On 13 December, I visted Antarctica on a parliamentary delegation. It’s an astonishing spot, and we were fortunate to have two hours on the ground speaking with the scientists. We even got to get a short ride in “Priscilla” (the snowbus, so named for its ability to navigate this snow-covered desert), to see ice drilling, snow camping, and some of the accommodation. We’d had a full-day briefing the previous day at the Australian Antarctic Division base in Hobart, talking with researchers about their ice core program (drilling down hundreds of metres to look at changes in greenhouse gas concentrations over thousands of years), their marine biology program (better understanding how krill respond to environmental changes), and their non-lethal whale reserach program.
I left with a strong sense of the value that comes from our Antarctic research program, and a sense of the research potential of this extraordinary part of the world. The following two videos give you some sense of the local environment.