New Brazilian Antarctic Base will cost nearly
US$ 100 million, but funds for research are scarce.

t's 10 PM on the 16th of December 2016. The Austral day is still light in the South Shetland archipelago at the edge of the Antarctic peninsula where King George island is located. Laborers from the Chinese Electronics Importation and Exportation Corporation had disembarked from the Young Sheng cargo ship the previous day to begin construction on the equivalent of a palace at the end of the world to fulfil a contract for US$ 99,6 million (about R$ 314 million over three years) with the Brazilian government to construct the new EACF (Antarctic Commander Ferraz Station). read more

Coral reefs can't keep pace with sea level rise,
according to US Geological Survey researchers

In the first ecosystem-wide study of changing sea depths at five large coral reef tracts in Florida, the Caribbean and Hawai’i, U.S. Geological Survey researchers found the sea floor is eroding in all five places, and the reefs cannot keep pace with sea level rise. As a result, coastal communities protected by the reefs are facing increased risks from storms, waves and erosion.

Experts call for legislation and improved
tracking to deal with orbital debris

As the amount of debris in low-Earth orbit continues to increase, experts at a recent conference called for both improved efforts to track debris as well as national legislation to mitigate that growth. Delegates at the Seventh European Conference on Space Debris, held at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, from April 18 to 21, warned that without improved measures, a long-feared cascade of debris that renders low-Earth orbit useless could occur.

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Scientists to repeat 19th-century ship's
crossing of polar ice cap

The mission’s co-leader Prof Markus Rex, of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany, said: “The plan is to travel in summer 2019, when sea ice is thin and its extent is much smaller. We can make our way with our icebreaker Polarstern into the thin sea ice to the Siberian sector of the Arctic. Then we stop the engines and let the Polarstern drift with the sea ice.”. read more