• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Antartica: The Last Wilderness

Extracts from this document...


Antarctica: The Last Wilderness Antarctica is the world's fifth largest continent, with 98% of it's landmass covered in ice, averaging 1.6 km deep. The environment here is inhospitable, contains the largest desert in the world, and is on average the coldest, windiest, and driest continent, and also has the average highest elevation. and is thus the only continent without a native population. The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by (now) 46 countries, with the aims to preserve Antarctica, and allow scientific exploration in a sustainable way; this did not include any discussion of mining, for fear of jeopardizing the treaty. This was followed, and by the 1991 Protocol on Environmental protection to the antarctic treaty, finally ratified by 27 parties in 1998. Article seven of this clearly states mining or other exploitation, except for scientific gain, is banned; article 27 states that this may not be repealed unless a future treaty establishes a 'binding, regulatory framework' for such activity. In 2048, the indefinite ban on mining, included in the Madrid Protocol is due for review; however at least 3/4 of the 46 signatories must agree to this. As worthwhile as the substances under the ice may be, we must not forget Antarctica is one of the world's last wildernesses, a rare and fragile ecosystem, including Gentoo, Rockhopper, King, Chinstrap and Ad´┐Żlie Penguins, as well as rare seals and albatrosses as well as 'Extremophiles', predominantly ...read more.


a special area open to everyone and no one, if not to visit, then to know that it is there; and to be aware that there is one place in the world, where we can set aside differences and political agendas, to concentrate on science, bettering humanity, preserving rare species and learning more about the planet we live on. Which, in my opinion, is more sacred, and deserving of our full respect, than any religious relic or alter. To say Antarctica only belongs to Science is as damaging as saying it only should belong to miners, or environmentalists. It typecasts a group of people with varying goals, morals and procedures, and calls that a class. All science is, is using scientific method to reason, and test hypotheses, until we can explain observed phenomena and form theories based on that which is observed. What use is science without a practical application? To know that the population of a species is falling is nothing without a plan to prevent further loss. Nor is knowing how much oil is in the ground without at least a strategy to exploit those reserves. Science for science's sake is rarely done, and if it is, it will almost always be particle physics research, for curiosity's sake, and to understand the big questions, why are we here? How are we here? Where are we?... Or will have a practical application in the future. ...read more.


The ice should be protected, but if we are only protecting it from the inevitable, then perhaps; like coastal geographers have found; maybe the best strategy is to let nature take it's course. The outcome is inevitable, and the world obviously managed fine before civilization came along. Development in the antarctic seems to be sustainable (at least in the area itself), as the scientists ensure they take what they come with; however is more development really necessary? Just because we can develop such an expanse of land by no means means we should. This image shows all the countries with at least a seasonal base in Antarctica. Would not fewer, larger bases make more sense, with scientists working together to ensure research is not repeated. Up to 4,000 people live in the Antarctic during the summer; and much of this research could surely be carried out in cold labs in other countries, or even, for population sampling, by webcam or electronic tagging; greatly reducing the need for people to endanger the habitats of creatures there. Development without knowledge is a recipe for disaster; therefore I believe that it is the job of nations to come together for research purposes, and perhaps have a way to check new developments and ensure they are both sustainable and necessary given current and previous findings. The protection currently in Antarctica is good, however there are still some worries; for example the allowance of sewage from research stations to be disposed of via the ocean. Jess Collier 05/05/08 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hazardous Environments section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hazardous Environments essays

  1. comparing shrewsbury an old town an telfrd a purpose build new town

    would prefer to go to Telford for it's leisure facilities and one person said that they wouldn't mind which town they went to as they thought that both towns had equal leisure facilities. Question 9 "Which town is the most developed?"

  2. The first will be about Health and Safety at Graham School. The second will ...

    The last heading is the Signature of assessor, which is where you sign your name. Hazards Look out for these hazard symbols: The sorts of hazards they have at Graham aren't as hazardous as the chemicals kept at the sixth form and nowhere near as hazardous as CP Kelco's Knowsley

  1. Hand washing Practical - How clean are your Hands?

    Hand Towel Plate 2(b): Air Dryer Plate 3: Control *APC = Aerobic Plate Count Conclusion: The first point to make is that the conclusions drawn from this experiment cannot be seen as being conclusive due to the small sample size.

  2. Suggest why droughts have severe impacts on people and the environment.

    Therefore they die before they are reached for production, or have simply been able to grow past the young tree stage. They are also affected by wildfires which spread throughout the forests, due to high temperatures and dry land, this kills the majority of vegetation and trees in the area,

  1. Assess the view that in wilderness areas, the challenges always outweigh the opportunities.

    The government hopes that they will grow food and become self-sufficient. The building of roads and the 3300 km east - west Transamazonia Highway have resulted in the extensive deforestation of the Brazilian part of the Amazon rainforest. The building of the highway has also made much of the interior

  2. Evaluating climate change

    In the 20th century the situation becomes more complicated. There is some evidence that increases in solar heating may have led to some warming early in the 20th century, but direct satellite measurements show no appreciable change in solar heating over the last three decades.

  1. Mount St. Helens - Natural disasters.

    They used landfill sites and disused quarries for dumping. The total ash was estimated to weigh 900,000 tons. On May 23rd The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officially set up the disaster relief command centre in Vancouver. Which they would be using for the next eight months. On July 2nd the U.S congress gave $951 million dollars in disaster

  2. The origin of the Earth

    approximately the same age, and this was known not to be true. Wagener's explanation was that as the continents moved, the leading edge of the continent would encounter resistance and thus compress and fold upwards forming mountains near the leading edges of the drifting continents.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work