Cetaceans and the Antarctic are inextricably linked. The Southern Ocean is critical habitat for many cetacean whale species and populations, and they play a key top-predator role in the ecosystem.

Icebergs have their beginnings in Antarctica’s ice sheet, formed by tens of thousands of years of snowfall. It has become compacted and in places is more than 4,000 metres thick.

The ice sheet moves slowly down towards the ocean, where the floating ‘tongue’ remains connected to the ice mass.  Eventually physical forces cause the ice to split and ‘calve’, creating icebergs.

Unlike icebergs, sea ice results from the freezing of the ocean’s surface. By late winter each year, the formation of sea ice effectively doubles the surface area of Antarctica to almost 20 million square kilometres.


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