Polar Regions News Roundup W/C 18th March 2024

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Polar Regions News

Your weekly Polar news roundup

Helping you stay informed of the latest developments in climate change, environmental conservation, scientific research, geopolitical dynamics, economic opportunities and indigenous rights in the Polar Regions.

18th March 2024

APPG Polar Regions: Annual Review 2023 and 2024 Look Ahead

APPG Polar Regions Annual Review 2023 and Look Ahead 2024

The APPG for the Polar Regions has released its Annual Review for 2023 and 2024 Look Ahead, in readiness for its AGM on Monday 18th March. Interested parliamentarians are encouraged to attend (1pm, Portcullis House) where they will have the opportunity to listen to Camilla Nicholls, CEO of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, talk about the 80 year anniversary of the Port Lockroy station in Antarctica.  

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South Georgia: Bird flu infects penguins at famous wildlife haven

Penguins gather on South Georgia in prodigious numbers

Bird flu has been confirmed in 10 penguins on South Georgia, one of the world's great wildlife havens. Avian influenza had already infected other seabirds and mammals on the British Overseas Territory, but scientists report gentoo and king penguins have now fallen victim, too.

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Climate change: The 'insane' plan to save the Arctic's sea-ice


Perched on sea-ice off Canada's northern coast, parka-clad scientists watch saltwater pump out over the frozen ocean. Their goal? To slow global warming.

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UK's Arctic Policy Framework: Minister for the Polar Regions' speech

David Rutley MP

Minister for the Americas, Caribbean and the Overseas Territories, David Rutley, gave a speech at an Arctic reception at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

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Polar plastic: 97% of sampled Antarctic seabirds found to have ingested microplastics

Global distribution of study sites and relative 13 species considered (red dots = Arctic sites; red line = Arctic species and samples; yellow dots = Antarctica sites; yellow line = Antarctica species and samples). For each species, the matrices analyzed are shown in a dot near the species’ picture. The articles considered analyzed pellets, stomach contents, pouch contents, and guano. The number of samples considered for each matrix is presented on the bottom, separated for the Arctic (red line) and Antarctica (yellow line). Credit: Frontiers in Marine Science (2024). DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2024.1343617

Anthropogenic plastic pollution is often experienced through evocative images of marine animals caught in floating debris, yet its reach is far more expansive. The polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica are increasingly experiencing the impacts of plastic pollution: from larger macroplastics (>5 cm), to microplastics (0.1 µm—5 mm) and nanoplastics (<0.1 µm). A new review, published in Frontiers in Marine Science, has investigated the scale of this issue.

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Have you read our latest Polar Notes article? See below for the most recent publication on the APPG Polar Regions website.

Polar Note: 80 years of Polar Diplomacy

Antarctic scenery

Welcome to the 2024 Polar Notes series: our fortnightly feature looking at a current polar issue or topic of conversation in more depth.  

Our newest article, authored by guest expert, Jane Rumble (Head of Polar Regions Department for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office), looks back at the last 80 years of UK Polar diplomacy, exploring its origins during World War II, through to the present day, where she now heads up a team covering both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

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We’d love to hear from you! Contact the APPG for the Polar Regions at info@appgpolarregions.uk