The World at Their Fingertips; Christian Amodeo Presents an Overview of Just Three of the Many Rgs-Ibg Grant-Winning Expeditions That Have Set off in the Past 12 Months. (Exploration & Discovery)

By Amodeo, Christian | Geographical, August 2002 | Go to article overview

The World at Their Fingertips; Christian Amodeo Presents an Overview of Just Three of the Many Rgs-Ibg Grant-Winning Expeditions That Have Set off in the Past 12 Months. (Exploration & Discovery)


Amodeo, Christian, Geographical


Expeditions of pure human endurance, geographical discovery and `world firsts' may capture the imagination and headlines alike, but most of the many expeditions that set off seek neither fame nor glory. Their goals are perhaps more noble--to further the understanding of an aspect of the Earth and its peoples.

Top of the pops

One of the most adventurous ongoing projects is reminiscent of past adventures on the high seas, while carrying out research to safeguard the planet's future. The Antarctic Convergence Zone expedition, winner of last year's prestigious Neville Shulman Challenge Award, is being led by Dr Alun Hubbard from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He plans a complete circumnavigation of the Antarctic to carry out vital research on both the peninsula and remote sub-Antarctic islands to test for the presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), considered to be one of the great environmental challenges facing the planet. The convergence zone--where Antarctic cold and mid-latitude warm waters meet--is seen as a crucial area for such important scientific study.

POPs are human-made compounds, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Released into the atmosphere, they increase in toxicity in the food chain.

Although banned in most developed countries, their production and subsequent export goes largely unchecked throughout the developing world. But no matter where they are released, due to a process known as atmospheric fractionation, they tend to travel thousands of kilometres in gaseous form to the high latitudes. Here they condense in the lower temperatures--with potentially dire impacts upon the reproduction, development and immune functions of marine life.

Comprising environmental scientists, mountaineers and divers, the team on its maiden voyage sailed an ice-strengthened ketch, The Gambo, under the command of first-time skipper Dr Hubbard, via Tierra del Fuego to the West Antarctic Peninsula. "Last season's phase from New Zealand to the peninsula was very much a baptism of fire for myself and crew," says Dr Hubbard. "In effect our learning curve was almost vertical just in terms of the operating logistics of a sailboat in Antarctic waters."

Despite visiting far fewer sites than planned due to pack ice and bad weather--a week-long storm swept up 15-metre waves and at one point `knocked down' the Gambo--the team collected some "great" ice radar and snow accumulation data, and sub-glacial water samples.

Another danger was thin ice. Peter Taylor, a team member conducting ice thickness measurements, found out the hard way on the flat summit of an ice cap when he fell into a 20-metre crevasse up to his armpits, and without a rope. "It was just his arms holding him above the thin snow-surface with his legs and body dangling in thin air," recalls Dr Hubbard. Fortunately, it was a lesson in the risks of complacency which the entire team of six lived to learn.

Samples are currently being analysed; it is hoped the subsequent findings will be made available to the Inter-Governmental Panel for Climate Change. A second voyage is planned, the first trip having inspired Dr Hubbard to extend the two-year project to last a few years. "After last season's success I'll do everything to make it happen," he confirms enthusiastically.

Major deserts and Englishmen

When thinking of Englishmen in the desert it is hard not to conjure up scenes from the film Lawrence of Arabia. John Hare, winner of an RGS-IBG Expedition Research Grant, and his 13-strong team followed in the hoofsteps of camel riders from long before Lawrence's time when they crossed the Sahara Desert between October 2001 and January 2002. Hare set out on the three-and-a-half month, 65,000 [pounds sterling] Trans-Sahel expedition along the old 2,350-kilometre camel route used originally by the slave trade, from northern Nigeria to Libya, to compare the changes that have taken place over the last 100 years. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The World at Their Fingertips; Christian Amodeo Presents an Overview of Just Three of the Many Rgs-Ibg Grant-Winning Expeditions That Have Set off in the Past 12 Months. (Exploration & Discovery)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.