Crack in Antarctic ice shelf threatens research station

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A giant crack in East Antarctica is threatening to cleave off part of the ice where a key research station sits and leave the facility drifting on an iceberg.

The chasm, which was dormant for 35 years, is now growing at a pace of about 1.7 kilometers, or 1 mile, per year on the Brunt ice shelf, according to the British Antarctic Survey.

The U.K. science office on Tuesday said it was preparing to move the Halley VI Research Station to save it from splintering off into the sea. The station is a globally important platform for gathering data on space, weather, climate change and ozone measurements.  Read more…

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This is not normal, people: Arctic and Antarctic hit record low sea ice

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Things in the Arctic are just getting weirder and weirder. And not in a good way. 

Freakishly high air and ocean temperatures during November caused sea ice to trail far behind typical levels, with sea ice extent ending the month at a record low. Sea ice extent averaged 3.51 million square miles for the month, which was 753,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average for the period, according to data released Tuesday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. 

The section of missing ice was about the same size as the entire country of Mexico. Or to put it in terms of U.S. states, the missing ice is greater than the states of Texas, California, Montana and New Mexico combined. Read more…

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NASA photo reveals a startling 300-foot-wide rift in Antarctic Ice Shelf

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The breakup of the massive Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica is getting closer and will eventually produce an iceberg the size of Delaware prowling the Southern Ocean, according to new NASA data. 

On Friday, NASA released an astonishing new image taken by researchers flying above the ice shelf on Nov. 10 showing the crack is getting longer, deeper and wider. Scientists think it will eventually cause a large section of the shelf to break off.

The scientists associated with a NASA field campaign known as Operation IceBridge measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep.  Read more…

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Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin evacuated from the South Pole

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Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was evacuated from the South Pole Wednesday after becoming ill. 

Aldrin, who is 86-years-old, was visiting  Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica as part of a tour group that left for the South Pole from Cape Town, South Africa on Nov. 29.

The U.S. National Science Foundation, working with the Air Force, evacuated Aldrin to McMurdo Station — a US Antarctic research facility — via a ski-equipped LC-130 cargo plane. He is in stable condition, according to a statement posted by White Desert, the tour operator. 

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