This lecture will describe the central actors—both individuals, institutions, and nations—which have shaped the Southern Ocean, defining it as both a scientific and geopolitical object, across the twentieth century and into the present.
The cold ocean that flows around Antarctica, and which is bounded to the north by the Antarctic Polar Front, is today known as the Southern Ocean. Human knowledge of the separateness of this ocean, from both physical and biological oceanographic perspectives, was achieved across the twentieth century. It was the site of the near total slaughter of baleen whales in the first half of the century. Since the 1980s, the Southern Ocean has been managed, in part, by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, an international organisation dedicated to conserving the whole marine ecosystem while also allowing resource exploitation.
Dr Alessandro Antonello is a senior research fellow in history at Flinders University. His research to date has investigated the environmental, cultural, and international histories of Antarctica, the cryosphere, the world oceans, and other elements of the global environment. More recently he has begun work on the history of seagrass. He has published extensively, including the book The Greening of Antarctica: Assembling an International Environment.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
18 May 2023
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