week causing destruction but injuring no one.

  • July 30, 2003 - Destruction of Ozone Layer Is Slowing... - Science Daily
    Declining levels of ozone-destroying chlorines in the upper stratosphere indicate that worldwide reduction in chlorofluorocarbon pollution is having the desired effect.

  • June 18, 2003 - Summer Tourists Put Antarctica In Peril - Guardian Unlimited
    With tourists doubling every three years, some members of the Antarctic Treaty Organization want the number limited to prevent damage to the ecosystem. They are particularly concerned about the potential for accidental oil-spillage.

  • June 17, 2003 - Two New Icebergs In Ross Sea - National Ice Center
    Two new icebergs have calved from Iceberg C-19A in the Ross Sea. You can see a picture of all the C-19 sections at this site.The new icebergs are C-19C and C19-D

  • March 25, 2003 - Iceberg C-21 Breaks Off Shackelton Ice Shelf - NOAA
    A new iceberg has broken from the Shackelton Ice Shelf. It is about 27 miles long and 14 miles wide.

  • April 10, 2003 - World Warming in 2002 "Near Record" - BBC News
    Although 2002 was the second hottest year on record, Antarctica bucked the warming trend. The trend there was toward cooler than average temperatures, a pattern consistent with global climate change.

  • March 7, 2003 - Sea-level Rise Shelved For Now - Nature
    The ice shelves on the edges of the continent seem to support many of Antarctica's glaciers. When the ice shelves collapse, the melting of glaciers seems to speed up. This could speed the arrival of a feared sea-level rise.

  • Jan. 13, 2003 - NASA Instrument Captures Early Melting of Antarctic Ice Shelf- JPL News
    An international research team using data from NASA's SeaWinds instrument has detected the earliest yet recorded pre-summer melting event in a section of Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf.

  • Jan. 13, 2003 - Extreme Ice Conditions Cause Coast Guard and NSF to Deploy Second Icebreaker - NSF
    Near McMurdo, the ice is extending out almost three times the usual distance. To ensure supplies can reach scientific teams in Antarctica, two icebreakers will be deployed.

  • Jan. 6, 2003 - Antarctica's Ice Sheet Melting Naturally - BBC News
    If the West Antarctic Ice Sheet continues melting at the current rate, it will probably be gone in 7,000 years. Scientists stress this is a natural phenomenon, but cannot rule out the possible accelerating effects of global warming.


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