The impact of regional climate change on the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula is one of three areas of the globe currently experiencing rapid regional climate change (King, 1994; Smith et al., 1996, King & Harangozo, 1998; Vaughan et al., 2003). The Second Assessment Report of the IPCC (Nicholls et al.,1995) demonstrated two areas of rapid atmospheric warming at northern high-latitudes, namely northwestern North America, and an area centred on the Siberian Plateau. A subsequent analysis by Hansen et al., (1999) revealed a third region of warming centred on the Antarctic Peninsula and Bellingshausen Sea. In each of these areas, mean annual temperatures have warmed by more than 1.5 K since 1950, compared to a global mean of 0.6 K. The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the IPCC (Trenberth et al.,2007) confirmed key regions of rapid atmospheric warming over northwestern North America and the Siberian Plateau in the period 1901–2005 along with the rapid warming observed over the Antarctic Peninsula in the last 50 years.


Authors: Clarke, Andrew, Barnes, David K. A., Bracegirdle, Thomas J., Ducklow, Hugh. W., King, John C., Meredith, Michael P., Murphy, Eugene J., Peck, Lloyd S.

Editors: Rogers, Alex D., Johnston, Nadine M., Murphy, Eugene J., Clarke, Andrew

On this site: Andrew Clarke, David Barnes, Eugene Murphy, John King, Lloyd Peck, Michael Meredith, Nadine Johnston, Thomas Bracegirdle
1 January, 2012
In: Rogers, Alex D., Johnston, Nadine M., Murphy, Eugene J., Clarke, Andrew (eds.). Antarctic Ecosystems: An Extreme Environment in a Changing World, Blackwell Publishing, 91-120.
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