- Antarctica is the only continent to be discovered so far untouched by the coronavirus.
- Thousands of researchers travel there every year during the summer season.
- The region̵7;s ice sheet is a treasure trove of climate data.
A continent on Earth remains unaffected by the coronavirus.
Scientists want to keep it that way, so they’re mostly going through annual research trips to the region or scaling them back.
But they say doing so means sacrificing research critical and sensitive to climate change.
“It’s grief in the gut, “Nancy Bertler, director of the Antarctic Science Platform in New Zealand, told National Geographic. let ‘s wait a year. “
(MORE: COVID-19 infections in the US 5 million major)
Antarctica has some of the toughest conditions on the planet. The almost 2.5-kilometer-thick layer of ice that sits beneath the continent is a key record of climate change and environmental impacts, according to the British Antarctic Survey. Scientists also monitor ice melting, temperatures and other data to trace the past and future of global warming. The hole in the ozone layer was first discovered over Antarctica in 1985, drawing the world’s attention to things like chemical pollution, atmospheric science and climate change.
The search season in Antarctica runs from October to May, which is summer at the South Pole. Antarctica has no inhabitants, and the only permanent structures consist of 40 or more research stations spread on ice and barren snow. Those stations support thousands of researchers each year, with limited medical care and complicated supply chains for essential items.
“No nation has medical facilities to deal with people who are seriously ill, “Jane Ant Francis, British director of the Antarctic Survey, told the BBC.
Not only that, but arriving in Antarctica usually consists of several air or boat trips, or a combination. Travel can often cross several places, something that is not always allowed – or considered careful – in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
New Zealand, for example, is a major stop for Antarctic researchers, but there are also strict measures in place to keep coronavirus cases low.
More than 20 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, and approximately 745,000 people have died. The number of known cases in the US now stands at over 5 million, with more than 165,000 deaths.
-The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced Wednesday that the football season would be delayed by February, according to WNCN-TV.
-Annesty will decrease drastically at the Derby this year in Kentucky, already postponed from May to September, the Courier Journal reported. About 23,000 people will be allowed in Churchill Downs for the race, but that’s only about 14% of the largest crowd ever participated in the Derby, which was 170,513 people in 2015.
-Two schools in northern Alabama made a last minute change to learn online for at least the first two weeks of school after a person affiliated with both schools tested positive for COVID-19, WAAY-TV reported. The decision was announced less than 24 hours before school started on Wednesday. The move affected about 1,200 students in total at Moulton and Moulton Elementary High School in Lawrence County.
-Two people in Tennessee who put on a big house party face charges on several count of misdemeanors for violating local emergency health orders, Tennessee reported. The party, held Aug. 1 in East Nashville, attracted hundreds of guests. Police charged Jeffrey W. Mathews, 36, and Christopher ‘Shi’ Eubank, 40, with running the party. Mathews was held in jail Tuesday afternoon on charges of breaking orders banning large gatherings and mandating the wearing of masks. Police were still waiting for Eubanks to return inside, according to the Associated Press.
-The Golf Masters 2020 Championship at the Augusta National Golf Club will be played November 9-15, without spectators. August chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement Wednesday that club clients and guests will not do are allowed on a base basis during the tournament, and all tickets issued this year will be honored in 2021.
-The Big 12 conference announced on Wednesday that it will move forward playing football and other college sports in the fall. The Atlantic and Southeast Coast conferences have previously made similar announcements, while the Big 10 and Pac-12 said they would not have an autumn sports season. The conferences have the largest college football programs in the entire country and include what is known as the “Five Power”.
-Franza recorded her biggest daily increase in cases since May 6, around the time the country eased coronavirus restrictions, CNN reported.
-In Brazil, Sao Paulo Governor João Doria announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. Nearly 640,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Sao Paulo, most of every state or territory in every country, according to Johns Hopkins data. The city of Sao Paulo is one of the largest in the world and the state as a whole has about 44 million inhabitants.
-Three students in Melbourne, Australia, were fined about $ 1,200 each for violating curfew rules to spend a night at McDonald’s, the AP reported. The city is under a strict blockade order for a recent increase in coronavirus cases.
For the latest coronavirus information in your county and a full list of important resources to help you make smarter decisions about the disease, see our dedicated COVID-19 site.
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