National Geographic
Menu

Tag archives for Southern Ocean

Protecting Antarctic Marine Ecosystems: From Anemones to Whales

Over the past few years, I’ve written a lot about efforts to create marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean. For someone like me, who works on these issues and studies the Antarctic environment, the justification for MPAs is obvious. Antarctic ecosystems are bursting with incredible marine life, much of which we have yet…

February 9, 2014: Cycling and Climbing Through a Sufferfest, Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week, they endure a 750-mile climbing and biking Sufferfest, crash during Olympic snowboard halfpipe training leading to a traumatic brain injury, try to save the Great Barrier Reef from dredging, launch the “coolest” space mission ever, chase Shackleton’s legacy across frigid Antarctic waters, enjoy the restorative health benefits of a 30-million person crowd, celebrate with winners’ dominant body language, and investigate 10 deaths high in a Russian mountain pass.

January 19, 2014: Waging War Against Whalers, Paragliding Above Pakistan and More

Join host Boyd Matson as he and his guests sleep high on sheer mountain cliffs, wage war against whalers, consume bacteria in pursuit of better health, crash during paragliding takeoff in Pakistan, eat invasive species, and photograph 30 years of warfare in Afghanistan.

Tragedy on the Antarctic High Seas

Last week history was almost made. Delegates from two-dozen nations gathered to discuss the fate of the Southern Ocean. Several countries were proposing what would have become the world’s largest marine reserves to protect biodiversity at the bottom of the world. Years of science – in some cases spanning more than 150 years – were built…

Two Months Breaking Ice in Antarctica’s Ross Sea (Timelapse in Under Five Minutes)

I’ve been on an icebreaker for almost two months now, traveling through the Ross Sea, Antarctica…  To share the incredible experience of an almost infinite variety of scenes, I’ve compiled a time-lapse montage shot over the last two months, condensed into less than five minutes, with a surprise at the end. Enjoy!

Emperor Penguins: Encounters in the Antarctic Wilderness

She turns her head to get a real good look at me, glinting black eyes peering into mine. She then approaches, each step an awkward shuffle, revealing a white shiny belly against the sheen of her black body, a flash of brilliant pink along her sharp beak. She takes another step, peers closer, seemingly overtaken…

Fighting for the Last Tomato: Surviving a Field Season in Antarctica

By Cassandra Brooks and John Weller Things are getting desperate. The last of the browning lettuce disappeared unannounced weeks ago. The bananas barely made it through the first few meals. Our days of eating fresh mangoes, pineapple, tricolored bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, and avocado (oh the delicious avocado!) are all gone. The last tomato –…

A Gift of an Antarctic Sunset and the Start of a Long, Dark Winter

Last week the sun finally dipped below the icy horizon, announcing the summer’s grand finale. Brilliant orange light streamed through the portholes on the starboard side of the ship. I peeled myself away from my microscope, dashed across the room and peered outside to catch the sun blazing down on the horizon. I raced upstairs,…

Studying Antarctica’s Ross Sea: A Day’s Work in 60 Seconds

Greetings from Terra Nova Bay, in the Ross Sea, Antarctica! I’ve put together this one-minute time lapse to share what it’s like to do science in the ice! Video narrated by Stanford Professor Rob Dunbar aboard the NSF icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer.

Landing on Thin Ice: Arriving in McMurdo Station, Antarctica

The sea ice around McMurdo Station, Antarctica has been especially soft this year with devastating consequences for those who live there. There have been no fresh fruits or vegetables delivered since Christmas. Rumors are flying that the McMurdo store has almost sold out of beer and wine. Shampoo rations might be in everyone’s future. McMurdo…

New Expedition Explores Fate of Antarctica’s Ross Sea

In a matter of days I will join a research cruise in perhaps the most remote body of water on the planet, the Ross Sea off Antarctica. In this icy place, life thrives. Penguin colonies stretch as far as the eye can see. Seals, whales, and flying seabirds abound. For more than 150 years, the…

Strong Evidence for Ocean Acidification Impacts in Southern Ocean

For years, researchers have warned that the increasing acidity of the oceans is likely to create a whole host of problems for the marine environment. Most of these warnings were predictions for future decades as well as theories about possible impacts based on experiments under artificial conditions. Now, scientists have discovered proof that ocean acidification…

Nations Have Historic Opportunity to Protect Antarctic Waters

When people hear the word “Antarctica,” they might think about penguins or towering icebergs. But the region is more than ice and birds that fly under water – the Southern Ocean makes up 10% of the world’s ocean and is home to almost 10,000 species. This week, 24 governments, including the EU, U.S., New Zealand,…