Ice Ice Baby
Similarities and differences involving the history of the Ross and Amundsen Seas
Both are named after famous explorers, the Ross Sea after Sir James Clark Ross who was born in 1800 and was the nephew of the famous Scottish explorer Sir John Ross, and Amundsen Sea after Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian polar explorer. Both men were experienced explorers and had been in several expeditions before reaching the waters which they named after themselves. Both areas are different in that the Ross Sea has incredible biological diversity and a long history of human exploration and scientific research. Marine life is as abundant now as it was thousands of years ago; whereas the Amundsen Sea’s extreme temperatures and living environment allow for its only inhabitants to include bacteria and microscopic plankton. Only in recent years new organisms sea urchins, sea cucumbers, brittle stars and star fish, crustaceans, and various kinds of worm-like creatures have been discovered. Maybe a colossal squid as well.
On his voyage Sir James Clark Ross was asked by England because of all of the experience that he had sailing in the Arctic, to sail to Tasmania and make a permanent settlement there so that he could make magnetic observations. During his trip in the Arctic he found the north magnetic pole. On his expedition to the south he made a stop in Hobart. On his quest for the south magnetic pole he made numerous stops including ones in: The Auckland Islands and the Campbell Island. Then he traveled south some more until he crossed over the Antarctic Circle where he encountered an Antarctic pack of ice not explored by men. After long days he broke into a clearing of just water, which he named the Ross Sea!!! That Journey Lasted from October 5th 1839 to January 9th 1840.
By his own choice to discover the South Pole on June 3rd 1910, Amundsen left Norway on a small ship called the Fram and headed south. At Maderia, a Portuguese island is where Amundsen informed his crew about the journey they were about to make and everyone was aboard with the plan. From there he continued south to the Cape Town and on January 14th, 1911, Amundsen, along with his fellow crew members, arrived at Bay of Whales at the eastern edge of Ross Ice Shelf; also known as the Great Ice Barrier. They then proceeded to finish the journey via skis and dog sled. On December 14th, 1912, Amundsen reached the South Pole. After proudly marking the spot with the Norwegian flag, they wrote letters of accomplishment and returned back to their base camp on January 25th, 1912. After finishing their time at the South Pole, they arrived at Hobart, Australia and it is on March 7th, 1912 that they were recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments.
Sir James Clark Ross has no clear documented sources for the Ross expedition specifically, but overall ocean voyages were riskier as we go farther into the past.
Roald Amundsen has written several works and kept journals of his explorations. The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the “Fram,” 1910-1912, he recalls his journey to the South Pole from the start to finish. In his book he writes about the history of the Antarctic, he names previous expeditions, and explorers like Sir James Clark Ross and their contributions to the land. The book also tells about his plans and preparations, possible routes and the reason for why he kept the expedition a secret from Captain Scott. The book was first published in 1912 in Norwegian and it was published in the United States in 2001.
Damages to the Seas:
Both the Ross and Amundsen Seas are suffering from the fast melting ice. In the Amundsen Sea a possible reason for the melting of the ice sheet is that because warm water is constantly eating away at it, the pressure is weakening on all ends of the ice shelf. As a result, it is losing pressure, and losing strength. Similar in the Ross Sea the warm water is melting away the Ross Ice Shelf and Overwhelming evidence suggests that over-fishing has profoundly damaged most of the surrounding ecosystems.
Now to kind of jump from talking about James Ross and Roald Amundsen, we should figure this question out.
Who saw Antarctica first? There are three men who are credited with first seeing Antarctica in 1820. It’s rather weird to think that there were actually three explorers in the same area within months of each other. If Twitter was around in the 1820’s, this could have been avoided.
Palmer: Yo, I just discovered a continent, what up! #Legendary
Nathaniel B. Palmer of the USA, Edward Bransfield of Great Britain, and Fabian von Bellingshausen of Russia. Nathaniel, as you all know very well now, was noted as the first American explorer to discover and set foot on Antarctica. To reiterate Palmer’s path, and looking at this amazing map, Palmer leaves the Punta Arenas [Volcano] and arrives at Anvers Island and manages to avoid giant colossal squid. However, this is very ambiguous as soon as one crosses over from American history books to other cultures.
Looking at Edward Bransfield’s expedition representing Great Britain, you can see how I drew it on Google Earth his start from the Stanley, Falkland Islands. His crew will then venture towards the South Shetland Islands, where Bransfield would name the strait between Antarctica and the islands after himself. On January 30th, traveling down his strait, Edward will spot Trinity Peninsula, which is the most northern point of the continent which was the official discovery of Antarctica – in Britain. After naming mountains and islands for himself and his [late] King, like all explorers, Bransfield and crew set sail back out with Gamage Point to their backs in a sense to the Western edge of Antarctica, and as if you look at the map, their voyage will end almost in the middle of nowhere, where they will be teleported by unseen forces back home in an instant. However, unknown to Bransfield, just two days prior to Edward reaching the Shetlands, Bellingshausen already “discovered” Antarctica.
If we zoom over to Fabian von Bellingshausen’s expedition, which some would argue that it occurred from 1819-1821, you can see in this lovely image of expeditions all around Antarctica, Fabian’s circumnavigation around Antarctica. You can describe Bellingshausen journey around the circle of frigid frozen fantasies as an opportunity to set a much larger world record. On the map here, you can see how Fabian persistently tries to get to mainland Antarctica, but is repelled by thick ice. On his way of completing his circumnavigation, Faddey [Fadian in Russian] sails around the Amundsen Sea, nears the point of the untouched and presently known Palmer Land, heads back out past Gamage Point to end his voyage. With this discovery taking place on the 28th January, the facts would definitely put Bellingshausen at the first to discover Antarctica.
However, aside from these 3 expeditions, there is one man [and a crew of people I suppose] who can be credited with the thought of a southern continent.
James Cook. His second voyage (1772-75). Many Europeans believed that there was still an undiscovered continent suitable for European Settlement (so much for the Revolutionary War) in the Southern Hemisphere. The fascinating thing was that Cook was able to figure out that Antarctica was not a suitable place for living despite the fact that Cook failed to actually sight any part of the Antarctica continent. He was able to establish however that a continent must exist.
Quote: “…there may be a Continent or large tract of land near the Pole, I will not deny,” “… we have seen a part of it. The excessive cold, the many islands and vast floats of ice all tend to prove that there must be land to the South” (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1997/antpanel/4past.htm Exhibit 9).
Das, Dan, Tiffany, Mario, Nina, and THE DRAGON SLAYER.