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| Estimated reading time: 2 min.|| Karina Jozami Martín Rubinetti|
Find out everything about the scientific research bases located in Antarctica, where men co-exist in an environment of peaceful cooperation.
|Ever since the signing of the Antartic Treaty, the various countries that participated in this agreement have been settling down permanent and temporary stations there, essential for scientific progress in Anctartica.|
After the first base was settled in February 1904, on the Orcadas by the Argentinian government, 20 countries opened about 100 stations. In winter, these bases accommodate approximately 1,000 people, and in the southern summer, the time when there is more activity on the continent, the area can be dwelled by 10,000 inhabitants.
Men and women residing in the Antartic region have a strong scientific and service vocation they use to make face to the hostile environment and the harsh weather. Far away from the noise, but also from the comfort provided by big cities, the daily routine at the temporary or permanent bases generally represents a hard fight against natural conditions.
|Even if modern technology has facilitated a fluid communication with the continent, the isolation and the long distances demand a large deployment of effort and resources to maintain the various stations. The hard work is done during the summer months, when the areas most isolated by the ice can be reached. Logistic support is organized through ice-breakers, vessels, helicopters and planes, as well as bulldozers and other minor vehicles that permit the renovation of forces, the provision of supplies all year round and the withdrawal of dangerous waste.|
The bases reflect the identity of the country they represent, but at the same time, many of them summon so many people from various nationalities that an atmosphere of cultural diversity is created.
|Most of them were built on the northern end of the Antartic Peninsula, as this is the closest point to the American continent. |
On 25 de Mayo Island (King George Island), where a varied wildlife may be observed, lies the Chilean Base Presidente Eduardo Frey, with a civil community which resides there all year round, next to the Russian Station Bellingshausen, which has a small orthodox church.
|The only school in Antarctica operates at the Argentinian base Esperanza which is also a place of great scientific interest due to the discovery of fossils in the area. It was in this base where, in January 1978, the first man was born on the Antartic continent: the Argentinian Emilio Marcos Palma.|
|Outside the peninsula, which is the most disputed area as regards sovereignty, the distribution of the various stations is sparser. The American base McMurdo, lying 3,500 kilometers to the South of New Zealand, on Ross Island, which shelters the largest community in Anctartica, stands out. From this point, other American bases may be visited: Amundsen Scott, which is almost on the geographical South Pole. Conditions are extreme in this base, where a group of 30 people co-exist. Temperatures may reach minus 90º and it is totally isolated in winter. In turn, due to is favorable location, Amudsen Scott has a center specialized in atmospheric, climate, astronomic and physical studies.|
|Each of them having a special particular feature, all bases in Antarctica give shelter to stories and experiences that go beyond any scientific progress and which express everyday life in a place where nature rules.|