Antarctic Research

I’ve been collecting articles about the antarctic, for future use in podcasts relating to what is happening there.  While my interest is in the nations with competing claims over pieces of the antarctic, I’m also interested in how global warming is speeding up the ice melting there and what happens as a result.

One story I read today, was about the animal known as “pink gold” or “krill”, which is abundant in Antarctica.  According to the article, Krill are:

small shrimp-like crustaceans which with modern technology can be used in fish feed, human dietary supplements, soya sauce flavoring, pharmaceuticals, or even to clean the paintings of Old Masters .

The list of uses and benefits of Krill go on and on, and well worth reading. But there is also a great danger that they are being overfished, which brings a whole other list of problems for the antarctic ecosystem.

Another issue is invasive species.  Wherever you live you certainly come into contact with some type of invasive species; plant or animal life that is not native to your area but was introduced somehow and becomes overwhelming to all others and in turn damages the ecosystem.

In the case of Antarctica, scientists and tourists have apparently unknowingly caused invasive species to appear there.  Even the smallest of  moss or mold, or even rats coming off visiting ships, are a huge risk to Antarctica which is known for never having experienced any type of major invasive species.

The learning continues… related podcast coming soon.


  1. January 31, 2008

    In case you miss it, there was a debate in the General Assembly last month on the 25th anniversary of the Law of the Sea.

    The debate isn’t all that interesting, but they are presenting a series of reports (eg A/62/66 and A/62/66/Add.1) which contain a summary of the state of play. Let me know the codes of any documents you can’t follow through in those texts.

    There appears to be a disproportionate amount of material on “marine genetic resources”, which is new to me. Someone else can work out whether this is a red herring (eg you won’t find much mention of the arctic cold war — the UN is very good at knowing what it’s not supposed to talk about), or it’s important.

  2. Anno Nymize
    February 7, 2008

    Thanks for your talk on I like hearing other nations debating about there concerns, because sooner or later we will have the same discussion over here, although most of the time I don’t understand there particular worries. Quite often I get the feeling that most topics they are speaking about, are artificially created by some spokesperson on the government to keep a nonrelevant and trivial talk going on and prevent the masses from getting into a more serious discussion. Yeah, nothing all of you are already aware of.

    However, I just forgot to hand you this link in the chat. Personally I have never heart about this problem before, but I believe it is doing a good neck-and-neck race with your latest “Antarctic Research”:

    “The world’s rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan”

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