Geography in the news

Weddell Sea Expedition 2019

On January 1st 2019 a group pf 40 people set off on a 45 day science expedition to find Ernest Shackleton’s sunken ship. The Endurance set sail in 1914 and headed with Shackleton’s crew to the Weddell Sea on the edge of the Antarctica. In 1915 it became trapped in ice and crushed, causing it to sink.

The expedition was the first to use underwater vehicles as the ship was thought to be 3000 metres under water.

The team reached the wreck site, however it was hampered by extreme weather conditions, which meant that a state-of-the-art underwater vehicle was lost and the expedition vessel was at risk of getting trapped in ice, and therefore it was decided to abandon the search.

Weird, wild and wonderful weather!

  • Temperatures as low as –70°C have been recorded in northern Greenland.                                               
  • Antarctica holds the record for the coldest temperature ever observed on Earth: at Vostok the temperature was 2 ◦C on 21st July 1983. Brrr!
  • In Antarctica there are windstorms called ‘Herbies’ that can gust to 100mph!
  • On Saturday February 24th 2018 the temperature on Greenland’s northern tip reached 6 ◦C, leading climate scientists to describe the phenomenon as “crazy,” “weird,” “scary stuff” and “simply shocking,” as it was warmer than most places in Europe on that day!
  • The highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica was 14.6°C on January 5th 1974.
  • The highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica was 17.5 °C on 24th March 2015.

Fabulous facts- Did you know?


  • The Antarctic is the coldest, windiest, snowiest place on Earth.
  • It is classed as an ice desert as there is so little rain
  • The South Pole is found in Antarctica.
  • Polar bears have white fur but black skin.
  • It is a huge continent of 5.4 million square miles, with ice and rock making up most of the landscape.
  • Antarctica is bigger than Europe and almost double the size of Australia.
  • Most of Antarctica is covered in ice over 1.6 kilometres thick (1 mile).
  • While humans don’t permanently live in Antarctica, several thousand people live and work at various research facilities there.
  • Well known animals that live in Antarctica include penguins and seals.
  • The name ‘Antarctica’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘opposite to the north’.


  • The Arctic region is found in the northern hemisphere and is made up of: parts of Russia, Greenland, Canada, USA, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland.  
  • Scientists usually define the Arctic as the area above the ‘Arctic Circle’— an imaginary line that circles around the top of the globe.
  • Because of the Earth’s tilt, for at least one day a year there’s an entire day of darkness and also a full day of sunshine!
  • Despite the freezing-cold temperatures, approximately four million people call this place home.
  • The indigenous people of the Arctic are called the ‘Inuits‘.
  • In 1958, a submarine called the USS Nautilus sailed beneath the frozen ice of the Arctic Ocean.
  • The word ‘Arctic’ is from a Greek word meaning ‘bear’.

Geography genius quiz questions-

  1. Who led the first team to reach the South Pole?
  2. Where do polar bears live- the Arctic or Antarctic?
  3. What is the smallest breed of penguin?
  4. A fascinating species found only in the Arctic is the narwhal, often referred to as the ‘unicorn of the sea’ because male narwhals have a long straight tusk. How long can these grow to?
  5. The ice of the Arctic contains what percentage of the world’s fresh water?
  6. If all the ice in Antarctica were to melt how much would sea levels rise by?

ANSWERS IN BY Friday 3rd May to 5EV

Winners will be announced in an assembly


Single-Use Plastic Free February

We have been looking in assembly this week how to support the single-use plastic free February campaign. Today Alison the Bee Lady came into assembly to talk about the bee’s wax wraps that she makes.