Science, environment and resources in Antarctica

Earlier views regarding the relative insignificance of Antarctic science have been rudely shattered by recent developments. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–1958 represented a major turning point for research in Antarctica, even if it is a mistake to believe that no useful scientific work was performed during the pre-IGY period. The IGY provided a sound foundation for the development of Antarctic scientific activity in a wide range of disciplines, including glaciology, atmospheric sciences and medicine. The intrinsic value of research in Antarctica is reinforced by its relevance to an improved understanding of global environmental systems; stratospheric ozone depletion was first identified at Halley base station. Minerals, as yet unproven, have highlighted the conservation problems inherent in the utilization of any Antarctic resources. Marine living resources are at present under threat of over-exploitation in some areas. The 1990s hold the promise for a brighter scientific future for Antarctica, but only as long as the Antarctic Treaty system continues in operation.


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Authors: Walton, David W.H. ORCIDORCID record for David W.H. Walton, Morris, Elizabeth M.

1 October, 1990
Applied Geography / 10
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