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Antarctic fjords are climate-sensitive hotspots of diversity in a rapidly warming regionEurekAlert | 03 Dec 2013
(University of Hawaii at Manoa) In the first significant study of seafloor communities in the glacier-dominated fjords along the west Antarctic Peninsula, scientists expected to find an impoverished seafloor highly disturbed by glacial sedimentation, similar to what has been documented in well-studied Arctic regions. Instead, they found high levels of diversity and abundance in megafauna.
The Decline and Fall of the Emperor Penguin?Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | 22 Nov 2013
At nearly four feet tall, the Emperor penguin is Antarcticas largest seabird—and thanks to films like March of the Penguins and Happy Feet, its also one of the continents most iconic. If global temperatures continue to rise, however, the large colony of emperor penguins in Terre Adélie in East Antarctica may eventually disappear, according to a study led by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Vast iceberg poses risk to shippingBBC | 13 Nov 2013
UK researchers are awarded an emergency grant to track and predict a vast iceberg that could enter Southern Ocean shipping lanes.
Anti-whaling activist Paul Watson: 'We're not pirates'New Zealand Herald | 07 Nov 2013
A fugitive activist known for attacking Japanese whaling vessels off Antarctica insisted "we're not pirates" as he addressed a US appeals court considering whether he and the organisation he founded should be held in contempt. Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, took the witness stand in a Seattle courtroom. Japanese whalers accuse them of violating a court order demanding that they leave the whalers alone.
'Tiger stripes' underneath Antarctic glaciers slow the flowEurekAlert | 07 Nov 2013
(Princeton University) Researchers at Princeton University and the British Antarctic Survey have discovered that most resistance to the movement of glaciers over the underlying bedrock comes from narrow, high-friction stripes that lie within large, extremely slippery areas underneath the glacier. These stripes are thought to govern the speed at which Antarctic glaciers are moving.
NZ marine reserve bid blockedNew Zealand Herald | 01 Nov 2013
A New Zealand-US bid to establish the world's largest marine reserve in Antarctica is understood to have been blocked by China, Russia and the Ukraine. It was the third time the 25 nations under the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) had failed to agree to establish a marine protected area in the fish-rich Ross Sea, 3500km south of New Zealand.
Solving riddle of giant ice streamsNew Zealand Herald | 30 Oct 2013
For decades, scientists have observed how giant ice streams have flowed out of West Antarctica, eventually feeding the frozen continent's largest ice shelf. But dramatic changes seen in some areas of Antarctica have given scientists cause for concern as they try to gauge what role climate change could play in these processes.
McCully 'optimistic but not confident' over Ross Sea dealNew Zealand Herald | 22 Oct 2013
Foreign Minister Murray McCully says he is "optimistic but not confident'' a deal will be reached over a protected marine area in the Ross Sea this week, but will not rule out watering down the proposal further to ensure that happens.
Talks to resume over Ross SeaNew Zealand Herald | 21 Oct 2013
The world's biggest marine reserve in Antarctica may have to be given an expiry date to get countries with interests in the prized waters to agree to it. Delegations from 25 nations will resume talks in Hobart today on a New Zealand-US proposal for a marine protected area (MPA) in the fish-rich Ross Sea, 3500km south of New Zealand.
Talks open on no fishing zone to protect Antarctic seasGuardian Unlimited | 19 Oct 2013
Fishing and oil drilling could be banned across more than two million square kilometres of the frigid seas around Antarctica in a historic attempt to conserve the last pristine ocean. Negotiations this week at a meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) will centre on a proposal for a 1.25m square kilometre "no take" zone, which would cover much of the Ross Sea.
Giant channels discovered beneath Antarctic ice shelfEurekAlert | 07 Oct 2013
(University of Exeter) Scientists have discovered huge ice channels beneath a floating ice shelf in Antarctica. At 250 meters high, the channels are almost as tall as the Eiffel tower and stretch hundreds of kilometers along the ice shelf. The channels are likely to influence the stability of the ice shelf and their discovery will help researchers understand how the ice will respond to changing environmental conditions.
Want to know state of the planet? Count penguinsNew Zealand Herald | 28 Sep 2013
It might not be that simple, yet the soon-to-begin annual job of counting every Adelie penguin in the western Ross Sea region of Antarctica can be a process almost as slow as the birds themselves. As key indicators of climate change, penguins serve a crucial role for scientists examining what fluctuations in the white continent mean for the rest of the world.