Polar Regions News Roundup W/C 25th 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.

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25th March 2024

Bird-flu threat disrupts Antarctic penguin studies

Avian flu has been detected sub-Antarctic king penguins.Credit: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty

A deadly strain of bird flu circulating worldwide is disrupting research in Antarctica, with some projects cancelled in an effort to curb the virus’s spread.

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Russia is considering withdrawal from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Arctic

A ship cruising in Arctic waters. Photo: Henry Patton

The treaty, which is a key pillar to regulate international cooperation in the sea, is seen by the Russian authorities as “detrimental”.

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Plymouth-based HMS Protector completes mission to Antarctic

The vessel carried out scientific research and environmental work

A Plymouth-based Royal Navy ship, HMS Protector, has completed its mission to the Antarctic, clocking up 7,000 nautical miles during its annual trip to the continent.

The Royal Navy said the vessel, its only icebreaker ship, carried out scientific research and environmental work.

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US Arctic Paratroopers Practiced Rapid Deployment in Northern Norway

From the skydive at Takvatnet lake in Inner Troms. (Photo: Hilde-Gunn Bye)

Over 100 US paratroopers jumped out over Inner Troms in Northern Norway after a seven-hour flight over the North Pole from Alaska. A force deployment such as this shows the US's ability and will to defend Norway and the alliance, says Brigade Nord Commander Terje Bruøygard.

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Researchers in Antarctica to help safeguard vital krill stocks

A fin whale surfaces in front of an iceberg.

The University of Southampton is leading an expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula to survey Antarctic krill and the baleen whales that feed upon them. The team, who departed the UK a fortnight ago, are travelling to the remote region on a yacht to tag the whales and survey their main source of food - krill, a small shrimp-like crustacean.

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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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