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Saturday, March 28

Scott Base staff join Earth Hour

On March 28th between 8.30pm and 9.30pm Scott Base will shut down all non essential energy outputs in recognition of Earth Hour. Around the world Earth Hour is intended to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their green house gas emissions. While plenty of New Zealand businesses and individuals are signing up to Earth Hour it will present unique challenges to the 26 member winter team at Scott Base.

With the Antarctic winter setting in and daylight hours diminishing by as much as 2 hours per week, a total shut down of the base could be life threatening. Scott Base winter manager Nathan Cross said “A Significant effort already goes into minimising the Base footprint in Antarctica. Fuel for energy is expensive to get to Antarctica and for that reason we run fairly efficiently, that said, we are keen to do whatever we can to reduce our energy use even further”.

As a mark of Earth Hour Scott Base will be shutting down to minimum safety lighting and switching off all unnecessary appliances and computers. “We will probably sit round in the dark for a while or go to bed early. Candles will not be an option due to the risk of fire” said Cross. Heating would still be essential, as temperatures at Scott Base were now falling close to -30degC.