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POLAR

The UK’s new polar research ship needs a a name and it was deemed a bright idea to ask the public to come up with it. Cue the internet...

Slow boats to China

Despite 2015 seeing the fourth smallest Arctic ice cap ever recorded, aspirations of easily navigable trade through the Northwest Passage are to be put on ice for several decades

Tipping point

The long-term impact on Antarctica of burning the world’s remaining fossil fuel reserves is found to be strikingly dramatic
Geographical talks to Jane Francis, director of the British Antarctic Survey, about the organisation’s future plans for exploration
Europe expands scientific and operational capabilities in polar regions with €2million programme

Data from the deep

Data-gathering Royal Navy submarines are helping scientists discover how and why the Arctic Ocean is on the move

BAS supports space tests

A new life science experiment to study how people adapt to life in remote and isolated locations in preparation for long space flight has been set up at the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station
Researchers at the University of Texas have uncovered two gateways on the sea floor that allow warm ocean water to reach the base of the Totten Glacier, speeding up its thinning process
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet contains enough ice to raise the global sea level by 16 feet, and it could be melting faster than previously thought

Larsen’s rift

Larsen A and Larsen B ice shelves are long gone, breaking from the Antarctic Peninsula in 1995 and 2002 respectively. Now researchers at Swansea University suggest that Larsen C, big brother to the two vanished shelves, is cracking up
The United Kingdom must appoint an ambassador for the Arctic region, or it risks becoming an irrelevance in decisions over the polar area’s future, a House of Lords report has concluded
A monument to Britons who lost their lives for science in Antarctica has been unveiled on the waterfront in Stanley, Falkland Islands

Passage to change

For years, explorers sought the Northwest Passage through Arctic waters. Last year, what had previously been a geographical impossibility was finally achieved
‘Antarctica’s environmental measures must be strengthened, as more scientists visit the region and tourist numbers increase,’ says Professor Steven Chown from Australia’s Monash University
Antarctica’s sea ice is now mapped in 3D after scientists from the UK, US and Australia used an underwater robot to explore areas that were previously too difficult to access
Historic data from NASA aircraft, ice buoys and former Soviet ice floe bases have been used to establish that snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice since the 1950s
An international team of scientists has created the most accurate and precise reconstruction to date of lead pollution over Antarctica
Ice fronts were far more advanced around the Arctic during the early 19th century than they are today, according to a new analysis of whalers’ log books

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