The new face of the Antarctic

A new AWI study involving the ICM says that Antarctica could become a greener place in a few years and was colonised by new species from warmer areas because of climate change…

Species from warmer regions could migrate to Antarctica due to climate change / Claudia Colesi
Species from warmer regions could migrate to Antarctica due to climate change / Claudia Colesi

In the future, the Antarctic could become a greener place and be colonised by new species. At the same time, some species will likely disappear. This is one of the main conclusions of an article by a group of researchers from the ICM and other research centres from all over the world published last December in the specialized journal Biological Reviews.

For its preparation, researchers, led by the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), analysed hundreds of articles on the Antarctic published in the past ten years. By doing so, they have provided an exceptionally comprehensive assessment on the biological and biochemical processes at work in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean that surrounds it, which makes it possible to know their current and future state.

This is all part of the project “AnT-ERA” which addresses a broad range of aspects, e.g. ocean acidification, biodiversity, and the significance of sea ice for various organisms. “If you look at the timeframe from 1970 to the present, roughly 80 percent of all academic publications on biology and biochemistry in the Antarctic were released between 2010 and 2020. That’s what moved us to condense this enormous amount of knowledge into a single article,” states marine biologist and project coordinator Julian Gutt, from the AWI…

Institut de Ciencies del Mar, 14 January 2021. Article.

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