Showing posts with the label Antarctica

Assessing the dwindling wilderness of Antarctica

Nature Antarctica. Aerial photo by Astro_Alex. Less than 32% of Antarctica is made up of areas that are free from human interference, and these areas are declining as human activity increases, reports a paper published in Nature. The study finds that although 99.6% of the continent can be considered to be wilderness (a relatively undisturbed environment), this area does not include much of its biodiversity. Despite Antarctica’s isolation, the continent is under increasing pressure from human activity, including scientific research, the development of infrastructure and tourism. However, the total area of wilderness on the continent is unknown, as is the extent to which Antarctica’s biodiversity is contained within this. Four killer whales cooperatively hunting a crabeater  seal off the coast of Antarctica. Photo by Callan Carpenter,  taken from one of many research vessels in the area.  Steven Chown and colleagues assembled a record of ground-based human activ

‘Extraordinary thinning’ of ice sheets revealed deep inside Antarctica

The Guardian Antarctica. Wikimedia public domain.  New research shows affected areas are losing ice five times faster than in the 1990s, with more than 100m of thickness gone in some places. Story here.

Three trillion tonnes of ice lost from Antarctica since 1992

Nature Research Press Antarctic ice. Photo by Greenpeace The Antarctic Ice Sheet lost about 3 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017. This figure corresponds to a mean sea-level rise of about 8 millimetres. While it could take a thousand years for a total "meltdown," all of Antarctica’s ice sheets, contain enough water to raise global sea level by 58 metres. So they're a key indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. See video, below. RELATED: Antarctic ice melting faster than thought, studies show.

A British vessel leads £20m mission to melting Antarctic glacier

The  Guardian British and US scientists are to examine the risk of the Thwaites glacier collapsing, which is already responsible for a 4% sea-level rise. More here. Thwaites Glacier. European Space Agency

To Save Oceans and Planet, Greenpeace Backs Plan to Create Largest Protected Area on Earth

Common  Dreams Mt. Herschel, Antarctica. Photo by  Andrew Mandemaker. "We are in desperate need for governments to come together and do what is best for these amazing ecosystems." More here.

Wind, warm water revved up melting Antarctic glaciers - NASA study.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labortory An influx of warm water into the bay where they're located are likely behind a speedup in the movement of  Antarctic glaciers . Details here.

Moss study reveals widespread climate change in the Antarctic

Science Media Centre of Canada. Moss from additional sites on the Antarctic Peninsula has allowed scientists to get a clear picture of the ecological changes the region underwent over the past 50 years. Details here.

Summer Ice Melt In Antarctica Is At The Highest Point In 1,000 Years, Researchers Say

CANBERRA (Reuters) - The summer ice melt in parts of Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, Australian and British researchers reported on Monday, adding new evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves. Researchers from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey found data taken from an ice core also shows the summer ice melt has been 10 times more intense over the past 50 years compared with 600 years ago. "It's definitely evidence that the climate and the environment is changing in this part of Antarctica," lead researcher Nerilie Abram said.