Climate change fact finding in Antarctica

Antarctic sunrise

After serious events like storms, flooding and wild fires to less obvious, but still concerning occurrences, like flowers blooming weeks earlier than usual, we are all experiencing the effects of climate change and global warming.

To try and understand what is happening around the world and research some of the causes, Anna and I felt we had to witness first hand some of the global effects and new research at the extremes of our planet.

We have just returned from Antarctica where we joined a team of 23 scientists on board an exploration ship. Two of the scientists were hitching a lift to transfer to a smaller ship where they are now spending weeks studying and tagging humpback whales.

Expedition team members crossing the Artic Circle
Expedition team members crossing the Artic Circle

As part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) we helped to release weather balloons to study winds and temperature at high altitude.

The University of Western Australia is running trials using BRUVS (Baited Remote Underwater Video System), which we prepared some of the bait for. This is to study fish at 30m and deeper in the Southern Ocean, an area that very little is known about.

Also, and of great interest to us, is the cutting edge research being undertaken on  board to study the effect Micro Plastics are having in our oceans and particularly in Antarctica where Phytoplankton and Krill are at the base of a global food chain.

The Antarctic is still a magical place and since the 1959 Antarctic Treaty was signed by the original 12 member nations, and many more nations have joined since, it has been a place of peace and scientific research. But over the last  few decades change is happening ever faster.

Penguins Cuverville Island
Penguins on Cuverville Island

 

These pictures give a feeling of what we experienced and we will be sharing more in-depth stories with you over the next few weeks

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