Rush for Antarctica?

The polar continent of Antarctica is on average, the world's coldest, driest and windiest and more than a century has passed since explorers first raced to plant their flags there at the bottom of the world. For decades to come, Antarctica is supposed to be protected as a scientific preserve, shielded from intrusions like military activities and mining.

But environmental campaigners are getting more concerned at the growing number of countries keen to assert greater territorial and strategic influence there.

Weekend's Julian Worricker spoke to explorer Chris Turney who led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition in 2014.

But first we hear from someone who's currently working at one of the US bases in Antarctica. Tim Howard is an engineer at McMurdo Station for the National Science Foundation - more or less directly south of New Zealand, where it's the middle of summer - that means temperatures of about minus nine Celsius. He told Weekend what conditions are like for people working there:

(Photo: Flags of the original signatory nations of the Antarctic Treaty at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Photo: Rob Jones/National Science Foundation via Getty images)

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