Antarctica is the coldest, driest and least populated region in the world; a continent slightly larger than Europe. It remains one of the least well-understood places on Earth. Last year, a billion-ton glacier about the size of Texas melted into the sea. If our planet is heading for trouble, Antarctica will tell us first.
Conditions on the ice are harsh. Even in the Antarctic summer, the average temperature is around -60 C, while winds regularly reach 120 miles per hour.
Antarctica has been the testing ground for many explorers. Survival is difficult, and teamwork is a necessity. In an environment such as this, every decision can be a matter of life and death.
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Sir Ernest Shackleton is widely known as one of the most inspirational leaders of the twentieth century. The Shackleton Foundation is a new charitable trust.
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The South Pole Gazette is a round-up of Antarctic news stories from around the web.
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The Shackleton Centenary Expedition, c/o The Lansdowne Club, 9 Fitzmaurice Place, London W1J 5JD
"Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all." - EHS 1909
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