Tuesday, July 22, 2008

High Gas Prices Affecting Antarctic Research

The price of gas is not just affecting individuals. Here is an article about how it is now affecting Antarctic research. Basically the US Antarctic Program is way overbudget and a major reason is the increased cost of fuel along with the falling value of the US$1.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Baby Penguins Found Dead in Brazil

This is a kind of sad news story about penguins washing ashore dead in Brazil The hundreds of penguins are washing ashore on Rio de Janiero's shores from Antarctica and the Patagonia region. It is not entirely abnormal for the penguins to end up here, but it is far more than usual and more are dead. A few of the reasons include overfishing causing them to venture further north and getting stuck in the strong ocean current and pollution.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Naming of Antarctic Landmarks Project

I just read about a project being undertaken in Antarctica in this article. The article kind of makes the main purpose of the project seem to be naming Antarctic landmarks, although that is really just a side aspect of the main project, which is mapping the landscape. As part of the updated mapping using satellite imagery they will be naming Antarctic landmarks that have not yet been named. They are looking for new names to be used in order to keep from being repetitive. Mostly they are trying to keep naming landmarks after people to deceased explorers, however, since there are already features named after most of the deceased Antarctic explorers they are open to using living explorers names.

The area being mapped is part of the Australian claim, although the Australians do not currently operate within the area. Currently it is mostly New Zealanders doing research in the area to be mapped. The New Zealanders work closely with the Americans in mapping the Antarctic and name-sharing. Thus Australia, New Zealand, and the United States will share the role of naming the unnamed features that are mapped.

It is interesting to read about how the naming process takes place, as it is not something that is done too much anymore. Also, it is of interest to note that they are trying to get these names formal to make the mapping consistent on an international level in case of emergencies the landmarks can be found and thus used to get help to those who need it.