Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Reveals Consequences of Climate Cooling in Antarctica

14.01.2002


While the rest of world has warmed, Antarctica has grown chillier, scientists say. According to a new study, air temperature on the southernmost continent fell by 0.7 degree Celsius per decade between 1986 and 2000 - a cooling trend that has come with ecological consequences.

The findings may come as a surprise to climate researchers. Conventional wisdom holds that the polar regions should be the first to show the effects of global warming. And previous work has indeed detected increased temperatures in Antarctica. But those studies, Peter T. Doran of the University of Illinois and colleagues note, used data collected from the Antarctic Peninsula, which extends north toward South America. Doran and his team, in contrast, analyzed a 14-year continuous weather station record from a cold, snow-less desert known as the dry valleys region—the continent’s largest ice-free area. The results of that analysis, in combination with a 35-year continental temperature compilation, suggest that temperature readings from the more numerous Peninsula stations have misrepresented the situation. "Our approach," Doran remarks, "shows that if you remove the Peninsula from the data set and look at the spatial trend, the majority of the continent is cooling."

Furthermore, the observed cooling is seasonal, affecting summer and fall temperatures the most. Summer cooling can have an especially dramatic impact on the organisms in Antarctica’s fragile terrestrial ecosystems, where liquid water is of limited availability. In fact, the continent’s cooling trend already appears to have affected life in the dry valleys, the researchers note. Decreased productivity of the region’s lakes may well stem from a climate-induced increase in lake ice thickness, which cuts down on the amount of light that reaches the resident phytoplankton. Changes in the abundance of soil-dwelling invertebrates have occurred as well, the team reports, declining in some cases by 10 percent per year. Prolonged summer cooling, the investigators thus propose, "will diminish aquatic and soil biological assemblages throughout the valleys and possibly in other terrestrial Antarctic ecosystems."


Kate Wong | Scientific American

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>