(By Correne Coetzer, updated Aug 30, 2013 06:33 pm EDT here) Australian Polar scientists, Chris Turney and Chris Fogwill, of the University of New South Whales, together with Antarctic veteran geologist and mountaineer, Greg Mortimer, are leading a research expedition on Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic oceanography, climate and biology at the end of the year.
Marking the centenary of the main science program undertaken by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) led by Douglas Mawson, science and adventure will be combined, repeating century old measurements to discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south. The scientists are offering members of the public an opportunity to join them on the expedition and berths are for sale, Chris Turney told ExplorersWeb.
The Spirit of Mawson AAE 2013-2014 is divided into two legs. The ﬁrst focuses on the Australasian subantarctic islands. On the second leg a longer voyage will head south, deep into the Southern Ocean to Antarctica.
Update Aug 30, 2013 06:33 pm EDT: New departure point Bluff in New Zealand. Also Leg 1 departure date is now: Southern New Zealand via subantarctics November 27 – December 7, 2013
Hobart to southern New Zealand via subantarctics November 25 – December 7, 2013
The voyage will make a course south for the UNESCO World Heritage-listed subantarctic islands, to experience these sanctuaries of fauna and flora deep in the Southern Ocean. Campbell and Auckland islands will be visited, and conditions permitting, Snares. Throughout the journey there will be ample opportunity to actively engage in the scientiﬁc program cross the Southern Ocean and subantarctic islands.
Southern New Zealand (return) to Antarctica via the subantarctics December 8, 2013 – January 4, 2014
The second voyage will make a course south for Commonwealth Bay, making scientiﬁc observations as they go. Having navigated through the sea ice, they will anchor close to Cape Denison and undertake an extensive science program, focusing on marine biology and oceanography.
Because of extensive sea ice in Commonwealth Bay, they will undertake aerial reconnaissance using drones to find a safe route to Cape Denison. They will attempt to access the site using ARGO’s — specialised ATV’s ideal for this journey over the fast ice; if conditions prove unsuitable they will attempt landfall to the west. After nine days in the area we will return to New Zealand via the subantarctic islands.
Chris Turney (AAE leader) is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of New South Wales. Working in both the Antarctic and Arctic, Chris is extending historic records of change in the polar regions back to 130,000 years ago to help better understand the future. Chris is the author of numerous books, scientific papers and magazine articles. His most recent book is called 1912: The Year The World Discovered Antarctica.
Chris Fogwill (AAE co-leader) is a glaciologist, oceanographer and palaeo-climatologist working to answer the big questions surrounding climate change, melting ice sheets and sea level rise. He has more than ten years of Antarctic deep field experience, together with multiple trips to both Greenland and the high Arctic. Chris uses direct geochronological techniques to reconstruct the Earth’s ice sheets and glaciers over timescales from centuries to millennia. He has also lead a new direction in Antarctic scientific research, developing independent scientifically-driven expeditions to remote localities in the interior of the Antarctic continent, in collaboration with Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE).
Greg Mortimer (AAE co-leader) is a geologist and mountaineer by profession. He has been involved in Antarctic science, tourism and private expeditions since 1979. Some of his achievements in mountaineering include: the first ever ascent of the South face of Annapurna Two in 1983; the first Australian ascent of the North face of Mount Everest, without the use of supplementary oxygen, in 1984; the first Australian ascent of Mount Vinson, the highest mountain in Antarctica, in 1988; in 1990 the first Australian ascent of K2: in 1994 the first ascent of Mt Chongtar which was the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. He has visited Antarctica more than 100 times.
Read more about the leaders here.
For the rest of the AEE members, see here.
Spirit of Mawson AAE 2013-2014 website
Spirit of Mawson blog
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