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Antarctic Quest 21 - Crowdfunder Event Countdown

The crowdfunder site is now live! -

Plaque marks 100 years since Shackleton's final expedition

Plaque Unveiling

A plaque has been unveiled in Plymouth marking 100 years since polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left the city on his final expedition to Antarctica.

The memorial was revealed by the granddaughter of the adventurer, alongside members of Antarctic Quest 21, who will be retracing Shackleton's footsteps to mark the centenary.

Ice Melt at The Poles Is Now Causing Hidden Changes to Earth's Crust on a Huge Scale

Credit to David Nield

Ice Melting

As the polar ice sheets melt, the process is not just raising sea levels – it's also warping the underlying surface of Earth, a new study reveals, and some of the effects can be seen across thousands of miles.

What's happening is that Earth's crust is rising and spreading as the weight of the ice across Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic Islands gets lifted. The movement isn't huge, averaging less than a millimeter a year, but it's there and it covers a lot of ground.

There's a feedback loop happening too, because as the bedrock under the ice shifts, that in turn affects how the ice continues to melt and break away. A full understanding of how this works is essential in modeling how our world might look in the future. Read More

Antarctic Quest 21 will be providing the research scientists more information on how this is affecting the earth.

AQ21 Scientists – Andrew Smedley

I have introduced Andrew Smedley’s project, for which we will collect data on the intensity of ultraviolet light at the Earth’s surface while crossing the Antarctic Peninsula, on the Science Page of the Antarctic Quest 21 website. Here, in the first of the AQ21 Scientist series of publication digests, I am covering a different aspect of his work, which highlights his expertise in using solar irradiation data to understand the internal temperature profile of ice and in turn, processes that affect ice sheet near-surface melting or ice shelf crack formation. Read More

Antarctic Quest made the South West BBC news!

Check it out here at minute 21:18 : and in case you missed it, we were also on the Forces news channel BFBS: If you want to be a part of the exped or simply donate, check out the link at the top of this page for the Crowdfunder. Thank you.

AQ21 Scientists – Publications made Accessible

Antarctic Quest 21 is not just about the science we are undertaking during the expedition. It is also about brining science closer to interested people who are not familiar with the jargon scientists use when we communicate our findings within the scientific community.

In this series, I am going to give you a digest of the latest scientific publications authored by the scientists who collaborate with the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition, in plain English. It will provide a wider perspective of science at the frontline of climate, pollution and environmental health research, right here on the Antarctic Quest 21 blog.

Hope you’ll find it interesting, intriguing and enjoyable.

Charly Braungardt

NAAFI Makes Major Contribution to the Expedition

We are hugely excited to announce that we have smashed through the 25% threshold for our Crowdfunded Campaign to enable our expedition to go ahead and to help allow us to deliver our Educational Outreach and Legacy Programmes. This amazing news is thanks to the NAAFI (Navy, Army, Air Force Institute) who have made a major contribution to our expedition, which we extremely grateful for. This donation comes in a significant year for the NAAFI and one that is linked to our own 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s Quest Expedition, as it is the 100th Anniversary of the NAAFI’s creation and we are proud to have them as partners to our Quest expedition. We are hopeful that having obtained this goal, Plymouth Community Change Fund will look favourably on our application for match-funding. This is a great step forward for our Crowdfunding campaign and we now need everyone to step up to the plate and help us achieve our target so we can retain the donations we have had pledged so far - every donation is a step towards that target, irrespective of how large or how small, so please do come and visit the Crowdfunded page and make a donation. Thank you so much to the NAAFI.

Want to reduce uncertainty? Read on…

Dr Charlotte Braungardt, from the Expedition Advisory Team has produced this superb blog and talks about how you can be a part of this expedition -

Antarctic Quest 21 - Crowdfunder Event

What Connects You, Your Organisation, Your Grandchildren and Sir Ernest Shackleton?

With this question, I invite you to come and learn about our expedition and meet the team that will step into untrodden territory for science and exploration, and to commemorate our Polar Hero, Sir Ernest Shackleton.

The answer to the question above may seem obvious: in an age of widespread pollution and climate change, the world that children will experience, is going to be determined by the wisdom of our decisions today. It is, therefore, key that these decisions should be founded on scientific knowledge. Scientific research is fundamental to our world view and to allowing us to use innovation, and technology to deal with issues that we may have unwittingly created, that are to our detriment as a species.

Sir Ernest Shackleton was one of the pioneers of scientific research in Antarctica, a region now recognised as important to global climate regulation. His scientific legacy is unfinished and often under-valued. During our expedition, we will pay tribute to Shackleton with a ceremony on the ice and honour his memory 100 years after his passing, by continuing the scientific exploration his ‘Quest’ expedition could not complete.

Crowd Funding Image

We are going to Antarctica to conduct cutting-edge research into climate change and micro-plastic pollution. This will be combined with an outreach programme to educate, inspire and empower people to live more sustainable lives and also protect this last pristine wilderness.

Come and join us for an entertaining hour between 12.30 – 13.30 on 9th June 2021; learn about our plans and how you can follow our expedition. There will be an opportunity to contribute to our expedition, to support our educational outreach programme and Community interest activities. We are seeking to raise funds to support our essential equipment purchases and also to allow us to run our legacy education programme.

Crowd Funding Image

We have a number of special items which are on offer for sale; including bottles of the Whisky Shackleton favoured and signed by his Granddaughter, the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton. However, most of all, we want to enthral you with our stories and footage of the unforgiving and incredibly hostile environment we are going to operate in, to push the bounds of Antarctic science with means only available to such rare, man-hauled expeditions.

Details for joining us will be promulgated on the morning of 9th June 2021 on this Blog Page, but you can learn about our prizes as we go forward from this weekend. You will also be able to look at videos linked to our expedition on the same page. We really look forward to meeting you on 9th June for a fun filled Lunch hour.

Please help us. We need to smash this Crowdfunder to get the money for this historic trip. You can be part of it by donating, by buying a reward and by letting your friends, families and contacts know about what we are trying to achieve. It can be large or small. Together we can do this. You can be part of making history. Your investment in what we are doing - both literally and metaphorically - will make sure that the centenary of Shackleton's Final Quest goes down in the history books: where it deserves to be. Thank you so much in advance for all your help and for being part of our team too.

Zoom Details


Meeting ID: 990 8221 2147

Passcode: 870341

Why Did Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton Keep ‘Conking Out’?

Shackleton’s entire Antarctic career was marked by strange episodes of weakness, breathlessness, and other incapacitating symptoms. His near-superhuman feats coexisted, according to expedition notes, with an occasional inability to stand on his own. While his early death has been widely attributed to heart disease brought on by years of heavy smoking, Shackleton’s intermittent bouts of weakness in his youth have intrigued historians, doctors, and armchair medical detectives for decades.

Antarctic Quest team however will do things differently. Due to the physical demands of the expedition, the deployment team will be consuming a high calorie diet, containing macro and micronutrients to support health, performance and recovery. In addition, the team will be taking supplements where needed, to avoid potential deficiencies which may lead to fatigue or any other symptoms. Read more Ernest Shackleton and the reasons for his weaker episodes at

Ernest Shackleton, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and Edward Wilson
Ernest Shackleton, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and Edward Wilson (right to left) as they were preparing to explore the Ross Ice Shelf as part of the British National Antarctic Expedition in November 1902. UNIDENTIFIED PHOTOGAPHER, NATIONAL LIBRARY OF NEW ZEALAND/PUBLIC DOMAIN

The second of our expedition videos is now available - - it is a riveting watch as it includes original footage of Shackleton and his expeditions, as well as an interview with his Granddaughter and our Patron, the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton. This is the main reason for the name of our expedition to commemorate Shackleton.

The first of our “Shackleton Commemoration Expedition - Antarctic Quest 21” films -

UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

Antarctic Quest 21 will contribute to the Ocean Decade's outcomes with scientific data that supports climate change modelling and predictions. Read our story on page 104 of this special edition of ECO Magazine in the context of all the other projects celebrating the Ocean Decade.

What is your next step against climate change?

ECO Magazine – ‘ECO’ for ‘Environment Coastal & Offshore’ – reports news of ocean science, innovation, technology and exploration to an international audience of governments and policymakers, as well as professionals and NGOs within the global maritime community. For the launch of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, it partnered with The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) to publish a digital special edition showcasing initiatives, knowledge and solutions relevant to the seven Ocean Decade outcomes. These include ‘a predicted ocean’, relating to our capacity to understand ocean conditions, forecast their change and relationship to human wellbeing and livelihoods. It is this category, to which Antarctic Quest 21 will contribute and we are delighted to announce the publication of our article ‘What is your next step against climate change?‘ in the special edition on 17th May 2021.

FCO Magazine
Image copied from the preview of the ECO Magazine Special Edition on LinkedIn

Our Footprint – Our Responsibility

Today, 22 April 2021, is Earth Day – what a better day to take responsibility and launch our footprint audit!

Collectively, humankind use the ecological resources as if we had 1.73 planets, which means that each year sometime in August, we exceed the Earth’s capacity to regenerate what we use or damage in terms of soil, water, agriculture, fisheries, forests and so on …) in one year. Anything we collectively do after this ‘Overshoot Day’ is not sustainable with respect to the biocapacity of our planet.

In addition to these ecological resources, we extract natural resources, our ‘material footprint’, the tonnage of materials extracted to generate our consumer goods (raw materials from which we derive petrochemicals, metals, fertiliser and so on…).

We also generate huge amounts of waste, ranging from the obvious and very visible (e.g. domestic, food and electronic waste, sewage) to the more obscure or invisible (e.g. greenhouse gases, microfibers, pre-consumer industrial waste).

The Antarctic Quest 21 team are preparing for an expedition that supports very important climate and pollution research. But we are also using resources that would have otherwise remained untouched, including

The least we can do is to find out and be honest about the footprint of Antarctic Quest 21. This process will call upon the whole team for information over the next weeks and months and hopefully lead to practical actions that reduce our expedition footprint and mitigate the remainder.

I fully expect that our sustainability audit will also feed into our personal lives: it will teach us all how we can reduce our everyday footprint. Overshoot Day is not someone else’s problem, and Antarctic Quest 21 leadership is about so much more than completing the scientific mission and bringing back the team safely from Antarctica. We are going to share our insights with you.

Written by Charly Braungardt

Footprint in Snow
Featured Image Credit: adapted from "Abominable Snowman" by  doegox is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0