Antarctic Ecosystems: Environmental Contamination, Climate by Professor Dr. Roberto Bargagli (auth.)

By Professor Dr. Roberto Bargagli (auth.)

Choice remarkable identify! (January 2006)

The photo of Antarctica as a logo of the final nice barren region and pristine atmosphere has replaced significantly within the final twenty years. Environmental difficulties akin to the ozone gap and the break-up of ice-shelves have proven that Antarctica is inextricably associated with international tactics and uncovered to the effect of human actions within the remainder of the area. This quantity presents an outline of weather swap info, its results at the constitution and functioning of Antarctic ecosystems, and the incidence and biking of power contaminants. It discusses the original physico-chemical features of the Antarctic atmosphere, ecophysiological variations of terrestrial and marine organisms, the move of contaminants in pelagic and neritic nutrients chains and the potential results for animals at larger trophic degrees. The textual content concludes with attainable destiny situations of weather swap and atmospheric infection and the position of Antarctic organisms within the early detection of environmental perturbations.

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Extra resources for Antarctic Ecosystems: Environmental Contamination, Climate Change, and Human Impact

Sample text

Inversions are usually associated with calm anticyclonic conditions occurring in winter, and their thickness ranges from 10 m to a few hundred metres. Temperatures above the inversion layer may sometimes be 20–30 °C higher than those at the surface (Schwerdtfeger 1970, 1984). The terrain slope, elevation, strong winds and influx of thick cloud shields over the continent (associated with cyclonic activity near the coast) can disrupt surface inversions (Carroll 1994). Many Antarctic blizzards are therefore accompanied by a rise in temperature which provides no relief to humans because of wind chill.

Bargagli involved in the study of climate change were not completely confident that global temperature increases were beyond the range of natural variations, during the last decade, based on the measured warming trend, a better understanding of global processes, and progress in the differentiation between natural and anthropogenic influences, scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 1996) concluded that there is a discernible impact of human activity on recent changes in the climate.

Routine satellite records show considerable inter-annual variability in the winter extent of ice in the Bellingshausen Sea, although remote sensing records are not long enough to determine whether there is a significant relationship between the sea-ice extent and winter warming (Gloersen and Campbell 1988). Besides the sea-ice extent, other factors also probably contribute to the increase in surface temperature in the western Antarctic Peninsula. A strong northerly component of atmospheric circulation, with the advection of warmer air masses, is associated with anomalous winter temperatures (King 1994).

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