Expedition cruises are about much more than simply spending time in remote and wonderful wild places. They are about deepening our understanding of the world we live in. When you travel to Antarctica for the first time, you are awestruck by the enchanting landscapes, tidewater glaciers and rugged mountains. The panoramic views can be a humbling reminder of just how big our planet actually is.
Part Two – Observing the Atmosphere and Melt Ponds in the High LatitudesGuest blog post by Poseidon expedition team members Lauren Farmer and Alex Cowen. (Note: in our last blog post, we covered how we enlist the assistance of our passengers to help measure and observe sea ice and meteorology during our voyages to the North Pole.)
Tourism to the seventh continent has expanded in popularity over the years, but the perception that there is little regulation of the industry has persisted. When larger cruise ships started to arrive and, specifically, after the sinking of the GAP Explorer in November 2007 (thankfully, everyone was safely evacuated) some commentators feared catastrophic accidents and the potential for environmental damage.
Antarctica is governed by an international treaty that came into force in 1961 and which is now signed by more than 50 nations. While the treaty is very good at ensuring the continent is maintained as a natural reserve, and has the intention of preserving the last unspoiled continent in the world, the treaty system works on a consensus basis. Decision making can be an arduous process.
Imagine using dozens of time-lapse cameras placed in 16 glacial locations around the world, such as in Alaska, Greenland and the Antarctic. All to see if the landscape was changing and if climate change was living up to its reputation as the cause of this.