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Latest Antarctica Stories

Invasive Species Put Antarctic Natives At Risk
2012-03-06 11:15:04

As temperatures warm along Antarctica´s outer fringes, it allows for invasive plants and organisms to be carried in inadvertently by visiting scientists and tourists, putting the pristine ecosystem at risk, researchers have found. An international team of researchers, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), said they scoured the clothes and boots of those visiting the southernmost continent and found that most were carrying plant seeds. The risks from...

2012-03-01 10:35:53

In a modern iteration of the great age of Antarctic exploration of the 19th and 20th centuries, three teams of scientists are rushing to reach not the South Pole like Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, but lakes deep below the surface of the Frozen Continent believed to hold scientific treasures. That quest by Russian, British and American scientific teams for water samples is the topic of an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly...

Operation IceBridge: Flying Through A Crack On The Ice
2012-03-01 10:19:05

[ Watch the Video ] In October 2011, researchers flying in NASA´s Operation IceBridge campaign made the first-ever detailed, airborne measurements of a major iceberg calving event while it was in progress. Four months later, the IceBridge team has mapped the crack in Antarctica´s Pine Island Glacier in a way that allows glaciologists and the rest of us to fly through the icy canyon. The above image is a still frame captured from a three-dimensional, virtual flight through the...

Could Salty Soil Suck Water Out Of The Martian Atmosphere?
2012-02-29 03:51:57

The frigid McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are a cold, polar desert, yet the sandy soils there are frequently dotted with moist patches in the spring despite a lack of snowmelt and no possibility of rain. A new study, led by an Oregon State University geologist, has found that that the salty soils in the region actually suck moisture out of the atmosphere, raising the possibility that such a process could take place on Mars or on other planets. The study, which was supported by the...

Antarctica Fish Threatened By Climate Change
2012-02-14 04:19:52

A Yale-led study of the evolutionary history of Antarctic fish and their "anti-freeze" proteins illustrates how tens of millions of years ago a lineage of fish adapted to newly formed polar conditions — and how today they are endangered by a rapid rise in ocean temperatures. "A rise of 2 degrees centigrade of water temperature will likely have a devastating impact on this Antarctic fish lineage, which is so well adapted to water at freezing temperatures," said Thomas Near, associate...

Researchers Taking Stock Of Earth's Melting Ice
2012-02-09 10:36:22

[ Watch the Video ] In a new study led by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, scientists using NASA data have found that Earth´s glaciers and ice caps outside of the regions of Greenland and Antarctica are losing nearly 150 billion tons of ice annually. Using satellite measurements from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), researchers were able to measure ice loss in all of Earth´s land ice between 2003 and 2010....

Russian Team Becomes First To Reach Subglacial Lake
2012-02-09 06:05:58

After two decades of on-again, off-again work, a team of Russian scientists claim to have successfully drilled through the frozen crust of Antarctica and into a gigantic, subglacial body of water that had been buried beneath the ice for millions of years. The body of water in question is Lake Vostok, which according to BBC News Science Correspondent Jonathan Amos is one of more than 300 glacial lakes known to exist on that continent. Lake Vostok had been untouched for at least 14...

Russian Scientists Reach Ancient Antarctic Lake
2012-02-06 13:55:27

After years of drilling, Russian scientists have finally managed to reach down to reveal a unique sub-glacial lake. The scientists drilled 12,362 feet to reach the sub-glacial Antarctic lake, Vostok, which has been sealed for the past 20 million years. Explorers hope the lake could reveal new forms of life, and show how life evolved before the ice age. The discovery of the hidden lakes of Antarctica in the 1990s sparked enthusiasm from scientists across the globe. Some believe the...

Researchers To Get First Peek At 20 Million Year-Old Lake
2012-02-03 12:06:26

In what sounds like the opening scene to a bad monster movie, a team of Russian scientists are on the verge of drilling down to a lake buried under more than two miles of ice that hasn´t seen the light of day for over 20 million years, reports Rob Cooper for the Daily Mail. Lake Vostok is the largest of Antarctica´s subglacial lakes and also one of the largest lakes in the world and the research team is poised to penetrate the final 40 feet of ice that sits atop the lake next...

Spectacular Photos Show Birth Of World’s Biggest Iceberg
2012-02-03 06:07:52

[ Watch the Video ] Breathtaking images taken from outer-space by NASA's Operation IceBridge -- the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown -- reveal a 19-mile long, 195 ft.-deep crack across a floating ice shelf in Antarctica that could produce the world´s largest iceberg. The rift was first discovered last October, but IceBridge scientists returned soon after to obtain the first-ever detailed airborne measurements of the 310 square mile iceberg calving in...


Latest Antarctica Reference Libraries

Antarctica
2013-02-18 10:15:24

Antarctica is the Earths southernmost continent; it contains the geographic South Pole. It’s situated in the Antarctic area of the Southern Hemisphere, almost completely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is bordered by the Southern Ocean. It’s the fifth-largest continent at 5.4 million sq miles. On average, it is the driest, coldest, and windiest continent as well as having the highest average elevation of all the continents. Considered a desert, the annual precipitation is only 8...

Ross Seal, Ommatophoca rossii
2013-01-01 15:44:30

The Ross seal (Ommatophoca rossii) is a true seal in the Phocidae family, and can only be found on pack ice in Antarctica. This species was formally described by James Clark Ross in 1841, during his British Antarctic Expedition. It is very uncommon to see in its range and rarely leaves the pack ice, with stray individuals occurring off southeast Australia or sub-Antarctic islands. The Ross seal can reach an average length between 5.5 and 6.9 feet, although some females can reach up to 8.2...

Weddell Seal, Leptonychotes weddellii
2012-06-27 21:35:24

The Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) is a large true seal in the Lobodontini tribe. It is native to Antarctica, with its range consisting of a large “ring” that surrounds Antarctica. This seal will spend most of its time in the water instead of on land. The Weddell seal appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern”.  It is estimated this seal numbers over 800,000 individuals in the wild. First discovered in 1820s by a British sealing captain...

Antarctic Silverfish, Pleuragramma antarcticum
2012-04-02 17:14:35

The Antarctic Silverfish, (Pleuragramma antarcticum), is a member of the Notothenioidei family of fish. It is widely distributed around the Antarctic, but has largely disappeared from the western side of the northern Antarctic Peninsula based on 2010 research funded by the National Science Foundation. It is also found throughout the Southern Ocean. It grows to an average size of 6 inches, but has been known to reach lengths of up to 10 inches. It is usually pink with a silver tint, and...

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2009-08-18 20:48:47

Cryolophosaurus, meaning "cold crest lizard", is a genus of theropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Period (Pliensbachian Age). It is known from the Hanson Formation (previously known as the Upper Falla Formation). It was discovered by paleontologist Dr. William Hammer in 1991. It was the first carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered in Antarctica. It was also the first dinosaur from Antarctica to be officially named. Dr. William Hammer and his team unearthed the dinosaur during the...

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Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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