By Professor Dr. Roberto Bargagli (auth.)
Choice striking identify! (January 2006)
The picture of Antarctica as an emblem of the final nice desert and pristine atmosphere has replaced significantly within the final 20 years. Environmental difficulties similar to the ozone gap and the break-up of ice-shelves have proven that Antarctica is inextricably associated with worldwide approaches and uncovered to the influence of human actions within the remainder of the area. This quantity presents an outline of weather swap information, 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 setting, ecophysiological variations of terrestrial and marine organisms, the move of contaminants in pelagic and neritic foodstuff chains and the prospective effects for animals at greater trophic degrees. The textual content concludes with attainable destiny situations of weather swap and atmospheric illness and the position of Antarctic organisms within the early detection of environmental perturbations.
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Additional info for Antarctic Ecosystems: Environmental Contamination, Climate Change, and Human Impact
Concentrations of other well-mixed greenhouse gases, such as methane, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and other synthetic compounds, are increasing. 43 W m–2 (IPCC 2001; Fig. 9). As these gases have long lifetimes and a nearly uniform spatial distribution, a few observations coupled with an understanding of their radiative properties suffice to yield estimates of radiative forcing and of related global mean surface-temperature responses (Shine and Forster 1999).
Antarctica is providing important geophysical data which will increase our understanding of past climate change, the clearest link between atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and surface temperatures (Lorius et al. 1985), and of physico-chemical processes leading to the formation of the ozone “hole” (Molina and Rowland 1974). Its very sensitive ecosystems will provide useful advanced warning of some of the effects of wider-scale ozone depletion and warming. g. B-15 in March 2000 from the Ross Ice Shelf, and A-43 on May 2000 from the Ronne Ice Shelf) give cause for concern and are relevant to discussions on global warming.
This balance strictly depends on temperature, the extent of sea ice, and water evaporation in the Southern Ocean, which affect the transport of heat, air masses and precipitation from mid-latitudes. It is very difficult to measure changes in the ice sheet over an area of 14¥106 km2; however, changes of a few percent in the total volume of ice would affect the volume of the world’s oceans. It has been estimated, for instance, that the West Antarctica ice sheet contains enough ice to raise global sea level by about 6 m (IPCC 2001).