Antarctic Headlines 12/16/2019

The Deepest Point on Land Is Hidden Beneath an Antarctic Glacier
Popular Mechanics, 2019-12-16
Scientists have plumbed the deepest depths ever discovered on land, and it lies beneath an Antarctic glacier. Tucked beneath East Antarctica’s Denman Glacier, the cavernous trench plunges roughly 2 miles (11,500 feet) below sea level, according to research presented last week at the American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco.

‘Lost’ Iron Meteorites May Lurk Beneath Antarctic Ice. Scientists on Quest to Find Them.
Space on MSN.com, 2019-12-15
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.

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 …

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.

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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.

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 …

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.

84-year-old Canadian completed grueling Antarctic Ice Marathon
New York Post, 2019-12-16
If this doesn’t prove that age is just a number, then what will? At 84 years old, Roy Jorgen Svenningsen became the oldest person ever to complete a marathon in Antarctica when he crossed the finish line of the Antarctic Ice Marathon on Friday. Greeted by a chorus of people chanting his name at the end, Svenningsen finished the race in 11 …

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 BedMachine Antarctica, released at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union here and …

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.

84-year-old Canadian becomes oldest Antarctic marathoner
rcinet.ca, 2019-12-16
The 84-year-old veteran marathoner from Edmonton, Alberta, completed the 2019 Antarctic Ice Marathon, which bills itself as the world’s southernmost endurance race, in 11 hours 41 minutes and 58 seconds. “It’s a fantastic achievement and one to inspire generations of athletes,” said in a statement on Facebook race director Richard Donovan.

84 Year-Old Becomes Oldest Runner In Antarctic Race
KING5, 2019-12-16
56 runners from over 15 countries compete in the Antarctic Ice Marathon including one Canadian man who became the oldest person to run a marathon in Antarctica at 84 years-old.Veuer’s Mercer Morrison has the story.

Gender balance credited with ‘fantastic’ Australian Antarctic Division expedition on Macquarie Island
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2019-12-16
For the first time, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) achieved a gender balance on the sub-Antarctic Island, with seven men and seven women enduring the extreme conditions to carry out important fieldwork and research. Ms Panjari returned to Hobart on the Aurora Australis this week after a nine-month stint. She said it was a fantastic …

Disconnect with Antarctic diplomacy: Need for policy interest from India
The Financial Express, 2019-12-15
On December 2-3, 2019, the first ever high-level Antarctic Parliamentarians Assembly was organised by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) headed by UK parliamentarian James Gray, at the Westminster, London. Attended by 13 countries and 19 parliamentarians the meeting concluded with a declaration that called for greater action in a number …

84-year-old Canadian becomes oldest person to run Antarctic marathon
CTV News, 2019-12-16
On Friday, Roy Jorgen Svenningsen of Edmonton became the oldest person ever to cross the finish line at the Antarctic Ice Marathon. Dressed in ski goggles, mittens and a lightweight running parka, Svenningsen spent 11 hours and 41 minutes running over ice and snow in frigid temperatures around -15C. He finished the race with a Canadian flag in …