Deployment of KIS-2B well pump. Photo: Craig Stevens
Coldest, driest, windiest, iciest, highest, most southerly – Antarctica is a continent of extremes.
It’s bigger than Europe and has ice covering 98% of its land, at a hefty average thickness of nearly 2km. Holding 90% of the world’s ice and 80% of its fresh water, Antarctica has a profound effect on the planet’s oceans and climate.
Antarctica is also remarkable for its massive ice shelves, giant sheets that flow out from the continent and float on the surrounding sea.
The Ross Ice Shelf – the world’s largest – lies above the Ross Sea, almost due south of New Zealand.
It’s little surprise, then, to find three NIWA scientists, each working on Antarctic Science Platform research projects focused on trying to piece together the changes in the Ross Sea and the ice shelf above.