Antarctica Ready for Winter | Geology Documentary
Antarctica is key to understanding our world because it is so deeply interconnected with the Earth’s climate and oceans. Geological samples from this frozen continent provide insight into changes in climate over the past million years, allowing scientists to study global warming in a historical context.
Russia has been at the forefront of Antarctic exploration for almost two centuries. Since the First Russian Antarctic Expedition in 1820, led by F. F. Bellingshausen and M.P. Lazarev, its scientists have made significant contributions to investigating and especially mapping the Antarctic. From that time on, extensive research has been carried out, first by several Soviet and then Russian institutions, and the country now maintains five permanent southern polar stations.
The trouble is that, despite advances in modern transport, the only reliable means of reaching the world’s southernmost continent is by sea. The diesel-electric research vessel Akademik Fyodorov was almost made for the job. This time, the flagship of Russia’s polar research fleet is on a mission to visit two year-round Antarctic stations, Progress and Novolazarevskaya.
The Fyodorov, the only research ship able to reach Antarctica without an ice-breaker convoy, has been through thick and thin over the years and so has its crew! The most established member is 86-year-old Arnold Budretsky, a polar exploration pioneer. There was nothing but ice and stone before he and his fellow explorers first landed on that frozen desert. Arnold himself has been in charge of opening 10 Antarctic stations, and has accumulated an impressive reserve of knowledge and experience to pass on to the next generation of explorers.
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