Paula's Warming Task in Antarctic

Article excerpt


A NORTH Wales woman is spending Christmas on a tiny island in Antarctica with only a few colleagues, and 40,000 fur seals for company.

Paula Roberts is spending 14 weeks on the island of Signy, 6.5km long and 5km wide, collecting soil samples as part of a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) mission.

Their work could provide vital new evidence of global warming.

The 41-year-old Llanberis woman, who is completing a Phd in soil science at Bangor university, hopes to come home with a large batch of samples.

She said: "Using high-tech equipment, I will be able to analyse the soil to see how climate change will affect the island's only two flowering plants, a grass and a moss."

Paula, who has previously worked on Bardsey and was a countryside ranger with the National Trust, will be joining the expedition, which coincides with Antarctica's summer, at the end of the month.

Her home until the middle of March will be a revamped BAS station.

There is permanent ice cover over a large part of the island which rises to 288 metres.

In the summer, extensive areas of moss and some grasses are exposed, and there are numerous freshwater pools and lakes. …