S is for sight: #antarcticalphabet

Sight, language, reference and memory are contingent, rely on our agreement to shared understandings. Does what I see differ from what you see? You may read that number-plate which is a blur to me, or I think this scarf is green when you insist it’s blue. Yet the interior experience … Continue reading

Ice sheets in Antarctica: losing or gaining?

A friend recently highlighted last year’s NASA research on Antarctic ice-sheets and asked me to comment. So I’m going slightly away from the journey reprise to take a quick jaunt around some of the latest publications. In short: some ice sheets may be thickening slightly but that does not mean … Continue reading

Rosita Harbour

By mid-afternoon the anchor was down in Rosita Harbour, a few miles along the coast at the edge of the Bay of Isles. We bustled ashore for a walk. The narrow beach was fringed with tussac grass where fur seals lounged about on the hummocks enjoying the sun. (There are … Continue reading

Hills, glaciers and rain

During the dark hours of 7 March we rounded the corner from the Pacific into the Beagle Channel, and had our first 15 minutes of ocean swell. My notes from the day record all the voyage crew were nervous of seasickness at this early stage: it wasn’t only me. Very … Continue reading

Darkness in the abyss

Glacial melt isn’t only about sea-level rise. It’s about mud. Sediment to be precise. As old ice melts into the sea it brings down all that stuff it’s been sitting on, the mud it has scraped up and absorbed over decades and centuries. Newly exposed, ice-free beaches deteriorate too, putting … Continue reading