After two big Antarctic ice shelves broke off several years ago
, a world of new species was found underneath
and a press release came out yesterday, showing spindly orange starfish among other interesting creatures. Here is some more information
on the expedition.
The fact that the shelves melted when they did is most likely a result of global warming, but having them out of the way gave researchers a golden opportunity to study what lives beneath the ice.
Other occassions where a disaster has simultaneously been a great research opportunity include radioactive fallouts: at Chernobyl the evacuated area has been monitored
for the past decades to see which species move in and how they thrive (previously on Metafilter
posted by easternblot
on Feb 26, 2007 -
More gloomy news
on the whole climate change thing. It seems that Greenland's ice caps are melting three times as fast as previously measured (ultimately, in a thousand years or so, leading to a 6.5m sea level rise). While at the other end of the planet, it's not snowing as much as we hoped
to limit sea level rises. But hey, we can still laugh about it
posted by wilful
on Aug 10, 2006 -
The last hope of life on earth: Svalbard.
Most of humanity depends on just 12 plant species
, down from over 7,000 historically. Fortunately, seeds can be viable for up to thousands of years
, and seed banks have already preserved many species, including the entire plant population of Antarctica
. But with seed banks being destroyed
as the result of wars and accident, Norway has has begun work
on an underground facility, protected by polar bears, in the Arctic permafrost
that is designed to hold millions of seeds, as "final safety net"
posted by blahblahblah
on Jun 19, 2006 -
Listening to Antarctica
is a daily web diary, including audio clips (RealMedia) of ambient sounds and conversations onboard the Aurora Australis, a research vessel currently on its way to the Australian Antarctic bases. Margot Foster's next port of call is Casey Base
posted by Jimbob
on Mar 16, 2005 -
An iceberg the size of Long Island is about to impact a land-bound ice mass in Anarctica. Stand back!
posted by erebora
on Jan 12, 2005 -
Dream Dollars "Discover the mystery of Nadiria, the Lost Colony of Antarctica. Nadiria flourished as a utopian colony deep inside the Antarctican ice shelf for over thirty years until its mysterious disappearance in 1899. Here are the beautiful reproductions of its unusual currency, Dream-Dollars, studied by scholars and dream researchers for almost a century. Long unavailable, these exotic notes will amaze, astound, and fascinate all those interested in the strange and the beautiful."
posted by anastasiav
on Jan 15, 2004 -
"Antarctica: the best place in the world to be naked" (and take a bunch of awesomely beautiful pictures, too).
posted by WolfDaddy
on Dec 23, 2003 -
Seal kills scientist
A British scientist has been killed by a leopard seal whilst snorkelling in Antarctica.
I had no idea that a seal could (or would) attack a human. These things can grow to 23ft long! They are known to feed on penguins, but a human is a fair bit bigger than a penguin, so this is one nasty animal, not the doe-eyed creature we coo over in nature programmes...
posted by jontyjago
on Jul 24, 2003 -
'A colossal squid
has been caught in Antarctic waters, the first example of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni retrieved virtually intact from the surface of the ocean. ' Related (old news from January) :-
giant squid attacks boat
More squid sites :- Search for Giant Squid
a Smithsonian exhibit about a 1999 expedition. 'Whether living or extinct, on land or at sea, in literature or in life, large animals have long fascinated people. The largest animals have been known and hunted since prehistory: whales, walruses, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and large fishes... However, one large animal has gone almost unnoticed or certainly unobserved in its habitat. That animal is the giant squid. Although these animals have been found in the nets of commercial fishermen, in the stomachs of sperm whales, and washed ashore on different continents, no scientific information has been gathered by direct observations of live giant squid ... '
The UnMuseum's article on the giant squid
posted by plep
on Apr 3, 2003 -
Bye Bye, Tuvalu...
"In 1998, BAS predicted the demise of more ice shelves around the Antarctic Peninsula. Since then warming on the peninsula has continued and we watched as piece-by-piece Larsen B has retreated. We knew what was left would collapse eventually, but the speed of it is staggering. Hard to believe that 500 billion tonnes of ice sheet has disintegrated in less than a month."speccy piccy this
.(link via Ethel
posted by lagado
on Mar 19, 2002 -