Antartica Report - Mawson Research Station

Authors Avatar by jackbardsleystudentscotchwaedu (student)


On a crisps summer morning the beauty of Antarctica is on show for all to see. The pure white snow, which tops the jagged rocks of the continents harsh exterior adds a layer of calm and comfort. While the magical shapes and colours myriad icebergs complete a sense of tranquility. Sparkling waters dance under an Asher blue sky and the region is alive and welcoming. This is Antarctica as it should be. This is Antarctica as is it is now. But it may not be the Antarctica we share tomorrow.

Antarctica. Commonly mistook for a snowy wonderland, is the coldest region on the planet. The very little land that it consists of is over layered with masses of ice and snow up to a mile thick. It consists of 90% of the entire planets ice and 70% of the worlds fresh water is held in that ice. Antarctica South of Australia 7,014km from the nearest bay on Australia. It located south of the equator on the coldest, driest region on Earth.

The Australian Antarctic Territory was claimed by the United Kingdom in 1993 and was placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia that same year. The AAT is the largest territory claimed by a nation on Antarctica.

In 1980 there was an argument in Australia arguing over whether to allow mining on Antarctica. Antarctica is very dear with minerals. It is hoped to be mined for silver, gold, cobalt, copper, chromium, iron, molybdenum, manganese, nickel, lead, titanium, uranium and zinc. “Over the past there has never been any commercial mining in Antarctica, there are no current plans to mine Antarctica and mining is currently completely banned by the Antarctic Treaty.

The Australian Antarctic Territory treaty wish to protect and ensure safety of their land from oil giants seeking out to extract energy from the polar regions. The treaty of Antarctica aim to help protect the flora and fauna of Antarctica. They have done so by making mining illegal. Mineral mining and nuclear waste disposal on Antarctica have been prohibited to support scientific support and protect the continent's eco zone.

The Australian Antarctic Program is lead by the Australian Antarctic Division. The Australian Antarctic Division is an agency of “Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water Population and Communities, their charter is to advance Australia’s strategic, scientific, environmental and economic interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. They wish to do so by protecting, administering, researching and maintaining a presence in Australia Antarctic and Subantarctic territories” (AAD 2004, p. 44)


The regional and global climate are both influenced by Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in very profound ways. Antarctica will experience sufficient changes as the worlds temperature rises. These changes will eventually have an impact on the global climate. Changes will be seen in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica before anywhere else.

Climate change in Antarctica, despite all the discussion in the media, it is comparatively neglected. Though it is clear that climate change is already negatively impacting Antarctica. For example West Antarctica is progressively becoming one of the fastest warming areas on Earth. Sea ice is both increasing and decreasing because climate change is not having a uniform impact.

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Areas that were once peninsulas become islands and glaciers retreating at an incredible rate of very few years. Temperatures have increased since 1950 11ºF in winter thats the largest temperature increase ever recorded any where on earth, making it the frontline of large temperature changes.

Half the year in Antarctica is darkness and the other half is daylight.

The climate is described by it’s below freezing temperature, some of the highest wind speeds and the occasional blizzard. The weather is changing rapidly alone the coast, where the temperatures for even the warmest of months still average around freezing. ...

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