Why Antarctica Is Being Explored（为什么要勘探南极洲）
10. In all this barrenness and cold, what is there of value? First, Antarctica is bound to have mineral resources comparable to those of other great continents. Coal—much of it of poor quality—has been found at many points along the 2,000 mile mountain system known as the Great Antarctica Horst. A writer has found a small deposit of manganese ore and rock specimens flecked with uranium or stained green by copper. These finds are important only as indications that further exploration would be worthwhile, and such a systematic effort has begun under SCAR (the Special Committee on Antarctic Research). This group is an outgrowth of the International Geophysical Year (I.G.Y.); but its program has broadened from geophysics to include mapping and biology.
11. There are other possible economic values. Several intercontinental air routes lie across portions of Antarctica. Strange antibiotics have been found in the drifting plants of the Antarctic seas; the Russians are reported to be carrying in live herring to be dumped overboard in an attempt at sea "farming."
12. But for the immediate future the great value of Antarctica may lie in other lines of research—from the common cold to problems of outer space. The former is under scrutiny at a biological laboratory at McMurdo Sound, where clues to certain viruses are being sought in the study of epidemics among the utterly isolated members of scientific parties.
13. Investigations of the weather's origins and patterns are being pressed. There is no question that Antarctica plays an important role in the weather that affects the destinies of those living south of the equator; some believe its effects are felt in the north as well.