Antarctic Peninsula climate variability: historical and paleoenvironmental perspectives
The Antarctic Peninsula region represents our best natural laboratory to investigate how earth's major climate systems interact and how such systems respond to rapid regional warming. The scale of environmental changes now taking place across the region is large and their pace rapid but the subsystems involved are still small enough to observe and accurately document cause and affect mechanisms. For example, clarification of ice shelf stability via the Larsen Ice Shelf is vital to understanding the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet, its climate evolution, and its response to and control of sea level. By encompassing the broadest range of interdisciplinary studies, this volume provides the global change research and educational communities a framework in which to advance our knowledge of the causes behind regional warming, the dramatic glacial and ecological responses, and the potential uniqueness of the event within the region's paleoclimate record. The volume also serves as a vital resource for public policy and governmental funding agencies as well as a means to educate the large number of ecotourists that visit the region each austral summer.