Antarctic research station to be shut down for winter

Antarctic research station to be shut down for winter

A research station in Antarctica will be shut down between March and November this year as a growing crack in a massive ice shelf is posing a real threat, according to the British Antarctic Survey.

The Halley VI Research Station in Antarctica is located on a floating Brunt Ice Shelf that sticks out into the Weddell Sea. There are several cracks in the ice shelf and one of them is continue to grow to reach near the research station.

The growing crack has raised the possibility that a massive block of ice could break off and collapse within the next few months. Out of concern for the protection of the researchers living there, the agency has decided to shut down the station and remove the researchers before the start of Antarctic winter.

Tim Stockings, director of operations for the British Antarctic Survey, said, “We want to do the right thing for our people. Bringing them home for winter is a prudent precaution given the changes that our glaciologists have seen in the ice shelf in recent months.”

However, Stockings added that the station would be re-occupied as soon at the earliest possible after the Antarctic winter.

The Halley Research Station is a movable research facility that is used for various types of scientific researches, including the observation of climate change and sea-level rise. In 1985, a study by researchers form this facility was the first to lead to the discovery of ozone hole in Earth’s atmosphere.

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