Blog

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Eerily beautiful: crack in the Brunt Ice Shelf – Drone Footage

Brunt I’ve Shelf has now calved: read more in the BAS press release.

Surprising that there is life at all…check out the amazing story of sponges, tube worms, stalked barnacles and other sessile creatures on a rock 500 m beneath the base of a 900 m thick ice shelf and 260 km from the nearest open water: for an easy read, here is a digest of the story in The Guardian or go to the original science story in Frontiers in Marine Science.

Featured image: “Antarctic Cracks and Fractures 2” by sjrankin is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Recent studies, reported in The Conversation, recorded increases in some whale species, including blue and humpback in Antarctic waters and the western Arctic bowhead, fin and minke in the Arctic.

One study indicats that a new generation of blue whales, decimated by large-scale slaughter in the early 20th century, have ‘rediscovered’ the rich supplies of krill around South Georgia.

This is indeed good new.

However (there is always a ‘however’ these days….),

pressure on the populations of the whale’s most important food supplies, Antarctic krill in the South and copepods in the North, is mounting:

I blogged about this before – nearly a year ago…LINK

Everything we do has consequences. They may be big or small, near and visible or remote and out of sight.

Before we do something, we can consider its consequences for nature and ecosystems near or far, for people near of far, for generations to come – in short its sustainability. If we start making a habit of that, we can, collectively, get somewhere with a more sustainable way of living…

Featured Image: “Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)” by Gregory ‘Slobirdr’ Smith is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

%d bloggers like this: