Friday, September 28, 2007

Role of Math in Predicting Effects of Climate Change

Math really can be important in a lot of science. The effects of climate change may not be seen as something that math is used for predicting, but it is as the predictions relate mostly to patterns. I found this article about a mathematician using a formula he developed to help predict the effect of climate change on sea ice in Antarctica. What is most interesting is how his formula can also be applied in other ways, including "how osteoporosis permeates can bone, which have a similar density and structure to sea ice."

Antarctic Animals and Plants Survived Ice Ages

Found this very interesting article about plant and animal life in Antarctica learning to adapt to deal with the Ice Age conditions that left little to no ice free land in Antarctica. The article is very brief and does not really give any details on how exactly the plants and animals have adapted, but it sure brings to light some interesting possibilities in how studying them could be useful.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Measureing How Long Rock Has Been Exposed to Ice

Here is an interesting article about climate change and what it could mean in Antarctica. It nicely explains that the models expect the ice sheet to remain pretty much in balance because of increased snowfall balancing the melting. It also revolves around providing information on a team going down to Antarctica to research how long the rock on a mountain has been exposed to the sun. Who even thought that such a thing could be done? The point of this is to help determine the past thinning of the ice sheet to better understand the current situation and future of the ice sheet. This article is full of more information including an interesting tidbit on that naturally the earth should be in a global cooling period instead of the human forced warming. Not sure about the science behind this statement, but certainly an interesting idea to ponder towards how much humans are impacting the natural cycle.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Antarctic Snowmelt Increasing

I found this article about Antarctic snowmelt here. It talks about in the past couple decades snow has been melting farther inland and in higher altitudes than in the past. I found it interesting when it talked about how snow melt in Antarctica is pretty minimal because it remains below freezing most summers, however in recent years it has been getting warm enough to melt. It is also interesting how snow melt on the Ross Ice Shelf have the potential of causing the ice to break up.

Russian Attempting to Sail Solo Around Antarctica

Fedor Konyukhov from Russian plans to set sail in January of next year on a solo sailing voyage to sail all around Antarctica. That means a journey of 14,600 miles on just his 27 meter yacht. It would certainly be amazing if he accomplishes it. The article I learned about this from can be found here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Waterproof Glue

I keep meaning to get around to post about this article I found on waterproof glue and how it relates to Antarctica. It only took
me 4 days. This article is very interesting talking about Foraminifera (small underwater creatures) and how they act as carbon sinks in the Antarctic waters. It also however talks about their ability to produce an underwater adhesive to make their shells out of sand. It sounds like the research could eventually lead to more effective adhesives for a variety of uses including biomedicine.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ozone Hole Not a Closed Case

Many people think that the ozone hole issue has been completely dealt with. It is true that action has pretty much helped stop the humans causing it to get bigger, but it does not entirely stop it. I found this interesting article about the issue not being totally resolved that can be read here. It has a lot of information, so just go read it as it is too much to summarize here. Just in case your wondering the ozone hole relates to Antarctica in that it is usually present over Antarctica.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Antarctic Ice at Highest Levels Since 1979

This article is a decent example that the earth is not experiencing global warming everywhere, but that is the overall trend. It just shows that the more accurate term is climate change, which can mean more than even temperature change but changes in other weather patterns.

In the Antarctic the warming has been occuring on the Peninsula, but the rest of the continent has actually experienced some cooling. This has allowed for more extensive and longer lasting ice in this area, which more than makes up for the ice lost around the Peninsula.

This particular article does present an interesting thing on if the ice in the Arctic that is surely melting and decreasing in being balanced by the increased ice in the Antarctic. Not exactly sure what he is leading to, but the ice being in balance on earth as in the same amount means nothing if the Arctic losses its and can no longer support the animals that rely on the ice such as polar bears.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tea to help preserve Scott's hut

I found this interesting article with the same title as I gave this post. The blend used by Scott has been made and packaged to sell in the British supermarket chain Tesco. The money from the sale of these teas will go to help preserve Scott's hut at Cape Evans. It is a strong blend of tea, so this could be something people really like or dislike. The article also contains an interesting information on the controversy of the British government not giving money to protect the hut.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Belgium Builds Emission Free Antarctic Station

This is somewhat old news, as I have not gotten around to posting about it and was again reminded that I wanted to do so when I ran across another article about it that can be fo here. This station is run by renewable energy sources, which is what makes it a zero emissin building. The station is currently still in Brussels (at least I think it is) as it was pre-built there and will be shipped down to Antarctica. It is called the Princess Elisabeth Station. It is really cool looking with its interesting architectural design and its stainless steel outside. This seems a great step forward in reducing emissions. Sure it is a small step, but hopefully other countries will follow the futuristic lead of the Belgium station by at least making their stations emission free if not following the futuristic design.

A few other articles more dated than this one can be found here , here, and here.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Kid's Letters Move Antarctic Researcher

I found this interesting article today about a Japanese researcher who wintered at the Japanese base in Antarctica. The researcher was feeling home sick and found these notebooks that had letters written by kids from his hometown in Japan. The letters were written decades ago, but had been kept at the station. What a great thing the teacher had the kids doing for several years and that it was still touching the researchers who go to that station.