Sample records for antarctic regions

  1. First geomagnetic measurements in the Antarctic region

    Raspopov, O. M.; Demina, I. M.; Meshcheryakov, V. V.


    Based on data from literature and archival sources, we have further processed and analyzed the results of geomagnetic measurements made during the 1772-1775 Second World Expedition by James Cook and the 1819-1821 overseas Antarctic Expedition by Russian mariners Bellingshausen and Lazarev. Comparison with the GUFM historical model showed that there are systematic differences in the spatial structure of both the declination and its secular variation. The results obtained can serve as a basis for the construction of regional models of the geomagnetic field for the Antarctic region.

  2. Perspectives on the economic history of the Antarctic region

    Basberg, Bjørn L.


    This paper starts out by indicating how the economic history of the Antarctic could be conceptualized, given the peculiarities of the continent and the region (no permanent population, no sovereignty in a traditional sense, extreme remoteness, rigorous climate etc.). Second, it describes the main industries throughout Antarctic history. Third, it examines the quantitative data available on economic activity in the region, suggests how we should proceed to analyse the economic a...

  3. Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    Vaughan, D. G.; Marshall, G. J.; Connolley, W. M.; Parkinson, C.; Mulvaney, R.; Hodgson, D. A.; King, J. C.; Pudsey, C. J.; Turner, J.


    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that global warming was 0.6 ñ 0.2 degrees C during the 20th Century and cited increases in greenhouse gases as a likely contributor. But this average conceals the complexity of observed climate change, which is seasonally biased, decadally variable and geographically patchy. In particular, over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming ? substantially more rapid than the global mean. We discuss the spatial and temporal significance of RRR warming in one area, the Antarctic Peninsula. New analyses of station records show no ubiquitous polar amplification of global warming but significant RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. We investigate the likelihood that this could be amplification of a global warming, and use climate-proxy data to indicate that this RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia and unlikely to be a natural mode of variability. We can show a strong connection between RRR warming and reduced sea-ice duration in an area on the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, but here we cannot yet distinguish cause and effect. Thus for the present we cannot determine which process causes the RRR warming, and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining it is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.

  4. Development of a regional glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT)-temperature calibration for Antarctic and sub-Antarctic lakes

    Foster, Louise C.; Pearson, Emma J.; Juggins, Steve; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Saunders, Krystyna M.; Verleyen, Elie; Roberts, Stephen J.


    A regional network of quantitative reconstructions of past climate variability is required to test climate models. In recent studies, temperature calibration models based on the relative abundances of sedimentary glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) have enabled past temperature reconstructions in both marine and terrestrial environments. Nevertheless, to date these methods have not been widely applied in high latitude environments due to poor performance of the GDGT-temperature calibrations at lower temperatures. To address this we studied 32 lakes from Antarctica, the sub-Antarctic Islands and Southern Chile to: 1) quantify their GDGT composition and investigate the environmental controls on GDGT composition; and 2) develop a GDGT-temperature calibration model for inferring past temperatures from Antarctic and sub-Antarctic lakes. GDGTs were found in all 32 lakes studied and in 31 lakes branched GDGTs (brGDGTs) were the dominant compounds. Statistical analyses of brGDGT composition in relation to temperature, pH, conductivity and water depth showed that the composition of brGDGTs is strongly correlated with mean summer air temperature (MSAT). This enabled the development of the first regional brGDGT-temperature calibration for use in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic lakes using four brGDGT compounds (GDGT-Ib, GDGT-II, GDGT-III and GDGT-IIIb). A key discovery was that GDGT-IIIb is of particular importance in cold lacustrine environments. The addition of this compound significantly improved the model's performance from r2 = 0.67, RMSEP-LOO (leave-one-out) = 2.23 °C, RMSEP-H (h-block) = 2.37 °C when applying the re-calibrated global GDGT-temperature calibration to our Antarctic dataset to r2 = 0.83, RMSEP-LOO = 1.68 °C, RMSEP-H = 1.65 °C for our new Antarctic calibration. This shows that Antarctic and sub-Antarctic, and possibly other high latitude, palaeotemperature reconstructions should be based on a regional GDGT-temperature calibration where specific

  5. New and interesting small-celled naviculoid diatoms (Bacillariophyta) from the Maritime Antarctic Region

    Van de Vijver, B.; Kopalová, Kateřina; Zidarova, R.; Cox, E. J.


    Roč. 97, 1-2 (2013), s. 189-208. ISSN 0029-5035 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Bacillariophyta * Diatoms * Maritime Antarctic Region Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.989, year: 2013

  6. Environmental radioactivity at the Peruvian Scientific Station Machu Picchu 1999 - 2000 Antarctic region

    The Peruvian Institute of Nuclear Energy (IPEN) initiated the Environmental Radioactivity studies in the Antarctic Region in 1996. The objective of this research was to determine the levels of natural and artificial radioactivity achieving the evaluation of the radiological status in the antarctic region. Samples of brown algae (phaeophyta), lichens, moss, gramineous, soil, marine sediment, sea water and air were collected in the surrounding area of the Machu Picchu Scientific Station. This study shows the results corresponding to the 1999-2000 period

  7. Regional Changes in the Sea Ice Cover and Ice Production in the Antarctic

    Comiso, Josefino C.


    Coastal polynyas around the Antarctic continent have been regarded as sea ice factories because of high ice production rates in these regions. The observation of a positive trend in the extent of Antarctic sea ice during the satellite era has been intriguing in light of the observed rapid decline of the ice extent in the Arctic. The results of analysis of the time series of passive microwave data indicate large regional variability with the trends being strongly positive in the Ross Sea, strongly negative in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas and close to zero in the other regions. The atmospheric circulation in the Antarctic is controlled mainly by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the marginal ice zone around the continent shows an alternating pattern of advance and retreat suggesting the presence of a propagating wave (called Antarctic Circumpolar Wave) around the circumpolar region. The results of analysis of the passive microwave data suggest that the positive trend in the Antarctic sea ice cover could be caused primarily by enhanced ice production in the Ross Sea that may be associated with more persistent and larger coastal polynyas in the region. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate-of-increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 km2 per year. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 km3/year, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. In addition to the possibility of changes in SAM, modeling studies have also indicated that the ozone hole may have a role in that it causes the deepening of the lows in the western Antarctic region thereby causing strong winds to occur offthe Ross-ice shelf.

  8. Temperature variation and its driving forces over the Antarctic coastal regions in the past 250 years


    By comparing the oxygen isotopic temperatures recorded by many shallow ice cores fromthe coastal regions of Antarctica, this paper presents the special characteristics of the temperaturevariations over the Antarctic coastal regions in the past 50 years, 150 years and 250 years. In thepast 50 years, the isotopic temperatures recorded in the ice cores over different sites on the Antarcticcoastal regions differ greatly. For instance, although increasing isotopic temperatures have beenreported for many sites studied, many sites show decreasing trends, the regional regularity intemperature variations is still insignificant. In the past 150 years, the isotopic temperature trends inthe coastal regions of Antarctica show an alternate-distributing pattern. In the past 250 years, all theice cores from the coastal regions of Antarctica have recorded the so-called Little Ice Age (LIA). Theabove-mentioned spatial characteristics of the temperature variations over the Antarctic coastalregions are likely to reflect the impacts of the unique Southern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation,the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW) and the special terrain (such as the large drainage basins) onthe coastal regions of Antarctica. Furthermore, the impacting intensity of the unique SouthernHemisphere atmospheric circulation, the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave and the special terrain differs interms of the temporal scale of the temperature change.

  9. Monitoring snow-cover area change in Antarctic coastline region using MODIS product data

    Chen Jing; Li Rendong; Ye Ming; Lu Yang


    Based on MODIS snow products, this article studied the changes of snow cover area during 2003-2006 along the coastline of the Antarctic, and 18 typical regions were chosen for further analysis. The result showed that the change of snow cover area was in a fluctuant downward trend as a whole, and more fluctuated obviously in warm season than in cold season. In temporal scale: for the season cycle, the snow cover extent increased rapidly in cold season (Apr-Oct), while the performance in warm season (Nov-Mar) was not exactly the same during the four years, the snow cover extent decreased in the first and then increased in 2004 and 2006, however, increased firstly and then decreased but reduced as a whole in 2005, for the inter-annual cycle, snow cover extent was the largest in 2003, but reached to the lowest level in 2004, and then increased gradually in 2005 and 2006, whereas, it declined with fluctuant as a whole. In spatial scale, changes mainly centralized along the coastline, moreover, it was more remarkable in the West Antarctic than in the East Antarctic, especially in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

  10. Coreless Winter Characteristics Observed with Global Positioning System Receivers over Antarctic and Arctic Regions

    Wayan Suparta


    Full Text Available Problem statement: The most recent warming trends occurred during the winter in Polar Regions had been attracted many researchers to study its impacts, which might affect the sensitivity of climate prediction in both regions, as well as on a global basis. Approach: The aims of this study were to observe the characteristics of coreless winter events using the GPS meteorology such as the Zenith Tropospheric Delay (ZTD, Precipitable Water Vapor (PWV, the surface meteorology and the solar radiation measurements. The periods of observations were within two years which from January 2008 to December 2009 for Antarctic and from July 2008 to June 2010 for the Arctic. Results: The occurrence of coreless winter had clearly detected in June and January for Antarctic and Arctic, respectively. During the winter period, PWV and ZTD, temperature and relative humidity variations in both regions demonstrate a significant unusual warming peak than with the surface pressure. During this event, the increasing of 1°C of temperature showed that the PWV in Arctic was observed twice larger compared to the Antarctic. Conclusion: The increased PWV during winter suggest that the coreless winters characteristic is signified when advection between the warm or cold air masses over the region tend to increase the formation of cyclonic activity that causes increasing in surface temperature.

  11. Antarctic 20th Century Accumulation Changes Based on Regional Climate Model Simulations

    Dörthe Handorf; Annette Rinke; Ksenia Glushak; Klaus Dethloff


    The regional climate model HIRHAM has been applied to Antarctica driven at the lateral and lower boundaries by European Reanalysis data ERA-40 for the period 1958–1998. Simulations over 4 decades, carried out with a horizontal resolution of 50 km, deliver a realistic simulation of the Antarctic atmospheric circulation, synoptic-scale pressure systems, and the spatial distribution of precipitation minus sublimation (P-E) structures. The simulated P-E pattern is in qualitative agreement with gl...

  12. Mapping and interpretation of satellite magnetic anomalies from POGO data over the Antarctic region

    P. T. Taylor


    Full Text Available A satellite magnetic anomaly map made using the POGO magnetic field data is compared to three maps made using Magsat data. A total of 14 anomalies with magnitudes greater than 3 nT can be identified in all four of the maps poleward of 60°S latitude. Forward models of the Antarctic continental and oceanic lithosphere are produced which use magnetic crustal thickness based on seismic and heat flow data, and which also use the distribution of the Cretaceous Quiet Zone from marine geophysics. These simple models can explain significant parts of eight of the 14 identified anomalies. The remaining anomalies may be caused by lateral variations of magnetization, inadequate models of the magnetic crustal thickness, or remanent magnetizations in directions other than the present field. In addition, contamination of the magnetic anomaly maps by fields of time-varying external origin (and their corresponding internal parts is still a significant problem in the Antarctic region.

  13. Four Achnanthidium species (Bacillariophyta formerly identified as Achnanthidium minutissimum from the Antarctic Region

    Bart Van de Vijver


    Full Text Available Four taxa belonging to the complex of species around Achnanthidium minutissimum were found during the ongoing taxonomic revision of the Antarctic freshwater and limno-terrestrial diatom flora. Two taxa were previously described as Achnanthidium lailae and A. sieminskae. Two others were formerly identified as A. minutissimum but detailed light and scanning electron microscopical observations revealed sufficient morphological differences compared to the type of A. minutissimum, to justify their separation and description as new taxa: Achnanthidium indistinctum and A. maritimo-antarcticum. The morphology and ecology of all four taxa are discussed comparing the species with morphologically similar taxa. The biogeographical consequences of the splitting of the former A. minutissimum complex in the Antarctic Region are discussed.

  14. Winter/summer transition in the Antarctic mesopause region

    Lübken, F.-J.; Höffner, J.; Viehl, T. P.; Becker, E.; Latteck, R.; Kaifler, B.; Murphy, D. J.; Morris, R. J.


    A new set of temperature data with unprecedented resolution and accuracy has been obtained from Fe lidar measurements at Davis, Antarctica (69°S). Here we concentrate on the months of the winter/summer transition (November to February) where we have collected a total of 1305 h of observations in the three seasons 2010/2011, 2011/2012, and 2012/2013. The temporal development of temperatures around the mesopause in 2012/2013 is rather similar to the Northern Hemisphere (NH), whereas the other seasons are significantly different, exhibiting, e.g., an unusual higher and colder mesopause around solstice (elevated summer mesopause). During this exceptional period mean daily mesopause heights and temperatures are approximately 92.0 ± 0.5 km and 125 K, respectively. The seasonal variation of temperatures in the mesopause region is closely related to the circulation in the stratosphere which exhibits an early (late) vortex breakdown in 2012/2013 (2010/2011). The situation is more complicated in 2011/2012. The early (late) transition in the mesopause region is accompanied by an early (late) appearance of polar mesosphere summer echoes. Zonal winds as measured by an MF radar also show systematic differences with westward winds reaching up to very high altitudes (nearly 100 km) for the late transition in 2010/2011 and to more common heights (˜90 km) for the early transition in 2012/2013. A mesopause being higher and colder compared to the NH (as occasionally observed at Davis) cannot be achieved by standard models. More sophisticated characterization of gravity wave forcing might be required.

  15. Chemistry of snow and lake water in Antarctic region

    Kaushar Ali; Sunil Sonbawane; D M Chate; Devendraa Siingh; P S P Rao; P D Safai; K B Budhavant


    Surface snow and lake water samples were collected at different locations around Indian station at Antarctica, Maitri, during December 2004-March 2005 and December 2006-March 2007.Samples were analyzed for major chemical ions. It is found that average pH value of snow is 6.1. Average pH value of lake water with low chemical content is 6.2 and of lake water with high chemical content is 6.5.The Na+ and Cl− are the most abundantly occurring ions at Antarctica. Considerable amount of SO$^{2-}_{4}$ is also found in the surface snow and the lake water which is attributed to the oxidation of DMS produced by marine phytoplankton.Neutralization of acidic components of snow is mainly done by NH$^{+}_{4}$ and Mg2+. The Mg2+, Ca2+ and K+ are nearly equally effective in neutralizing the acidic components in lake water.The NH$^{+}_{4}$ and SO$^{2-}_{4}$ occur over the Antarctica region mostly in the form of (NH4)2SO4.

  16. Antarctic 20th Century Accumulation Changes Based on Regional Climate Model Simulations

    Klaus Dethloff


    investigated on the basis of ERA-40 data and HIRHAM simulations. It is shown that the regional accumulation changes are largely driven by changes in the transient activity around the Antarctic coasts due to the varying AAO phases. During positive AAO, more transient pressure systems travelling towards the continent, and Western Antarctica and parts of South-Eastern Antarctica gain more precipitation and mass. Over central Antarctica the prevailing anticyclone causes a strengthening of polar desertification connected with a reduced surface mass balance in the northern part of East Antarctica.

  17. Historical whaling records reveal major regional retreat of Antarctic sea ice

    Cotté, Cédric; Guinet, Christophe


    Several studies have provided evidence of a reduction of the Antarctic sea ice extent. However, these studies were conducted either at a global scale or at a regional scale, and possible inter-regional differences were not analysed. Using the long-term whaling database we investigated circum-Antarctic changes in summer sea ice extent from 1931 to 1987. Accounting for bias inherent in the whaling method, this analysis provides new insight into the historical ice edge reconstruction and inter-regional differences. We highlight a reduction of the sea ice extent occurring in the 1960s, mainly in the Weddell sector where the change ranged from 3° to 7.9° latitude through summer. Although the whaling method may not be appropriate for detecting fine-scale change, these results provide evidence for a heterogeneous circumpolar change of the sea ice extent. The shift is temporally and spatially consistent with other environmental changes detected in the Weddell sector and also with a shift in the Southern Hemisphere annular mode. The large reduction of the sea ice extent has probably influenced the ecosystem of the Weddell Sea, particularly the krill biomass.

  18. Ozone Loss in the Antarctic Vortex Boundary Region from in situ Observations with the Geophysica Aircraft

    Ivanova, E.; Volk, C. M.; Riediger, O.; Strunk, M.; Schmidt, U.; Ulanovsky, A.; Ravegnani, F.; Redaelli, G.


    We analyse the distribution of ozone depletion in the Antarctic vortex edge region from in situ measurements taken from the Russian high-altitude aircraft M-55 "Geophysica" during the APE-GAIA campaign (Airborne Polar Experiment - Geophysica Aircraft In Antarctica) based out of Ushuaia, Argentina (54° S) in September and October 1999. The University of Frankfurt's High Altitude Gas Analyzer (HAGAR) provided in situ measurements of N2O, CFC-12, CFC-11, halon-1211 every 90 s, SF6 every 45 s, and CO2 every 10 s. Ozone was measured at high resolution by the Fast Ozone Analyzer (FOZAN). During 5 southbound flights toward the Antarctic vortex the Geophysica penetrated the vortex edge at various potential temperatures between 380 K and 480 K and performed dives inside the vortex yielding vertical profiles in one case down to the tropopause. The amount of lost ozone in the measured air has been estimated from the deviations from the compact extra-vortex O3-N2O relationship. While nearly complete ozone loss is found only in air clearly inside the vortex, ozone loss up to 60% is routinely found in a transition region extending 5° northward from the edge delineated by sharp meridional tracer gradients. We investigate whether this transition region lies indeed outside the vortex by applying alternative methods for defining the vortex edge, including potential vorticity and a new method using the observed relation of N2O with potential temperature (Greenblatt et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2002). We also examine the correlations between O3, CO2, and N2O to investigate the possibility that the decreased ozone within the transition region is caused by outward mixing from the vortex core.

  19. Surface ozone observations during voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic regions


    Surface ozone concentration and UV-B data between 75°N and 70°S were obtained aboard the Chinese polar scientific vessel "Xue-long" (Snow-Dragon) during the first voyage to the Arctic and the 16th to the Antarctic in 1999-2000. Analysis of these data presents that variations of the surface ozone concentration have small amplitude during voyages except the mid-latitude in the Northern Hemisphere. As a whole, average surface ozone concentration in the Northern Hemisphere is higher than that in the Southern, and high value occurred when the ship sailed close to the continents. The average diurnal variations of the surface ozone in the Northern Hemisphere are also higher compared to the southern counterparts, and high diurnal variations were found at low latitudes, and relative low level in the polar region.

  20. Four new monoraphid diatom species (Bacillariophyta, Achnanthaceae from the Maritime Antarctic Region

    Kateřina Kopalová


    Full Text Available Four monoraphid taxa belonging to the genera Achnanthes, Psammothidium and Planothidium were found during the ongoing taxonomic revision of the freshwater and limno-terrestrial diatoms of the Maritime Antarctic region. The present paper describes these four taxa as new based on detailed light and scanning electron microscopy observations: Achnanthes kohleriana Kopalová, Zidarova & Van de Vijver sp. nov., Planothidium wetzelectorianum Kopalová, Zidarova & Van de Vijver sp. nov., Psammothidium confusoneglectum Kopalová, Zidarova & Van de Vijver sp. nov. and Psammothidium superpapilio Kopalová, Zidarova & Van de Vijver sp. nov. The morphology and ecology of all four taxa are discussed and the species are compared with morphologically similar taxa.

  1. Usnea antarctica, an important Antarctic lichen, is vulnerable to aspects of regional environmental change

    Bokhorst, S.; P. Convey; Huiskes, A.H.L.; Aerts, R


    Studies of cryptogam responses to climate change in the polar regions are scarce because these slow-growing organisms require long-term monitoring studies. Here, we analyse the response of a lichen and moss community to 10 years of passive environmental manipulation using open-top chambers (OTCs) in the maritime Antarctic region. Cover of the dominant lichen Usnea antarctica declined by 71 % in the OTCs. However, less dominant lichen species showed no significant responses except for an incre...

  2. Phytoplankton abundance and community structure in the Antarctic polar frontal region during austral summer of 2009

    SHRAMIK Patil; RAHUL Mohan; SUHAS Shetye; SAHINA Gazi


    The Antarctic polar front region in the Southern Ocean is known to be most productive.We studied the phytoplankton community structure in the Indian sector at this frontal location during late austral summer (February,2009) onboard R/V Akademic Boris Petrov.We used the phytoplankton and microheterotrophs abundance,as also the associated physico-chemical parameters to explain the low phytoplankton abundance in the study region.This study emphasizes the shift of phytoplankton,from large (>10 μm) to small (<10 μm) size.The phytoplankton abundance appears to be controlled by physical parameters and by nutrient concentrations and also by the microheterotrophs (ciliates and dinoflagellates) which exert a strong grazing pressure.This probably reduces small (<10 μm) and large (>10 μm)phytoplankton abundance during the late austral summer.This study highlights the highly productive polar front nevertheless becomes a region of low phytoplankton abundance,due to community shifts towards pico-phytoplankton (<10 μm) during late austral summer.

  3. Yeasts from sub-Antarctic region: biodiversity, enzymatic activities and their potential as oleaginous microorganisms.

    Martinez, A; Cavello, I; Garmendia, G; Rufo, C; Cavalitto, S; Vero, S


    Various microbial groups are well known to produce a range of extracellular enzymes and other secondary metabolites. However, the occurrence and importance of investment in such activities have received relatively limited attention in studies of Antarctic soil microbiota. Sixty-one yeasts strains were isolated from King George Island, Antarctica which were characterized physiologically and identified at the molecular level using the D1/D2 region of rDNA. Fifty-eight yeasts (belonging to the genera Cryptococcus, Leucosporidiella, Rhodotorula, Guehomyces, Candida, Metschnikowia and Debaryomyces) were screened for extracellular amylolytic, proteolytic, esterasic, pectinolytic, inulolytic xylanolytic and cellulolytic activities at low and moderate temperatures. Esterase activity was the most common enzymatic activity expressed by the yeast isolates regardless the assay temperature and inulinase was the second most common enzymatic activity. No cellulolytic activity was detected. One yeast identified as Guehomyces pullulans (8E) showed significant activity across six of seven enzymes types tested. Twenty-eight yeast isolates were classified as oleaginous, being the isolate 8E the strain that accumulated the highest levels of saponifiable lipids (42 %). PMID:27469174

  4. New and interesting species of the genus Muelleria (Bacillariophyta) from the Antarctic region and South Africa

    Van De Vijver, B.; Mataloni, G.; Stanish, L.; Spaulding, S.A.


    During a survey of the terrestrial diatom flora of some sub-Antarctic islands in the southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans and of the Antarctic continent, more than 15 taxa belonging to the genus Muelleria were observed. Nine of these taxa are described as new species using light and scanning electron microscopy. Comments are made on their systematic position and how they are distinguished from other species in the genus. Additionally, two previously unrecognized taxa within the genus were discovered in samples from South Africa. One of these, Muelleria taylorii Van de Vijver & Cocquyt sp. nov., is new to science; the other, Muelleria vandermerwei (Cholnoky) Van de Vijver & Cocquyt nov. comb., had been included in the genus Diploneis. The large number of new Muelleria taxa on the (sub)-Antarctic locations is not surprising. Species in Muelleria occur rarely in collections; in many habitats, it is unusual to find more than 1-2 valves in any slide preparation. As a result, records are scarce. The practice of "force-fitting" (shoehorning) specimens into descriptions from common taxonomic keys (and species drift) results in European species, such as M. gibbula and M. linearis, being applied to Antarctic forms in ecological studies. Finally, the typical terrestrial habitats of soils, mosses and ephemeral water bodies of most of these taxa have been poorly studied in the past.

  5. Stable water isotopes of precipitation and firn cores from the northern Antarctic Peninsula region as a proxy for climate reconstruction

    F. Fernandoy


    Full Text Available In order to investigate the climate variability in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region, this paper focuses on the relationship between stable isotope content of precipitation and firn, and main meteorological variables (air temperature, relative humidity, sea surface temperature, and sea ice extent. Between 2008 and 2010, we collected precipitation samples and retrieved firn cores from several key sites in this region. We conclude that the deuterium excess oscillation represents a robust indicator of the meteorological variability on a seasonal to sub-seasonal scale. Low absolute deuterium excess values and the synchronous variation of both deuterium excess and air temperature imply that the evaporation of moisture occurs in the adjacent Southern Ocean. The δ18O-air temperature relationship is complicated and significant only at a (multiseasonal scale. Backward trajectory calculations show that air-parcels arriving at the region during precipitation events predominantly originate at the South Pacific Ocean and Bellingshausen Sea. These investigations will be used as a calibration for ongoing and future research in the area, suggesting that appropriate locations for future ice core research are located above 600 m a.s.l. We selected the Plateau Laclavere, Antarctic Peninsula as the most promising site for a deeper drilling campaign.

  6. Future surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet and its influence on sea level change, simulated by a regional atmospheric climate model

    Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van de Berg, W.J.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Rae, J.G.L.; van Meijgaard, E.


    A regional atmospheric climate model with multi-layer snow module (RACMO2) is forced at the lateral boundaries by global climate model (GCM) data to assess the future climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS). Two different GCMs (ECHAM5 until 2100 and HadCM3 until 2200)

  7. Antarctic Tourism and Maritime Heritage

    Basberg, Bjørn L.


    Maritime activities in the Antarctic region date back to the eighteenth century. They evolved from exploration and discoveries to commercial enterprises, especially sealing, whaling and fishing. Antarctic tourism is a much more recent phenomenon, developing mainly from the 1950s and 1960s. Today over 40,000 tourists visit the Antarctic annually, most of them on cruise ships. This essay reviews the historical development of this tourism. The focus is on how maritime heritage has been treated a...

  8. Determination of the crust thickness in the active margin of the Antarctic region; Determinacao da estrutura crustal na margem ativa da regiao antartica

    Torres, Luiz Carlos; Gamboa, Luiz Antonio Pierantoni [Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil). Lagemar; Gomes, Benedito Souza [PETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)


    Seismic multichannel, gravity and magnetometry measurements were carried out in the region of West coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, Bransfield Strait, South Shetland Islands and South Shetland Trench, by Brazilian Antarctic Program during the summers of 1987 and 1988. The present work, using a continue seismic and gravity and gravity data profile crossing the area, intends to present a two-dimensional model of the crust thickness in this region. By this model, the Moho discontinuity would lie at a depth of 14.5 km below the axis of the Bransfield trough. This anomalous behaviour in addition to compressional processes identified in the accretionary prism and trench, was interpreted as an evidence of the continued opening of the Bransfield basin. (author)

  9. Diversity and extracellular enzymatic activities of yeasts isolated from King George Island, the sub-Antarctic region

    Carrasco Mario


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Antarctica has been successfully colonized by microorganisms despite presenting adverse conditions for life such as low temperatures, high solar radiation, low nutrient availability and dryness. Although these “cold-loving” microorganisms are recognized as primarily responsible for nutrient and organic matter recycling/mineralization, the yeasts, in particular, remain poorly characterized and understood. The aim of this work was to study the yeast microbiota in soil and water samples collected on King George Island. Results A high number of yeast isolates was obtained from 34 soil and 14 water samples. Molecular analyses based on rDNA sequences revealed 22 yeast species belonging to 12 genera, with Mrakia and Cryptococcus genera containing the highest species diversity. The species Sporidiobolus salmonicolor was by far the most ubiquitous, being identified in 24 isolates from 13 different samples. Most of the yeasts were psychrotolerant and ranged widely in their ability to assimilate carbon sources (consuming from 1 to 27 of the 29 carbon sources tested. All species displayed at least 1 of the 8 extracellular enzyme activities tested. Lipase, amylase and esterase activity dominated, while chitinase and xylanase were less common. Two yeasts identified as Leuconeurospora sp. and Dioszegia fristingensis displayed 6 enzyme activities. Conclusions A high diversity of yeasts was isolated in this work including undescribed species and species not previously isolated from the Antarctic region, including Wickerhamomyces anomalus, which has not been isolated from cold regions in general. The diversity of extracellular enzyme activities, and hence the variety of compounds that the yeasts may degrade or transform, suggests an important nutrient recycling role of microorganisms in this region. These yeasts are of potential use in industrial applications requiring high enzyme activities at low temperatures.

  10. Evaluation of the CMIP5 models in the aim of regional modelling of the Antarctic surface mass balance

    Agosta, C.; Fettweis, X.; Datta, R.


    The surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic Ice Sheet cannot be reliably deduced from global climate models (GCMs), both because their spatial resolution is insufficient and because their physics are not adapted for cold and snow-covered regions. By contrast, regional climate models (RCMs) adapted for polar regions can physically and dynamically downscale SMB components over the ice sheet using large-scale forcing at their boundaries. Polar-oriented RCMs require appropriate GCM fields for forcing because the response of the cryosphere to a warming climate is dependent on its initial state and is not linear with respect to temperature increase. In this context, we evaluate the current climate in 41 climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) data set over Antarctica by focusing on forcing fields which may have the greatest impact on SMB components simulated by RCMs. Our inter-comparison includes six reanalyses, among which ERA-Interim reanalysis is chosen as a reference over 1979-2014. Model efficiency is assessed taking into account the multi-decadal variability of the fields over the 1850-1980 period. We show that fewer than 10 CMIP5 models show reasonable biases compared to ERA-Interim, among which ACCESS1-3 is the most pertinent choice for forcing RCMs over Antarctica, followed by ACCESS1-0, CESM1-BGC, CESM1-CAM5, NorESM1-M, CCSM4 and EC-EARTH. Finally, climate change over the Southern Ocean in CMIP5 is less sensitive to the global warming signal than it is to the present-day simulated sea-ice extent and to the feedback between sea-ice decrease and air temperature increase around Antarctica.

  11. Biodiversity and biogeography of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic mollusca

    Linse, Katrin; Griffiths, Huw J.; Barnes, David K. A.; Clarke, Andrew


    For many decades molluscan data have been critical to the establishment of the concept of a global-scale increase in species richness from the poles to the equator. Low polar diversity is key to this latitudinal cline in diversity. Here we investigate richness patterns in the two largest classes of molluscs at both local and regional scales throughout the Southern Ocean. We show that biodiversity is very patchy in the Southern Ocean (at the 1000-km scale) and test the validity of historical biogeographic sub-regions and provinces. We used multivariate analysis of biodiversity patterns at species, genus and family levels to define richness hotspots within the Southern Ocean and transition areas. This process identified the following distinct sub-regions in the Southern Ocean: Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea, East Antarctic—Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctic—Enderby Land, East Antarctic—Wilkes Land, Ross Sea, and the independent Scotia arc and sub Antarctic islands. Patterns of endemism were very different between the bivalves and gastropods. On the basis of distributional ranges and radiation centres of evolutionarily successful families and genera we define three biogeographic provinces in the Southern Ocean: (1) the continental high Antarctic province excluding the Antarctic Peninsula, (2) the Scotia Sea province including the Antarctic Peninsula, and (3) the sub Antarctic province comprising the islands in the vicinity of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

  12. Assemblages of micronektonic fishes and invertebrates in a gradient of regional warming along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Parker, Melanie L.; Fraser, William R.; Ashford, Julian; Patarnello, Tomaso; Zane, Lorenzo; Torres, Joseph J.


    Micronektonic fishes and invertebrates were sampled with 32 midwater trawls at nine sites along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) in the austral fall (March-April) of 2010. Study sites were located within four hypothesized hydrographic regions: near Joinville Island in Region I, at Croker Passage, near Anvers Island, and near Renaud Island in Region II, within Marguerite Bay and the Marguerite Trough in Region III, and near Charcot Island in Region IV. A total of 62 taxa representing 12 taxonomic groups of pelagic invertebrates and 9 families of fish were captured, but assemblages were dominated by only a few species. The most numerically abundant taxa were the euphausiids, Thysanoessa macrura, Euphausia superba, and E. crystallorophias, combining to contribute nearly 79% of the total catch. Biomass dominants included E. superba, which contributed more than 44% of the total catch, the notothenioid Pleuragramma antarctica, and the salp, Salpa thompsoni. A comparison of total catches among sites revealed that the largest volumetric abundances and biomasses were captured at the Marguerite Bay site. Cluster analysis of abundance data identified distinct multispecies assemblages at Joinville Island in Region I, Croker Passage in Region II, Marguerite Bay in Region III, and Charcot Island in Region IV. A fifth distinct assemblage included samples from sites near Anvers and Renaud Island in Region II, and from the Marguerite Trough in Region III. Assemblages at Joinville Island and Croker Passage were both dominated by E. superba and S. thompsoni, but hydrographic conditions at Joinville Island favored a neritic assemblage, underscored by substantial numbers of P. antarctica. The assemblage at Croker Passage was more oceanic in nature with major inputs from the myctophid, Electrona antarctica and the hyperiid amphipod, Themisto gaudichaudii. Marguerite Bay and Charcot Island were well-mixed assemblages with strong representation by both neritic and oceanic fauna. The

  13. Validation of the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge Basal Stress Boundary in the South Eastern Region of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    Nelson, C. B.; King, K.


    The largest ice shelf in Antarctic, Ross Ice Shelf, was investigated over the years of (1970-2015). Near the basal stress boundary between the ice shelf and the West Antarctic ice sheet, ice velocity ranges from a few meters per year to several hundred meters per year in ice streams. Most of the drainage from West Antarctica into the Ross Ice Shelf flows down two major ice streams, each of which discharges more than 20 km3 of ice each year. Along with velocity changes, the warmest water below parts of the Ross Ice Shelf resides in the lowest portion of the water column because of its high salinity. Vertical mixing caused by tidal stirring can thus induce ablation by lifting the warm water into contact with the ice shelf. This process can cause melting over a period of time and eventually cause breakup of ice shelf. With changes occurring over many years a validation is needed for the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge (ASAID) basal stress boundary created in 2003. After the 2002 Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegration, nearby glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula accelerated up to eight times their original speed over the next 18 months. Similar losses of ice tongues in Greenland have caused speed-ups of two to three times the flow rates in just one year. Rapid changes occurring in regions surrounding Antarctica are causing concern in the polar science community to research changes occurring in coastal zones over time. During the research, the team completed study on the Ross Ice Shelf located on the south western coast of the Antarctic. The study included a validation of the ABSB vs. the natural basal stress boundary (NBSB) along the Ross Ice Shelf. The ASAID BSB was created in 2003 by a team of researchers headed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC), with an aim of studying coastal deviations as it pertains to the mass balance of the entire continent. The point data file was aimed at creating a replica of the

  14. Antarctic tourism and the maritime heritage

    Basberg, Bjørn L.


    Maritime activity in the Antarctic region goes back to the 18th Century. It evolved from exploration and discoveries to commercial activities, especially sealing and whaling. Antarctic tourism is a more recent phenomenon, developing gradually from the 1960s. Today, more than 20.000 tourists visit the Antarctic annually – mostly on cruise ships. The paper reviews the historical development of these activities. The main focus is on how the maritime heritage has been dealt with an...

  15. Environmental radioactivity in the antarctic station

    Study about environmental radioactivity in the Peruvian antarctic station Machu Pichu they were carried out during the last three periods to the southern summer. The objective of the project it is to evaluate environmental component in order to elaborate a study it base on the levels background radioactivity and artificial in the antarctic region

  16. Environmental contamination in Antarctic ecosystems.

    Bargagli, R


    Although the remote continent of Antarctica is perceived as the symbol of the last great wilderness, the human presence in the Southern Ocean and the continent began in the early 1900s for hunting, fishing and exploration, and many invasive plant and animal species have been deliberately introduced in several sub-Antarctic islands. Over the last 50 years, the development of research and tourism have locally affected terrestrial and marine coastal ecosystems through fuel combustion (for transportation and energy production), accidental oil spills, waste incineration and sewage. Although natural "barriers" such as oceanic and atmospheric circulation protect Antarctica from lower latitude water and air masses, available data on concentrations of metals, pesticides and other persistent pollutants in air, snow, mosses, lichens and marine organisms show that most persistent contaminants in the Antarctic environment are transported from other continents in the Southern Hemisphere. At present, levels of most contaminants in Antarctic organisms are lower than those in related species from other remote regions, except for the natural accumulation of Cd and Hg in several marine organisms and especially in albatrosses and petrels. The concentrations of organic pollutants in the eggs of an opportunistic top predator such as the south polar skua are close to those that may cause adverse health effects. Population growth and industrial development in several countries of the Southern Hemisphere are changing the global pattern of persistent anthropogenic contaminants and new classes of chemicals have already been detected in the Antarctic environment. Although the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty provides strict guidelines for the protection of the Antarctic environment and establishes obligations for all human activity in the continent and the Southern Ocean, global warming, population growth and industrial development in countries of the Southern

  17. Antarctic ice-mass balance 2002 to 2011: regional re-analysis of GRACE satellite gravimetry measurements with improved estimate of glacial-isostatic adjustment

    I. Sasgen


    Full Text Available We present regional-scale mass balances for 25 drainage basins of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS from satellite observations of the Gravity and Climate Experiment (GRACE for the years 2002–2011. Satellite gravimetry estimates of the AIS mass balance are strongly influenced by mass movement in the Earth interior caused by ice advance and retreat during the last glacial cycle. Here, we develop an improved glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA estimate for Antarctica using newly available GPS uplift rates, allowing us to more accurately separate GIA-induced trends in the GRACE gravity fields from those caused by current imbalances of the AIS. Our revised GIA estimate is considerably lower than previous predictions, yielding an (upper estimate of apparent mass change of 48 ± 18 Gt yr−1. Therefore, our AIS mass balance of −103 ± 23 Gt yr−1 is considerably less negative than previous GRACE estimates. The Northern Antarctic Peninsula and the Amundsen Sea Sector exhibit the largest mass loss (−25 ± 6 Gt yr−1 and −126 ± 11 Gt yr−1, respectively. In contrast, East Antarctica exhibits a slightly positive mass balance (19 ± 16 Gt yr−1, which is, however, mostly the consequence of compensating mass anomalies in Dronning Maud and Enderby Land (positive and Wilkes and George V Land (negative due to interannual accumulation variations. In total, 7% of the area constitute more than half of the AIS imbalance (53%, contributing −151 ± 9 Gt yr−1 to global mean sea-level change. Most of this imbalance is caused by long-term ice-dynamic speed up expected to prevail in the future.

  18. Traveling reference NILU-UV at the Antarctic region: solar UV comparisons at Ushuaia and Marambio in 2002

    Meinander, O.; Lakkala, K.; Redondas, A.; Torres, C.; Cuevas, E.; Deferrari, G.; Koskela, T.; Taalas, P.


    The Antarctic UV-monitoring network established by INM in collaboration with FMI, DNA-IAA (Dirección Nacional del Antártico - Instituto Antártico Argentino, Argentina), and CADIC consists of NILU-UV instruments at Belgrano, Marambio and Ushuaia. The NILU-UV multichannel radiometer measures UV radiation at 5 channels, with centre wavelengths at 302, 312, 320, 340 and 380 nm with a bandwidth of about 10 nm FWHM. The quality assurance of the NILU-UV radiometers at Marambio and Ushuaia is based on lamp tests and a traveling reference NILU-UV. Since 1999, the reference travels between the two sites during the sunny time period of the year (between October and May). After one-week measurements at one site, the reference travels to the next site, until two to three solar comparisons are performed at both sites. Lamp tests are made before and after each solar comparison to study the stability of the traveling reference. At the end of the seasonal measurement period, the reference returns to FMI for maintenance and calibrations. In this presentation, the comparison procedure together with latest results, including CIE doserates, will be described.

  19. Surface influence on the marine and coastal Antarctic atmosphere

    Valkonen, Teresa


    The Antarctic region plays an important role in the global climate system, and it contributes to the future of global climate through changes in regional factors, such as sea ice, atmospheric circulation patterns and moisture distribution. The aim of this thesis is to improve the understanding of the influence of the Earth surface on the marine and coastal Antarctic atmosphere. The thesis outlines the characteristics of typical phenomena of the Antarctic environment both near the surface and ...


    朱瑛; 薛桂芳; 李金蓉


    自《南极条约》1961年生效以来,南极地区一直处于以《南极条约》为核心的南极条约体系的约束之下.1982年《联合国海洋法公约》(以下简称《公约》)建立了大陆架制度,要求沿海国应在批准《公约》生效10年内完成200海里以外大陆架外部界限的划定①.1994年《公约》生效后,澳大利亚、挪威、阿根廷和英国在提交各国200海里以外大陆架外部界限划界案时,先后对60°S以南地区的外大陆架提出主张要求.通过解读南极洲领土主张国提交的外大陆架划界案和有关大陆架外部界限的初步信息,跟踪研究大陆架界限委员会审议的有关南极地区的划界案案例,分析沿海国在南极地区的大陆架划界主张的法律依据,进而深入剖析南极条约体系和《公约》两种法律制度在南极地区的矛盾与冲突,并探讨南极地区法律制度的发展走向.%The Antarctic has been under the restriction of Antarctic Treaty System, which includes Antarctic Treaty as its core agreement and other related agreements, since Antarctic Treaty took effect in 1961. Nevertheless, the 1982 U-nited Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS, hereafter referred to as the Convention) established the legal regime for the continental shelf and requested a study into the coastal state of the shelf to complete the delineation of the outer limits of the shelf beyond 200 nautical miles within 10 years of the ratification of the convention. Since the Convention entered into force in 1994, Australia, Norway, Argentina and the United Kingdom have successively and individually claimed their sovereign rights over the continental shelves in the south of 60°S, namely the Antarctic region. With such background, the paper assesses the continental-shelf submissions and preliminary information provided by seven countries claiming territorial sovereignty or sovereign rights to the Antarctic region, and reviews the

  1. Antarctic snow and global climate

    Global circulation models (GCM) indicate that global warming will be most pronounced at polar regions and high latitudes, causing concern about the stability of the Antarctic ice cap. A project entitled the Seasonal Snow in Antarctica examined the properties of the near surface snow to determine the current conditions that influence snow cover development. The goal was to assess the response of the snow cover in Queen Maud Land (QML) to an increased atmospheric carbon dioxide content. The Antarctic snow cover in QML was examined as part of the FINNARP expeditions in 1999 and 2000 which examined the processes that influence the snow cover. Its energy and mass balance were also assessed by examining the near surface snow strata in shallow (1-2 m) pits and by taking measurements of environmental variables. This made it possible to determine if the glacier is in danger of melting at this northerly location in the Antarctic. The study also made it possible to determine which variables need to change and by how much, for significant melting to occur. It was shown that the Antarctic anticyclone creates particular conditions that protect the snow cover from melting. The anticyclone brings dry air from the stratosphere during most of the year and is exempt from the water vapour feedback. It was concluded that even a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will not produce major snow melt runoff. 8 refs


    ノギ, ヨシフミ; シブヤ, カズオ; Alexander V., GOLYNSKY; Valery N., MASOLOV; Yoshifumi, NOGI; Kazuo, SHIBUYA; Chris, TARLOWSKY; Peter, WELLMAN


    Extensive regional magnetic survey flights with a line-spacing of about 20km were conducted by Polar Marine Geological Research Expedition (PMGRE) in 1972,1986,1988 and 1990 over the 20°E-50°E coastal region of East Antarctica. The flights total more than 34000 line-km of total magnetic intensity data acquired along north-south trending profiles. Magnetic anomaly maps compiled from digital data provide a synoptic view of major magnetic anomalies and the corresponding tectonic/geologic feature...

  3. On the Atmospheric Correction of Antarctic Airborne Hyperspectral Data

    Martin Black; Andrew Fleming; Teal Riley; Graham Ferrier; Peter Fretwell; John McFee; Stephen Achal; Alejandra Umana Diaz


    The first airborne hyperspectral campaign in the Antarctic Peninsula region was carried out by the British Antarctic Survey and partners in February 2011. This paper presents an insight into the applicability of currently available radiative transfer modelling and atmospheric correction techniques for processing airborne hyperspectral data in this unique coastal Antarctic environment. Results from the Atmospheric and Topographic Correction version 4 (ATCOR-4) package reveal absolute reflectan...

  4. Antarctic research today

    With the appetite for living and dead natural resources, the political and economical interest concerning the Antarctic increases throughout the world. There are three interrelated main subjects accounting for the international interest: The shelf tectonic puzzle of the original continent of Gondwana, where the Antarctic is situated in the centre, between Australia, South Africa and South America, and the hopes concerning the existence of mineral resources under the ice of the Antarctic are based thereon. The Antarctic forms the biggest unified living space of the world. (orig.)

  5. Antarctic Astrobiology

    McKay, Christopher P.


    Stars may be cold and dry today but there is compelling evidence that earlier in its history Mars did have liquid water. This evidence comes from the images taken from orbital spacecraft. The dry valleys of Antarctica comprise the largest ice-free region on that continent. The valleys are a cold desert environment with mean annual temperatures of -20 C. The lakes in the dry valleys of Antarctica provide an example of the physical processes that can maintain large bodies of liquid water under mean annual temperatures well below freezing. Biologically these lakes are also important analogs because of the plankton and benthic communities of microorganisms that thrive there. Life could have existed in lakes on Mars an ecological similar conditions.

  6. Controls and variability of solute and sedimentary fluxes in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Environments

    Zwolinski, Zbigniew


    . Solute and sediment transport in the streams of analyzed environments are constrained by the relatively short water runoff season that typically lasts from a few weeks to maximum of four months during the austral summer, for Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions respectively. Because of high intensity of mechanical and chemical weathering processes solute and sediment transport are rather high within Antarctic environments. Weathering rates on slopes and magnitude of fluvial transport in relatively short streams control the intensity of denudational processes. Both mechanical and chemical denudation varies highly through sub-Antarctic and Antarctic environments. To generate accurate predictions of fluvial and denudational processes we must fully understand the actual geoecological processes, which in some places are under rapid change, e.g., the Antarctic Peninsula and sub-Antarctic islands.

  7. Climate Change Influences on Antarctic Bird Populations

    Korczak-Abshire, Małgorzata


    Rapid changes in the major environmental variables like: temperature, wind and precipitation have occurred in the Antarctic region during the last 50 years. In this very sensitive region, even small changes can potentially lead to major environmental perturbations. Then the climate change poses a new challenge to the survival of Antarctic wildlife. As important bioindicators of changes in the ecosystem seabirds and their response to the climate perturbations have been recorded. Atmospheric warming and consequent changes in sea ice conditions have been hypothesized to differentially affect predator populations due to different predator life-history strategies and substantially altered krill recruitment dynamics.

  8. Antarctic Miocene Climate

    Ashworth, A. C.; Lewis, A. R.


    significantly colder and drier conditions that resulted in the extinction of the upland biota and a shift in glacial regimes from wet to cold-based. Paleontological and geochemical evidence from the deep marine record supports a major climatic event at this time. Based on pollen from the SHALDRIL cores a tundra biota survived until c. 12.8 Ma on the islands of the Antarctic Peninsula (65°S). Recently, sparse angiosperm pollen of chenopods or similar taxa, has been reported from deposits in the Prince Charles mountains (70°S) with a biostratigraphic age of Mid- to Late Miocene (12-9 Ma) making it possible that remnants of a tundra vegetation continued to exist on the edges of the continent after it had become extinct on the islands of the Antarctic Peninsula. Evidence for Pliocene warmth in the Ross Sea from thick diatomite sequence in ANDRILL cores is so far unsupported by terrestrial paleontological evidence. Pliocene wood-like structures reported from a DVDP core are interpreted as the remains of in situ shrubs but the evidence is unconvincing. Pliocene warmth in the Ross sea region, unaccompanied by an unambiguous terrestrial response can be explained in one of two ways: 1. Pliocene MSTs remained below the 3-4°C threshold needed to support shrub or herb tundra, or 2. Pliocene MSTs were warm enough but terrestrial taxa were unavailable because of extinction. Research supported by NSF 0739693,0947821.

  9. How much snow falls on the Antarctic ice sheet?

    C. Palerme


    Full Text Available Climate models predict Antarctic precipitation to increase during the 21st century, but their present day Antarctic precipitation differs. A fully model-independent climatology of the Antarctic precipitation characteristics, such as snowfall rates and frequency, is needed to assess the models, but was not available so far. Satellite observation of precipitation by active spaceborne sensors has been possible in the polar regions since the launch of CloudSat in 2006. Here we use CloudSat products to build the first multi-year model-independent climatology of Antarctic precipitation. The mean snowfall rate from August 2006 to April 2011 is 171 mm yr−1 over the Antarctic ice sheet north of 82° S. The ECMWF ERA Interim dataset agrees well with the new satellite climatology.

  10. Meteorological observatory for Antarctic data collection

    In the last years, a great number of automatic weather stations was installed in Antarctica, with the aim to examine closely the weather and climate of this region and to improve the coverage of measuring points on the Antarctic surface. In 1987 the Italian Antarctic Project started to set up a meteorological network, in an area not completely covered by other countries. Some of the activities performed by the meteorological observatory, concerning technical functions such as maintenance of the AWS's and the execution of radio soundings, or relating to scientific purposes such as validation and elaboration of collected data, are exposed. Finally, some climatological considerations on the thermal behaviour of the Antarctic troposphere such as 'coreless winter', and on the wind field, including katabatic flows in North Victoria Land are described

  11. A method for assessing the physical recovery of Antarctic desert pavements following human-induced disturbances: a case study in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.

    O'Neill, Tanya A; Balks, Megan R; López-Martínez, Jerónimo; McWhirter, Judi L


    With increasing visitor numbers an understanding of the impacts of human activities in Antarctic terrestrial environments has become important. The objective of this study was to develop a means for assessing recovery of the ground surface desert pavement following physical disturbance. A set of 11 criteria were identified to assess desert pavement recovery. Assessed criteria were: embeddedness of surface clasts; impressions of removed clasts; degree of clast surface weathering; % overturned clasts; salt on underside of clasts; development of salt coatings; armouring per m(2); colour contrast; evidence of subsidence/melt out; accumulation of salt on cut surfaces; and evidence of patterned ground development. Recovery criteria were assigned a severity/extent rating on a scale from zero to four, zero being highly disturbed, and four being undisturbed. A relative % recovery for each criteria was calculated for each site by comparison with a nearby undisturbed control area, and an overall Mean Recovery Index (MRI) was assigned to each pavement surface. To test the method, 54 sites in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica were investigated including areas disturbed by: bulldozer scraping for road-fill, contouring for infrastructure, geotechnical investigations, and experimental treading trial sites. Disturbances had occurred at timescales ranging from one week to 50 years prior to assessment. The extent of desert pavement recovery at the sites investigated in this study was higher than anticipated. Fifty of the 54 sites investigated were in an intermediate, or higher, stage of desert pavement recovery, 30 sites were in an advanced stage of recovery, and four sites were indistinguishable from adjacent control sites (MRI = 100%). It was found that active surfaces, such as the gravel beach deposits at the Greenpeace World Park Base site at Cape Evans, the aeolian sand deposits at Bull Pass, and the alluvial fan deposits of the Loop Moraine field campsite, recovered relatively

  12. Neogene kinematic history of Nazca-Antarctic-Phoenix slab windows beneath Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula

    Breitsprecher, Katrin; Thorkelson, Derek J.


    The Patagonian slab window is a subsurface tectonic feature resulting from subduction of the Nazca-Antarctic spreading-ridge system (Chile Rise) beneath southern South America. The geometry of the slab window had not been rigorously defined, in part because of the complex nature of the history of ridge subduction in the southeast Pacific region, which includes four interrelated spreading-ridge systems since 20 Ma: first, the Nazca-Phoenix ridge beneath South America, then simultaneous subduction of the Nazca-Antarctic and the northern Phoenix-Antarctic spreading-ridge systems beneath South America, and the southern Phoenix-Antarctic spreading-ridge system beneath Antarctica. Spreading-ridge paleo-geographies and rotation poles for all relevant plate pairs (Nazca, Phoenix, Antarctic, South America) are available from 20 Ma onward, and form the mathematical basis of our kinematic reconstruction of the geometry of the Patagonia and Antarctic slab windows through Neogene time. At approximately 18 Ma, the Nazca-Phoenix-Antarctic oceanic (ridge-ridge-ridge) triple junction enters the South American trench; we recognize this condition as an unstable quadruple junction. Heat flow at this junction and for some distance beneath the forearc would be considerably higher than is generally recognized in cases of ridge subduction. From 16 Ma onward, the geometry of the Patagonia slab window developed from the subduction of the trailing arms of the former oceanic triple junction. The majority of the slab window's areal extent and geometry is controlled by the highly oblique (near-parallel) subduction angle of the Nazca-Antarctic ridge system, and by the high contrast in relative convergence rates between these two plates relative to South America. The very slow convergence rate of the Antarctic slab is manifested by the shallow levels achieved by the slab edge (< 45 km); thus no point on the Antarctic slab is sufficiently deep to generate "normal" mantle-derived arc-type magmas

  13. Sugars in Antarctic aerosol

    Barbaro, Elena; Kirchgeorg, Torben; Zangrando, Roberta; Vecchiato, Marco; Piazza, Rossano; Barbante, Carlo; Gambaro, Andrea


    The processes and transformations occurring in the Antarctic aerosol during atmospheric transport were described using selected sugars as source tracers. Monosaccharides (arabinose, fructose, galactose, glucose, mannose, ribose, xylose), disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, maltose, lactulose), alcohol-sugars (erythritol, mannitol, ribitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, galactitol) and anhydrosugars (levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan) were measured in the Antarctic aerosol collected during four different sampling campaigns. For quantification, a sensitive high-pressure anion exchange chromatography was coupled with a single quadrupole mass spectrometer. The method was validated, showing good accuracy and low method quantification limits. This study describes the first determination of sugars in the Antarctic aerosol. The total mean concentration of sugars in the aerosol collected at the "Mario Zucchelli" coastal station was 140 pg m-3; as for the aerosol collected over the Antarctic plateau during two consecutive sampling campaigns, the concentration amounted to 440 and 438 pg m-3. The study of particle-size distribution allowed us to identify the natural emission from spores or from sea-spray as the main sources of sugars in the coastal area. The enrichment of sugars in the fine fraction of the aerosol collected on the Antarctic plateau is due to the degradation of particles during long-range atmospheric transport. The composition of sugars in the coarse fraction was also investigated in the aerosol collected during the oceanographic cruise.

  14. A Comparative Study of Antarctic Arctic and Himalayan Ice

    R. C. Pathak


    Full Text Available Arctic, Antarctic and inaccessible lofty regions of Himalayas,which are geographically diverse areas and have been a constant source of inspiration, envisages a challenging field of study 'by early adventurers and scientists of the world. Characteristics of ice obtained at Arctic and Antarctic do not possess similar properties. Even thesalient properties of snow and ice of western and central Himalayas vary due to its differing free water content. A study has been carriedout based on recent Antarctic Expedition by Indian scientists and the data gathered along litha-tectonic regions of Himalayas and their characteristics have been compared, wkich brings out stratigraphic and metamorphic characteristics of the ice and snow. In the present paper,an analysis of the ice and snow properties of Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan regions has been presented.

  15. Testing oils in antarctic soils

    The resident seals, whales and penguins in Antarctica's Ross Sea region have only environmentally friendly ways of getting around. In contrast, wherever humans go in the Antarctic and whatever they do, be it research, tourism or fishing, they need fuel for their planes, icebreaker ships, land vehicles and generators. Because of this, petroleum hydrocarbons are the most likely source of pollution in the Antarctic. Accidental oil spills often occur near scientific stations, where storage and refuelling of aircraft and vehicles can result in spills. Spills also occur as a consequence of drilling activities. Dr Jackie Aislabie, a microbiologist from the New Zealand government's research company Landcare Research, is leading a program aimed at understanding how oil spills impact on Antarctic soils. The properties of pristine soils were compared with oil-contaminated soil at three locations: Scott Base, Marble Point and in the Wright Valley at Bull Pass. Soils in the Scott Base area are impacted by the establishment and continuous habitation of the base over 40 years, and a hydrocarbon-contaminated site was sampled near a former storage area for drums of mixed oils. Soil sampled from Marble Point was taken from near the old Marble Point camp, which was inhabited from 1957 to about 1963. Oil stains were visible on the soil surface, and are assumed to have been there for more than 30 years. The samples selected for analysis from the Wright Valley came from a spill site near Bull Pass that occurred during seismic bore-hole drilling activities in 1985. The contamination levels ranged from below detection to just over 29,000 μg/g of soil. Descriptions and analyse results are included into a Geographic Information System and associated soils database

  16. Sensitivity of Antarctic fish to ocean warming - an energy budget approach

    Sandersfeld, Tina


    Like the Arctic, the Antarctic region hosts some of the hot spots of climatic change. At the western Antarctic Peninsula, alterations of air and water temperature, pH, salinity and sea-ice regime were reported and associated shifts in species abundance and changes in food web structure have already become evident. In contrast, for most high-Antarctic regions, no climate related changes have yet been found. However, future temperature increases are also projected for these areas. Ocean warming...

  17. Antarctic Ozone Hole, 2000


    Each spring the ozone layer over Antarctica nearly disappears, forming a 'hole' over the entire continent. The hole is created by the interaction of some man-made chemicals-freon, for example-with Antarctica's unique weather patterns and extremely cold temperatures. Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the sun, thereby protecting living things. Since the ozone hole was discovered many of the chemicals that destroy ozone have been banned, but they will remain in the atmosphere for decades. In 2000, the ozone hole grew quicker than usual and exceptionally large. By the first week in September the hole was the largest ever-11.4 million square miles. The top image shows the average total column ozone values over Antarctica for September 2000. (Total column ozone is the amount of ozone from the ground to the top of the atmosphere. A relatively typical measurement of 300 Dobson Units is equivalent to a layer of ozone 0.12 inches thick on the Earth's surface. Levels below 220 Dobson Units are considered to be significant ozone depletion.) The record-breaking hole is likely the result of lower than average ozone levels during the Antarctic fall and winter, and exceptionally cold temperatures. In October, however (bottom image), the hole shrank dramatically, much more quickly than usual. By the end of October, the hole was only one-third of it's previous size. In a typical year, the ozone hole does not collapse until the end of November. NASA scientists were surprised by this early shrinking and speculate it is related to the region's weather. Global ozone levels are measured by the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS). For more information about ozone, read the Earth Observatory's ozone fact sheet, view global ozone data and see these ozone images. Images by Greg Shirah, NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio.

  18. The Pleistocene evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Prydz bay region: Stable isotopic evidence from ODP Site 1167

    Theissen, K.M.; Dunbar, R.B.; Cooper, A. K.; Mucciarone, D.A.; Hoffmann, D.


    Ocean Drilling Program Leg 188, Prydz Bay, East Antarctica is part of a larger initiative to explore the Cenozoic history of the Antarctic Ice Sheet through direct drilling and sampling of the continental margins. In this paper, we present stable isotopic results from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1167 located on the Prydz Channel Trough Mouth Fan (TMF), the first Antarctic TMF to be drilled. The foraminifer-based ??18O record is interpreted along with sedimentary and downhole logging evidence to reconstruct the Quaternary glacial history of Prydz Bay and the adjacent Lambert Glacier Amery Ice Shelf System (LGAISS). We report an electron spin resonance age date of 36. 9 ?? 3.3 ka at 0.45 m below sea floor and correlate suspected glacial-interglacial cycles with the global isotopic stratigraphy to improve the chronology for Site 1167. The ??18O record based on planktonic (Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (s.)) and limited benthic results (Globocassidulina crassa), indicates a trend of ice sheet expansion that was interrupted by a period of reduced ice volume and possibly warmer conditions during the early-mid-Pleistocene (0.9-1.38 Ma). An increase in ?? 18O values after ??? 900 ka appears to coincide with the mid-Pleistocene climate transition and the expansion of the northern hemisphere ice sheet. The ??18O record in the upper 50 m of the stratigraphic section indicates as few as three glacial-interglacial cycles, tentatively assigned as marine isotopic stages (MIS) 16-21, are preserved since the Brunhes/Matuyama paleomagnetic reversal (780 ka). This suggests that there is a large unconformity near the top of the section and/or that there may have been few extreme advances of the ice sheet since the mid-Pleistocene climate transition resulting in lowered sedimentation rates on the Prydz Channel TMF. The stable isotopic record from Site 1167 is one of the few available from the area south of the Antarctic Polar Front that has been linked with the global isotopic

  19. Antarctic ozone depletion

    Antarctic ozone depletion is most severe during the southern hemisphere spring, when the local reduction in the column amount may be as much as 50 percent. The extent to which this ozone poor air contributes to the observed global ozone loss is a matter of debate, but there is some evidence that fragments of the 'ozone hole' can reach lower latitudes following its breakup in summer. Satellite data show the seasonal evolution of the ozone hole. A new dimension has been added to Antarctic ozone depletion with the advent of large volcanic eruptions such as that from Mount Pinatubo in 1991. (author). 5 refs., 1 fig

  20. Antarctic Porifera database from the Spanish benthic expeditions

    Pilar Rios; Javier Cristobo


    The information about the sponges in this dataset is derived from the samples collected during five Spanish Antarctic expeditions: Bentart 94, Bentart 95, Gebrap 96, Ciemar 99/00 and Bentart 2003. Samples were collected in the Antarctic Peninsula and Bellingshausen Sea at depths ranging from 4 to 2044 m using va­rious sampling gears.The Antarctic Porifera database from the Spanish benthic expeditions is unique as it provides in­formation for an under-explored region of the Southern Oc...

  1. Fundamental differences between Arctic and Antarctic ozone depletion

    Solomon, Susan; Haskins, Jessica; Ivy, Diane J.; Min, Flora


    Fundamental differences in observed ozone depletion between the Arctic and the Antarctic are shown, clarifying distinctions between both average and extreme ozone decreases in the two hemispheres. Balloon-borne and satellite measurements in the heart of the ozone layer near 18−24 km altitude show that extreme ozone decreases often observed in the Antarctic ozone hole region have not yet been measured in the Arctic in any year, including the unusually cold Arctic spring of 2011. The data provi...

  2. Microbial biomass and basal respiration in Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic soils in the areas of some Russian polar stations

    E. Abakumov


    Full Text Available Antarctica is the unique place for pedological investigations. Soils of Antarctica have been studied intensively during the last century. Antarctic logistic provides the possibility to scientists access the terrestrial landscapes mainly in the places of polar stations. That is why the main and most detailed pedological investigations were conducted in Mc Murdo Valleys, Transantarctic Mountains, South Shetland Islands, Larsemann hills and Schirmacher Oasis. Investigations were conducted during the 53rd and 55th Russian Antarctic expeditions on the base of soil pits and samples collected in Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions. Soils of diverse Antarctic landscapes were studied with aim to assess the microbial biomass level, basal respiration rates and metabolic activity of microbial communities. The investigation conducted shows that soils of Antarctic are quite different in profile organization and carbon content. In general, Sub-Antarctic soils are characterized by more developed humus (sod organo-mineral horizons as well as the upper organic layer. The most developed organic layers were revealed in peat soils of King-George Island, where its thickness reach even 80 cm. These soils as well as soils under guano are characterized by the highest amount of total organic carbon (TOC 7.22–33.70%. Coastal and continental soils of Antarctic are presented by less developed Leptosols, Gleysols, Regolith and rare Ornhitosol with TOC levels about 0.37–4.67%. The metabolic ratios and basal respiration were higher in Sub-Antarctic soils than in Antarctic ones which can be interpreted as result of higher amounts of fresh organic remnants in organic and organo-mineral horizons. Also the soils of King-George island have higher portion of microbial biomass (max 1.54 mg g−1 than coastal (max 0.26 mg g−1 and continental (max 0.22 mg g−1 Antarctic soils. Sub-Antarctic soils mainly differ from Antarctic ones in increased organic layers thickness and total

  3. Do Antarctic fish like it hot? What energy allocation can tell us about distribution shifts

    Sandersfeld, Tina; Davison, William; Lamare, Miles D.; Richter, Claudio; Knust, Rainer


    Despite evidence for distribution shifts of single species and ecosystem changes as a reaction to global warming, little is known about the underlying processes. As a consequence of warming waters in the Southern Ocean, shifts in species distribution are expected with sub-Antarctic species migrating southward to high-Antarctic waters, while species from temperate regions might intrude sub-Antarctic areas. Species distribution and abundance are driven by reproduction and somatic growth, which ...

  4. [Taxonomical status of the psychrotolerant Antarctic microorganisms].

    Romanovskaia, V A; Gladka, G V; Tashireva, A A; Tashirev, A B


    The aerobic chemoorganotrophic bacteria, dominating in soils and phytocenosis of the Antarctic Region, on combination of morphological and biochemical properties belong to several taxons of Bacteria domain. Gram-negative strains 3189, 3415 (fam. Halomonadaceae, Halomonas sp.) and 3088, 3468, 3469 (fam. Moraxellaceae, Psychrobacter sp.) belong to phylum Proteobacteria, to class Gammaproteobacteria. Gram-negative strains 3294 3392 (Rhizobiales, fam. Methylobacteriaceae, Methylobacterium sp.) relate to class Alphaproteobacteria of this phylum. Gram-positive strains 3179, 3275, 3470, 3471 (fam. Microbacteriaceae, Cryobacterium sp.), 3054, 3058, 3411 (fam. Corynebacteriaceae, Corynebacterium sp.) and 3194, 3398 (fam. Micrococcaceae, Micrococcus sp.) relate to phylum Actinobacteria, class Actinobacteria. Thus, the psychrophilic and psychrotolerant Antarctic bacteria (aerobic chemoorganotrophic) isolated from phytocenosis and soils of polar region are characterized by wide taxonomic variety. PMID:24450178

  5. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.


    Science) Antarctic Ice Sheet (DAIS) model (Shaffer 2014) is forced by reconstructed time series of Antarctic temperature, global sea level and ocean subsurface temperature over the last two glacial cycles. In this talk a modelling work of the Antarctic ice sheet over most of the Cenozoic era using the......The Antarctic ice sheet is a major player in the Earth’s climate system and is by far the largest depository of fresh water on the planet. Ice stored in the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) contains enough water to raise sea level by about 58 m, and ice loss from Antarctica contributed significantly to...... DAIS model will be presented. G. Shaffer (2014) Formulation, calibration and validation of the DAIS model (version 1), a simple Antarctic ice sheet model sensitive to variations of sea level and ocean subsurface temperature, Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1803‐1818...

  6. Diurnal lower ionosphere electron density variations observed in the South Atlantic Geomagnetic Anomaly and sub-Antarctic region during the occurrence of the major PCA event of 4 August 1972

    Costa, A. Mendes da; Piazza, L. Rizzo


    VLF phase and amplitude signals simultaneously received in Atibaia and Curitiba, both in Brazil, were analysed during the occurrence of the major proton flare event of 4 August 1972. Phase advances recorded in Stockholm (Sweden) and Inubo (Japan) were also included for comparison purposes. Particular attention was devoted to the NWC (Australia)-Atibaia (Brazil) propagation-path which passes through disturbed regions (geomagnetically), namely the sub-Antarctic region and the South Atlantic Geomagnetic Anomaly (SAGA), and which propagates completely in the southern hemisphere. Following the current mechanisms that allow charged particles to precipitate at low altitudes in the ionosphere ( Dregion), four regions were defined based on the most significant ' L' value involved. By means of successive comparisons with low and mid latitude propagation paths, some parameters typical of the lower ionosphere were deduced for the southern hemisphere in association with PCA events detected in the polar caps. Fitting exponential models to the data analysed, daytime electron density profiles were obtained for different ' L' values throughout the disturbed period.

  7. Underwater Optics in Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic Coastal Ecosystems

    Huovinen, Pirjo; Ramírez, Jaime; Gómez, Iván


    Understanding underwater optics in natural waters is essential in evaluating aquatic primary production and risk of UV exposure in aquatic habitats. Changing environmental conditions related with global climate change, which imply potential contrasting changes in underwater light climate further emphasize the need to gain insights into patterns related with underwater optics for more accurate future predictions. The present study evaluated penetration of solar radiation in six sub-Antarctic estuaries and fjords in Chilean North Patagonian region (39–44°S) and in an Antarctic bay (62°S). Based on vertical diffuse attenuation coefficients (Kd), derived from measurements with a submersible multichannel radiometer, average summer UV penetration depth (z1%) in these water bodies ranged 2–11 m for UV-B (313 nm), 4–27 m for UV-A (395 nm), and 7–30 m for PAR (euphotic zone). UV attenuation was strongest in the shallow Quempillén estuary, while Fildes Bay (Antarctica) exhibited the highest transparency. Optically non-homogeneous water layers and seasonal variation in transparency (lower in winter) characterized Comau Fjord and Puyuhuapi Channel. In general, multivariate analysis based on Kd values of UV and PAR wavelengths discriminated strongly Quempillén estuary and Puyuhuapi Channel from other study sites. Spatial (horizontal) variation within the estuary of Valdivia river reflected stronger attenuation in zones receiving river impact, while within Fildes Bay a lower spatial variation in water transparency could in general be related to closeness of glaciers, likely due to increased turbidity through ice-driven processes. Higher transparency and deeper UV-B penetration in proportion to UV-A/visible wavelengths observed in Fildes Bay suggests a higher risk for Antarctic ecosystems reflected by e.g. altered UV-B damage vs. photorepair under UV-A/PAR. Considering that damage repair processes often slow down under cool temperatures, adverse UV impact could be

  8. Antarctic science preserve polluted

    Simarski, Lynn Teo

    Geophysicists are alarmed at the electromagnetic pollution of a research site in the Antarctic specifically set aside to study the ionosphere and magnetosphere. A private New Zealand communications company called Telecom recently constructed a satellite ground station within the boundaries of this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), protected since the mid-1970s. The placement of a commercial facility within this site sets an ominous precedent not only for the sanctity of other SSSIs, but also for Specially Protected Areas—preserves not even open to scientific research, such as certain penguin rookeries.The roughly rectangular, one-by-one-half mile site, located at Arrival Heights not far from McMurdo Station, is one of a number of areas protected under the Antarctic treaty for designated scientific activities. Many sites are set aside for geological or biological research, but this is the only one specifically for physical science.

  9. In search of human-associated bacterial pathogens in Antarctic wildlife: report from six penguin colonies regularly visited by tourists.

    Bonnedahl, Jonas; Broman, Tina; Waldenström, Jonas; Palmgren, Helena; Niskanen, Taina; Olsen, Björn


    We investigated the potential role of Antarctic tourism in the introduction of human-associated pathogens into Antarctic wildlife. We collected and analyzed 233 fecal samples from eight bird species. The samples were collected at six localities on the Antarctic Peninsula, which often is visited by tourists. Every sample was investigated for pathogens of potential human origin: Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella spp., and Yersina spp. None of these bacteria was found. Our data suggest that the tourism industry so far has achieved its goal of not introducing pathogens into the Antarctic region. There is, however, an urgent need to further investigate the situation in areas closer to permanent Antarctic settlements. PMID:16201212

  10. Carbonate Deposition on Antarctic Shelves

    Frank, T. D.; James, N. P.; Malcolm, I.


    Limestones associated with glaciomarine deposits occur throughout the geologic record but remain poorly understood. The best-described examples formed during major ice ages of the Neoproterozoic and Late Paleozoic. Quaternary analogs on Antarctic shelves have received comparatively little study. Here, we report on the composition, spatial distribution, and stratigraphic context of carbonate sediments contained in piston cores from the Ross Sea. The goals of this work are to (1) document the nature and distribution of carbonate sediments on the Ross Sea continental shelf and (2) examine temporal relationships to Quaternary glaciation. Results will be used to develop criteria that will improve understanding of analogous deposits in the ancient record. All carbonate-rich intervals in piston cores from the Ross Rea, now housed at the Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility at Florida State University, were examined and described in detail. Sediment samples were disaggregated and sieved into size fractions before description with paleontological analysis carried out on the coarsest size fraction (>250 microns). Carbonate-rich sediments are concentrated in the northwestern Ross Sea, along the distal margins of Mawson and Pennell Banks. Calcareous facies include a spectrum of lithologies that range from fossiliferous mud, sand, and gravel to skeletal floatstone-rudstone and bafflestone. Floatstone-rudstone and bafflestone is most abundant along western-facing slopes in areas protected from the Antarctic Coastal Current. Sand-prone facies dominate the tops of banks and mud-prone, often spicultic, facies occur in deeper areas. The carbonate factory is characterized by a low-diversity, heterozoan assemblage that is dominated by stylasterine hydrocorals, barnacles, and bryozoans. Molluscs and echinoids are present but not abundant. Planktic and benthic foraminifera are ubiquitous components of the sediment matrix, which is locally very rich in sponge spicules. Biota rarely

  11. A Bivalve Proxy for Neogene Antarctic Shelf Marine Environments

    Clark, N. A.; Williams, M.; Quilty, P. G.; Leng, M. J.; Zalasiewicz, J. A.; Smellie, J.; Dowsett, H. J.


    The Neogene shallow-marine successions of the Antarctic Peninsula and of the East Antarctic region preserve rich assemblages of bivalve molluscs. These bivalve molluscs provide a detailed record of palaeoseasonality in the chemical signature and morphology of their shells that can be used to assess sea temperatures and sea ice extent for the Antarctic shelf during the Pliocene. Analyses identify the following. 1) Neogene bivalves from James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula, comprise material of late Miocene through to late Pliocene age. Results identify warm (ca. 3-10 °C) early Pliocene sea temperatures, and cooler late Pliocene sea temperatures (ca. 0-4 °C), and flag a cooling trend which is consistent with the evolution of polar climate through this interval. 2) Neogene bivalves from the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctic, identify generally warmer than present sea temperatures (ca. 0-11 °C) in the early Pliocene consistent with data from other fossil groups of this age, including dolphins and silicoflagellates. The new data may provide significant ground truth for climate models assessing the Southern Ocean and Antarctic shelf climate.

  12. Satellite magnetic anomalies of the Antarctic crust

    D. E. Alsdorf


    Full Text Available Spatially and temporally static crustal magnetic anomalies are contaminated by static core field effects above spherical harmonic degree 12 and dynamic, large-amplitude external fields. To extract crustal magnetic anomalies from the measurements of NASA's Magsat mission, we separate crustal signals from both core and external field effects. In particular, we define Magsat anomalies relative to the degree 11 field and use spectral correlation theory to reduce them for external field effects. We obtain a model of Antarctic crustal thickness by comparing the region's terrain gravity effects to free-air gravity anomalies derived from the Earth Gravity Model 1996 (EGM96. To separate core and crustal magnetic effects, we obtain the pseudo-magnetic effect of the crustal thickness variations from their gravity effect via Poisson's theorem for correlative potentials. We compare the pseudo-magnetic effect of the crustal thickness variations to field differences between degrees 11 and 13 by spectral correlation analysis. We thus identify and remove possible residual core field effects in the Magsat anomalies relative to the degree 11 core field. The resultant anomalies reflect possible Antarctic contrasts due both to crustal thickness and intracrustal variations of magnetization. In addition, they provide important constraints on the geologic interpretation of aeromagnetic survey data, such as are available for the Weddell Province. These crustal anomalies also may be used to correct for long wavelength errors in regional compilations of near-surface magnetic survey data. However, the validity of these applications is limited by the poor quality of the Antarctic Magsat data that were obtained during austral Summer and Fall when south polar external field activity was maximum. Hence an important test and supplement for the Antarctic crustal Magsat anomaly map will be provided by the data from the recently launched Ørsted mission, which will yield coverage

  13. Ecuadorian antarctic act

    To develop research in this continent involves to take communion with earth where the cold pole of the planet is located, the stormiest sea of the world surround it and where the capricious continental and geographical distribution permits the pass of meteorological violent and continuous systems. The Ecuador, in execution of the acquired commitments like Full Member of the System of the Antarctic Treaty, carried out the VII Expedition to the White Continent with an extensive program of scientific investigation in the field of: Sciences of Life, Sciences of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, so much in the environment of the Pacific Southeast, the Drake Pass, Bransfield Strait and the nearby ecosystems antarctic to Point Fort William in the Greenwich Island, site where the Ecuadorian station Pedro Vicente Maldonado is located. The scientific articles, result of the fruitful work of national investigator is consigned in this fourth edition. This publication constitutes our contribution to the world in the knowledge, understanding and handling of the marvelous White Continent from the middle of our planet, Ecuador

  14. Balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet


    For several decades, measurements of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet showed it to be retreating rapidly. But new data derived from satellite-borne radar sensors show the ice sheet to be growing. Changing Antarctic ice sheets remains an area of high scientific interest, particularly in light of recent global warming concerns. These new findings are significant because scientists estimate that sea level would rise 5-6 meters (16-20 feet) if the ice sheet collapsed into the sea. Do these new measurements signal the end of the ice sheet's 10,000-year retreat? Or, are these new satellite data simply much more accurate than the sparse ice core and surface measurements that produced the previous estimates? Another possibility is that the ice accumulation may simply indicate that the ice sheet naturally expands and retreats in regular cycles. Cryologists will grapple with these questions, and many others, as they examine the new data. The image above depicts the region of West Antarctica where scientists measured ice speed. The fast-moving central ice streams are shown in red. Slower tributaries feeding the ice streams are shown in blue. Green areas depict slow-moving, stable areas. Thick black lines depict the areas that collect snowfall to feed their respective ice streams. Reference: Ian Joughin and Slawek Tulaczyk Science Jan 18 2002: 476-480. Image courtesy RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Project

  15. Emerging spatial patterns in Antarctic prokaryotes

    Chun Wie eChong


    Full Text Available Recent advances in knowledge of patterns of biogeography in terrestrial eukaryotic organisms have led to a fundamental paradigm shift in understanding of the controls and history of life on land in Antarctica, and its interactions over the long term with the glaciological and geological processes that have shaped the continent. However, while it has long been recognized that the terrestrial ecosystems of Antarctica are dominated by microbes and their processes, knowledge of microbial diversity and distributions has lagged far behind that of the macroscopic eukaryote organisms. Increasing human contact with and activity in the continent is leading to risks of biological contamination and change in a region whose isolation has protected it for millions of years at least; these risks may be particularly acute for microbial communities which have, as yet, received scant recognition and attention. Even a matter apparently as straightforward as Protected Area designation in Antarctica requires robust biodiversity data which, in most parts of the continent, remain almost completely unavailable. A range of important contributing factors mean that it is now timely to reconsider the state of knowledge of Antarctic terrestrial prokaryotes. Rapid advances in molecular biological approaches are increasingly demonstrating that bacterial diversity in Antarctica may be far greater than previously thought, and that there is overlap in the environmental controls affecting both Antarctic prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities. Bacterial dispersal mechanisms and colonization patterns remain largely unaddressed, although evidence for regional evolutionary differentiation is rapidly accruing and, with this, there is increasing appreciation of patterns in regional bacterial biogeography in this large part of the globe. In this review, we set out to describe the state of knowledge of Antarctic prokaryote diversity patterns, drawing analogy with those of eukaryote

  16. The ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE)

    Lubin, Dan; Bromwich, David; Vogelmann, Andrew; Verlinde, Johannes; Russell, Lynn


    West Antarctica is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, and its changing climate in both atmosphere and ocean is linked to loss of Antarctic ice mass and global sea level rise. The specific mechanisms for West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) warming are not fully understood, but are hypothesized to involve linkage between moisture from Southern Ocean storm tracks and the surface energy balance over the WAIS, and related teleconnections with subtropical and tropical meteorology. This present lack of understanding has motivated a climate science and cloud physics campaign jointly supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Energy (DOE), called the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE). The DOE's second ARM Mobile Facility (AMF2) was deployed to McMurdo Station on Ross Island in November 2015 and will operate through December 2016. The AMF2 includes (1) cloud research radars, both scanning and zenith, operating in the Ka- and X-bands, (2) high spectral resolution and polarized micropulse lidars, and (3) a suite of shortwave and longwave broadband and spectral radiometers. A second suite of instruments is deployed at the WAIS Divide Ice Camp on the West Antarctic plateau during December 2015 and January 2016. The WAIS instrument suite provides (1) measurement of all surface energy balance components, (2) a polarized micropulse lidar and shortwave spectroradiometer, (3) microwave total water column measurement, and (4) four times daily rawinsonde launches which are the first from West Antarctica since 1967. There is a direct linkage between the WAIS instrument suite and the AMF2 at McMurdo, in that air masses originating in Southern Ocean storm tracks that are driven up over the WAIS often subsequently descend over the Ross Ice Shelf and arrive at Ross Island. Preliminary data are already illustrating the prevalence of mixed-phase clouds and their role in the surface energy balance

  17. The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal

    Pedro, Joel B.; Bostock, Helen C.; Bitz, Cecilia M.; He, Feng; Vandergoes, Marcus J.; Steig, Eric J.; Chase, Brian M.; Krause, Claire E.; Rasmussen, Sune O.; Markle, Bradley R.; Cortese, Giuseppe


    Antarctic ice cores show that a millennial-scale cooling event, the Antarctic Cold Reversal (14,700 to 13,000 years ago), interrupted the last deglaciation. The Antarctic Cold Reversal coincides with the Bølling-Allerød warm stage in the North Atlantic, providing an example of the inter-hemispheric coupling of abrupt climate change generally referred to as the bipolar seesaw. However, the ocean-atmosphere dynamics governing this coupling are debated. Here we examine the extent and expression of the Antarctic Cold Reversal in the Southern Hemisphere using a synthesis of 84 palaeoclimate records. We find that the cooling is strongest in the South Atlantic and all regions south of 40° S. At the same time, the terrestrial tropics and subtropics show abrupt hydrologic variations that are significantly correlated with North Atlantic climate changes. Our transient global climate model simulations indicate that the observed extent of Antarctic Cold Reversal cooling can be explained by enhanced northward ocean heat transport from the South to North Atlantic, amplified by the expansion and thickening of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. The hydrologic variations at lower latitudes result from an opposing enhancement of southward heat transport in the atmosphere mediated by the Hadley circulation. Our findings reconcile previous arguments about the relative dominance of ocean and atmospheric heat transports in inter-hemispheric coupling, demonstrating that the spatial pattern of past millennial-scale climate change reflects the superposition of both.

  18. Regional climate signal vs. local noise: a two-dimensional view of water isotopes in Antarctic firn at Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land

    Münch, Thomas; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Freitag, Johannes; Meyer, Hanno; Laepple, Thomas


    In low-accumulation regions, the reliability of δ18O-derived temperature signals from ice cores within the Holocene is unclear, primarily due to the small climate changes relative to the intrinsic noise of the isotopic signal. In order to learn about the representativity of single ice cores and to optimise future ice-core-based climate reconstructions, we studied the stable-water isotope composition of firn at Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Analysing δ18O in two 50 m long snow trenches allowed us to create an unprecedented, two-dimensional image characterising the isotopic variations from the centimetre to the 100-metre scale. Our results show seasonal layering of the isotopic composition but also high horizontal isotopic variability caused by local stratigraphic noise. Based on the horizontal and vertical structure of the isotopic variations, we derive a statistical noise model which successfully explains the trench data. The model further allows one to determine an upper bound for the reliability of climate reconstructions conducted in our study region at seasonal to annual resolution, depending on the number and the spacing of the cores taken.

  19. Climate Change Impacts in the sub-Antarctic Islands Technical Report N.2 of ONERC

    Difficult to apprehend as a whole, the polar regions constitute the Arctic to the North, an ocean surrounded by emerged lands, and the Antarctic to the South, a continent bordered by the Austral Ocean where a belt of sub Antarctic islands lies. Climate change impacts on sub Antarctic islands are varied, direct and indirect: glacier retreat, more favourable conditions for introduced species, marine biodiversity modification, etc. This report discusses the French, British, Australian, South African and New Zealand sub Antarctic islands, the climatic evolutions and the resulting impacts, focused especially on biodiversity. The Observatoire National sur les Effets du Rechauffement Climatique and the International Polar Foundation have been joined in this endeavour by the French polar institute Paul-Emile Victor, the administration of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF in French) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. (authors)

  20. Local scaling characteristics of Antarctic surface layer turbulence

    S. Basu


    Full Text Available Over the past years, several studies have validated Nieuwstadt's local scaling hypothesis by utilizing turbulence observations from the mid-latitude, nocturnal stable boundary layers. In this work, we probe into the local scaling characteristics of polar, long-lived stable boundary layers by analyzing turbulence data from the South Pole region of the Antarctic Plateau.

  1. Extremophiles in an Antarctic Marine Ecosystem

    Iain Dickinson


    Full Text Available Recent attempts to explore marine microbial diversity and the global marine microbiome have indicated a large proportion of previously unknown diversity. However, sequencing alone does not tell the whole story, as it relies heavily upon information that is already contained within sequence databases. In addition, microorganisms have been shown to present small-to-large scale biogeographical patterns worldwide, potentially making regional combinations of selection pressures unique. Here, we focus on the extremophile community in the boundary region located between the Polar Front and the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the Southern Ocean, to explore the potential of metagenomic approaches as a tool for bioprospecting in the search for novel functional activity based on targeted sampling efforts. We assessed the microbial composition and diversity from a region north of the current limit for winter sea ice, north of the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Front (SACCF but south of the Polar Front. Although, most of the more frequently encountered sequences  were derived from common marine microorganisms, within these dominant groups, we found a proportion of genes related to secondary metabolism of potential interest in bioprospecting. Extremophiles were rare by comparison but belonged to a range of genera. Hence, they represented interesting targets from which to identify rare or novel functions. Ultimately, future shifts in environmental conditions favoring more cosmopolitan groups could have an unpredictable effect on microbial diversity and function in the Southern Ocean, perhaps excluding the rarer extremophiles.

  2. CHAMP Magnetic Anomalies of the Antarctic Crust

    Kim, Hyung Rae; Gaya-Pique, Luis R.; vonFrese, Ralph R. B.; Taylor, Patrick T.; Kim, Jeong Woo


    Regional magnetic signals of the crust are strongly masked by the core field and its secular variations components and hence difficult to isolate in the satellite measurements. In particular, the un-modeled effects of the strong auroral external fields and the complicated- behavior of the core field near the geomagnetic poles conspire to greatly reduce the crustal magnetic signal-to-noise ratio in the polar regions relative to the rest of the Earth. We can, however, use spectral correlation theory to filter the static lithospheric and core field components from the dynamic external field effects. To help isolate regional lithospheric from core field components, the correlations between CHAMP magnetic anomalies and the pseudo magnetic effects inferred from gravity-derived crustal thickness variations can also be exploited.. Employing these procedures, we processed the CHAMP magnetic observations for an improved magnetic anomaly map of the Antarctic crust. Relative to the much higher altitude Orsted and noisier Magsat observations, the CHAMP magnetic anomalies at 400 km altitude reveal new details on the effects of intracrustal magnetic features and crustal thickness variations of the Antarctic.

  3. Towers for Antarctic Telescopes

    Hammerschlag, R. H.; Bettonvil, F. C. M.; Jägers, A. P. L.; Nielsen, G.

    To take advantage of the exceptional seeing above the boundary layer on Antarctic sites, a high-resolution telescope must be mounted on a support tower. An open transparent tower of framework minimizes the upward temperature-disturbed airflow. A typical minimum height is 30m. The tower platform has to be extremely stable against wind-induced rotational motions, which have to be less than fractions of an arc second, unusually small from a mechanical engineering viewpoint. In a traditional structure, structural deflections result in angular deflections of the telescope platform, which introduce tip and tilt motions in the telescope. However, a structure that is designed to deflect with parallel motion relative to the horizontal plane will undergo solely translation deflections in the telescope platform and thus will not degrade the image. The use of a parallel motion structure has been effectively demonstrated in the design of the 15-m tower for the Dutch Open Telescope (DOT) on La Palma. Special framework geometries are developed, which make it possible to construct high towers in stories having platforms with extreme stability against wind-induced tilt. These geometric solutions lead to constructions, being no more massive than a normal steel framework carrying the same load. Consequently, these lightweight towers are well suited to difficult sites as on Antarctica. A geometry with 4 stories has been worked out.

  4. Evolution and ecology of antarctic sponges

    Vargas Ramirez, Sergio


    Sponges are abundant and species-rich in Antarctic waters, and play important roles in the benthic ecosystems of the continent. The taxonomy of Antarctic sponges is, to some extent, well established, yet the phylogenetic relationships of this fauna remain unknown. Here, the first contributions to the knowledge of the evolution of Antarctic sponges are presented. A molecular phylogeny for the common Antarctic shelf glass sponge genus Rossella is provided. Based on nuclear and mitochondrial mar...

  5. Evidence for widespread endemism among Antarctic micro-organisms

    Vyverman, Wim; Verleyen, Elie; Wilmotte, Annick; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Willems, Anne; Peeters, Karolien; Van de Vijver, Bart; De Wever, Aaike; Leliaert, Frederik; Sabbe, Koen


    Understanding the enormous diversity of microbes, their multiple roles in the functioning of ecosystems, and their response to large-scale environmental and climatic changes, are at the forefront of the international research agenda. In Antarctica, where terrestrial and lacustrine environments are predominantly microbial realms, an active and growing community of microbial ecologists is probing this diversity and its role in ecosystem processes. In a broader context, this work has the potential to make a significant contribution to the long-standing debate as to whether microbes are fundamentally different from macroorganisms in their biogeography. According to the ubiquity hypothesis, microbial community composition is not constrained by dispersal limitation and is solely the result of species sorting along environmental gradients. However, recent work on several groups of microalgae is challenging this view. Global analyses using morphology-based diatom inventories have demonstrated that, in addition to environmental harshness, geographical isolation underlies the strong latitudinal gradients in local and regional diversity in the Southern hemisphere. Increasing evidence points to a strong regionalization of diatom floras in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions, mirroring the biogeographical regions that have been recognized for macroorganisms. Likewise, the application of molecular-phylogenetic techniques to cultured and uncultured diversity revealed a high number of Antarctic endemics among cyanobacteria and green algae. Calibration of these phylogenies suggests that several clades have an ancient evolutionary history within the Antarctic continent, possibly dating back to 330 Ma. These findings are in line with the current view on the origin of Antarctic terrestrial metazoa, including springtails, chironomids and mites, with most evidence suggesting a long history of geographic isolation on a multi-million year, even pre-Gondwana break-up timescale.

  6. Depletion in Antarctic ozone and associated climatic change

    Perhaps the most significant discovery in the atmospheric sciences in the last decade has been the observation of large decreases in ozone. These losses in ozone occur during austral spring, and from 1979 the severity of the depletion increased non-monotonically until September of 1987 when the lowest column ozone amounts ever recorded were observed in Antarctica. While the surprising ozone hole in the remote icy continent of Antarctica emphasizes the potential importance and complexity of processes in the high latitude stratosphere, it also motivated this study on the nature of greenhouse effect on polar climate due to perturbations in column ozone amount in association with observed increases in other trace gases in the Antarctic atmosphere. The authors have examined the potential climatic effects of changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases on thermal structure of the Antarctic atmosphere using both steady-state and time-dependent climate models. When the authors incorporate the greenhouse effect of increases in methane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons in association with decrease in ozone at the levels of maximum concentration in their radiative flux computations for the Antarctic region, the net result is a surface warming which is in fair agreement with that inferred from mean Antarctic temperature series. Further, the stratospheric cooling due to the ozone hole phenomenon is not only restricted to low and middle stratosphere but also extends deep into the upper Antarctic stratosphere, particularly in the beginning of November. In view of this, it is possible that the polar stratospheric warming phenomenon associated with planetary wave events could be significantly disturbed by ozone depletion in the Antarctic atmosphere, leading to appreciable perturbations in the general circulation

  7. Antarctic Porifera database from the Spanish benthic expeditions

    Pilar Rios


    Full Text Available The information about the sponges in this dataset is derived from the samples collected during five Spanish Antarctic expeditions: Bentart 94, Bentart 95, Gebrap 96, Ciemar 99/00 and Bentart 2003. Samples were collected in the Antarctic Peninsula and Bellingshausen Sea at depths ranging from 4 to 2044 m using va­rious sampling gears.The Antarctic Porifera database from the Spanish benthic expeditions is unique as it provides in­formation for an under-explored region of the Southern Ocean (Bellingshausen Sea. It fills an information gap on Antarctic deep-sea sponges, for which there were previously very few data.This phylum is an important part of the Antarctic biota and plays a key role in the structure of the Antarctic marine benthic community due to its considerable diversity and predominance in different areas. It is often a dominant component of Southern Ocean benthic communities.The quality of the data was controlled very thoroughly with GPS systems onboard the R/V Hesperides and by checking the data against the World Porifera Database (which is part of the World Register of Marine Species, WoRMS. The data are therefore fit for completing checklists, inclusion in biodivers­ity pattern analysis and niche modelling. The authors can be contacted if any additional information is needed before carrying out detailed biodiversity or biogeographic studies.The dataset currently contains 767 occurrence data items that have been checked for systematic reliability. This database is not yet complete and the collection is growing. Specimens are stored in the author’s collection at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO in the city of Gijón (Spain. The data are available in GBIF.

  8. Antarctic Porifera database from the Spanish benthic expeditions.

    Rios, Pilar; Cristobo, Javier


    THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPONGES IN THIS DATASET IS DERIVED FROM THE SAMPLES COLLECTED DURING FIVE SPANISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITIONS: Bentart 94, Bentart 95, Gebrap 96, Ciemar 99/00 and Bentart 2003. Samples were collected in the Antarctic Peninsula and Bellingshausen Sea at depths ranging from 4 to 2044 m using various sampling gears. The Antarctic Porifera database from the Spanish benthic expeditions is unique as it provides information for an under-explored region of the Southern Ocean (Bellingshausen Sea). It fills an information gap on Antarctic deep-sea sponges, for which there were previously very few data. This phylum is an important part of the Antarctic biota and plays a key role in the structure of the Antarctic marine benthic community due to its considerable diversity and predominance in different areas. It is often a dominant component of Southern Ocean benthic communities. The quality of the data was controlled very thoroughly with GPS systems onboard the R/V Hesperides and by checking the data against the World Porifera Database (which is part of the World Register of Marine Species, WoRMS). The data are therefore fit for completing checklists, inclusion in biodiversity pattern analysis and niche modelling. The authors can be contacted if any additional information is needed before carrying out detailed biodiversity or biogeographic studies. The dataset currently contains 767 occurrence data items that have been checked for systematic reliability. This database is not yet complete and the collection is growing. Specimens are stored in the author's collection at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) in the city of Gijón (Spain). The data are available in GBIF. PMID:24843257

  9. Water masses, ocean fronts, and the structure of Antarctic seabird communities: Putting the eastern Bellingshausen Sea in perspective

    Ribic, Christine A.; Ainley, David G.; Glenn Ford, R.; Fraser, William R.; Tynan, Cynthia T.; Woehler, Eric J.


    Waters off the western Antarctic Peninsula (i.e., the eastern Bellingshausen Sea) are unusually complex owing to the convergence of several major fronts. Determining the relative influence of fronts on occurrence patterns of top-trophic species in that area, therefore, has been challenging. In one of the few ocean-wide seabird data syntheses, in this case for the Southern Ocean, we analyzed ample, previously collected cruise data, Antarctic-wide, to determine seabird species assemblages and quantitative relationships to fronts as a way to provide context to the long-term Palmer LTER and the winter Southern Ocean GLOBEC studies in the eastern Bellingshausen Sea. Fronts investigated during both winter (April-September) and summer (October-March) were the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which separates the High Antarctic from the Low Antarctic water mass, and within which are embedded the marginal ice zone and Antarctic Shelf Break Front; and the Antarctic Polar Front, which separates the Low Antarctic and the Subantarctic water masses. We used clustering to determine species' groupings with water masses, and generalized additive models to relate species' densities, biomass and diversity to distance to respective fronts. Antarctic-wide, in both periods, highest seabird densities and lowest species diversity were found in the High Antarctic water mass. In the eastern Bellingshausen, seabird density in the High Antarctic water mass was lower (as low as half that of winter) than found in other Antarctic regions. During winter, Antarctic-wide, two significant species groups were evident: one dominated by Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae) (High Antarctic water mass) and the other by petrels and prions (no differentiation among water masses); in eastern Bellingshausen waters during winter, the one significant species group was composed of species from both Antarctic-wide groups. In summer, Antarctic-wide, a High Antarctic group dominated

  10. Ophiuroidea das regiões antártica e subantártica: 1. sobre três espécies de Gorgonocephalidae e Ophiacanthidae Ophiuroidea from antarctic and subantarctic regions: 1. on three species of Gorgonocephalidae and Ophiacanthidae

    Ana Maria Gouveia Monteiro


    Full Text Available É estudada a distribuição geográfica e a variação de caracteres morfológicos de três espécies de ofiuroides (OpiLacantha antartica, Astrotoma agassizzi e Gorgonecephalus chilensis das regiões Antártica e Subantãrtica. São também apresentadas observações sobre biologia reprodutiva.The geographical distribution and the variation of morphological characters of three (Gorgonecephalus chilensis, Astroma agassizii, Ophiacantha antartica from the Antarctic and Subantarctic regions are studied. Observations on reproductive biology are presented.

  11. The Antarctic - the wild card in the global climate

    The overview gives an account of studies of snowfall, ice melting and formation and water flow patterns in the Antarctic during the present global warming period. It also gives a survey of the ice area in the region. The sea water warming is dramatic and a large floating glacier seems to be decomposing which is disrupting the oceanographic and ecological relations in the region and globally and is significantly influencing the global climate

  12. Feeding repellence in Antarctic bryozoans

    Figuerola, Blanca; Núñez-Pons, Laura; Moles, Juan; Avila, Conxita


    The Antarctic sea star Odontaster validus and the amphipod Cheirimedon femoratus are important predators in benthic communities. Some bryozoans are part of the diet of the asteroid and represent both potential host biosubstrata and prey for this omnivorous lysianassid amphipod. In response to such ecological pressure, bryozoans are expected to develop strategies to deter potential predators, ranging from physical to chemical mechanisms. However, the chemical ecology of Antarctic bryozoans has been scarcely studied. In this study we evaluated the presence of defenses against predation in selected species of Antarctic bryozoans. The sympatric omnivorous consumers O. validus and C. femoratus were selected to perform feeding assays with 16 ether extracts (EE) and 16 butanol extracts (BE) obtained from 16 samples that belonged to 13 different bryozoan species. Most species (9) were active (12 EE and 1 BE) in sea star bioassays. Only 1 BE displayed repellence, indicating that repellents against the sea star are mainly lipophilic. Repellence toward C. femoratus was found in all species in different extracts (10 EE and 12 BE), suggesting that defenses against the amphipod might be both lipophilic and hydrophilic. Interspecific and intraspecific variability of bioactivity was occasionally detected, suggesting possible environmental inductive responses, symbiotic associations, and/or genetic variability. Multivariate analysis revealed similarities among species in relation to bioactivities of EE and/or BE. These findings support the hypothesis that, while in some cases alternative chemical or physical mechanisms may also provide protection, repellent compounds play an important role in Antarctic bryozoans as defenses against predators.

  13. Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation a new SCAR-Biology Programme

    Gutt, Julian; Adams, Byron; Bracegirdle, Thomas; Cowan, Don; Cummings, Vonda; di Prisco, Guido; Gradinger, Rolf; Isla, Enrique; McIntyre, Trevor; Murphy, Eugene; Peck, Lloyd; Schloss, Irene; Smith, Craig; Suckling, Coleen; Takahashi, Akinori


    Stresses on Antarctic ecosystems result from environmental change, including extreme events, and from (other) human impacts. Consequently, Antarctic habitats are changing, some at a rapid pace while others are relatively stable. A cascade of responses from molecular through organismic to the community level are expected. The differences in biological complexity and evolutionary histories between both polar regions and the rest of the planet suggest that stresses on polar ...

  14. Isolation and cellular fatty acid composition of psychrotrophic Halomonas strains from Antarctic sea water

    Vipra Vijay Jadhav; Amit Yadav; Shouche, Yogesh S.; Rama Kaustubh Bhadekar


    Microorganisms from extreme environments such as Arctic, Antarctic and Polar regions modulate their membrane fatty acids to survive in such habitats. Characterization of such microorganisms helps in understanding their physiological behavior. In view of this, the present article describes isolation, characterization and cellular fatty acid composition of three bacterial isolates from Antarctic sea water samples. All the three isolates (BRI 6, 29 and 31) were psychrotrophic Gram negative rods....

  15. Investigation of carbon dioxide phase shift possibility under extreme Antarctic winter conditions

    Vashchenko, V M


    The Antarctic winter atmosphere minimal temperature and pressure series reveal that $CO_2$ phase shift (deposition) is possible in some extreme cases, even leading to possible $CO_2$ snow phenomenon at Vostok Antarctic station and in other near South Pole regions. A hypothesis has been formulated that stable $CO_2$ snow cover might have formed in Earth past which may influence interpretation of glacial chronology records. This effect may also manifest in other minor gases. Its global climate role is discussed.

  16. A multivariate analysis of Antarctic sea ice since 1979

    Magalhaes Neto, Newton de; Evangelista, Heitor [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Tanizaki-Fonseca, Kenny [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Dept. Analise Geoambiental, Inst. de Geociencias, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Penello Meirelles, Margareth Simoes [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)/Geomatica, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Garcia, Carlos Eiras [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Laboratorio de Oceanografia Fisica, Rio Grande, RS (Brazil)


    Recent satellite observations have shown an increase in the total extent of Antarctic sea ice, during periods when the atmosphere and oceans tend to be warmer surrounding a significant part of the continent. Despite an increase in total sea ice, regional analyses depict negative trends in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Sea and positive trends in the Ross Sea. Although several climate parameters are believed to drive the formation of Antarctic sea ice and the local atmosphere, a descriptive mechanism that could trigger such differences in trends are still unknown. In this study we employed a multivariate analysis in order to identify the response of the Antarctic sea ice with respect to commonly utilized climate forcings/parameters, as follows: (1) The global air surface temperature, (2) The global sea surface temperature, (3) The atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration, (4) The South Annular Mode, (5) The Nino 3, (6) The Nino (3 + 4, 7) The Nino 4, (8) The Southern Oscillation Index, (9) The Multivariate ENSO Index, (10) the Total Solar Irradiance, (11) The maximum O{sub 3} depletion area, and (12) The minimum O{sub 3} concentration over Antarctica. Our results indicate that western Antarctic sea ice is simultaneously impacted by several parameters; and that the minimum, mean, and maximum sea ice extent may respond to a separate set of climatic/geochemical parameters. (orig.)

  17. Low genetic diversity in Antarctic populations of the lichen-forming ascomycete Cetraria aculeata and its photobiont

    Stephanie Domaschke


    Full Text Available Lichens, symbiotic associations of fungi (mycobionts and green algae or cyanobacteria (photobionts, are poikilohydric organisms that are particularly well adapted to withstand adverse environmental conditions. Terrestrial ecosystems of the Antarctic are therefore largely dominated by lichens. The effects of global climate change are especially pronounced in the maritime Antarctic and it may be assumed that the lichen vegetation will profoundly change in the future. The genetic diversity of populations is closely correlated to their ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions and to their future evolutionary potential. In this study, we present evidence for low genetic diversity in Antarctic mycobiont and photobiont populations of the widespread lichen Cetraria aculeata. We compared between 110 and 219 DNA sequences from each of three gene loci for each symbiont. A total of 222 individuals from three Antarctic and nine antiboreal, temperate and Arctic populations were investigated. The mycobiont diversity is highest in Arctic populations, while the photobionts are most diverse in temperate regions. Photobiont diversity decreases significantly towards the Antarctic but less markedly towards the Arctic, indicating that ecological factors play a minor role in determining the diversity of Antarctic photobiont populations. Richness estimators calculated for the four geographical regions suggest that the low genetic diversity of Antarctic populations is not a sampling artefact. Cetraria aculeata appears to have diversified in the Arctic and subsequently expanded its range into the Southern Hemisphere. The reduced genetic diversity in the Antarctic is most likely due to founder effects during long-distance colonization.

  18. The South Atlantic in the Fine-Resolution Antarctic Model

    D. P. Stevens

    Full Text Available The geographical area covered by the Fine-Resolution Antarctic Model (FRAM includes that part of the South Atlantic south of 24°S. A description of the dynamics and thermodynamics of this region of the model is presented. Both the mean and eddy fields in the model are in good agreement with reality, although the magnitude of the transients is somewhat reduced. The heat flux is northward and in broad agreement with many other estimates. Agulhas eddies are formed by the model and propagate westward into the Atlantic providing a mechanism for fluxing heat from the Indian Ocean. The confluence of the Brazil and Falkland currents produces a strong front and a large amount of mesoscale activity. In the less stratified regions to the south, topographic steering of the Antarctic circumpolar current is important.

  19. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    Brasso, Rebecka L., E-mail: [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Polito, Michael J. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Lynch, Heather J. [Ecology and Evolution Department, 640 Life Sciences Bldg., Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (United States); Naveen, R. [Oceanites Inc., PO Box 15259, Chevy Chase, MD 20825 (United States); Emslie, Steven D. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States)


    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adelie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell {delta}{sup 15}N or {delta}{sup 13}C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Three species of Pygoscelis

  20. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adélie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values (δ15N and δ13C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adélie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell δ15N or δ13C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: ► We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. ► Three species of Pygoscelis penguins were used as biomonitors. ► Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher mercury than Ad

  1. Determination of the Antarctic region active margin basement by using integration of the information coming from the multichannel seismic analysis and the magnetometry; Determinacao do embasamento da margen ativa da regiao Antartica pela integracao de informacoes provenientes da sismica multicanal e da magnetometria

    Torres, Luiz Carlos [Diretoria de Hidrografia e Navegacao, XX (Brazil); Gomes, Benedito Souza [PETROBRAS S.A., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Gamboa, Luiz Antonio P. [Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil)


    Geophysical measurements were carried out in the Western Margin of the Antarctic Peninsula and Bransfield Strait by the Brazilian Antarctic Program during the summers of 1987 and 1988. The present work, using a continued seismic multi channel and magnetometry data profile crossing the area, intends to present a two-dimensional model of the interface sediment/basement and contribute to the understanding of the complex geology verified in the studying area. By this model, the main provinces of the are (Deep Ocean, South Shetland Trench, Accretionary Prism, Volcanic Arc South Shetland Islands and Bransfield Basin) could be determined. The seismic and magnetic measurements information when superposed can attribute more consistencies to the interpreted basement; although each method has its particular resolution. This way, when the seismic interpretation was not possible due to complex structures disposition, magnetic measurements could offer good estimation about basement depth. The fit between both methods (seismic and magnetic measurements) was reasonable both on the oceanic basin and in the region of Bransfield Strait. The magnetometry, as as well seismic, was sensible to the dip of Drake Plate at South Shetland Trench and the Intrusive occurrence at Bransfield Basin axis. (author)

  2. Antarctic skuas recognize individual humans.

    Lee, Won Young; Han, Yeong-Deok; Lee, Sang-Im; Jablonski, Piotr G; Jung, Jin-Woo; Kim, Jeong-Hoon


    Recent findings report that wild animals can recognize individual humans. To explain how the animals distinguish humans, two hypotheses are proposed. The high cognitive abilities hypothesis implies that pre-existing high intelligence enabled animals to acquire such abilities. The pre-exposure to stimuli hypothesis suggests that frequent encounters with humans promote the acquisition of discriminatory abilities in these species. Here, we examine individual human recognition abilities in a wild Antarctic species, the brown skua (Stercorarius antarcticus), which lives away from typical human settlements and was only recently exposed to humans due to activities at Antarctic stations. We found that, as nest visits were repeated, the skua parents responded at further distances and were more likely to attack the nest intruder. Also, we demonstrated that seven out of seven breeding pairs of skuas selectively responded to a human nest intruder with aggression and ignored a neutral human who had not previously approached the nest. The results indicate that Antarctic skuas, a species that typically inhabited in human-free areas, are able to recognize individual humans who disturbed their nests. Our findings generally support the high cognitive abilities hypothesis, but this ability can be acquired during a relatively short period in the life of an individual as a result of interactions between individual birds and humans. PMID:26939544

  3. Primary productivity, phytoplankton standing crop and physico-chemical characteristics of the Antarctic and adjacent central Indian Ocean waters

    JiyalalRam, M.

    Primary productivity, phytoplankton pigments and physico-chemical properties were studied in Antarctic waters and adjoining Indian Ocean between 11 degrees and 67 degrees E longitudes from polynya region (60 degrees S) to equator during the austral...

  4. The effect of environmental change on vascular plant and cryptogam communities from the Falkland Islands and the Maritime Antarctic

    Convey Peter; Huiskes Ad; Bokhorst Stef; Aerts Rien


    Abstract Background Antarctic terrestrial vegetation is subject to one of the most extreme climates on Earth. Currently, parts of Antarctica are one of the fastest warming regions on the planet. During 3 growing seasons, we investigated the effect of experimental warming on the diversity and abundance of coastal plant communities in the Maritime Antarctic region (cryptogams only) and the Falkland Islands (vascular plants only). We compared communities from the Falkland Islands (51°S, mean ann...

  5. Extreme phenotypic plasticity in metabolic physiology of Antarctic Demosponges

    Simon Anthony Morley


    Full Text Available Seasonal measurements of the metabolic physiology of four Antarctic demosponges and their associated assemblages, maintained in a flow through aquarium facility, demonstrated one of the largest differences in seasonal strategies between species and their associated sponge communities. The sponge oxygen consumption measured here exhibited both the lowest and highest seasonal changes for any Antarctic species; metabolic rates varied from a 25% decrease to a 5.8 fold increase from winter to summer, a range which was greater than all 17 Antarctic marine species (encompassing 8 phyla previously investigated and amongst the highest recorded for any marine environment. The differences in nitrogen excretion, metabolic substrate utilisation and tissue composition between species were, overall, greater than seasonal changes. The largest seasonal difference in tissue composition was an increase in CHN (Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen content in Homaxinella balfourensis, a pioneer species in ice-scour regions, which changed growth form to a twig-like morph in winter. The considerable flexibility in seasonal and metabolic physiology across the Demospongiae likely enables these species to respond to rapid environmental change such as ice-scour, reductions in sea ice cover and ice-shelf collapse in the Polar Regions, shifting the paradigm that polar sponges always live life in the slow lane. Great phenotypic plasticity in physiology has been linked to differences in symbiotic community composition, and this is likely to be a key factor in the global success of sponges in all marine environments and their dominant role in many climax communities.

  6. Results and perspectives of tectonomagnetic investigations in the Western Antarctic

    Ihor O. Chobotok


    Full Text Available The results of long-term (1998-2005 yrs. tectonomagnetic investigations in the Western Antarctic near the location
    of Ukrainian Antarctic Station «Academic Vernadsky» are reviewed. The peculiarities of the Earth’s
    anomalous magnetic field and its dynamic temporal variations (tectonomagnetic anomalies were studied using
    the newly founded tectonomagnetic polygon. Near the Argentine Archipelago intensive tectonomagnetic effects
    up to -2.8 nT/year were determined. Their spatial-temporal structure agrees with tectonic structure elements. We
    suggest that the nature of such effects is caused by a piezomagnetic effect under the influence of stretching tectonic
    forces (few bars per year in sub-latitudinal direction. Perspectives of tectonomagnetic investigations in the
    region are discussed.

  7. Treatment and prevention of infection following bites of the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella

    Kouliev T


    Full Text Available Timur Kouliev,1 Victoria Cui2 1Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing, People's Republic of China; 2Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA Abstract: In recent decades, an increasing number of people have traveled to sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions each year for research, tourism, and resource exploitation. Hunting of Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella almost pushed the species to extinction in the early 1900s, but populations have since shown rapid and substantial recovery. The species' range has re-expanded to include several islands south of the Antarctic Convergence, most notably South Georgia, and now overlaps with many popular Antarctic travel destinations. Both male and female fur seals can become extremely aggressive when provoked, and their bites, if not properly treated, pose a significant risk of infection by microorganisms not usually encountered in cases of animal bites. In this report, we present the case of a patient treated for a fur seal bite during an Antarctic expedition cruise, review the literature concerning seal bites, and suggest the use of antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent complications. Keywords: zoonotic, polar tourism, prophylaxis, seal finger, expedition medicine

  8. Annual cycle of Antarctic baseline aerosol: controlled by photooxidation-limited aerosol formation

    M. Fiebig


    Full Text Available This article investigates the annual cycle observed in the Antarctic baseline aerosol scattering coefficient, total particle number concentration, and particle number size distribution (PNSD as measured at Troll Atmospheric Observatory. Mie-theory shows that the annual cycles in microphysical and optical aerosol properties have a common cause. By comparison with observations at other Antarctic stations, it is shown that the annual cycle is not a local phenomenon, but common to Central Antarctic baseline air masses. Observations of ground-level ozone at Troll as well as backward plume calculations for the air masses arriving at Troll demonstrate that the baseline air masses originate from the free troposphere and lower stratosphere region, and descend over the Central Antarctic continent. The Antarctic summer PNSD is dominated by particles with diameters 3/(MJ m. Further research is proposed to investigate the applicability of this number to other atmospheric reservoirs, and to use the observed annual cycle in Antarctic baseline aerosol properties as a benchmark for the representation of natural atmospheric aerosol processes in climate models.

  9. Shifts in soil microorganisms in response to warming are consistent across a range of Antarctic environments.

    Yergeau, Etienne; Bokhorst, Stef; Kang, Sanghoon; Zhou, Jizhong; Greer, Charles W; Aerts, Rien; Kowalchuk, George A


    Because of severe abiotic limitations, Antarctic soils represent simplified systems, where microorganisms are the principal drivers of nutrient cycling. This relative simplicity makes these ecosystems particularly vulnerable to perturbations, like global warming, and the Antarctic Peninsula is among the most rapidly warming regions on the planet. However, the consequences of the ongoing warming of Antarctica on microorganisms and the processes they mediate are unknown. Here, using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and qPCR, we report highly consistent responses in microbial communities across disparate sub-Antarctic and Antarctic environments in response to 3 years of experimental field warming (+0.5 to 2 °C). Specifically, we found significant increases in the abundance of fungi and bacteria and in the Alphaproteobacteria-to-Acidobacteria ratio, which could result in an increase in soil respiration. Furthermore, shifts toward generalist bacterial communities following warming weakened the linkage between the bacterial taxonomic and functional richness. GeoChip microarray analyses also revealed significant warming effects on functional communities, specifically in the N-cycling microorganisms. Our results demonstrate that soil microorganisms across a range of sub-Antarctic and Antarctic environments can respond consistently and rapidly to increasing temperatures. PMID:21938020

  10. Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios

    Trusel, Luke D.; Frey, Karen E.; Das, Sarah B.; Karnauskas, Kristopher B.; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; van Meijgaard, Erik; van den Broeke, Michiel R.


    Ice shelves modulate Antarctic contributions to sea-level rise and thereby represent a critical, climate-sensitive interface between the Antarctic ice sheet and the global ocean. Following rapid atmospheric warming over the past decades, Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have progressively retreated, at times catastrophically. This decay supports hypotheses of thermal limits of viability for ice shelves via surface melt forcing. Here we use a polar-adapted regional climate model and satellite observations to quantify the nonlinear relationship between surface melting and summer air temperature. Combining observations and multimodel simulations, we examine melt evolution and intensification before observed ice shelf collapse on the Antarctic Peninsula. We then assess the twenty-first-century evolution of surface melt across Antarctica under intermediate and high emissions climate scenarios. Our projections reveal a scenario-independent doubling of Antarctic-wide melt by 2050. Between 2050 and 2100, however, significant divergence in melt occurs between the two climate scenarios. Under the high emissions pathway by 2100, melt on several ice shelves approaches or surpasses intensities that have historically been associated with ice shelf collapse, at least on the northeast Antarctic Peninsula.

  11. The impact of global warming on the Antarctic mass balance and global sea level

    The onset of global warming from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can have a number of important different impacts on the Antarctic ice sheet. These include increasing basal melt of ice shelves, faster flow of the grounded ice, increased surface ablation in coastal regions, and increased precipitation over the interior. An analysis of these separate terms by ice sheet modeling indicates that the impact of increasing ice sheet flow rates on sea level does not become a dominant factor until 100-200 years after the realization of the warming. For the time period of the next 100 years the most important impact on sea level from the Antarctic mass balance can be expected to result from increasing precipitation minus evaporation balance over the grounded ice. The present Antarctic net accumulation and coastal ice flux each amount to about 2,000 km3 yr-1, both of which on their own would equate to approximately 6 mm yr-1 of sea level change. The present rate of sea level rise of about 1.2 mm yr-1 is therefore equivalent to about 20% imbalance in the Antarctic mass fluxes. The magnitude of the changes to the Antarctic precipitation and evaporation have been studied by a series of General Circulation Model experiments, using a model which gives a reasonable simulation of the present Antarctic climate, including precipitation and evaporation. The experiments examine the changes in the Antarctic precipitation (P) and evaporation (E) resulting separately from decreasing incrementally the Antarctic sea ice concentration and from global warming accompanied by decreased sea ice cover. For total sea ice removal the changes obtained were P:+23%; E:-8%; (P-E):+48%. For global warming with sea ice reduction by about two thirds the changes were P:+47%; E:+22%; (P-E):+68%

  12. Genetic population structure in the Antarctic benthos: insights from the widespread amphipod, Orchomenella franklini.

    Helena Phoenix Baird

    Full Text Available Currently there is very limited understanding of genetic population structure in the Antarctic benthos. We conducted one of the first studies of microsatellite variation in an Antarctic benthic invertebrate, using the ubiquitous amphipod Orchomenella franklini (Walker, 1903. Seven microsatellite loci were used to assess genetic structure on three spatial scales: sites (100 s of metres, locations (1-10 kilometres and regions (1000 s of kilometres sampled in East Antarctica at Casey and Davis stations. Considerable genetic diversity was revealed, which varied between the two regions and also between polluted and unpolluted sites. Genetic differentiation among all populations was highly significant (F(ST = 0.086, R(ST = 0.139, p<0.001 consistent with the brooding mode of development in O. franklini. Hierarchical AMOVA revealed that the majority of the genetic subdivision occurred across the largest geographical scale, with N(em≈1 suggesting insufficient gene flow to prevent independent evolution of the two regions, i.e., Casey and Davis are effectively isolated. Isolation by distance was detected at smaller scales and indicates that gene flow in O. franklini occurs primarily through stepping-stone dispersal. Three of the microsatellite loci showed signs of selection, providing evidence that localised adaptation may occur within the Antarctic benthos. These results provide insights into processes of speciation in Antarctic brooders, and will help inform the design of spatial management initiatives recently endorsed for the Antarctic benthos.

  13. Assessment of trace metals in droppings of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) from different locations of the Antarctic Peninsula area

    Jos E Celis; Winfred Espejo; Ricardo Barra; Daniel Gonzalez-Acua; Francisca Gonzalez; Solange Jara


    In recent decades, polar regions of the planet have witnessed an increase in human presence. Antarctica is considered one of the most pristine regions of the world, but it could be affected by pollution owing to anthropogenic activities, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula. Human presence can increase the levels of some trace metals in Antarctic environments, an issue that needs to be evaluated. To acquire data of trace metal contamination in the Antarctic Peninsula region, concentrations (dry weight) of Cd, Pb, As, Cu, Hg and Zn in fresh excrement of Adélie penguins were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. During the 2012/2013 austral summer, samples were collected from four important nesting sites on the Antarctic Peninsula:Arctowski Base, Kopaitic Island (both sites in the northern Antarctic Peninsula), Yalour Island and Avian Island (both sites in the southern Antarctic Peninsula). Data showed that Adélie penguin excreta had significantly higher levels (mg·kg-1) of As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Cu at Arctowski Base and Kopaitic Island, both sites that have major anthropogenic activities that probably contributed to increased metal levels. The levels of trace metals in Adélie penguins were similar to those reported in excreta of Antarctic species in previous studies, and lower than those in excreta of other Antarctic animals. Data suggest that metals ingested by these penguin species that feed in the sea, end up in terrestrial ecosystems.

  14. On the Atmospheric Correction of Antarctic Airborne Hyperspectral Data

    Martin Black


    Full Text Available The first airborne hyperspectral campaign in the Antarctic Peninsula region was carried out by the British Antarctic Survey and partners in February 2011. This paper presents an insight into the applicability of currently available radiative transfer modelling and atmospheric correction techniques for processing airborne hyperspectral data in this unique coastal Antarctic environment. Results from the Atmospheric and Topographic Correction version 4 (ATCOR-4 package reveal absolute reflectance values somewhat in line with laboratory measured spectra, with Root Mean Square Error (RMSE values of 5% in the visible near infrared (0.4–1 µm and 8% in the shortwave infrared (1–2.5 µm. Residual noise remains present due to the absorption by atmospheric gases and aerosols, but certain parts of the spectrum match laboratory measured features very well. This study demonstrates that commercially available packages for carrying out atmospheric correction are capable of correcting airborne hyperspectral data in the challenging environment present in Antarctica. However, it is anticipated that future results from atmospheric correction could be improved by measuring in situ atmospheric data to generate atmospheric profiles and aerosol models, or with the use of multiple ground targets for calibration and validation.

  15. Miocene Antarctic Terrestrial Realm

    Ashworth, A. C.; Lewis, A.; Marchant, D. R.


    The discovery of several locations in the Transantarctic Mountains that contain macrofossils and pollen is transforming our understanding of late Cenozoic Antarctica. The most southerly location is on the Beardmore Glacier (85.1°S) about 500 km from the South Pole. The environment was an active glacial margin in which plants, insects and freshwater mollusks inhabited the sand and gravel bars and small lakes on an outwash plain. In addition to leaves and wood of dwarf Nothofagus (Southern Beech) shrubs, achenes of Ranunculus (Buttercup), in situ cushion growth forms of mosses and a vascular plant, the assemblages contains various exoskeletal parts of carabid and curculionid beetles and a cyclorrhaphan fly, the shells of freshwater bivalve and gastropod species and a fish tooth. Initially the deposits were assigned a Pliocene age (3.5 Ma) but a mid- to early Miocene age is more probable (c. 14 - 25 Ma) based on correlation of fossil pollen from the deposits with 39Ar/40Ar dated pollen assemblages from the McMurdo Dry Valleys locations. The oldest location within the Dry Valleys also involved an active ice margin but was part of a valley system that was completely deglaciated for intervals long enough for thick paleosols to develop. The Friis Hills fossil deposits of the Taylor Valley region (77.8°S) are at least 19.76 Ma based on the 39Ar/40Ar age of a volcanic ash bed. The valley floor during the non-glacial phases had poorly-drained soils and the extensive development of mossy mires. Wood and leaves of Nothofagus are abundant in lacustrine deposits. The silts of shallow fluvial channels contain abundant megaspores and spiky leaves of the aquatic lycopod Isoetes (Quillwort). Fossils of beetles are also present in these deposits. During the glacial phases, proglacial lakes were surrounded by dwarfed, deciduous Nothofagus shrubs. The youngest fossils recovered from the Dry Valleys are from the Olympus Range (77.5°S) with an age of 14.07 Ma. The environment was an

  16. Natural thermoluminescence of Antarctic meteorites and related studies

    Benoit, Paul H.; Sears, Derek W. G.


    The natural thermoluminescence (TL) laboratory's primary purpose is to provide data on newly recovered Antarctic meteorites that can be included in discovery announcements and to investigate the scientific implications of the data. Natural TL levels of meteorites are indicators of recent thermal history and terrestrial history, and the data can be used to study the orbital/radiation history of groups of meteorites (e.g., H chondrites) or to study the processes leading to the concentration of meteorites at certain sites in Antarctica. An important application of these data is the identification of fragments, or "pairs" of meteorites produced during atmospheric passage or during terrestrial weathering. Thermoluminescence data are particularly useful for pairing within the most common meteorite classes, which typically exhibit very limited petrographic and chemical diversity. Although not originally part of the laboratory's objectives, TL data are also useful in the identification and classification of petrographically or mineralogically unusual meteorites, including unequilibrated ordinary chondrites and some basaltic achondrites. In support of its primary mission, the laboratory also engages in TL studies of modern falls, finds from hot deserts, and terrestrial analogs and conducts detailed studies of the TL properties of certain classes of meteorites. These studies include the measurement of TL profiles in meteorites, the determination of TL levels of finds from the Sahara and the Nullarbor region of Australia, and comparison of TL data to other indicators of irradiation or terrestrial history, such as cosmogenic noble gas and radionuclide abundances. Our current work can be divided into five subcategories, (a) TL survey of Antarctic meteorites, (b) pairing and field relations of Antarctic meteorites, (c) characterization of TL systematics of meteorites, (d) comparison of natural TL and other terrestrial age indicators for Antarctic meteorites, and for meteorites

  17. Antarctic-type blue whale calls recorded at low latitudes in the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans

    Stafford, Kathleen M.; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne R.; Tolstoy, Maya; Chapp, Emily; Mellinger, David K.; Moore, Sue E.


    Blue whales, Balaenoptera musculus, were once abundant around the Antarctic during the austral summer, but intensive whaling during the first half of the 20th century reduced their numbers by over 99%. Although interannual variability of blue whale occurrence on the Antarctic feeding grounds was documented by whalers, little was known about where the whales spent the winter months. Antarctic blue whales produce calls that are distinct from those produced by blue whales elsewhere in the world. To investigate potential winter migratory destinations of Antarctic blue whales, we examined acoustic data for these signals from two low-latitude locales: the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Antarctic-type blue whale calls were detected on hydrophones in both regions during the austral autumn and winter (May-September), with peak detections in July. Calls occurred over relatively brief periods in both oceans, suggesting that there may be only a few animals migrating so far north and/or producing calls. Antarctic blue whales appear to use both the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans concurrently, indicating that there is not a single migratory destination. Acoustic data from the South Atlantic and from mid-latitudes in the Indian or Pacific Oceans are needed for a more global understanding of migratory patterns and destinations of Antarctic blue whales.

  18. Advances through collaboration: sharing seismic reflection data via the Antarctic Seismic Data Library System for Cooperative Research (SDLS)

    Wardell, N.; Childs, J. R.; Cooper, A. K.


    The Antarctic Seismic Data Library System for Cooperative Research (SDLS) has served for the past 16 years under the auspices of the Antarctic Treaty (ATCM Recommendation XVI-12) as a role model for collaboration and equitable sharing of Antarctic multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) data for geoscience studies. During this period, collaboration in MCS studies has advanced deciphering the seismic stratigraphy and structure of Antarctica’s continental margin more rapidly than previously. MCS data compilations provided the geologic framework for scientific drilling at several Antarctic locations and for high-resolution seismic and sampling studies to decipher Cenozoic depositional paleoenvironments. The SDLS successes come from cooperation of National Antarctic Programs and individual investigators in “on-time” submissions of their MCS data. Most do, but some do not. The SDLS community has an International Polar Year (IPY) goal of all overdue MCS data being sent to the SDLS by end of IPY. The community science objective is to compile all Antarctic MCS data to derive a unified seismic stratigraphy for the continental margin – a stratigraphy to be used with drilling data to derive Cenozoic circum-Antarctic paleobathymetry maps and local-to-regional scale paleoenvironmental histories.

  19. Circumpolar Diversity and Geographic Differentiation of mtDNA in the Critically Endangered Antarctic Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia)

    Angela L Sremba; Brittany Hancock-Hanser; Branch, Trevor A.; Rick L LeDuc; C Scott Baker


    The Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) was hunted to near extinction between 1904 and 1972, declining from an estimated initial abundance of more than 250,000 to fewer than 400. Here, we describe mtDNA control region diversity and geographic differentiation in the surviving population of the Antarctic blue whale, using 218 biopsy samples collected under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) during research cruises from 1990-2009. Microsatellite genoty...

  20. Mapping lichen distribution on the Antarctic Peninsula using remote sensing, lichen spectra and photographic documentation by citizen scientists

    Casanovas, Paula; Black, Martin; Fretwell, Peter; Convey, Peter


    On the Antarctic Peninsula, lichens are the most diverse botanical component of the terrestrial ecosystem. However, detailed information on the distribution of lichens on the Antarctic Peninsula region is scarce, and the data available exhibit significant heterogeneity in sampling frequency and effort. Satellite remote sensing, in particular the use of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), has facilitated determination of vegetation richness and cover distribution in some remote ...

  1. Concentration of trace elements in feathers of three Antarctic penguins: Geographical and interspecific differences

    Jerez, Silvia [Area de Toxicologia, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia (Spain); Motas, Miguel, E-mail: [Area de Toxicologia, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia (Spain); Palacios, Maria Jose; Valera, Francisco [Departamento de Ecologia Funcional y Evolutiva, Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas, CSIC, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 La Canada de San Urbano, Almeria (Spain); Cuervo, Jose Javier; Barbosa, Andres [Departamento de Ecologia Funcional y Evolutiva, Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas, CSIC, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 La Canada de San Urbano, Almeria (Spain); Departamento de Ecologia Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, C/Jose Gutierrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid (Spain)


    Antarctica is often considered as one of the last pristine regions, but it could be affected by pollution at global and local scale. Concentrations of Al, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd and Pb were determinated by ICP-MS in feathers (n = 207 individuals) of gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguin collected in 8 locations throughout the Antarctic Peninsula (2006-2007). The highest levels of several elements were found in samples from King George Island (8.08, 20.29 and 1.76 {mu}g g{sup -1} dw for Cr, Cu and Pb, respectively) and Deception Island (203.13, 3.26 and 164.26 {mu}g g{sup -1} dw for Al, Mn and Fe, respectively), where probably human activities and large-scale transport of pollutants contribute to increase metal levels. Concentrations of Cr, Mn, Cu, Se or Pb, which are similar to others found in different regions of the world, show that some areas in Antarctica are not utterly pristine. - Highlights: > We study levels of trace elements in feathers of Antarctic penguins. > Eight different rookeries throughout the Antarctic Peninsula were sampled. > Interspecific (gentoo, chinstrap, Adelie) and geographical differences were tested. > Relatively high metal levels were found in areas with major human presence. > Penguin feather can be useful for metals monitoring in the Antarctic environment. - Trace element levels in feathers of three penguin species from the Antarctic Peninsula indicate the presence of pollution in certain locations.

  2. Concentration of trace elements in feathers of three Antarctic penguins: Geographical and interspecific differences

    Antarctica is often considered as one of the last pristine regions, but it could be affected by pollution at global and local scale. Concentrations of Al, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd and Pb were determinated by ICP-MS in feathers (n = 207 individuals) of gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguin collected in 8 locations throughout the Antarctic Peninsula (2006-2007). The highest levels of several elements were found in samples from King George Island (8.08, 20.29 and 1.76 μg g-1 dw for Cr, Cu and Pb, respectively) and Deception Island (203.13, 3.26 and 164.26 μg g-1 dw for Al, Mn and Fe, respectively), where probably human activities and large-scale transport of pollutants contribute to increase metal levels. Concentrations of Cr, Mn, Cu, Se or Pb, which are similar to others found in different regions of the world, show that some areas in Antarctica are not utterly pristine. - Highlights: → We study levels of trace elements in feathers of Antarctic penguins. → Eight different rookeries throughout the Antarctic Peninsula were sampled. → Interspecific (gentoo, chinstrap, Adelie) and geographical differences were tested. → Relatively high metal levels were found in areas with major human presence. → Penguin feather can be useful for metals monitoring in the Antarctic environment. - Trace element levels in feathers of three penguin species from the Antarctic Peninsula indicate the presence of pollution in certain locations.

  3. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in the IPY 2007-2009

    Kennicutt, M. C.; Wilson, T. J.; Summerhayes, C.


    The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) initiates, develops, and coordinates international scientific research in the Antarctic region. SCAR is assuming a leadership position in the IPY primarily through its five major Scientific Research Programs; ACE, SALE, EBA, AGCS, and ICESTAR; which will be briefly described.Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE) promotes the exchange of data and ideas between research groups focusing on the evolution of Antarctica's climate system and ice sheet. The program will: (1) quantitatively assess the climate and glacial history of Antarctica; (2) identify the processes which govern Antarctic change and feed back around the globe; (3) improve our ability to model past changes in Antarctica; and (4)document past change to predict future change in Antarctica. Subglacial Antarctic Lake Environments (SALE) promotes, facilitates, and champions cooperation and collaboration in the exploration and study of subglacial environments in Antarctica. SALE intends to understand the complex interplay of biological, geological, chemical, glaciological, and physical processes within subglacial lake environments through coordinated international research teams. Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic (EBA) will use a suite of modern techniques and interdisciplinary approaches, to explore the evolutionary history of selected modern Antarctic biota, examine how modern biological diversity in the Antarctic influences the way present-day ecosystems function, and thereby predict how the biota may respond to future environmental change. Antarctica and the Global Climate System (AGCS) will investigate the nature of the atmospheric and oceanic linkages between the climate of the Antarctic and the rest of the Earth system, and the mechanisms involved therein. A combination of modern instrumented records of atmospheric and oceanic conditions, and the climate signals held within ice cores will be used to understand past and future climate

  4. Denitrification in the Antarctic stratosphere

    Salawitch, R. J.; Gobbi, G. P.; Wofsy, S. C.; Mcelroy, M. B.


    Rapid loss of ozone over Antarctica in spring requires that the abundance of gaseous nitric acid be very low. Precipitation of particulate nitric acid has been assumed to occur in association with large ice crystals, requiring significant removal of H2O and temperatures well below the frost point. However, stratospheric clouds exhibit a bimodal size distribution in the Antarctic atmosphere, with most of the nitrate concentrated in particles with radii of 1 micron or greater. It is argued here that the bimodal size distribution sets the stage for efficient denitrification, with nitrate particles either falling on their own or serving as nuclei for the condensation of ice. Denitrification can therefore occur without significant dehydration, and it is unnecessary for temperatures to drop significantly below the frost point.

  5. Role of the meiobenthos in Antarctic ecosystems

    Vanhove, S.; Wittoeck, J; Beghyn, M.; Van Gansbeke, D.; Van Kenhove, A.; Coomans, A.; Vincx, M.


    To date meiobenthic research remained a big white spot in the systematic-ecological work on Antarctic zoobenthos. Therefore the relative importance of the meiofauna (organisms within the size range of 38-1000µm) in the Antarctic benthic community has been assessed by a combined field ecology and experimental approach. This was done in two contrasting conditions, e.g. the deep sea and low subtidal, where as to the depth of the water column the benthic characteristics were, respectively, indire...

  6. Characterising Antarctic and Southern Ocean Lithosphere with Magnetic and Gravity Imaging of East Antarctic Rift Systems

    Vaughan, A. P.; Kusznir, N. J.; Ferraccioli, F.; Jordan, T. A.; Purucker, M. E.; Golynsky, A. V.; Rogozhina, I.


    East Antarctica will identify the plate-scale geometry of zones of crustal and lithospheric thinning; 4) understanding when and how East Antarctica acquired its thick crust and high elevation, and why it is so thick and elevated, will place new constraints on models of Cenozoic ice sheet formation and stability. The crustal thickness map for East Antarctica will make it possible to produce a multi-dataset-based geothermal heatflux map for the continent. Estimating the heat flux in the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains (GSM) region is particularly critical because: 1) The GSM likely acted as key nucleation point for the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS); 2) the region may contain the oldest ice of the EAIS - a prime target for future ice core drilling; 3) geothermal heat flux is important to understand proposed ice accretion at the base of the EAIS in the GSM and its links to sub-ice hydrology; 4) an integrated multi-dataset-based geothermal heatflux model for East Antarctica will resolve the wide range of estimates previously published using single datasets.

  7. The safety band of Antarctic ice shelves

    Fürst, Johannes Jakob; Durand, Gaël; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Tavard, Laure; Rankl, Melanie; Braun, Matthias; Gagliardini, Olivier


    The floating ice shelves along the seaboard of the Antarctic ice sheet restrain the outflow of upstream grounded ice. Removal of these ice shelves, as shown by past ice-shelf recession and break-up, accelerates the outflow, which adds to sea-level rise. A key question in predicting future outflow is to quantify the extent of calving that might precondition other dynamic consequences and lead to loss of ice-shelf restraint. Here we delineate frontal areas that we label as `passive shelf ice’ and that can be removed without major dynamic implications, with contrasting results across the continent. The ice shelves in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas have limited or almost no `passive’ portion, which implies that further retreat of current ice-shelf fronts will yield important dynamic consequences. This region is particularly vulnerable as ice shelves have been thinning at high rates for two decades and as upstream grounded ice rests on a backward sloping bed, a precondition to marine ice-sheet instability. In contrast to these ice shelves, Larsen C Ice Shelf, in the Weddell Sea, exhibits a large `passive’ frontal area, suggesting that the imminent calving of a vast tabular iceberg will be unlikely to instantly produce much dynamic change.

  8. Mercury accumulation in sediments and seabird feathers from the Antarctic Peninsula

    Highlights: • We assessed mercury bioaccumulation in seabirds in the Antarctic Peninsula. • Levels of Hg were higher in gentoo penguins & brown skuas than chinstrap penguins. • Mercury BMF in the brown skua/penguins relationship was higher than 1. • Long-range environmental transport is the likely mercury route in Antarctic. - Abstract: In an effort to assess the impact of mercury in the Antarctic Peninsula, we conducted ecotoxicological research in this region during the summer of 2012 and 2013. The objectives were to assess: (a) mercury levels in sediment samples; (b) mercury accumulation in Antarctic seabird feathers: Catharacta lonnbergi (brown skua), Pygoscelis papua (gentoo penguin) and Pygoscelis antarctica (chinstrap penguin); and (c) biomagnification (BMF predator/prey) and biota sediment accumulation (BSAF skuas/sediment) factors. Mercury concentrations in sediment were relatively low. Mercury concentrations were significantly higher in brown skuas and gentoo penguins than in chinstrap penguins (2012), and significantly higher in brown skuas than in both penguins (2013). BMF indicated 2–7.5 times greater mercury levels in brown skuas than in penguins. BSAF values suggested an apparent temporal decrease of 18.2% of this ratio from 2012 to 2013. Long-range environmental transport is the likely route of entry of mercury into the Antarctic Peninsula

  9. Impacts of the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean on the Antarctic Peninsula and sea ice.

    Li, Xichen; Holland, David M; Gerber, Edwin P; Yoo, Changhyun


    In recent decades, Antarctica has experienced pronounced climate changes. The Antarctic Peninsula exhibited the strongest warming of any region on the planet, causing rapid changes in land ice. Additionally, in contrast to the sea-ice decline over the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has not declined, but has instead undergone a perplexing redistribution. Antarctic climate is influenced by, among other factors, changes in radiative forcing and remote Pacific climate variability, but none explains the observed Antarctic Peninsula warming or the sea-ice redistribution in austral winter. However, in the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (a leading mode of sea surface temperature variability) has been overlooked in this context. Here we show that sea surface warming related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation reduces the surface pressure in the Amundsen Sea and contributes to the observed dipole-like sea-ice redistribution between the Ross and Amundsen-Bellingshausen-Weddell seas and to the Antarctic Peninsula warming. Support for these findings comes from analysis of observational and reanalysis data, and independently from both comprehensive and idealized atmospheric model simulations. We suggest that the north and tropical Atlantic is important for projections of future climate change in Antarctica, and has the potential to affect the global thermohaline circulation and sea-level change. PMID:24451542

  10. Development of a new generation gravity map of Antarctica: ADGRAV Antarctic Digital Gravity Synthesis

    R. A. Arko


    Full Text Available The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF has agreed to support the development of a new generation gravity map of Antarctica (ADGRAV - Antarctic Digital Gravity Synthesis, funding the development of a web based access tool. The goal of this project is the creation of an on-line Antarctic gravity database which will facilitate access to improved high resolution satellite gravity models, in conjunction with shipboard, airborne, and land based gravity measurements for the continental regions. This database will complement parallel projects underway to develop new continental bedrock (BEDMAP and magnetic (ADMAP maps of Antarctica.

  11. Subsurface imaging reveals a confined aquifer beneath an ice-sealed Antarctic lake

    Dugan, H. A.; Doran, P. T.; Tulaczyk, S.;


    Liquid water oases are rare under extreme cold desert conditions found in the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys. Here we report geophysical results that indicate that Lake Vida, one of the largest lakes in the region, is nearly frozen and underlain by widespread cryoconcentrated brine. A ground penet...

  12. Field research on the effects of UV-B filters on terrestrial Antarctic vegetation

    Huiskes, A.H.L.; Lud, D.; Moerdijk-Poortvliet, T.C.W.


    Patches of vegetation of six common species growing on Leonie Island (67 degrees 35' S, 68 degrees 20' W), Antarctic Peninsula region were covered with either UV-B transparent perspex screens or UV-B absorbing screens. Uncovered plots served as a control. Temperature and relative humidity were monit

  13. Spatially Extensive Standardized Surveys Reveal Widespread, Multi-Decadal Increase in East Antarctic Adélie Penguin Populations

    Southwell, Colin; Emmerson, Louise; McKinlay, John; Newbery, Kym; Takahashi, Akinori; Kato, Akiko; Barbraud, Christophe; DeLord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri


    Seabirds are considered to be useful and practical indicators of the state of marine ecosystems because they integrate across changes in the lower trophic levels and the physical environment. Signals from this key group of species can indicate broad scale impacts or response to environmental change. Recent studies of penguin populations, the most commonly abundant Antarctic seabirds in the west Antarctic Peninsula and western Ross Sea, have demonstrated that physical changes in Antarctic marine environments have profound effects on biota at high trophic levels. Large populations of the circumpolar-breeding Adélie penguin occur in East Antarctica, but direct, standardized population data across much of this vast coastline have been more limited than in other Antarctic regions. We combine extensive new population survey data, new population estimation methods, and re-interpreted historical survey data to assess decadal-scale change in East Antarctic Adélie penguin breeding populations. We show that, in contrast to the west Antarctic Peninsula and western Ross Sea where breeding populations have decreased or shown variable trends over the last 30 years, East Antarctic regional populations have almost doubled in abundance since the 1980’s and have been increasing since the earliest counts in the 1960’s. The population changes are associated with five-year lagged changes in the physical environment, suggesting that the changing environment impacts primarily on the pre-breeding age classes. East Antarctic marine ecosystems have been subject to a number of changes over the last 50 years which may have influenced Adélie penguin population growth, including decadal-scale climate variation, an inferred mid-20th century sea-ice contraction, and early-to-mid 20th century exploitation of fish and whale populations. PMID:26488299

  14. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea-ice

    R. S. Humphries


    Full Text Available The effect of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties is one of the largest uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. A recent study has concluded that better characterisation of pristine, natural aerosol processes leads to the largest reduction in these uncertainties. Antarctica, being far from anthropogenic activities, is an ideal location for the study of natural aerosol processes. Aerosol measurements in Antarctica are often limited to boundary layer air-masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the sea ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the ice-breaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3 concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the Polar Front, with mean Polar Cell concentrations of 1130 cm−3 – higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air-masses quickly from the free-troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea ice boundary layer air-masses travelled equator-ward into the low albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei where, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol

  15. Comparative roles of upwelling and glacial iron sources in Ryder Bay, coastal western Antarctic Peninsula

    Annett, Amber; Skiba, Marta; Henley, Sian; Venables, Hugh J.; Meredith, Michael P.; Statham, Peter; Ganeshram, Raja


    Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient for phytoplankton, and is scarce in many regions including the open Southern Ocean. The western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), an important source region of Fe to the wider Southern Ocean, is also the fastest warming region of the Southern Hemisphere. The relative importance of glacial versus marine Fe sources is currently poorly constrained, hindering projections of how changing oceanic circulation, productivity, and glacial dynamics may affect the balance...

  16. Health aspects of Antarctic tourism.

    Prociv, P


    Increasing numbers of seaborne tourists are visiting Antarctica, with most coming from the United States (3503 in 1996-97), Germany (777), and Australia (680; cf. 356 in 1994-95 and 410 in 1995-96). The impression among travel medicine clinicians is that, each year, more prospective travelers seek advice about the health demands of this type of adventure, mostly relating to fitness for travel, exposure to extreme cold, hazards in ice and snow, and other potential health risks. This is a recent phenomenon. While a regular shipping service had been established between the Falklands and the subantarctic islands of South Georgia and the South Shetlands by 1924, the first documented tourists accompanied an Argentine expedition to the South Orkneys in 1933.1 Commercial airline flights over these islands and the Antarctic Peninsula began in 1956, from Chile, and recreational cruises to the Peninsula began in 1958. Tourist numbers subsequently grew slowly, for what was clearly an exclusive and very expensive undertaking, with few ships available for these hazardous voyages. From 1957 to 1993, 37,000 tourists visited by sea, most seeing only the Peninsula.2 The dramatic recent growth in numbers is a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The small fleet of ice-strengthened research vessels and working icebreakers, which was made redundant by withdrawal of central government support from isolated communities and military activities along the northern coast of Siberia (and from Antarctic research bases), now accounts for the bulk of charter-cruise tourism to Antarctica, at competitive prices. According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators,3 7322 people traveled to Antarctica on commercially organized voyages in the 1996-97 season, and a record 10,000 shipborne visitors were expected for the 1997-98 season (November-March), traveling mainly from South America to the Peninsula on 15 ice-reinforced vessels, each carrying between 36 and 180

  17. 76 FR 9849 - Comprehensive Environmental Evaluations for Antarctic Activities


    .... SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Article 3 of Annex I to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic... Comprehensive Environmental Evaluations for Antarctic Activities SUMMARY: The Department of State gives notice of the availability of two draft Comprehensive Environmental Evaluations (CEEs) for...

  18. ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) Science Plan

    Lubin, D [National Science Foundation; Bromwich, DH [Ohio State University; Russell, LM [Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Verlinde, J [The Pennsylvania State University; Vogelmann, AM [Brookhaven National Laboratory


    West Antarctica is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, and this warming is closely connected with global sea level rise. The discovery of rapid climate change on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has challenged previous explanations of Antarctic climate change that focused on strengthening of circumpolar westerlies in response to the positive polarity trend in the Southern Annular Mode. West Antarctic warming does not yet have a comprehensive explanation: dynamical mechanisms may vary from one season to the next, and these mechanisms very likely involve complex teleconnections with subtropical and tropical latitudes. The prime motivation for this proposal is that there has been no substantial atmospheric science or climatological field work on West Antarctica since the 1957 International Geophysical Year and that research continued for only a few years. Direct meteorological information on the WAIS has been limited to a few automatic weather stations for several decades, yet satellite imagery and meteorological reanalyses indicate that West Antarctica is highly susceptible to advection of warm and moist maritime air with related cloud cover, depending on the location and strength of low pressure cells in the Amundsen, Ross, and Bellingshausen Seas. There is a need to quantify the role of these changing air masses on the surface energy balance, including all surface energy components and cloud-radiative forcing. More generally, global climate model simulations are known to perform poorly over the Antarctic and Southern Oceans, and the marked scarcity of cloud information at southern high latitudes has so far inhibited significant progress. Fortunately, McMurdo Station, where the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Facility’s (ARM’s) most advanced cloud and aerosol instrumentation is situated, has a meteorological relationship with the WAIS via circulation patterns in the Ross and Amundsen Seas. We can therefore gather sophisticated data with cloud

  19. Study on ecological structures of coastal lakes in Antarctic continent


    Coastal region on the Antarctic continent, where it is under the influences both of ocean and ice sheet, as well as frequent human activities, could be considered as a fragile zone in Antarctic ecological environment. There are many lakes in coastal region, showing much differences from each other in physical-chemical features because of individual evolutionary history in their geographical environments, and suffering from different outside factors, such as climate changes and precipitation. Thus, it results in respective biological distribution and ecological structure in lakes. The present paper reports the results from the studies of chemical components, species distributions and community structures, which mainly consisted of planktons in lakes in the Vestfold Hills (68°38'S, 78°06'E), and the Larsemann Hills (69°30'S, 76°20'E), East Antarctica. It also treats the biological diversities and nutrient relationships of these different types of lakes. So as to provide more scientific basis for monitoring of climate changes and environmental protection in Antarctica.

  20. Antarctic winter mercury and ozone depletion events over sea ice

    Nerentorp Mastromonaco, M.; Gårdfeldt, K.; Jourdain, B.; Abrahamsson, K.; Granfors, A.; Ahnoff, M.; Dommergue, A.; Méjean, G.; Jacobi, H.-W.


    During atmospheric mercury and ozone depletion events in the springtime in polar regions gaseous elemental mercury and ozone undergo rapid declines. Mercury is quickly transformed into oxidation products, which are subsequently removed by deposition. Here we show that such events also occur during Antarctic winter over sea ice areas, leading to additional deposition of mercury. Over four months in the Weddell Sea we measured gaseous elemental, oxidized, and particulate-bound mercury, as well as ozone in the troposphere and total and elemental mercury concentrations in snow, demonstrating a series of depletion and deposition events between July and September. The winter depletions in July were characterized by stronger correlations between mercury and ozone and larger formation of particulate-bound mercury in air compared to later spring events. It appears that light at large solar zenith angles is sufficient to initiate the photolytic formation of halogen radicals. We also propose a dark mechanism that could explain observed events in air masses coming from dark regions. Br2 that could be the main actor in dark conditions was possibly formed in high concentrations in the marine boundary layer in the dark. These high concentrations may also have caused the formation of high concentrations of CHBr3 and CH2I2 in the top layers of the Antarctic sea ice observed during winter. These new findings show that the extent of depletion events is larger than previously believed and that winter depletions result in additional deposition of mercury that could be transferred to marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

  1. Stratospheric column NO2 measurements from three Antarctic sites

    Keys, J. G.; Johnston, P. V.


    The significance of stratospheric odd-nitrogen compounds in Antarctic ozone depletion studies has prompted an increase in Antarctic activities. Although several species are being studied, work has concentrated on the acquisition of NO2 data. Ground-based measurements of stratospheric column NO2 have been made at Arrival Heights, Antarctica, since spring 1982, with some gaps in the data base. Additional data has been acquired since February 1986 at Pole Station and Halley Bay, thus providing a chain of stations across the continent. The technique used is that of absorption spectroscopy in several wavelength regions, although here only those measurements are reported in the 430 to 450 nm region where strongly structured absorption been determined experimentally. However, theory features due to NO2 are identified in scattered sunlight in the zenith sky. Operation of a moon-tracking system at Arrival Heights has provided some additional data during the polar night. Previous analyses have shown that the NO2 column observed from the ground is strongly influenced by the season, and by the location of the site with respect to that of the polar vortex. The column amount correlates strongly with stratospheric temperature at about 70 mbar. The present data set further illustrates these features, and demonstrates both the strengths and qualifications apparent in the technique.

  2. Genetic differentiation in the circum—Antarctic sea spider Nymphon australe (Pycnogonida; Nymphonidae)

    Arango, Claudia P.; Soler-Membrives, Anna; Miller, Karen J.


    Nymphon australe Hodgson 1902 is the most abundant species of sea spiders in the Southern Ocean. The species is recognised as highly morphologically variable, circumpolar and eurybathic—which is surprising given that sea spiders lack a planktonic stage; the fertilised eggs and larvae remain attached to the ovigers of the father, and consequently have limited dispersal capacity. In this study, we investigate the genetic structure of N. australe populations around Antarctica, confronting the apparent limited dispersal ability with its recognised circumpolarity. Here we analyse mitochondrial DNA of specimens from Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea and East Antarctica to determine if they represent populations of the widespread N. australe — or instead we can recognise cryptic species - and how genetically different they are. Both CO1 and 16S sequence data produced single haplotype networks for N. australe from all three Antarctic locations without indication of cryptic speciation. However, we found strong phylogeographic structure among the three Antarctic locations based on CO1 data. There was only a single shared haplotype between the Antarctic Peninsula and the East Antarctica locations, and all three regions were significantly subdivided from each other ( FST=0.28, ppopulations of N. australe separated by 10-100 s of km ( FST=0.07-0.22, pspiders life history traits indicating a limited dispersal capability. We conclude N. australe represents a single circum-Antarctic species that, despite its limited dispersal abilities, has successfully colonised large parts of the Antarctic marine ecosystem through geological history. However, clear genetic differences among and within locations indicate contemporary gene flow is limited, and that populations of N. australe around Antarctica are effectively isolated.

  3. Variability of Antarctic Sea Ice 1979-1998

    Zwally, H. Jay; Comiso, Josefino C.; Parkinson, Claire L.; Cavalieri, Donald J.; Gloersen, Per; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)


    The principal characteristics of the variability of Antarctic sea ice cover as previously described from satellite passive-microwave observations are also evident in a systematically-calibrated and analyzed data set for 20.2 years (1979-1998). The total Antarctic sea ice extent (concentration > 15 %) increased by 13,440 +/- 4180 sq km/year (+1.18 +/- 0.37%/decade). The area of sea ice within the extent boundary increased by 16,960 +/- 3,840 sq km/year (+1.96 +/- 0.44%/decade). Regionally, the trends in extent are positive in the Weddell Sea (1.5 +/- 0.9%/decade), Pacific Ocean (2.4 +/- 1.4%/decade), and Ross (6.9 +/- 1.1 %/decade) sectors, slightly negative in the Indian Ocean (-1.5 +/- 1.8%/decade, and strongly negative in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Seas sector (-9.5 +/- 1.5%/decade). For the entire ice pack, small ice increases occur in all seasons with the largest increase during autumn. On a regional basis, the trends differ season to season. During summer and fall, the trends are positive or near zero in all sectors except the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Seas sector. During winter and spring, the trends are negative or near zero in all sectors except the Ross Sea, which has positive trends in all seasons. Components of interannual variability with periods of about 3 to 5 years are regionally large, but tend to counterbalance each other in the total ice pack. The interannual variability of the annual mean sea-ice extent is only 1.6% overall, compared to 5% to 9% in each of five regional sectors. Analysis of the relation between regional sea ice extents and spatially-averaged surface temperatures over the ice pack gives an overall sensitivity between winter ice cover and temperature of -0.7% change in sea ice extent per K. For summer, some regional ice extents vary positively with temperature and others negatively. The observed increase in Antarctic sea ice cover is counter to the observed decreases in the Arctic. It is also qualitatively consistent with the

  4. The Antarctic cryptoendolithic ecosystem - Relevance to exobiology

    Friedmann, E. I.; Ocampo-Friedmann, R.


    Cryptoendolithic microorganisms in the Antarctic desert live inside porous sandstone rocks, protected by a thin rock crust. While the rock surface is abiotic, the microclimate inside the rock is comparatively mild. These organisms may have descended from early, pre-glaciation Antarctic life forms and thus may represent the last outpost of life in a gradually deteriorating environment. Assuming that life once arose on Mars, it is conceivable that, following the loss of water, the last of surviving organisms withdrew to similar insulated microenvironments. Because such microscopic pockets have little connection with the outside environment, their detection may be difficult. The chances that the Viking lander could sample cryptoendolithic microorganisms in the Antarctic desert would be infinitesimal.

  5. Model studies of the effects of global warming and Antarctic sea ice changes on Antarctic and global climates

    The authors discuss the results obtained in three experiments by changing the global ocean temperatures and the concentration and distribution of Antarctic sea ice in a General Circulation Model of July climate, with a view to determining the local and global impacts of Antarctic sea ice variations alone, as distinct with those coupled with global scale temperature changes which may be associated with global warming. In all cases there were significant changes in the upward flux of sensible heat over the sea ice zone associated with the reductions of sea ice. The response of weaker westerlies between 40 and 65 degree S was common to all three experiments. Their analyses suggest that a significant proportion of this is a response to the change in sea ice concentration alone. (Not surprisingly, further north of this region most of the changes induced in the wind structure in the global forcing experiment can be seen as due unambiguously to the differential changes in ocean temperatures.). This weakening of the westerlies means there is less mechanical forcing of the ocean in this region. From this they suggest that when consideration is given to the possible impact of feedbacks not considered in these experiments, sea ice changes alone, and particularly those in the Southern Hemisphere, have the potential to induce changes on a hemispheric scale

  6. Spatial and temporal characteristics of the little ice age: The Antarctic ice core record

    Recently, ice core records from both hemispheres, in conjunction with other proxy records (e.g., tree rings, speleothems and corals), have shown that the Little Ice Age (LIA) was spatially extensive, extending to the Antarctic. This paper examines the temporal and spatial characteristics of the dust and δ18O information from Antarctic ice cores. Substantial differences exist in the records. For example, a 550- year record of δ18O and dust concentrations from Siple Station, Antarctica suggests that warmer, less dusty conditions prevailed from A.D. 1600 to 1830. Alternately, dust and δ118O data from South Pole Station indicate that opposite conditions (e.g., cooler and more dusty) were prevalent during the LIA. Three additional Antarctic δ18O records are integrated with the Siple and South Pole histories for a more comprehensive picture of LIA conditions. The records provide additional support for the LIA temperature opposition between the Antarctic Peninsula region and East Antarctica. In addition, periods of strongest LIA cooling are not temporally synchronous over East Antarctica. These strong regional differences demonstrate that a suite of spatially distributed, high resolution ice core records will be necessary to characterize the LIA in Antarctica

  7. Mapping and Assessing Variability in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone, the Pack Ice and Coastal Polynyas

    Stroeve, Julienne; Jenouvrier, Stephanie


    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore mapping their spatial extent, seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biological active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of different ice types to the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent data record for assessing different ice types. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depends strongly on what sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Polynya area is also larger in the NASA Team algorithm, and the timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These differences lead to different relationships between sea ice characteristics and biological processes, as illustrated here with the breeding success of an Antarctic seabird.

  8. Comparative mesocosm study of biostimulation efficiency in two different oil-amended sub-antarctic soils

    Delille, Daniel; Coulon, Frederic


    Biological treatment has become increasingly popular as a remediation method for soils and groundwater contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbon, chlorinated solvents, and pesticides. Bioremediation has been considered for application in cold regions such as Arctic and sub-Arctic climates and Antarctica. Studies to date suggest that indigenous microbes suitable for bioremediation exist in soils in these regions. This paper reports on two case studies at the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen Island, in wh...

  9. Potential genesis and implications of calcium nitrate in Antarctic snow

    Mahalinganathan, Kanthanathan; Thamban, Meloth


    Among the large variety of particulates in the atmosphere, calcic mineral dust particles have highly reactive surfaces that undergo heterogeneous reactions with atmospheric acids contiguously. The association between nssCa2+, an important proxy indicator of mineral dust, and NO3-, a dominant anion in the Antarctic snowpack, was analysed. A total of 41 snow cores ( ˜ 1 m each) that represent snow deposited during 2008-2009 were studied along coastal-inland transects from two different regions in East Antarctica - the Princess Elizabeth Land (PEL) and central Dronning Maud Land (cDML). Correlation statistics showed a strong association (at 99 % significance level) between NO3- and nssCa2+ at the near-coastal sections of both PEL (r = 0.74) and cDML (r = 0.82) transects. Similarly, a strong association between these ions was also observed in snow deposits at the inland sections of PEL (r = 0.73) and cDML (r = 0.84). Such systematic associations between nssCa2+ and NO3- are attributed to the interaction between calcic mineral dust and nitric acid in the atmosphere, leading to the formation of calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) aerosol. Principal component analysis revealed common transport and depositional processes for nssCa2+ and NO3- both in PEL and cDML. Forward- and back-trajectory analyses using HYSPLIT model v. 4 revealed that southern South America (SSA) was an important dust-emitting source to the study region, aided by the westerlies. Particle size distribution showed that over 90 % of the dust was in the range < 4 µm, indicating that these dust particles reached the Antarctic region via long-range transport from the SSA region. We propose that the association between nssCa2+ and NO3- occurs during the long-range transport due to the formation of Ca(NO3)2 rather than to local neutralisation processes. However, the influence of local dust sources from the nunataks in cDML and the contribution of high sea salt in coastal PEL evidently mask such association in the

  10. Antarctic marine bacteria versus UV-B irradiation

    strains only six were not able to survive 10 hours UV-B irradiation. The most sensitive strains were isolated from habitats protected from UV radiation (krill stomach, sea ice). The additional experiment, showing the lethal effect of UV-B for bacteria, throws light on the importance of shadowed environmental niches for bacterial survival in regions of the highest UV irradiance. Total cell number did not change significantly when exposed to UV-B radiation for 10h while without UV bacterial number increased by 27% during this period. The biovolume of strains used in this study which ranged from 0.14 to 13.7 (micro)m3 cell-1 also did not change significantly after 10 hours irradiation. Preliminary results show that the API 20NE test can be used to show changes in enzymatic abilities. Even 10 hours irradiation were not able to inhibit all enzymatic processes demonstrated by API 20NE system. The high variability in UV-B sensitivity of Antarctic bacteria may led to shifts from normal bacterial strains to more resistant. and thus to establish bacterial community adapted to life at risen UV-B level in the upper layer of Antarctic marine ecosystems. (author)

  11. Ocean forcing of glacier retreat in the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Cook, A J; Holland, P R; Meredith, M P; Murray, T; Luckman, A; Vaughan, D G


    In recent decades, hundreds of glaciers draining the Antarctic Peninsula (63° to 70°S) have undergone systematic and progressive change. These changes are widely attributed to rapid increases in regional surface air temperature, but it is now clear that this cannot be the sole driver. Here, we identify a strong correspondence between mid-depth ocean temperatures and glacier-front changes along the ~1000-kilometer western coastline. In the south, glaciers that terminate in warm Circumpolar Deep Water have undergone considerable retreat, whereas those in the far northwest, which terminate in cooler waters, have not. Furthermore, a mid-ocean warming since the 1990s in the south is coincident with widespread acceleration of glacier retreat. We conclude that changes in ocean-induced melting are the primary cause of retreat for glaciers in this region. PMID:27418507

  12. Why does the Antarctic Peninsula Warm in climate simulations?

    Qu, Xin; Hall, Alex [University of California, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, PO BOX 951565, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Boe, Julien [University of California, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, PO BOX 951565, Los Angeles, CA (United States); CNRS/CERFACS, URA 1875, Toulouse (France)


    The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed significantly since the 1950s. This pronounced and isolated warming trend is collectively captured by 29 twentieth-century climate hindcasts participating in the version 3 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. To understand the factors driving warming trends in the hindcasts, we examine trends in Peninsula region's atmospheric heat budget in every simulation. We find that atmospheric latent heat release increases in nearly all hindcasts. These increases are generally anthropogenic in origin, and account for about 60% of the ensemble-mean warming trend in the Peninsula. They are driven primarily by well-understood features of the anthropogenic intensification of global hydrological cycle. As sea surface temperature increases, moisture contained in atmospheric flows increases. When such flows are forced to ascend the Peninsula's topography, enhanced local latent heat release results. The mechanism driving the warming of the Antarctic Peninsula is therefore clear in the models. Evidence for a similar mechanism operating in the real world is seen in the increasing snow accumulation rates inferred from ice cores drilled in the Peninsula. However, the relative importance of this mechanism and other processes previously identified as potentially causing the observed warming, such as the recent sea ice retreat in the Bellingshausen Sea, is difficult to assess. Thus the relevance of the simulated warming mechanism to the observed warming is unclear, in spite of its robustness in the models. (orig.)

  13. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic sea ice temperatures

    Vancoppenolle, Martin; Raphael, Marilyn; Rousset, Clément; Vivier, Frédéric; Moreau, Sébastien; Delille, Bruno; Tison, Jean-Louis


    Sea ice temperature affects the sea ice growth rate, heat content, permeability and habitability for ice algae. Large-scale simulations with NEMO-LIM suggest large ice temperature contrasts between the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice. First, Antarctic sea ice proves generally warmer than in the Arctic, in particular during winter, where differences reach up to ~10°C. Second, the seasonality of temperature is different among the two hemispheres: Antarctic ice temperatures are 2-3°C higher in spring than they are in fall, whereas the opposite is true in the Arctic. These two key differences are supported by the available ice core and mass balance buoys temperature observations, and can be attributed to differences in air temperature and snow depth. As a result, the ice is found to be habitable and permeable over much larger areas and much earlier in late spring in the Antarctic as compared with the Arctic, which consequences on biogeochemical exchanges in the sea ice zone remain to be evaluated.

  14. Relevance of antarctic microbial ecosystems to exobiology

    Mckay, Christopher P.


    Antarctic microbial ecosystems which provide biological and physical analogs that can be used in exobiology are studied. Since the access to extraterrestrial habitats is extremely difficult, terrestrial analogs represent the best opportunity for both formulation and preliminary testing of hypothesis about life. Antarctica, as one of few suitable environments on earth is considered to be a major locus of progress in exobiology.

  15. On-site and in situ remediation technologies applicable to petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites in the Antarctic and Arctic

    Danielle Camenzuli


    Full Text Available Petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites, associated with the contemporary and legacy effects of human activities, remain a serious environmental problem in the Antarctic and Arctic. The management of contaminated sites in these regions is often confounded by the logistical, environmental, legislative and financial challenges associated with operating in polar environments. In response to the need for efficient and safe methods for managing contaminated sites, several technologies have been adapted for on-site or in situ application in these regions. This article reviews six technologies which are currently being adapted or developed for the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites in the Antarctic and Arctic. Bioremediation, landfarming, biopiles, phytoremediation, electrokinetic remediation and permeable reactive barriers are reviewed and discussed with respect to their advantages, limitations and potential for the long-term management of soil and groundwater contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons in the Antarctic and Arctic. Although these technologies demonstrate potential for application in the Antarctic and Arctic, their effectiveness is dependent on site-specific factors including terrain, soil moisture and temperature, freeze–thaw processes and the indigenous microbial population. The importance of detailed site assessment prior to on-site or in situ implementation is emphasized, and it is argued that coupling of technologies represents one strategy for effective, long-term management of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites in the Antarctic and Arctic.

  16. Holocene Southern Ocean surface temperature variability west of the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Shevenell, A E; Ingalls, A E; Domack, E W; Kelly, C


    The disintegration of ice shelves, reduced sea-ice and glacier extent, and shifting ecological zones observed around Antarctica highlight the impact of recent atmospheric and oceanic warming on the cryosphere. Observations and models suggest that oceanic and atmospheric temperature variations at Antarctica's margins affect global cryosphere stability, ocean circulation, sea levels and carbon cycling. In particular, recent climate changes on the Antarctic Peninsula have been dramatic, yet the Holocene climate variability of this region is largely unknown, limiting our ability to evaluate ongoing changes within the context of historical variability and underlying forcing mechanisms. Here we show that surface ocean temperatures at the continental margin of the western Antarctic Peninsula cooled by 3-4 °C over the past 12,000 years, tracking the Holocene decline of local (65° S) spring insolation. Our results, based on TEX(86) sea surface temperature (SST) proxy evidence from a marine sediment core, indicate the importance of regional summer duration as a driver of Antarctic seasonal sea-ice fluctuations. On millennial timescales, abrupt SST fluctuations of 2-4 °C coincide with globally recognized climate variability. Similarities between our SSTs, Southern Hemisphere westerly wind reconstructions and El Niño/Southern Oscillation variability indicate that present climate teleconnections between the tropical Pacific Ocean and the western Antarctic Peninsula strengthened late in the Holocene epoch. We conclude that during the Holocene, Southern Ocean temperatures at the western Antarctic Peninsula margin were tied to changes in the position of the westerlies, which have a critical role in global carbon cycling. PMID:21307939

  17. Late Miocene-Pliocene Asian monsoon intensification linked to Antarctic ice-sheet growth

    Ao, Hong; Roberts, Andrew P.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Liu, Xiaodong; Rohling, Eelco J.; Shi, Zhengguo; An, Zhisheng; Zhao, Xiang


    Environmental conditions in one of Earth's most densely populated regions, East Asia, are dominated by the monsoon. While Quaternary monsoon variability is reasonably well understood, pre-Quaternary monsoon variability and dynamics remain enigmatic. In particular, little is known about potential relationships between northern hemispheric monsoon response and major Cenozoic changes in Antarctic ice cover. Here we document long-term East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) intensification through the Late Miocene-Pliocene (∼8.2 to 2.6 Ma), and attribute this to progressive Antarctic glaciation. Our new high-resolution magnetic records of long-term EASM intensification come from the Late Miocene-Pliocene Red Clay sequence on the Chinese Loess Plateau; we identify underlying mechanisms using a numerical climate-model simulation of EASM response to an idealized stepwise increase in Antarctic ice volume. We infer that progressive Antarctic glaciation caused intensification of the cross-equatorial pressure gradient between an atmospheric high-pressure cell over Australia and a low-pressure cell over mid-latitude East Asia, as well as intensification of the cross-equatorial sea-surface temperature (SST) gradient. These combined atmospheric and oceanic adjustments led to EASM intensification. Our findings offer a new and more global perspective on the controls behind long-term Asian monsoon evolution.

  18. Antarctic icebergs melt over the Southern Ocean : Climatology and impact on sea ice

    Merino, Nacho; Le Sommer, Julien; Durand, Gael; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Madec, Gurvan; Mathiot, Pierre; Tournadre, Jean


    Recent increase in Antarctic freshwater release to the Southern Ocean is suggested to contribute to change in water masses and sea ice. However, climate models differ in their representation of the freshwater sources. Recent improvements in altimetry-based detection of small icebergs and in estimates of the mass loss of Antarctica may help better constrain the values of Antarctic freshwater releases. We propose a model-based seasonal climatology of iceberg melt over the Southern Ocean using state-of-the-art observed glaciological estimates of the Antarctic mass loss. An improved version of a Lagrangian iceberg model is coupled with a global, eddy-permitting ocean/sea ice model and compared to small icebergs observations. Iceberg melt increases sea ice cover, about 10% in annual mean sea ice volume, and decreases sea surface temperature over most of the Southern Ocean, but with distinctive regional patterns. Our results underline the importance of improving the representation of Antarctic freshwater sources. This can be achieved by forcing ocean/sea ice models with a climatological iceberg fresh-water flux.

  19. Variability of Black Carbon Deposition to the East Antarctic Plateau, 1800-2000 AD

    Bisiaux, M. M.; Edwards, R.; McConnell, J. R.; Albert, M. R.; Anschutz, H.; Neumann, T. A.; Isaksson, E.; Penner, J. E.


    Refractory black carbon aerosols (rBC) from biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion are deposited to the Antarctic ice sheet and preserve a history of emissions and long-range transport from low- and mid-latitudes. Antarctic ice core rBC records may thus provide information with respect to past combustion aerosol emissions and atmospheric circulation. Here, we present six East Antarctic ice core records of rBC concentrations and fluxes covering the last two centuries with approximately annual resolution (cal. yr. 1800 to 2000). The ice cores were drilled in disparate regions of the high East Antarctic ice sheet, at different elevations and net snow accumulation rates. Annual rBC concentrations were log-normally distributed and geometric means of annual concentrations ranged from 0.10 to 0.18 m cro-g/kg. Average rBC fluxes were determined over the time periods 1800 to 2000 and 1963 to 2000 and ranged from 3.4 to 15.5 m /a and 3.6 to 21.8 micro-g/sq m/a, respectively. Geometric mean concentrations spanning 1800 to 2000 increased linearly with elevation at a rate of 0.025 micro-g/kg/500 m. Spectral analysis of the records revealed significant decadal-scale variability, which at several sites was comparable to decadal ENSO variability.

  20. Phylogenetic Reassessment of Antarctic Tetillidae (Demospongiae, Tetractinellida) Reveals New Genera and Genetic Similarity among Morphologically Distinct Species.

    Carella, Mirco; Agell, Gemma; Cárdenas, Paco; Uriz, Maria J


    Species of Tetillidae are distributed worldwide. However, some genera are unresolved and only a few genera and species of this family have been described from the Antarctic. The incorporation of 25 new COI and 18S sequences of Antarctic Tetillidae to those used recently for assessing the genera phylogeny, has allowed us to improve the resolution of some poorly resolved nodes and to confirm the monophyly of previously identified clades. Classical genera such as Craniella recovered their traditional diagnosis by moving the Antarctic Tetilla from Craniella, where they were placed in the previous family phylogeny, to Antarctotetilla gen. nov. The morphological re-examination of specimens used in the previous phylogeny and their comparison to the type material revealed misidentifications. The proposed monotypic new genus Levantinella had uncertain phylogenetic relationships depending on the gene partition used. Two more clades would require the inclusion of additional species to be formally established as new genera. The parsimony tree based on morphological characters and the secondary structure of the 18S (V4 region) almost completely matched the COI M1-M6 and the COI+18S concatenated phylogenies. Morphological synapomorphies have been identified for the genera proposed. New 15 28S (D3-D5) and 11 COI I3-M11 partitions were exclusively sequenced for the Antarctic species subset. Remarkably, species within the Antarctic genera Cinachyra (C. barbata and C. antarctica) and Antarctotetilla (A. leptoderma, A. grandis, and A. sagitta), which are clearly distinguishable morphologically, were not genetically differentiated with any of the markers assayed. Thus, as it has been reported for other Antarctic sponges, both the mitochondrial and nuclear partitions used did not differentiate species that were well characterized morphologically. Antarctic Tetillidae offers a rare example of genetically cryptic (with the traditional markers used for sponges), morphologically distinct

  1. Development and Applications of Dome A-DEM in Antarctic Ice Sheet

    LIU Jiying; WEN Jiahong; WANG Yafeng; WANG Weili; Beata M CATHSO; Kenneth C JEZEK


    Dome A, the highest dome of East Antarctic Ice Sheet, is being an area focused by international Antarctic community after Chinese Antarctic Expedition finally reached there in 2005, and with the ongoing International Polar Year (IPY) during August 2007. In this paper two data processing methods are used together to generate two 100-m cell size digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Dome A region (Dome A-DEM) by using Cokriging method to interpolate the ICESat GLAS data, with Ihde-DEM as a constraint. It provides fundamental data to glaciological and geophysical investigation in this area. The Dome A-DEM was applied to determining the ice-sheet surface elevations and coordinates of the south and north summits, defining boundaries of basins and ice flowlines, deducing subglacial topography, and mapping surface slope and aspect in Dome A region. The DEM shows there are two (north and south) summits in Dome A region. The coordinate and the surface elevation of the highest point (the north summit) are 80°21'29.86"S, 77°21'50.29"E and 4092.71±1.43m, respectively. The ice thickness and sub-ice bedrock elevation at north summit are 2420m and 1672m, respectively. Dome A region contains four drainage basins that meet together near the south summit. Ice flowlines, slope and aspect in detail are also derived using the DEM.

  2. Global sediment thickness data set updated for the Australian-Antarctic Southern Ocean

    Whittaker, Joanne M.; Goncharov, Alexey; Williams, Simon E.; Müller, R. Dietmar; Leitchenkov, German


    We present a new, 5 min sediment thickness grid for the Australian-Antarctic region (60°E-155°E, 30°S-70°S). New seismic reflection and refraction data have been used to add detail to the conjugate Australian and Antarctic margins and intervening ocean floor where regional sediment thickness patterns were poorly known previously. On the margins, sediment thickness estimates were computed from velocity-depth functions from sonobuoy/refraction velocity solutions ground-truthed against seismic reflection data. For the Southeast Indian Ridge abyssal plains, sediment thickness contours from Geli et al. (2007) were used. The new regional minimum sediment thickness grid was combined with the global National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) sediment grid to create an updated global grid. Even using the minimum estimates, sediment accumulations on the extended Australian and Antarctic continental margins are 2 km thicker across large regions and up to 9 km thicker in the Ceduna Basin compared to the global NGDC compilation of sediment thickness data.

  3. Does Antarctic glaciation cool the world?

    A. Goldner


    Full Text Available In this study we compare the simulated climatic impact of adding the Antarctic Ice Sheet to the "Greenhouse World" of the Eocene and removing the Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Modern world. The Modern surface temperature anomaly (ΔT induced by Antarctic Glaciation ranges from −1.22 to −0.18 K when CO2 is dropped from 2240 to 560 ppm, whereas the Eocene ΔT is nearly constant at −0.3 K. We calculate the climate sensitivity parameter S[Antarctica] which is defined as the change in surface temperature (ΔT divided by the change in radiative forcing (ΔQAntarctica imposed by prescribing the glacial properties of Antarctica. While the ΔT associated with the imposed Antarctic properties is relatively consistent across the Eocene cases, the radiative forcing is not. This leads to a wide range of S[Antarctica], with Eocene values systematically smaller than Modern.

    This differing temperature response in Eocene and Modern is partially due to the smaller surface area of the imposed forcing over Antarctica in the Eocene and partially due to the presence of strong positive sea-ice feedbacks in the Modern. The system's response is further mediated by differing shortwave cloud feedbacks which are large and of opposite sign operating in Modern and Eocene configurations. A negative cloud feedback warms much of the Earth's surface as a large ice sheet is introduced in Antarctica in the Eocene, whereas in the Modern this cloud feedback is positive and acts to enhance cooling introduced by adding an ice sheet. Because of the importance of cloud feedbacks in determining the final temperature sensitivity of the Antarctic Ice Sheet our results are likely to be model dependent. Nevertheless, these model results show that the radiative forcing and feedbacks induced by the Antarctic Ice Sheet did not significantly decrease global mean surface temperature across

  4. Tectonics of the Nazca-Antarctic plate boundary

    Anderson-Fontana, Sandra; Larson, Roger L.; Engeln, Joseph F.; Lundgren, Paul; Stein, Seth


    A new bathymetric chart of part of the Chile transform system is constructed, based mainly on an R/V Endeavor survey from 100 deg W to its intersection with the East Ridge of the Juan Fernandez microplate. A generally continuous lineated trend can be followed through the entire region, with the transform valley being relatively narrow and well-defined from 109 deg W to approximately 104 deg 30 min W. The fracture zone then widens to the east, with at least two probable en echelon offsets to the south at 104 deg and 102 deg W. Six new strike-slip mechanisms along the Chile Transform and one normal fault mechanism near the northern end of the Chile Rise, inverted together with other plate-motion data from the eastern portion of the boundary, produce a new best-fit Euler pole for the Nazca-Antarctic plate pair, providing tighter constraints on the relative plate motions.

  5. Antarctic Wave Dynamics Mystery Discovered by Lidar, Radar and Imager

    Chen, Cao; Chu, Xinzhao; Fong, Weichun; Lu, Xian; McDonald, Adrian J.; Pautet, Dominique; Taylor, Mike


    Since the start of the McMurdo Fe lidar campaign, largeamplitude (~±30 K), long-period (4 to 9 h) waves with upward energy propagating signatures are frequently observed in the MLT temperatures. Despite its frequent appearance, such type of wave was neither widely observed nor well understood in the past. At McMurdo (77.8°S, 166.7°E), the simultaneous observations of such waves using lidar, radar and airglow imager can provide 3-D intrinsic wave-propagation properties, which are greatly needed for understanding their sources and potential impacts. This study presents the first coincident observation of these 4-9 h waves by lidar, radar and airglow imager in the Antarctic mesopause region.

  6. Late Holocene tephrochronology of the northern Antarctic Peninsula

    Björck, Svante; Sandgren, Per; Zale, Rolf


    Andesitic and basaltic andesitic tephra layers are abundant in Holocene deposits from the Antarctic Peninsula. Visually discernible tephra horizons occur in three lakes on Livingston Island. Tephra in two other lakes and in a moss bank on Elephant Island, with very low ash concentrations, were detected magnetically. Deception Island is the most likely volcanic source for the tephra. With direct 14C dating, age/depth curves, and cross-correlations at least 14 tephra horizons dating to between ca. 4700 and 250 yr B.P. were identified and now form the basis for a preliminary regional tephrochronology that will be a valuable dating tool for investigating the Holocene climatic history of Antarctica.

  7. Persistent organochlorines in high-Antarctic fish; Persistente chlororganische Verbindungen in hochantarktischen Fischen

    Zimmermann, S.


    24 chlorinated hydrocarbons from different classes (PCB, HCH, DDT, Chlordane, Hexachlorobenzene and Octachlorostyrene) were analyzed in four species of high-Antarctic fish (Aethotaxis mitopteryx, Pleuragramma antarcticum, Trematomus lepidorhinus, and Chinodraco myersi). The concentrations were in the order of 1 {mu}g/kg wet weight or 10 {mu}g/kg lipid weight, respectively. Highest concentrations were measured for HCB in all species. The species showed different distribution patterns for the organochlorines studied. Compared with concentrations in fish from other regions the organochlorine levels measured in Antarctic fish are rather low. It is unlikely that the burden of organochlorines will cause any toxic effects in high-Antarctic fish yet. Nevertheless, with regard to the sensitive Antarctic ecosystem, even small concentrations carry a high risk of harm for Antarctic life. Environmental pollution in Antarctica should be observed with a monitoring program using standardized methods. For this purpose, the fish species studied are very useful as bioindicators for organochlorine contamination. (orig.) [Deutsch] 24 persistente Chlorkohlenwasserstoffe verschiedener Schadstoffgruppen (PCB, HCH, DDT, Chlordan, Hexachlorbenzol und Octachlorstyrol) wurden in vier hochantarktischen Fischarten (Aethotaxis mitopteryx, Pleuragramma antarcticum, Trematomus lepidorhinus und Chionodraco myersi). Die Konzentrationen der nachgewiesenen Schadstoffe im Ganzfisch liegen jeweils in der Groessenordnung von 1 {mu}g/kg Feuchtgewicht bzw. 10 {mu}g/kg Lipidgewicht mit erheblichen Schwankungen je nach Schadstoff und Art. Die Spezies zeigen artspezifische Schadstoffverteilungsmuster. Die Konzentrationen sind gegenueber denen in Fischen aus Gebieten mit staerkerem zivilisatorischem Einfluss eher niedrig. Die Fremstoffbelastungen der hochantarktischen Fische fuehren wahrscheinlich noch nicht zu messbaren toxischen Effekten bei den Fischen. Dennoch geht von den Schadstoffen in Hinblick auf das

  8. Present-day and future Antarctic ice sheet climate and surface mass balance in the Community Earth System Model

    Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Vizcaino, Miren; Fyke, Jeremy; van Kampenhout, Leo; van den Broeke, Michiel R.


    We present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) as simulated by the global, coupled ocean-atmosphere-land Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a horizontal resolution of ˜1° in the past, present and future (1850-2100). CESM correctly simulates present-day Antarctic sea ice extent, large-scale atmospheric circulation and near-surface climate, but fails to simulate the recent expansion of Antarctic sea ice. The present-day Antarctic ice sheet SMB equals 2280 ± 131 {Gt year^{-1}} , which concurs with existing independent estimates of AIS SMB. When forced by two CMIP5 climate change scenarios (high mitigation scenario RCP2.6 and high-emission scenario RCP8.5), CESM projects an increase of Antarctic ice sheet SMB of about 70 {Gt year^{-1}} per degree warming. This increase is driven by enhanced snowfall, which is partially counteracted by more surface melt and runoff along the ice sheet's edges. This intensifying hydrological cycle is predominantly driven by atmospheric warming, which increases (1) the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere, (2) oceanic source region evaporation, and (3) summer AIS cloud liquid water content.

  9. Onset and role of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current

    Barker, P. F.; Threshers Barn, Whitcott Keysett, Clun, Shropshire SY7 8QE, UK; Filippelli, G. M.; Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN 46202-5132, USA; Florindo, F.; Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione Roma2, Roma, Italia; Martin, E. E.; Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2120, USA; Howard, D. S.; Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14611, USA


    For some time, onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) was considered to have caused or stabilised full Antarctic glaciation. Recently, however, the importance of the ACC in this role has been questioned. In order to understand the relationship between the ACC and Antarctic glaciation, and thence the importance of ocean circulation to palaeoclimate, we need to determine the development history of both processes. To this end, we summarise all published estimates of ACC ons...

  10. Relative Changes in Krill Abundance Inferred from Antarctic Fur Seal

    Tao Huang; Liguang Sun; John Stark; Yuhong Wang; Zhongqi Cheng; Qichao Yang; Song Sun


    Antarctic krill Euphausia superba is a predominant species in the Southern Ocean, it is very sensitive to climate change, and it supports large stocks of fishes, seabirds, seals and whales in Antarctic marine ecosystems. Modern krill stocks have been estimated directly by net hauls and acoustic surveys; the historical krill density especially the long-term one in the Southern Ocean, however, is unknown. Here we inferred the relative krill population changes along the West Antarctic Peninsula ...

  11. Encouraging Advances Made by Chinese Scientists in Antarctic Research

    Zhang Qingsong


    @@ Chinese scientists began involving in the Antarctic research in 1980. As the first step, some 40 Chinese scientists were sent to Antarctic stations of Australia and other countries during the period from 1980 to 1984. Then,China established two Antarctic stations of its own, and purchased an icebreaker, enabling China to carry on its own independent research program both on land and at sea.

  12. Geophysical Characteristics of the Australian-Antarctic Ridge

    Kim, S. S.; Lin, J.; Park, S. H.; Choi, H.; Lee, S. M.


    Between 2011 and 2013, the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) conducted three consecutive geologic surveys at the little explored eastern ends of the Australian-Antarctic Ridge (AAR) to characterize the tectonics, geochemistry, and hydrothermal activity of this intermediate spreading system. Using the Korean icebreaker R/V Araon, the multi-disciplinary research team collected bathymetry, gravity, magnetics, and rock and water column samples. In addition, Miniature Autonomous Plume Recorders (MAPRs) were deployed at wax-core rock sampling sites to detect the presence of active hydrothermal vents. Here we present a detailed analysis of a 300-km-long supersegment of the AAR to quantify the spatial variations in ridge morphology and robust axial and off-axis volcanisms. The ridge axis morphology alternates between rift valleys and axial highs within relatively short ridge segments. To obtain a geological proxy for regional variations in magma supply, we calculated residual mantle Bouguer gravity anomalies (RMBA), gravity-derived crustal thickness, and residual topography for seven sub-segments. The results of the analyses revealed that the southern flank of the AAR is associated with shallower seafloor, more negative RMBA, thicker crust, and/or less dense mantle than the conjugate northern flank. Furthermore, this north-south asymmetry becomes more prominent toward the KR1 supersegment of the AAR. The axial topography of the KR1 supersegment exhibits a sharp transition from axial highs at the western end to rift valleys at the eastern end, with regions of axial highs being associated with more magma supply as indicated by more negative RMBA. We also compare and contrast the characteristics of the AAR supersegment with that of other ridges of intermediate spreading rates, including the Juan de Fuca Ridge, Galápagos Spreading Center, and Southeast Indian Ridge west of the Australian-Antarctic Discordance, to investigate the influence of ridge-hotspot interaction on

  13. Observationally constrained projections of Antarctic ice sheet instability

    Edwards, Tamsin; Ritz, Catherine; Durand, Gael; Payne, Anthony; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard


    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lie on bedrock below sea level and may be vulnerable to a positive feedback known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica, induced by circulation of warm Circumpolar Deep Water. If this retreat is sustained the region could contribute up to 1-2 m to global mean sea level, and if triggered in other areas the potential contribution to sea level on centennial to millennial timescales could be two to three times greater. However, physically plausible projections of Antarctic MISI are challenging: numerical ice sheet models are too low in spatial resolution to resolve grounding line processes or else too computationally expensive to assess modelling uncertainties, and no dynamical models exist of the ocean-atmosphere-ice sheet system. Furthermore, previous numerical ice sheet model projections for Antarctica have not been calibrated with observations, which can reduce uncertainties. Here we estimate the probability of dynamic mass loss in the event of MISI under a medium climate scenario, assessing 16 modelling uncertainties and calibrating the projections with observed mass losses in the ASE from 1992-2011. We project losses of up to 30 cm sea level equivalent (SLE) by 2100 and 72 cm SLE by 2200 (95% credibility interval: CI). Our results are substantially lower than previous estimates. The ASE sustains substantial losses, 83% of the continental total by 2100 and 67% by 2200 (95% CI), but in other regions losses are limited by ice dynamical theory, observations, or a lack of projected triggers.

  14. The seasonal cycle of ocean-atmosphere CO2 Flux in Ryder Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula.

    Legge, Oliver J.; Bakker, Dorothee C. E.; Johnson, Martin T.; Meredith, Michael P.; Venables, Hugh J.; Brown, Peter J.; Lee, Gareth A.


    Approximately 15 million km2 of the Southern Ocean is seasonally ice covered, yet the processes affecting carbon cycling and gas exchange in this climatically important region remain inadequately understood. Here, 3 years of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) measurements and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes from Ryder Bay on the west Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) are presented. During spring and summer, primary production in the surface ocean promotes atmospheric CO2 uptake. In winter, higher DIC, caus...

  15. Measurements beneath an Antarctic ice shelf using an autonomous underwater vehicle

    Nicholls, K.W.; Abrahamsen, E.P.; Buck, J.J.H.; P. A. Dodd; Goldblatt, C.; Griffiths, G; K. J. Heywood; Hughes, N.E.; Kaletzky, A.; Lane-Serff, G.F.; McPhail, S.D.; Millard, N. W.; Oliver, K. I. C.; Perrett, J; Price, M. R.


    The cavities beneath Antarctic ice shelves are among the least studied regions of the World Ocean, yet they are sites of globally important water mass transformations. Here we report results from a mission beneath Fimbul Ice Shelf of an autonomous underwater vehicle. The data reveal a spatially complex oceanographic environment, an ice base with widely varying roughness, and a cavity periodically exposed to water with a temperature significantly above the surface freezing point. The result...

  16. Impacts of unusually high sea ice cover on Antarctic coastal benthic food web structure

    Michel, Loïc; Dubois, Philippe; Eleaume,Marc; Fournier, Jérôme; Gallut, Cyril; Jane, Philip; Lepoint, Gilles


    Antarctica currently undergoes strong and contrasted impacts linked with climate change. While the West Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions in the world, resulting in sea ice cover decrease, the sea ice cover of East Antarctica unexpectedly tends to increase, possibly in relation with changes in atmospheric circulation. Changes in sea ice cover are likely to influence benthic food web structure through modifications of benthic-pelagic coupling, disruption of benthic...

  17. Antarctic network of lamp-calibrated multichannel radiometers for continuous ozone and uv radiation data

    Redondas, A.; Torres, C.; O. Meinander; K. Lakkala; R. García; E. Cuevas; Ochoa, H.; Deferrari, G.; Díaz, S.


    Three NILU-UV multichannel radiometers have been installed in 1999 at the Argentinian sites of Ushuaia (54S), Marambio (64S) and Belgrano-II (77S) in order to continuously monitor UV radiation, photosynthetically active radiation and total ozone. The measurements were established by INM, Spain in collaboration with FMI, Finland, DNA-IAA, Argentina and CADIC, Argentina to observe and characterize the spatial and temporal evolution of ozone and ultraviolet radiation in the Antarctic region. Spe...

  18. Sources and Levels of Ambient Ocean Sound near the Antarctic Peninsula

    Dziak, Robert P.; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne R.; Stafford, Kathleen M.; Haruyoshi Matsumoto; Minkyu Park; Won Sang Lee; Fowler, Matt J.; Tai-Kwan Lau; Haxel, Joseph H.; Mellinger, David K.


    Arrays of hydrophones were deployed within the Bransfield Strait and Scotia Sea (Antarctic Peninsula region) from 2005 to 2009 to record ambient ocean sound at frequencies of up to 125 and 500 Hz. Icequakes, which are broadband, short duration signals derived from fracturing of large free-floating icebergs, are a prominent feature of the ocean soundscape. Icequake activity peaks during austral summer and is minimum during winter, likely following freeze-thaw cycles. Iceberg grounding and rapi...

  19. Towards quantifying the contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level change

    van den Broeke, M. R.


    At present, the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and its contribution to global sea level change are poorly known. Current methods to determine AIS mass balance as well as the inherent uncertainties are discussed. Special emphasis is placed on the increasingly important role of regional atmospheric climate models, which can reduce the uncertainties in surface accumulation, the correction for the firn layer depth and density in ice thickness calculations and moreover help in inter...

  20. Terrestrial age dating of antarctic meteorites

    During the last three antarctic field seasons, US and Japanese teams have collected several thousand meteorites. The terrestrial age of these objects is of interest because such knowledge enables the setting of lower bounds on the lower age of the ice sheet, provides information about ice movement, and aids understanding of the accumulation mechanism of the meteorites. Terrestrial ages can be established by measuring the decay of radioactive species produced by bombardment of cosmic rays while the objects are in space. After entering the Earth's atmosphere the meteorites essentially are completely shielded from cosmic rays. The radioactive products that exist at saturation values in space then decay exponentially toward zero activity. By the end of 1980, data will be established on 150 to 200 selected samples. With that large a data base we should have a fairly clear picture of the terrestrial age distribution of antarctic meteorites

  1. Climate Change Impacts in the sub-Antarctic Islands Technical Report N.2 of ONERC; Impacts du changement climatique dans les iles subantarctiques. Rapport Technique N.2 de l'ONERC



    Difficult to apprehend as a whole, the polar regions constitute the Arctic to the North, an ocean surrounded by emerged lands, and the Antarctic to the South, a continent bordered by the Austral Ocean where a belt of sub Antarctic islands lies. Climate change impacts on sub Antarctic islands are varied, direct and indirect: glacier retreat, more favourable conditions for introduced species, marine biodiversity modification, etc. This report discusses the French, British, Australian, South African and New Zealand sub Antarctic islands, the climatic evolutions and the resulting impacts, focused especially on biodiversity. The Observatoire National sur les Effets du Rechauffement Climatique and the International Polar Foundation have been joined in this endeavour by the French polar institute Paul-Emile Victor, the administration of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF in French) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. (authors)

  2. The effect of environmental change on vascular plant and cryptogam communities from the Falkland Islands and the Maritime Antarctic

    Bokhorst, S.F.; Huiskes, A.H.L.; Convey, P.; Aerts, R.A.M.


    Antarctic terrestrial vegetation is subject to one of the most extreme climates on Earth. Currently, parts of Antarctica are one of the fastest warming regions on the planet. During 3 growing seasons, we investigated the effect of experimental warming on the diversity and abundance of coastal plant

  3. The experience of the Antarctic Seismic Data Library System (SDLS) as a hub for researchers in antarctic crustal studies.

    Diviacco, Paolo; Wardell, Nigel


    The SDLS was created in April 1991 under the auspices of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research to provide open access to Antarctic multichannel seismic-reflection data (MCS) for use in cooperative research projects. The SDLS operates under the mandates of the Antarctic Treaty System, by which all institutions that collect MCS data in Antarctica must submit their MCS data to the SDLS. The SDLS has library branches worldwide at which researchers may view and study the MCS data. MCS data are submitted to the SDLS within 4 years of collection and remain in the library under SDLS guidelines until 8 years after collection. Thereafter, the data go to World Data Centers or equivalents for unrestricted use. The SDLS offers a clearing house, based at Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS) where data are processed when needed and georeferenced, so that the end user can be provided with usable, although basic, post-stack seismic sections. Re-processing of data is beyond the scope of the SDLS, so that if a researcher is interested in reviewing pre-stack data he/she must resort to the data owner. So far 228,000 km of seismic data have been made public in all sectors of the Antarctic region. To augment the concept of physical repositories where data can be accessed by researchers travelling to one of the branches or from where data could be copied to digital media and sent to users, in 2003 it was decided to develop a web interface where data could be searched for and accessed directly. At that moment no previous non-commercial experience was available in this data field, so that the system was designed from scratch. Several technologies were introduced, tested, and after a period of use, reviewed and tuned. Particular attention was devoted to the seismic data viewing facility, which was tailored to the needs of a community with specific practices and legacies. Seismic data are sensitive data that are very important for the E&P industry, so

  4. Meteorological observatory for Antarctic data collection; L`Osservatorio per l`acquisizione dei dati meteorologici in Antartide

    Grigioni, P.; De silvestri, L. [ENEA, Centro Ricerche Casaccia, Rome (Italy). Dip. Ambiente; Della Vedova, A.M. [Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica, P.N.R.A., Rome (Italy)


    In the last years, a great number of automatic weather stations was installed in Antarctica, with the aim to examine closely the weather and climate of this region and to improve the coverage of measuring points on the Antarctic surface. In 1987 the Italian Antarctic Project started to set up a meteorological network, in an area not completely covered by other countries. Some of the activities performed by the meteorological observatory, concerning technical functions such as maintenance of the AWS`s and the execution of radio soundings, or relating to scientific purposes such as validation and elaboration of collected data, are exposed. Finally, some climatological considerations on the thermal behaviour of the Antarctic troposphere such as `coreless winter`, and on the wind field, including katabatic flows in North Victoria Land are described.

  5. Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems: responses to environmental change

    Convey, Peter


    The consequences of climate change are exciting considerable concern worldwide. Parts of Antarctica are facing the most rapid rates of anthropogenic climate change currently seen on the planet. This paper sets out to introduce contemporary ecosystems of the Antarctic, and the factors that have influenced them and their biodiversity over evolutionary timescales. Contemporary climate change processes significant to terrestrial biota, and the biological consequences of these changes seen t...

  6. Isotopic heterogeneity of East Antarctic mantle

    Isotopic heterogeneity of deep garnet-bearing mantle xenolytes of East Antarctics is studied to analyze the mechanisms of geochemical heterogeneity occurrence in the Earth mantle. Analysis of isotope data for the system 143Nd/144Nd - Sm/Nd permitted ascertaining the time of the last thermal impact on the mantle material (108-35 bill. years) for certain nodules, which is close to the age of ultra base alkali magmatism intrusion

  7. Photosynthesis in Antarctic sea ice diatoms

    Mock, Thomas


    This thesis was conducted to apply new techniques for measuring photosynthesis in Antarctic sea ice diatoms. A systematic approach of investigations was applied to obtain precise measurements of photosynthesis under natural conditions in the field from which questions were derived for further analysis in the laboratory. In situ measurements with the tracer 14C through the entire thickness of a young sea ice floe revealed that algae are able to actively assimilate dissolved inorganic carbon un...

  8. Oil Pollution in the Antarctic Terrestrial Environment

    Hughes, Kevin; Stallwood, Bethan


    Fuel oil has been extensively relied upon as an energy source since the earliest discovery and exploration of Antarctica. During this time oil spills have occurred, particularly around established research stations, which have had a negative impact on the terrestrial environment. Recently developed bioremediative technology, using indigenous Antarctic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, may be used to assist in cleaning up existing oil-contaminated land


    マツモト, タケシ; カミヌマ, カツタダ; Takeshi, MATSUMOTO; Katsutada, Kaminuma


    Pseudo magnetic anomaly in the Antarctic Sea has been calculated using the gravity data derived from altimetric geoid. Comparison of the pseudo magnetic anomaly thus calculated with the theoretical magnetic anomaly predicted from topography has been made with respect to the large fracture zones composed of short-wavelength ridges and troughs in the Southeastern Pacific, which shows that these two anomalies coincide well with each other. Gravity anomaly calculated from topography only also coi...

  10. Tephrochronology : Methodology and correlations, Antarctic Peninsula Area

    Molén, Mats


    Abstract Methods for tephrochronology are evaluated, in the following way: Lake sediments <500 years old from three small Antarctic lakes were analysed for identification of tephras. Subsamples were analysed for a) grain size, and identification and concentration of volcanogenic grains, b) identification of tephra horizons, c) element abundance by EPMA WDS/EDS and LA-ICP-MS, and d) possible correlations between lakes and volcanoes. Volcanogenic minerals and shards were found all through th...

  11. New and rare cephalopods from the Antarctic waters



    Three species of Antarctic cephalopods, Grimpoteuthis antarctica n. sp., male specimens of Megaleledone senoi TAKI and Gonatus antarcticus LONNBERG are described with some considerations to their systematic status.

  12. Measurements of 36Cl in Antarctic meteorites and Antarctic ice using a Van de Graaff accelerator

    Cosmic-ray produced 36Cl(tsub(1/2) = 3.0 X 105 years) has been measured in four Antarctic meteorites and one sample of Antarctic ice using a tandem Van de Graaff accelerator as an ultrasensitive mass spectrometer with the extremely low background level of 36Cl/Cl -16. Results from this ion counting technique (applied here to extraterrestrial materials for the first time) are used to support a two-stage irradiation model for the Yamato-7301and Allan Hills-76008 meteorites and to show a long terrestrial age (0.7 +- 0.1 m.y.) for Allan Hills-77002. Yamato-7304 has a terrestrial age of less than 0.1 m.y. The 36Cl content of the Antarctic ice sample from the Yamato Mountain area implies that the age of the ice cap at this site is less than one 36Cl half-life. (Auth.)

  13. Jun Jaegyu Volcano: A Recently Discovered Alkali Basalt Volcano in Antarctic Sound, Antarctica

    Hatfield, A.; Bailey, D.; Domack, E.; Brachfeld, S.; Gilbert, R.; Ishman, S.; Krahmann, G.; Leventer, A.


    Jun Jaegyu is a young volcanic construct discovered in May 2004 by researchers aboard the National Science Foundation (NSF) vessel Laurence M. Gould (LMG04-04). The volcano is located on the Antarctic continental shelf in Antarctic Sound, approximately 9 km due north of the easternmost point of Andersson Island. Swath bathymetry (NBP01-07) indicates that the volcano stands 700 meters above the seafloor, yet remains 275 meters short of the ocean surface. The seamount lies along a northwest-southeast oriented fault scarp and contains at least 1.5 km3 of volcanic rock. Video recording of the volcano's surface revealed regions nearly devoid of submarine life. These areas are associated with a thermal anomaly of up to 0.052° C higher than the surrounding ocean water. A rock dredge collected ~13 kg of material, over 80% of which was fresh volcanic rock; the remainder was glacial IRD. These observations, along with reports by mariners of discolored water in this region of Antarctic Sound, suggest that the volcano has been recently active. The basalt samples are generally angular, glassy and vesicular. Preliminary petrographic observations indicate that plagioclase, olivine, and clinopyroxene are all present as phenocryst phases, and that small (tectonic setting of the region is complex, volcanism appears to be associated with active faults related to within-plate extension.

  14. Skip spawning as a reproductive strategy in Antarctic fish species: the Antarctic silverfish (Pleuragramma antarctica) case study

    Eva Pisano; Stuart Hanchet; Marino Vacchi


    The Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarctica (Notothenioidei, Nototheniidae) is the most abundant pelagic fish inhabiting the frigid Antarctic coastal waters. It plays relevant roles in the local ecosystems, where it is often considered a keystone species connecting lower and upper trophic levels within the coastal marine food web. Despite its ecological relevance, and although many aspects of the Antarctic silverfish biology have already been elucidated, knowledge on important components...

  15. Overview of mercury measurements in the Antarctic troposphere

    A. Dommergue


    may be recycled. Therefore, the contribution of this unique reactivity occurring in polar atmospheres to the global budget of atmospheric mercury, and the role played by snow and ice surfaces of these regions, are important issues. This paper presents a review of atmospheric mercury studies conducted in the Antarctic troposphere, both at coastal locations and on the Antarctic Plateau since 1985. Our current understanding of atmospheric reactivity in this region is also presented.

  16. Overview of mercury measurements in the Antarctic troposphere

    A. Dommergue


    contribution of this unique reactivity occurring in polar atmospheres to the global budget of atmospheric Hg and the role played by snow and ice surfaces of these regions are important issues. This paper presents a review of atmospheric mercury studies conducted in the Antarctic troposphere, both at coastal locations and on the Antarctic Plateau since 1985. Our current understanding of atmospheric reactivity in this region is also presented.

  17. Quality assurance of the solar UV network in the Antarctic

    Lakkala, K.; Redondas, A.; Meinander, O.; Torres, C.; Koskela, T.; Cuevas, E.; Taalas, P.; Dahlback, A.; Deferrari, G.; Edvardsen, K.; Ochoa, H.


    Measuring ultraviolet radiation in the Antarctic region, where weather conditions are extremely challenging, is a demanding task. Proper quality control of the measurements and quality assurance of the data, which are the basis of all scientific use of data, has to be especially well planned and executed. In this paper we show the importance of proper quality assurance and describe the methods used to successfully operate the NILU-UV multichannel radiometers of the Antarctic network stations at Ushuaia, 54°S, and Marambio, 64°S. According to our experience, even though multichannel instruments are supposed to be rather stable as a function of time, severe drifts can occur in the sensitivity of the channels under these harsh conditions. During 2000-2003 the biggest drifts were 35%, both at Ushuaia and Marambio, with the sensitivity of the channels dropping at different rates. Without proper corrections in the data, this would have seriously affected the calculated UV dose rates. As part of the quality assurance of the network a traveling reference NILU-UV, which was found to be stable, was used to transfer the desired irradiance scale to the site NILU-UV data. Relative lamp tests were used to monitor the stability of the instruments. Each site NILU-UV was scaled channel by channel to the traveling reference by performing solar comparisons. The method of scaling each channel separately was found to be successful, even though the differences between the raw data of the site NILU-UV and the reference instruments were, before the data correction, as much as 40%. After the correction, the mean ratios of erythemally weighted UV dose rates measured during the solar comparisons in 2000-2003 between the reference NILU-UV and the site NILU-UV were 1.007 +/- 0.011 and 1.012 +/- 0.012 for Ushuaia and Marambio, respectively, when the solar zenith angle varied up to 80°. These results make possible the scientific use of NILU-UV data measured simultaneously at quite different

  18. A Maturing Tephra Record in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Dunbar, N. W.; Kurbatov, A.; McIntosh, W. C.


    Tephra layers found in many Antarctic ice cores range from sub-centimeter thick, visible layers to cryptotephra consisting of sparse, fine-grained (Takahe, tephra from which have also been recognized in the marine record (Hillenbrand et al., 1988). A well-defined ash layer is found at a depth of between 190.37-190.39 m depth in the WAIS Divide core, containing 20 um ash shards that are chemically correlated to the the Pleaides volcanoes, in northern Victoria Land. This tephra layer correlates to one found in a Siple Dome (B) ice core (97.2 to 97.7 m depth) and in the Taylor Dome ice core (79.2 m depth). Deeper parts of the WAIS Divide ice core correspond to a time interval of abundant regional volcanism, represented by the large number of visible dust bands and cloudy layers in the core (A. Orsi, pers. comm., 2010). A distinct "visible brown layer" at a depth of 1586.363 m. (8.279 Ky BP preliminary age) is very likely to be from a major eruption of the West Antarctic volcano Mt. Takahe (8.2±5.4 , Wilch et al., 1999). This layer is found at a depth of 503.58-503.87 m in the Siple Dome A core (SMDA) corresponding to 8.167-8.181 Ky before 1950, and almost certainly to a visible layer identified and analyzed in the Byrd ice core at 788 m (Palais et al., 1988). A visible double layer at 1741.246 m (9.57 KyBP preliminary age) may correspond to a very distinct tephra layer in the SDMA core at a depth of around 550 m (corresponding to an age of around 9.7 Ky before 1950). This layer is derived from the West Antarctic stratovolcano, Mt. Berlin. In the segment of WAIS Divide ice core between 2251 and 2557 m depth (15.2 to 20.6 preliminary age), numerous dust bands and cloudy layers are reported in the ice. This corresponds to the age of ice in the Byrd Core that contained many volcanic layers (Gow and Williamson, 1971), and also an interval in the SDMA where numerous distinct tephra layers associated with highly explosive eruptions of Mt. Berlin were found. Detailed

  19. Geoethical Approach to Antarctic Subglacial Lakes Exploration

    Talalay, Pavel; Markov, Alexey; Sysoev, Mikhail


    Antarctic subglacial aquatic environment have become of great interest to the science community because they may provide unique information about microbial evolution, the past climate of the Earth, and the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet. Nowadays it is generally recognized that a vast network of lakes, rivers, and streams exists thousands of meters beneath Antarctic Ice Sheets. Up to date only four boreholes accessed subglacial aquatic system but three of them were filled with high-toxic drilling fluid, and the subglacial water was contaminated. Two recent exploration programs proposed by UK and USA science communities anticipated direct access down to the lakes Ellsworth and Whillans, respectively, in the 2012/2013 Antarctic season. A team of British scientists and engineers engaged in the first attempt to drill into Lake Ellsworth but failed. US research team has successfully drilled through 800 m of Antarctic ice to reach a subglacial lake Whillans and retrieve water and sediment samples. Both activities used hot-water drilling technology to access lakes. Hot water is considered by the world science community as the most clean drilling fluid medium from the present point of view but it cannot solve environmental problems in total because hot-water even when heated to 90 °C, filtered to 0.2 μm, and UV treated at the surface could pick up microorganisms from near-surface snow and circulate them in great volume through the borehole. Another negative impact of hot-water circulation medium is thermal pollution of subglacial water. The new approach to Antarctic subglacial lakes exploration is presented by sampling technology with recoverable autonomous sonde which is equipped by two hot-points with heating elements located on the bottom and top sides of the sonde. All down-hole sonde components will be sterilized by combination of chemical wash, HPV and UV sterilization prior using. At the beginning of the summer season sonde is installed on the surface of the

  20. The transition from diffuse to focused extension: Modeled evolution of the West Antarctic Rift system

    Huerta, Audrey D.; Harry, Dennis L.


    Two distinct stages of extension are recognized in the West Antarctic Rift system (WARS). During the first stage, beginning in the Late Cretaceous, extension was broadly distributed throughout much of West Antarctica. A second stage of extension in the late Paleogene was focused primarily in the Victoria Land Basin, near the boundary with the East Antarctic craton. The transition to focused extension was roughly coeval with volcanic activity and strike-slip faulting in the adjacent Transantarctic Mountains. This spatial and temporal correspondence suggests that the transition in extensional style could be the result of a change in plate motions or impingement of a plume. Here we use finite element models to study the processes and conditions responsible for the two-stage evolution of rifting in the WARS. Model results indicate that the transition from a prolonged period of broadly distributed extension to a later period of focused rifting did not require a change in the regional stress regime (changes in plate motion), or deep mantle thermal state (impingement of a plume). Instead, we attribute the transition from diffuse to focused extension to an early stage dominated by the initially weak accreted lithosphere of West Antarctica, and a later stage that concentrated around a secondary weakness located at the boundary between the juvenile West Antarctica lithosphere and Precambrian East Antarctic craton. The modeled transition in extension from the initially weak West Antarctica region to the secondary weakness at the West Antarctic-East Antarctic boundary is precipitated by strengthening of the West Antarctica lithosphere during syn-extensional thinning and cooling. The modeled syn-extensional strengthening of the WARS lithosphere promotes a wide-rift mode of extension between 105 and ˜ 65 Ma. By ˜ 65 Ma most of the extending WARS region becomes stronger than the area immediately adjacent to the East Antarctic craton and extension becomes concentrated near the

  1. Antarctic Tephrochronology: A Maturing Record of Visible Layers and Cryptotephra

    Dunbar, N. W.; Kurbatov, A.; McIntosh, W. C.


    Visible tephra layers, which represent important time-stratigraphic markers in ice-bound climate records, have been found in majority of the deep Antarctic ice cores. Ice core tephra layers range from sub-centimeter thick, visible layers to cryptotephra consisting of sparse, fine-grained (Takahe, tephra from which have also been recognized in the marine record (Hillenbrand et al., 1988). However, a well-defined ash layer recognized at a depth of between 190.37-190.39 m depth in the WDC06A core and several other ice cores, which contains 20 μm ash shards, was chemically characterized as being derived from the East Antarctic Pleiades volcanic center. Several tephra layers, including one that correlates between the SDMA and WDC06A cores, are thought to be related to South American volcanism. In terms of the West Antarctic regional tephra framework, a very distinct "visible brown layer", with glass shards up to 20 μm in diameter, found at a depth of 1586.363 m in WDC06A (8.279 ka B.P. preliminary age), chemically correlates to a major 40Ar/39Ar-dated (8.2±5.4) eruption of the West Antarctic volcano Mt. Takahe. This layer is also observed at a depth of between 503.58 and 503.87 m in the SMDA core, corresponding to ages between 8.167 and 8.181 ka B.P. (Dunbar and Kurbatov, 2011). A layer almost certainly corresponding to this one was also identified and analyzed in the Byrd ice core at a depth of 788 m (Palais et al., 1988). A tephra layer at a depth of 2441.95 m in WDC06A chemically correlates to a layer in SDMA at a depth of 707.00 m. This layer correlates to an eruption of Mt. Berlin which has been dated using 40Ar/39Ar at 18.2±5.8 ka B.P. Several other tephra layers from Mt. Berlin have been identified in the WDC06A and SDMA ice cores. Finally, a tephra layer with a grain size of between 100 and 200 microns, very coarse by ice core standards, has been identified at a depth of 2569.205 m depth in the WDC06A core. The grain size, morphology and composition of this

  2. Spring–summer albedo variations of Antarctic sea ice from 1982 to 2009

    This study examined the spring–summer (November, December, January and February) albedo averages and trends using a dataset consisting of 28 years of homogenized satellite data for the entire Antarctic sea ice region and for five longitudinal sectors around Antarctica: the Weddell Sea (WS), the Indian Ocean sector (IO), the Pacific Ocean sector (PO), the Ross Sea (RS) and the Bellingshausen–Amundsen Sea (BS). Time series data of the sea ice concentrations and sea surface temperatures were used to analyse their relations to the albedo. The results indicated that the sea ice albedo increased slightly during the study period, at a rate of 0.314% per decade, over the Antarctic sea ice region. The sea ice albedos in the PO, the IO and the WS increased at rates of 2.599% per decade (confidence level 99.86%), 0.824% per decade and 0.413% per decade, respectively, and the steepest increase occurred in the PO. However, the sea ice albedo in the BS decreased at a rate of −1.617% per decade (confidence level 95.05%) and was near zero in the RS. The spring–summer average albedo over the Antarctic sea ice region was 50.24%. The highest albedo values were mainly found on the continental coast and in the WS; in contrast, the lowest albedo values were found on the outer edge of the sea ice, the RS and the Amery Ice Shelf. The average albedo in the western Antarctic sea ice region was distinctly higher than that in the east. The albedo was significantly positively correlated with sea ice concentration (SIC) and was significantly negatively correlated with sea surface temperature (SST); these scenarios held true for all five longitudinal sectors. Spatially, the higher surface albedos follow the higher SICs and lower SST patterns. The increasing albedo means that Antarctic sea ice region reflects more solar radiation and absorbs less, leading to a decrease in temperature and much snowfall on sea ice, and further resulted in an increase in albedo. Conversely, the decreasing

  3. Response of the Antarctic Stratosphere to Two Types of El Nino Events

    Hurwitz, M. M.; Newman, P. A.; Oman, L. D.; Molod, A. M.


    This study is the first to identify a robust El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signal in the Antarctic stratosphere. El Nino events are classified as either conventional "cold tongue" events (positive SST anomalies in the Nino 3 region) or "warm pool" events (positive SST anomalies in the Nino 4 region). The ERA-40, NCEP and MERRA meteorological reanalyses are used to show that the Southern Hemisphere stratosphere responds differently to these two types of El Nino events. Consistent with previous studies, "cold tongue" events do not impact temperatures in the Antarctic stratosphere. During "warm pool" El Nino events, the poleward extension and increased strength of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) favor an enhancement of planetary wave activity during the SON season. On average, these conditions lead to higher polar stratospheric temperatures and a weakening of the Antarctic polar jet in November and December, as compared with neutral ENSO years. The phase of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) modulates the stratospheric response to "warm pool" El Nino events: the strongest planetary wave driving events are coincident with the easterly phase of the QBO.

  4. Temperature, lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary, and heat flux beneath the Antarctic Plate inferred from seismic velocities

    An, Meijian; Wiens, Douglas A.; Zhao, Yue; Feng, Mei; Nyblade, Andrew; Kanao, Masaki; Li, Yuansheng; Maggi, Alessia; Lévêque, Jean-Jacques


    We estimate the upper mantle temperature of the Antarctic Plate based on the thermoelastic properties of mantle minerals and S velocities using a new 3-D shear velocity model, AN1-S. Crustal temperatures and surface heat fluxes are then calculated from the upper mantle temperature assuming steady state thermal conduction. The temperature at the top of the asthenosphere beneath the oceanic region and West Antarctica is higher than the dry mantle solidus, indicating the presence of melt. From the temperature values, we generate depth maps of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and the Curie temperature isotherm. The maps show that East Antarctica has a thick lithosphere similar to that of other stable cratons, with the thickest lithosphere (~250 km) between Domes A and C. The thin crust and lithosphere beneath West Antarctica are similar to those of modern subduction-related rift systems in East Asia. A cold region beneath the Antarctic Peninsula is similar in spatial extent to that of a flat-subducted slab beneath the southern Andes, indicating a possible remnant of the Phoenix Plate, which was subducted prior to 10 Ma. The oceanic lithosphere generally thickens with increasing age, and the age-thickness correlation depends on the spreading rate of the ridge that formed the lithosphere. Significant flattening of the age-thickness curves is not observed for the mature oceanic lithosphere of the Antarctic Plate.

  5. Results of SPM sun photometer measurements at Mirny Antarctic station (58-60th RAE)

    Kabanov, Dmitry M.; Prakhov, Aleksander N.; Radionov, Vladimir F.; Sakerin, Sergey M.


    The SPM portable sun photometer observations in the wavelength range of 0.34-2.14 μm are performed at Mirny Antarctic station since fall 2013. The data obtained are used to calculate the aerosol optical depth (AOD) and water vapor content of the atmosphere. The sun photometer intercalibration results and statistical characteristics of interdiurnal and seasonal variations in spectral AOD of the atmosphere are discussed. Estimates of interannual variations in the atmospheric AOD in the region of Mirny station and in the coastal zone of Antarctica are presented. The global background level of AOD of the Antarctic atmosphere is noted to be still about 0.02 at the wavelength of 0.5 μm.

  6. Spatial variation of ozone depletion rates in the springtime Antarctic polar vortex

    Yung, Yuk L.; Allen, Mark; Crisp, David; Zurek, Richard W.; Sander, Stanley P.


    An area-mapping technique, designed to filter out synoptic perturbations of the Antarctic polar vortex such as distortion or displacement away from the pole, was applied to the Nimbus-7 TOMS (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer) data. This procedure reveals the detailed morphology of the temporal evolution of column O3. The results for the austral spring of 1987 suggest the existence of a relatively stable collar region enclosing an interior that is undergoing large variations. A simplified photochemical model of O3 loss and the temporal evolution of the area-mapped polar O3 are used to constrain the chlorine monoxide (ClO) concentrations in the springtime Antarctic vortex. The O3 loss rates could be larger than deduced here because of underestimates of total O3 by TOMS near the terminator.

  7. Reflectance of Antarctic surfaces from multispectral radiometers: The correction of atmospheric effects

    Monitoring reflectance of polar icecaps has relevance in climate studies. In fact, climate changes produce variations in the morphology of ice and snow covers, which are detectable as surface reflectance change. Surface reflectance can be retrieved from remotely sensed data. However, absolute values independent of atmospheric turbidity and surface altitude can only be obtained after removing masking effects of the atmosphere. An atmospheric correction model, accounting for surface and sensor altitudes above sea level, is described and validated through data detected over Antarctic surfaces with a Barnes Modular Multispectral Radiometer having bands overlapping those of the Landsat Thematic Mapper. The model is also applied in a sensitivity analysis to investigate error induced in reflectance obtained from satellite data by indeterminacy in optical parameters of atmospheric constituents. Results show that indeterminacy in the atmospheric water vapor optical thickness is the main source of nonaccuracy in the retrieval of surface reflectance from data remotely sensed over Antarctic regions

  8. 77 FR 5403 - Conservation of Antarctic Animals and Plants


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION 45 CFR Part 670 Conservation of Antarctic Animals and Plants AGENCY: National Science Foundation. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978, The National...

  9. Biological studies in the Antarctic waters: A review

    Dhargalkar, V.K.

    stream_size 12 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Proc_Workshop_Antarct_Stud_1990_407.pdf.txt stream_source_info Proc_Workshop_Antarct_Stud_1990_407.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO...

  10. Laboratory study of nitrate photolysis in Antarctic snow

    Berhanu, Tesfaye A.; Meusinger, Carl; Erbland, Joseph;


    Atmospheric nitrate is preserved in Antarctic snow firn and ice. However, at low snow accumulation sites, post-depositional processes induced by sunlight obscure its interpretation. The goal of these studies (see also Paper I by Meusinger et al. [" Laboratory study of nitrate photolysis in Antarc...... reproduce the stable isotopic composition of nitrate found in Antarctic snow profiles. © 2014 Author(s)....

  11. An evaluation of selected Neidium species from the Antarctic Region

    Hamilton, P. B.; De Haan, M.; Kopalová, Kateřina; Zidarova, R.; Van de Vijver, B.


    Roč. 29, č. 1 (2014), s. 27-40. ISSN 0269-249X R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME 934; GA MŠk ME 945 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Bacillariophyta * biogeography * Neidium Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.746, year: 2014

  12. Fast recession of a West Antarctic glacier

    Rignot, EJ


    Satellite radar interferometry observations of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, reveal that the glacier hinge-line position retreated 1.2 ± 0.3 kilometers per year between 1992 and 1996, which in turn implies that the ice thinned by 3.5 ± 0.9 meters per year. The fast recession of Pine Island Glacier, predicted to be a possible trigger for the disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is attributed to enhanced basal melting of the glacier floating tongue by warm ocean waters.

  13. Automatic focusing system of BSST in Antarctic

    Tang, Peng-Yi; Liu, Jia-Jing; Zhang, Guang-yu; Wang, Jian


    Automatic focusing (AF) technology plays an important role in modern astronomical telescopes. Based on the focusing requirement of BSST (Bright Star Survey Telescope) in Antarctic, an AF system is set up. In this design, functions in OpenCV is used to find stars, the algorithm of area, HFD or FWHM are used to degree the focus metric by choosing. Curve fitting method is used to find focus position as the method of camera moving. All these design are suitable for unattended small telescope.

  14. Longitudinal surface structures (flowstripes on Antarctic glaciers

    N. F. Glasser


    Full Text Available Longitudinal surface structures (''flowstripes'' are common on many glaciers but their origin and significance are poorly understood. In this paper we present observations of the development of these longitudinal structures from four different Antarctic glacier systems (the Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf area, outlet glaciers in the Ross Sea sector, ice-shelf tributary glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula, and the onset zone of a tributary to the Recovery Glacier Ice Stream in the Filchner Ice Shelf area. Mapping from optical satellite images demonstrates that longitudinal surface structures develop in two main situations: (1 as relatively wide flow stripes within glacier flow units and (2 as relatively narrow flow stripes where there is convergent flow around nunataks or at glacier confluence zones. Our observations indicate that the confluence features are narrower, sharper, and more clearly defined features. They are characterised by linear troughs or depressions on the ice surface and are much more common than the former type. Longitudinal surface structures within glacier flow units have previously been explained as the surface expression of localised bed perturbations but a universal explanation for those forming at glacier confluences is lacking. Here we propose that these features are formed at zones of ice acceleration and extensional flow at glacier confluences. We provide a schematic model for the development of longitudinal surface structures based on extensional flow that can explain their ridge and trough morphology as well as their down-ice persistence.

  15. Interhemispheric coupling and warm Antarctic interglacials

    P. B. Holden


    Full Text Available Ice core evidence indicates that even though atmospheric CO2 concentrations did not exceed ~300 ppm at any point during the last 800 000 years, East Antarctica was at least ~3–4 °C warmer than pre-industrial (CO2 ~280 ppm in each of the last four interglacials. During the previous three interglacials, this anomalous warming was short lived (~3 000 years and apparently occurred before the completion of Northern Hemisphere deglaciation. Hereafter, we refer to these periods as "Warmer than Present Transients" (WPTs. We here present transient 800 kyr simulations using the intermediate complexity model GENIE-1 which suggest that WPTs could be explained as a consequence of the meltwater-forced slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC during glacial terminations. It is well known that a slowed AMOC would increase southern Sea Surface Temperature (SST through the bipolar seesaw. Observational data supports this hypothesis, suggesting that the AMOC remained weak throughout the terminations preceding WPTs, strengthening rapidly at a time which coincides closely with peak Antarctic temperature. In order to investigate model and boundary condition uncertainty, we additionally present three ensembles of transient GENIE-1 simulations across Termination II (135 000 to 124 000 BP and three snapshot HadCM3 simulations at 130 000 Before Present (BP. These simulations together reproduce both the timing and magnitude of WPTs, and point to the potential importance of an albedo feedback associated with West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS retreat.

  16. Solar power for an Antarctic rover

    Lever, J. H.; Ray, L. R.; Streeter, A.; Price, A.


    Sensors mounted on mobile robots could serve a variety of science missions in Antarctica. Although weather conditions can be harsh, Antarctic snowfields offer unique conditions to facilitate long-distance robot deployment: the absence of obstacles, firm snow with high albedo, and 24 h sunlight during the summer. We have developed a four-wheel-drive, solar-powered rover that capitalizes on these advantages. Analyses and field measurements confirm that solar power reflected from Antarctic snow contributes 30-40% of the power available to a robot consisting of a five-side box of solar panels. Mobility analyses indicate that the 80 kg rover can move at 0.8 m s-1 during clear sky conditions on firm snow into a 5 m s-1 headwind, twice the speed needed to achieve the design target of 500 km in 2 weeks. Local winter tests of the chassis demonstrated good grade-climbing ability and lower than predicted rolling resistance. Tests of the completed robot occurred in Greenland in 2005.

  17. Mitochondrial sequence divergence among Antarctic killer whale ecotypes is consistent with multiple species.

    LeDuc, Richard G; Robertson, Kelly M; Pitman, Robert L


    Recently, three visually distinct forms of killer whales (Orcinus orca) were described from Antarctic waters and designated as types A, B and C. Based on consistent differences in prey selection and habitat preferences, morphological divergence and apparent lack of interbreeding among these broadly sympatric forms, it was suggested that they may represent separate species. To evaluate this hypothesis, we compared complete sequences of the mitochondrial control region from 81 Antarctic killer whale samples, including 9 type A, 18 type B, 47 type C and 7 type-undetermined individuals. We found three fixed differences that separated type A from B and C, and a single fixed difference that separated type C from A and B. These results are consistent with reproductive isolation among the different forms, although caution is needed in drawing further conclusions. Despite dramatic differences in morphology and ecology, the relatively low levels of sequence divergence in Antarctic killer whales indicate that these evolutionary changes occurred relatively rapidly and recently. PMID:18524738

  18. Antarctic lakes (above and beneath the ice sheet): Analogues for Mars

    Rice, J. W., Jr.

    The perennial ice covered lakes of the Antarctic are considered to be excellent analogues to lakes that once existed on Mars. Field studies of ice covered lakes, paleolakes, and polar beaches were conducted in the Bunger Hills Oasis, Eastern Antarctica. These studies are extended to the Dry Valleys, Western Antarctica, and the Arctic. Important distinctions were made between ice covered and non-ice covered bodies of water in terms of the geomorphic signatures produced. The most notable landforms produced by ice covered lakes are ice shoved ridges. These features form discrete segmented ramparts of boulders and sediments pushed up along the shores of lakes and/or seas. Sub-ice lakes have been discovered under the Antarctic ice sheet using radio echo sounding. These lakes occur in regions of low surface slope, low surface accumulations, and low ice velocity, and occupy bedrock hollows. The presence of sub-ice lakes below the Martian polar caps is possible. The discovery of the Antarctic sub-ice lakes raises possibilities concerning Martian lakes and exobiology.

  19. Site-Specific Variability in the Chemical Diversity of the Antarctic Red Alga Plocamium cartilagineum

    Ryan M. Young


    Full Text Available Plocamium cartilagineum is a common red alga on the benthos of Antarctica and can be a dominant understory species along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Algae from this region have been studied chemically, and like “P. cartilagineum” from other worldwide locations where it is common, it is rich in halogenated monoterpenes, some of which have been implicated as feeding deterrents toward sympatric algal predators. Secondary metabolites are highly variable in this alga, both qualitatively and quantitatively, leading us to probe individual plants to track the possible link of variability to genetic or other factors. Using cox1 and rbcL gene sequencing, we find that the Antarctic alga divides into two closely related phylogroups, but not species, each of which is further divided into one of five chemogroups. The chemogroups themselves, defined on the basis of Bray-Curtis similarity profiling of GC/QqQ chromatographic analyses, are largely site specific within a 10 km2 area. Thus, on the limited geographical range of this analysis, P. cartilagineum displays only modest genetic radiation, but its secondary metabolome was found to have experienced more extensive radiation. Such metabogenomic divergence demonstrated on the larger geographical scale of the Antarctic Peninsula, or perhaps even continent-wide, may contribute to the discovery of cryptic speciation.

  20. Isolation and cellular fatty acid composition of psychrotrophic Halomonas strains from Antarctic sea water

    Vipra Vijay Jadhav


    Full Text Available Microorganisms from extreme environments such as Arctic, Antarctic and Polar regions modulate their membrane fatty acids to survive in such habitats. Characterization of such microorganisms helps in understanding their physiological behavior. In view of this, the present article describes isolation, characterization and cellular fatty acid composition of three bacterial isolates from Antarctic sea water samples. All the three isolates (BRI 6, 29 and 31 were psychrotrophic Gram negative rods. Their 16S rRNA sequencing (around 1200 bp revealed that all three of them belong to genus Halomonas. Each of them showed 99% sequence similarity to Halomonas neptunia Eplume1 (NR 027218, H. boliviensis LC1 (NR 029080 and H. variabilis DSM 3051 (NR 042068. The fatty acid analysis of our isolates indicated i predominance of C 18:1, C 16:0 and C16:1 fatty acids and absence of trans fatty acids in all of them and ii higher percentage of anteiso fatty acids than of iso fatty acids in BRI 6. These characteristic features may contribute to their adaptation to the Antarctic habitat.

  1. Projected asymmetric response of Adélie penguins to Antarctic climate change

    Cimino, Megan A.; Lynch, Heather J.; Saba, Vincent S.; Oliver, Matthew J.


    The contribution of climate change to shifts in a species’ geographic distribution is a critical and often unresolved ecological question. Climate change in Antarctica is asymmetric, with cooling in parts of the continent and warming along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). The Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is a circumpolar meso-predator exposed to the full range of Antarctic climate and is undergoing dramatic population shifts coincident with climate change. We used true presence-absence data on Adélie penguin breeding colonies to estimate past and future changes in habitat suitability during the chick-rearing period based on historic satellite observations and future climate model projections. During the contemporary period, declining Adélie penguin populations experienced more years with warm sea surface temperature compared to populations that are increasing. Based on this relationship, we project that one-third of current Adélie penguin colonies, representing ~20% of their current population, may be in decline by 2060. However, climate model projections suggest refugia may exist in continental Antarctica beyond 2099, buffering species-wide declines. Climate change impacts on penguins in the Antarctic will likely be highly site specific based on regional climate trends, and a southward contraction in the range of Adélie penguins is likely over the next century. PMID:27352849

  2. Where is the West Antarctic Rift System in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea sectors?

    Gohl, Karsten; Kalberg, Thomas; Eagles, Graeme; Dziadek, Ricarda; Kaul, Norbert; Spiegel, Cornelia; Lindow, Julia


    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is one of the largest continental rifts globally, but its lateral extent, distribution of local rifts, timing of rifting phases, and mantle processes are still largely enigmatic. It has been presumed that the rift and its crustal extensional processes have widely controlled the history and development of West Antarctic glaciation with an ice sheet of which most is presently based at sub-marine level and which is, therefore, likely to be highly sensitive to ocean warming. While the western domain of the WARS in the Ross Sea has been studied in some detail, only recently have various geophysical and geochemical/thermochronological analyses revealed indications for its eastern extent in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea sectors of the South Pacific realm. The current model, based on these studies and additional data, suggests that the WARS activity included tectonic translateral, transtensional and extensional processes from the Amundsen Sea Embayment to the Bellingshausen Sea region of the southern Antarctic Peninsula. We present the range of existing hypotheses regarding the extent of the eastern WARS as well as published and yet unpublished data that support a conceptual WARS model for the eastern West Antarctica with implications for glacial onset and developments.

  3. Ancient climate change, antifreeze, and the evolutionary diversification of Antarctic fishes.

    Near, Thomas J; Dornburg, Alex; Kuhn, Kristen L; Eastman, Joseph T; Pennington, Jillian N; Patarnello, Tomaso; Zane, Lorenzo; Fernández, Daniel A; Jones, Christopher D


    The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, but has experienced episodic climate change during the past 40 million years. It remains unclear how ancient periods of climate change have shaped Antarctic biodiversity. The origin of antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) in Antarctic notothenioid fishes has become a classic example of how the evolution of a key innovation in response to climate change can drive adaptive radiation. By using a time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of notothenioids and reconstructed paleoclimate, we demonstrate that the origin of AFGP occurred between 42 and 22 Ma, which includes a period of global cooling approximately 35 Ma. However, the most species-rich lineages diversified and evolved significant ecological differences at least 10 million years after the origin of AFGPs, during a second cooling event in the Late Miocene (11.6-5.3 Ma). This pattern indicates that AFGP was not the sole trigger of the notothenioid adaptive radiation. Instead, the bulk of the species richness and ecological diversity originated during the Late Miocene and into the Early Pliocene, a time coincident with the origin of polar conditions and increased ice activity in the Southern Ocean. Our results challenge the current understanding of the evolution of Antarctic notothenioids suggesting that the ecological opportunity that underlies this adaptive radiation is not linked to a single trait, but rather to a combination of freeze avoidance offered by AFGPs and subsequent exploitation of new habitats and open niches created by increased glacial and ice sheet activity. PMID:22331888

  4. Deterrent activities in the crude lipophilic fractions of Antarctic benthic organisms: chemical defences against keystone predators

    Laura Núñez-Pons


    Full Text Available Generalist predation constitutes a driving force for the evolution of chemical defences. In the Antarctic benthos, asteroids and omnivore amphipods are keystone opportunistic predators. Sessile organisms are therefore expected to develop defensive mechanisms mainly against such consumers. However, the different habits characterizing each predator may promote variable responses in prey. Feeding-deterrence experiments were performed with the circumpolar asteroid macropredator Odontaster validus to evaluate the presence of defences within the apolar lipophilic fraction of Antarctic invertebrates and macroalgae. A total of 51% of the extracts were repellent, yielding a proportion of 17 defended species out of the 31 assessed. These results are compared with a previous study in which the same fractions were offered to the abundant circum-Antarctic amphipod Cheirimedon femoratus. Overall, less deterrence was reported towards asteroids (51% than against amphipods (80.8%, principally in sponge and algal extracts. Generalist amphipods, which establish casual host–prey sedentary associations with biosubstrata (preferentially sponges and macroalgae, may exert more localized predation pressure than sea stars on certain sessile prey, which would partly explain these results. The nutritional quality of prey may interact with feeding deterrents, whose production is presumed to be metabolically expensive. Although optimal defence theory posits that chemical defences are managed and distributed as to guarantee protection at the lowest cost, we found that only a few organisms localized feeding deterrents towards most exposed and/or valuable body regions. Lipophilic defensive metabolites are broadly produced in Antarctic communities to deter opportunistic predators, although several species combine different defensive traits.

  5. Antarctic Forcing of Abrupt Global Climate Change During Isotope Stage 3

    Turney, Christian; Jones, Richard; Phipps, Steven; Thomas, Zoë; Hogg, Alan; Kershaw, Peter; Fogwill, Christopher; Palmer, Jonathan; Bronk Ramsey, Christopher; Adolphi, Florian; Muscheler, Raimund; Hughen, Konrad; Staff, Richard; Grosvenor, Mark; Golledge, Nicholas; Haberle, Simon


    Contrasting Greenland and Antarctic temperature trends during the late Pleistocene (60,000 to 11,650 years ago) are thought to be driven by imbalances in the rate of formation of North Atlantic and Antarctic Deep Water (the 'bipolar seesaw'), with millennial-scale cooling Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events in the north leading warming in the south. An alternative origin for these abrupt climate shifts, however, is the Southern Hemisphere whereby changes are transmitted globally via atmospheric and/or oceanic teleconnections. Testing these competing hypotheses is challenging given the relatively large uncertainties associated with dating terrestrial, marine and ice core chronologies. Here we use a fully coupled climate system model to investigate whether freshening of the Southern Ocean has extra-regional climate impacts. Focusing on an Isotope Stage 3 cooling event preserved in Antarctic ice cores immediately prior to Antarctic Isotope Maximum 4 (AIM 4; around 29,000 years ago) we undertook an ensemble of transient meltwater simulations. We observe no impact on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) from freshwater hosing in the Southern Ocean but a dramatic warming over the North Atlantic and contrasting precipitation patterns across the low latitudes. Exploiting a new bidecadally-resolved 14C calibration dataset obtained from New Zealand kauri (Agathis australis) we undertook intensive radiocarbon dating and high-resolution multiproxy analysis of the tropical Australia Lynch's Crater terrestrial peat sequence spanning this same period and find a synchronous change in hydroclimate to the purported meltwater event in the Southern Ocean. Our results imply Southern Ocean dynamics played a significant role in driving global climate change across this period via atmospheric teleconnections, with implications for other abrupt events through the late Pleistocene.

  6. Future Antarctic bed topography and its implications for ice sheet dynamics

    S. Adhikari


    Full Text Available The Antarctic bedrock is evolving as the solid Earth responds to the past and ongoing evolution of the ice sheet. A~recently improved ice loading history suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS is generally losing its mass since the last glacial maximum (LGM. In a sustained warming climate, the AIS is predicted to retreat at a greater pace primarily via melting beneath the ice shelves. We employ the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA capability of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM to combine these past and future ice loadings and provide the new solid Earth computations for the AIS. We find that the past loading is relatively less important than future loading on the evolution of the future bed topography. Our computations predict that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS may uplift by a few meters and a few tens of meters at years 2100 and 2500 AD, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS is likely to remain unchanged or subside minimally except around the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amundsen Sea Sector in particular is predicted to rise at the greatest rate; one hundred years of ice evolution in this region, for example, predicts that the coastline of Pine Island Bay approaches roughly 45 mm yr−1 in viscoelastic vertical motion. Of particular importance, we systematically demonstrate that the effect of a pervasive and large GIA uplift in the WAIS is associated with the flattening of reverse bed, reduction of local sea depth, and thus the extension of grounding line (GL towards the continental shelf. Using the 3-D higher-order ice flow capability of ISSM, such a migration of GL is shown to inhibit the ice flow. This negative feedback between the ice sheet and the solid Earth may promote the stability to marine portions of the ice sheet in future.

  7. Leaf and floral heating in cold climates: do sub-Antarctic megaherbs resemble tropical alpine giants?

    Lorna Little


    Full Text Available High latitude and altitude floras are characterized by low-statured, small, wind-pollinated plants, which mainly reproduce by self-pollination or asexual reproduction. However, at odds with this are some sub-Antarctic islands that have plant species with giant growth forms and large, brightly coloured flowers which require insect visitation for pollination. The size, colour and shape of the inflorescences and leaves of these megaherbs suggest thermal benefits similar to giant tropical alpine plants of equatorial Africa, South America and Hawaii. We evaluated whether heating occurs in sub-Antarctic megaherbs, and to what extent it is related to environmental variables. We measured leaf and inflorescence temperature in six sub-Antarctic megaherb species on Campbell Island, latitude 52.3°S, New Zealand Biological Region. Using thermal imaging techniques, in combination with measurement of solar radiation, ambient air temperature, wind speed, wind chill and humidity, we assessed environmental influences on leaf and floral heating. We found that leaf and inflorescence temperatures of all megaherbs were higher than simultaneously measured ambient temperatures. Greatest heating was seen in Pleurophyllum speciosum, with observed leaves 9°C higher, and inflorescences nearly 11°C higher, than ambient temperature. Heating was highly correlated with brief, unpredictable periods of solar radiation, and occurred most rapidly in species with hairy, corrugated leaves and darkly pigmented, densely packed inflorescences. This is the first evidence that floral and leaf heating occurs in sub-Antarctic megaherbs, and suggests that leaf hairiness, flower colour and shape could provide thermal benefits like those seen in tropical alpine megaherbs.

  8. Evaluation of soil bioremediation techniques in an aged diesel spill at the Antarctic Peninsula.

    de Jesus, Hugo E; Peixoto, Raquel S; Cury, Juliano C; van Elsas, Jan D; Rosado, Alexandre S


    Many areas on the Antarctic continent already suffer from the direct and indirect influences of human activities. The main cause of contamination is petroleum hydrocarbons because this compound is used as a source of energy at the many research stations around the continent. Thus, the current study aims to evaluate treatments for bioremediation (biostimulation, bioaugmentation, and bioaugmentation + biostimulation) using soils from around the Brazilian Antarctic Station "Comandante Ferraz" (EACF), King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula. The experiment lasted for 45 days, and at the end of this period, chemical and molecular analyses were performed. Those analyses included the quantification of carbon and nitrogen, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis (with gradient denaturation), real-time PCR, and quantification of total hydrocarbons and polyaromatics. Molecular tests evaluated changes in the profile and quantity of the rrs genes of archaea and bacteria and also the alkB gene. The influence of the treatments tested was directly related to the type of soil used. The work confirmed that despite the extreme conditions found in Antarctic soils, the bacterial strains degraded hydrocarbons and bioremediation treatments directly influenced the microbial communities present in these soils even in short periods. Although the majority of the previous studies demonstrate that the addition of fertilizer seems to be most effective at promoting bioremediation, our results show that for some conditions, autochthonous bioaugmentation (ABA) treatment is indicated. This work highlights the importance of understanding the processes of recovery of contaminated environments in polar regions because time is crucial to the soil recovery and to choosing the appropriate treatment. PMID:26286513

  9. The Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014: Practicing 'Citizen-Science' in a Changing World

    Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S.


    Government funding is the cornerstone of modern science. But with declining investment in science across most of the Western World, a major challenge for society is where best to place what little resource we have. Which research questions should have the greatest priority? Nowhere are these issues more pressing than in the Antarctic, where bases have and continue to play host to 'big-science', multi-year programmes of research, locking up logistical support and costs. But in a warming world, the areas with the greatest effects of climate change aren't always near government research stations. With this in mind, in 2012 a plan was formed to visit Commonwealth Bay, a remote area off the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, where in 2010, an iceberg the size of Rhode Island, known as B09B, dramatically knocked a 60-mile long tongue of ice off the Mertz Glacier into the Southern Ocean, setting off a cascade of change. Inspired by the expeditions of the past, we advertised berths for sale to take citizen scientists south with us, harnessing their interest, experience and investment. People responded far and wide. We were oversubscribed, and the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014 was born. With the Russian-owned MV Akademik Shokalskiy as the expedition vessel, we set out south from the New Zealand port of Bluff in late November 2013. During our journey south and on the ice we undertook a number of scientific firsts for the region actively engaging the volunteer scientists on board in projects ranging from oceanography, biology, ecology, geology and glaciaology. The expedition demostrated how private funding could support targeted programmes of research and communicate it to the wider world. Small-science research can capture the public's imagination and also reap real scientific outputs. Although it is a funding model developed in the Antarctic a hundred years ago, the beauty is it can applied anywhere in the world.

  10. Speedup and fracturing of George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    T. O. Holt


    Full Text Available George VI Ice Shelf (GVIIS is located on the Antarctic Peninsula, a region where several ice shelves have undergone rapid breakup in response to atmospheric and oceanic warming. We use a combination of optical (Landsat, radar (ERS 1/2 SAR and laser altimetry (GLAS datasets to examine the response of GVIIS to environmental change and to offer an assessment on its future stability. The spatial and structural changes of GVIIS (ca. 1973 to ca. 2010 are mapped and surface velocities are calculated at different time periods (InSAR and optical feature tracking from 1989 to 2009 to document changes in the ice shelf's flow regime. Surface elevation changes are recorded between 2003 and 2008 using repeat track ICESat acquisitions. We note an increase in fracture extent and distribution at the south ice front, ice-shelf acceleration towards both the north and south ice fronts and spatially varied negative surface elevation change throughout, with greater variations observed towards the central and southern regions of the ice shelf. We propose that whilst GVIIS is in no imminent danger of collapse, it is vulnerable to ongoing atmospheric and oceanic warming and is more susceptible to breakup along its southern margin in ice preconditioned for further retreat.

  11. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    D. J. Cavalieri


    Full Text Available In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has, like the Arctic, instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr period 1979–2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and Western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but differences in the magnitudes of the two trends identify regions with overall increasing ice concentrations and others with overall decreasing ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  12. Presence of parasites in pinnipeds from the Antarctic Peninsula Presencia de parásitos en pinnípedos de la Península Antártica

    Rengifo Herrera, María del Carmen


    NOTA 520 8 The Antarctic region is the most isolated on earth. Recently, it has been recognised as a place worthy of very high standards of environmental protection. However, the constant human intromission and the worldwide environmental degradation have been identified as serious risks in the introduction and spread of diseases, exerting an influence on health of Antarctic wildlife. With regard to this topic, marine mammals have been described as prime sentinels of aquatic ecosystems. Pin...

  13. Different adaptations of Chinese winter-over expeditioners during prolonged Antarctic and sub-Antarctic residence

    Chen, Nan; Wu, Quan; Li, Hao; Zhang, Tao; Xu, Chengli


    Prolonged residence in Antarctica is characterized by exposure to isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) environment. Winter-over expeditioners at research stations often exhibit a complex of psychophysiological symptoms, which varied by stations and sociocultural backgrounds. To understand the different patterns of psychophysiological responses provoked by environmental stress, we conducted a longitudinal assessment of mood and endocrine function in two groups of Chinese expeditioners who were deployed to sub-Antarctic (Great Wall Station, 62°S, N = 12) and Antarctic (Zhongshan Station, 66°S, N = 16) from December 2003 to 2005. Measures of mood, thyroid function, the levels of plasma catecholamine, and circulating interleukins were obtained at departure from China, mid-winter (Antarctica), end of winter (Antarctica), and return to China, respectively. The Zhongshan Station crew experienced significant increases in fatigue, anger, tension, confusion, and decrease in free thyroxine (FT4), norepinephrine (NE), and epinephrine (E) during the winter, increase in thyrotropin (TSH) and total triiodothyronine (TT3) when returning, whereas their counterparts at Great Wall Station only experienced increased TT3 after deployment. Moreover, compared with the Great Wall Station crew, the Zhongshan Station crew exhibited greater increase in anger, greater decrease in FT4, total thyroxine (TT4), NE and E over the winter, and greater increase in TSH when returning. Chinese expeditioners who lived and worked at the Antarctic station and the sub-Antarctic station for over a year showed different change patterns in mood and endocrine hormones. Negative mood and endocrine dysfunction were positively associated with the severity of environment. The study is a supplement to scientific knowledge on psychophysiological variation under ICE environment, which has certain applied value for the development of preventive countermeasures or interventions.

  14. Near UV atmospheric absorption measurements from the DC-8 aircraft during the 1987 airborne Antarctic ozone experiment

    Wahner, A.; Jakoubek, R. O.; Ravishankara, A. R.; Mount, G. H.; Schmeltekopf, A. L.


    During the Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment from 28 August to 30 September 1987 near UV zenith scattered sky measurements were made over Antarctic from the NASA DC-8 aircraft using a one third m spectrograph equipped with a diode-array detector. Scattered sky light data in the wavelength range 348 nm to 388 nm was spectrally analyzed for O3, NO2, OClO, and BrO column abundances. Slant column abudances of O3, NO2, OClO and BrO were determined, using a computer algorithm of non-linear and linear least square correlation of Antarctic scattered sky spectra to laboratory absorption cross section data. Using measured vertical electrochemical sonde ozone profiles from Palmer, Halley Bay, and the South Pole Stations the slant columns of O3 were converted into vertical column abundances. The vertical column amounts of NO2, OClO, and BrO were derived using vertical profiles calculated by a chemical model appropriate for Antarctica. NO2 vertical column abundances show steep latitudinal decrease with increasing latitude for all 13 flights carried out during the mission. In the regions where NO2 abudances are low, OClO and BrO were observed. The spatial and temporal vertical column abundances of these species are discussed in the context of the chemistry and dynamics in the antarctic polar vortex during the austral spring.

  15. Contribution of liquid, NAT and ice particles to chlorine activation and ozone depletion during Antarctic winter and spring

    O. Kirner


    Full Text Available Heterogeneous reactions in the Antarctic stratosphere are the cause of chlorine activation and ozone depletion, but the relative roles of different types of PSCs in chlorine activation is an open question. We use multi-year simulations of the chemistry-climate model EMAC to investigate the impact that the various types of PSCs have on Antarctic chlorine activation and ozone loss. One standard and three sensitivity EMAC simulations have been performed. The results of these simulations show that the significance of heterogeneous reactions on NAT and ice particles, in comparison to liquid particles, is subordinate regarding chlorine activation and ozone depletion in Antarctic winter and spring. The heterogeneous chemistry on liquid particles is sufficient to activate at least 90% of the chlorine reservoir species. With the exception of the upper PSC regions between 10 and 30 hPa where temporarily the ice particles have a relevant contribution to the chlorine activation and during the initial PSC occurrence with short NAT contributions the liquid particles alone are sufficient to activate almost all of the available chlorine. In the model simulations heterogeneous chemistry on liquid particles is responsible for more than 90% of the ozone depletion in Antarctic spring. Only up to 5 DU of column ozone in high southern latitudes is depleted by chlorine activation due to additional heterogeneous chemistry on ice particles and less than 0.5 DU due to additional heterogeneous chemistry on NAT particles.

  16. Biomarkers and Microbial Fossils In Antarctic Rocks

    Wierzchos, J.; Ascaso, C.

    Lithobiontic microbial communities living within Antarctic rocks are an example of survival in an extremely cold and dry environment. Any unfavourable change in ex- ternal conditions can result in the death and disappearance of microscopic organisms, and this may be followed by the appearance of trace biomarkers and microbial fossils. The extinction of these microorganisms in some zones of the Ross Desert, probably provoked by the hostile environment, might be considered a good terrestrial analogue of the first stage of the disappearance of possible life on early Mars. Granite samples from maritime Antarctica (Granite Harbour) and sandstone rocks from the continental Ross Desert were collected with the aim of searching for biomarkers and microbial fossils at the microscopic level of observation. To this end, a novel in situ applica- tion of scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron imaging was com- bined with the simultaneous use of X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy techniques. Our findings confirm the existence of inorganic biomarkers in the form of physico- chemically bioweathered minerals within the granitic rocks. The presence of Fe-rich diagenetic minerals, such as iron hydroxide nanocrystals and biogenic clays around chasmoendolithic hyphae and bacterial cells was also observed. Others biomarkers, including inorganic deposits such as calcium oxalates and silica accumulations, are clear signs of endolithic microorganism activity. The interior of the sandstone rocks (Ross Desert, Mt. Fleming) reveal the presence of microbial fossils of algae and other endolithic microorganisms. These microbial fossils, detected for the first time within Antarctic rocks, contain well preserved and morphologically distinguishable relics of ultrastructural cytoplasm elements, such as cell walls, chloroplast membranes, and oc- casionally, pyrenoids and traces of organic matter. These structures are similar to those observed in live cells also found in Antarctic

  17. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    D. J. Cavalieri


    Full Text Available In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has (like the Arctic instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr period 1979–2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but the magnitudes of the two trends differ, and in some cases these differences allow inferences about the corresponding changes in sea ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  18. Aqueous uptake and sublethal toxicity of p,p′-DDE in non-feeding larval stages of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba)

    This study evaluated the toxicological sensitivity of non-feeding larval stages of a key Antarctic species (Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba) to p,p′-dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) exposure. The aqueous uptake clearance rate of 84 mL g−1 preserved weight (p.w.) h−1 determined for p,p′-DDE in Antarctic krill larvae is comparable to previous findings for small cold water crustaceans and five times slower than the rates reported for an amphipod inhabiting warmer waters. Natural variations in larval physiology appear to influence contaminant uptake and larval krill behavioural responses, strongly highlighting the importance of time of measurement for ecotoxicological testing. Sublethal narcosis (immobility) was observed in larval Antarctic krill from p,p′-DDE body residues of 0.2 mmol/kg p.w., which is in agreement with findings for adult krill and temperate aquatic species. The finding of comparable body residue-based toxicity of p,p′-DDE between polar and temperate species supports the tissue residue approach for environmental risk assessment of polar ecosystems. - Highlights: ► p,p′-DDE uptake in Antarctic krill larvae compares with similar cold water species. ► However, uptake is slow compared to ‘warm water’ species. ► Larval physiology appears to affect behavioural responses to toxicant exposure. ► Larval Antarctic krill internal sensitivity to p,p′-DDE is similar to temperate species. ► Supporting the tissue residue approach for environmental risk assessment in polar regions. - For baseline toxicity, the body residue-based toxicological sensitivity of Antarctic krill larvae to p,p′-DDE exposure is comparable to that of temperate aquatic species.

  19. Changes in the West Antarctic ice sheet

    The portion of the West Antarctic ice sheet that flows into the Ross Sea is thinning in some places and thickening in others. These changes are not caused by any current climatic change, but by the combination of a delayed response to the end of the last global glacial cycle and an internal instability. The near-future impact of the ice sheet on global sea level is largely due to processes internal to the movement of the ice sheet, and not so much to the threat of a possible greenhouse warming. Thus the near-term future of the ice sheet is already determined. However, too little of the ice sheet has been surveyed to predict its overall future behavior

  20. Joint Antarctic School Expedition - An International Collaboration for High School Students and Teachers on Antarctic Science

    Botella, J.; Warburton, J.; Bartholow, S.; Reed, L. F.


    The Joint Antarctic School Expedition (JASE) is an international collaboration program between high school students and teachers from the United States and Chile aimed at providing the skills required for establishing the scientific international collaborations that our globalized world demands, and to develop a new approach for science education. The National Antarctic Programs of Chile and the United States worked together on a pilot program that brought high school students and teachers from both countries to Punta Arenas, Chile, in February 2014. The goals of this project included strengthening the partnership between the two countries, and building relationships between future generations of scientists, while developing the students' awareness of global scientific issues and expanding their knowledge and interest in Antarctica and polar science. A big component of the project involved the sharing by students of the acquired knowledge and experiences with the general public. JASE is based on the successful Chilean Antarctic Science Fair developed by Chile´s Antarctic Research Institute. For 10 years, small groups of Chilean students, each mentored by a teacher, perform experimental or bibliographical Antarctic research. Winning teams are awarded an expedition to the Chilean research station on King George Island. In 2014, the Chileans invited US participation in this program in order to strengthen science ties for upcoming generations. On King George Island, students have hands-on experiences conducting experiments and learning about field research. While the total number of students directly involved in the program is relatively small, the sharing of the experience by students with the general public is a novel approach to science education. Research experiences for students, like JASE, are important as they influence new direction for students in science learning, science interest, and help increase science knowledge. We will share experiences with the

  1. Organic carbon in Antarctic snow: spatial trends and possible sources

    Antony, R.; Mahalinganathan, K.; Thamban, M.; Nair, S.

    Organic carbon records in Antarctic snow are sparse despite the fact that it is of great significance to global carbon dynamics, snow photochemistry, and air–snow exchange processes. Here, surface snow total organic carbon (TOC) along with sea...

  2. Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Daily Antarctic Oscillation Index

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) is a leading teleconnection pattern in the Southern Hemisphere circulation. It is calculated as the first Empirical Orthogonal...

  3. Morphogenesis of Antarctic Paleosols: Martian Analogue

    Mahaney, W. C.; Dohm, J. M.; Baker, V. R.; Newsom, Horton E.; Malloch, D.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Campbell, Iain; Sheppard, D.; Milner, M. W.


    Samples of horizons in paleosols from the Quartermain Mountains of the Antarctic Dry Valleys (Aztec and New Mountain areas) were analyzed for their physical characteristics, mineralogy, chemical composition, and microbiology to determine the accumulation and movement of salts and other soluble constituents and the presence/absence of microbial populations. Salt concentrations are of special interest because they are considered to be a function of age, derived over time, in part from nearby oceanic and high-altitude atmospheric sources. The chemical composition of ancient Miocene-age paleosols in these areas is the direct result of the deposition and weathering of airborne-influxed salts and other materials, as well as the weathering of till derived principally from local dolerite and sandstone outcrops. Paleosols nearer the coast have greater contents of Cl, whereas near the inland ice sheet, nitrogen tends to increase on a relative basis. The accumulation and vertical distribution of salts and other soluble chemical elements indicate relative amounts of movement in the profile over long periods of time, in the order of several million years. Four of the six selected subsamples from paleosol horizons in two ancient soil profiles contained nil concentrations of bacteria and fungi. However, two horizons at depths of between 3 and 8 cm, in two profiles, yielded several colonies of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Penicillium brevicompactum, indicating very minor input of organic carbon. Beauveria bassiana is often reported in association with insects and is used commercially for the biological control of some insect pests. Penicillium species are commonly isolated from Arctic, temperate, and tropical soils and are known to utilize a wide variety of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds. The cold, dry soils of the Antarctic bear a close resemblance to various present and past martian environments where similar weathering could occur and possible microbial populations

  4. Holocene subsurface temperature variability in the eastern Antarctic continental margin

    Kim, J. H.; X. Crosta; Willmott, V.; Renssen, H.; J. Bonnin; Helmke, P.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.


    We reconstructed subsurface (similar to 45-200 m water depth) temperature variability in the eastern Antarctic continental margin during the late Holocene, using an archaeal lipid-based temperature proxy (TEX86 L). Our results reveal that subsurface temperature changes were probably positively coupled to the variability of warmer, nutrient-rich Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW, deep water of the Antarctic circumpolar current) intrusion onto the continental shelf. The TEX86 L record, in c...

  5. Wind profile radar for study of Antarctic air circulation

    After a brief discussion of meteorological methods used in the Antarctic, the paper gives an outline of a coordinated international research project whose objective is to set up a wind profiler radar station that would give meteorologists information regarding Antarctic atmospheric dynamics useful in their investigation of the causes and effects of the hole in the ozone layer. The radar instrumentation is to provide continuous readings of wind velocity at varying altitudes above the polar continent

  6. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    Naish, T.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, PO Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; Powell, R.; Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.; Levy, R.; ANDRILL Science Management Office, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, USA; Wilson, G.; University of Otago, Department of Geology, PO Box 56, Leith Street, Dunedin, Otago 9001, New Zealand; Scherer, R.; Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.; Talarico, F.; Universita` di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze delle Terra, Via Laterina 8, I-53100 Siena, Italy; Krissek, L.; Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Niessen, F.; Alfred Wegener Institute, Department of Geosciences, Postfach 12 01 6, Am Alten Hafen 26, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany; Pompilio, M.; Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione Pisa, Pisa, Italia; Wilson, T.; Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Carter, L.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, PO Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; DeConto, R.; Department of Geosciences, 233 Morrell Science Centre, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-9297, USA; Huybers, P.; Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Massachusetts 02138, USA; McKay, R.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington - New Zealand; Pollard, D.; Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, 2217 Earth-Engineering Science Bldg, University Park, PA 16802, USA


    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records frommicrofossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth’s orbital geometry control the ice ages1, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles2. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the ‘warmer-than- present’ early-Pliocene epoch (̃5–3Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possibl...

  7. Remotely-Sensed Glacier Change Estimation: a Case Study at Lindblad Cove, Antarctic Peninsula

    Fieber, K. D.; Mills, J. P.; Miller, P. E.; Fox, A. J.


    This study builds on existing literature of glacier change estimation in polar regions and is a continuation of efforts aimed at unlocking the information encapsulated in archival aerial photography of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers. Historical aerial imagery acquired in 1957 over three marine-terminating glaciers at Lindblad Cove on the West Coast of Trinity Peninsula is processed to extract digital elevation models (DEMs) which are subsequently compared to DEMs generated from present day (2014) WorldView-2 satellite stereo-imagery. The new WorldView-2 images offer unprecedented sub-metre resolution of the Antarctic Peninsula and are explored here to facilitate improved registration and higher accuracy analysis of glacier changes. Unlike many studies, which focus on glacier fronts or only restricted regions of glaciers, this paper presents a complete coverage of elevation changes across the glacier surfaces for two of the studied glaciers. The study utilises a robust least squares matching technique to ensure precise registration of the archival and modern DEMs, which is applied due to lack of existing ground control in this remote region. This case study reveals that, while many glaciers in polar regions are reported as experiencing significant mass loss, some glaciers are stable or even demonstrate mass gain. All three glaciers reported here demonstrated overall mean increases in surface elevation, indicative of positive mass balance ranging from 0.6 to 5.8 metre water equivalent between 1957 and 2014.

  8. Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability.

    Turner, John; Lu, Hua; White, Ian; King, John C; Phillips, Tony; Hosking, J Scott; Bracegirdle, Thomas J; Marshall, Gareth J; Mulvaney, Robert; Deb, Pranab


    Since the 1950s, research stations on the Antarctic Peninsula have recorded some of the largest increases in near-surface air temperature in the Southern Hemisphere. This warming has contributed to the regional retreat of glaciers, disintegration of floating ice shelves and a 'greening' through the expansion in range of various flora. Several interlinked processes have been suggested as contributing to the warming, including stratospheric ozone depletion, local sea-ice loss, an increase in westerly winds, and changes in the strength and location of low-high-latitude atmospheric teleconnections. Here we use a stacked temperature record to show an absence of regional warming since the late 1990s. The annual mean temperature has decreased at a statistically significant rate, with the most rapid cooling during the Austral summer. Temperatures have decreased as a consequence of a greater frequency of cold, east-to-southeasterly winds, resulting from more cyclonic conditions in the northern Weddell Sea associated with a strengthening mid-latitude jet. These circulation changes have also increased the advection of sea ice towards the east coast of the peninsula, amplifying their effects. Our findings cover only 1% of the Antarctic continent and emphasize that decadal temperature changes in this region are not primarily associated with the drivers of global temperature change but, rather, reflect the extreme natural internal variability of the regional atmospheric circulation. PMID:27443743

  9. Transcriptomics and comparative analysis of three antarctic notothenioid fishes.

    Seung Chul Shin

    Full Text Available For the past 10 to 13 million years, Antarctic notothenioid fish have undergone extraordinary periods of evolution and have adapted to a cold and highly oxygenated Antarctic marine environment. While these species are considered an attractive model with which to study physiology and evolutionary adaptation, they are poorly characterized at the molecular level, and sequence information is lacking. The transcriptomes of the Antarctic fishes Notothenia coriiceps, Chaenocephalus aceratus, and Pleuragramma antarcticum were obtained by 454 FLX Titanium sequencing of a normalized cDNA library. More than 1,900,000 reads were assembled in a total of 71,539 contigs. Overall, 40% of the contigs were annotated based on similarity to known protein or nucleotide sequences, and more than 50% of the predicted transcripts were validated as full-length or putative full-length cDNAs. These three Antarctic fishes shared 663 genes expressed in the brain and 1,557 genes expressed in the liver. In addition, these cold-adapted fish expressed more Ub-conjugated proteins compared to temperate fish; Ub-conjugated proteins are involved in maintaining proteins in their native state in the cold and thermally stable Antarctic environments. Our transcriptome analysis of Antarctic notothenioid fish provides an archive for future studies in molecular mechanisms of fundamental genetic questions, and can be used in evolution studies comparing other fish.

  10. Effect of Antarctic solar radiation on sewage bacteria viability

    Hughes, K.A. [National Environment Research Council, Cambridge (United Kingdom). British Antarctic Survey


    The majority of coastal Antarctic research stations discard untreated sewage waste into the near-shore marine environment. However, Antarctic solar conditions are unique, with ozone depletion increasing the proportion of potentially damaging ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation reaching the marine environment. This study assessed the influence of Antarctic solar radiation on the viability of Escherichia coli and sewage microorganisms at Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctic Peninsula. Cell viability decreased with increased exposure time and with exposure to shorter wavelengths of solar radiation. Cell survival also declined with decreasing cloud cover, solar zenith angle and ozone column depth. However, particulates in sewage increased the persistence of viable bacteria. Ultraviolet radiation doses over Rothera Point were highest during the austral summer. During this time, solar radiation may act to partially reduce the number of viable sewage-derived microorganisms in the surface seawater around Antarctic outfalls. Nevertheless, this effect is not reliable and every effort should be made to fully treat sewage before release into the Antarctic marine environment. (author)