Como turismo e ciência trabalham juntos na Antártida


Como turismo e ciência trabalham juntos na Antártida


The story…

How tourism and science work together in Antarctica

Need-to-know language…

alluring – mysteriously attractive

remote – far away from other places


expedition – journey involving a group of people, often to explore

ambassadors – people who represent a place

fragile – weak; easily damaged

Answer this…

How many visitors go to Antarctica each year?

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‘Trip of a lifetime’ is how many describe going to Antarctica. This incredibly alluring but remote location attracts around 60,000 visitors each year.

These tourists are travelling on the Roald Amundsen, an expedition cruise ship that uses battery hybrid powered engines, has an impressive science centre, and equipment below deck that automatically analyses the surrounding seawater.

This scientist, visiting the ship for the first time, wonders if it’s capable of doing even more.

Alexander Koloskov – Senior Scientist, Vernadsky Research Base

This ship may be effectively used for real science, not only for education, not only to spread information between the tourists, but the tourists can help with the science.

Professor Alia Khan has a five-year research grant from the US National Science

Foundation to study snow algae, and how it affects the rate that snow melts. But she can’t spend five years straight in Antarctica, so joining a trip like this works well for her.

Alia Khan – Assistant Professor, Western Washington University

I’m able to collect some samples and data for my research, and I can use some of the facilities on the ship, such as the microscopes, to look at the samples and then also work with the tourists to show them what I’m sampling in the snow.

Most of the ship’s expedition crew also have science backgrounds, and help run citizen science projects for the passengers.

Zoe Walker – Science Coordinator, Hurtigruten Expeditions

You have a little bubble of water on top and no air…

Studying the microscopic phytoplankton in the water helps monitor the effects of global warming. Samples are packed up and sent off to be analysed by researchers who can’t get here themselves.

Zoe Walker – Science Coordinator, Hurtigruten Expeditions

Coming to places like Antarctica costs a lot and takes a lot of planning, so by integrating citizens into their science, they’re able to collect data repeatedly at the same locations throughout the season while the tourist ships are already here.

Julie Ritson – BBC Journalist

Scientists also live and work in Antarctica for many months of the year. This presents its own unique challenges, logistics being one of them.

This research base on Livingston Island is temporary home to around 40 scientists, but their supply ship has been delayed and they’re running low on food. Luckily, our ship was nearby and able to help.

For them it’s been a lifesaver that tourist ships cruise these waters.

But what the scientific community really hope, is that the passengers return home as ambassadors, who can educate others and help change behaviours that threaten this fragile environment.

Did you get it?

How many visitors go to Antarctica each year?

Antarctica gets around 60,000 visitors each year

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