The hopeful return of polar whales

Whales are rediscovering their old haunts in the Arctic and Southern oceans after centuries of hunting.

Lauren McWhinnie, Assistant Professor in Marine Geography, Heriot-Watt University • conversation
Jan. 1, 2021 ~7 min

antarctic arctic antarctica south-georgia whales shipping southern-ocean cetaceans arctic-ocean whaling oceans-21 polar-regions antarctic-blue-whale

200 years ago, people discovered Antarctica – and promptly began profiting by slaughtering some of its animals to near extinction

For 200 years, a small number of countries have exploited the marine wildlife of Antarctica, often with devastating impact on their populations.

Alessandro Antonello, Senior Research Fellow in History, Flinders University • conversation
Nov. 13, 2020 ~8 min

 climate-change  1960s  china  extinction  fisheries  antarctica  russia  fishing  south-korea  japan  blood  germany  whales  chile  unilever  sea-ice  southern-ocean  norway  environmental-movement  whaling  great-britain  international-whaling-commission  antarctic-krill  margarine  holland  public-attitudes  resource-extraction  antarctic-peninsula

Giant 'toothed' birds flew over Antarctica 40 million to 50 million years ago

Paleontologists have discovered fossil remains belonging to an enormous 'toothed' bird that lived for a period of about 60 million years after dinosaurs.

Peter A. Kloess, Doctoral Candidate, Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley • conversation
Oct. 27, 2020 ~7 min

 birds  asteroid  dinosaurs  extinction  fish  fossils  reptiles  jaws  specimens  ice-age  antarctica  ice  new-zealand  ducks  earth  snow  museums  penguins  squid  marsupials  skeleton  southern-ocean  continents  cretaceous-period  natural-history  1980s  pterosaurs  vultures  southern-hemisphere  albatross  university-of-california-berkeley

Microscopic animals are busy distributing microplastics throughout the world's soil

Our research on a remote Antarctic island found microplastics in the intestines of tiny animals.

Tancredi Caruso, Associate Professor, School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin • conversation
June 25, 2020 ~6 min

antarctica microplastics plastic-pollution microplastic

We caught bacteria from the most pristine air on earth to help solve a climate modeling mystery

Climate models have been overestimating how much sunlight hits the Southern Ocean. This is because the clouds there are different from clouds anywhere else. Bacterial DNA helped us understand why.

Thomas Hill, Research Scientist, Colorado State University • conversation
June 19, 2020 ~9 min

climate bacteria antarctica climate-models atmospheric-science weather clouds southern-ocean

Meteorites from Mars contain clues about the red planet's geology

Martian meteorites allow scientists here on Earth to decode that planet's geology, more than a decade before the first missions are scheduled to bring rocks back home from Mars.

Arya Udry, Assistant Professor of Igneous Petrology, Planetary Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas • conversation
June 16, 2020 ~6 min

space nasa mars gravity volcanoes antarctica earth meteorites outer-space asteroids national-science-foundation mars-rover sahara rock life-on-mars morocco martian-volcanoes

Fighting boredom with banjos and Russian grammar – tips from polar explorers for surviving months of isolation

A strong mind was key to surviving the monotony faced by Antarctic explorers enduring the isolation of long, remote winters.

Daniella McCahey, History Lecturer, University of Idaho • conversation
March 30, 2020 ~7 min

 antarctic  antarctica  isolation  ernest-shackleton  south-pole  boredom  explorers

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