We’re diving under the sea ice in O’Brien
Bay, south of Casey research station in Eastern Antarctica. This is a thriving, colourful world filled
with sponges, sea cucumbers, sea spiders, worms, algae and starfish. Here we are at 30 metres below the surface, where
the water temperature is a chilly -1.5’C year round, and the sea is covered with ice
that is a metre and a half thick for more than 10 months of the year. This ice provides protection from Antarctica’s
harsh weather conditions and a stable marine environment that allows biodiversity to flourish. This important biodiversity is the focus of our research into the effects of climate change and ocean acidification. Here at the Australian Antarctic Division,
we are working hard to ensure that the continent remains valued, protected and understood.