Henryk Arctowski Station, the research station of the Polish Academy of Science in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, West Antarctica, is one of the most heavily visited bases in Antarctica. Between the seasons 1991/92 and 1996/97, 12884 tourists were recorded. A specially designed tourist trail was marked to divert visitors toward alternative attractions, not only the station buildings. Tourist management goals include: environmental protection, minimising waste and pollution, respecting the rules relating to protected areas, and prohibition of collections and souveniring.
The authors describe the scope of Polish studies in the field of biology and ecology carried on during 20 years of activity of Polish Antarctic Station. Principal results are briefly summarized and ample literature is presented.
Poland has been active in Antarctica for 41 years and modernizes its infrastructure and research program in accordance with the recommendations of the Antarctic Treaty, SCAR, and international recommendations.
During three austral summer seasons cargo, expeditioner clothes and equipment of the Polish Antarctic Expedition were examined for the presence of alien propagules. Detailed inspections were undertaken at the station buildings, searching for any invertebrates. During each austral summer fresh fruits and vegetables were also inspected. A total of 359 invertebrates and their remains were found in cargo transported to Arctowski Station, or caught in the station’s facilities. The majority of samples were classified as cultivation pests (26%), food pests (43%), wood−destroying pests (4%), domestic insects and arachnids (15%). Through supply of the research station a wide range of alien organisms can be accidentally transported and ultimately introduced to the Antarctic. This study has clearly demonstrated that almost all cargo items can be a potential vector for alien organisms. Species from a broad range of biological groups can be transported to the Antarctic and remain in a viable state.
This paper describes the spatial differentiation of topoclimatic conditions in the vicinity of the Arctowski Station (King George Island, Antarctica) during the summer season of the 2006/2007. The measurement stations were located in the Point Thomas oasis as well as on the Ecology Glacier and Warszawa Icefield. The paper analyses meteorological elements such as air temperature, air humidity (eight sites) and wind direction and velocity (three sites). Significant topoclimatic diversities resulting from denivelation, exposure, ground properties and local air circulation were recorded in the study area.
An attempt was made to determine the vertical momentum and heat exchange in the near-ground atmosphere layer in the specific conditions of a sub-Antarctic island. For this purpose, some of the results of the measurements of temperature and wind speed carried out at the levels 10, 2, 0.5 and 0.05 m, during the IVth Antarctic Expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences in March 1980, were used. The vertical gradients of the two elements and the wind stress and the heat flux in the layers under study, were calculated.
In the summer 1980-1981, in the Antarctic areas, in the coastal zone of Admiralty Bay (King George Island), complex measurements were carried out in order to investigate the proportion of wind gustiness in the processes generating marine spray systems and stimulating aerosol mass exchange between the sea and the atmosphere.
The investigations carried out during the 5th Antarctic Expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences allowed to collect the data concerning specificity of the dynamics of sea-salt nuclei dispersed in the Antarctica region. At the established measuring point measurements at three levels were carried out, basing on which the required profile of the wind characteristics at different heights a.s.l. were obtained.
The occurrence of coreless winters in the South Shetland Islands region is related to increase in the intensity of cyclonic circulation and to the presence of massive and rapid advection of warm air northerly and westerly. Coreless winter developments depend on large-scale oceanic processes – the presence of positive anomalies in sea surface temperature (SST) in the Bellingshausen Sea over the range 080°–092°W and the retreat of sea ice extent southwards. When negative anomalies of SST in the same region are observed and the sea ice extent advances northwards, a winter with clearly marked cold core is experienced at the Arctowski Station on the South Shetlands.
A topographic map 1:12,500 scale of the SSSI No. 8 and the Arctowski Station region was prepared during the XXV Polish Polar Expedition (2000/2001) organized by the Department of Antarctic Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences. The map documents geomorphological changes which took place during the last 20 years. Several new place names have been introduced for the SSSI No. 8 area.