Antarctica to be 'much greener place' due to climate change, scientists find

Share

"It's a clear sign that the biological response to climate warming is pervasive around the globe", he said. Recent studies of the Antarctic continent have revealed some seriously attractive changes, but as the result of pretty devastating melting from global warming.

Amesbury and his fellow researchers used cores of the moss bank to arrive at their conclusion.

The team reviewed data for the past 150 years, which revealed evidence of changepoints - points in time after which biological activity plainly increased - over the past half century.

To determine how the moss responds to temperature changes, the research team will begin studying older moss banks to map out the climate in Antarctica for the past 5,000 years.

Plant life exists on only about 0.3 percent of Antarctica. As land cover increases and the snow and ice cover decreases, the area also absorbs more heat. Amerbury believes that the situation in Antarctic in far from what is happening in the Arctic but continued warming shall bring out a different landscape.

"The sensitivity of moss growth to past temperature rises suggests that ecosystems will alter rapidly under future warming, leading to major changes in the biology and landscape of this iconic region", Dan Charman, who led the project at Exeter, said in a statement.

A study of moss cores sampled from along the eastern side of the peninsula has provided a unique record of how temperature increases over the last 150 years have affected plant growth.

More news: McCain: Turkey Ambassador Should Leave US

This offers scientists a way of exploring how plants have responded to such changes. "Today that photo would show extensive patches of green". These accelerations in growth suggest that Antarctic ecosystems could be about to change dramatically.

In addition to climate change, the extinction of animal species, plastic waste - there could be more of that than fish in the sea by 2050 - ash from fossil fuels and radioactive particles from nuclear bomb tests will all leave a permanent record in the planet's future rocks.

People will think of Antarctica quite rightly as a very icy place, but our work shows that parts of it are green, and are likely to be getting greener.Even these relatively remote ecosystems, that people might think are relatively untouched by human kind, are showing the effects of human-induced climate change.

"Even these relatively remote ecosystems show a effect of anthropogenic climate change", said one of the researchers, Matthew Amesbury. In Antarctica, the observed change has been less dramatic.

"What we're also seeing concurrently with climate change are other physical processes such as glacier retreat particularly", Dr Amesbury said.

Antarctica is a cold, harsh place.

Scientists studying moss in an area spanning 400 miles (640 kilometers) have found a sharp increase in growth over the past 50 years, said the report in the journal Current Biology.

Share