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Penguins are seen near the Great Wall station in Antarctica, Feb. 9, days after the continent measured its hottest temperature on record at nearly 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Xinhua / Liu Shiping / Getty Images

By Richard Connor

Scientists have recorded Antarctica's first documented heat wave, warning that animal and plant life on the isolated continent could be drastically affected by climate change.

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The ozone hole in 2019 was the smallest since its discovery. NASA

Emissions from the chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons used as refrigerants and aerosols didn't just burn a hole in the ozone layer. They also shifted the Southern Hemisphere's jet stream south towards Antarctica.

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Antarctica's Denman Glacier. NASA

Antarctica's Denman Canyon is the deepest gorge on the Earth's surface, and, if the ice inside it melted, it could raise sea levels by almost five feet.

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Umiamako Glacier enters the ocean in the west of Greenland. E.RIGNOT / NASA

Greenland experienced an unusually warm summer in 2019, which caused the world's largest island to lose 600 billion tons of ice and raised sea levels by 0.2 of an inch, according to a NASA study released yesterday. That amount of ice loss more than doubled Greenland's 2002-2019 annual average.

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An iceberg melts off of Greenland. Danita Delimont / Getty Images

The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than they were in the 1990s, the most comprehensive look at the data to date has found.

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Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) surfacing, showing the remains of a blow and its mottled appearance near South Georgia Island in the Polar Regions. Mick Baines & Maren / Getty Images

The largest animal on Earth is proving that wildlife protections work.

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Seymour Island with icebergs in front of it in the Antarctic Sound. On Feb. 9 scientists measured a temperature of 69.35 on the island. Richard McManus / Moment / Getty Images

The Antarctic region just recorded a temperature higher than 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time.

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Greenpeace has partnered with penguin researchers from Stony Brook University and Northeastern University to study the impact of climate change on fragile chinstrap penguin colonies in Antarctica, like this lone penguin pictured on Elephant Island. © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

The climate crisis is taking a toll on Antarctica's chinstrap penguins.

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Argentina's Esperanza research base in Antarctica, which just reported the continent's highest temperature on record, on Jan. 21, 2020. Steven dosRemedios / Flickr

T-shirt weather in Antarctica? The continent just measured its hottest temperature on record at a balmy nearly 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The western edge of iceberg A68 as seen during an Operation IceBridge flight on Nov. 12, 2017. NASA / Nathan Kurtz

The world's largest iceberg, which broke free from Antarctica in 2017, is about to escape the boundaries of the continent's perennial sea ice and make its way into the open ocean, according to the BBC.

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Crevasse on a glacier, Victoria Land, Antartica is seen. Endurance swimmer and climate campaigner Lewis Pugh undertook a 1 kilometer swim under one of East Antarctica's glaciers. Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Getty Images

By Douglas Broom

  • Endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh has completed a 1 kilometer swim under the East Antarctic ice shelf.
  • The feat was part of his campaign to secure a series of protected zones in the seas around the continent.
  • He chose the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica to make his epic swim.

It's been 200 years since Russian explorer Admiral Bellingshausen discovered Antarctica. It's a frozen wilderness, and the East of the continent is the coldest place on Earth — but scientists say they are starting to see signs of ice loss even there.

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