Tag Archives: Antarctic

Arctic/Antarctic Photography ~ Exceptional!!!

“The Fragile Beauty of Earth’s Polar Regions” was posted to discovermagazine’s web site Fri. Oct. 31, 2014.

Our planet’s most extreme environments are also some of its most threatened. 

CAMILLEPhotographer Camille Seaman first traveled to the Arctic in 1999. Between 2003 and 2011, she visited the Arctic and Antarctic on a yearly basis, ranging from one pole to the other as an expedition photographer aboard science vessels and commercial ships.
In her new book Melting Away, Seaman collects the photographs and essays that resulted from this exploration of our increasingly fragile polar regions. Here are some of our favorites:
RUNNING TO SEE

Running to See
Of this photo, taken on the Ross Sea in Antarctica, Camille writes:
“I watched the penguins travel across the ice for hours. They would waddle and fall, waddle and slide, and little by little they came all the way over to see our massive ship wedged in the sea ice. They looked at us by turning their heads first to the left, then to the right. After thirty minutes of them looking at us and us looking at them, the penguins decided they still didn’t know what we were or why we were there. They turned around and began their long journey back to their home.”

WHALEWhale Remains
This beach in Svalbard, Norway, was used by whalers since the early 1600s. The large whale vertebra in the foreground is evidence of their activities, which ended in the 1930s.

SUNSETPainterly Sunset
This photo, taken in the Antarctic Sound, put Camille in mind of the sunsets painted by J.M.W. Turner.
“In late February, as we headed north through the Antarctic Sound, we were fortunate to experience an Antarctic sunset. The colors were epic. The sun set in front of us and was rising behind us at the same time. Truly an experience I will never forget.”

HARSH LANDSCAPEHarsh Landscape
These oil drums, photographed outside the Brazilian base in Antarctica in 2007, foreshadowed the destruction of the base in a fire in 2012. “Antarctica is an unforgiving place,” Camille says.

CRYSTAL CLEARCrystal Clear
The jaw-dropping vista of the Rasmussen Glacier in Scoresbysund, eastern Greenland.

ALL AFLUTTERAll Aflutter
Of this photo taken in eastern Greenland, Camille writes:
“As our ship passed by this iceberg, which stood some three hundred feet out of the water, the birds were disturbed enough to leave their resting spots. I love the elephant-skin quality of the surface of this berg.”

SLOW COLLISIONSlow Collision
John Palmer, a doctor from Australia, also serves as a traffic operator for the icebreaker’s two helicopters. Here, he looks off into the distance where two massive icebergs are about to collide in a strong swell. One of the helicopters (too small to see in this image) had flown out to observe the icebergs up close.

CLOUD COVERCloud Cover
Camille writes,
“Antarctica is big, but the sky is bigger. The clouds that cover Antarctica can seem enormous, and when the clouds are lit by the sun magic can happen. I tend to spend as much time as I can out on deck, always looking, always ready. On this evening my diligence was rewarded.”

WALRUSWalrus v. Hut
This hefty walrus in Svalbard, Norway, makes the nearby hut look tiny by comparison.

BLUE DIAMOND ICEBERGBlue Diamond
This iceberg, calved off the Kongsfjord Glacier in Svalbard, Norway, showed its “true colors” thanks to the overcast day.

POLAR BEARFond Farewell
Of this young bear, photographed in Svalbard, Norway, Camille writes: “She looked at us as we sat in our zodiac. The passengers were eating chocolate covered strawberries and sipping champagne from long-stemmed glasses. I wondered what she thought as she looked at us. Her mother was about a thousand feet away and raised her head every now and then to get a good whiff of her cub. She was almost two years old, almost ready to leave her mother and go off on her own. I will probably never see her again. I wished her luck as I took this photo.”

http://discovermagazine.com/galleries/2014/dec/arctic#74686

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STRANGEST LIFE ~ ANTARCTIC SEAFLOOR

ANTARTIC OCEAN SEAFLOOR

Exploring Oceans: Overview, video by National Geographic, Uploaded on Mar 16, 2009.  The ocean produces 70 percent of the Earth’s oxygen and drives our weather and the chemistry of the planet. Most of the creatures on Earth live in the sea. But our knowledge of the ocean is far outstripped by our impact on it.

Researchers have compiled a database of images and data collected from the Antarctic seafloor during various expeditions to the frozen continent… Many of the images in the collection were taken at the bottom of the Weddell Sea, the large bay nestled in the frozen continent’s coast from the Antarctic Peninsula east to the Coats Land region.
Some examples of the strange creatures that thrive on the bottom of the chilly ocean surrounding Antarctica –  photo credits: Julian Gutt, Alfred Wegener Institute:

ANTARCTIC SEAFLOOR20

Shell-less Snail ~ Clione (Clione limacina), is a shell-less snail known as the Sea Butterfly.  This snail is also  known as the Sea Angel that swims in the shallow waters beneath Arctic ice.

ANTARCTIC SEAFLOOR3Antarctic Ice Fish ~ Even in the chilliest water, life can thrive. Ice fish, like the one seen here, have a natural antifreeze chemical in their blood and body fluids that allow them to survive frigid water temperatures.  

KING CRABThis is an invasive king crab (Neolithodes yaldwyni) from the Antarctic shelf waters.  
These predatory king crabs will cause a major reduction on seafloor biodiversity as they invade Antarctic habitats.  
 
 
EisfischIce Fish ~  This Antarctic fish…  has no red blood cells or red blood pigments. This makes the fish’s blood thinner, saving energy that would otherwise be needed to pump the blood around the body.
ANTARCTIC SEAFLOOR6This picture shows hydrocorals also known as sea fans – various colonial marine hydrozoans of the order Hydrocorallinae, having a limestone skeleton and thus resembling the true corals. 
A new species of Epimeria, an amphipod crustacean sampled during the Polarstern cruise ANTXXIII-8Cold Crustacean ~ This shy-looking critter is an inhabitant of Antarctica – first found during the research vessel Polarstern’s ANTXXIII-8 cruise. This the arthropod is about 1 inch long and can be found near Antarctica’s Elephant Island.
 
pink-krillThe Pink Lady ~ Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) plays a key role in the food webs of the South Ocean. In fact,  these tiny crustaceans have developed many biological rhythms that are closely connected to large seasonal changes in their environment.
 
A new giant Antarctic amphipod crustacean from the ANT-XXIII/8 Polarstern expedition.Big Red Shrimp ~ A giant Antarctic amphipod measuring 4 inches (100 mm) long. These red shrimp can be found off the Antarctic Peninsula.
  
 
 
Sea Pig ~There are actually several different genera and species of “sea pigs” (members of the family Elpidiidae) Not all of them live in the deep-sea, some of them live in Antarctic waters.
 
Antarctica: The Hunt for Killer CApr 5, 2013 rabs, published on

… For millions of years, the animals of the Antarctic sea floor have evolved in splendid isolation, with essentially no predation pressure from the crabs, sharks, and bony fish that control marine communities everywhere else in the world…Antarctica: The Hunt for Killer Crabs documents a voyage of scientists from around the world to try to get a glimpse of what could be a new killer on the sea bottom. Join them on their journey to find this new predator and see what may lie ahead for the animals that already live there.

 

HELP SAVE ANTARCTIC MARINE SANCTUARY

WE MUST ACT QUICKLY!!!
Received from AvaazPosted: 15 October 2012
Within days, governments could begin turning wide stretches of the Antarctic ocean into the world’s largest marine sanctuary, saving the habitat of whales, penguins, and thousands of other polar species from industrial fishing fleets. But they won’t act unless we speak out now. 
Most countries support the sanctuary, but Russia, South Korea and a few others are threatening to vote it down so they can plunder these seas now that others have been fished to death. This week, a small group of negotiators will meet behind closed doors to make a decision. A massive people-powered surge could break open the talks, isolate those attempting to block the sanctuary, and secure a deal to protect over 6 million square kilometers of the precious Antarctic ocean.The whales and penguins can’t speak for themselves, so it’s up to us to defend them. Let’s change negotiators’ minds with a massive wave of public pressure – Avaaz will surround the meeting with hard-hitting ads, and together we’ll deliver our message to delegates via a deafening cry on social networks. Sign and share this urgent petition.Leonardo DiCaprio, with the Avaaz team

Please click below to sign the petition ~ we can make a million (almost there) signatures with your help.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_southern_ocean_5/?blTFScb&v=18906

THANK YOU!

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LET’S COOL OFF ~ ARTIC / ANTARCTICA ~ AH-H-H!

At this very moment so many of us are experiencing the unprecedented current heat wave that I thought it would be a great idea to be able to watch some videos to help us cool off ~ hope you enjoy your armchair visits to the top and bottom of our world ~ the Arctic and Antarctica.

Experience the peacefulness of the icebergs in the Arctic and belugas beneath the waves while listening to singer Demetra Penner’s beautiful voice ~ from explore.org

http://explore.org/#!/videos/player/belugas-power-of-the-sea

Crowning the top of the world, the frozen Arctic Ocean provides an unlikely home for a spectrum of enchanting creatures. Above the ice and below, beluga whales, narwhals, bowhead whales, walruses, and murres prosper ~ from nationalgeographic.com.

Lyn Jarvis, contributing editor of Across the Fence, travels to Punta Arenas Chile and then to beautiful Antarctica and presents two videos of his amazing journey.

“If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart; art and it would be Michael Angelo; literature and it would be Shakespeare and yet it is something greater ~ the only place on earth that is still as it should be ~ may we never tame it…”

Lyn Jarvis travels to Antarctica ~ among the highlights; penguins, seals, humpback whales, and a rolling iceberg!

These videos are so refreshing and cooling for me ~ hope they cooled you off as well.