Actuarial Mathematics for Life Contingent Risks Essay

The Southern Cross Expedition, officially known as the British Antarctic Expedition 1898–1900, was the first British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and the forerunner of the more celebrated journeys of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. The brainchild of the Norwegian-born, half-British explorer and schoolmaster Carsten Borchgrevink, it was the first expedition to over-winter on the Antarctic mainland, the first to visit the Great Ice Barrier since James Clark Ross in 1839–43, and the first to effect a landing on the Barrier’s surface.

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It also pioneered the use of dogs and sledges in Antarctic travel. The expedition was privately financed by the British magazine publisher Sir George Newnes. Taken south in the ship Southern Cross in August 1898, Borchgrevink’s party spent the winter of 1899 at Cape Adare, the north-west extremity of the Ross Sea coastline. Here they carried out an extensive programme of scientific observations, although opportunities for inland exploration were severely restricted by the mountainous and glaciated terrain surrounding the base.

In January 1900 the party left Cape Adare in Southern Cross to explore the Ross Sea, following the route taken by Ross sixty years earlier. They reached the Great Ice Barrier, where a team of three made the first sledge journey on the Barrier surface, during which a new Farthest South record latitude was established at 78°50? S. On its return to England the expedition was coolly received by London’s geographical establishment which was resentful of the pre-emption of a role they envisaged for their own National Antarctic (Discovery) Expedition.

There were also questions about Borchgrevink’s leadership qualities, and criticism of the limited amounts of scientific information which the expedition provided. Despite the groundbreaking achievements in Antarctic survival and travel, Borchgrevink was never accorded the heroic status of Scott or Shackleton, and his expedition was soon forgotten in the dramas which surrounded these and other Heroic Age explorers. However, Roald Amundsen, conqueror of the South Pole in 1911, acknowledged that Borchgrevink’s expedition had removed the greatest obstacles to Antarctic travel, and had opened the way for all the expeditions that followed.

The Southern Cross Expedition, officially known as the British Antarctic Expedition 1898–1900, was the first British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and the forerunner of the more celebrated journeys of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. The brainchild of the Norwegian-born, half-British explorer and schoolmaster Carsten Borchgrevink, it was the first expedition to over-winter on the Antarctic mainland, the first to visit the Great Ice Barrier since James Clark Ross in 1839–43, and the first to effect a landing on the Barrier’s surface.

It also pioneered the use of dogs and sledges in Antarctic travel. The expedition was privately financed by the British magazine publisher Sir George Newnes. Taken south in the ship Southern Cross in August 1898, Borchgrevink’s party spent the winter of 1899 at Cape Adare, the north-west extremity of the Ross Sea coastline. Here they carried out an extensive programme of scientific observations, although opportunities for inland exploration were severely restricted by the mountainous and glaciated terrain surrounding the base.

In January 1900 the party left Cape Adare in Southern Cross to explore the Ross Sea, following the route taken by Ross sixty years earlier. They reached the Great Ice Barrier, where a team of three made the first sledge journey on the Barrier surface, during which a new Farthest South record latitude was established at 78°50? S. On its return to England the expedition was coolly received by London’s geographical establishment which was resentful of the pre-emption of a role they envisaged for their own National Antarctic (Discovery) Expedition.

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