Antarctica turns greener as climate changes

20 May, 2017, 03:16 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Antarctic moss

"Previously, we had only identified such a response in a single location at the far south of the Antarctic Peninsula, but now we know that moss banks are responding to recent climate change across the whole of the Peninsula". Unlike what the expression might seem like, it is not a good thing at all. Scientists believe it is a warning sign for the planet.

Antarctica is becoming more green, and less snowy, as the climate continues to change. Those parts are expected to get even greener in the coming years.

"The Antarctic is perhaps thought of as a very remote region, one of the last places that might be relatively untouched by humankind", Dr Amesbury said.

They looked at 150 years' worth of data and found clear "changepoints" in the last 50 years that showed the increase of moss cover.

The study says the results suggest Antarctica's ecosystems will "alter rapidly under future warming, leading to major changes in the biology and landscape of this iconic region".

Dan Charman, another co-author of the paper, said there are parallel findings with Arctic shrub growth.

This plant growth has been being steadily tracked over the past 50 years and reveal an unprecedented surge in new life along a 600 kilometre stretch of the Antarctica's coastline.

Previous research has shown Antarctic mosses can come back to life after lying inactive under the ice for 1,500 years. They are going to study the severity of the effect before global warming was enhanced by human activities.

Before the 1950s the moss banks would grow by about 1mm a year.

He says that has already happened in some of the sub-Antarctic islands, where non-indigenous species have been brought in accidentally on the clothing and equipment of researchers.

This is another indicator that Antarctica is moving backwards in geologic time, which makes sense, considering atmospheric Carbon dioxide levels have already risen to levels that the planet hasn't seen since the Pliocene, three million years ago, when the Antarctic ice sheet was smaller, and sea levels were higher. The average elevation in Antarctica is more than a mile above sea level. The Antarctic Peninsula has plants on only 0.3 percent of its area. If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, Antarctica will head even further back in geologic time. According to him, there is a possibility that the Antarctic Peninsula might get forested in the future.

Those who reject basic climate science have pointed to Antarctica as evidence for their skepticism, claiming that concerns over the transformation of the Arctic because ice cover in Antarctica was growing.

Green moss and icebergs in Antarctica.

Recommended:

  • Trip to bring Macron face-to-face with troops

    Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, the previous defense minister, stays on in the new government as foreign minister and Europe minister. French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to lay a wreath on the unknown Soldier's tomb on May 14, 2017.
    North Korea Celebrates Test Of New, Long-Range Missile

    North Korea Celebrates Test Of New, Long-Range Missile

    Traditionally, the United States and China have negotiated new measures before involving remaining council members. Trump warned in an interview with Reuters this month that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible.

    Trump decries special prosecutor probing Russian Federation 'links'

    But Trump himself has already said that he was going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendation by the Justice Department. Trump muddled the waters further on Thursday, when he again cited Rosenstein's memo as one of the reasons he fired Comey.
  • GST rates announced: Milk, cereals to be exempted, foodgrains to turn cheaper

    GST rates announced: Milk, cereals to be exempted, foodgrains to turn cheaper

    Besides, for demerit and luxury goods, a cess will be levied on top of the peak rate. The Centre was conducting outreach efforts and training programmes, he said.
    Russian FM mocks US media over intelligence-sharing reports

    Russian FM mocks US media over intelligence-sharing reports

    Richard Blumenthal called the White House response a "non-denial" and that Trump "owes the American people an explanation". At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed".

    Trump visit draws country singer Toby Keith to Saudi Arabia

    The summit will address three critical areas of concern: US-Saudi relations, US-GCC relations and Islamic-American relations. His planned attendance at Sunday's summit of Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh had drawn strong criticism from Washington .
  • White House offers muted response on Comey memo

    AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, said the Wisconsin Republican backed Chaffetz's demand for documents. Several Republicans said Tuesday after the memo surfaced that Comey should testify to Congress.
    Sweden Drops Rape Investigation Against Julian Assange

    Sweden Drops Rape Investigation Against Julian Assange

    The allegations surfaced after two women accused Assange of sexual misconduct during a visit to Stockholm in 2010. She was freed Wednesday, having had her sentence commuted by former President Barack Obama before he left office.

    Protester killed, AP journalist wounded in West Bank clash

    Muataz Hussein Hilal died after the Israeli man shot into a crowd of people who were throwing rocks at his vehicle . The Israeli military says forces were sent to the scene to disperse a "riot".
  • G7 commit to tackling cyber attacks

    G7 commit to tackling cyber attacks

    The heads of state and government are expected to gather for a G7 major summit in the city of Taormina, Sicily, on May 26-27. According to Reuters , "other ministers from the G7 countries made it clear they did not share [Mnuchin's] view".
    Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe against Julian Assange

    Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe against Julian Assange

    American authorities have prepared charges to seek Arrange's arrest, CNN reported, citing USA officials familiar with the matter. The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement Friday that Marianne Ny "has chose to discontinue the investigation".
    Boston Celtics Rumor: Unlikely To Trade For Butler Or George

    Boston Celtics Rumor: Unlikely To Trade For Butler Or George

    Those misses for the Jazz and Pacers seem to be gains for either the Celtics or Lakers , too. While Fultz will likely be the top pick of the 2017 draft, Thomas was the last pick in 2011.


Popular

Jose Mourinho Claims He Won't Make Mistakes In Second Season
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during the EPL match at Southampton May 17, 2017 . He tells [Wilfried] Zaha to go slow, he leaves [Christian] Benteke at home.

France's Macron lays groundwork for transition to presidency
Hamon went on to make a disastrous showing in the presidential election, being eliminated in the first round in fifth place. He must pull together a majority of lawmakers for the party to run in the mid-June legislative election.

Erdogan says Turkey will act if Syrian Kurdish militia attacks
Video shows Erdogan supporters and bodyguards flooding through the police line and beating protesters on American soil. Seconds later, a group of men run across the street and start punching and kicking protesters.

Erdogan: Turkey will not take part in Raqqa offensive
The descent of Turkey into a strongman state is discouraging, and there's no sign that it's going to turn around any time soon. A Voice of America video showed police officers struggling to protect the protesters and ordering the men in suits to retreat.

Trump Imposes Iran Missile Sanctions and Keeps Nuclear Deal
The dual track sanctions policy shows that the major review of U.S. Under the 2015 nuclear agreement, the US lifted those sanctions.