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 ACCEDES TO THE ANTARCTIC TREATY
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 PETER BARRETT FRSNZ
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.
LARGE ICEBERG FORMING
NASA Scientists are monitoring the birth of a monster iceberg in West Antarctica. The full story can be found here:
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AT SCOTT BASE
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:
LIFE ON EREBUS
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:
JOE SHEEHAN EXHIBITION
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: