Overwhelming landscapes, deafening stillness, broken only by screaming birds and the groaning of ice. For wild-life on this pristine but inhospitable continent it is, however, an extremely arduous existence.
Much more threatening is the huge man-made increase in greenhouse gas. Last year, for the first time ever, the number of carbon dioxide (CO2) particles in the atmosphere above the antarctic went through the 400 ppm (particles per million) barrier, the last place on earth for this to happen. During the past 130 million years, up to the industrial revolution, this had never been above the 300 ppm, not even during the warmest periods measured. Now, in less than the wink of an eye, it has shot through the 400 ppm barrier.
Rock hard, undisputed figures, whilst politicians argue about a 1 or 2 % decrease, maybe, in 40 years.