The Statement of Intent, setting out Antarctica New Zealand's programme for the next four years is now available. It can be downloaded here.
Jamie Clark, the 2010 Antarctic Youth Ambassador, was in Antarctica during November and December 2010. During his time there he assisted the Antarctic Heritage Trust with their Cape Royds hut restoration work. His blog, which includes some great photos, can be read here.
Kathryn Ryan from Nine to Noon talks to Hayden Short about Christmas ant Scott Base. The full interview can be found here.
Scientists from the University of Auckland and Italy's University of Pisa are at Scott Base to search for clues about Adelie penguins' evolutionary past, and what this reveals about how they will respond to climate change. The full story can be found here.
Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand, Lou Sanson speaks to Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon the about the history and future of Antarctica. The full interview can be found here.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force C130 Hercules has been involved in offering aid to stricken Russian fishing vessel in the Eastern Ross Sea. The full story can be found here.
At the Prime Ministers Science Prize awards Dr Rob McKay, a glacial sedimentologist based at Victoria's Antarctic Research Centre was awarded the MacDiarmid emerging scientist prize. Using marine sedimentary records and glacial deposits, Dr McKay reconstructed episodes of melting and cooling in Antarctica over the past 13 million years and showed how they influenced global sea levels and climate. The full story can be found here.
The Norwegian government is providing $NZ900,000 to help preserve two huts built by Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevink at Cape Adare. Borchgrevink led an expedition to Antarctica in 1898 and the huts his expedition built at Cape Adare were the first buildings constructed in Antarctica. The full story can be found here.
Radio New Zealand National's Kathryn Ryan talks to Dr Tim Haskell, a distinguished Antarctic scientist who has been involved in Antarctic research for the past three decades and has been awarded both the Antarctic Medal and the Royal Society of New Zealand's Hector Medal for physical sciences for his work in Antarctica. The full interview can be found here.
Radio New Zealand National's Kathryn Ryan has visited sea ice scientist Andrew Martin at his field camp near Scott Base. Andrew and his team have been taking samples of the sea ice to assess the impact of climate change at the very foundation of the food chain. The full story can be found here.
Norway's Prime Minister, polar adventurers and scientists have gathered at the bottom of the world to mark the 100th anniversary of explorer Roald Amundsen becoming the first to reach the South Pole. The full story can be found here:
For over 50 years the Antarctic Treaty as stood as a beacon of international cooperation. To celebrate the success of the Treaty in encouraging peace and cooperation on the continent Antarctica Day will be recognised on December 1st. Information on the online symposium planed for Antarctica Day can be found here:
Malaysia officially became a member of the Antarctic Treaty following the accession on Oct 31, 2011. Malaysian King, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong visited Scott Base in recognition of this event this week. Over 60 scientific expeditions involving Malaysian researchers in Antarctica have been conducted since 1997, when New Zealand opened Scott Base to Malaysian scientists. These include 24 research studies in biological and physical sciences, under the supervision of the Malaysian Antarctic Research Program (MARP), a task force set up by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation for research in Antarctica. The full story can be found here:
Professor Barrett has been recognized by the world’s oldest geological society for his work on Antarctica’s climate history and appreciating its global significance. The Victoria Professor has been made an Honorary Fellow of the prestigious Geological Society of London – an honour currently held by only 70 geoscientists worldwide. Professor Barrett was founding Director of the Antarctic Research Centre (1973-2007) and is currently Deputy Director of the New Zealand Climate change Research Institute at Victoria University.
The Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution Project (RICE) has got off to a great start to the season with the successful LC-130 mission to the camp, which is over 700km from Scott Base. The event blog can be found here.
NASA Scientists are monitoring the birth of a monster iceberg in West Antarctica. The full story can be found here:
National geographic photographer, Carsten Peter is currently at Scott Base following the work of Professor Craig Cary’s team on the extreme life of Mt Erebus. A profile of Carsten’s work for National Geographic magazine can be found here:
A quest to uncover vestiges of ancient life will lead a team of scientists to the summit of Mt Erebus in Antarctica. Professor Craig Cary and his team expect to find evidence of ancient life forms that have survived in some of the harshest conditions on Earth, with temperatures in the volcanic soil on the slopes of Mt Erebus reaching more than 65 degrees Celsius. Surrounded by 1500 kilometres of ice, and 4000 metres above sea-level, the earth has barely been disturbed. The full story can be found here:
One hundred years ago today Capt Scott left his hut at Cape Evans for his ill-fated trip to the South Pole. The ponies had left the previous day on 31 October. The Southern Party finished their mail, leaving it in a packing case before departing Cape Evans at 11am. Each person was allowed 20lbs of personal gear – Bowes was the last to leave. From Griffin Taylors diary “I ran to the end of the Cape and watched the little cavalcade – already well strung out – rapidly fade into the lonely white waste to southward”.
Youth from Australia and New Zealand aged 12 to 18 years are welcome to participate in the Amundsen Challenge. Two winners will be awarded a trip to Hobart in Tasmania in March 2012 to be present at the re-enactment of the Norrwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen’s notification from Hobart, Tasmania of his successful trip to the South Pole. More details can be found here:
Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellow, Joe Sheehan, is showing the first of his Antarctica-inspired sculpture at Tim Melville Gallery, Auckland, until 29 October. More details can be found here:
Long time Antarctic film maker Max Quinn has been interviewed by Radio New Zealand National. Max has had four decades of experience behind the camera including a winter over at Scott Base. The interview can be found here.
100 years ago today Roald Amunsden departed for the South Pole from the Bay of Whales with 5 men, 52 dogs and 4 sledges. Amundsen recorded the following in his diary “Our sledges were light and the going was lively with provisions for 120 days – the Barrier is smooth and fine with the exception of a few low undulations, there are no hidden dangers”.
Canterbury artist and mountaineer Austen Deans has died, aged 96. Best known for his traditional landscape paintings depicting his beloved high country, Austen Deans was also a portraitist and, briefly, an official war artist. Austen Deans was a New Zealand Antarctic Programme Invited Artist over the 1981/82 season.
Each summer the waters in McMurdo Sound, in the south-western Ross Sea experience vast phytoplankton blooms. This phenomenon is stimulated by the addition of bio-available iron in an environment where phytoplankton growth is otherwise iron limited. Aeolian dust – dust carried by the wind – is a major source of iron for sections of the Ross Sea. Dust containing iron accumulates on the sea ice throughout the winter and is released into the ocean during the summer sea ice melt season. Holly Winton, the recipient of this year’s New Zealand Post Scholarship for Antarctic science, has been analysing the dust and iron content of surface snow samples from Southern McMurdo Sound. The full press release can be found here :
Dr Nancy Bertler at Victoria University of Wellington has just been awarded the prestigious $1million Rutherford Science Award for young, emerging, New Zealand science leaders. This will see 5 years of new funding for her Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution Project based on ice-cores which are to be extracted from West Antarctica this season. More information on this project can be found here.
The shape of future sea level rise is being modelled by Dr Dan Zwartz of Victoria University of Wellington’s Antarctic Research Centre. Rather than a uniform rise in sea level, the reality of thermal expansion of the ocean and the melting of land based ice in Antarctica will have a complex and varying result over the Earth’s oceans. The full story can be found here:
Antarctica New Zealand are finalists in the Sustainable 60 Awards. This is a national competition run by Fairfax Media, Unlimited Magazine and Price Waterhouse Cooper to encourage New Zealand companies to embrace sustainability throughout their business practice. The winners will be announced at the Sustainable 60 Awards evening in Auckland on 30 November, 2011. For more information visit www.sustainable60.co.nz.
The 2011/12 Antarctic summer season will officially be opened today with the arrival of the US Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft to Christchurch and a combined United States/ New Zealand season opening function at the Wigram Air Force Museum. The C 17 Globemaster will be opened to the public on Saturday 1 October at Christchurch International Airport from 10.30am to 12.30pm. On Sunday at 11am there will also be a “South to Antarctica” church service at the Christ’s College Chapel.
Now that the sun has a more regular presence at Scott Base, the Arrival Heights and Ross Island Wind Farm webcams are back up on the webcams page, along with the Scott Base webcam.
While the debate surrounding climate change has become mainstream news over the past few years, ocean acidification has only recently started to gain media attention. Ocean acidification has been dubbed ‘the other CO2 problem’ and research is gathering pace to determine potential consequences of increasing ocean acidity. The full press release can be found here.
Antarctica New Zealand, the Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Science and Innovation are organising a symposium to showcase the International Polar Year (IPY) science outcomes and discuss future research that based on this work. The dates for this symposium are 26th and 28th September 2011. Antarctica New Zealand will also use the symposium to identify the best outcomes from the research completed during the IPY and provide support for the most successful programmes to attend the IPY conference in Montreal in 2012.
Legendary Italian mountaineer and Antarctican Walter Bonatti, has died in Rome at the age of 81. Bonatti’s visit to Scott Base in 1975 at invitation of the New Zealand Antarctic Programme was part of a series of expeditions which helped established the Italian Antarctic Programme. Following his visit he lobbied the Italian Government to join the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and establish a base at Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea. Born in the northern Italian city of Bergamo in 1930, Bonatti is widely viewed as one of the world’s best mountaineers, having climbed peaks in the Alps, Himalayas, Patagonia and Antarctica.
Journalism student, James Borrowdale, has been selected as Antarctica New Zealand’s Media Scholar for 2011. James will spend four weeks over the coming Antarctic summer season at Scott Base covering a range of science and environment stories from the Ice. James is a student of the University of Canterbury’s Graduate Diploma in Journalism, with strong interests in writing and radio broadcasting . James will be our third Media Scholar to visit Scott Base under the Media Scholar programme and will fly south in mid November.
100 years ago today Roald Amundsen made his first attempt to head to the South Pole. His five man team left Franheim in the Bay of Whales on the 8th of September, 1911, but turned back in minus 52 degrees celsius on 12 September at 80° South. The full story can be found here:
Model simulations of past changes in Antarctic ice sheets suggest that between 243,000 and 191,000 years ago – a period known as Marine Isotope Stage 7 - there was a major loss of ice largely from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The full press release can be found here:
Air New Zealand has generously offered a further $100,000 fund to support an Antarctic science Post Doctoral scholarship. The gesture is an acknowledgement of Antarctica New Zealand’s assistance with the remembrance ceremony at Scott Base in February 2011 for family representatives of those lost in the Erebus disaster. The full press release can be found here:
Scott Base has seen some extreme weather over the last month with record snow falls not seen since 1966. Winfly has completed only 2 of the scheduled 6 missions due to blizzards and the temperature range over the last week has been between minus 43 degrees and minus 8 degrees. The current weather at Scott base can be found here:
Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellow, Laurence Aberhart is currently having an exhibition of his Antarctic images at the RH Gallery in upper Moutere, Nelson. Laurence is one of New Zealand's leading photographers and spent two weeks at Scott Base in November chronicling his unique vision of Antarctica. Contact details for the RH Gallery can be found here:
The National Science Foundation has reached an agreement with a Russian company to charter a diesel icebreaker to create a channel through the sea ice of Antarctica's McMurdo Sound that will allow the annual refueling and resupply of both Scott Base and McMurdo Station. The full press release can be found here:
Antarctica New Zealand has recently contributed to the funding of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) as a way to increasing the capability development of polar researchers. You can find the press release here:
The first flights of the Antarctic season are set to go tomorrow, following four months of total darkness and six months of isolation for New Zealand’s winter-over team on the Ice. The initial flight of this year’s annual programme, known as WINFLY, departs from Christchurch on Saturday. The full press release can be found here.
Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellow, Dave Dobbyn has been selected by North & South Magazine for their images from influential New Zealanders project. Dave’s image was taken during his time at Scott Base and is being auctioned on Trademe with proceeds going to a charity of his choice. You can view the auction here:
With the Swedish icebreaker Oden unavailable this season the United States programme is currently considering a number of potential options to break a channel into McMurdo Sound to enable the resupply of both McMurdo Station and Scott Base. In the event another Ice breaker cannot be found this will have a potentially significant impact on both the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. In the meantime Antarctica New Zealand is planning for a full summer season as usual.
There can be fewer environments harsher than the ponds on Bratina Island, yet Waikato University student Stephen Archer has discovered there is no shortage of bio-diversity. The full story can be found here.
John Evans of Timaru has been selected as this year’s Antarctic Youth Ambassador. The award, developed by Antarctica New Zealand in partnership with the Sir Peter Blake Trust, aims to provide an opportunity for a young New Zealander to contribute to environmental work in Antarctica. John is the fourth recipient of this award which attracted a large number of high quality applicants. John is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Canterbury with a strong interest in issues of sustainability. John will be travelling to Scott Base in November 2011, where he will be contributing to the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s restoration project on Captain Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans.
Dr Nancy Bertler from Victoria University of Wellington and GNS Science has been actively involved in the SCAR programme Antarctica and the Global Climate System (AGCS). At an AGCS meeting in Melbourne a new initiative called AntarcticClimate21 (AC21) was introduced and Dr Bertler has been asked to be chair. AC21 is a significant international research programme that coordinates a number of different individual international science projects. Antarctica New Zealand congratulates Dr Bertler and it is a credit to her standing as a scientist and her abilities in managing complex multidisciplinary research programmes.
The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and Antarctica New Zealand (AntNZ) have updated an existing agreement to work to develop closer scientific collaboration between the programmes. To achieve this AAD and AntNZ will hold a joint Antarctic science conference every three years, share information on strategic direction to identify potential science synergies and collaborate on a combined Antarctic data strategy.
Scholarships for post-graduate research have been awarded to the following students. The Sir Robin Irvine Antarctic Scholarship was won by Stephen Archer, who is undertaking his PhD at the University of Waikato. The NZ Post Scholarship was won by Holly Goddard, who is completing her Masters, also at the University of Waikato. Kathryn Lister, who is undertaking her PhD at the University of Otago, won the Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Scholarship. You can read more about their research here. Congratulations to all scholarship winners and good luck with their Antarctic research.
The value and relevance of Antarctic science to New Zealand is the focus of the Antarctica New Zealand science conference being held at Waikato University this week (July 4-6). Read the press release here:
A new post-doctoral fellow at NIWA is investigating ecological impacts of one of the most pressing threats to the world’s oceans: ocean acidification. Ocean acidification has the potential to affect the basic life functions of key species, such as shellfish, and change ecosystems. It’s expected to particularly affect the cold waters of the Antarctic, but just what this threat might mean to Antarctic ecosystems is largely unknown. To read the press release go here:
New Zealand filmmaker, Roger Donaldson, writer, Kate De Goldi, multimedia artist, Jae Hoon Lee, and New Zealand Army artist, Matt Gauldie, are the four recipients of the 2011/12 Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellowships. The artists will travel to Scott Base, Antarctica in November this year to take part in the programme, which targets prominent
Winter staff at Scott Base marked the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott’s famous mid-winter dinner with their own version based on the original menu. They were also able to celebrate with the Christchurch office of Antarctica New Zealand through a video link up. The mid-winter dinner is a time for Scott Base staff to celebrate the depths of the winter darkness, which lasts from April to August each year.
The Latest science update is here
Antarctica New Zealand’s Annual Antarctic Conference, themed Value and Relevance of Antarctic Science will be hosted by the University of Waikato in Hamilton from 4-6 July. More information about the conference programme can be found here. Registration information can be found here.
The latest Science and Information Update with reminders and news for the Antarctic community is now available for reading and downloading here.
In January a small depot left behind by members of Admiral Byrd's Second Antarctic Expedition (1933-1935) was discovered by members of a combined Gateway Antarctica (University of Canterbury) and University of Waikato research team. It was located on a small rocky promontory near Durham Point close to the mouth of the Scott Glacier less than 500 kms from the South Pole. For more information read or download the press release here.
A joint NZ-US research team working in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica has made a remarkable discovery. Under the 5 metres of ice which covers Lake Joyce they have found evidence of an active population of freshwater copepods. These small crustaceans are common in temperate and tropical waters, and also occur in lakes on more northerly coasts of Antarctica, but breeding adults have never before been seen at such a southerly location. For more information read or download the press release here.
Two leading Antarctic organisations announce today opportunities for early career researchers. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) are working together to attract talented researchers, engineers and other professionals to strengthen international capacity and cooperation. The Fellowships are worth up to $US15,000 each and up to five (4 SCAR and 1 COMNAP Fellowships) are on offer for 2011. The deadline for applications is 15 May 2011. More information is available on the COMNAP website.
The United States, New Zealand and Italian Antarctic programmes are working collaboratively to free-up as much office accommodation as possible on the International Antarctic Centre campus for critical support agencies whose premises have been severely affected by the 22 February earthquake. We currently have representatives St John Ambulance, New Zealand Police, Child Youth and Family, Department of Internal Affairs, Department of Conservation and New Zealand Historic Places Trust on campus. Both Scott Base and the Christchurch office of Antarctica New Zealand are fully operational.
On 22 February 2011, Christchurch and the surrounding area were struck by an earthquake that caused severe damage and tragic casualties. The New Zealand Government has launched an appeal to help the people of Christchurch and the Canterbury region during this time of great need. You can help make a difference by donating to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. The donations will be used to help the communities, families and people of Christchurch and the Canterbury region.
You can make an immediate donation to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal by clicking Donate Now in the image to the left.
New Zealand scientists have just returned from one of the largest remote field camps in Antarctica. Antarctica New Zealand has supplied logistical support for the Central Transantarctic Mountains Camp (CTAM) and has also managed to support a number of our leading Antarctic scientists at the Camp. Read or download the Press release here.
Anne Junglut has a blog on her Antarctic field work this season here. Also at the National History Museum site the Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators continue their long running blog dealing not only with the challenges and joys of conserving artefacts from the Heroic era but also giving a real slice of the ice in terms of living and working in Antarctica. You can read it here. Blogs and podcasts also continue at Journeys to the Ice from the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University.
A Kiwi-led group of scientists have just returned from establishing a camp at the remote Roosevelt Island, some 700 km east of Scott Base. The Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project aims to quantify how stable the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will be in a warming world. The significant distance to the site from Scott Base makes it one of the most logistically ambitious projects that Antarctica NZ has supported. Read or download the Press release here.
Entries are now open for the Extreme Environment Photographic Competition, presented as part of the Antarctic Centennial Year 2011-2012. The competition seeks the most striking images from the polar and sub-polar regions, and offers one of Australia's richest prizes for a single image - the Trafalgar Prize for $AUD 5000. Submissions close on 18 March 2011. Further information and an entry form are available here.