Antarctica RevealedBook - 2010
Studying Antarctica has never been for the fainthearted.
"Hereabouts died a very gallant gentleman, Captain L. E. G. Oates of the Inniskilling Dragoons. In March 1912, returning from the Pole, he walked willingly to his death in a blizzard to try to save his comrades, beset by hardship."
—Inscription on a cross placed near presumed final resting place of Antarctic explorer Lawrence “Titus” Oates, The Terra Nova Expedition, 1910-1913
“We have one survival bag for every two people.”
—Antarctic paleontologist William Hammer, Transantarctic Vertebrate Paleontology Project, 2004
“When the ice cracks, it can sound like massive thunder rolls that seem to go on forever. If it is a serious cracking in the ice, it literally sounds like canon shots.”
—Eighth-grade science teacher and Antarctic diver Robin Ellwood, Lake Ecosystems in Antarctica Project, 2008-2009
Humanity’s fascination with the land at the bottom of the globe dates back at least to the ancient Romans, who imagined Terra Australis Incognita—the “unknown southern land”—and drew it on their maps even though no one had ever seen it. It took a thousand years for this unknown land to become known. Despite the many people who have since visited it, conquering the Antarctic frontier is a never-ending challenge that calls scientists and explorers to risk their lives in the pursuit of knowledge.
Frozen Secrets is the tale of a continent, the inside story of the critical, cutting-edge research that brave men and women from around the world have done and still do in Antarctica. Sally M. Walker traces expeditions from the earliest explorers to today’s research stations, where contemporary scientists work in some of the harshest conditions on Earth.
Whether they study the formation of polar ice or the stratigraphy of ancient rock or the fossils of newly discovered dinosaurs or the chemistry of air trapped in miniscule frozen bubbles, the scientists working in Antarctica are building a body of knowledge that will influence future generations as they make choices that could affect the course of the whole planet.
Introduces Antarctica, describing the history of its exploration and the current research efforts underway to investigate its geography, climate, and fossils of the past, and monitor the effects of global warming on its glaciers.