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Coast Guard cutter Polar Star crew members on the ice about 13 miles from McMurdo Station in Antarctica, January 26, 2018.

A fire broke out aboard the US’s only heavy icebreaker in one of the most remote places on earth

The Polar Star makes a resupply trip to Antarctic research stations each year, but the journey is increasingly challenging for the aging icebreaker.
An aerial view of SALSA scientists retrieving the corer on January 7, 2019.

In a hidden lake far below the Antarctic ice, scientists found the bodies of tiny creatures. Photos reveal how they accomplished the deep dive.

A team drilled deep under the Antarctic ice sheet to a lost lake, and made a surprising discovery. They've now shared new footage of the effort.
Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star opens a channel to McMurdo Station in Antarctica for the supply ship Ocean Giant, January 26, 2015.

Great-power competition is growing in the Arctic, but lawmakers want to cut funding for the US’s next icebreaker

A spending bill recently produced by the House of Representatives excludes funding for the US's next heavy polar icebreaker, which Democrats contend puts the US at a serious disadvantage in Arctic amid rising military competition and oil and gas exploration.
This is the Mertz Glacier in January 2017.

One of the scariest effects of climate change might already be happening — and it’d mean our projections are way off

Warm waters are pooling underneath Antarctic glaciers in a way that's causing glaciers to melt more rapidly. This could slow ocean currents and lead to a rapid sea-level rise event. That pulse, as it's called, could cause seas to rise by more than 10 feet and trigger superstorms.

Antarctica’s new greenhouse can harvest vegetables even when it’s -100 degrees Fahrenheit outside — take a look

The German Aerospace Center's greenhouse in Antarctica just completed a harvest of vegetables in extreme conditions.
The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star cuts through Antarctic ice in the Ross Sea near a large group of seals as the ship’s crew creates a navigation channel for supply ships, January 16, 2017.

The Coast Guard is asking for $15 million to keep its only heavy icebreaker afloat — and for $750 million to finally build a new one

"If we wait another four or five years" to build a new icebreaker, the head of the Coast Guard said, "it's not going to get easier any time in the future."

The Coast Guard is asking for help responding to a ‘mini arms buildup’ with Russia in the Arctic

The US military is pushing to expand its icebreaker fleet — and eyeing Russia's moves in the Arctic warily.
A map of Antarctic ice flow speed.

Hot rock under Antarctica may be melting some of its ice sheets from the bottom-up

A plume of hot mantle rock may be heating West Antarctica, creating lakes and rivers below massive ice sheets and contributing to sea-level rise.
US Coast Guard cutter Polar Star in 2006.

The US Navy and Coast Guard are looking to play catch-up in the Arctic

The Coast Guard has been saying for years that it needs more icebreakers to keep up with activity in Arctic and Antarctic waters.