Monthly Archives: March 2013

Ross Sea Marine Park looks possible!

The news is exciting – New Zealand and USA have just announced a joint initiative to create the world’s largest marine park, covering the Ross Sea in the Antarctic. The map below shows the position of the Ross Sea and the Ross Ice Shelf, to the southwest of the Antarctic continent. The size of the park is staggering: almost 9 times the size of New Zealand. Fishing in the area will be tightly controlled, and will include an exclusion zone – this was an initial stumbling block for New Zealand but an agreement was subsequently reached.

Ross Sea Marine Park

Site for the proposed Ross Sea Marine Park
(map courtesy of Wikipedia)

US, NZ call for giant Antarctic Marine Park
The Age, on Tue, 19 Mar 2013 01:27:35 -0700
Kerry and New Zealand’s ambassador to the US, Michael Moore, announced yesterday a joint New Zealand-US proposal to establish a Marine Protected Area, or MPA, in the Ross Sea, a 1.9 million-square-mile area off the Antarctic coast. “When it comes to


Have the British created the first Antarctic mobile home?

British Antarctic Base Halley VI

Halley VI, British Antarctic Base

Yes, it certainly looks like it! In a fascinating interview yesterday with the Economist, the architect for the Halley VI base, Hugh Broughton, explained how and why it was designed. Halley VI is the new Antarctic base inaugurated in February by the British Antarctic Survey, BAS. The base is in effect the sixth to be positioned on the Brunt Ice Shelf (shown on the map below) and is required because the others have always eventually drifted off the ice shelf as it calves, thus requiring replacement. (more…)

Ranulph Fiennes Antarctic expedition – setback at the start

 Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Image via Flickr

It is sad to indeed to see that Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the leader of the extremely ambitious winter Antarctica expedition called The Coldest Journey, has been obliged to pull out at an early stage due to frostbite. The expedition set off from Cape Town in January this year.

The expedition is the first to attempt to do a 3,200km (2,000 mile) traverse of the Antarctica during the winter months, when temperatures are of course at their lowest. In fact, temperatures of around minus 70C are likely during the six-month crossing,  and as yet the effect of these on equipment and humans is unknown. The crossing will also be mostly in darkness, adding to the risks the expedition faces.