Signy Research Station

Signy Research Station

Signy Research Station

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Signy Research Station is an Antarctic research base on Signy Island, run by the British Antarctic Survey.


Signy was first occupied in 1947 when a meteorological station was established in Factory Cove above the old whaling station. It was the second research base on the South Orkney Islands islands (after the Argentine Orcadas Base in 1903). In 1955, a new hut, Tønsberg House was built on the site of the whaling station. In 1963, it was turned into a laboratory for biological research. Initially operated year-round, since 1995/6 the station has been open from November to April each year (southern hemisphere summer).


Today, the base has four buildings with capacity for 8 people. The main building, Sorlle House (named after the whaling captain who himself named Signy Island), provides living accommodation and laboratories. The other buildings are for storage and provision of power and water services. There are also four small huts around the island.


Marine and terrestrial biology is carried out at Signy, particularly looking at the effects of climate change on the southern ocean ecosystems. Three species of penguin (Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo) are monitored at the base.

To continue an original time series of visual sea ice observations after the station became summer-only, an automated sea ice camera now operates all year...
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