Antarktika / İngilizce
THE SOUTH POLE AND GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
A great universe for us,
However, it is a little point in the complex universe.
The South Pole,
The most remote, the coldest and the most difficult geography to reach of the world…
A mysterious frozen Continent…
Antarctica is threatened, and now gives alarm. The way of living of modern human caused global warming.
Humanity unconsciously maintains this journey to the end of the Earth.
It is the South Pole where is the most affected by the changes in climate.
We are starting a challenging journey to the South Pole that is Antarctica.
End of the Earth…
The farthest point to the equator; the South Pole.
It is just like an alien planet due to its structure.
Life in Antarctica depends on ice. A large ice layer of 2 thousand meters thick covers the South Pole as an armour. The thickness of the ice reaches 4 thousand 300 meters.
Antarctica was an unreachable place for people until the beginning of the 1900s, but now it is everywhere with its melting glaciers.
The existence of Antarctica which stops the excitement of the explorers with fear, has been known for thousands of years. There were hundreds of journey attempts to discover.
Captain James Cook set out on wooden ships to step on this mysterious ground.
Captain Cook discovered the small glacier islands and peninsula around Antarctica, but he could not reach the main continent.
Cook wrote in the Logbook: “When I looked towards south, I couldn’t see anything other than ice.”
James Cook’s path was followed by many explorers, but the complete discovery of the South Pole took more than a century.
Tens of expeditions have been made, hundreds of explorers have lost their lives for this cause.
In 1911, the discovery of the South Pole was back to the race of two ambitious men.
The Norwegian Roald Amundsen and the Englishman Robert Falcon Scott set out to reach the mysterious area called the end of the world, where they had not see a single frame photograph. Thus began the journey of the greatest and dangerous discovery of history.
Amundsen and Scott resisted the hunger and cold that lasted for days, and came to death many times. The only thing that kept them alive was their beliefs and their decisive motivation.
Amundsen and Scott set foot on ice in harsh conditions, but their actual journey had just begun. They faced the harsh conditions of Antarctica.
Amundsen and Scott set out with their crew in two different directions. The aim of the explorers was to be the first to arrive at the South Pole Point and the deadly race began.
The weather was too hard to compare to anywhere else in the world. The region was larger than they thought, and it would take longer to reach their goals than they had expected. Despite all the preparations, food stocks of Amundsen and Scott were not enough.
Explorers ate dogs that sledged to survive.
Antarctica was minus 30 degrees and there was a storm. The weather was dark. Amundsen and Scott were trapped within the ice.
Amundsen, Scott, and some of accompanying team mates cut their frowning fingers to save their feet. Some met the cold side of death.
The winner was Amundsen. He reached the South Pole Point a month before Scott and marked his name of the first person to flag the flag.
Scott arrived at South Polar Point on January 17, 1912, and wrote in his notebook “Oh my God, this place is horrible.” Shortly after these lines, Scott and his team frozen to death while trying to return to the camp site where just 17 miles away was.
After 100 years, in the footsteps of explorers’ motivations and passions, following the months of preparations and days of travel, we set foot in the South Pole.
A continent that does not allow the survival of a human.
There are only the animals which comply with those tough conditions can survive in Antarctica.
Antarctica is the largest ice desert in the world with nearly 13 million square kilometres of surface measurement.
With the addition of winter snow and frozen ice masses, its size is doubled.
Antarctica covers 10% of the earth, but it has 90% of the world’s glacier mass.
It contains 70% of the total fresh water source.
The tides break large pieces of icebergs. Breaking pieces create huge ice plateaus on the ocean and this unique landscape emerges.
The pieces of ice which are broken sometimes allow the residents of Antarctica to travel.
The coldest and stormy climate of the South Pole prevails on the South Pole.
An interesting feature of Antarctica is that it is the driest place in the world.
Some parts of the continent have not rained for two million years. Humidity in the air is less than in the Sahara Desert.
The day-night cycle in the poles is quite different from the rest of the Earth. Half of the year is night and the other half is day. The longest day and night of the earth is observed in the poles.
During the long night, the heat and light emitted by the Sun cannot be benefited and the air quickly freezes. The minus 89 degrees in Antarctica, Vostoc, has been the lowest temperature ever recorded in the world.
The cold and long night that begins in March in Antarctica ends with the first light of the sun in September, and life for the Arctic animals also begins.
In this cold desert, the daylight cycle does not allow land plants to live but there is still life in Antarctica. Penguins, seals and whales and some bird species are inhabitants of Antarctica.
On the surface of slippery and shiny ice there is no food for polar animals.
The sea surrounding the continent provides a rich source of nutrients for these animals. Arctic animals survive by eating plankton and fish in their seas.
However, it is not easy for the animals living on the glaciers to feed themselves and to survive.
It may take days to reach the seas. Those who fail to complete the journey become a source of food for other animals.
A fierce struggle for the freezing winds that lasts about 300 kilometres per hour. Knife-back life does not leave anything to chance.
Glaciers form a shelter, protection and a space to survive for the animals that live here.
Penguins have evolved to live in Antarctica.
In Scott’s time, the initial explorers had recorded that they were fish, whereas the penguins are birds which stands on their web-foot and cannot fly. Penguin body is like a shuttle form; there are a pair of wings which had turned into paddle; the bones of these wings are shorter, wider and flatter than the wing bones of other birds.
They come to the same place every year to breed. The same penguins are coupled. They live as a crowded colonies.
They are quite noisy and turbulent.
The penguins have no visible ears but they hear quite well.
Major part of their lives is spent to carry food from the ocean to their nest in the middle of the glacier.
They averagely travel 13 thousand kilometres between the ocean and their nest in a year.
When the winter comes, there will be night for 6 months in Antarctica and it will be colder. The continent that is much colder and icy now, is ready to accept its new guests. The penguins go back to their nests to breed.
Antarctica winter of 6 months also indicates the time for the brood penguins become adult to leave their nests.
This may take years. They will hunt for 3-4 years in the waters at the north of Antarctica and they will be back where they were born when the time for coupling comes.
Their lives will continue within this cycle.
The feathers of the penguins are somewhat short, abundant and frequent. Almost every part of the body is covered with a hair. The tails are short. The penguin resembles a bird wearing a “frock coat” because some of its feathers are black and a portion white.
It’s the moulting time for the young penguins. While the old feathers of the penguins spill out, new hairs come out at the same time. So the penguins will never be unprotected against the cold. Penguins live on land during the whole feather exchange. A thick layer of fat under the skin also helps prevent heat loss.
The colours of Antarctica may look like black and white. Penguins with black and white feathers have red feet and beaks until they meet a penguin, so it is the most colourful animal of the continent.
There is nothing which they cannot do with their beaks. For the penguins, the beaks are like hands and arms; they use the red attractive beak it in combat, hunting, feeding, communication, exchange.
Penguins collect small stones and nest on them. Penguins protect their little cubs in the sac between their feet and feed the food they carry in their throats by pouring them into their beak’s beaks.
Penguins swallow large amounts of sea water while fishing. A special gland of the penguins behind the eyes acts as a filter. Cleans the excess brine in their blood.
To protect themselves from the cold and wind, penguins benefit from rock and slopes in groups.
In the cold climate of Antarctica, nothing disappears. The fossilized whale residue does not leave the continent.
Among the remains of the whale, the penguins turn back into their nests.
Nothing in the nature is trash and no opportunity in Antarctica is missed.
The stool of the penguin is a source of food for this rare snow bird.
This wild bird living in Antarctica tries to find an opportunity to take its share from the hunt.
If she misses the opportunity, she may die from hunger.
The seals are the only mammal species living in the entire continent. Their homes are under the glaciers. Seals cannot stand on the ice surface; crawling along the oily and feathered trunks, they migrate along the ever-changing ice boundary. Accessing the sea from the ice is a vital issue for them.
Seals can withstand temperatures up to -50 degrees Celsius, pass most of their backs on non-deep water edges and on ice. Seals can hunt underwater for a long time even though they are land mammals. It is among the best natural divers in the world. They can keep their breath for more than an hour thanks to the high oxygen they retain in their blood. They are not dangerous and bulky on land but they are very dangerous under water.
They communicate with their kind in a mysterious voice. The calm appearance of seals can be deceptive, the seals are quite belligerent.
A foal seal can reach 4 times its weight in 3 weeks. Breastmilk is very greasy, very delicate for the seals.
The pups instinctually needs to improve their sense of smelling to distinct the smell of their mothers not to lose their ways during the storms.
Eared seal pup lost his mother and sniffing the air for a trail.
Other inhabitants of Antarctica are the sea lions and they prefer to live together.
The reason is to protect themselves from cold and consume less energy. Most of their time passes to sleep on land.
However, living together can also be fatal. The reason for fighting for animals is usually to mate with females.
The weight of sea lions can reach 2 and a half tons.
Sea animals travel miles away from the distance to reach Antarctica and go around the edge of impossible.
After long winter, the first visitors of the continent appear. It’s time for humpback whales to go to warm seas to breed.
When they return, they may not have eaten for seven months. This coast will be a feast for them.
They have to be fed tightly until the long Antarctic winter comes because they may have to manage with this food all year.
Normally, a whale can eat a ton of sea food a day. Considering that more than thirty thousand humped whales come to the coast of Antarctica, it can be estimated how generous and fertile the coasts are.
For this tired whale, now it is time to sleep, even for a few minutes…
*** IMAG EOF THE WHALE FOR LONG TIME****
The surface of Antarctica is white, while the underwater is very colourful.
When summer comes to Antarctica, life in the waters also revives. The productivity increases. Even though our knowledge about the sea floor is limited, we know that the diversity of life competes with reefs.
The animals of the ice continent depend on the sea to survive. The waters around and under the Antarctic glaciers are rich in nutrients.
When the glaciers begin to rip off and drift into the sea, they proceed by carving the ocean floor. This would overturn the sea floor. Thousands of crushed seaweeds, shellfish, and sea stars remain in the sea cavities left by the glaciers. A food chain is created for species survival.
The seals and penguins searching the food follow the trace of the icebergs.
Despite all we know about Antarctica, it is still the most mysterious continent on Earth.
It is not possible to see anything but the ice when it is looked around.
The mountain chains to be covered with ice, endless fields, regions on which a human never walks. You can breathe the cleanest air on Earth here.
No human settlement in the poles is allowed and no state has the sovereignty on the poles.
Since the international agreements and the challenging conditions of Antarctica do not allow such settlement.
Turkey is not one of the signatories of the Antarctic Treaty, yet but it is one of the “non-consultative countries” for a peaceful and scientific research on the continent. Antarctica is governed by this agreement.
Antarctica is like a natural laboratory, so it is the centre of scientific researches.
Despite the wild and deadly conditions of Antarctica, researchers work in more than 60 scientific research stations of different countries.
For the glaciers that began to freeze millions of years ago, it would be appropriate to say “memory” of the world.
Ice layers are similar to trees at this point; the deepest ring is the oldest record.
The air bubbles, dusts and solid parts of the glaciers contain various information about the structure of our planet.
Scientists are conducting scientific research on global heat and climate change at this extreme point of the Earth.
Climate change and global warming are two concepts that we often hear in recent years.
Climate change was actually a natural process. The Earth warmed in some periods and cooled in some other periods. These heating and cooling periods last for millions of years, but the natural cycle has begun to deteriorate with the industrial revolution.
In the century we live, fossil fuel consumption continues to increase rapidly. Developing industry and modern life led to the change in climate.
Agricultural areas with reduced productivity do not meet enough food production for the growing world population.
Years ago, scientists found that the chemicals we used were thinning the protective ozone layer. As a result of the depletion of the ozone layer, the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet heat began to hit the earth.
These gases that we call greenhouse gas wrap around the Earth as a sheath and cause heat to be trapped inside. The world is heated dangerously without any control and causing climate change.
Ironically, the poles where are the coldest regions on Earth are the first to be affected from the global warming.
The glacier layer in Antarctica is at the same place for at least 40 million years. Is this how it will be, and the glaciers will always be there? It is hard to answer because there is glacier retreat in some parts of Antarctica. Glaciers began to melt away years ago.
The disappearance of the glaciers is a serious problem not only for the global climate balance, but also for all species on Earth.
We face extraordinary rains and storms that increase its intensity, winters are harder and summers are hotter.
Air, sea and other water sources are rapidly polluted.
98 percent of Antarctica, covered with glaciers, warmed 3 degrees in 50 years.
On the other hand, even a 1-year increase in a century will cause major disasters.
We are threatened by the melting of the glaciers that cover the polar climate of our world. The poles have enough ice to raise the sea level by 70 meters.
Experts think that most of these glaciers will melt in 50 years. In this case; hundreds of millions of people in the major coastal cities around the world may remain homeless.
The effects of global warming are felt all over the world, from the highest peaks to the ocean depths, from the equator to the poles.
Scientists considers serious negative effects of the increase in temperature on human health.
A glacier breaks away from the poles, and when it starts to move towards the open waters of the ocean, it makes itself felt all over the world by the wind and storm.
The current technological progress is not at the stage to protect humanity from the effects of these dramatic changes.
Global warming is critical for the poles and the Earth.
Experts say that only 10 years remain to slow down global warming.
The struggle against global warming requires a multidimensional struggle based on consciousness and awareness.
From practical steps such as careful use of water and energy resources, taking measures to reduce carbon dioxide in transportation and supporting recycling, the states must regulate education, health, science, agriculture, and production policies again. The abandonment of the use of fossil fuel also requires the reorganization of the cosmetic industry on an ecological basis.
If the glaciers melt, they bring disaster to humanity.
The Earth is getting warmer every day.
Natural disasters are the signs of the Earth for humanity.
It is also a sign of greater disasters.
This cycle disturbs the balance of natural life on Earth.
Humanity should not allow this negative change to survive.
To protect Antarctica, a legacy of nature, is to claim our future.
The Fate of Antarctica is our Fate.
When this visual feast disappears, the scene also ends for us.
The day turns into a long night while Antarctic takes its white blanket on. Who knows, maybe one day we will be here to meet the sun light in a Pole morning.
* The South Pole and Global Climate Change
* The first Turkish-made independent documentary in the challenging conditions of Antarctica