Research and tourism in Antarctica

The weather is most favourable during the Antarctic summer, and each year some 40,000 tourists travel to Antarctica to experience its unique environment.

Summer in Antarctica falls between September and March. At the height of summer, the midnight sun keeps it light around the clock. The southern summer is the season when most research is conducted at and around Antarctica’s hundred or so research stations. Roughly 8,000 researchers and technical personnel work in Antarctica during the southern summer months. Marine research is also possible during the southern summer when the sea ice recedes. The number of researchers who overwinter, i.e., remain throughout the entire dark and climatically inhospitable southern winter, is upwards of a thousand.

Polar research is valuable

Important research projects are being conducted in Antarctica. For example, researchers drill ice cores and collect bedrock samples. Analyses of these samples can indicate how the climate has changed during the Earth’s development. Armed with that knowledge, we can try to predict the Earth’s future climatic development. Other researchers are looking for fossils in order, for example, to determine what animals lived in Antarctica mil­lions of years ago. Such knowledge can help them understand how changes in Antarctic biodiversity are connected to changes in the ecosystem.

Respect the scientific activities in Antarctica, and do not disrupt ongoing research projects.

Last modified: 10 April 2017