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The UK Cuts Antarctic Research

By Penny Paugh

The British polar research community is at risk. The UK government plans massive cuts, more than 25 percent, to the budget of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The cuts are ordered as a means to reduce the UK’s national deficit.

A twilit Antarctic landscape. Reproduced from BAS.

BAS is the leading UK polar research body and one of the world’s most respected polar research institutions.  It was three BAS scientists who discovered the “ozone hole” in the Antarctic in 1974.

Research conducted by the group has encompassed geology, climate change, marine science, and biodiversity, as well as the monitoring of natural hazards, such as sea level rises.

The British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Based in Cambridge, United Kingdom, it has, for over 60 years, undertaken the majority of Britain’s scientific research on and around the Antarctic continent. It now shares that continent with scientists from over thirty countries.

BAS has employed over 400 staff, and supported three stations in the Antarctic at Rothera, Halley and Signy, and two stations on South Georgia, at King Edward Point and Bird Island.


F. Andrey (April 9, 2012) “UK Cuts Antarctic Research as More Players Compete for Arctic Resources,” Voice of Russia. Retrieved from:

“British Antarctic Survey,”

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