On January 9, 1909, a polar exploration team led by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton reached the farthest point south ever traveled by humans. This southern location was 88 degrees, 23 minutes south longitude, 162 degrees east latitude. The team was 97 nautical miles away from the South Pole, but the Antarctic weather was too severe for them to safely go on.

The Nimrod Expedition, named after Shackleton’s ship, was one of several trips made by explorers during the “race to the pole.” A rival expedition led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, would reach the South Pole only three years later. These Antarctic explorers mapped the last unexplored continent. They also made important discoveries about the plants and animals living in this remote region. Today, Antarctica is regularly visited by cruise ships and is home to international research stations that provide us with important data about global climate change.

Noun

gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

Noun

one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

cruise ship
Noun

vessel transporting tourists on a trip.

data
Plural Noun

(singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.

exploration
Noun

study and investigation of unknown places, concepts, or issues.

explorer
Noun

person who studies unknown areas.

Noun

distance north or south of the Equator, measured in degrees.

Noun

distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees.

polar
Adjective

having to do with the North and/or South Pole.

remote
Adjective

distant or far away.

research station
Noun

structure or structures built for scientific study of the surrounding region, possibly including residential and lab facilities.

Noun

fixed point that, along with the North Pole, forms the axis on which the Earth spins.

Noun

state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.

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