Antarctica – The Last Frontier

Antarctica – a land of extremes. It is the coldest, driest – and loneliest continent on Earth. Bathed in darkness for 6 months of the year, and exposed to intense radiation, wind, and snow for much of the rest – Antarctica – even after its first visit in 1821 – has never attracted more than several thousand people a year to stay. It is thus a testament to the will of the few that do journey to the bottom of the world – to explore, to conduct research, or to simply put oneself to the test in one of the world’s harshest environments. Today we will pay tribute to those that did not ask why, but asked – why not?

— Timeline —

-1821 – American sealer John Davis first to set foot on the Antarctic Peninsula
-1901 – British captain Scott leads first Antarctic expedition
-1910 – Norwegian Roald Amundsen first to reach the South Pole
-1911 – Captain Scott and his party die after freezing on their return trip of being the second group to visit the pole
-1912 – Australian Douglas Mawson is the first to use radios in Antarctica, leads a tragic expedition where he is the sole survivor
-1914-16 – Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men become stranded and all survive after getting frozen into the ice and losing their ship
-1959 – 12 countries sign the Antarctic Treaty in Washington DC
-1985 – thinning of the ozone layer over the South Pole first reported
-2008 – NASA reports its satellite data indicate more than 2 million tons of land ice in Alaska, Antarctica and Greenland since 2003 among the latest signs indicating global warming

— References —

– The Home of the Blizzard, Mawson (1998)
– The White, Caesar (2001)
– Antarctica – A Frozen History (2002) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SxXjN7WT90
– Antarctica Timeline: http://www.timelines.ws/countries/ANTARCTICA.HTML

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