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143 Polar Newsreel

08 . 12 . 2021


Watch this on video | Buy us a coffee: Chris / Henry / Mario

The 1st December 2021 marked the 62nd anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty by the twelve countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 54. Among the most important agreements the treaty states that "Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only” (Article I); “Freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica and cooperation toward that end… shall continue” (Art. II); “Scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged and made freely available” (Art. III) / On the 4th December 2021 a total eclipse of the sun will be visible in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The instant of greatest eclipse occurs over the Weddell Sea at 07:33:27 UTC and its duration will be 1 minute 54 seconds. / Albatross in the Falkland Islands seem to be affected by warmer water temperatures which made up to 8% of albatross couples split up. Either warming waters force the birds to hunt for longer and fly further or stress hormones go up in harsher environments, such as when waters are warmer. / Linking up with the previous episode, inflow of warm water from the Atlantic influences the temperatures in the Arctic Ocean: a phenomenon called Atlantification. At the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) weekly CryoSat data with daily SMOS data are merged to generate a weekly-averaged product every day on ice volume in the Arctic. / The Arctic Ocean has been warming since the beginning of the 1900s due to warmer water flowing from the Atlantic Ocean. The Arctic Ocean temperature has risen by approximately 2 degrees Celsius, while sea ice has retreated and salinity has increased. / Arctic warming means that the thawing permafrost could release bacteria, viruses, chemicals and other substances stored in the frozen soil . / The famed Northern Sea Route this year has been closing up earlier than expected as the ice has trapped ships and icebreakers have had to come to their rescue. Video: Yamal breaking ice

This is an episode of the Curiously Polar podcast

with Chris Marquardt Henry Páll Wulff: Mario Acquarone

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