Every trip to Antarctica inspires awe and concern for the fragile frozen continent. But every trip also contributes to the global warming that's eating away at the place. So is it better to visit Antarctica, or stay away?
Microplastics — tiny bits of plastic from the breakdown of everything from shopping bags to car tires — were detected in nine of 17 water samples collected off the Antarctic peninsula by a Greenpeace vessel in early 2018, it said.
Scientists say a massive ice sheet in Antarctica is starting to collapse. It's not going to slide into the ocean over night, but rather over centuries. Still, it will fall, scientists say. It's gotten to the point it can't be stopped — and that means rising sea levels.
Those on the Spirit of Mawson Antarctic expedition were relieved and jubilant when they were rescued last week after being stranded on a ship caught in Antarctic pack ice. But some polar scientists were not as jubilant. They question the trip as more a lark than a serious expedition — which diverted several icebreakers from serious scientific work.
When we found out back in the 1980s that aerosol propellants and refrigerants were eating up the atmosphere's protective ozone layer, many people complained that we couldn't come up with suitable substitutes. But we did, people's hairstyles and fridges are fine, and scientists now say that nature is finally starting to heal the ozone layer.
A new study of blue whales in the eastern Pacific has found that the population of the behemoths there has bounced back to near pre-whaling levels. But other populations of blues elsewhere are not doing nearly as well.
Seals spend a lot of time in the water — which makes them nearly ideal vehicles for gathering data on ocean currents and changes in ocean conditions. But doing that requires a little bit of cooperation from the seals.