The end of the British Antarctic Survey?

Shrinking ice in the Antarctic means scientific research more vital than ever

Shrinking ice in the Antarctic means scientific research more vital than ever

Since coming to power the ConDem government has declared war on the poor, the disadvantaged, the arts, science, welfare budgets have been cut, the Tories are now bragging they intend to cut a further £10 billion from welfare budgets, libraries closed, a failed attempt was made to sell off our historic forests for commercial exploitation. Now they are wishing to destroy the British Antarctic Survey.

Everyone has heard of Scott of the Antarctic, the ill-fated attempt by Captain Scott to reach the South Pole and how he and his team died in the attempt. But even if they had succeeded they would have found they were beaten by a Norwegian team.

A legacy of Scott is the British Antarctic Survey. It was the British Antarctic Survey that discovered the hole in the ozone layer.

At a time of global warming, with warming taking place much faster at the Polar Regions, we need the British Antarctic Survey more than ever before, were the west Antarctic ice sheet to collapse sea levels would rise by 3 metres wiping out many coastal cities including London, and yet the ConDem government wish to abolish the British Antarctic Survey based in Cambridge. They wish to merge it with National Oceanography Centre based in Southampton and Liverpool.

To put a 3m rise in sea level in context, the Thames Barrier was built to cope with a 16cm rise in sea level over the next 20 years. 

This summer has seen more melting of the Arctic ice beating previous records. The ice is melting far faster than previously forecast leading to the very real possibility of the Arctic free of ice during the summer within the next ten years.

The British Antarctic Survey carries out research and collects data on climate change, ice dynamics, ecosystems and fisheries, work that is vital to understanding climate change.

Next month a 12-strong team will use a custom-built hot-water drill to penetrate a three-kilometre layer of ice to reach the waters of the subglacial Lake Ellsworth on the west Antarctic ice sheet. Sixteen years to plan, this investigation will open new research into the Earth’s past climate and possibly could find new life forms or if not, the limit at which life can exist.

The Cambridge headquarters will be closed, the name lost (losing the link with Scott). This will pave the way for later sell-off of ships, aircraft, the closure of bases, redundancies, lose of expertise.

Already senior personel have left seeing no future for the British Antarctic Survey.

Only the ConDem government could be this foolish, this shortsighted.

Please sign the petition opposing abolition of the British Antarctic Survey. Please pass to all your friends and colleagues and ask them to sign.

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6 Responses to “The end of the British Antarctic Survey?”

  1. Mrs Pauline Stowers Says:

    The BAS is too important for furure generations to be closed. Please think and reconsider before you even contiplate the closure

  2. keithpp Says:

    I could not agree more, which is why it is vital people sign the petition opposing closure and pass to all their friends and colleagues.

    It is part and parcel of the ideological driven slash and burn of public services, arts and sciences with the budget deficit being used as the excuse.

  3. keithpp Says:

    Days to Save the Antarctic Ocean‏

  4. keithpp Says:

    Excellent news, proposals to kill the British Antarctic Survey have been dropped. People power works!

  5. keithpp Says:

    I agree!

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