Bringing you hot topics, from cold places

Discover the latest updates on our activities, team and research findings. You can browse, filter by category or type, or search by keywords.

Leaving Lyttelton

Ross Sea Voyage Update #1: Leaving Lyttelton

Date: 2024
Type: Update
Summary: The Ross Sea Voyage 2024 is underway. Seven scientists from the Antarctic Science Platform departed Lyttleton at 1700 on 6 January on Italy’s RV Laura Bassi icebreaker, with around 25 Italian colleagues. This climate-focused mission will spend two months at sea.
Fig. 8180: Byrd Glacier Study

Rock Clocks: Using cosmogenic nuclides to reconstruct past ice sheet change

Date: 2023
Summary: Researchers are about to return to Antarctica in search of rocks. Not just any rocks – rocks on mountain tops that have been dropped off by thinning ice since the last ice age.
Fig 1 D Deep

Geophysical exploration at Discovery Deep

Date: 2023
Type: Update
Summary: We are collecting a variety of geophysical datasets at Discovery Deep to better understand the configuration of ice, ocean and sub-seafloor geology along the west side of the Ross Ice Shelf. To better constrain forecasts and models of change as Antarctic ice sheets respond to warming, we need information on present and past environments in the region. This requires drilling to collect ice and seafloor sediment cores. Within the Antarctic Science Platform, and through collaborative international programmes like SWAIS2C, our focus so far has been on drilling sites, which investigate contrasting regions of the ice shelf.
IMG 0556 Bella Zeldis copy

Highlights from Antarctic ice dynamics research 2022/23

Date: 2023
Type: Update
Authors: Project 1
Summary: The world’s ice sheets are sensitive to environmental change and, as the largest reservoir of freshwater on Earth, melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet has significant potential to raise sea levels and disrupt global ocean circulation. To determine ice sheet response to warming, our team of researchers in the Antarctic Ice Dynamics project are looking at environmental records of how the Antarctic ice sheets and surrounding ocean have changed in the past, and comparing those records to signals of change that we can detect today.
Hydrographic mooring being deployed in Terra Nova Bay

Highlights from Antarctic ocean mechanics research 2022/23

Date: 2023
Type: Update
Authors: Project 2
Summary: A changing Antarctica will impact oceanic transport of heat and other associated materials, such as salt, carbon dioxide, oxygen and nutrients. Researchers in the Antarctic Ocean Mechanics project are investigating past and present ocean conditions - currents, polynya formation, sea ice and dispersion of meltwater - and how this may change as the world warms.
Fig 1 tangaroa in Ant

Highlights from ecosystems research 2022/23

Date: 2023
Type: Update
Authors: Project 3
Summary: The Ross Sea region contains one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean, encompassing open ocean, pack ice and coastal habitats, including much of the world’s largest marine protected area. It also harbours diverse land-based ecosystems ranging from iconic Antarctic lakes to ancient soils that are home to unique biota. Our team of researchers in the Ross Sea Ecosystems project is working to better understand what the future may hold for these environments. We are developing new techniques and autonomous instruments for remote sensing to fill gaps in understanding of biodiversity and ecological process.
Sampler site

Highlights from sea ice and carbon cycle feedback research 2022/23

Date: 2023
Type: Update
Authors: Project 4
Summary: Sea ice extent, and the exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases between the atmosphere and ocean, varies from year to year, influenced by changes in atmospheric and open-ocean conditions. Understanding the difference between seasonal variability and long-term change is key to predicting Antarctica’s influence on the future global climate system. Researchers in the Sea Ice and Carbon Cycle Feedbacks project are analysing variability in sea ice and the carbon cycles in the Ross Sea region and on larger scales, including connections to atmospheric circulation and climate processes across the Southern Ocean and much of the Southern Hemisphere.

We landed a camera on Venus before seeing parts of our own oceans – it’s time to ramp up observations closer to home

Date: 2023
Authors: Craig Stevens and Natalie Robinson
Summary: If we want to better understand the climate-regulating role of Earth’s oceans, we must increase the effort we put into observing them, with a focus on our planet’s largest heat sink, the Southern Ocean.