Sat, May 27, 2017 | updated 01:39 PM IST

A century after their adventure, Antarctic heroes help make discovery

Updated: Nov 24, 2016 11:48 IST      
A century after their adventure, Antarctic heroes help make discovery

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov.24 (ANI): The research, which says area of sea ice around Antarctica has barely changed in size in a century, was contributed by the heroes of Antarctic exploration.

Ice observations recorded in the ships' logbooks of explorers such as British Captain Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton and the German Erich von Drygalski have been used to compare where the Antarctic ice edge was during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1897-1917) and where satellites show it is today.

The study suggests Antarctic sea ice is much less sensitive to the effects of climate change as compared to the Arctic, which in stark contrast has experienced a dramatic decline during the 20th century.

The research, by climate scientists at the University of Reading, estimates the extent of Antarctic summer sea ice is at most 14 percent smaller now than during the early 1900s.

Jonathan Day, who led the study, said: "The missions of Scott and Shackleton are remembered in history as heroic failures, yet the data collected by these and other explorers could profoundly change the way we view the ebb and flow of Antarctic sea ice."

"We know that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased slightly over the past 30 years, since satellite observations began. Scientists have been grappling to understand this trend in the context of global warming, but these new findings suggest it may not be anything new," Dat continued, adding, "If ice levels were as low a century ago as estimated in this research, then a similar increase may have occurred between then and the middle of the century, when previous studies suggest ice levels were far higher."

The new study, which is the first to shed light on sea ice extent in the period prior to the 1930s, suggests the levels in the early 1900s were in fact similar to today.

The research suggests that the climate of Antarctica may have fluctuated significantly throughout the 20th century swinging between decades of high ice cover and decades of low ice cover rather than enduring a steady downward trend.

This study builds on international efforts to recover old weather and climate data from ships' logbooks. The public can volunteer to rescue more data at oldweather.org.

Day said, "The Southern Ocean is largely a 'black hole' as far as historical climate change data is concerned, but future activities planned to recover data from naval and whaling ships will help us to understand past climate variations and what to expect in the future."

Capt Scott perished along with his team in 1912 after missing out on being the first to reach the South Pole by a matter of weeks, while Shackleton's ship sank after becoming trapped in ice in 1915 as he and his crew journeyed to attempt the first ever cross-Antarctic trek.

In addition to using ship logbooks from three expeditions led by Scott and two by Shackleton, the researchers used sea-ice records from Belgian, German and French missions, among others. But the team was unable to analyse some logbooks from the Heroic Age period, which have not yet been imaged and digitised.

These include the records from the Norwegian Antarctic expedition of 1910-12 lead by Roald Amundsen, the first person to reach both the south and north poles.

The study has been published in The Cryosphere. (ANI)

Ocean warming impacts marine species' distribution

Updated: May 27, 2017 10:54 IST     

Washington D.C.[USA], May 27 (ANI): Ocean temperature continues to play a major role in where commercially and recreationally important species will find suitable habitat, suggests a study.

Full Story >>

Here's how hand amputation, reattachment affect brain

Updated: May 26, 2017 08:20 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 26 (ANI): When a person loses a hand to amputation, nerves that control sensation and movement are severed, causing dramatic changes in areas of the brain that controlled these functions. As a result, areas of the brain devoted to the missing hand take on other functions.

Full Story >>

Soon, toy cars that'll help get kids with disabilities moving

Updated: May 26, 2017 08:19 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 26 (ANI): Two new modified toy car designs have been developed for children with disabilities in an effort to encourage them to further explore, play, and engage in physical and social activities.

Full Story >>

Being 'cruel to be kind' really works!

Updated: May 25, 2017 07:29 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 25 (ANI): Can making people feel bad really help them? Yes, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

DNA may have only modest impact on sexual assault arrests

Updated: May 24, 2017 19:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Most arrests in sexual assault cases occur before crime laboratory results are available, a new study found, suggesting that DNA testing may influence arrests in just a small number of cases.

Full Story >>

Your eyes can reveal if you have the post-disaster blues

Updated: May 24, 2017 16:01 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Turns out, your eyes really are the windows to your soul as a recent study has found that depression risk following a natural disaster can be predicted via pupil dilation.

Full Story >>

Size of whale has evolved in the recent past!

Updated: May 24, 2017 11:03 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 7 (ANI): Interestingly, blue whales, the largest vertebrate animal that ever lived, have recently evolved into giants.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 7 (ANI): A team of researchers discovered that deep portions of earth's mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago.

Full Story >>

Death by Kissing Bugs more common than thought: Study

Updated: May 22, 2017 13:26 IST     

New York [USA], May 22 (ANI): Kissing Bugs, who like to bite humans around their lips and faces, as they sleep, are more dangerous than you have ever thought of.

Full Story >>

Now, deaf-blind can 'watch' television with this technology

Updated: May 21, 2017 14:15 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 21 (ANI): In a first, researchers have developed a new technology that types Braille or subtitles of television channels in real time and helps deaf-blind people "watch" television without intermediaries.

Full Story >>

Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions!

Updated: May 18, 2017 17:15 IST     

New Delhi [INDIA], May 18 (ANI): According to a new study, growing plants and then storing CO2, taken up from the atmosphere, is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 17 (ANI): Large families and strong social ties may help female rhesus macaques live longer, by reducing their chances of dying by 2.3 percent in one year, reveals a new study.

Full Story >>

Turns out, 'drunk you' not that different from 'sober you'

Updated: May 16, 2017 07:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 16 (ANI): Your personality may change when you drink, but less than you think, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Researchers find ways to make solar energy affordable

Updated: May 14, 2017 21:20 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): In a recent study, researchers used data science to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on materials in solar panels.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): Just like students choose their flatmates, Briton researchers have found that males of great tit birds are quiet selective when it comes to neighbourhood and opt to nest together with like-minded neighbours to improve their chances of survival.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A group of international scientists studying China's Yellow River has come up with an analytic formula that could help officials better predict and prevent its all-too-frequent floods, which threaten as many as 80 million people.

Full Story >>

'Winged' snakes once slithered the Earth

Updated: May 13, 2017 12:54 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A mysterious 5-million-year-old "winged serpent" has finally been identified as a new species of ancient snakes.

Full Story >>

Newly-found distant 'warm Neptune' has primitive atmosphere

Updated: May 12, 2017 10:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 12 (ANI): A team of scientists has discovered a distant Neptune-sized planet that has clear skies and an atmosphere almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium, scientists have discovered.

Full Story >>

New 3-D printed 'bionic skin' lets robots 'feel'

Updated: May 11, 2017 12:27 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): African lion is the next big cat species to become extinct as they have lost most of their prey, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>