Whether at work, hiking or paragliding: Bastian uses tado° to save energy and heating costs when he’s not at home. He was the winner of tado°’s #WhereverYouAre photo competition and won a once in a lifetime trip to the Antarctic! When we informed him that he had won, he could hardly believe it. Bastian’s winning photo shows that he’s very sporty and a good amateur photographer. He took his equipment to Antarctica and we are grateful to him for allowing us to participate in his unforgettable adventure.
Argentina, situated in the southern part of South America, is the eighth largest country in the world. It is one of seven states that claim sovereignty over parts of Antarctica. The nation’s climate ranges from subtropical in the north to subpolar in the far south and therefore has an extensive climate diversity. There are several glaciers in Argentina, among them the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia which is considered to be the third largest reserve of freshwater in the world and one of only three glaciers in Argentina that is actually growing, not shrinking.
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina. The name Buenos Aires means “fair winds” or “good aires”. It is said that the Argentinian winds are able to clean the air from pollution. The city is often called the “Paris of South America” because of its preserved Spanish/European-style architecture as well as its rich cultural life. Buenos Aires has a humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers and mild winters. The warmest month is January.
Ushuaia is a resort town in Southern Argentina. It is widely regarded as the southernmost city in the world, even though there are a few small settlements farther south. The summers in Ushuaia tend to be cloudy and windy with maximum temperatures of 14°C (57°F). Sometimes it even snows during the summertime. Ushuaia’s climate is influenced by its relative proximity to Antarctica . The duration of daylight varies significantly from more than 17 hours in the summertime to just over seven hours in winter.
1 – The winning photo of the #WhereverYouAre competition
2 – A selfie with the Antarctic cruise ship MS Expedition
3 – Bastian’s tado° setup: Four Smart Thermostats for multi-zone control of his underfloor heating
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
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Tierra del Fuego National Park
Tierra del Fuego National Park was created in 1960 to protect Argentina’s subantarctic forests. The shoreline park covers an area of 63.000 hectares. Its many beaches and cliffs provide a perfect shelter for sea fauna. The climate in the Tierra del Fuego National park experiences frequent rain, fog and strong winds. There are 20 species of mammal living in the area, e.g. the red fox, the guanaco, the otter and the Canadian beaver which was introduced by North American settlers. Birds include the black eyed albatross, the oystercatcher, the condor, the steam duck and the diving petrel.
End of the World train
Following the establishment of a prison in Ushuaia, a railway was built as a freight line to serve the prison camps. The so-called “Prison train” was specifically used to transport both prisoners and timber to the camps. After the prison was closed in 1947, the train was revived and refurbished with modern amenities to be used as a heritage train. It soon became a tourist attraction as it is said to be the southernmost functioning railway in the world. Today, the “End of the World train” runs 7 km, travelling through part of the inaccessible Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Antarctic Cruise ship “MS Expedition”
The MS Expedition is a Canadian expedition cruise ship. Originally built as a car/passenger ferry in 1972, the ship was converted into a cruise ship in 2008. It has sailed under various names, such as Kattegat, nf Tiger and Ålandsfärjan. Today, the MS Expedition travels the polar regions with a maximum capacity of 134 passengers, including on-board guides and scientific experts in various fields. With a length of 105 m, the ship was designed with safety in mind: it performs well in rough weather and has forward-looking sonar which reduces the risk of colliding with reefs, rock or ice. Its construction meets the requirements of the Finnish-Swedish ice class 1. After a $13 million refurbishment in 2009 and new engines costing $10 million, the MS Expedition is the fastest expedition ship travelling the polar regions – she reaches up to 17 knots (31,48 km/h).
ON THE DRAKE PASSAGE
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The Drake Passage
Violent, chaotic, notorious: The Drake Passage is known for having some of the world’s roughest waters. A zone of climatic transition, it is said to have only two temperaments: The “Drake Shake” and the “Drake Lake”. The latter, however, seems to be a rare occurrence. The Drake Passage is an 800 km wide sea between the Cape Horn in Argentina and Livingston Island in Antarctica and is the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other landmass.
Motion sickness is the name of the feeling you get when the motion you sense with your inner ear is different from the motion you visualize. It is a common condition that occurs in people who travel either by car, train, airplane or boat. In connection with boats, motion sickness is also called sea sickness. While traveling by boat, it can be particularly difficult to visually detect motion because water does not offer fixed points with which to visually judge motion. Poor visibility conditions, such as fog, may even worsen the sea sickness. Since the Drake passage is known as an unforgiving body of water that can be extremely rough, it is able to turn even the strongest of stomachs.
The South Shetland Islands are located approximately 120 kilometers north of the Antarctic Peninsula. The group of Antarctic Islands consists of 11 major islands and several minor ones. Several countries maintain research stations on the different islands, most of them are situated on King George Island. The sea around the South Shetland Islands is enclosed by ice from April to December, the monthly average temperature is below 0°C for most of the year. Around 80-90% of the land’s surface is permanently covered by glaciers. However, due to climate change, the island’s glaciated areas are measurably decreasing in size.
Penguin Island is part of the South Shetland Islands. It owes its name to the large number of penguins that occupy the shores of the island. There are only 17 species of penguin worldwide, seven of them can be considered “Antarctic Penguins”, such as the Adélie penguin, Gentoo penguin and the King penguin.
As an ice-free island, the area supports tundra vegetation consisting of mosses, lichens and algae, while seabirds, penguins and seals feed in the surrounding waters. Penguin Island is capped by a basaltic scoria cone (volcano) called Deacon Peak which was last active about 300 years ago.
Elephant Island, situated in the outer scope of the South Shetland Islands, is characterised by its remarkable ice-covered mountains. The name Elephant Island relate sto both the elephant head-like shape of the island and the frequent sightings of elephant seals. Even though the island does not support any significant flora or native fauna, some penguins and seals can occasionally be found. Elephant Island is uninhabited by humans. However, there are two shelters on the island which are sometimes used by researchers.
As a species of baleen whales, the humpback whale grows to a length of 12-16m and a weight of approx. 36 tonnes. Their impressive black and white tail fin can reach up to a third of their body length. It is known for being one of the most energetic large whales with its spectacular breaching, lobtailing and flipper-slapping. Humpback whales are generally curious about nearby objects, thus they frequently approach whale-watching boats and stay under or near the boat for many minutes.
They were hunted excessively, causing their population by an estimated 90% before a moratorium was imposed in 1966. Today, the worldwide population of Humpback whales is estimated at around 80,000.
The Gentoo penguin is a medium-sized species of penguin that is found on the rocky islands of the sub-Antarctic ocean. Its characteristic wide white stripe extends like a bonnet across the top of its head. In addition to this, the Gentoo penguin has a bright orange-red bill and its tail is the most prominent one of all penguins. Gentoos reach a height of 51 to 90 cm and weigh between 4.5 and 8.5kg.
The Gentoo penguin is a near-threatened species as it is easily affected by changes in the water, i.e. pollution and temperature. Their populations have also been depleted through human hunting.
The Lemaire Channel is an iceberg-rich strait off Antarctica, measuring about 11km long and only 1,600 meters wide at its narrowest point. Accordingly, the passageway is only visible once you are nearly inside it. The Lemaire Channel is often nicknamed “Kodak Gap” for its very scenic and thus photogenic passage. The protected waters of the Lemaire Channel are typically as still as lake water – which is quite unusual in the storm-wracked southern seas. However, during winter, ice sometimes blocks the passageway forcing ships to take the longer route outside Booth Island.
Port Lockroy is a natural harbor on Wiencke Island, Antarctica. Each summer, from November to March, a small team of staff from the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust runs a small museum, a shop, a post office and maintenance programme at the Port.
Even though the base is quite small and basic, Port Lockroy offers spectacular mountain scenery as well as abundant wildlife and historical interest.
After the natural harbour was discovered in 1904, Port Lockroy developed into a whaling harbor from 1911 until 1931. The skeleton you can see in the video is a vivid reminder of the Port’s past: Starting off with a blue whale skull, the team of Port Lockroy assembled together bones from various whales to give an idea of what those magnificent animals were like. All the bones found at the Port are remnants of the old days of whaling.
Blue whales are actually the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. However, aggressive hunting in the 1900s drove them to the brink of extinction. Even though blue whales have been under protection since 1966, there are only 10,000-25,000 animals worldwide today.
The orca is one of the apex predators of the sea and the largest member of the dolphin family. The toothed whale is highly intelligent, highly adaptable, and able to communicate and coordinate hunting tactics. In addition to this, orcas are extremely fast swimmers that can reach up to 50 km/h. Like humpback whales, the highly social killer whales often engage in surface behaviour such as breaching and tail-slapping.
Even though orcas mostly frequent cold, coastal waters, they can be found in many seas from the polar regions to the Equator.
Paradise Harbor, also known as Paradise Bay, is a natural harbor on the West Antarctic Peninsula. The name Paradise Harbor refers to the undeniable beauty of the bay which is surrounded by several mountains and majestic icebergs.
The Brown Station is a scientific research station in Paradise Bay. Thanks to its location, the Station became a popular excursion destination to explore the Antarctic landscape and wildlife. In addition to this, the weather in Paradise Bay is relatively mild due to the nearby mountains sheltering the bay from strong winds. The average annual temperature is approx. 2° C.
Population of Antarctica
Antarctica has never had an indigenous population, there are no native Antarcticans. Accordingly, Antarctica is one of the few places worldwide that can truly be described as having been discovered.
Even today, there is no one living in Antarctica indefinitely. Antarctica does not have any commercial industries, no towns or cities. The only long-term “settlements” in Antarctica are scientific bases. The number of people that are involved in scientific research and other work in Antarctica varies, depending on the seasons, from about 1,000 to about 5,000.
The Chinstrap penguin is a species of penguin frequently seen on the shores and islands of the Southern Pacific and the Antarctic Ocean. The striking thin black band under its head makes it look like it’s wearing a helmet and is the origin of its name.
Chinstrap penguins reach a height of around 70 cm and weigh about 3-5 kg. Whilst swimming, they can bear the freezing waters due to their tightly packed feathers that function as a waterproof coat.
Antarctic fur seal
The Antarctic fur seal is widely found in the Southern ocean near the Antarctic Convergence. They are one type of only nine species of fur seals worldwide. Like every species of fur seal, the Antarctic fur seal was heavily hunted for its pelt in the late 18th and 19th century. By the early 20th century, the Antarctic fur seal was nearly extinct. However, a small population survived and gradually multiplied to restore their population levels.
Most of today’s population breeds on the shores of South Georgia, a British overseas territory in Antarctica.
Deception Island is part of the South Shetland Islands. The island is considered to be an active and ongoing “significant volcanic risk”. Its center is the caldera of an active volcano which seriously damaged the local scientific stations twice in the late 1960’s. Apart from that, Deception Island is probably the most comfortable place to swim in Antarctica. The waters are very calm and quite mild for Antarctic standards where the water temperatures usually hover around freezing point all year round.
Port Foster, the island’s harbour, is known as one of the safest harbours in Antarctica. It used to be a whaling and seal-hunting station from 1906 to 1931. Today, there are some giant rusting barrels reminding visitors of those old hunting days. The barrels were used to boil whale fat and decaying bones.
Cape Horn is the name of the southernmost tip of South America. Due to its southern latitude, the climate of the region is generally cool with an extensive cloud coverage. In addition to this, frequent storms with strong currents and large waves as well as icebergs make passage of the cape extremely dangerous. However, Cape Horn, as the northern boundary of the Drake Passage, is frequently used as a passageway from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. For centuries, the passage of Cape Horn has been regarded as a major milestone by which sailing ships carried trading goods around the globe.
The Beagle Channel is a strait that lies in Chile and Argentina. It is one of the three navigable South American passages between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The Straits of Magellan and the Drake Passage are the other two passages. The Channel is about 240 km long and only 5 km wide at its narrowest point. It is fronted by some of the most impressive South American glaciers.
The Beagle Channel was named after the British ship “Beagle” in which Charles Darwin explored the area back in the 1830s.
tado° Smart Climate Control
Our mission is to reduce home energy consumption through the use of smart technology. We design state-of-the-art products to save energy while enhancing your comfort and convenience. Headquartered in Munich, tado°, the European market leader in intelligent home climate control solutions, was founded in 2011. tado° revolutionises the way energy is consumed at home. Through the use of a geo-aware app, tado° automatically adjusts the temperature based on the residents’ locations, enabling households to significantly save on energy costs while reaching a higher level of comfort.
The continent’s appearance is embodied by an uninhabited barren land of ice, which is enclosed by the world’s largest ice cap. This awe-inspiring beauty fascinates anyone who is lucky enough to take a glance at it.
2. Always moving and unpredictable
Even though it looks like a sleeping beauty, the antarctic ice is constantly melting, re-freezing, breaking, floating and drifting apart.
3. A diverse fauna
Antarctica is the habitat of various species, some of which are threatened or near extinct. Antarctic animals include various species of penguins, whales, seals, birds and fish.
4. 24 hours of sun
Antarctica is only accessible from November to March when enough sea ice has melted to allow ships to sail through the passages. During this time, temperatures can reach up to 13°C and there are twenty-four hours of daylight, as opposed to the twenty-four hours of darkness in the winter from April to October.
5. Under the surface
Antarctica’s submarine world is often even more fascinating than the surface and is home to eight species of whales: the blue whale, the humpback whale, the fin whale, the orca, the minke whale, the sei whale, the sperm whale and the southern right whale.
6. Ice older than mankind
Some antarctic icebergs are older than human civilisation. The history of Earth’s climate is locked within each one of them in the form of atmospheric bubbles that were trapped between the fallen snowflakes throughout the years.
7. The southern lights: aurora australis
The flamboyant spectacle coats the sky in various colours. The colour depends on the different components of the atmosphere and the height in which the phenomenon takes place.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters.” quote=”If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters.”]
A closer look into the Antarctic – one of the most remote regions of the world – leaves a lasting impression into the beauty of our planet. Since we have only one planet Earth, it is our responsibility to protect this habitat today and for future generations to come.
The oceans absorb over 90% of global heat, causing them to warm which further speeds up Antarctic glacier melt. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, global sea levels would rise approx. 61 m.
Let’s take care and save energy
[clickToTweet tweet=”Over 30% of the world’s energy consumption stems from the heating and cooling of buildings.” quote=”Over 30% of the world’s energy consumption stems from the heating and cooling of buildings.”]
More than 30% of global energy consumption comes from heating and air conditioning systems. This energy consumption, which is often based on fossil fuels (energy derived from fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil), is a major cause of the greenhouse effect and has a decisive influence on global warming.
Making a difference has never been easier
[clickToTweet tweet=”tado° users are collectively saving the energy equivalent of 196 wind turbines every year.” quote=”tado° users are collectively saving the energy equivalent of 196 wind turbines every year.”]
The mission of tado° is to reduce home energy consumption through the use of smart technology. tado° has developed a Smart Thermostat that not only saves up to 31% of your heating costs, but also makes a significant contribution to climate protection. The cost of the Smart Thermostat is recuperated in the first year through the savings made. All tado° users are saving the energy equivalent of 196 wind turbines every year. A great step in the right direction.