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The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, where the temperature readings informing the study were taken. Christopher Michel / CC BY 2.0

This year's record-breaking heat wave in Siberia has drawn attention to the fact that the climate crisis is warming the Arctic about twice as fast as the mid latitudes. But things are also heating up on the other side of Earth.

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Scientific research posts, military facilities and tourism have turned the area around King George Island (pictured) in the South Shetland Islands into "one of the most contaminated regions of Antarctica." Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Rebecca Staudenmaier

For the first time, scientists have discovered microplastics inside small organisms living in the soil in Antarctica, according to a new study published on Wednesday.

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An artist's interpretation of a baby mosasaur emerging from an egg. John Maisano / Jackson School of Geosciences
The first fossil egg discovered in Antarctica is also the largest soft-shelled egg ever found and the second-largest egg of any kind, after the extinct elephant bird.
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The sun shines over the Southern Ocean in Antarctica. Rebecca Yale / Moment / Getty Images Plus

Atmospheric researchers have pinpointed the spot on Earth with the cleanest air. It's not in the midst of a remote jungle, nor on a deserted tropical island. Instead, the cleanest air in the world is in the air above the frigid Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica, as CNN reported.

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The Earth's atmosphere. NASA

By Jeremy Deaton

You may have heard about the hole in the ozone layer, which hovers over Antarctica. It has shrunk over time thanks to policies that curbed the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. In the nearly 40 years that NASA has kept track, it has never been smaller. That's the good news.

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Coastal Antarctica has seen has a curious phenomenon over the last few years. The green snow that hugs parts of its shores has started to spread farther inland. And it's all caused by the climate crisis.

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King penguins on the island of South Georgia in the Bay of Isles, Antarctica on Oct. 31, 2017. Martin Zwick / REDA&CO / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A colony of king penguins in Antarctica emit so much nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, in their poop that researchers went a little "cuckoo," while studying them, according to Agence France Presse, which reported on a new study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

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Greenland's fast-melting Kangerdlugssup glacier. NASA / Jim Yungel

Greenland and Antarctica have raised global sea levels by more than half an inch in the last 16 years, according to data from the most advanced laser that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has ever launched into space to observe the earth.

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Ozone forecast charts produced daily by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service show predictions for total vertical ozone column values for the Antarctic region up to five days ahead. European Commission Atmosphere Monitoring Service

An unusual phenomenon happened in March and April when an enormous hole in the ozone layer formed over the Arctic. Last week, though, scientists tracking the hole noticed that it has closed, as CNN reported.

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Crabeater seals. Jerzystrzelecki / CC BY 3.0

The western Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming places on Earth. But how will that impact the unique wildlife that call it home?

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Icebergs and sea ice in the waters off the Australian Antarctic Division on Jan.17, 2008. Fairfax Media via Getty Images

For the first time, microscopic plastic pollution has been found in Antarctic sea ice samples collected more than a decade ago, suggesting that microplastic concentrations in Southern Sea ice may be higher than previously believed.

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