News: 2012

  • Dr Helena Baird studying amphipods under the microscope.

    Antarctic scientist to share research, culture and art with Nobel laureates in Japan

    A young Antarctic scientist will share her research on ‘giant’ crustaceans and other Antarctic sea floor creatures with Nobel laureates in Japan.

  • A recently tipped iceberg brown from sea ice algae (Photo: Kerry Steinberner)

    Research helps scientists understand climate change risk to Antarctic food webs

    A new dataset that highlights the dependence of algae on Antarctic sea ice will help scientists predict future food security for Southern Ocean herbivores such as krill.

  • An Antarctic ice core

    New Antarctic ice core project

    Environment Minister, Tony Burke today announced a major new Australian-led project in Antarctica to advance the search for the scientific ‘holy grail’ of the million-year ice core, a frozen record of how our planet has evolved and changed and a guide to what might be in store.

  • Portrait of Ninnis in the Royal Fusiliers uniform.

    Remembering an heroic explorer

    Friday 14 December 2012, marks 100 years since the death of Douglas Mawson’s sledging companion, Lieutenant Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis.

  • Australia’s Airbus A319 at Wilkins runway

    Environment Minister visits Australian Antarctic Territory

    Environment Minister, Tony Burke, today left for Antarctica to gain first-hand experience of the continent and to meet the men and women whose work is critical to the success of the Australian Antarctic program.

  • Expeditioners undergoing field training at Australia’s Casey station (Photo: Todor Iolovski)

    What are you waiting for?

    A drop in applications from Australians applying to work in Antarctica, has prompted the Australian Antarctic Division to ask what are you waiting for?

  • Antarctic night sky

    Antarctic science conference to be held in Hobart

    A new Antarctic science conference will be held in Hobart in June 2013.

  • Humpback whale breaching in front of Virginia Andrews Goff on the boat’s bowsprit

    The art of tagging whales

    A steady hand, good sea-legs and an eagle eye are essential ingredients for scientists deploying satellite tags on whales off southern Tasmania.

  • An iceberg in Antarctica.

    New PhD program gains momentum

    A new PhD program in Quantitative Antarctic Science has begun.

  • The scientists carrying out their research on the sea ice next to Australia’s icebreaker Aurora Australis.

    Antarctic voyage brings home rare glimpse under the sea ice

    An international sea ice voyage has returned to Hobart today with spectacular images of the world beneath the East Antarctic sea ice.

  • Dr Vance holding an ice core – the Prince of Wales and Dr Gales watching on

    Antarctic brief for Royal visitor

    His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales today was briefed on Australia’s Antarctic science program and Tasmania’s role as the hub for major Antarctic research institutions.

  • Adélie Penguins swimming and porpoising

    Progress but no agreement on Antarctic Marine Protected Areas

    Australia is disappointed its proposal to establish one of the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas in East Antarctica was not adopted at this year’s Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in Hobart, but remains committed to pursuing the initiative.

  • The view from the Aurora Australis webcam over the bow of the ship

    Sea ice delays voyage

    Australia’s ice breaker Aurora Australis remains in heavy sea ice off East Antarctica delaying the ship’s return to Hobart.

  • King penguin underwater

    Australia, France and European Union propose Marine Protected Areas in East Antarctica

    Australia, France and the European Union have proposed a representative system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the high seas of East Antarctica covering 1.9 million square kilometres.

  • The AUV under the ice with the Aurora Australis propeller (Photo: AUV team/Australian Antarctic Division)

    First 3-D map of under the East Antarctic sea ice

    For the first time in East Antarctica, climate scientists have produced a three-dimensional (3-D) map of the surface beneath a sea ice floe, revealing an inverted complex topography evocative of lakes and mountain ranges.

  • Australian writer Favel Parrett

    Fellowship to tell the story of longest-serving Antarctic ship

    The 2012 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship has been awarded to Australian writer Favel Parrett.

  • Aurora over Davis station (Photo: Kerry Steinberner)

    2012–13 Antarctic Station Leaders

    Australia’s new Antarctic Station Leaders are preparing to go south to take up their positions on the icy continent and Macquarie Island for 2012–13.

  • Mike holds the tall silver canister that houses the sonobuoy with a red float at the top.

    Eavesdropping on the elusive blue whale

    Australian Antarctic scientists have successfully tested new acoustic technology to track and locate scores of blue whales hundreds of kilometres away by eavesdropping on the resonating song of these rare and elusive animals.

  • Fisheye image of LIDAR, Aurora and Milky Way

    25 years of protecting the ozone layer

    It is 25 years since the world took urgent action to slow the catastrophic decline of ozone in the earth’s atmosphere with the signing of the Montreal Protocol.

  • Field team at work on the first SIPEX voyage October 2007

    High-tech voyage will investigate life in the sea-ice zone

    For the first time under-ice and airborne vehicles will be used simultaneously to investigate the impacts of climate change on the sea-ice environment off East Antarctica.

  • Rob King looking at the shutters on the light trap

    Deep sea lighthouse lures Antarctic krill

    A deep sea ‘lighthouse’ 2000 to 3000m below the sea ice will be used to lure Antarctic krill into a research trap during a spring sea ice voyage departing Friday.

  • Twin Otter flying across ice cliffs near Casey station

    Australian Antarctic season 2012–13

    Australia’s action-packed Antarctic season is underway with more than 90 projects and 550 people heading south this year.

  • An ice core from Law Dome, Antarctica

    Ice core reveals unusual decline in eastern Australian rainfall

    Researchers from the ACE CRC and the Australian Antarctic Division have found evidence from ice cores of a long term decline in average annual rainfall in eastern Australia.

  • Macquarie Island

    Macquarie Island book wins literary award

    A children’s book on Macquarie Island by Australian Antarctic Arts Fellows, Coral Tulloch and Alison Lester, has won a national literary award.

  • Helicopter-borne laser scanner

    Antarctic scientists take high-tech approach to sea ice studies

    As Australia celebrates National Science Week an international team of Antarctic scientists is assembling a collection of high-tech equipment to study the physical and biological sea ice environment during a two-month marine science voyage.

  • Australia’s A319 on the Pegasus runway at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    Antarctic nations working together

    Environment Minister Tony Burke has commended Australia’s effort in repatriating an unwell expeditioner from McMurdo Station, America’s base in Antarctica.

  • The A319 at Wilkins Aerodrome, Antarctica

    Australia to assist in medical emergency

    The Australian Antarctic Division has been asked to assist in the repatriation of an expeditioner from the American Antarctic McMurdo station.

  • Dr Graham Denyer with microscope

    Antarctic equipment to help restore sight in East Timor

    The Australian Antarctic Division is donating four eye examination microscopes to help with sight-restoring surgery in East Timor.

  • An ice core from the Law Dome site used in the study

    New research closes the gap between warming and rising carbon dioxide

    Scientists have shed new light on one of the most important questions in climate science: the time lag between changes in temperature and changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the past.

  • Mawson’s main hut at Cape Denison, East Antarctica

    New Mawson’s Huts Management Plan

    The management plan for Australia’s historic Mawson’s Huts site in East Antarctica is up for review.

  • An Antarctic krill adult

    Rhythm of Antarctic Life

    Clock genes’ that regulate the daily and seasonal internal rhythms of krill are the target of new research by Antarctic scientists seeking a better understanding of what makes these important crustaceans tick.

  • Luxuriant moss beds near Casey station.

    Antarctic moss thrives on ancient penguin poo

    Luxuriant moss beds growing near Casey station in Antarctica are being nourished by the remains of an ancient Adélie penguin colony.

  • Hunting the Ice Whales

    A whale of a tale

    A new documentary film following Australian Antarctic Division scientists undertaking non-lethal whale research in the Southern Ocean will premiere in Hobart.

  • Fresh water ice in the shape of a whale fluke in the Vestfold Hills, near Davis station

    Australia continues push for reform at International Whaling Commission

    Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke leaves today for the 64th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in the Republic of Panama.

  • Artist’s impression of the redeveloped Macquarie Wharf 2

    New Antarctic waterfront facility a step closer

    A specially-designed Australian Antarctic Division facility on Hobart’s waterfront is a step closer with work on the redevelopment of Macquarie Wharf Number 2 to start next month.

  • Melt lake near Mawson station

    2012 Antarctic Medal

    Environment Minister Tony Burke has congratulated the recipients of the 2012 Antarctic Medal which is awarded for outstanding service to the Australian Antarctic program.

  • The chairs of the meeting sitting under the meeting banner

    Australia leads Antarctic protection legacy

    Australia and other Antarctic nations have today reaffirmed their commitment to protect and preserve Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science.

  • Southern Ocean

    Antarctic Bill strengthens environmental protection

    Legislation to further strengthen environmental protection and tourist safety in Antarctica has passed the Federal Parliament.

  • Southern Ocean iceberg

    Protecting Antarctica

    The Antarctic Treaty system ensures protecting the unique Antarctic environment is a fundamental consideration in the planning and conduct of all activities in Antarctica.

  • Tierney Creek in the Vestfold Hills near Davis station (Photo: Mike Zupanc)

    Antarctica divided into distinct biogeographic regions

    New research into the biogeography of Antarctica has identified 15 distinct regions on the continent and near-shore islands.

  • Environment Minister Tony Burke addressing the 35th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Hobart

    Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting 2012 begins

    Australia today welcomes more than 300 delegates from among the 50 Antarctic nations to Hobart for the 35th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.

  • Flags of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting XXVI in Madrid, Spain

    Antarctic nations gather in Hobart

    For the first time in nearly three decades Australia will host the significant Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM), with more than 300 delegates from 50 nations in Hobart for the eight day conference.

  • The Southern Ocean

    World Oceans’ Day 2012

    Research in the Southern Ocean aims to answer the many questions arising in this rapidly changing environment.

  • A Patagonian toothfish being measured on an electronic measuring board.

    Sub-Antarctic toothfish fishery certified sustainable

    Australia’s Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) toothfish fishery is contributing to the ‘green economy’ on World Environment Day, after its independent certification as a sustainable and well managed fishery.

  • 'The Very Long March of the Penguins’ team at the start of the Relay

    Ice Relay raises $11,300 for charity

    The world’s southern most Relay for Life at Casey station in Antarctica has raised $11,300 for the Cancer Council Tasmania.

  • A giant sea spider, 25cm in size.

    Boosting biodiversity conservation in the Southern Ocean

    The Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Marine Reserve is set to expand, after the discovery of some of the most biodiverse examples of marine communities in the Southern Ocean.

  • Jesse Blackadder in Antarctica

    Antarctic musings win literary award

    Antarctic Arts Fellow, Jesse Blackadder, has won a literary award at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

  • Casey expeditioners gather for the ceremony

    Antarctic air crash victims remembered

    A ceremony has been held at Wilkes station in East Antarctica to commemorate the victims of a fatal plane accident at the site 50 years ago.

  • The Casey station team taking part in the Relay for Life

    Casey station Relay for Life

    Intrepid Casey station expeditioners will battle sub-zero temperatures and darkness when they take part in the 24 hour Cancer Council Relay for Life later this month.

  • Balearic shearwater

    Greater protection for seabird species

    A critically endangered northern hemisphere petrel species will be better protected after a recent international conservation meeting.

  • Iceberg off Australia’s Davis station

    Investing in a Sustainable Australia

    The Gillard Government has maintained its commitment to protecting and conserving our unique environment in the 2012–13 Budget.

  • Antarctic sea ice

    Southern Ocean Sentinel eye on the future

    The world’s leading experts on Southern Ocean ecosystems are in Hobart this week to discuss mechanisms to monitor the impacts of climate change on the region.

  • Sunset in the Southern Ocean

    Latest Southern Ocean research shows continuing deep ocean change

    New research by teams of Australian and US scientists has found there has been a massive reduction in the amount of Antarctic Bottom Water found off the coast of Antarctica.

  • Emperor penguins at Auster Rookery

    Scientists count penguins from space

    A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than was previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird.

  • The group of four who took on the marathon, Craig George, Johan Mets, Seamus Liston and Gavin Melgaard at the Antarctic Circle.

    Ice marathon

    A small group of Australian Antarctic expeditioners completed an ice marathon during the weekend, from the Antarctic Circle to Casey station.

  • Dr Nick Gales (Photo: Jessica Fitzpatrick)

    New Chief Scientist for Australian Antarctic program

    Australia’s Antarctic science program has a new Chief Scientist.

  • Parliament House Antarctic exhibition

    A glimpse into the lives of Mawson’s men

    A rare glimpse into the daily lives of the men of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by Sir Douglas Mawson a century ago, is on display in a photographic exhibition at Parliament House in Canberra.

  • Composite image of some of the seeds found in the project

    Weeding out the aliens in Antarctica

    A new international study has found alien plant species are increasingly hitchhiking their way to Antarctica on scientists and tourists and could threaten the delicate frozen ecosystem.

  • Annotated map showing algal bloom of the coast of Mac Robertson Land, Antarctica

    Remarkable natural event seen from space

    As summer comes to a close, wind blowing snow off the Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctica appears to have released nutrients which, combined with sunlight, have triggered a massive algal bloom.

  • Tourists explore Antarctica

    Greater protection endorsed for Antarctica

    Environment Minister Tony Burke today welcomed the passage through the House of Representatives of legislation aimed at strengthening environmental protection and tourist safety in Antarctica.

  • The Shepherd’s beaked whales sighted off Victoria’s west coast, showing the distinctive pigmentation patterns, unique head shape and beak that are diagnostic for this species.

    Whale trackers make rare sighting

    Whale observers hit the jackpot recently when they encountered a pod of the rarely seen Shepherd’s beaked whale.

  • Jon Stephenson takes compass-controlled panoramas of retreating glaciers at Saddle Point, Heard Island, in February 1963

    Former Antarctic scientist recognised in Australia Day Honours List

    Former Antarctic scientist and explorer, Dr Jon Stephenson, was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia on Australia Day.

  • Time capsule, plaque and flag, with people in the background

    Antarctic centenary celebrated at Mawson’s home of the blizzard

    A message from the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has been read at a commemorative event at Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica to honour the men of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by Douglas Mawson 100 years ago.

  • Examples of crustaceans caught in dredging operations during the AAE. Specimens and data collected during the AAE are still used by scientists today

    A centenary of science

    Douglas Mawson’s scientific Australasian Antarctic Expedition laid the foundations of the Australian Antarctic Division’s modern science program.

  • Tony Fleming holding the time capsule

    Australia to mark Mawson’s heroic Antarctic expedition

    One hundred years since the first Australian-led Antarctic expedition set foot on the frozen continent, a new group of modern-day expeditioners will honour their momentous achievements.