The South Pole is turning into a waste dump, with leftovers from
experimental set-ups slowly decomposing. Mounds of rubbish,
discarded oil cans, car batteries and some dangerous chemicals
litter the South Pole, according to a report.
"We have a genuine waste problem in the Antarctic," says
Hans-Ulrich Peter of the University Jena, Germany, who co-wrote
Scientists are most concerned about King George Island, about 120
km off the Antarctic. It is there, more precisely on the Fildes
Peninsula, where the ecologist has been doing research on a
regular basis since 1983 and meticulously documented the changes
in the environment.
"The Fildes Peninsula is one of the largest ice-free areas of the
Antarctic with a relatively high degree of biodiversity," Peter
University Jena ecologists noticed that during the last 30 years,
not only can global climate change be gravely felt in the
Antarctic, natural life is equally threatened by the influence of
human beings on the local environment of the south polar region,
according to a Jena statement.
"Due to the extreme climatic conditions, the sensitive vegetation
only recovers very slowly," Christina Braun, member of Peter's
She has visited King George Island seven times already for
"Vehicle tracks sometimes remain there for decades," she
explained, adding that the vegetation is not only damaged by
vehicles and building work.
According to Braun, the unique flora of the Antarctic is equally
threatened by 'imported' plants. "Some years ago, we found some
non-native plants near the Russian research station Bellingshausen."
Insects and other animal and plant species inadvertently imported
by participants of expedition present dangers for the ecosystem.