Antarctica

Antarctic Eclipse: Fans Pay Big to Be Left in Dark

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 21, 2003   View Article

Penguin rookeries in Antarctica—weather permitting—will be audience to a total solar eclipse Sunday as the moon slips between Earth and the sun and casts a narrow band of the icy continent into daytime darkness.

A few hundred humans, too, hope to catch the celestial show. They’ve paid thousands of dollars to journey to—or over—Antarctica, the only landmass where the minutes-long event will be visible.

Antarctic Glaciers Surged After 1995 Ice Shelf Collapse

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 6, 2003   View Article

When a huge floating shelf of ice hinged to the northern end of the Antarctic Peninsula disintegrated in January 1995, several glaciers that were backed up into it surged towards the sea, according to a pair of Argentinean researchers.

The discovery marks the first positive evidence that glacial surge follows an ice shelf collapse. It may lead scientists to revive the previously discarded theory that ice shelves acts as dams that prevent inland glaciers from slipping into the seas.

Antarctic Desert Rich With Insights Into Life on the Edge

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 26, 2003   View Article

When British polar explorer Robert F. Scott discovered Antarctica’s Taylor Valley in 1903 he described it as a “valley of the dead.”

“We have seen no living thing, not even a moss or a lichen,” he wrote in The Voyage of the Discovery, his book about the journey.

Do Fish Use Cold Current To Cross Tropics

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 5, 2003   View Article

A big, old Patagonian toothfish found thousands of miles from home is bolstering the theory that large fish can take advantage of very deep, cold ocean waters to cross the tropics from one polar region to the other, swimming under warm water in which they ordinarily could not survive.

The Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichtus eleginoides) is normally found in the icy sub-Antarctic waters off South America. So when a commercial halibut fisherman pulled one in November 2000 from the Davis Straight off the coast of Greenland, he was surprised.

Penguin Decline in Antarctica Linked With Climate Change

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 9, 2001   View Article

Emperor penguins like it cold. Now, scientists have determined that the penguins’ susceptibility to climate change accounts for a dramatic decline in their number over the past half century.

Over the past 50 years, the population of Antarctic emperor penguins has declined by 50 percent. Using the longest series of data available, researchers have shown that an abnormally long warm spell in the Southern Ocean during the late 1970s contributed to a decline in the population of emperor penguins at Terre Adelie, Antarctica.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach