Plane crashed on King George Island

A C-130 Hercules belonging to the Brazilian air force (FAB) crash-landed near the Chilean Base Eduardo Frei on King George Island on November 27 2014. Luckily, there were no casualties and the resulting fire on one of the jet engines was put out quickly.

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Oceanwide Expeditions helps to recover ROV seagliders

With an extraordinary rescue operation the crews of the two cruise ships MV Plancius and MV Ortelius managed to recover unmanned remote controlled seagliders in the Greenland Sea a few days ago. With this action, Oceanwide Expeditions helped the oceanographer Dr. Katrin Latarius from AWI to successfully complete a scientific measurement program in the Greenland Sea. Oceanwide Expeditions adjusted its routes for the search of the seagliders. The ships stopped in the open sea, the crews were launching inflatable Zodiac boats into the water in order to rescue the two autonomous underwater vehicles of AWI out of the water.

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A window into the past – Notebook from Scott’s last expedition found in Antarctica

The race to the South Pole between Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott is one of the most exciting and most tragic events in the history of polar exploration. Although a lot of the details are known, new artefacts appear out of the ice of Antarctica every now and then and shed light on further details on the fate of some of the expedition members. A photographer’s notebook left behind a century ago at Captain Scott’s last expedition base at Cape Evans, Antarctica, has been now discovered and conserved by New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust.

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Bluefin tuna found hunting for mackerel in East Greenland waters

August 2012 was an extraordinary month for Greenland because of the heat wave. But also in the waters off the coast of East Greenland an unusual event was observed. Fishermen and biologist caught 3 large Bluefin tuna while conducting an exploratory fishing survey for mackerel. The appearance of this fish species in these waters is a very rare event and there had been no scientific reports so far north as the Denmark Strait.

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Bringing Antarctica to the world – The Icefest in Christchurch, New Zealand

Biannually Antarctica comes to the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, in form of the Icefest which celebrates Christchurch’s close linkages with Antarctica. This year it was held from 27 September to 12 October 2014.

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Face-lifting for Greenland research station

Every season, atmospheric researchers from around the world come to Summit Station on the top of the Greenlandic ice cap. The station offers the best possibilities to gather field data of mainly unspoiled and unpolluted air samples or to make delicate atmospheric measurements which cannot be done elsewhere in the Arctic. But the increasing demand of data due to the increased interest in the station and its infrastructure has led to concerns about possible pollution of the pristine area.

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Ongoing ice retreat in the Arctic, new maximum in the Antarctic

The area of sea ice in the Arctic fell to a summer minimum of around 5.0 million square kilometers this year, which is about 1.6 million square kilometers more than the record low in 2012. However, according to sea ice physicist Marcel Nicolaus from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and Lars Kaleschke from the Hamburg Cluster of Excellence for Climate Research (CliSAP) this confirms the long-term downward trend in the Arctic. On the other hand, the winter ice sheet in the South Polar Ocean has expanded to an area of 20.0 million square kilometers, as the researchers report, which exceeds the 30-year-maximum from the previous year.

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Enhancing safe navigation in Polar waters

Despite modern technologies, seafloor in Arctic and Antarctic waters is still inadequately mapped or not know at all. This poses a high risk for expedition vessels cruising in these areas. The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and the International Association for Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), in cooperation with Lindblad Expeditions, have found a way for cruise operators to share years of depth soundings from the Arctic and Antarctica.

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Successor for the German ice breaker “Polarstern”.

This spring Reederei F. Laeisz G.m.b.H. received the contract award for consulting services concerning design and construction of a future German research icebreaker. Today, Tuesday, 22 July 2014, representatives of the shipping company and the Alfred Wegener Institute additionally signed a contract for ship management in Bremerhaven.

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New biogeographical atlas for the Southern Ocean and its marine life.

A new atlas, providing the most thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean, is published this week by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). Leading marine biologists and oceanographers from all over the world spent the last four years compiling everything they know about ocean species from microbes to whales.

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