Las observaciones por satélite realizadas recientemente han confirmado la precisión de dos simulaciones por ordenador independientes que muestran que la capa de hielo de la Antártida occidental ha entrado en una etapa de colapso irrevocable. El planeta ha comenzado una nueva era de irreversibles consecuencias del cambio climático. La única pregunta que nos queda por hacer es si podremos hacer lo suficiente para evitar que vuelva a ocurrir en otros lugares.

Los últimos estudios revelan que hay zonas cruciales del sistema climático del mundo que, a pesar de su gran tamaño, son tan frágiles que la actividad humana puede perturbarlas irremediablemente.…  Seguir leyendo »

It was far better to ski toward the South Pole than to reach it.

When I started out my journey in November 1992, everything was white all the way out to the horizon. As the weeks passed, I began to see more colors: variations of white, a bit of blue, green and yellow. By the time the strange-looking buildings of the Amundsen-Scott base appeared on the horizon 50 days later, I felt relief but also disappointment, and thought about skiing past it, back into the white nothingness.

The South Pole was considered the last place on earth when a fellow Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, arrived with four companions, a few dozen dogs and four sledges 100 years ago today.…  Seguir leyendo »

A desolate island in a frozen sea brings the world’s nations together with a new type of agreement: one giving an international commission the right to govern a landmass through unanimous vote. The year was 1912; the subject was the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean. Thereafter, it and the surrounding archipelago were to belong to no nation, its natural resources open to all.

That agreement was no doubt on the minds of the drafters of the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed to much fanfare 50 years ago Tuesday by 12 nations: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union and the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Simon Jenkins (THE GUARDIAN, 14/03/08):

Sitting on my desk is an illegal acquisition, a black pebble the size of a walnut. I picked it up some years ago on the slopes of Cape Crozier on Ross Island in the Antarctic. This vast wilderness of rock and ice lies on a cliff overlooking the Ross Sea and is celebrated as destination of the “worst journey in the world”.

This was the title of the book written by Apsley Cherry-Garrard about a trip taken by him and two colleagues from Scott’s 1911 polar expedition to acquire the eggs of the Emperor penguin.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Simon Jenkins (THE GUARDIAN, 28/04/06):

There is nowhere on earth more British than 77° south 166° east. On the shores of Ross Island in Antarctica stand three wooden huts intact from one of the classic episodes of British history, the race to the south pole between Scott and Shackleton. Two of the huts, Shackleton’s at Cape Royds (1908) and Scott’s at Cape Evans (1911), are still full of their icebound supplies left in case of either’s return.

Both men, the moody, dedicated Scott and the charismatic Shackleton, endured intense privation on their way to their respective failures. Scott was beaten to the pole by the Norwegian Amundsen and Shackleton failed to make his second, transantarctic crossing.…  Seguir leyendo »