The South Pole Fifty Years After

Walter Sullivan


"Great God! this is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without the reward of priority ..." That cry of anguish from the diary of Robert Falcon Scott rings loudly in our memories this anniversary year, for it was 50 years ago last January that he and his four companions found that the Norwegians had beaten them to the South Pole. The intervening half-century has been one of breathless change. We are separated from the "race" to the Pole by two world wars, by the transformation of empires, by technological advances that have revolutionized transport and communications. It is, in fact, difficult for the younger generation to appreciate the problems that confronted Scott and Amundsen. Yet, with another great adventure before us, it is fitting to look back, both admiringly and critically, on the rival efforts of five decades ago. There are sufficient parallels to current preparations for landing men on the moon to encourage us to assess the triumph and tragedy that occurred in the antarctic summer of 1911-12. ...


Fast ice; Measurement; Pancake ice; Physical properties; Salinity; Sea ice; Spatial distribution; Strength; North Star Bugt, Greenland

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