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Saturday, August 17, 2019

British Antarctic News

The DS Wisconsin alongside at Rothera Research Station. Credit: Jenny Symons, British Antarctic Survey (BAS)

Wharf-Building Equipment Arrives Antarctica

A cargo ship loaded with 4,500 tonnes of steel and construction equipment required to build a new Antarctic wharf has arrived at British Antarctic Survey (BAS)'s Rothera Research Station.Staff awaiting its arrival cheered as the DS Wisconsin pulled alongside, guided for the final few hours through sea ice by the ice-strengthened RRS Ernest Shackleton. Work began immediately on the huge task of unloading the cargo, which is likely to take around two weeks.The ship, containing plant…

All aboard and bound for Antartica. Photo: BAM Construct UK

Ship Sets Sail for Antarctica Wharf Works

A ship loaded with 4,500t of equipment by BAM Construct UK has been sent on a month-long journey to Antarctica, where it will be used for building a new wharf at Rothera Research Station.The new wharf, being built over the next two Antarctic seasons, will provide safe berthing and efficient unloading for the new polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough. The Rothera Research Station is a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) base on the Antarctic Peninsula, located at Rothera Point…

NASA image of the ozone hole over Antarctica (NASA)

First Signs of Healing in the Antarctic Ozone Hole

An international team of researchers led by Susan Solomon at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has identified the “first fingerprints of healing” of the Antarctic ozone layer, published this week (30 June 2016) in the journal Science. The team found that the September ozone hole has shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers — about half the area of the contiguous United States — since 2000, when ozone depletion was at its peak. The team also showed for the first time that this recovery has slowed somewhat at times, due to the effects of volcanic eruptions from year to year.

Research ice breaker Polarstern Photo AWI

Research Vessel Polarstern Returns to Bremerhaven

Antarctic season ends in the homeport after half a year Bremerhaven / Germany, 11 May 2016. on Wednesday, 11 May 2016, the research vessel Polarstern is expected back in its home port of Bremerhaven after a good six months of Antarctic expeditions. In the austral summer, the research vessel of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), penetrated into the southern Weddell Sea as far as the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, where oceanographic and biological work which the focus.

NERC chief operating officer Paul Fox and Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret seal the deal in Birkenhead on November 19 (Photo: Cammell Laird)

Cammell Laird Seals the Deal for UK Polar Ship

The deal has been finalized for marine and engineering services company Cammell Laird to begin work on the U.K.’s new £200 million polar research ship. The Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird said it saw off competition from Europe and beyond including Korea and Singapore to be selected as the preferred bidder to build the new vessel for the government-funded Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Bosses met Friday, November 19 to sign the contract, and detailed design work gets underway immediately.

Dallmann-Expedition 2015

Loss of Diversity Near Melting Coastal Glaciers

Melting glaciers are causing a loss of species diversity among benthos in the coastal waters off the Antarctic Peninsula, impacting an entire seafloor ecosystem. This has been verified in the course of repeated research dives, the results of which were recently published by experts from Argentina, Germany and Great Britain and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in a study in the journal Science Advances. The scientists believe increased levels of suspended sediment in the water to be the cause of the dwindling biodiversity in the coastal region.

GC Rieber: Carefully Conquering the Extremes

From harvesting Canadian sealskins to breaking through Antarctic Ice, GC Rieber has always been at home in the world’s extreme environments. The business has now diversified into three key segments (ice support, seismic and subsea) and is focused on stability – balancing its ambitions with a conservative financial approach that sees it maximize equity in all vessels and protecting itself from the cyclical storms of the industry. CEO Irene Basili talks to Alan Johnstone about the strategic thinking steering the GC Rieber fleet.

Antarctic Divers Front HMS Protector: Photo courtesey of UK MOD

Navy Divers Check Antarctic Wreck

Divers from Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Protector braved the chilling temperatures to monitor the state of sunken research ship 'MV Bahia Paraiso'. When she ran aground in 1989 the ship spilled 645,000 litres of diesel and caused one of the worst marine environmental emergencies in Antarctica to date. However, a recent Argentine and Dutch team carefully removed all traces of fuel, with HMS Protector’s dive team tasked to ensure there was no further leakage. Diving on the hull…