Science: Antarctic Rush

The southern hemisphere's spring sun was warming Antarctica to almost zero temperature last week. Bands of spectral light bunted the grey ice plateaux with sham festivity. The fringe of sea ice along the continent's frigid hem was softening. Soon four parties of explorers could be poking about the continent.

On the continent itself, at Little America on the edge of Ross Sea which bites deeply towards the South Pole, was Commander Richard Evelyn Byrd and his large party. They were breaking out of their eight months' hibernation. Dog sledges had started making caches for...

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