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Antarctica - Web Enquiry

Should Antarctica be developed in the future?

SEAL AND PUP IN ANTARCTICA
 ' We must not lie here too long, mum or we will get sun burnt'

PHOTOGRAPH BY MR STEVEN MARSHALL

Read a letter from someone working in the Antarctic!

Your Task: You are going to be a reporter for a Sunday Supplement Magazine. You have been asked to produce an article posing the question 'Should Development Be Allowed in the Future in Antarctica?' Remember that some people will have very little knowledge of this area of the world and might even have incorrect pictures in their minds of polar bears and igloos, so you need to include plenty of background information and pictures. The article should have the following four sections.

It is important that certain key words (underlined and in bold type) are understood before the project commences.

1. Introduction - Where is it? How far away from the UK is it? How long would it take to get there? Size? Describe the climate (include temperature, wind and precipitation) Hours of daylight in winter and summer? Scenery on the coast and inland? Plants and wildlife on land and in the sea?

2. Ownership or Control? - Who owns or controls Antarctica? What treaties are in place at the moment over the area? What are their aims?

3. The Reasons for Development of Some Kind - What types of resources can be found in Antarctica? Look in particular at minerals and fishing. Why would some countries wish to exploit these resources? What about fishing for krill? Why would any of this development be very difficult? Tourism - why do people want to visit Antarctica? Where would they go? How would they get there? Which countries have bases on Antarctica? Where? Why? (Refer to the scientific work and why it is done in this area of the world) Is it necessary? Is this what you would call development? How do the people survive? What is every day life like ?

4. The Reasons for not Developing - Describe the types of problems that might occur if minerals were mined and fishing were allowed on a bigger scale. Refer to the effects on the environment (ecosystems, sea, landscape) and bring in the term pollution. Would exploitation be sustainable on a small scale in just some areas? What problem could tourism bring to the area? Think about the needs of tourists and the danger of the environment. Who would rescue them if there were an emergency? Is tourism sustainable on a small scale? What effect do the present bases have on Antarctica? Are they trying to limit the effect? How?

5. The Decision - Should development be allowed in the future? There are a few options.
a. No development at all
b. Limited development
c. Some development in just some areas
d. Development
Please give reasons for your decision. How would you like this to be carried out?


Web Sites

There are a huge range of good sites which include ones set up by the research centres and those set up by people who have worked out in Antarctica. Try just typing in 'Antarctica' in a search engine!

Good sites to follow are:

1. British Antarctic Survey http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/ 
This is an excellent site that is being revised all of the time. It is possible to read the diaries of people who are out on the bases now. Photographs could be copied and annotated for inclusion in the project or they could be used to draw 'field sketches.
There are regular updates of the weather situation and the different types of research that are going on.

2. Virtual Antarctica http://www.terraquest.com/va/index.html
Pretend that you are visiting Antarctica!

3. Australia in the Antarctic http://www.antdiv.gov.au/env

4. New Zealand in the Antarctic http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/ 
This site is good for research on the life of the people working in Antarctica.

5. Gateway to Antarctica http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/ 

6. The Antarctic Connection http://www.antarcticconnection.com/
This has a lot of good general information, but also includes quite a bit on tourism.

7. Live Camera Links http://bat.phys.unsw.edu.au/~aasto/ mean you really can see it is dark at midday in June.  http://www.antdiv.gov.au/stations/casey/video.html

8. An excellent site from the Australian Government - click the Going South button to reveal all sorts of personal stories.  http://www-new.aad.gov.au/default.asp?