Discovery and study of Antarctica - one of the greatest events in history.Detection of the sixth continent, and further study of its features has given mankind a lot of opportunities to expand their knowledge about the world.Most large-scale research activities conducted in Antarctica in the middle of the last century, but today the icy continent is not deprived of attention.
Current research in Antarctica are carried out by several countries.The document on the specific interactions of various states in the ice continent was formed in 1959.Then the twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, according to which within the sixth continent is prohibited to conduct military operations, to bury toxic and other waste, and for a while frozen any territorial claims.To date, this agreement was joined by 33 countries.The study Antarctica in the 21st century are often international in nature.In addition, since 1991 the icy continent declared a World Natural Reserve.
Our country officially has no territorial claims.The Russian researchers work in many sectors of the national Antarctic.The scope of scientific activity, however, is still not reached the level that was at the time of the Soviet Union.However, every year it gets better.Constant Russian polar expedition are studying a variety of issues related to the geological, geographical, climatic and other peculiarities of the continent.
Areas of interest
Current research in Antarctica carried out in several directions:
- fundamental study of the Antarctic;
- scientific and applied research and development;
- collection of data on the natural environment of South polar region;
- logistics research, contributing, in particular, an increase in capacity of Russian stations and comfort stay on them.
Antarctica - the geography of its landscape, the population living organisms, especially the climate - it seems quite understood.However, each of these regions were their gaps.For example, the scientists' attention is increasingly attracting a microcosm peculiar to the continent.Various bacteria and fungi that exist here are different from those of their relatives from other continents skills to adapt to the extremely harsh conditions of Antarctica.If you do not take into account the coastal zones, the temperature here does not rise above -20 ° C, the air is dry, strong winds blow constantly.
Many modern research in Antarctica are associated with the identification of the features of microorganisms.Their adaptive capacity is planned to be used for medical purposes.Scientists there is a perception that the icy continent need to make some microbial communities.There they become necessary for the survival of the properties and attributes, and then based on them can create more effective medicines.
Lake Vostok is one of the most interesting communities of microorganisms, scientists expect to discover in subglacial reservoir.Lake Vostok, named after a nearby Russian station, located at a depth of about 4000 meters.Its uniqueness is in the absence of contact with the Earth's atmosphere for several million years.The ecosystem of the lake "mothballed" and may contain a lot of amazing microorganisms.Alleged "inhabitants" of the lake should be able to withstand high pressure, very low temperatures, the oxygen concentration is 50 times higher than its level in drinking water, and eat inorganic carbon.Heretofore, such organisms are unknown to science.
to study lake in the 70s of the last century, it was decided to start drilling.However, the surface of the East reached as recently as 2012.The obtained and then the samples were later found 3507 unique DNA sequences.Most of them, about 94%, it belongs to bacteria, fungi second place - their four percent.Also found in the samples of the two sequences belonging to the Archean.
Lake Research continues today, as the need to obtain water samples from its bottom, as well as to confirm or refute the previous results.The attitude to them is ambiguous in the scientific world.Some of the researchers predicted the discovery of even larger organisms such as fish.Their opponents say that's probably part of the DNA has been brought to the brown, the other represents the remains of extinct creatures.
East - not only subglacial lake continent.Today we know of 145 reservoirs, presumably are similar groups.In addition, current research in Antarctica is concentrated in varying degrees around the open lakes of the continent.Some of them are filled with fresh water, while others - mineralized."Inhabitants" of the lakes are all the same microorganisms, scientists could not detect the presence of fish and arthropods.Part of the lakes located in the so-called oases and on sub-Antarctic islands annually are exempt from the ice.Others are always hidden.Still others may be released only once every few years.
Land in Antarctica, more specifically the surface of the continent and its internal structure is not the only thing that interested researchers.At the heart of the study are often atmospheric and climate processes.In 1985 over Antarctica was discovered "ozone hole".Since then, she is constantly under the scrutiny of scientists.Data collected by researchers at the Russian stations, suggests that soon the hole "heal."Some researchers in this context of the opinion that the phenomenon is not man-made, as it was supposed earlier, and natural.
distant, mysterious, icy, South - Antarctica since the first appearance in the ancient assumptions about its existence got a lot of epithets.And all of them, it fully complies.The current stage of development of the sixth continent different from the previous technique and the best preparation specialists.Increases comfort stay at the stations, improved selection methods polar (according to studies, psychological climate is much more important than the weather).Constantly improving technical support missions.In short, all conditions for the further study of the secrets and mysteries of the ice continent.