Antarctica under siege

Christian Science Monitor

08/03/06

At the bottom of the world, more than two miles beneath the wind-blasted surface of Antarctica, sits a wonder of the last untouched continent. Locked deep in the Antarctic ice is Lake Vostok, the seventh-largest body of fresh water in the world, yet one that has never been glimpsed by human eyes. To scientists, it is nothing less than an alien world, where the surroundings are so extreme that they could harbor previously undiscovered forms of life. Yet just 420 feet above its unseen surface, a Russian drill is poised, ready to break through and potentially pollute a pristine and unique environment. The Russians' goal is scientific, but it points to a growing threat in the Great White South, as a new boom of activity erodes Antarctica's isolation. Once the domain of doughty explorers such as Scott and Shackleton, Antarctica is becoming increasingly crowded by curious tourists, spellbound scientists, and countries hungry for oil and minerals...

//www.csmonitor.com/2006/0803/p05s01-woap.html


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