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Tourists visit South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, Nov. 8. Photo: Johan Ordonez/AFP via Getty Images

40% more tourists are expected to flock to Antarctica this season compared to last year, AFP reports, citing data from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.

Why it matters: Experts interviewed by the AFP believe that this increase in Antarctic tourism could pose a risk to the region, which is already contributing a growing amount to global sea level rise.

The big picture: Arctic and Antarctic sea ice fell to their lowest-recorded levels this July, according to NOAA, and microplastics have been detected in remote parts of the region. A study from earlier this year found that warming ocean waters — partially caused by human-caused climate change — are weakening ice shelves in Antarctica.

Where it stands: The average tourist trip to Antarctica generates over 5 tonnes of CO2 emissions per passenger, Michael Hall, expert on polar regions at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, told AFP.

  • Antarctica's melting ice could be accelerated by "soot or black carbon in the exhaust gases of the scientific and cruise ships going to the region," Soenke Diesener, transport policy officer at German conservation NGO Nabu, told AFP.

Go deeper: Antarctica is losing ice 6 times faster than in 1980s

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.