Antarctic Headlines 12/14/2019

Barrels of ancient Antarctic air aim to track history of rare gas
Phys.org, 2019-12-13
Though rare, the atmospheric detergent known as hydroxyl can scrub the atmosphere and determine the fate of more plentiful gases that affect Earth’s climate. An Antarctic field campaign last winter led by the U.S. and Australia has successfully extracted some of the largest samples of air dating from the 1870s until today. These samples are a …

Maps That Peer Below Antarctic Ice Show Precarious Position of Key Glacier
Scientific American, 2019-12-13
Known as “BedMachine Antarctica,” the project presents a comprehensive layout of the landscape underneath the ice—all the bumps, ridges and chasms in the bedrock that form the Antarctic continent and holds its glaciers in place. Led by scientists from the University of California, Irvine, the researchers have steadily added to the data …

Map reveals land beneath Antarctic ice sheet in unprecedented detail
UPI.com, 2019-12-12
RELATED Antarctic ice instability could yield rapid melting, dramatic sea level rise To build the new map, scientists sourced data from a wide diversity of sources, including observations from 19 surveys of Antarctic ice thickness. The mapping model utilized ice flow velocity and seismic data, as well as topography measurements made by NASA’s …

The unique structural features of carbonmonoxy hemoglobin from the sub-Antarctic fish Eleginops maclovinus
Nature, 2019-12-12
Here, we report the crystal structure of a carbonmonoxy form of the Hb isolated from the sub-Antarctic notothenioid fish Eleginops maclovinus characterised by either rare or unique features. In particular, the distal site of the α chain results to be very unusual since the distal His is displaced from its canonical position. This displacement …

A Flexible Diet is Key to Antarctic Penguin Survival, Study Finds
Forbes, 2019-12-12
Antarctica is home to a myriad of penguin species including the emperor penguin, gentoo penguin, and chinstrap penguin. A gentoo penguin leaps off of an ice floe and into Mikkelsen Harbor in the Antarctic Peninsula. Gentoo and chinstap penguins are closely related, and both reside on the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands, and South Georgia.

Team releases high-precision map of Antarctic ice sheet bed topography
Phys.org, 2019-12-12
The new Antarctic bed topography product was constructed using ice thickness data from 19 different research institutes dating back to 1967, encompassing nearly a million line-miles of radar soundings. In addition, BedMachine’s creators utilized ice shelf bathymetry measurements from NASA’s Operation IceBridge campaigns, as well as ice flow …

‘Lost’ Iron Meteorites May Lurk Beneath Antarctic Ice. Scientists on Quest to Find Them.
Live Science on MSN.com, 2019-12-12
Scientists are scouring the remote Antarctic ice cap for rare meteorites chock-full of iron and holding secrets to the history of our solar system going back some 4.5 billion years.  During a six-week British expedition, the team hopes to find up to five iron meteorites in the five square mile (15 square kilometers) survey area — enough for scientists to examine for key chemical and physical clues to conditions in the early solar system.

Deep glacial troughs and stabilizing ridges unveiled beneath the margins of the Antarctic ice sheet
Nature, 2019-12-12
The Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass over past decades through the accelerated flow of its glaciers, conditioned by ocean temperature and bed topography. Glaciers retreating along retrograde slopes (that is, the bed elevation drops in the inland direction) are potentially unstable, while subglacial ridges slow down the glacial retreat.

Antarctic video reveals deepest canyon on Earth
Science | AAAS, 2019-12-13
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—Despite scientists’ best efforts to probe the land beneath Antarctica’s ice sheets with radar, the continent’s sheer size and remoteness has left many gaps in existing surveys. That changed this week with a new map, called …

Chile combs Antarctic for missing plane with 38 aboard
Charlotte Observer, 2019-12-10
Search crews are combing the Antarctic for a Chilean military transport plane carrying 38 people that vanished en route to a base on the frozen continent and will tirelessly press ahead as the hunt gains widening international support, officials said Tuesday. Gen. Eduardo Mosqueira said Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and the United States had each …

The marine geological imprint of Antarctic ice shelves
Nature, 2019-12-10
Reductions in the thickness and extent of Antarctic ice shelves are triggering increased discharge of marine-terminating glaciers. While the impacts of recent changes are well documented, their role in modulating past ice-sheet dynamics remains poorly constrained. This reflects two persistent issues; first, the effective discrimination of …

Firefighters to try first all-women Antarctic crossing
BBC, 2019-12-11
They call themselves the Antarctic Fire Angels and are preparing for the most gruelling challenge of their lives. Three firefighters from south Wales and three from London will take on a 70-day trek across Antarctica on a route never completed by an all-women team before. They said they wanted to do something historic – to show what women are …

Chile combs Antarctic for missing plane with 38 aboard
Charlotte Observer, 2019-12-10
Search crews are combing the Antarctic for a Chilean military transport plane carrying 38 people that vanished en route to a base on the frozen continent and will tirelessly press ahead as the hunt gains widening international support, officials said Tuesday. Gen. Eduardo Mosqueira said Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and the United States had each …

World’s deepest land canyon discovered beneath Antarctic glacier
Fox News, 2019-12-13
Scientists have discovered the world’s deepest land canyon thousands of feet below an Antarctic glacier. Glaciologists led by the University of California, Irvine have unveiled what they describe as the most accurate portrait yet of the contours of the land beneath Antarctica’s ice shelf. The research was presented this week at the Fall …

Chile military plane crashes near Antarctic with 38 on board, hopes of finding survivors
Reuters on MSN.com, 2019-12-10
Chile’s Air Force said on Tuesday one of its cargo planes had crashed with 38 people on board after going missing for more than 12 hours, and said that a rescue team was searching for possible survivors.

Antarctic Explorers’ Brains Shrunk During a 14-Month Polar Expedition
Gizmodo, 2019-12-09
Spending over a year in the bleak desolation that is Antarctica might change your brain for the worse, according to new research out this month. It seems to show that polar explorers who lived for 14 months at an Antarctica research station experienced brain shrinkage, likely as a result of their isolation and boredom. But the effects on their …

‘Lost’ iron meteorites may lurk beneath Antarctic ice. Scientists are on a quest to find them.
Fox News, 2019-12-13
Scientists are scouring the remote Antarctic ice cap for rare meteorites chock-full of iron and holding secrets to the history of our solar system going back some 4.5 billion years. During a six-week British expedition, the team hopes to find up to five iron meteorites in the five square mile (15 square kilometers) survey area — enough for …

Studies highlight fragility of Antarctic ecosystems
Phys.org, 2019-12-02
Two studies published in a special issue of the journal Science Advances this week highlight the fragility of the Antarctic and its ecosystems in the lead up to the UNFCCC COP25 meeting in Madrid next week. The first study, involving scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), explores the integration of climate change considerations in the …

UCI-led team releases high-precision map of Antarctic ice sheet bed topography
EurekAlert!, 2019-12-12
The new Antarctic bed topography product was constructed using ice thickness data from 19 different research institutes dating back to 1967, encompassing nearly a million line-miles of radar soundings. In addition, BedMachine’s creators utilized ice shelf bathymetry measurements from NASA’s Operation IceBridge campaigns, as well as ice flow …

Chile combs Antarctic for missing plane with 38 on board
Al Jazeera English, 2019-12-10
10 Dec 2019 23:46 GMT Rescue planes and ships on Tuesday searched the open sea between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica for a Chilean Air Force plane that went missing with 38 people aboard [Pablo Cozzaglio/AFP] Searchers using planes, ships and satellites were combing Antarctic seas on Tuesday, hunting for a Chilean Air Force …