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2. Antarctica Prior to the Antarctic Treaty A Historical Perspective Trevor Hatherfon EARLY NOTIONS The earliest recorded concept of a southern polar region derived from Aristotle's demonstration of the spherical shape of the Earth, about the middle of the fourth century B.C. Three pieces of evidence were adduced to substan- tiate that discovery: (1) all matter tends to fall toward a common center, and (2) the more direct observa- tional evidence that the Earth throws a circular shadow on the moon during an eclipse, and (3) as one travels from north to south, familiar stars disappear and new ones come above the horizon. The name of the region reflects its position, i.e., "Antarktos"--opposite the Bear, the northern constellation that contains the pole star, Polaris. A century later, Eratosthenes was able to make a ~ reasonably accurate estimate of the size of the spherical Earth. The knowledge of the shape and size of the Earth completely changed the problems of geography; not only was the existence of an antarctic region confirmed but the possibility of reaching it could be speculated on. Considerations of symmetry suggested that the Earth could be divided into five zones--the southern temperate and polar regions mirroring the similar known regions to the north, and the equatorial torrid zone as in the map of Macrobius (ca A.D. 410). The Stoic philosophers imposed another symmetry based on continents (Figure 2-1). Although Eudoxus of Cyzicus is alleged by Poiseidonius to have set out from Cadiz to attempt the circumnaviga- tion of Africa about 100 B.C. (and was never heard of again), the later preoccupation of the Christianized world with spiritual concerns and the uncomfortable implications for theology of other Habitable worlds" on 15

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16 (a) :' . ---... .~ ,- i ~5 ~~ I.n 7 .~;N ~ ~ a; l,~ omit ~~l T E P E RAiA eA NTI P o ~~,j,~ FIGURE 2-1 Grecian notions of the Earth after Aristotle's discovery and Eratosthenes' measurements: (a) the globe as described by Crates, a stoic Philosopher of ca 150 B.C., which satisfied symmetry by inventing, in addition to the known inhabited world (the Oecumene), three other populated continents: Perioeci (peoples around the globe from the Oecumene), Antoeci (peoples below the Oecumene), and the Antipodes (peoples on the opposite side of the globe) (from Raisz, 1948); (b) the Earth as drawn to the ideas of Macrobius (ca 410 A.D.) following Cicero (first century B.C.); the known world, centered on Jerusalem, is balanced by a large southern continent (from Mill, 1905) (Reprinted with permission).

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17 the Earth led to a neglect of physical speculation and discovery. The antarctic problem was forgotten for almost a millennium and a half, a period during which mankind had neither the motivation nor the technology to advance exploration of any southern land. THE ROUTES OPEN The decay of centers of learning in the eastern Mediter- ranean; the westward transmission of Greek and Arabic knowledge; the strengthening and centralization of power in the states of the Iberian Peninsula; the location of these states on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean; and developing navigation, shipbuilding and sailing tech- niques all led, in the early part of the fifteenth century, to the first long voyages (by Europeans) out of sight of land. An era of exploration of the west African coast, passing through the dreaded "perusta," or torrid zone, initiated by Prince Henry of Portugal 1600 years after Eudoxus, culminated in 1488 with the rounding of the southern tip of the African continent by Bar tholemeu Diaz de Novaes. A decade later Vasco de Gama's voyage by that route to Mombassa and India demolished Ptolemy' S earlier notion of the Indian Ocean as an inland sea bounded in the south by terra incognita. Meanwhile, to the west, Columbus made his first, epic voyage, and exploration of the east coast of South America proceeded so rapidly that in 1520 Ferdinand Magellan was able to round that continent by a strait between it and Tierra del Fuego and emerge into the Pacific Ocean in about 52S latitude. Though he was killed in the Philippine Islands, one of his ships completed the first circumnavigation of the world. Strangely, in view of the rapid growth of exploration, it was more than 50 years before the next circumnaviga- tion. This was led by Francis Drake, who demonstrated that the Atlantic and Pacific oceans met south of Tier ra del Fuego, in the vicinity of which "we found great store of foule which could not fly with the bigness of geese, whereof we killed in lesse than one day three thousand and victualled ourselves thoroughly," thus exploiting antarctic resources (penguins) for the first time. This was still a period of firm belief in the great southern continent (Figure 2-2), even though both Africa and South America were now demonstrably separated from it. Numerous voyagers set out to take possession of this

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18 ~ -! _._- ~7~ ~~.~'l5~ I_ N-- ~ ~~ -a- -a,\\, ~,~ ~ ~ -2~ ~~ -- ~ A _ _ ~ - I\ V~ ~ 9~ - '-''''2~ ~ I/~._ -/1 ;\xi ~ \~ t~ 1 ~ NN~ ;_ 4.~,~r~3'~ :- -x .~-~? .~;.~ FIGURE 2-2 The Orontius Finaeus Map (Southern Hemisphere) of 1531, which because of the remarkable detail that it shows compared with contemporaneous, or even later, charts has raised speculation (Weihaupt, 1984) that the region was mapped before the Age of Discovery. However, portions of this map stretch north of 30S latitude and it would be curious if navigators capable of surveying the boundaries of the continent could not make more accurate measurements of latitude, that most easily determined parameter of position (from Hatherton, 1965) (Reprinted with permission).

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19 hypothetical land, most notably Quiros (1605), but after passing through the Strait of Magellan all were beguiled by the trade winds into too low latitudes. The most important voyage in the seventeenth century was that of Abel Tasman, who swept south of Australia, thus separating that continent from the antarctic landmass. Major trading interests now began to display an inter- est in the hypothetical riches of the great south land, for the Dutch East India Company (Jacob Roggeveen, 1721) and the French East India Company (Bouvet de Lazier, 1739) sent out expeditions to discover and annex the southern lands, and the latter took an ice-clad island in the South Atlantic, later named Bouvet Island after him, to be part of it. REDUCTION TO SIZE By the middle of the eighteenth century, navigation methods had greatly improved, and the introduction of the quadrant gave new precision to determinations of latitude. This period saw great rivalry between French and British in the exploration of the Pacific, and the second expedition of James Cook not only used a reliable chronometer for the first time but also crossed the Antarctic Circle (Figure 2-3). This voyage proved beyond doubt that "habitable" lands did not exist south of the known continents. It also demonstrated that scurvy could be prevented by proper diet. Cook's voyage around the antarctic continent was supplemented during 1819-1821 by a great Russian encirclement in the ships MirnYY and Vostok under Thaddeus van Bellingshausen. This expedition was superbly planned and executed, and comparison of tracks (Figure 2-3) shows that Bellingshausen's vessels sailed over 242 of longitude south of 60S latitude, of which 41 were within the Antarctic Circle, while Cook's vessels made only 125 south of 60S latitude and 24 south of the circle. Bellingshausen's care in crossing all the great gaps left by his predecessor demonstrated beyond any doubt the existence of a continuous open sea south of the 60 parallel. EXPLOITATION--THE SEALS Although Dampier had noted the existence of a very large colony of fur seals at the Juan Fernandez Islands

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20 I=RA/LIA/~) / EAT >~ L~/~ \ ~ t o 0 I! 0 ~; 0 AoOo D O O wO o7O~ ~V SOUTH O~_OOO! AMERICA \ i< / FIGURE 2-3 The voyages of James Cook (1772-1775), solid lines, and Thaddeus von Bellingshausen (1819-1821), dashed lines. The shaded background indicates the unknown area at the time Cook commenced his antarctic voyages.

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21 as early as 1683 while on one of his buccaneering expeditions, the seals remained undisturbed for over a century. However, in seven years in the last decade of the eighteenth century more than 3 million skins were carried from Juan Fernandez to Canton in China, where a good market had been established. This slaughter, which led not surprisingly to the islands being "almost entirely abandoned by the animals," was typical of what was to come. Contemporaneously and farther south, at South Georgia, sealing peaked in 1800-1801 and by 1822 Weddell calculated that at least 1.2 million fur seals (Figure 2-4) had been taken from that island and that the species was virtually extinct there. The last great refuge of Arctocephalus fur seals was found when the brig Williams was blown off course in 1819 and discovered the South Shetland Islands. Exploitation followed immediately on discovery, and at least 47 vessels worked the islands during the following season. James Weddell complained: The quantity of seals taken off these islands, by vessels from different parts, during the years 1821 and 1822, may be computed at 320,000, and the quantity of sea-elephant oil at 940 tons. This valuable animal, the fur seal, might, by a law similar to that which restrains fishermen in the size of the mesh of their nets, have been spared to render annually 100,000 furs for many years to come. This would have followed from not killing the mothers till the young were able to take the water; and even then, only those which appear to be old, together with a proportion of the males, thereby diminishing their numbers, but in slow progression. Unfortunately, no authority existed that was competent to impose and enforce controlled sealing on a sustainable basis, and Weddell, realizing this, played his own part in hastening the destruction of the seals. On the other side of the Southern Ocean, the sub-Antarctic and other islands in the New Zealand region were divested of their seal population by about 1813. A brief recrudescence of fur sealing took place between the 1870s and the early twentieth century, though with much smaller catches than in the earlier period. U.S. sealers were active during the same period in the Indian Ocean sector islands of Kerguelen, Crozet, and Heard.

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22 PACIFIC OCEAN ~ ~ A. aver ~ ISLA S' FELI A. phi ~ i ISLAS JUAI\' FERN' .... a." \ ROSS ~ tANTARCTICA 5 , ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ , 41 ~)~RKI\~IF)\ r ~ ~ ~ ~ I~ WEDDED SEA . BOUT ;= 1 _ t.~w Zi:Al,A,NIl) f~ ~ ert . . TASMAN SEA ~ AUSTRALIA SOUTH AMERICA ATLANTIC OCEAN . ''N. sot . ... 1 ~ ~ : I~ ~ ~ .. istan da (:ullha 11 u -- TV Ct/c:. ~,~'e~g 1~1 . 1. . , ,.,] iJ. (;~' (:L t:I)WARI) .sl AMISS ~ _ .. .. 5 (:R()7.t:1 ~ AFRICA I ~ 1 ~ 1 INDIAN OCEAN FIGURE 2-4 Distribution of ArctocePhalus fur seals in the Southern Hemisphere. These seals are found in their greatest abundance in regions where cool, nutrient-rich waters promote high primary productivity and hence large stocks of the fish and invertebrates on which the seals feed. That these seals thrive in moderate latitudes off South America is due to cool northward-trending currents, such as the Humboldt Current off the coast of Chile (from Bonner, 1982) (Reprinted with permission].

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23 Sealing and discovery were so interrelated in the region now known as the Antarctic Peninsula, and docu- mentation so sparse, that geographical priorities have been difficult to establish, with the names of Bransfield, Smith, Palmer, and Davis being preeminent. But the first reported sighting of the land inside the Antarctic Circle (Peter I. Oy) was that of Bellingshausen. With the depletion almost to extinction of fur seals in the sub-Antarctic islands of the Southern Ocean, the small ships ranged more widely. With a brig of 160 tons and a cutter of 65 tons, James Weddell made a truly remarkable soothing into the sea that now bears his name. James Biscoe, during 1830-1832, while in command of another brig from the same firm of Enderby Brothers, circumnavigated the continent and sighted Enderby Land, named after his ship's owners. He crossed the whole of the southern Pacific in high latitudes, discovering the Biscoe Islands and Graham Land. In 1833 another Enderby captain, Peter Kemp, discovered Heard Island, and in 1839 Enderby Brothers made their last contribution when John Balleny discovered the islands named after him. Throughout all this period and almost to the present day, the pack ice served to protect the four true antarctic seals--the Weddell, crabeater, leopard, and Ross seals--from exploitation. History suggests that there is no reason to suppose, but for the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals of 1972, that these genera also would not have suffered similar depredation in more recent times. SCIENCE AND NATIONAL INTERESTS Commercial interests declined with the proof that land found in high latitudes did not enrich the fur seal industry. The role of antarctic exploration was then taken up by states, with major French, British, and American expeditions around the continent during the years 1838 to 1843 (Figure 2-5). There are about the Earth two great natural phenomena--a gravitational field and a magnetic field--both of which have preoccupied the greatest scientists. The voyage of Halley to the south- east Pacific in 1699 derived from the belief that a knowledge of variation in magnetic declination and inclination would enable geographic position to be derived (this was before the invention of chronometers). However, by the early nineteenth century it was becoming obvious

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24 0 o 0 _ 0 CO 0 ~ U1 o X _ _ a) ~ 3 o . - U] o s U] a, U] o c. - Q. a) At: 8 ~ V In , a, o o . - U] .,' a) 5: .,, 3 - U~ to a, to U] - O ~ O ~ ~ O m Q .,, .,, ~ U]' - a, O ~ ~ U] U) . - 3 ,' 1 ' cat ~ a) ~ . - 3 At, V ::D _ _

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25 that the geomagnetic field changed in intensity and direction with time, and its study became one of the focal points of contemporary research preoccupying the attention of van Humboldt and Gauss among others. Gauss' Allgemeine Theorie des Erdmagnetismus" (1839) was one of the great seminal papers of geophysics and predicted the position of the magnetic poles. All three national expeditions had attaining the south magnetic pole, which Gauss computed to be about 25 south of Tasmania, as one of their objectives, though perhaps in the case of the U.S. and French expeditions it was a subsidiary one. Dispatched by the French Ministry of Marine in the southern summer of 1837-1838, Dumont d'Urville, while trying unsuccessfully to penetrate the Weddell Sea, carried out a season's work near Graham Land before returning to the Antarctic south of Australia in the 1839-1840 season to find his way blocked by ice and land, which he named Terre Adelie. Charles Wilkes commanded the U.S. Exploring Expedition, the orders of which began, The Congress of the U.S. having in view the importance of our commerce embarked in the whale-fisheries and other adventures in the great Southern Ocean ...." Though marred from well before its outset by strife and disagreement, this expedition was nevertheless the first to see a major segment of Antarctica. The British expedition, commanded by James Clark Ross, who had considerable Arctic and magnetic survey experience, having learned of the prior journeys of d'Urville and Wilkes, determined to make its high latitudes farther east. On January 10, 1841, Ross' ships Erebus and Terror reached the open waters of a sea that allowed free penetration to a latitude of about 78S. In November of the same year, Ross returned to that area, and though he did not greatly extend his discoveries, his farthest (south of 78.10S latitude) was to stand for another 58 years until men grew bold enough to tramp inland across the surface of Antarctica. The long hiatus can be attributed to a number of factors. British attention was directed to the Arctic in numerous searches for the lost Franklin expedition and, following this, to exploration of Africa. Colonialism was endemic among European powers, and the United States suffered the trauma of its civil war, subsequently concentrating on its internal economic development.

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26 BECAUSE IT IS THERE The end of the nineteenth century saw the beginning of the first serious exploration of the antarctic continent, conducted largely by the various European powers. Several almost contemporaneous expeditions (Figure 2-6) did start- ling exploration and scientific work around the offshore islands and coastal regions. The Belgian Antarctic Expe- dition (1897-1899), led by Adrian de Gerlache, inadver- tently became the first party to winter in Antarctica when its ship Belgica was beset by pack ice. The over- lapping British Southern Cross Expedition (1898-1900) under Borchgrevink was the first party to winter inten- tionally on the continent, at Cape Adare. Two other expeditions discovered the dangers of antarctic pack ice--the German Antarctic Expedition under Drygalski, whose ship the Gauss was beset, and the even less fortunate Swedish South Polar Expedition led by Nordenskjold, whose ship the Antarctic was crushed and lost. But in the first decade of the twentieth century, public attention focused principally on the quest for the South Pole and on four expeditions, all of exceptional interest. Scott's first expedition produced the earliest extensive sledging on the continent and set a pattern for scientif ic studies, while his second reached the pole only for the party to perish on the return journey, leaving a literary legacy of polar endurance and fortitude. The astonishing ease with which Amundsen reached the pole only 12 years after Borchgrevink's men first set foot on the continent reflects, in Paul Siple's words, "a model of technical performance. n But there are reasons for giving pride of place to the exploits of Ernest Shackleton, who among other things pioneered the route up the glacier near the head of which we now meet and which is named after one of his sponsors, William Beardmoree One of Shackleton's geologists, Douglas Mawson, shortly afterward established Australia as an antarctic nation, exhibiting incredible power of individual endurance during one of his journeys from Cape Denison. From the beginning of the great Age of Discovery in the late 1400s it had taken a century to put Europeans as far as 60S latitude. It took a further 300 years to breach the pack ice to the continent proper but only a decade to cross the last 12 when the first parties traveled by land. It is a matter of reflection that, in spite of eccentricities of civilizations and demography,

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27 1897 _ _ _ __ _ 1 Gerlache 1111111 Borchgrevink .11111111111 . 1898 t899 1900 ~ L 1901 Scott C 1 111 i Bruce 904 T Dryna~ki 11111111 Nordensk told C Am. _ FIGURE 2-6 Synoptic diagram of the earliest wintering parties in Antarctica. The time spent south of 60S latitude is indicated in solid black (from Mill, 1905) (Reprinted with permission).

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28 the two poles, having otherwise geographically opposed characteristics' were reached for the first time by humans almost simultaneously. The Romantic Age of mid- nineteenth-century Europe motivated citizens to journeys with no material objectives, such as war, trade, acquisi- tion of wealth, and religious conversion. The final technology that enabled the two poles to be reached may well have been liquid fuels and stoves portable and efficient enough to sustain life for several months. EXPLOITATION--THE WHALES Whaling has been the major industry by which man has drawn from the great productivity of the cold waters of the arctic and antarctic seas. The oil that is the principal product of the industry is derived from the thick coating of fat or blubber necessary, since whales are warm-blooded mammals, both for insulation and as a reserve store of food and energy during the intervals when whales have to leave for warmer, but less pro- ductive, waters to deliver their young. Modern-style whaling dates from technological developments in the 1860s, when the Norwegian Sven Foyn introduced the harpoon gun with a grenade head and steam-driven catchers became available. Even then, antarctic whale stocks did not become important until the discovery of big packs of the giant Blue Whales by the expeditions at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1904 the first antarctic land station was opened in South Georgia, and whaling rapidly spread to other shore stations and factory ships moored in suitable harbors throughout the Falkland Islands Dependencies. Within three years, antarctic whaling produced more oil than the rest of the world's whaling areas together, and the exploitation of the antarctic regions had moved one step farther south, for with the exception of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands region, whales are caught in higher latitudes than those occupied by fur seals. The British government attempted to control over- fishing by issuing licenses for the factories, which were all within its territorial waters. Attempts to avoid such restrictions on catches led eventually (1925) to pelagic whaling using a mobile factory ship with a slipway up which the whales could be hauled for dismem- berment and processing. The successive degradation of Blue, Fin, and Sei whale catches (and presumably stocks)

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29 since that time can be seen in Figure 2-7. Between 1925 and 1963 a total of 282,903 Blue Whales, the largest of all known animals, living or extinct, was caught. Thus the history of antarctic whaling, like sealing, seems to have been a repeated story of discovery, overexploita- tion, and collapse. THE MODERN ERA Very little exploration was done during the first decade after World War I, but when it resumed it enjoyed the advantage of many developments--including radio, aerial surveys and support, and superior diet, though land travel still depended almost exclusively on dogs until after World War II. The United States was dominant during this period, with both Richard E. Byrd and Lincoln Ellsworth making remarkable contributions. Their achievements and influence encouraged the U.S. government to inaugurate the U.S. Antarctic Service to commence permanent occupation and scientific exploration of parts of Antarctica, but World War II brought this to an untimely end. Nevertheless, the lull was brief, and the winter of 1943 was the last time Antarctica was without at least a transient population. Revenues from whaling licenses assisted the initiation in 1925 of a new era of Southern Ocean studies when the United Kingdom launched the Discovery Investigations to carry out research in the Southern Ocean in support of the whaling industry. At first confined to whales and whaling in the Falkland Islands quadrangle, the program was later expanded to include much broader studies of the Southern Ocean. A traditional by-product of discovery has been the raising of a national flag by the expedition leader and a proclamation that vaguely describes and delineates the territories that are now the possession of that nation. Such actions can be filed away in a nation's archives and brought out, dusted, and used if an anuroor in moment or need arises. T _ ~ _ _ :! ~ ~ ~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~ an- ~rr-~r~ I_ l__ __ Thus, from 1893 when France annexed the isles ae Kerguelen, a steady series of territorial claims has been made by nations based on previous discovery. Ironically, the majority of these claims were made during the period between the two world wars, when antarctic exploration was at a low ebb except for that of the United States, a nonclaimant nation. The analysis of these official actions to establish sovereignty is more properly the sphere of succeeding chapters of this publication.

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30 5 25 20 t0 5 o o 25 o - x - 20 _ <, 10 Ul J 15 20 15 10 15 10 _ ~ HUMPBACK _~ catching banned _ _/ ~ - catching banned FIN : _ SKI QUOTA ale units I I I I I I t I GLOBA in blue w I I I 1 111 1 use of ended ,,,,, II t, ,ll , ,l , , , 11 , , ,l , , , B! ll I'~ ~ I ,lll ,l ,l I _ 1910/11 1920/21 1930/31 1940/41 1950/51 11130/61 1970/71 ~ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 l l l l l l l ll ll WHALING SEASON FIGURE 2-7 Baleen whale catches in the Southern Ocean, 1904-1971.

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31 In some cases proclamation was followed by occupation. Although it is outside the Antarctic Circle, Laurie Island in the South Orkneys had been occupied on a permanent basis by Argentina since the base had been handed over to them by the withdrawing Bruce (Scottish) Expedition in 1904. Forty years later, Argentina, Great Britain, and then Chile established a series of bases on the Antarctic Peninsula in support of their national interests. After World War II, France and Australia also moved toward con- tinuous occupation to advance their territorial claims. But scientifically, the most important expedition in the immediate postwar period was the Norwegian-British- Swedish Expedition, which demonstrated for the first time the enormous thickness of the ice cap. THE INTERNATIONAL GEOPHYSICAL YEAR, 1957-1958 The first two Polar Years of 1882-1883 and 1932-1933 had seen virtually no activity on the southern continent. The burgeoning prosperity of the developing countries and the enhanced prestige of science resulting from World War II ensured that adequate funding would be available for the global synoptic exercise of the International Geo- physical Year (IGY), including what was to be its prin- cipal showpiece, Antarctica. Technology developed for northern polar regions, including snow and ice runways, ski equipped aircraft, and tracked vehicles, allowed bases to be built and supplied in the interior of the continent. More people were on the continent during that year than had previously set foot on the place during the whole of history; even then the total winter population in the 40 bases (Figure 2-8) established on the continent and its immediate offshore islands by 12 nations* would hardly have peopled a village in many of the countries concerned. Before the IGY was completed at the end of 1958, almost all countries elected to continue occupation of their bases and the conduct of research programs, partly because of the high level of investment but also no doubt for fear that they would lose territorial, political, or strategic advantage to other states should *Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the USSR, the United Kingdom, and the United States

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32 900 - 700 o . _ O 500 Q 300 100 - ~ It ~ r I , ~ , ~ 1 900 19 1 0 1920 1930 whaling (Deception) l 1940 1950 t1960 1970 1980 I.G.Y. FIGURE 2-8 Total wintering population in the Antarctic south of 60S latitude from the first overwintering expedition to 1980 (from Sugden, 1982) (Reprinted with ~ permlsslon . they fail to do so. The scientists happily capitalized on this dilemma, and the scene was set for the formation of the Special Committee for Antarctic Research in 1958-- formalizing for the longer term the spirit of cooperation exemplified by the scientists of all 12 nations during the IGY--and for the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. Easement of potential "international discord" had been quietly sought in diplomatic circles for more than a decade before 1959. It may not be the least of the achievements of the IGY that, by creating unprecedented widespread activity on the continent by 12 nations, both claimant and nonclaimant, it catalyzed that accommodation in the form of the treaty. REFERENCES Bonner, W. N. 1982. Seals and Man, Washington Sea Grant, University of Washington (Seattle), p. 170. Mill, H. R. 1905. The Siege of the South Pole, Alston Rivers (London), p. 455. - Raisz, E. 1948. General cartography, 2nd ea., p. 11. Sugden, D. 1982. Arctic and Antarctic. Basil Blackwell (Oxford), p. 472. Weihaupt, J. G. 1984. Eos 65(35): 493-501.