July 19, 2005

Britain Plans New Antarctic Research Base

LONDON (AP) -- Britain plans replace its aging scientific research station in the Antarctic with a structure on skis so that it can move away from dangerous ice, officials said Tuesday.

The structure will be designed to protect scientists all year round from outside temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero, the British Antarctic Survey said.

The station, to be known as Halley VI, will be situated inland from the current Halley V station, on the Brunt Ice Shelf.

Halley V needs to be replaced because with the melting of the ice shelves it is in danger of floating out to sea, the BAS said.

The BAS and the Royal Institute of British Architects held a design competition for the new station, choosing a design by London-based Faber Maunsell and Hugh Broughton Architects.

The new station will comprise modular buildings that are built on legs, with a ski on the end of each leg. When they need to be moved as the ice flows out to sea, they can be towed by a bulldozer.

The station, the sixth built in the area since 1956, will be home to scientists and engineers studying the effects of ozone depletion, atmospheric pollution, sea level rise and climate change.


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