A British research station in the Antarctic will shut down for winter after a large crack appeared in a nearby ice shelf because of our warming climate.
The Halley VI research station will be relocated from the Brunt Ice Shelf to avoid any chance it could float away on an iceberg or fall into a chasm if a large section of ice breaks away, the British Antarctic Survey stated. Motherboard reported on the possibility of this happening over a year ago, and our climate conditions didn't change.
While this research station was built to be moved, other research stations are also under the same threat. Polar ice has struggled to reform this winter amid warmer-than-average temperatures, making it difficult to conduct studies. Australia is considering moving its Mawson station after unprecedented ice buildup near the station has made supply delivery by boat “unsustainable” and supplies have had to be routinely flown in by helicopter, The Australian reported.
A notable trend of warmer temperatures have been recorded in Antarctica in general, especially along the Antarctic Peninsula, according to NASA. But some areas of the continent have seen more sea ice than usual, a result of changes in wind patterns.
"In the 2013-14 season, we couldn't get anywhere near Mawson due to the sea ice and we had to get fuel in there by helicopter which is inadequate for the long-term sustainability of the station," Rob Wooding, operations manager of the Australian Antarctic Division, told Phys.org, adding that the French and Japanese had similar problems with sea ice.
Luckily for the US, none of the American research stations on Antarctica are in jeopardy from ice-related issues, said National Science Foundation spokesman Peter West. The US runs three stations on or near the continent but one is on a volcanic island, one is 800 air miles inland and one is on Anvers Island, a mountainous part of the rocky Antarctic Peninsula.
The US’s Arctic research stations, mostly located in Alaska and Greenland, also don’t appear to be in danger as Arctic ice consistently melts away.
At least, not yet.
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from Climate Change Shut Down a Research Station in Antarctica, and Australia is Next