Would Captain Scott still recognise Antarctica?

Climate change is reshaping our environment, but how dramatically?
28 September 2021


A floating iceberg.



From a historical point of view, and given your knowledge of Antarctica, are there bits of Antarctica that, say, Captain Scott would have walked on that no longer exist because of climate change? Would he recognise Antarctica if he went back?


Ella Gilbert leads us on a polar exploration...

Ella - In as much as one can recognise a vast continent that looks very similar, maybe. Chunks of ice shelves, for example, have broken away, we get lots of year-to-year variation in the amount of sea ice that covers the ocean around Antarctica. In 1995 and 2002 we lost two entire ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula, which is a bit that sticks out, and lots of ice shelves regularly have gigantic chunks breaking away and turning into huge icebergs that circle the continent. But in terms of the stuff that's on land, I would say it probably looks relatively similar.

Chris - A vast expanse of white?

Ella - Yes.


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