The far reaches of Antarctica are no longer visited only by scientists and their support staff. Adventure tourists and curiosity seekers from Europe, North America and beyond now come by the boatful — and they’re bringing some souvenirs from home. Ecologist Steven Chown tells Robert Siegel that visitors unknowingly carry seeds on their clothes and bags. He says they’ve helped spread dozens of invasive plant species on the continent and risk permanently changing Antarctica’s ecology.
Russian researchers in Antarctica are on the verge of piercing a hole through two miles of ice into an ancient lake, untouched by the light of day for some 20 million years. But it’ll be a delicate process to break through without disturbing the pristine waters. Guest host David Green speaks with Antarctic researcher John Priscu about the process.