By NYLU AVERY BERNSHTAYN, age 9

National Geographic Explorer ship taking tourists to Antarctica. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons
National Geographic Explorer ship taking tourists to Antarctica. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

A new PLOS Biology report reveals that tourism may increase the rate of environmental damage in Antarctica. As Earth’s southernmost continent, it is one of the world’s most far-off destinations. Though there are no permanent residents there, 35,000 tourists visit annually, which has major impacts on the Antarctic environment. For example, oil or gas from small boats and cruise ships contaminate the water and wildlife. Currently, global changes, like ozone layer depletion, also affect Antarctica, causing polar ice melting.