Henryk Arctowski Station, the research station of the Polish Academy of Science in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, West Antarctica, is one of the most heavily visited bases in Antarctica. Between the seasons 1991/92 and 1996/97, 12884 tourists were recorded. A specially designed tourist trail was marked to divert visitors toward alternative attractions, not only the station buildings. Tourist management goals include: environmental protection, minimising waste and pollution, respecting the rules relating to protected areas, and prohibition of collections and souveniring.
The authors describe the scope of Polish studies in the field of biology and ecology carried on during 20 years of activity of Polish Antarctic Station. Principal results are briefly summarized and ample literature is presented.
Alongside the purely scientific nature and the first wintering in Antarctica, another innovative feature of the Belgica expedition was its multinational composition. Two, out of its seven persons strong scientific staff, were Polish - H. Arctowski and A. B. Dobrowolski. The first served as scientific deputy-leader of the expedition, the other as laboratory assistant and meteorologist. Their contribution to the scientific success of the Belgian Antarctic Expedition outlined in the present paper, turned into the starting point of brilliant academic careers in the native country and at international level. Both, Arctowski and Dobrowolski, were acknowledged as symbols of the Polish explorations and scientific investigations in polar regions.
Poland has been active in Antarctica for 41 years and modernizes its infrastructure and research program in accordance with the recommendations of the Antarctic Treaty, SCAR, and international recommendations.
During three austral summer seasons cargo, expeditioner clothes and equipment of the Polish Antarctic Expedition were examined for the presence of alien propagules. Detailed inspections were undertaken at the station buildings, searching for any invertebrates. During each austral summer fresh fruits and vegetables were also inspected. A total of 359 invertebrates and their remains were found in cargo transported to Arctowski Station, or caught in the station’s facilities. The majority of samples were classified as cultivation pests (26%), food pests (43%), wood−destroying pests (4%), domestic insects and arachnids (15%). Through supply of the research station a wide range of alien organisms can be accidentally transported and ultimately introduced to the Antarctic. This study has clearly demonstrated that almost all cargo items can be a potential vector for alien organisms. Species from a broad range of biological groups can be transported to the Antarctic and remain in a viable state.
This paper describes the spatial differentiation of topoclimatic conditions in the vicinity of the Arctowski Station (King George Island, Antarctica) during the summer season of the 2006/2007. The measurement stations were located in the Point Thomas oasis as well as on the Ecology Glacier and Warszawa Icefield. The paper analyses meteorological elements such as air temperature, air humidity (eight sites) and wind direction and velocity (three sites). Significant topoclimatic diversities resulting from denivelation, exposure, ground properties and local air circulation were recorded in the study area.
An attempt was made to determine the vertical momentum and heat exchange in the near-ground atmosphere layer in the specific conditions of a sub-Antarctic island. For this purpose, some of the results of the measurements of temperature and wind speed carried out at the levels 10, 2, 0.5 and 0.05 m, during the IVth Antarctic Expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences in March 1980, were used. The vertical gradients of the two elements and the wind stress and the heat flux in the layers under study, were calculated.
In the summer 1980-1981, in the Antarctic areas, in the coastal zone of Admiralty Bay (King George Island), complex measurements were carried out in order to investigate the proportion of wind gustiness in the processes generating marine spray systems and stimulating aerosol mass exchange between the sea and the atmosphere.
The investigations carried out during the 5th Antarctic Expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences allowed to collect the data concerning specificity of the dynamics of sea-salt nuclei dispersed in the Antarctica region. At the established measuring point measurements at three levels were carried out, basing on which the required profile of the wind characteristics at different heights a.s.l. were obtained.