It's the coldest, driest, windiest place on Earth – and when it comes to understanding what kind of future our descendants could face, Antarctica may also be the most important place on earth. Science reporter Jamie Morton spent two days in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

It's just gone 10.30am when I step out of a helicopter and into another planet.

The Dry Valleys and all that's in them – gargantuan glaciers, gravelly basins, flattened ranges and a lack of anything visibly green or growing – appear more like Mars than like McMurdo Sound, where we'd just flown in from.

The

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