Challenging Habitat Blog

The Antarctic Quest 21 expedition is gathering momentum in more than one way:

  • scientific and expedition equipment is being accumulated
  • transport logistics are being arranged
  • the crowd funding effort has exceeded the initial target of £30,000 and new rewards are made available for the final push to reach the ‘stretch’ target of £50,000
  • …and lots of other things continue to happen in the background…

And still, more scientific projects are added to the expedition portfolio: the team is collecting data for NASA’s GLOBE project, and we are talking with another scientist from the University of Plymouth about sampling to help elucidate the biogeography of the Antarctic continent, with focus on invertebrates. A potentially exciting addition to the strong emphasis on climate change and pollution research you can already read more about here.

Only a few days left to support this expedition through our Crowdfunding Page – you can donate or purchase one of the exclusive rewards, which now includes a fabulous, signed, photo book charting the journey across the ice!

If you want to get an impression of how much work is behind those modelling results we are seeing on the news most days?

I’ve started to narrate some of the most recent peer-reviewed publications of the scientists for which the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition will collect data…the first one is about Dr Andrew Smedley’s work on how sunlight interacts with bubbles in blue ice.

Read it here: https://www.antarcticquest21.com/blog.html

The Antarctic Quest 21 expedition team are hugely excited to announce that we have smashed through the 25% threshold for our crowdfunded campaign to enable our expedition to go ahead and to help allow us to deliver our educational outreach and legacy programmes.

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Join the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition launch event and support climate science through the crowdfunding event at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/shackleton-anniversary-expedition-2021

Check out the details at https://www.antarcticquest21.com/blog.html

I’ve been blogging for a while about the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition that will take a team of eight onto the Forbidden Plateau on the central spine of the Antarctic Peninsula to install scientific equipment and down to the shores of the Weddell Sea to do some more of the same…see my previous posts here and here.

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We all know that life is full of uncertainty and most of the time, we don’t notice it too much, let alone worry about it. We’re used to it.

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See and hear what it takes to get scientific data from the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Antarctic Quest 21 team and patrons have published their first story video, and as I guess that Forces Net is not the usual channel for most of you, below is a link.

It’s worth a watch, even if the video fails to represent all the scientific project the expedition will support – you can always check that out on the AQ21 website and by reading my ECO Magazine article.

Featured Image credit: British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 (BSAE2012)

I am excited to highlight the special edition of ECO Magazine that celebrates the start of the UN Ocean Decade.

My article What is your next step against climate change tells the story of Antarctic Quest 21, an expedition planned for the forthcoming Austral summer on the Antarctic Pensinsula. Antarctic Quest 21 supports pollution and climate science through direct observations and installation of scientific equipment that will collect data for years to come.

Coring during the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 on the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo credit: BSAE2012.

Today, 22 April 2021, is Earth Day.

Everybody (well, almost, or not even that) is in on it:

The Independent reports on Greta Thunberg’s criticism of US fossil fuel subsidies, The Telegraph sports the ’10 best sustainable beauty brands*‘ and The Guardian promotes policy goals and a new sense of working for the common good to solve the climate crisis. Even Apple celebrates Earth Day with a its ‘Environmental Justice Challenge for Change’.

I hope that there will be a lasting legacy, that we don’t treat yet another Earth Day as we’re largely treating ‘Mothering Sunday’ – make a fuss, then put it on the shelf for another year.

The thing is: the climate crisis is not someone else’s problem and the causes of it are not someone else’s responsibility. Both are mine. Both are yours, too.

The easy thing I’ve done is to donate monthly to a charity that plants trees. I want to compensate my carbon footprint, not just this year, but all my years…planting trees on my own land, I’ve racked up 22 years…only xx to go (but that would be telling) with getting other people to plant trees for me.

It’s a start, but there is so much more to do, not least of all to reduce my footprint, rather than just lazily compensate for it with money. So, to learn what else I need to consider and can do, I’m going to help an organisation to audit their footprint. My focus will be on a somewhat off-the-beaten-track activity, which will be rather illuminating: it’s the team of Antarctic Quest 21 – an expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula in the name of climate and pollution science. Read more about this here: antarcticquest21.com.

*Who says we need to improve our beauty? – but that’s another story (or rather, rant) about the ‘industry of influencers’ that make us believe that we are in some way deficient…and need to buy their stuff to correct that!

The next Austral summer (2021/22) will see a rare man-hauled expedition across the Antarctic Peninsula. The expedition team will be ‘dropped off’ at Portal Point, haul equipment up steep slopes and cross the Forbidden Plateau (my question is: what’s in a name?) and reach the shores of the Weddell Sea at Foyn Point.

There is something for everybody in this:

  • pollution and climate change research
  • education and outreach for schools and young people
  • celebration of the spirit of the early explorers

With plans for six important scientific projects from the UK, the Netherlands and Australia firming up and the potential to develop great outreach and educational materials, I am happy and excited to support this expedition as scientific advisor.

To learn more about the aims, to discuss adding your own science project, or to take the opportunity to sponsor something really worthwhile, go to the Antarctic Quest 21 website.

Expedition area on the Antarctic Peninsula. BSAE 2012

Image Credits:

Featured Image: British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 (BSAE2012)
Map: Kate Retallick (data: SCAR Antarctic Digital Database; Landsat 8 data courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

The light is beautiful.

I seize the moment and extend my morning outing with my dog to a walk along the river.

I am rewarded by the touch of morning sun on my face and two owls calling in the ancient woodland on the Devon bank.

A snipe flits off, startled.

Happiness comes from feeling gratitude for the moments of connecting with nature.

I smile.

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