Understanding Global Warming And Carbon Dioxide Sinks
I was asked to collect 9 air samples for a study Dr. Jocelyn Turnbull was conducting on carbon dioxide âsinksâ. I told you that I wasnât great in science, so I asked Dr. Turnbull to explain what a carbon dioxide sink is and what her research was about.
âWe all know that it comes from the burning of fossil fuels , which produce carbon dioxide, which goes into the atmosphere, which makes the world warmer. What you may not know is that of the carbon dioxide we produce from fossil fuels, only about half stays in the atmosphere.
So where does the other half go? The answer is that Planet Earth is doing us a massive favor, or perhaps just trying to save herself, by taking up that carbon dioxide into both land and oceans. The million dollar question is, what drives the uptake of carbon into these sinks, and how might that change in the future? Will these sinks âfill upâ, causing a massive acceleration of global warming? Or by learning how they work, can we perhaps help these sinks to take up even more carbon and reduce global warming?
And thatâs where I came in. I happily took on the role of âresearch assistantâ of the Southern Ocean.
Cruise Ship Food Can Be Good Even After Two Weeks Without Replenishment
Cruise ships cannot take on food or other supplies in Antarctica. They must carry enough food for the guests and the crew to last for two or more weeks. However, cruise ships know that guests have high expectations for the food and all seem to deliver the same quality found on cruise ships elsewhere in the world. For example, Hurtigruten serves amazing fish dishes in its dining venues but also features delightful delicacies like this reindeer carpaccio appetizer.
Antarctica Is Becoming Easier To Visit Heres How To Get To The Bottom Of The World
A few weeks ago, I was standing in the immigration line at the Buenos Aires airport, inching closer to Antarctica, when I learned about a drive-by cruise to the White Continent.
We dont get off the ship, the American traveler said, but I am still going to count it as my seventh continent.
I dont know if Shackleton would approve he worked hard for his landing stamp but the polar explorer would be amazed at how Antarctic travel has evolved. The isolated destination with the unforgiving environment no longer feels so far away, or so grueling. A sea crossing from the tip of Argentina takes about two days, shorter than a transatlantic cruise. By plane, the flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, lasts all of two hours. Once there, you can ski or stand-up paddle sip champagne in an inflatable tender boat surrounded by seals or ask your private butler to press your favorite humpback whale pajamas. You can even see and sniff penguins from the comfort of your stateroom balcony, without sullying your boots with guano.
Antarctica is becoming more accessible, said Colleen McDaniel, editor in chief of Cruise Critic, who recently traveled to the southernmost continent with Abercrombie & Kent, a luxury tour operator. There are a lot more options than there used to be.
We have as many luxury polar operators as we do more traditional expedition cruise operators, he said.
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If Antarctica Had A Mascot It Would Be A Penguin
If Antarctica had a mascot, it would most definitely be the penguin.
They are the main population on Antarctica, and they are damn cute.
Sure â they smellâ¦badly â but I found the odor pretty easy to overlook in light of their general adorableness. I personally think they could make a run to de-thrown the mighty teddy bear or puppy for most adorable creature.
- King Penguins
- A slide or a bell stretch? Either way it looks fun!
- You go first.
- This penguin was keeping a close watch on her eggs
- Penguin head on
They mainly eat krill or fish and they have no real predators on land except skua birds who steal their eggs.
Their predators in water are the leopard seal and the orca whales, but they can live in harmony with seals on land â a strange site.
Penguins are the perfect mascot to represent the continent they are always dressed formally and ready to turn on the charm at a moments notice.
I even did research on what makes a good mascot and came up with the following qualities according to marketing and business geniuses and applied my findings to the mighty penguin:
What Our Customers Think
The Swoop team has been fantastic, very responsive to all our queries and have been most helpful. We had a great holiday, so thank you for organising it.Read the full review
Patrick Kwok Cheung Yee SingaporeDecember 2019
My advice is to review the videos that are out there on a trip to Antarctica. Read the reviews of the different type of cruises and determine what works best for you. Get in touch with Swoop and let them help with narrowing down the choices.Read the full review
Terrie Mandina United States Of AmericaDecember 2018
If you have never been, there is no way of preparing for the impact of being there. The untouched, natural beauty, the mighty icebergs, the silliness of the penguins. You will be spending hours just sitting in one spot adoring the view.Read the full review
Zoltan & Stephen Nemeth FloridaJanuary 2018
For ease and efficiency few things beat flying to Antarctica. If I’d have known it was that easy I would have gone years ago!
Agi HungaryDecember 2016
Dear Swoop family, we would like to thank you for all the amazing effort you made in getting us to Punta Arenas in time.
Erik & Natascha The NetherlandsDecember 2015
The service from Swoop was unparalleled. They were extremely informative and guided me throughout the whole process of booking and preparing. I don’t think anything else could have been done by Swoop to make my experience any better.Read the full review
Kristen Hilt United States Of AmericaFebruary 2019
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When It Comes To Pretrip Reading Consider Alternative Perspectives
Dont assume Endurance is the only story out there. Most of Antarctic history and literature revolves around or comes from menand its absolutely worth exploring. But there are also phenomenal books and stories from women, such as Felicity Astons Alone in Antarctica: The First Woman to Ski Solo Across the Southern Ice, which I downloaded before our trip. Other recommendations:
- Secrets of the Ice: Antarcticas Clues to the Climate, the Universe, and the Limits of Life, a photo-driven view of the research taking place in Antarctica, from journalist Veronika Meduna.
Citizen Science Travel In The Southern Ocean
I was never that great in science when I was in school. But on my second trip to Antarctica, when Heritage Expeditions asked if I would be willing to collect scientific samples for a research study on the Ross Sea, I jumped at the chance. It was my way of contributing to a field that I knew I would never ever work in.
The Ross Sea and Southern Ocean is vast and seldom traveled, which also means thereâs little known about the area.
In an effort to better understand it, there are a number of scientific studies being conducted in this part of the world, but the studies must rely on companies like Heritage Expeditions and citizens like me to assist.
The Southern Ocean is the least populated part of the world, and itâs expensive and difficult to conduct research there. But if you have a company like Heritage who is willing to work with the scientists and help conduct their research, then you have a great match.
Heritage Expeditions is not new to science and research. Considering our ship, the Spirit of Enderby, was a research vessel in a former life, and the owner of Heritage was a researcher early in his career â the companyâs roots are in science.
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Facts About Flight Delays
Even though the chances of experiencing a delay are relatively low, it’s crucial that all visitors flying to Antarctica are prepared for the possibility and have contingency factored into their travel plans, just in case.
Flights to King George Island, South Shetlands
Although delays are possible, one of our principal Fly & Cruise operators has an impressive 80.9% success rate of flights arriving on the correct day across 141 flights over the last 14 years. A further 14.9% arrived the day before or day after, while only one trip has ever had to be totally cancelled. In reality, the majority of delays experienced are only a few hours.
Why are flights sometimes delayed?
Low clouds, fog and heavy winds are the main culprits, with King George Island being particularly prone to fog and low cloud. To be able to confidently depart from and return to Punta Arenas, pilots who are landing in Antarctica by sight need a minimum 5 hour clear weather window. With such rapidly changing conditions, this is the real challenge, to successfully identify that weather window and get there and back before it closes.
What happens if I am delayed?
Those delayed leaving Antarctica benefit from staying on at no extra cost. If you are on a Fly & Cruise trip, you continue to use the ship as your floating hotel and landings will be arranged while you wait for the weather to clear.
Will I receive a refund for delays or cancellation?
Ship Size & Fleet Considerations
The size of the ship may influence your Antarctica cruise cost and the experience. Larger ships have economies of scale and can present a good value. But also consider that only 100 guests are allowed ashore at one time in Antarctica. So, a larger Antarctica ship might present more time in the Zodiac or more time waiting and less time ashore.
Different ships within the same fleet can vary. As stated above, newer and more recently remodeled ships with updated amenities and more space will cost more.
This is where an expert opinion can assist. We have cruised aboard or personally inspected every ship we represent. Our experience will help you find the best trip at the lowest price.
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It Doesnt Stop At Global Warming
And this isnât the only research Heritage is supporting. They regularly support research projects.
On this trip, we were also deploying weather buoys in the higher latitudes. And they delivered helicopter fuel to the Subantarctic Islands to be used in search and rescue operations.
Now, Heritage Expeditions doesnât regularly offer citizen science travel projects as part of their itineraries, I was just asked to help out in this particular instance.
However if you are interested in doing citizen science travel, thereâs a whole sector of travel that specializes in this, much like âvolunteering vacationsâ. If you want to get ideas for more citizen science travel opportunities check out the US National Park Service offerings as well as these 4 ways to be a citizen scientists on vacation.
As I grip the handrail with one hand and my glass air flask in the other while waddling back down off the monkey deck, itâs more than simply going through the motions for me. I feel like Iâm doing something more, something good and meaningful.
Maybe one day I may be able to tell my nieceâs kids â âyour great aunt helped stop global warming by simply travelingâ¦â
Dressing For Your Trip To Antarctica
What To Pack And Wear
With a little planning and the right clothing, its easier than you may think to stay warm and comfortable when we go ashore in Antarctica. Depending on the climate of your hometown, you may even have most of what you need in your closet. We make it easy to know what to pack and wear on your trip.
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Why Travel With Chimu Adventures
We are true Polar specialists. Almost every Chimu team member has travelled to either Antarctica or the Arctic and collectively we have experienced over 50 expeditions.
You can choose from over 130 cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic,including itineraries aboard our own charter vessels.
We have inspected and continue to thoroughly research each individual vessel we work with, selecting only those with environmental, safety and value credentials.
We know all things Polar by heart and will work with you to determine which ship and itinerary is best suited to your needs.
Travellers visit the Polar regions for different reasons so whether your interests are wildlife or photography, or Antarctic activities such as snowshoeing and kayaking, we can work around you for the perfect trip.
From your initial enquiry until your trip ends, you will be assigned a personal Destination Specialist who will offer a full service for your travel needs: we can book flights, insurance and any ancillary travel required to complete your journey.
Is Antarctica Open For Travel
Yes, Antarctica is open for travel. Many travelers are asking Will Antarctica cruises happen in 2021? The answer is yes, Antarctica cruises will happen in the 2021-2022 season. If you are wondering when you can travel to Antarctica, the answer is now.
Most Antarctica cruise operators have confirmed operations. Some have consolidated departures aboard fewer ships. Others have altered embarkation ports or cruise dates. So, there are many changes for booked or interested passengers. But the good news is that there will be an Antarctica cruising season this year.
The last cruise to operate in Antarctica was in March 2019. All cruises last season, from November 2020-March 2021, were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of affected guests have been rescheduled to the upcoming 2021-2022 season.
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Antarctica Cruise Cost For Solo Travelers
Some ships offer a willing-to-share program to help solo travelers keep costs down. If you are willing to share with a same-sex roommate, then you will be paired with another traveler to avoid paying a single supplement. Other ships might offer dedicated single cabins at a reduced rate. Or single travelers can opt to pay a supplement to guarantee a cabin of their own. Antarctica is popular with solo travelers, so we advise you book early to get the best price.
Popular Ports In Antarctica
Classic Antarctica sailings visit Deception Island, Port Lockroy, Elephant Island and Half Moon Island . The Lemaire Channel is also a popular attraction though not a port, Zodiacs are often lowered here for scenic cruising.
Longer Antarctic itineraries might also include stops in South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.
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Things I Wish Id Known Before Traveling To Antarctica
Each cruise to Antarctica is different, but there are some essentials you can bring to make your experience more comfortable and rewarding.
From the best seasickness meds to how to interpret your packing listheres what you need to know before taking an expedition cruise to the White Continent.
A journey to Antarctica is the journey of a lifetime . And the things youll see and experiencethe sight of penguins marching along their snowy highways, the sound of a humpback whale surfacing to breathewill far outweigh any minor hiccups around things like long travel days or figuring out how to pack your suitcase.
That said, there are measures you can take that will make your trip more comfortable, the experience more rewarding, and your memories richer. Every ship and every adventure is different, of course, and you should pay close attention to what your outfitter recommends. But heres what I learned on my 10-day expedition cruise to the Antarctic peninsula with the French cruise line Ponant.
A universal adapter will come in handy during your layover in Buenos Aires.
Can You Travel To Antarctica
Laura Pattara | 9 October 2017
Is it possible to travel to Antarctica, the most inhospitable place on earth?
Well, its not only possible. Its totally unforgettable!
The southernmost continent on our planet is still the most enigmatic, by far. Inhospitable and awe-inspiring all at once, Antarctica has fascinated man ever since seafaring explorers accidentally headed further south than ever before and didnt sail right off the edge of the earth.
Days spent exploring Antarctica are always full of surprises
Travelling to Antarctica has certainly become a popular bucket-list contender nowadays although tourism there has been going strong relatively speaking since the 1960s, when the first tourist-laden expedition shipsstarted arriving in the White Continent. Scenic flight tourism started from Australia and New Zealand shortly thereafter and travel to Antarctica has now become a very viable option from several base points the world over.
So the question isnt if you can travel to Antarctica. Of course you can!
The question is are you ready to be completely overwhelmed by an unforgettable adventure to the spectacular ends of the earth?
Antarctica: where magnificent nature awaits
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Extreme Cold Weather Gear
Layers, layers, layers!
On my first trip, Expedition Trips supplied us with a pretty thorough packing list that included clothing and other travel gear.
Luckily our boat provided the necessary boots for the cruise and our daily excursions onto land â so thatâs one less thing we needed.
I was surprised to find out that Antarctica isnât as cold in December as I thought it would be â average temps around 20 to 40 F â which quite frankly is warmer than where my father lives in South Dakota in December!
However â youâll still need some winter coats and warm layers as well as waterproof pants and gear.
Oh yes, and swim suits! In case you feel like taking a polar plunge.