An international research team recently used a 67-year old airplane and radar to identify ancient Antarctic fjords, hidden from view beneath 4.5 kilometers of ice. In 1942, when the DC3 was constructed, young men were hunched over draughtboards making maps from aerial photographs. The Allies were developing a new system of cartography- photogrametery – the precursor of satellite mapping. RADAR was another gift to the future developed by Allies in WWII. approximately 4.5 kilometers thick.
Will any of the technology developed for the wars in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, be a gift to the future 67 years from now?
Image via Wikipedia
There’s a report in the New York Times about the huddle in which male Emperor Penguins spend a good portion of the bleak Antarctic winter. The birds huddle so closely, according to the report, that it is impossible for an individual bird to move independently. All movements are coordinated – the members of the huddle move in unison.
Although flightless, the Emperors are still birds. Bird flock and fly in unison – an aerial ballet. The Emperors adapting to their environment dance in a ballet on ice, not in the air. Amazing.
For six and a half years I immersed myself in all things polar. The day began with a perusal of Arctic and Antarctic news, which I shared through this blog, and most recently, the Linkedin group – Polar Professionals. Five days a week, from 9 to 5, the polar regions were forefront, and when the worked called for it, the weekends too!
I am now free to redefine myself: free to take on a new persona. Evolve, as my pal Trish is wont to say. Yet, I am not ready to let go of the polar in me. There are places in the North I’ve yet to see. The South is my siren’s call.
First step, then, is to consider how I can retain polar in the evolution of me. Redefining is out. Evolution is in. Stay tuned.
Just when I thought there is nothing new to learn on our planet, scientists in Antarctica discover new species of life. Where these new creatures were found is the really fascinating bit. An iceberg calved revealing a portion of the ocean floor that had been ice covered for a very long time. Et voila – new sea creatures.
I was nearby when a somewhat smaller berg calved. My back was to the action, but I heard it! I turned and witnessed an amazing site. A raft of penguins and two dozen seals converged on the spot where the piece of ice had fallen. The newly minted iceberg had churned up the bottom of the ocean – we were in a shallow bay where icebergs had run aground. The animals were converging on an Antarctic smorgasbord. We sat in our Zodiac, floating quietly, and watched the animals dine. Fabulous!
A short while after your expedition ship leaves Ushuaia, Puerto Williams appears on the shore. You’ve left an Argentine town of 70,000 to pass a Chilean village of 2,000.
All that is about to change. the Chilean government wants a piece of the Antarctic tourism pie. So it is investing USD$8 million to expand the port to accommodate ocean liners.
Rebuilding a port takes time, so Puerto Williams won’t be welcoming tourist ships for a few years. If you build it they won’t necessarily come. There a number of variables not mentioned in the current report. Bunkering - that’s refueling for landlubbers – flights in and out of Navarino Island – things to do while ashore – customs facilities – Beagle Channel pilots.
The success of Puerto Williams lies in the operation of the improved port!