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The internet arrived on to the scene half a century back and took the world over like a storm during the last couple of decades. Right now, most people in the US make use of this computer network to fulfill a variety of routine activities in their life. Shopping for good as well as services is quite an easy task over this medium. http://www.satelliteinternetbroadband.com/ provides you knowledge on ways to access the internet at high speeds through satellite broadband services.
High speed internet service is available in many parts of the country. Some of them are through DSL where the connection is through the telephone lines. Another set of people access the internet through cable TV networks. In both these cases, the connection is accomplished through physical wired connections. Read more…
The first sight of Antarctica will stay with you forever. The vivid colors are somewhere between grey to brilliant white, with dashes of blue, green and black, depending on the weather and the time of the day. When the sun shines it can be simply awe inspiring. It will provide those moments when you are quite happy just to sit, and stare, and be at one with the world. Many people just don’t realize how mountainous parts of the peninsula and surrounding islands are, with the highest point on Smith Island rising over 6600 feet from the sea. The mix of fjords, wide, flat beaches and ice cliffs with the odd glacier thrown in make this scenery incomparable.
You will see whales, but how many and what variety differs from one trip to the next. Minke and humpback are probably the most commonly seen, but blue whales are not uncommon, and rarer pelagic species such as Cuvier’s beaked whales sometimes put in an appearance. You may see a pair of humpback whales surface between you and the shore. The sight of one of these 30-ton mammals leaping out of the water is truly something to behold.
Aside from the whales, you can expect to spot a lot of seals ( crabeater, fur, leopard and the enormous and ugly elephant seals are all often seen). Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins live here in abundance, and the visits to the penguin colonies are the highlights for many people. You will certainly know when you are close, as the noise and the smell often hit you before you can see them. It is thought that there are as many as 18 million chinstrap penguins in Antarctica, and 6 million Adelies and perhaps just 750,000 gentoo as well.
Antarctica is the windiest continent on earth, the relative intensities is told by the old sailors descriptions of: Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties and Screaming Sixties. Storms are common in Antarctica and are frequently very energetic and dramatic between 50°S and 60°S the Westerly winds are driven by the pole/equator temperature gradient.
Estimations of cloud cover has been problematic in Antarctica as the whole landscape is difficult to estimate and features that may seem a few km distant can actually be 50km or more, this makes cloud height estimations particularly difficult. Coastal areas are cloudier than continental areas and continental clouds are often made up entirely of ice crystals rather than the mix of ice and water vapor at the coast.
Most precipitation falls as snow in Antarctica. Constant strong winds make measurement of snow fall very difficult as once it’s fallen it then blows around an awful lot without any extra being added to any one position. Precipitation is often measured as “water equivalent” the amount of water that would be obtained if the snow was melted.
A combination of high winds and blowing snow, the snow may or may not be falling from the sky. When snow falls in low temperatures, or when ice crystals in the air settle, they are only very loosely bound together and so may be blown around for a long time, the result is that there is often blowing snow in Antarctica without there being very much precipitation.
The Earth’s climate is changing. This is nowhere more apparent than at the poles, where many areas are warming at a rate two or three times the global average.
The West Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming areas on Earth, with only some areas of the Arctic Circle experiencing faster rising temperatures. However, since Antarctica is a big place, climate change is not having a uniform impact, with some areas experiencing increases in sea ice extent. Yet in others, sea ice is decreasing, with measurable impacts on wildlife.
Climate scientists have long predicted that the increase in greenhouse gases from human activities would cause the most rapid and dramatic climatic changes in polar regions. As a consequence of the observed warming, vast areas of ice shelf, the large floating masses of ice surrounding the continent’s grounded ice sheets, are disintegrating along the coastlines of the northern Antarctic Peninsula. As air and sea temperatures increase, the line of average temperatures above which ice shelves are no longer viable is moving inexorably southward.
Penguin colonies are declining dramatically – apparently because their main food source, krill, is being affected by the decreasing sea ice cover. Seal populations are moving south, and in so doing are themselves disrupting previously undisturbed moss beds.
These changes are obviously significant for the frozen continent because they threaten major disruptions to the region’s delicate ecological balance. They also help to validate the scientists’ predictions. They are the first signs of the global changes to come.
Antarctica can be reached by either sea or air. Up to 5 flights a week may leave New Zealand from the International Antarctic Centre terminal in Christchurch each summer since most people fly. Early in the season large cargo planes (Galaxies and C17s from the US) transport cargo and people to Antarctica. Planes land on a sea-ice or blue-ice runway, but as the weather warms, the ice weakens and the big planes are replaced by smaller Hercules.
When the sea-ice becomes too thin for the Hercules to land safely, a runway is made on the permanent ice of the Ross Ice Shelf. Special US Hercules equipped with skis then carry out all the flights between New Zealand and McMurdo.
Passengers must wear full survival clothing, so you can get quite hot during the 6- to 7-hour journey. The planes are not built for comfort; there is not much room, and passengers sit side-by-side in rows of webbing seats. It’s hard to see out of the few tiny windows and there’s only one basic toilet at the back.
Planes land in Scott Base which is situated at the southern end of Ross Island right next door to the US base, McMurdo Station. Consisting of a number of green-painted buildings linked by all-weather corridors, the building of the base first began in 1957. More buildings have been added over the years and now up to 100 people can be accommodated, along with the kitchen, workshops, laboratories, storerooms and other work spaces that support them.
It’s a comfortable and friendly place with plenty to do, and has all the modern comforts of home. There is a shop, library, sauna, bar, and a social club that organizes special activities and functions including sporting (e.g. skiing) and cultural events. These facilities are especially important for the dozen or so hardy souls who over-winter through the dark months of June and July.
Jobs in Antarctica are almost exclusively on National Research Stations. These stations vary in size quite considerably, typically having 40 – 50 people in the summer months (approx. November – March / April) and a much smaller winter crew of maybe 10 – 20. There is a big American base called McMurdo that is much larger than this however.
About 5,000 people visit Antarctic stations each year from about 27 different countries with around 1,000 of them remaining over the winter months. Winter means isolation when contact is only by various electronic telecommunications.
It can be very hard to break in to working in Antarctica. Don’t expect to get the job first time. If you’re the sort of person that will get wound up about not getting the position first try, you’re not cut out for it. Getting the job requires more than your abilities. Luck and timing is a big part. Keep trying. Don’t forget there is a large community of people that have successfully worked in Antarctica before, and they will always get preference over a first timer. Listen to the feedback you get from your application. If you get an interview you are a strong candidate, and unless the interviewer suggests otherwise, you have a good chance the next time the job comes up – which will be soon because of the limited duration of these positions. You may also be an alternate.
Once you get an offer it will be dependent on you passing a fairly stringent medical, which may include a psychological examination. If are going to winter and have wisdom teeth, there is a good chance they will have to come out.
In general personnel in Antarctica on a National Antarctic Programme, supply ship, contract work etc. will be paid pretty much the same as they would be paid for doing the same job back in their home country, often with a small extra bonus but forget the 2x or 3x salaries that are imagined.
It seems that you’re paid more though because:
- There’s not a lot to spend your money on.
- Taxation is often less than at home (varies according to the country).
- Accommodation, food and much of your clothing usually including all specialist clothing are provided for you for free.