December 27th, 2013
03:48 PM ET

Chinese icebreaker stalls en route to stranded ship

A Chinese icebreaker heading to free a polar expedition vessel trapped in an Antarctic ice floe got stopped by the ice and weather, its captain told CNN.

The Chinese government ship Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, was 6 nautical miles away from the stranded Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, Capt. Wang Jiangzhong said.

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Filed under: Antarctica • China
Plane crash in Antarctica likely left no one alive
January 26th, 2013
04:57 AM ET

Plane crash in Antarctica likely left no one alive

Authorities found the wreckage of a plane that crashed days ago in Antarctica in a condition that suggested no one survived.

Searchers found the damaged plane, a Twin Otter aircraft carrying three people, close to the summit in Queen Alexandra Range, in Antarctica.

The plane "appears to have made a direct impact that was not survivable," Maritime New Zealand said Saturday.

The condition of the three Canadian crew members aboard the aircraft had been unknown since the the flight went missing Wednesday.

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Filed under: Air travel • Antarctica • Aviation • Uncategorized
Woman first to ski alone across Antarctica
Felicity Aston, 33, spent 59 days skiing across Antarctica.
January 23rd, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Woman first to ski alone across Antarctica

If you'd become the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone, what's the first thing you'd want on completion of your 59-day, 1,055-mile journey?

A glass of red wine and a hot shower sounded fine to British explorer Felicity Aston, who accomplished the feat Sunday.

Aston, 33, was waiting Monday morning at  Hercules Inlet, Antarctica, after one last night in the tent that that had protected her from the continent's harsh elements since she began her trek on November 25.

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Filed under: Antarctica • United Kingdom • World
Ship spends 10th day stuck in frozen waters off Antarctica
A New Zealand Air Force aircraft delivered pumps and equipment to the vessel Sparta after it became trapped in Antarctic ice.
December 26th, 2011
09:35 AM ET

Ship spends 10th day stuck in frozen waters off Antarctica

A research ship has arrived to help rescue a Russian fishing vessel that struck ice and became stuck in the frozen waters off of Antarctica 10 days ago, officials in New Zealand said.

The Sparta hit underwater ice December 16, leaving a one-foot hole in the ship's hull, according to the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center.

The ship has been stranded in an area about 2,000 miles from New Zealand, where the ice has been so thick that rescue ships have had difficulty getting close.

Since becoming stuck, 32 crew members have been working with rescuers to try to patch up the hole to keep the ship from sinking. They had been given tools dropped by a New Zealand Air Force plane, helping them pump out freezing water that was rushing into the ship.

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Japan's whaling could put lives at risk, New Zealand says
Anti-whaling activists approach a Japanese whaling vessel in January in a photo from Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research.
October 5th, 2011
10:12 AM ET

Japan's whaling could put lives at risk, New Zealand says

New Zealand joined Australia on Wednesday in criticizing Japan's decision to resume whaling in Antarctic waters later this year and Tokyo's announcement that it will increase security for its whaling fleet.

"The Japanese government (is) making noises that have an ominous feel about them," New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said.

Michihiko Kano, Japan's fisheries minister, said at a news conference Tuesday that a patrol boat from the Fisheries Agency would accompany the Japanese whaling fleet when it heads for the Southern Ocean in December to "strengthen the protection given to the research whaling ships."

The addition of the patrol boat to the whaling fleet comes after last season's whale hunt in the Southern Ocean was cut short when anti-whaling activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society blocked strikes on the animals. Sea Shepherd said its actions saved 800 whales, and it promised last week to be back in force this season.

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Filed under: Animals • Antarctica • Australia • Japan • New Zealand • Whales • World
Scientists: March 11 tsunami produced Antarctic icebergs
Top image shows the Sulzberger Ice Shelf on March 12 and the bottom on March 16 after the tsunami broke off icebergs.
August 9th, 2011
09:40 AM ET

Scientists: March 11 tsunami produced Antarctic icebergs

The tsunami spawned from the March 11 earthquake off eastern Japan broke up parts of an Antarctic ice shelf that hadn't moved in 46 years, scientists say.

Though the tsunami waves were only about a foot high when they reached Antarctica, their consistency was enough to crack the 260-foot-thick ice and split off icebergs with combined surface areas more than twice the size of Manhattan from the Sulzberger Ice Shelf, the scientists report in a NASA statement.

It was the first time scientists have been able to tie icebergs directly to a tsunami, according to NASA.

The tsunami waves traveled 8,000 miles and took 18 hours to reach the ice shelf, the scientists said, giving them time to validate theories on how an earthquake can affect geography a hemisphere away.

"In the past we've had calving events where we've looked for the source. It's a reverse scenario we see a calving and we go looking for a source," Kelly Brunt, a cryosphere specialist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in the NASA statement. "We knew right away this was one of the biggest events in recent history we knew there would be enough swell. And this time we had a source."

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Antarctica • Earthquake • Japan • NASA • Natural Disasters • Tsunami • World