Antarctic histories and futures

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Abstract

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are experiencing some of the worst effects of global climate change and are also sites of persistent geopolitical tensions. These developments have deep historical roots and will have repercussions into the future. Indeed, climate change and geopolitical tension will increasingly reinforce each other into the future. The 2019–2020 summer, for example, saw record high temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula, as recorded at the Argentine Antarctic stations Esperanza and Marambio, with 18.3°C and 20.75°C respectively. At the same time, the Russian geological agency (Russian state geological survey agency, Rosgeologia) announced that it had been prospecting for oil in the Antarctic continental shelf and there has been ongoing discussion in Australia about how to react to China’s activities in Antarctica.

Keywords

  • Antarctica
  • Southern Ocean
  • climate change
  • geopolitics
  • Temperature trends

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