Friday, March 16, 2012

Antarctica: Your iPhone charger is making the snow disappear so quickly that only four Halley bases have been buried by snow accumulation and crushed until they were uninhabitable

Explorer draws on endurance to follow Shackleton

As an environmental scientist and senior associate in sustainability at Arup, a professional services firm for the built environment, another of his goals is to highlight scientific concerns about climate change.

''I've been four times to the Antarctic and three times to the Arctic. The warming is very evident,'' he said.

''Shackleton was trying to save his men from Antarctica and now we're trying to save Antarctica from man.''

Halley Research Station - British Antarctic Survey

Approximately 1.2 metres of snow accumulate each year on the Brunt Ice Shelf and buildings on the surface become covered and eventually crushed by snow, necessitating periodic rebuilding of the station. This part of the ice shelf is also moving westward by approx. 700m per year.

There have been five Halley bases built so far. The first four were all buried by snow accumulation and crushed until they were uninhabitable. Various construction methods were tried, from unprotected wooden huts to steel tunnels.

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