Russia has set the pace, piercing through Antarctica’s icy crust to reach a freshwater lake to try to find ancient or new kinds of life that have adapted to the extremely cold, sunless climate and may shed light on the origins of evolution. The team Russian scientists announced on February 5, 2012, that they had reached Antarctica’s Lake Vostok, an ancient, fresh-water lake buried beneath more than 2 miles/3 kilometers of ice for as long as 34 million years. Sergei Lesenkov, a spokesman for Russia’s – AARI – Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, based in St. Petersburg, said that the team was still awaiting some final numbers from Antarctica. ”We are waiting for information which will allow us to confirm this result,” Lesenkov said.
The revelation comes after days of speculation on whether the years-long effort had finally achieved its goal. News of the scientific milestone was evidently on hold, as Russian headquarters waited on some measurements from Vostok Station, the tiny outpost in the middle of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet where the Russians have been drilling toward Lake Vostok since the late 1990s. Read the full article »»»»