This summer, more than 50 cruise ships will brave the two-day trip across Drake Passage below Patagonia, destined for Antarctica.

During the COVID summer of 2020-21, just 15 tourists visited the icy continent. This summer, 100,000 tourists are expected to make the trip.

Today, the University of Tasmania’s Elizabeth Leane and her colleagues examine what all those visitors mean for Antarctica and its fragile ecosystems. They tell us as tourism grows, so will environmental impacts such as pollution from cruise ship funnels, and invasive species brought in on visitors’ boots and clothes.

But done well, tourism in Antarctica can have a very low environmental impact. And there’s a big upside for nature: tourists often return with a new appreciation for Earth’s precious wild places.

Nicole Hasham

Energy + Environment Editor

More than 100,000 tourists will head to Antarctica this summer. Should we worry about damage to the ice and its ecosystems?

Elizabeth Leane, University of Tasmania; Anne Hardy, University of Tasmania; Can Seng Ooi, University of Tasmania; Carolyn Philpott, University of Tasmania; Hanne E.F. Nielsen, University of Tasmania; Katie Marx, University of Tasmania

More of us than ever want to see the ice continent. But is the environmental awakening many return with worth the emissions and possible environmental damage?

High, Supreme, Federal, Family, County – what do all our different courts actually do?

David Heilpern, Southern Cross University

All criminal matters start in the local court. The more serious ones work their way up to the higher courts for sentence or trial.

What happens to your body on a long-haul flight?

Tony Schiemer, University of Adelaide

No, you’re not imagining it. Your body does some weird things up in the air. Here’s a guide to the common and merely embarrassing to the rare, but serious.

Who is and isn’t suited to barefoot running? And if I want to try, how do I start?

Natalie Collins, The University of Queensland; Bill Vicenzino, The University of Queensland; Kathryn Mills, Macquarie University

Thinking of trying barefoot running? We investigated a new strategy to switch from traditional shoe to barefoot running, and why barefoot running may work for some runners but not others.

‘Boys will be boys’: why consumers don’t punish big polluters for greenwashing lies

Adam Austen Kay, The University of Queensland

Companies seen as big polluters suffer little in terms of reputation and sales when they are found making misleading claims about protecting the environment.

Should I loosen up on the kids’ bedtime these holidays – or stick to the schedule? Tips from a child sleep expert

Sarah Blunden, CQUniversity Australia

A few one-off late nights and sleep-ins won’t hurt, but it’s best not to fall completely off the bedtime routine wagon during the holidays.

5 tips to take the best care of your voice for everyone who sings, from a speech pathologist

Sandra Rojas, Federation University Australia

Everyone who sings – from young students to passionate amateurs – should be taking care of their voice.

When Nobel met Booker: Dario Fo, Barry Unsworth, and one shambolic Italian summer

Richard Newsome, The University of Queensland

Stifling heat, drunk actors, an unfinished script – in 1985, novelist Barry Unsworth observed the chaotic creative process of playwright Dario Fo.

How to feed your garden birds if you want to attract and support native species

Daria Erastova, University of Auckland; Ellen Hume, University of Auckland; Margaret Stanley, University of Auckland

Sugar water feeding in cities helps native nectar-eating birds in winter, but it’s important to use the right feeders to avoid pathogens.


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