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