Researchers note that the amount of floating sea ice has reached record levels. But the most “strange” and worrying phenomenon is that it is getting faster and bigger The spread of flowering plants and algae in Antarctica.
Last year, the icy continent experienced its worst heat wave. In March, temperatures of up to 39°C were documented in East Antarctica. As scholars wrote, “It was The largest temperature anomaly ever recorded in the world“.
As Dr. Edward Blanchard-Wigglesworth of the University of Washington (UW) reported, during field research, scientists in Antarctica wore only shorts and no shirt.
The researchers wanted to check how much last year’s heatwave affected Antarctica. That’s why they used what’s called the story approach. As specialists explain, this is it Own modeling strategy, which is based on “the development of past events, processes, or possible future trajectories.” The purpose of this type of analysis is to recreate current climate events.
The scientists write: “We have found that climate changes have occurred over the past century The heat wave intensified by two degrees CelsiusWhile the equivalent heatwave in 2096 will be 6°C warmer than in 2022 (8°C compared to 1922).
Projected patterns show that in the future there will be an increasing rise in temperatures in March, which It will lead to the melting of large areas of ice in Antarctica.
In previous years, only 1% of the continent’s area was suitable for growing flowering plants. However, in recent years, increasingly warmer springs and summers have been recorded, resulting in… Rapid development of plants. In the years 2009-2018, its growth rate increased by up to 20%.
A plant that adapts well to new conditions is Daredevil in Antarctica (Deschampsia antarctica), which belongs to the perennial species. As scholars pointed out in the years 1964-1990 As a result of ongoing climate change, the plant’s range has increased 25 times. Every year, the Arctic daredevil “conquers” new territories and pushes further and further south towards the pole. Between 2009 and 2018, the prevalence increased to 28%.
Another plant taking over Antarctica is Antarctic pearl beetle (Colobanthus cutensis). It has small yellow flowers and reaches a height of about five centimetres. Due to the increasing rise in temperatures, these plants produce more and more seeds, which has led to the pearl beetle’s range increasing five-fold in recent years. Interestingly, from 2009 to 2018, this plant spread almost ten times faster than in the years 1960-2009.
“We hypothesize that the dramatic expansion of these plants is mainly due to higher air temperature in summer and reduced influence of seals,” the researchers wrote.
According to analyses By the end of this century, the area of ice-free land on the Antarctic Peninsula will triple. The “new” areas will be immediately colonized by plants.
More and more Green Antarctica It could be a disaster. The new habitats being created could lead to “irreversible loss of biodiversity and changes to these sensitive and unique ecosystems.”
“We know that thousands of square kilometers of new ice-free areas will be created, and warmer temperatures and additional available water will create new habitats ready for colonization, which will benefit some species but not others. Unfortunately, a milder climate will also lower the barrier Invasion of alien plant and animal species– said Dr. Yasmin Lee from the British Antarctic Survey in 2022.
Echo Richards embodies a personality that is a delightful contradiction: a humble musicaholic who never brags about her expansive knowledge of both classic and contemporary tunes. Infuriatingly modest, one would never know from a mere conversation how deeply entrenched she is in the world of music. This passion seamlessly translates into her problem-solving skills, with Echo often drawing inspiration from melodies and rhythms. A voracious reader, she dives deep into literature, using stories to influence her own hardcore writing. Her spirited advocacy for alcohol isn’t about mere indulgence, but about celebrating life’s poignant moments.