Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antarctic Warming To Reduce Animals At Base Of Ecosystem, Shift Some Penguin Populations Southward

Date:
February 16, 2007
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
The warming most global climate models predict will do more harm than simply raise the sea levels that most observers fear. It will make drastic changes in fragile ecosystems throughout the world, especially in the Antarctic. A warming trend during the last few decades in the Antarctic Peninsula has already forced penguin populations to migrate south and perhaps diminished the abundance of krill that are at the base of the massive food chain at the bottom of the world.

Gentoo penguins can be identified by the white patch above their eye, their bright red-orange bill and long stiff tail feathers. Most live in the region surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula. (Credit: Photo by Melissa Rider, National Science Foundation)
Credit: Photo by Melissa Rider, National Science Foundation

The warming most global climate models predict will do more harm than simply raise the sea levels that most observers fear. It will make drastic changes in fragile ecosystems throughout the world, especially in the Antarctic.

Related Articles


A warming trend during the last few decades in the Antarctic Peninsula has already forced penguin populations to migrate south and perhaps diminished the abundance of krill that are at the base of the massive food chain at the bottom of the world.

“We're already seeing the marine ecosystems respond dramatically to increases in temperatures along the Antarctic Peninsula,” explained Berry Lyons, professor in the School of Earth Sciences and director of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University.

Lyons was one of many polar researchers reporting this week on the global climate threat during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco .

“Researchers are seeing the movement of penguin populations southward down the peninsula as sea ice lessens along its margins,” Lyons said. “Gentoo and chinstrap penguins are shifting south into areas now populated by adelie penguins, and the adelies are being forced further south, all because of the change in sea ice.”

A decrease in sea ice along the coast shows a drop in krill in the marine environment. As a major food source for higher animals, the loss of krill will reduce resources for higher mammals and birds.

Data gained through the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site near the American Palmer Station suggests that the ecosystem's response to warming in the region includes changes in both the krill's abundance and availability.

“The data implies that there may be less food there as the temperatures rise,” he said.

He manages the LTER site in the Dry Valleys near McMurdo Station, the largest of the three American bases in Antarctica . “It you look at the last 100 years or so, things have been warming in the valleys. We have seen lake levels rise, more melt from the surrounding glaciers and more aquatic ecosystems replacing soil-based ecosystems.”

Lyons sees what is happening now looking similar to what existed during the Eemian warming period – a time 130,000 years ago before the last major glacial stage. “We know that the climate was warmer then, sea levels were higher by a couple of meters compared to today.

Lyons points to the fact that all the global climate models predict a warming in the Antarctic and a decrease in sea ice along its margins.

“Those two things will have great impacts on both the glacial dynamics of the continent but also on the fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems that have been thriving there in the past.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. The original article was written by Earle Holland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Antarctic Warming To Reduce Animals At Base Of Ecosystem, Shift Some Penguin Populations Southward." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070215144305.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2007, February 16). Antarctic Warming To Reduce Animals At Base Of Ecosystem, Shift Some Penguin Populations Southward. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070215144305.htm
Ohio State University. "Antarctic Warming To Reduce Animals At Base Of Ecosystem, Shift Some Penguin Populations Southward." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070215144305.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

AP (Nov. 22, 2014) Hundreds of volunteers joined a 'shovel brigade' in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, as the city was living up to its nickname, "The City of Good Neighbors." Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins