the-south-asian Life & Times                     April - June 2010




 Editor's Note


'Raja Ravi Varma'
 - by Rupika Chawla

 The Indian Portrait

 Antarctic - 100 years
 ago - and today


 The Golden Chariot
 - a unique train thru
 south India


 Women & Politics
 Sheila Dikshit

 Celebrating Women

 Fast food gets chic


 Maj HPS Ahluwalia




 Future Predictions

 Tarot readings

 Mukhtar Mai









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Antarctica 100 years ago – and today

Compiled by SALT

A view inside an ice grotto showing the "Terra Nova" ship in the distance as Taylor and Wright stand inside.

Photo by H,G Ponting, 5th January, 1911,

Herbert Ponting captured the stark beauty of Antarctica 100 years ago, in a series of landscape shots which remain iconic and timeless to this day.

June 2010 marks the centenary of Captain Robert Scott's epic voyage to the South Pole. Ponting joined Captain Robert Scott’s Terra Nova expedition (1910-12) to the South Pole, as the first professional photographer or ‘camera artist’ as he preferred to be called.

 Ponting left Cape Evans in early 1912, along with eight other men for their voyage home, while Scott and some of the team members set off on their long walk to the Pole – never to return.

Herbert Ponting was the pioneer of modern polar photography. He was the first to bring an artistic eye to the science of recording polar expeditions and life - in a technically challenging and artistically inspiring part of the world that he would ever encounter. His work influenced and inspired other photographers to the Antarctic. Read more in the print edition

How has recent climate change impacted the Antarctic environment?

Recent climate change has driven significant changes in the physical and living environment of the Antarctic. Environmental change is most apparent in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), where climate change has been largest. Adélie penguins, a species well adapted to sea ice conditions, have declined in numbers and been replaced by open-water species such as chinstrap penguins. Melting of perennial snow and ice covers has resulted in increased colonisation by plants. A long-term decline in the abundance of Antarctic krill in the SW Atlantic sector of the southern ocean may be associated with reduced sea ice cover. Read more in the print edition
-Information provided by British Antarctic Survey

The Antarctic – mankind’s only collective legacy

Antarctica has been designated as “a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”.

Scientists and support personnel from 27 nations are involved in research projects across this frozen-continent. India launched its Antarctic Programme in 1981 when it sent its first expedition, a 21-member team, under the leadership of Dr. S. Z. Qasim from the Department of Environment. It was in 1983 that India commissioned its first permanently manned base in the Antarctic - "Dakshin Gangotri". It was set up on an ice shelf off the Princess Astrid Coast (70°45S 12°30E) in central Queen Maud Land. Six years later the station had to be abandoned due to excessive snow accumulation, by which time a second research station - Maitri - had already been constructed, almost 90 kilometers away from Dakshin Gangotri, on a rocky mountainous region called Schirmacher Oasis. A new Indian station, named Bharti, is scheduled to be operational by 2012.  Read more in the print edition


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