A hundred years of cars, planes, wars, and five billion more polluting people, and there’s nothing to show for it. Old log books kept by Scott and Shackleton show that Antarctic sea ice hasn’t changed much since 1912 reports Joanne Nova. 1
Experts have been concerned that ice at the South Pole had declined significantly since the 1950s, which they feared was driven by man-made climate change. But new analysis suggests that conditions are now virtually identical to when the Terra Nova and Endurance sailed to the continent in the early 1900s, indicating that declines are part of a natural cycle and not the result of global warming. 2
“The missions of Scott and Shackleton are remembered in history as heroic failures, yet the data collected by these and other explorers could profoundly change the way we view the ebb and flow of Antarctic sea ice,” said Dr. Jonathan Day, co-author of a recent study. 3
The research was based on the ice observations recorded in the logbooks from 11 voyages between 1897 and 1917, including three expeditions led by Captain Scott, two by Shackleton, as well as sea ice records from Belgian, German and French missions.