Antarc­tic Penin­sula gets greener

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

Penin­sula is turn­ing green, with ris­ing temperatures hav­ing a kdra­matic ef­fecty on the growth of moss, sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered. Since 1950, temperatures in the Antarc­tic Penin­sula have risen by about 0.5oC each decade—much faster than the global av­er­age. And growth rates of moss af­ter 1950 have been four to five times the level be­fore that year, ac­cord­ing to a study by the UK-based re­searchers who stud­ied three sites across a 1,000km stretch of the penin­sula.

Re­searchers from the Uni­ver­si­ties of Ex­eter and Cam­bridge and the Bri­tish Antarc­tic Sur­vey stud­ied a 150-year pe­riod of moss growth in the Antarc­tic Penin­sula by tak­ing sam­ples from the ma­te­rial laid down each year. The re­searchers, also looked into how sen­si­tive the moss would be to fur­ther warm­ing.

k7KH re­sults of that anal­y­sis lead us to be­lieve there will be a fu­ture green­ing of the Antarc­tic and a fur­ther in­crease in moss growth rates,y Matt Ames­bury, one of the study au­thors said. How­ever, the Antarc­tic has a long way to go be­fore its ap­pear­ance is rad­i­cally trans­formed. kThere is 0.34 per cent of the en­tire Antarc­tic con­ti­nent that is pre­dom­i­nantly ice-free. Whilst we are talk­ing about a green­ing and our re­sults show quite strongly that there is likely to be in­creased moss growth in terms of the rate and spa­tial cov­er­age, as a whole the Antarc­tic will re­main a white place for a long time to come,y said Ames­bury.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.