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Ecological Responses to Climate Change on the Antarctic Peninsula
From American Scientist
The crack of an iceberg splitting away from the Marr glacier reverberates through the halls of the Bio Lab at Palmer Station, on the western shore of the Antarctic Peninsula. That sound has grown increasingly familiar ....
The retreat of the Marr glacier ... signals ongoing environmental change. The average midwinter temperature here has increased by 6 degrees Celsius since 1950; this is the highest rate of warming anywhere on the planet, five times the global average.
The isolated biological community of the peninsula and its coastal waters evolved in a polar climate that remained relatively stable for many millennia. Now, as the climate shifts, [scientists] are trying to document and understand how the ecosystem responds.
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