Antarctica and Uruguay- Exploring Artigas (WAP URY-Ø1)

El País is a national Uruguayan daily newspaper one of the most important source of information in  Uruguay. It is based in the capital city of Montevideo and is regarded as the newspaper with the largest circulation in the Country. It was first published on September 14, 1918 and previously belonged to the same media group as the television network Teledoce.  and  an important newspaper il Uruguay.

Recently, El Pais has pubblished a series of articles about Antarctica, an interesting work carried out in collaboration with the Instituto Antártico Uruguayo (IAU) and the Ministerio de Defense Nacional.

WAP is happy to share the first one which starti with a trip on the Hercules plane and a view of the Artigas Base inside. Fly with us and enjoy the trip.

To get to Antarctica from Uruguay you need to make two flights on a Hercules Air Force plane. After eleven hours you arrive at the Teniente Marsh Airport, close to the Artigas Base, the only access to King George Island by air.
Uruguay has two Bases in Antarctica: Artigas (WAP URY-Ø1) and Teniente de Navió Ruperto Elichiribehety Station (WAP URY-NEW).
Artigas Base is the most popular and has the greatest presence of people: in summer about 50 people can live there while in winter only eight live there. Scientists and the military coexist in this place where the development of science is the priority. Uruguay is present in the area and has been part of the Antarctic Treaty for 40 years. El País traveled to Antarctica in February 2024 to learn first-hand how the Artigas Antarctic Scientific Base works, who travels to that place, why Uruguay has a presence and how people live on this Continent.

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Thanks and credit to: Istituto Antartico Uruguayo and El Pais

 

Hobart’s role in Antarctic Exploration

People may not be aware of the historical richness of Hobart in Tasmania in relation to Antarctica. Most of the greats of Antarctic exploration had a connection to this town. Biscoe, Dumont D’Urville, Ross, Bernacchi, Borchgrevink, Weddell, Mawson, Amundsen, Franklin, Furneaux, Crozier and others. As a staging point for Antarctic expeditions, Hobart was in an ideal position and is still today one of the Antarctic gateway cities. Not everyone used it though and Scott and Shackleton never came here but they still had some connections to it.
The author of this article tells  one story from its rich history. Roald Amundsen is probably most famous for being the first to reach the South Pole in the ‘race’ against Robert Falcon Scott. Tragically, Scott and his companions died in their attempt. While they were still trudging through the snow, Amundsen had completed his mission and returned to his base camp, boarded his ship, Fram, and headed back to Hobart.
On his trek to the Pole, Amundsen slept in a small, cramped tent with his companions, while the Antarctic winds battered it from all sides, but I don’t recall him ever complaining. However, when he arrived back in Hobart on the 7th March, 1912, after his epic adventure he described his hotel room as ‘miserable and small’. He wrote in his diary that he was treated as a tramp.
This wasn’t so surprising when you consider that he didn’t announce his arrival, was wearing a seaman’s sweater, peaked cap, speaking with a foreign accent and perhaps looking worse for wear after 99 days of trekking in the ice. To the owners of Hadley’s Hotel he looked like someone who might skip out without paying but they gave him a cramped room under the stairwell anyway.
The next day Amundsen went to have photographic plates developed and sent a coded telegram to his brother to give to the King of Norway announcing his success in reaching the Pole. A few days later when the news reached the media his hotel lobby was crowded with reporters. He was no longer the foreign tramp but Amundsen the great explorer. A thanksgiving service was held for him in the cathedral opposite the hotel and boat races held in his honour. Amundsen hosted a dinner for his entire crew at Hadleys and his earlier treatment was forgiven and forgotten.
If you go today to the Grand Mercure Hadleys Hotel you’ll find the Amundsen Suite, a grand double suite, which is nothing like the small room Amundsen actually spent a few nights in.

Thanks and credit to Robert Evans at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2212798205/?hoisted_section_header_type=recently_seen&multi_permalinks=10163721019658206

UEA Scientists say polar trip “really successful”

Climate researchers on board the RRS Sir David Attenborough have described their latest polar expedition as “really successful”.

A team of 40 scientists, led by the University of East Anglia (UEA), have spent the last month conducting research in the Antarctic.

They have been investigating how carbon dioxide moves and transforms from the atmosphere into the Southern Ocean in the hope of improving models that make predictions about climate change.

Some of the work, such as operating underwater gliders, has been carried out remotely, almost 9,000 miles (14,500 km) at the UEA’s campus in Norwich.

Prof Karen Heywood, the UEA’s lead principal investigator, said her team had used “every scientific capability the ship had”. “We’ve been deploying instruments from the ship to profile the ocean, we’ve been collecting lots of  water for analysing and we’ve been looking at how much krill there is,” she said.

Read more at: UEA scientists say latest polar research expedition ‘successful’ (bbc.com)

Thanks and credit to BBC

WAP Antarctic Bulletin nr. 302 is online

WAP Antarctic Bulletin nr. 302, released on Febr. 18th 2024 is available online with last info and reported activity from Antarctica.

Bull 302 is downloadable at: http://www.waponline.it/wap-antarctic-bulletins/

This issue contains the information and the guide for the important Argentine Activity (22 February-10 March 2024) to celebrate  the 120 years of continuous presence of Argentina in Antarctica and the related available Certificate.

TNX Max IK1GPG and Betty IK1QFM, editors of WAP Antarctic Bulletins.

More on Ernst Krenkel, a Polar scientist who travelled in the Arctic and  Antarctica

In the summer of 1924 Ernst Krenkel went to Leningrad with what little money he had saved, hoping to find employment as the radio operator on any ship undertaking a long voyage. At that time, only specially designated Soviet vessels went on long voyages, and in Leningrad there were already qualified naval radio operators without work. Just when Krenkel had given up all hope of finding work he was told that the hydrographic management bureau was in urgent need of a radio operator prepared to go on any expedition, to any island in the Arctic ocean. There was little interest because the pay was poor and it was necessary to be away for the whole year, living in ‘hellish’ conditions.

Ernst rushed around for an interview, and was offered a post. With a small advance on his salary, and wearing his new naval uniform he set off by train to Arkhangelsk (Archangel). On arrival he was assigned to the “ Yugorski Shar “ which was preparing to take the relief crew to the first Soviet polar observatory “Matochkin Shar”, constructed the year before on the northern coast of the Matochkin Shar strait of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

After returning to Moscow the following year he was enlisted in the Red Army and served in the radiotelegraphic battalion in Vladimir. At around this time the USSR government decided to allow ‘private radio stations’ on the short-waves. Ham radio was born in the USSR and Ernst Krenkel was delighted. Soon he was on-air using homebrew equipment, with the callsign EU2EQ (later U3AA).

This is just a brief anticipation of what is well reported in the detailed article available with lots of historic pictures which tell of the heroic deeds of Ernst Krenkel RAEM.

Read the whole history at: https://qst.su/archives/29525

But Ernst Krenkel  traveled also to Antarctica and operated under the call RAEM/MM in 1968/1969. Thanks to Oleg UA6GG for providing WAP few historical QSLs shown above, which confirm Krenkel’s radio operations activity in Antarctica

TNX Oleg UA6GG
www.dxtrophy.com

Happy New Year from WAP

Hi folks,
for the whole 2023 we have dedicated our efforts as we have done for over 40 years. We have followed the activities of the Nations, Researchers and Personnel in Antarctica, animated by the passion that has not abandoned us until now.
With this spirit, we wish our Readers, the Radio Amateurs from all over the world who follow us and all those who love Antarctica as we love it, the best wishes for the coming up 2024 , which will certainly find us a little older but always here,  turning the VFO knob.

We hope and wish the whole world a year of PEACE, that hatred between peoples ceases … we need PEACE,  peace not bombs!

With best wishes from Max IK1GPG, Betty IK1QFM, Gianni I1HYW together with thousands of friends who share and help us to keep alive the love for Antarctica, a land of peace and research for the good of humanity.
Sincerely,


Happy and prosperous 2024 everyone

Two small Argentine Refuge Huts in Antarctica

The Belgrano 2 Base Crew, together with the Mactrail company, did  embark on the ARA Almirante Irizar Icebreaker , a shelter that will be installed 350 km from the Base in the direction of the South Pole. It will serve as a logistical support point for a future expedition.

The Huts should be two, one named Refugio Base Antarctica Esperanza    and the second one named Refugio Base Belgrano 2.

New ones to look for …

Hope Cottage, Charlotte Point, Kerguelen

While waiting two years and three months to be rescued when their sloop Favorite was shipwrecked at Kerguelen in 1825, the British sealer and cartographer John Nunn and his crew spent some miserable months trying to survive on Saddle Island  (now called Ile de l’Ouest) at  49°17’59” South, 70°31’56” East,  buffeted by the merciless westerly winds.
Nunn concluded that there was a better chance of being discovered on the southeastern part of Grande Terre, the main island, so his group gradually skirted the southern coast in search of a place to settle in. (Image above is extracted from page 148 of Narrative of the Wreck of the “Favourite” on the Island of Desolation: detailing the adventures, sufferings and privations of J. Nunn, an historical account of the Island, and its whale and seal fisheries, by NUNN, John. Original held and digitised by the British Library. )

After passing Shoal water Bay (now called Baie Norvégienne), they were eventually able to find an area suitable for monitoring passing ships at Long Point (now called Pointe Charlotte) on the East coast of Courbet Peninsula, where they built two comfortable cabins which they baptized Hope Cottage.

The group was finally spotted in 1827 by Captain Alexander Distant on the schooner Sprightly, belonging to the celebrated shipowner Enderby of London. Nunn and his crewmates joined the Sprightly in hunting whales and elephant seals until 25 March 1829, at which point they were finally returned to Harwich, England  four years after the shipwreck.

In 1997, the French post office issued a 20-franc air mail stamp to commemorate the shipwrecks and the construction of Hope Cottage.

Thanks and credit: Kerguelen Islands, French Southern and Antarctic Lands (Part 1) – Iles Kerguelen, TAAF (discoverfrance.net)

 

Large landslides in Antarctic have potential to trigger tsunamis

Giant under water landslides induced in Antarctica by the climate crisis might lead to tsunami waves with the potential to cause a “substantial loss of life far from their origin”, according to a new study. Underwater landslides are global hazards that can displace large volumes of sediment and generate killer tsunamis. For instance, a submarine landslide near Papua Nwe Guinea in 1998 generated tsunami waves that killed 2,200 people. Researchers, including those from the University of Plymouth in the US, discovered that between 3 and 15 million years ago, during a past period of global heating, loose sediment layers slipped in Antarctica, triggering giant tsunamis that ravaged the shores of New Zealand, southeast Asia and South America. In the new study, published recently in the journal Nature Communications, scientists found extensive layers of weak, fossilised and biologically rich sediment hundreds of metres beneath the seafloor. Read more at: Scientists warn climate crisis could trigger giant killer tsunamis resulting in ‘huge loss of life’ | The Independent

Interesting is the chart provided by Climatologist  Cliff Harris and Meteorologist Randy Mann.
They said:  We should remember, that the Earth’s coldest periods have usually followed excessive warmth. Such was the case when our planet moved from the Medieval Warm Period between 900 and 1300 A.D. to the sudden “Little Ice Age,” which peaked in the 17th Century. Since 2,500 B.C., it’s estimated that there have been over 70 major climate changes worldwide, including two major changes in just the past 50 years. In terms of upcoming cooling and warming periods, only time will tell.

Read more at: Global Temperature Trends From 2500 B.C. to 2040 A.D. (longrangeweather.com)

Castaway depots on the NZ Sub Antarctic sites

What follows is an abstract of a most complete past  history of Castaway Depots (Huts)  in the remote Sub Antarctic Islands of New Zealand. Most of the Huts and Depots in these islands are listed on the WAP WADA Directory and they just need to be visited by Hams to put such  rare ones on the air.

The Snares Islands in particular (The Snares consist of the main North East Island WAP NZL-10 and the smaller Broughton island as well as the Western Chain Islands) , but also Antipodes Islands (The island group consists of one main island, Antipodes Island WAP NZL-11, Bollons Island to the North, and numerous small islets and stacks), and some never activated islands in the Aucklands Group (Auckland Island WAP NZL-Ø4 & NZL-Ø9 is surrounded by smaller Adams Island, Enderby Island WAP NZL-Ø8, Disappointment Island, Ewing Island, Rose Island, Dundas Island, and Green Island).

Also known as Castaway Huts, Castaway depots were small shelters strategically placed on isolated islands by governments or maritime organisations and equipped with basic supplies and tools to people who survived shipwrecked and found themselves stranded. These little isolated huts tell legendary stories of bravery, adventure and loss, passed down for generations, but was has become of them? Are there any left?

Picture aside: Snares Island Castaway Depot & Research Hut first built by the New Zealand government in the 1880s, is now maintained as an historic site by the Department of Conservation. The use of Castaway depots began in the 19th Century and continued into the 20th Century and typically contained items such as food, water, medical supplies, and other essential items that could help stranded seafarers survive until escape or rescue. The idea was started by the New Zealand government in the 19th century when it erected several depots scattered across the Chatham, Kermadec, and the Subantarctic Islands. One particular island, Disappointment Island, had been named as such due to the frequent occurrence of shipwrecks on the island and its extreme lack of resources. The small hut-like structures could withstand high winds and hurricanes as best as possible for as long as possible in the hopes of saving the lives of potentially shipwrecked men.

There are at least five notable shipwrecks that occurred on the Auckland Islands in which all or most of the crew was saved by the provisions left in castaway depots. The last shipwrecked crew to survive as castaways was the crew of the French barque President Felix Faure that was wrecked off the North Cape of Antipodes Island in 1908. The entire crew made it to shore close to a castaway depot. When all the supplies had been depleted, the crew hunted albatross, penguins, and a single calf; the sole remnant of the cattle that had been set ashore with other supplies by the Hinemoa, a New Zealand government service steamer that serviced and patrolled New Zealand territorial waters. The crew of was rescued by the HMS Pegasus and eventually made a successful return journey to France via Sydney.
Thanks and credit:  A Shipwrecked Sailor’s Guide to Castaway Depots (messynessychic.com)

Philaturism:  A new concept in the World Practice of Tourism

Valery Sushkov RW3GW is an Old Timer DXpeditionner and actual President of the Russian Robinson Club (RRC).

Valery is a researcher, postal historian, traveler and marketer, document-list, chief postmaster of the International Society of Philatourism, author of the new concept of “philatourism” in the history of world tourism practice, curator of the Museum of World Postal Communications. Project Manager & Postal Adventure. Visited more than 50 countries of the world, participant and organizer of more than 100 different expeditions on 6 continents, conqueror of the South Pole and Mount Kilimanjaro the highest peak of Africa. Mmember of the Russian Geographical Society,  Society for the Study of the Amur Territory, member of the Union of Journalists of Russia, laureate of the National Prizes of the Russian Geographical Society “Crystal Compass”

Valery  is the author, general producer and project manager of the  Great Russian Travelers. Under the Prism of Philaturism

The great Russian travelers were pioneers and put new lands and seas on the map of the world, made discoveries that enriched world science, pushed the development of maritime trade, and also raised the prestige of their country and contributed to the development of new territories.

See: GREAT RUSSIAN TRAVELERS. UNDER THE PRISM OF PHILATURISM (postventure.ru)

Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum

The Museum was built to raise funds for the ongoing conservation of the historic buildings at Cape Denison which were used as the main base for the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE)

The Replica Museum is a boutique, world class museum providing visitors with the opportunity to learn and understand the history and achievements of the men of the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Douglas Mawson.
Standing on the Hobart waterfront just 200 metres from where Mawson’s expedition departed from in 1911, the Replica also serves as an educational facility and promotes the legacy of the AAE.

The museum promotes awareness of Australia’s involvement in the Antarctic and highlights Hobart as the gateway to the Antarctic continent for the Asia Pacific region.
Situated on land generously provided by the Hobart City Council (HCC), the Replica Museum was constructed off-site in an area provided by the Tasmanian Ports Authority. Construction was done in three sections to allow transportation to the current site where it was bolted together for the final fit-out.
After years of securing funding and the support of the HCC in providing a site, work on the Replica began with the assistance of a special grant of $350,000 from the Federal Government in 2011 and the generosity of many Tasmanian businesses and individuals who donated time, goods and goodwill.
Construction took just four months and it was officially opened on December 2, 2013 on the 102nd anniversary of Mawson’s departure from Hobart as leader of the AAE.

Thanks and Credit to: Replica Museum – Mawson’s Huts Foundation (mawsons-huts.org.au)

AXØPB Project Blizzard 1984-1986

Project Blizzard aimed to increase public awareness of Australia’s involvement in Antarctica and, in doing so, conserve Mawson’s Huts. In particular, viewed the scientific work, including meteorological, biological, geological and magnetic research of the AAE, as significant. The organization immediately began to look for financial support from the community, hoping to raise capital for a privately-funded Antarctic expedition. The campaign used the slogan ‘Buy a board for Mawson’s Hut’.

The Project Blizzard team carried out two expeditions to the site, the first in 1984/85 and the second in 1985/86. In 1984/85 their work largely involved recording of the site and structures by surveyors, architects, archaeologists and a materials conservator. The red fibreglass Apple Hut was constructed during this visit, adjacent to the Granholm Hut. In 1985/86, they focused on stabilising the internal platform of the Main Hut, which had partly collapsed under the load of snow ingress, using metal and timber props. This work involved an associated archaeological excavation program in areas disturbed for the works.

The Project Blizzard efforts had two positive effects. They clearly stimulated increased efforts in conservation planning for the site and also led to further co-operative efforts between the public and private sector to conserve the Mawson’s Huts.

In 1986 ANARE returned to Cape Denison. The Sorensen Hut was constructed during this expedition, sited in a valley 500 m to the east of the Main Hut. The structure was composed of insulated metal panels.

Meanwhile, conservation planning for the site had begun. The Antarctic Historic Sites and Monuments Advisory Committee was established in 1986.  In 1993 Michael Pearson prepared a Conservation Plan at the request of the Mawson’s Huts Conservation Committee and the AAD.

Source: Project Blizzard — Home of the Blizzard (antarctica.gov.au)

 

An unforgettable experience on the White Continent for Chilean students

After six days of activities on the White Continent, a new version of the Antarctic School Expedition (EAE) organized by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) ended successfully. In this instance, the winning students of the XVIII Antarctic School Fair (FAE) participated in the company of their teachers and adult guides, who were able to comply with a scientific program that allowed them to learn about the work of polar researchers.

The group was made up of eight young people (all women) from the communes of Arica, Talagante, Linares, Parral, Constitución and Futaleufú, who were accompanied by four teachers and two adult guides. Between December 13 and 19 they were on King George Island to complete an interesting scientific-pedagogical program prepared by INACH professionals. The operations center was the Professor Julio Escudero base  (WAP CHL-Ø7), where they were received by their chief scientist, the marine biologist Francisco Santa Cruz, and were introduced to the scientists who carry out their research in the sector, in addition to the logistics personnel who were there. 

Read more at: An unforgettable experience on the White Continent lived the winning students of the Antarctic School Fair – INACH

RI3ØANT,  Vostok Station- 30 years of RRC

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of  Russian Robinson Club (RRC) a Special callsign RI3ØANT will operate from Vostok Base (WAP RUS-13) from January 1 to March 31, 2023.

Alex UG1A (ex.RD1AV), Ivan UB1AQB and Zahar (ex.UH4NAE) will be active during their spare time, all bands all modes. QSL via  RZ3EC

The ufficial call of Vostok Station (WAP RUS-13), Antarctica RI1ANC will continue to be on air untill March 2024. QSL via RN1ON, CL OQRS Buro ONLY, Direct, Buro. 

TNX Eugene RZ3EC & Oleg UA6GG-DX Tropy

Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access (SALSA), Antarctica

The Electromagnetic Geophysics Laboratory at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University develops and applies electromagnetic geophysical imaging techniques to study Earth processes in offshore, onshore and glacial environments. 

Four person Team consisted of Columbia graduate student Chloe Gustafson, Columbia Prof. Kerry Key, Colorado School of Mines Prof. Matt Siegfried and mountaineer Meghan Seifert, spent the first three weeks at Camp 20 while surveying the grounding zone.

During November 2018 to January 2019 we carried out an extensive geophysical survey on the Whillans Ice Stream in West Antarctica.  Our survey is the first to use magnetotelluric (MT) imaging to map subglacial groundwater water beneath an ice stream. We collected a total of 44 passive MT stations, as well as several active-source electromagnetic (EM) stations using a large loop transmitter system. These data will be used to study the distribution of groundwater at the base of the ice stream at both the grounding line where the ice stream turns into the Ross Ice Shelf and at Subglacial Lake Whillans.  We also serviced a few long term GPS stations that have been recording data for several years and that have been used to track transient changes in ice velocity associated with basal water filling and draining in subglacial lakes. Our project is in collaboration with Matt Siegfried (Colorado School of Mines) and Helen Fricker (Scripps Institution of Oceanograpahy, UC San Diego). Both EM and MT methods and the rationale for their use are described in our feasibility study paper.

See the video shot during 30-40 knot winds at Camp 20 during the SALSA EM survey.

 More info at:  https://emlab.ldeo.columbia.edu/index…

SALSA EM: Mapping Subglacial Groundwater in Antarctica – Electromagnetic Geophysics Lab (columbia.edu)

Antarctic deep-sea coral larvae may be resistant to climate change

The larval health of an Antarctic cold-water coral species may be resistant to warming water temperatures, a University of Maine study finds, bringing new hope for the climate change resilience of deep-sea ecosystems in the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

The study was published in the journal Coral Reefs. The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation

The past few decades have shown unprecedented levels of warming in Earth’s polar regions. To date, the West Antarctic Peninsula has the most dramatic warming in the Southern Hemisphere, with expected water temperature increases between 0.5 and 1.9 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Because they are long-lived and slow-growing, deep-sea corals in these Antarctic waters will not adapt well to changing temperatures, particularly in the sensitive larval stage. Or so scientists thought.

“Although their habitat is now changing faster than other places around the world, most marine animals in the Southern Ocean are thought to have a limited capacity to adapt to environmental shifts,” says Julia Johnstone, principal author of the study. “Especially during the larval stage, when developmental processes are organizing and laying the foundations for key life-long functions like prey capture and growth, those environmental changes can have an outsize impact.”

Read more at: Antarctic deep-sea coral larvae may be resistant to climate change | NSF – National Science Foundation
Thanks and Credit to NSF

S/Y Belgica  125th Anniversary departure

In 1897, the young Belgian “Adrien de Gerlache”, bought a Norwegian ship called ‘Patria’. He changed the name into “Belgica” and set sail to become the first man ever to scientifically explore Antarctica during the winter.

Monday  August 16 , 897. The port of Antwerp is filled with people. The National Anthem is being played, canon shots of joy are heard across the River. The Belgica leaves the harbour, setting sail to Antarctica. Other than a lost whaler, there has never been a soul nearby…

After three months of darkness, -40°C, storms, despair, desertion, mutiny, starvation, disease and death, the Belgica returned to Antwerp on the 5th of November 1899. The crew was received in triumph. Even before they disembarked, De Gerlache and his officers were knighted by The Order of King Leopold. The Belgica Expedition returned with an enormous amount of valuable scientific information.

To celebrate the 125th Anniversary  departure Antarctic Expedition Antwerp  (16th Aug.1892-16th Aug. 2022) a new commemorative stamp and a special envelope have been recently issued  by Belgian Post

TNX BPES (Belgian Polar Expedition Society)

Dr. Eddy De Busschere

 

The Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897–1899 was the first expedition to winter in the Antarctic region. Led by Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery aboard the R/V Belgica, it was the first Belgian Antarctic expedition and is considered the first expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Among its members were Frederick Cook and Roald Amundsen, explorers who would later attempt the respective conquests of the North and South Poles.

Most recent History

In 1916,  Belgica was sold to the Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompagni , renamed Isfjord and converted to a passenger and cargo ship.  She was rebuilt to include cabins for female staff. Isfjord was used to carry coal and passengers between Svalbard and northern Norway. In 1918, she was sold and renamed Belgica, being converted to a factory ship.

Requisitioned by the British in April 1940, she was used as a depôt ship, being scuttled when the Franco-British Expeditionary Force evacuated Harstad in northern Norway. 

Polar ice couldn’t break the Belgica but war could. The ship sank in 1940 nearby the coast of Harstad (Norway), in mysterious circumstances.
50 Years later, on Easter of 1990, a Norwegian diving club discovered the wreck, only 22 meters deep and 200 meters off the coastline. It was immediately clear that the remains of the Belgica could not be restored. But they did contain enough valuable information for the ship to be rebuilt.
See the video at: https://youtu.be/8uSqKoWbj-w

Non-profit organization “De Steenschuit” is now rebuilding the original Belgica. The New Belgica will be a full scale museum replica of the original vessel. The University of Ghent has taken the initiative to design architectural plans, based on photographs, sketches and drawings of the original BELGICA wreck. The New Belgica will be built with durable materials and eco-friendly construction methods. 
Read more at: The New Belgica Project | PSA Antwerp (psa-antwerp.be)

Sunrise at Concordia

The 12-member crew of Concordia Research Station (WAP MNB-Ø3) woke up to a most welcome sight in early August: sunrise, after four months of Antarctic darkness.

The return of the sun is a major milestone for the isolated and confined crew; they are three-quarters of the way through their Antarctic residency and will soon prepare to welcome the summer influx of researchers at the base.

ESA-sponsored medical doctor Hannes Hagson snapped this picture from the Station’s front door in early on 5 August. “Time here has the strange quality of both passing really quickly and very slowly at the same time,” he shared, “and in just two days we expect the return of the sun to grace us here at 75 degrees south! The returning daylight certainly has us all cheered up and starting to sense the beginning of the final part of this adventure.”

The winter months in Antarctica are tough, with temperatures dropping below −80C under a pitch black sky.

To combat winter blues, the crew keep busy, celebrating mid-winter (and the half-way point in their Antarctic stay) in June with their own traditions and taking part in the Antarctic Winter Games in July. Stations with a winter crew across Antarctica participate in a series of physical challenges and friendly competition.

With August comes not only sunlight, but production work for the Antarctic Film Festival, with each base submitting an original piece. Check out last year’s winning entry from Concordia in the Open category.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games. Hannes has been busy with biomedical research, as he continues to gather data from crew urine, stool and blood samples, as well as cognitive and psychological measures through questionnaires to study the effects of isolated, confined and extreme environments on the human body.

In October 2022 the crew will begin to prepare the base for the summer campaign. Rooms and tents must be prepared for the 40 or so incoming researchers.

Source: ESA – Winter, over

TNX Dr. Volker Strecke DL8JDX

Why planes don’t fly over Antarctica?

Something interesting has been publish recently on the web. Here an abstract:  

Among the places over which we must not fly we find, for example, Antarctica. It is forbidden to fly over Antarctica because, due to the strong winds and storms.

First, the pilot would not have good visibility; furthermore, in the event of an emergency landing, passengers would be exposed to almost certain freezing. Furthermore, Antarctica is made up of mountains which does not make it a suitable territory for landing a plane.

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The North Pole is surrounded by magnetic fields whose radius and direction can change for kilometers even every year: if the magnetic field moves, the pilot cannot orient himself precisely to the north and would not be able to keep the course and land. In fact, the runways in airports are oriented by calculating the distance from the North Pole: a strong magnetic field such as that of the North Pole, therefore, would cause a loss of alignment and the impossibility of reaching the landing strip. This is why pilots must avoid flying over poles and magnetic fields in general.

Source: Perché gli aerei non sorvolano l’Antartide? Pochi conoscono la risposta | Impensabile (nanopress.it)

TNX IZ1GJK Maury

60 years of the Antarctic Treaty. History and celebration in radio waves

A very interesting pubblication, signed by Dr. Volker Strecke, DL8JDX,   Antarctic veteran has been recentry pubblished on the  german journal “Polarforschung“.
(The journal “Polarforschung” (Polar Research) is being published jointly by the DGP and the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Contributions of all disciplines of polar research are published).

The newest scientific article by Dr. Volker Strecke,  retrace the evolution history  of the Antarctic Treaty, its impact on the scientific activities in Antarctica since its born till today, with particular reference to the Hamadio activities carried out in 60 years, up to the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary,  which involved radio amateurs from all over the world.

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The whole article, can be downloaded at:  https://polf.copernicus.org/articles/90/13/2022/.

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Congrats to Volker DL8JDX and thanks for having shared his research and his long experience with WAP.

Antarctica, whales are back, it hasn’t happened since the 1970s

Due to the ’70s industrial whaling, the fin whale had become nearly extinct in the Antarctic.

Now, for the first time, a research team has been able to show systematically that the fin whale population is recovering. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

150 Southern Common Whales were filmed swimming in the waters of Antarctica, and feeding in groups was the exciting sight, hailed by scientists of the team of biologists of Helena Herr, of the University of Hamburg, and of Bettina Meyer, of the Alfred Wegener Institute in the city of Bremerhaven, carried out in 2018 and 2019 near the Antarctic Peninsula, have documented over one hundred sightings of these cetaceans , which measure over twenty meters in length.

A sign of hope, for the second largest animal in the world and rarely, have these ocean giants been seen in such large groups.

The fin whale population in Antarctica is recovering for the first time since hunting these whales was banned, according to a survey by German scientists published today.

Read more at: https://www.uni-hamburg.de/en/newsroom/presse/2022/pm37.html

 

TNX IZ1GJK Maury

India’s role in North & South Pole

The Government of India tabled The Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022 on the floor of the Lok Sabha on last April 1, 2022. (The Lok Sabha, constitutionally the House of the People, is the lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament,)

The Bill is introduced to “provide for the national measures for protecting the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems and to give effect to the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.

While the Lok Sabha has passed the Bill, it will now be tabled in the Council of the States for passing.

India signed the Antarctic Treaty on August 19, 1983, and was soon granted the observer status on September 12, 1983. The protocol entered into force for India on January 14, 1998. India has active research stations Maitri (WAP IND-Ø3) at Schirmacher Hills, Bharati (WAP IND-Ø4) at Larsemann Hills as well as Himadri station in the Arctic — and it now belongs to the elite group of nations that have multiple research stations within the Polar Region.

Though there is no Arctic Bill, for the simple reason that there is no Arctic Treaty, India did roll out its Arctic Policy in January 2021. There are currently five states from Asia that enjoy the status of ‘Observer’ in the Arctic Council. These states are China, Japan, India, South Korea and Singapore, and all of them joined the Arctic Council in 2013.

 

Indian Antarctic Bill 2022: Key Points 

1-The Bill passed by the Lok Sabha earlier this month seeks to protect the Antarctic environment, and also regulate activities in the region.
2-The provisions will apply to any person, vessel or aircraft part of an Indian expedition to Antarctica under a permit issued under the Bill.
3-There will be a central committee on Antarctic Governance and Environmental Protection, which will be chaired by the secretary, Earth Sciences, and have 10 members, not below the rank of joint secretary, from ministries and organisations such as defence, external affairs, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, and National Security Council Secretariat. Two experts from Antarctic environment and geo-political fields will also be part of the panel that will grant permits for various activities, implement and ensure compliance of relevant international laws for protection of Antarctic environment, and negotiate fees/charges with other parties for activities in Antarctica, among other functions.

4-The Bill prohibits nuclear explosion or disposal of radioactive wastes in Antarctica, introduction of non-sterile soil, and discharge of garbage, plastic or other substances into the sea that are harmful to the marine environment.
5-The Bill specifies penalties for violation of its provisions.

Read more at: What Is Indian Antarctic Bill 2022 And What Its Provisions Aim To Achieve In North And South Poles (abplive.com)

Long night begins: Antarctica goes dark as the Sun sets for four months

During the long winter, no supplies or people can be flown in and the high altitude causes the crew to experience chronic hypobaric hypoxia or lack of oxygen in the brain.
After months of preparation, a crew of 12 scientists, explorers, and staff at Europe’s Concordia Research Station in Antarctica (WAP MNB-Ø3) are braced for long winter nights as Antarctica goes dark for four months. The Antarctic night and the winter will be a goldmine for research as the European Space Agency (ESA) commences living and working in isolation for six months on the frigid continent.

The penultimate sunset at Concordia research station marked the beginning of the long night, where no sunlight will be seen on the continent as it submerges in complete darkness. ESA said that medical doctor Hannes Hagson and his crew are ready, “finally embarking on their ‘real’ mission in Antarctica: living and working in isolation for six months in the name of spaceflight research.”
While the world experiences four major seasons, Antarctica has just two, summers and winters as it remains covered in thick ice. The region has six months of daylight in its summer and six months of darkness in its winter.

Read more at: https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/long-night-begins-antarctica-goes-dark-as-the-sun-sets-for-four-months-1949938-2022-05-16
TNX Bhagwati Prasad Semwal (VU3BPZ ,Ex-AT10BP & 8T2BH)

The Italian-French outpost Concordia is located 3233 m above sea level where temperatures can drop to –80°C in the complete frozen darkness outside.  This image above, was taken by Hannes Hagson on 3 May. The last full sunset took place the day after but appeared only as a thin sliver in the sky.

For this reason, Hannes is facilitating biomedical experiments on himself and his crewmates to understand how humans cope with living in extreme isolation. From sleep studies to gut health measurements to mindful practices, the crew are poked and prodded to help researchers understand and overcome the challenges extreme environments, like space, pose to present and future explorers.

Follow Hannes during his winter-over on the Chronicles from Concordia blog.

 TNX Volker Strecke DL8JDX

Ice shards in Antarctic clouds let more solar energy reach Earth’s surface

Clouds come in myriad shapes, sizes and types, which control their effects on climate. New research led by the University of Washington shows that the splintering of frozen liquid droplets to form ice shards inside Southern Ocean clouds dramatically affects the clouds’ ability to reflect sunlight back to space.

The paper, published in AGU Advances, shows that including this ice-splintering process improves the ability of high-resolution global models to simulate clouds over the Southern Ocean — and thus the models’ ability to simulate Earth’s climate. The research was funded by the US. National Science Foundation

“There’s much of interest in this paper, not only the surprising effect of ice splintering on clouds but the combination of high-res modeling with real-world data from satellites and an airplane,” said Eric DeWeaver, a program director in NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences “It will be interesting to see what more happens with this toolkit.”

Thanks and credit NSF (US. National Science Foundation)
Read more at: Ice shards in Antarctic clouds let more solar energy reach Earth’s surface | NSF – National Science Foundation

Hidden undreground water reservoir discovered in Antarctica

Scientists have for the first time managed to get a glimpse of a vast reserve of water hiding under the Antarctic ice sheet.

In what could be a game-changing discovery, scientists have detected vast quantities of water hiding in the sediments beneath an Antarctic ice stream that could boost our understanding of how it might affect sea levels across the world. The new discovery confirms what researchers had already suspected.
The Team managed to image just one such ice stream on the frigid world, but suspect there are many more that can shed light on how the system works and how it changes over time in response to climate.

Electromagnetic techniques have been used to image shallow groundwater in the upper 100 to 200 meters (328 to 656 feet) beneath some thin glaciers and permanently frozen areas. This time the Team used the technology to measure about 800 meters at the Whillans Ice Stream. “This technique typically hasn’t been used in polar environments.

Read more at: https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/water-reserve-hiding-under-antarctica-discovered-enough-to-submerge-statue-of-unity-1946162-2022-05-06

1957-58, Fuchs-Hillary expedition

Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs (11 February 1908 – 11 November 1999) was an English  explorer.  Fuchs is best known as the leader of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica via the South Pole in 1958

Planning for the expedition began in 1953, and envisioned the use of Snow Cat tractors to cross the continent in 100 days, starting at the Weddell Sea, ending at the Ross Sea, and crossing theSouth Pole.

Fuchs and his party arrived in Antarctica in January 1957 after camp had been set up. The party departed from Shackleton Base on 24 November 1957. During the trek, a variety of scientific data were collected from seismic soundings and gravimeteric readings. Scientists established the thickness of ice at the pole, and the existence of a land mass beneath the ice. On 2 March 1958, Fuchs and company completed the 100-day trip by reaching Scott Base, having travelled 2,158 miles.

In 1958, Fuchs was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.  He co-wrote, with Sir Edmund Hillary The Crossing of Antarctica. In 1959 he was awarded the Hans Edge Medal by the Royal Danish Geographical Society.

The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) of 1955–1958 was the first expedition to reach the South Pole overland for 46 years, preceded only by Amundsen’s expedition and Scott’s expedition in 1911 and 1912.

Read more at: Sir Vivian ‘Bunny’ Fuchs · CAPTAIN ANTARCTICA

The Liebig cards,  italian edition “L’ANTARTICO” 

Something interesting about Antarctica,  are certainly the illustrated cards which has become a rarity for collectors. The “fashion” of advertising one’s products spread by giving buyers different types of gadgets has been followed a lot and the Liebig cards are a typical  example.

A friend, sent WAP a set of small illustrated cards with Antarctica theme. We made some investigation and discovered that this one,  came out in 1936 published by Liebig. This company, did print  1871 series of small cards with different subjects, most of which consisted of six juxtaposed images. This collection of advertising trading cards consists of the colored lithographed cards found on the packaging of the products. The production of these cards started in 1870 and ended in 1975, spanning more than 11,000 different types of cards. The last lithographed series were released in 1939, but series were edited and reproduced through the 1970s. The cards were divided into subjects that nearly always made up a set of six or twelve.

The series of cards were produced in multiple countries, therefore the cards can be found in a multitude of languages. Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, and Italy are just some of the countries in which these were produced.

Birth and history of Liebig cards

Liebig cards originate around the middle of the 19th century. In this period in France the “fashion” of advertising one’s products spread by giving buyers different types of gadgets – mostly of the cards, were printed in black and white or in color using the lithographic technique.

Usually these stickers represent the most varied scenes and at the same time promote a certain product, either directly in the cartoon, or on the back with written or direct advertising messages. At that time, very few companies could afford such a form of advertising. Baron Justus Von Liebig chooses to adopt the small cards system himself to promote his meat extract, first giving them to customers and then distributing them through a real point collection.

On the rear side of each of this cards, there is the description of the subject, do we have:
Erebus and Terror vulcanoes and elephant seals

Crushing of the ice at Cape Crozier

Icebergs in the Weddell Sea and Weddell seals

The Devil glacier

Cockburn Island

Cape Renard to the Bay of Flanders

TNX Mr. Polato of the Salesian School in the town of Lombriasco –Turin, Italy-

Professor Arif Herekar the first ever  Pakistani to camp on the Antarctic Continent

Professor Arif Herekar,  Professor of Neurology together with excelling in his professional duties is a passionate traveller and globe trotter. He happens to be one of the few Pakistanis to step on to the Antarctic soil, probably the only Pakistani certified as an Antarctic naval seal camping on the Antarctic continent has made this beautiful country Pakistan proud by hoisting the national flag on the Antarctic soil.

These achievements were made during his coveted expedition with a group of Polar explorers between the end of year 2015 and first week of year 2016.

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April 25th World Penguin Day

While on April 25th the world  celebrates the penguins, it’s also a time to think about saving them. Many penguin colonies have been lost to climate change and it’s estimated that half the population of emperor penguins will vanish by the end of this century.

Penguins are some of the most adorable, lovable and impressive creatures in the animal kingdom, so why not dedicate a day to these flightless birds?

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World Penguin Day is a celebratory and educative initiative that encourages people to learn more about penguins and their environment, how important they are to our ecosystems and the threats they face. Interested in learning more about this day?

Read more at:  It’s World Penguin Day! » Explorersweb

HamSphere, a virtual way to be on air … also from Antarctica!

WAP has recently got a  mail from Frank, FØDUW :

Hello, congratulation for your WAP website. I am on HamSphere 4.0 and we have Antarctica operators but this is virtual via internet. If you know an operator in antarctica who like to be on HamSphere 4.0 please give him the information.

73 de Frank FØDUW who was FT3/FØDUW on French Antarctica

The QSLs attached to the mail (see pictures  aside) did capture my attention, there were Antarctic QSLs for calls we never heard on the air!

So, I did ask Frank FØDUW more information about, and here is the answer:

Only amateur radio operator with a call sign can work a remote on HamSphere 4.

The TX and antenna are for exemple, located in Antarctica but the operator is, for exemple, in Paris. The propagation in Antarctica will be the same of real Amateur Radio. We have dirctional antenna and 100 watts.

Operators who are on HS like 14HS10 they can also work from Antarctica with  RM1 call sign. (See the picture). So this is virtual but realy like amateur radio. Just no need to travel on the frozen Continent!

73, Frank FØDUW

We personally didn’t know that,  and now we understood that HamSphere is a subscription-based internet service which simulates Amteur Radio communication over the Internet as designed by Kelly Lindman, 5B4AIT.

The simulator allows licensed radio amateurs and unlicensed enthusiasts to communicate with one another using a simulated ionosphere.

The system allows realistic worldwide connections between amateur radio operators as well as radio enthusiasts. In general it is similar to otherVoIP applications (such as Skype), but with the unique addition of characteristics such as channel selection by tuning, modulation, noise effects and shortwave propagation simulation.

We did also ask Mario Fontanella IK4HAQ (ex IK3HAQ) about a strange QSL, forwarded us by Frank FDUW.  Mario, kindly reply  with his comment:

I used to live in Venice, when I was IK3HAQ.  Now I live in Bologna and, there is no way to  install antennas from this QTH, I have been looking for solutions to keep my passion for radio communications active and I found HamSphere,  a web platform that simulates the HF propagation conditions according to the VOACAP indications, allowing radio amateurs and “radio enthusiasts” to get practice to listening to and virtually,  connecting other stations present, both physically and /or remotely, in various locations around the world.

These activities are not connected to the real Ham radio activity. Hamsphere is a system that uses Internet to connect to radio equipment through the ionosphere. It’s only a simulation, even if very well done.

Among the various active virtual stations,  there are some that operate remotely from the (simulated) positions of the Antarctic Bases and/or  the Antarctic islands.

It is, -I repeat-  only a simulation, not a real communications, therefore they are not valid for purposes such as Awards or recognition from the radio world, but only among the participants of the Hamsphere platform.

73’s Mario Fontanella IK4HAQ (ex IK3HAQ)

To our understanding and convinction, Ham Radio should not be a trick or a virtual game; a real DX contact, a real QSO especially with Antarctica must be struggled and perhaps suffered with a real radio, with a real antenna and not only with a PC or the desire to feel himself a virtual OM!

A motto says: The world is beautiful because it is varied!  OK…  varied, not spoiled!

Polar Philately – A recall of “Scotia” and it’s Antarctic epic

An old copy of “Il Collezionista”  an Italian  Philatelic Magazine  (Jan. 1967) reports a bit of story of the famous  Ship Scotia  which was depicted on a stamp issued by the  Falkland Islands,  Scotia was also depicted on two stamps issued by the British Antarctic Territory.

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Scotia was a barque ( built in 1872 as the Norwegian whaler Hekla). She was purchased in 1902 by William Speirs Bruce, a natural scientist and former medical student from University of Edinburg who organised and led  the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (SNAE) from 1902 to1904 on board of Scotia which  was refitted as a research vessel for that specific use.

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Scotia sailed on 2 November 1902 for the Antarctic. She arrived at the Falkland islands on 6 January 1903,  She then sailed to Laurie island, South Orkneys where she arrived on 25 March.

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Scotia overwintered in Scotia Bay where she was frozen in for eight months. She departed for the Falkland Islands on 27 November en route for Buenos Aires, Argentina where she underwent a refit. Scotia returned to Laurie Island on 14 February 1904, sailing eight days later for the Weddel Sea. She departed from the Antarctic on 21 March. Calling at Saint Helena in June, she arrived at Millport, Cumbrae, Ayrishire on 21 July, and was escorted by a number of ships to her final destination of  Gourock Renfrewshire.

After the expedition, Scotia served as a sealer, patrol vessel and collier, she was destroyed by fire in January 1916.

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TNX Gabry IK1NEG

Another Great Goal by the Russian Robinson Club

On WAP website, we are normally reporting about Antarctica, but today, we wish to join our friend Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA, President of the Russian Robinson Club, to express our thanks to the operators involved in such an hard and dangerous operation at Rykacheva Island in the Arctic.

The Russian Robinson Club  has often been active from many Antarctic sites as well,  and the wonderful QSLs received, show the stories of this exceptional Club and their professional Ham radio operators.

The polar snowmobile expedition R15ØWS from the “Legends of the Arctic”, which activated the rare Rykachev Island in the Kara Sea, finished at the end of March in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The expedition was dedicated to the 15Øth Anniversary of the creation of the Russian Weather Service

The Team,  included Igor Znamensky UA9KDF (Tarko-Sale, YNAO), Andrey Korobeinikov UA9LDD (Tyumen), Andrey Moiseev UAØBA (Norilsk), Viktor Kuzyakin RWØBG (Norilsk), Alexey Bystrov RT9K (Dudinka) and Andrey Prudnikov RT9K (Surgut) did travel 2980 km on snowmobiles to the island and back. During four days of work on air R15ØWS made 5635 QSOs. Of these: CW – 3294, SSB – 1323, FT8 – 1018, 20m – 2878, 30m – 609, 40m – 489, 15m – 570, 12m – 8, 17m – 1072.

69 Countries WW were worked , a real great goal!

On the Island,  a commemorative plaque was installed as a perennial recall of  Mikhail Aleksandrovich Rykachev, Director of the main geophysical observatory, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Russian weather service,

The route of the expedition was difficult and ran through the snows of Yamal and Taimyr, frozen rivers and lakes, and the ice of the Kara Sea. Temperatures was -30*C and below. The Team spent the night in the tundra and on the ice, piercing wind while riding snowmobiles. Victor Kuzyakin RWØ0BG got frostbite of fingers of the second degree, Andrey Moiseev UAØBA fell on the ice from a snowfield, split his helmet as a result of a concussion and a bruise sternum. Traveler Aleksey Bystrov was injured on the way home, 150 km from Sopochnaya Karga. They, together with Andrei Korobeinikov UA9LDD, fell into a ravine, managed to jump off the snowmobiles, but Alexei was hit by an overturned sled. As a result, the shoulder joint was knocked out, a fracture of the humerus. In this state, he drove for almost 200 km more. Now Aleksey is in a hospital in Dudinka. We wish him  a speedy recovery! Brave guys!

Congratulations to the polar “Russian Robinsons” on completing the expedition and returning home. We will wait for the creation of a documentary about how the extreme journey “Legends of the Arctic 2022” took place.

73! Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA,

President of the Russian Robinson Club

TNX Oleg UA6GG for sending the story and pictures of this expedition!

Unprecedent  heatwave in Antarctica

This event is completely unprecedented and upended our expectations about the Antarctic climate system,’ one expert said

The average high temperature in Vostok Station (WAP RUS-14)— at the center of the eastern ice sheet — is around minus-63 (minus-53 Celsius) in March. But on Friday, the temperature leaped to zero (minus-17.7 Celsius), the warmest it’s been there during March since record keeping began 65 years ago. It broke the previous monthly record by a staggering 27 degrees (15 Celsius).

“In about 65 record years in Vostok Station, between March and October, values ​​above -30°C were never observed,” wrote Di Battista in an email.

Vostok, a Russian meteorological observatory, is about 808 miles from the South Pole and sits 11,444 feet above sea level. It’s famous for holding the lowest temperature ever observed on Earth: minus-128.6 degrees (minus-89.2 Celsius), set on July 21, 1983.

Eastern Antarctica’s Concordia Research Station (WAP MNB-Ø2), operated by France and Italy and about 350 miles from Vostok, climbed to 10 degrees (minus-12.2 Celsius), its highest temperature on record for any month of the year. Average high temperatures in March are around minus-56 (minus-48.7 Celsius).

Read more at: Un’anomala ondata di caldo in Antartide – Il Post

Māori May Have Reached Antarctica 1,000 Years Before Europeans

The Journal of The Royal Society of New Zealand published a paper by scientists from the University of Otago proving that New Zealand’s original inhabitants, the Maori, discovered Antarctica at least a thousand years before Europeans arrived there in the early 19th century. For this sensational conclusion, New Zealand researchers have studied Aboriginal oral history, as well as all sorts of documents and reports published by various organizations that do not have common academic or commercial channels. It turns out that the Polynesian leader Hui Te Rangior, together with his team, swam into the waters of the Antarctic back in the 7th century and, perhaps, was the first person to set foot on the White Continent.

Read more at:  https://thetimeshub.in/battle-for-antarctica-why-scientists-believe-that-the-apocalypse-may-break-out-on-the-white-continent

and  Battle for Antarctica. Why scientists believe that the Apocalypse may break out on the white continent – The Times Hub

Antarctic Activity Week 2022- Comments and sidelines of the19th AAW

23 Special Event Stations did join the 19th edition of the International Antarctic Activity Week that last february 2022, has celebrated Antarctica.

Bands conditions were very strange  with atmospherical background noise,  and short DX openings on 10, 15 and 20 mts. 40 meters was the most usable band.

Here below some notes from lucky and unlucky participants:

 

From Cap. Eduardo Abril de Fontcuberta EA4GKV/EO4HAG WAP-242

«I am sorry to tell you that my wife is ill from COVID, not just positive, and I am quarantined.

I won’t be able to reliably operate the 2022, AAW.

Now I am more or less ok but I expect that to change very soon just as it happened with my wife».
Eduardo EA4GKV (pic aside) is now feeling better and we hope to have him aboard next week!

From Alex OE3DMA/OE19AAW WAP-341

Some results of the OE19AAW activity:

«814 QSOs on 3 bands. – 160, 80 and 17 meters. Unfortunatelly a series of storms killed my antenna system, a few days before start.  Even the Activity Week was stormy itself.

The rotator is broken, the ultrabeam UB-50 is broken (again), so I was only able to use 17 meters with the ultrabeam. The dipole did well. I made most contacts on 80 and 160 meters. I missed 40 meters this time, so the QSO rates were much lower than usual.

From Gianni I1HYW/IR1ANT WAP ØØ2

Nearly 750 QSOs on 20 & 40 mts.

From 18,00 UTC , 14MHz were practically dead even if some short but nice openings allowed QSOs with  USA, Alaska and Australia. Most of the contacts has been made within Europe.  Lots of Scandinavian stations ( OH, LA and SM as well as ES and YL)  are on the log.

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From the other side, many of the participants have already got the special online free Award to recall the 19th AAW, issued by Paolo IK3GER that, in spite of the misfortune that struck him for the loss of his wife, he dedicated his time to make and send the diploma to many Hams who did request it.

TNX Paolo IK3GER

Happy International Women’s Day from King Edward Point (WAP GBR-24)

KEP  (King EdwardPoint WAP GBR-24)  is funded by Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands & run by BAS. Together, they  carry out critical marine and fisheries research to help manage the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area, and the sustainable fisheries in the area.

Becky (station Doctor), Meghan (Fisheries Scientist), Kate (Higher Predator Scientist), Vicky (South Georgia Heritage Trust Senior Museum Assistant), Sally (GSGSSI Invasive Plant team) and Sarah (Station Leader) make up half of the fantastic KEP team this season.

Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET)

The Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET) is a US-led field-based science project that recovers meteorite specimens from Antarctica. Since 1976 we have recovered more than 22,000 specimens from meteorite stranding surfaces along the Transantarctic Mountains. These specimens are a reliable, continuous source of new, non-microscopic extraterrestrial material and support thousands of scientists from around the globs as they seek essential “ground-truth” concerning the materials that make up the asteroids, planets and other bodies of our solar system. The study of ANSMET meteorites has greatly extended our knowledge of the materials and conditions in the primeval nebula from which our solar system was born, revealed the complex and exotic geologic nature of asteroids, and proved, against the conventional wisdom, that some specimens represent planetary materials, delivered to us from the Moon and Mars, free of charge.

300,000 meteorites are hiding across Antarctica as per a  “Treasure map” created by artificial intelligence.
Although meteorites are known to fall all over the world, the environment and unique processes in Antarctica make them somewhat easier to find on the pristine, snowy landscape. Still, collecting meteorites in  Antarctica is physically grueling and hazardous work.
Recently published “Universe Today”‘,  the study has been conducted by scientists from the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands
Read amore at :
https://www.wionews.com/science/30000-meteorites-are-hiding-across-antarctica-as-per-this-treasure-map-created-by-artificial-intelligence-451559

and also at:  https://www.sciencealert.com/treasure-map-predicts-the-hiding-places-of-300-000-meteorites-across-antarctica

FAST SEAS RISE BECAUSE OF MELTING ANTARCTICA’S ICE

A Team of Thirty-two scientists are sailing to “the place in the world that’s the hardest to get to” so they can better figure out how much and how fast seas will rise because of global warming eating away at Antarctica’s ice.
The Team did start a more than two-month mission aboard an American research ship to investigate the crucial area where the massive but melting Thwaites glacier faces the Amundsen Sea and may eventually lose large amounts of ice because of warm water. The Florida-sized glacier has gotten the nickname the “doomsday glacier” because of how much ice it has and how much seas could rise if it all melts — more than two feet (65 centimeters) over hundreds of years.
Because of its importance, the United States and the United Kingdom are in the midst of a joint $50 million mission to study Thwaites, the widest glacier in the world by land and sea. Not near any of the continent’s research stations, Thwaites is on Antarctica’s western half, east of the jutting Antarctic Peninsula, which used to be the area scientists worried most about.

Thwaites is putting about 50 billion tons of ice into the water a year. The British Antarctic Survey says the glacier is responsible for four percent of global sea rise, and the conditions leading to it to lose more ice are accelerating, University of Colorado ice scientist Ted Scambos said from the McMurdo land station last month.
Read more at: Scientists set out to explore Thwaites glacier to find out how fast seas will rise because of melting Antarctica’s ice (firstpost.com)

Untold Stories of Antarctica by UKAHT

Marking International Women’s Day, Antarctic experts will share extraordinary untold stories from the icy continent’s past. Join UK Antarctic Heritage Trust on Tuesday 8th March for Untold Stories of Antarctica

Shining a light on the tales of women who have broken the ice ceiling of Antarctic science and exploration, they will offer new perspectives on the history of human endeavour in the region, and ask why their narratives and achievements have been largely overlooked and under reported until now.

Morag Seag, a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, will  tell  the story of women’s integration into Antarctic field science in the mid-twentieth century.  Amelia Urry, also a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, will share stories of the women behind Antarctic mapping in the 1950s.

Antarctica in Sight: Live is a series of online talks, bringing together explorers, scientists, artists and historians with a unique understanding of the icy continent. Antarctica In Sight: Live will delve into the lesser-known stories from Antarctica’s past, discuss the major technological innovations of the present, and look ahead to the continent’s role in the future of our planet

Read more at: UKAHT – Antarctica In Sight: Live! | Talks Series

German postage stamp newspaper – Deutsche Briefmarken-Zeitung

Deutsche Briefmarken-Zeitung (DBZ) is a German philatelic trade journal that has been published since 1925 .On February issue of DBZ,  Harald Kuhl, DL1AX has pubblished an interesting article about the summer italian Station WAP ITA-Ø1, MZS (named after Mario Zucchelli) in Antarctica, from which has recently operated  Lt. Danilo Collino IAØ/IZ1KHY .

The article includes a copy of Danilo’s QSL and the stamp  dedicated to the Italian scientist Mario Zucchelli (1944 – 2003), for years a reference figure for the Italian Antarctic Program.

Issued by TAAF (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises)  in 2019   the stamp  did  celebrate the important contribution of Mario Zucchelli  to the realization of the French-Italian Concordia Station (WAP MNB-Ø3), depicted in the stamp along with the portrait of Zucchelli on a tricolor background.

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In addition, DBZ magazine shows the special stamps issued to recall  on the 100st Anniversary of the death of Ernest Shackleton who, at age of 47, made a final mission to Antarctica, but would sadly pass away on the island of South Georgia on January 4th, 1922.

January 4th, 2022 did mark 100 years since his passing.

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TNX Volker DL8JDX

Pioneering laurels: who was the first to find Antarctica

The legend of El Dorado around the South Pole has fascinated many Europeans since Sir Francis Drake. On the first day of 1739, the looked at the cloudy, foggy and ice-bound coast – the one that would later be called Bouvet Island. Then he returned home with a description of majestic icebergs and black-and-white penguins that looked like «large ducks, but with fins instead of wings».
For more than four centuries, Sir Francis Drake has been world-famous for his feats as a master mariner – the captain who “singed the King of Spain’s beard” with his daredevil attack on the fleet at Cadiz, and who led the British Navy to victory against the Spanish Armada in 1588.

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A book of Kevin Jackson  “The Queen’s Pirate: Sir Francis Drake”  have been chosen as a Book of the Week in the Guardian and a Book of the Year in the Express.

Kevin Jackson is an  English writer, film-maker, radio producer and television director for the BBC); Associate Arts Editor for The Independent. Kevin Jackson  has written for The New Yorker, Granta, The Sunday Times (London), The Guardian, and Vogue, among other publications.

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Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier was born in 1705. Orphaned at the age of 7, upon receiving his education in Paris he was sent to work in the shipyards at St. Malo. He studied navigation and received the rank of lieutenant in the Compagnie des Indes in 1731. With an insatiable desire to explore the southern seas, he petitioned his employers in 1733 with a plan of exploration. He asked for two ships consisting of a frigate and a larger trading vessel. For this, he promised to search the southern seas for land that could accommodate French trading vessels on route to the Far East.

Researchers have discovered a new colony of gentoo penguins on Andersson Island on the Antarctic Peninsula

The crew of the M/V Arctic Sunrise, an icebreaker vessel owned by Greenpeace, were sailing through Antarctica’s Weddell Sea this month when they saw something they didn’t expect.

One of the scientists on board, Alex Borowicz  was looking through the binoculars from the bridge of our shipLouisa Casson, an ocean campaigner with Greenpeace UK currently on board the Arctic Sunrise, told Mongabay in a video interview. “He spotted what he thought looked like a penguin colony, where we had seen no previous records.”

As the ship drew near, the crew discovered a colony of gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) consisting of about 75 chicks living on Andersson Island on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, previously unknown to science. Scientists say this is the furthest south the species has ever been seen in this part of Antarctica, and posit their presence here to the impacts of climate change.

Read more at:
https://news.mongabay.com/2022/01/as-climate-change-melts-antarctic-ice-gentoo-penguins-venture-further-south/

R/V Arctic Sunrise is an ice-strengthened vessel operated by Greenpeace. The vessel was built in Norway in 1975 and has a gross tonnage of 949, a length of 50.5 metres (166 ft) and a maximum speed of 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph). Under the original name of Polarbjørn (“Polar bear”), she was used as a sealing ship. The vessel was subsequently used by the French government. Greenpeace purchased the ship in 1995.

Valery Sushkow  RW3GW/RMØL, Honorary President of RRC, awarded  with a Medal

Valery Sushkov  (RW3GW/RMØL) Honorary President of the Russian Robinson Club, is a great Expeditionner with several activities in Antarctica and in the Arctic.

I had a plesure to meet Valery RW3GW and his brother Albert RV3GW  about 30 years ago when,  both were young island chasers  and we became good friends!

Recently, on January 17, 2022, the Moscow office of the Law and Order-Shield Foundation did award the explorer-traveler  Valery Sushkov (RW3GW-RMØL) with a commemorative Medal  In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian navigators F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev on the sloops Vostok and Mirny.

The award was presented to Valery Sushkov RMØL by the head of the organizing committee of the project “Russian Antarctica. History in continuation” Alexander Ilyin.

Earlier in 1999-2000,  Valery Sushkov was a member of the International Complex Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole (CE9/R3CA, R3RRC/ANT), a participant and organizer of more than 100 different expeditions, and in 2021 he was awarded the Geographical Oscar in the nomination “Travel & Expedition” for the Pacific Historical and Geographical Expedition “Marine Heritage of Primorsky Kray” and the postal experiment POSTVENTURE postventure.ru.

The medal was minted specifically for the round-the-world expedition of sailboats of Rosrybolovstvo by order of the Presidential Grants Fund and the non-profit partnership for promoting the development of cinema and tourism Kit. The obverse of the medal exactly copies the original, made by order of Emperor Alexander I for the expedition teams of Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. On the reverse is a dedication to the circumnavigation of the sailing ships Kruzenshtern, Sedov and Pallada.

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WAP expresses all the admiration and complacency for the important acknowledgments to his friend Valery Sushkov who,  with his many DX-peditions has given to the Radioamateurs from all over the World , the thrill of having logged rare spots,  both in Antarctica and in the Arctic!

TNX Oleg Latyshev UA6HPR/UA6GG @ DX Trophy Awards Group

Antarctic attractions: Six landmarks in Christchurch, NZ

An interesting view of the six landmarks  have been published on Newstalk ZB, by Thomas Bywater, NZ Herald.
Captain Scott’s Hut, Robert Falcon Scott Memorial, The last sled dog statue,
are just some of the so many interesting features that characterize this important center which represents the bridge to the Icy Continent.

Just pay a visit to Antarctic attractions: Six landmarks in Christchurch (newstalkzb.co.nz) to get introduced and open your door to a place that represents one of the only five cities in the world with direct travel links to AntarcticaChristchurch as home to the Antarctic Explorer’s hub.

Thanks and credit to New Zealand Herald.

Knowing the Antarctic Domes

What are the “Domes” ?

They are very flat snow summits across the Antarctic High plateau. From what I know, they’ve been named more or less according to their altitude while being discovered by the first pilots to fly airplanes across the continent in the 50s.

There are several  “Domes” in Antarctica as shown on the Map:

Dome A, Dome B (aka Ridge B), 200 km upstream of the Vostok ice core),  Dome C, Talos Dome, Titan Dome, an unnamed ice Dome located near to South Pole and Dome Fuji

 

Dome A (aka Dome Argus)

Dome Argus at 80°22′ South77°22′ East,  has a surface elevation of 4,093 m. It is the highest place in East Antarctica and also one of the least-known places on the globe. An automatic weather station provides data from this remote site.

Dome Argus lies near one end of a ridge about 60 km long and 10 km wide. The ice there is more than 3,000 m thick, overlaying the subglacial Gamburtsev Mountains.
At Dome A, an  Automatic weather station (AWS) was set up as part of anAustralian-Chinese collaboration in January 2005. No ground-based scientific investigation had been made at this site before the arrival of the Chinese over-snow traverse team.

Source: Dome Argus – Australian Antarctic Program (antarctica.gov.au)

Dome B (aka Ridge B)

3807 m above sea level at , 79.02°South, 93.69°East, Dome B was discovered at a distance of 170 km from the Russian Vostok Station.

Source: First glaciological investigations at Ridge B, central East Antarctica | Antarctic Science | Cambridge Core

Dome C

Dome C, also known as Dome CirceDome Charlie or Dome Concordia, is situated on top of the Antarctic Polar Plateau, the world’s largest frozen desert ever, at an elevation of 3,233 metres (10,607 ft) above sea level, is one of several summits or “Domes” of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Dome C  is the site of the Concordia Research Station (75°06’06” South, 123°23’ 43” East)  jointly operated by France and Italy.

In the 1970s, Dome C was the site of ice core drilling by field teams of several nations. It was called Dome Charlie. In 1992, France decided to build a new station on the Antarctic Plateau. The program was later joined by Italy. In 1996, a French-Italian team established a Summer camp at Dome C. The two main objectives of the camp were the provision of logistical support for the European Project for IceCoring in Antarctica (EPICA) and the construction of a permanent research station. The new all-year facility,Concordia Station, became operational in 2005.
The so called Dome C summer Camp (75°05’59” South, 123°19’ 56” East), about 700 mts from Concordia Station  was never dismantled and actually is used as it was in 1996. This Dome C summer camp, pic aside, before the construction of the two towers of Concordia, was the support base of the first Epica project, then it was the support site for the workers who built Concordia Station. Actually, Dome C summer Camp is just a depot with housing and warehouse. All the scientific equipments are inside the towers of Concordia and inside the shelters scattered around the Base. “Dome C Summer Camp” will be add as WAP MNB-NEW to WAP-WADA Directory.

Most of the cargo coming by traverse from Dumont d’Urville Station, covering 1,200 km in 7 to 12 days depending on weather conditions,  moved to Dome C and  unloaded at the summer camp. Station personnel and light cargo instead arrive by air, using Twin Otter aircraft from DDU or Mario Zucchelli Station at 1200 km.

The Project Epica Beyond  at Little Dome C is about 32 km from Concordia and the site is called Little Dome C-Epica Beyond,  (WAP MNB-NEW).

Dome C North Radar

The radar of the SuperDARN network is  located at 1.4 km from the Franco-Italian base Concordia, at Dome C, i.e. very close to the Antarctic geomagnetic pole, at about 3200 m above sea level. This makes it the highest geomagnetic latitude radar and the highest altitude radar. Its field of view conjugates with those of the McMurdo radar and the just installed South Pole radar.’

Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) radar installed at the Concordia Station in Antarctica and denominated Dome C North (DCN) saw the first light. SuperDARN is an international network of HF radars that observe the effects produced in the ionosphere by the chain of phenomena taking place in the Earth’s space environment. DCN and its companion radar Dome C East (DCE) are positioned nearby the southern geomagnetic pole with their Field of View extending towards the auroral latitudes. Here we present the analysis of the first year of observations as a function of the interplanetary conditions.

Source: Dome C North radar, a new radar of the SuperDARN network: the first year of observations. – NASA/ADS (harvard.edu)

and: SuperDARN radar now operating at Dome C in Antarctica!

Talos Dome

Talos Dome is an ice dome on the edge of the East Antarctic plateau; because accumulation is higher here than in other domes of East Antarctica, the ice preserves a good geochemical and palaeoclimatic record. A new map of the Talos Dome area locates the dome summit elevation (2318.5m)  using the global positioning system (GPS) (72˚47’ 14’’South, 159˚04’ 2’’ East).
Source : Geophysical survey at Talos Dome, East Antarctica: the search for a new deep-drilling site | Annals of Glaciology | Cambridge Core

and Dr. Jérôme CHAPPELLAZ – Some of my pictures taken during scientific field expeditions (jerome-chappellaz.com)

Titan Dome

Based on sparse data, Titan Dome has been identified as having a higher probability of containing ice that would capture the middle Pleistocene transition (1.25 to 0.7 Ma). New aerogeophysical observations (radar and laser altimetry) collected over Titan Dome, located about 200 km from the South Pole within the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, were used to characterize the region (e.g., geometry, internal structure, bed reflectivity, and flow history) and assess its suitability as a paleoclimate ice core site.

Source: TC – Aerogeophysical characterization of Titan Dome, East Antarctica, and potential as an ice core target (copernicus.org)

Dome Fuji (aka Dome F)

Dome Fuji also called Dome F or Valkyrie Dome is an ice dome rising to about 3,810 m (12,500 ft) above sea level in the eastern part of Queen Maud Land (77°30’South, 37°30’ East).

Dome F it’s the second-highest summit or ice dome of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet . Dome F is the site of Dome Fuji Station, a research station operated by Japan

Located in the eastern part of Queen Maud Land, Dome Fuji is a zone of ice that characterizes it as a special place, with more than 720,000 years of history recorded in its ice. Japan was encouraged to install a scientific base, Dome Fuji Base, despite the complexity of its supply and maintenance.

DOME FUJI: 720,000 YEARS OF HISTORY IN ICE – Inuit WindSled (greenland.net)