Thursday, May 15, 2014

Environmentality 14 May 2014, Jason Mundy, Australian Antarctic Division

What an amazing experience to be involved in the Antarctic.  So much going on in an area that most of us associate with seals, penguins, whales and ice.

Thanks goes to Jason Mundy, General Manager of the Australian Antartic Division's Strategies Branch for talking with us on Environmentality.  Jason was a keynote speaker at the 'Strategic Science in Antarctica' conference, you can read excerpts of Jason's speech here.

No one country actually 'owns' Antartica.  Seven nation; Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, France, Norway, Chile and Argentina have claimed a stake on some areas, however over 50 nations have signed an agreement which covers what activities can be undertaken on the Antarctic continent.  One point of the agreement is that there is a ban on mining and exploration within the entire Antarctic area for the forseeable future.

So what does go on in the very far, far south of our lands.......

Research, science and conservation, none of which is done in isolation but in collaboration with countries from all around the world.

Some projects are more obvious such as the conservation of seabirds, in particular the Albatross and ensuring fish stocks are not plundered by over fishing, but there are others such as the drilling and pulling of ice-cores which scientists are then using to determine what carbon dioxide levels were thousands of years ago.

There is endless amounts of information on the Antarctic on the web, for those that are interested, you could read for days and days.  You may even be inspired to apply for a job.

Credit: Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory, NM Tech
Live Science has 50 amazing facts about Antarctica one of them being about towers on Mount Erebus the second highest volcano in Antarctica.

Giant, hollow towers of ice form on Mount Erebus when fumarole cracks on the volcano that vent hot gas spew steam into the open air. The steam freezes in place in the frigid air, forming towers up to 30 feet (10 meters) tall.

Make sure you listen to the show to hear more about this intriguing part of the world.

Music played today was chosen by Jason:
Midnight Oil, Antarctica
Damien Rice's cover of Princes When Doves Cry
The Lemonheads, Outdoor Type
Alex Lloyds cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

Next week on the show Robert Bender is talking bats with us.

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