Antarctica is changing. Scientists have discovered that the continent’s ice sheet is melting at a faster rate than they originally thought, and the ramifications of this could be catastrophic for humanity.
Antarctica is changing. The impact could be catastrophic for humans and animals alike.
On Elephant Island, off the coast of Antarctica, chinstrap and gentoo penguins scale an iceberg. Photographer Camille Seaman took these photos over the course of six weeks in late 2019 and early 2020.
Camille Seaman didn’t need the UN study released on Monday to know that the Earth has been warming at an alarming rate.
She’s seen it firsthand.
Since 2004, the photographer has been visiting Antarctica on and off for National Geographic, working on expedition ships. She has seen a significant shift on the continent in the last several years.
“What I’ve witnessed from 2016 to today is like a whole different place,” she added.
Bergy bits are ice fragments that make it difficult for people to move on and off the shore.
In Neko Harbor, a huge piece of ice breaks off from the glacier’s bottom. Glacier calving, according to Seaman, may be hazardous, particularly when it occurs underwater and is difficult to detect.
Seaman shows out the snow algae she captured, which changes the snow pink or green depending on the weather.
“It happens all the time. “That isn’t unusual,” she said. “However, what is unique is that I had never observed it flowering in the glaciers until March. It’s currently appearing in January and December. That’s about three months ahead of schedule.
“There were areas where I had never seen the earth before. There had always been a layer of snow on the ground. It’s simply dirt and rocks now.”
The white countryside is no longer so white.
On the route to Antarctica, these king penguins were snapped on the island of South Georgia.
When Seaman visited Cuverville Island, she was astonished to find this little amount of snow on the ground. In the foreground, green moss can be seen flourishing. The peak in the backdrop has pink snow algae.
Antarctica hit a new high temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius, or almost 65 degrees Fahrenheit, last year. The record is “consistent with the climate change we are observing,” according to Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, who also noted that the Antarctic peninsula — the northwest tip of the continent closest to South America — is one of the planet’s fastest warming regions.
Temperatures on the peninsula have increased almost 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the past 50 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization. As a result, more ice is melting, raising global sea levels and posing a danger to coastal communities across the globe.
It’s one of the numerous concerns raised in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s state-of-the-science report released on Monday. According to scientists, the world is warming faster than previously believed, and the window for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and avoiding catastrophic consequences is quickly closing.
Off the shore of Cuverville Island, tourists kayak near icebergs.
At Brown Bluff on the Antarctic Peninsula, an Adélie penguin leaps over water.
The melting of polar areas is also having a negative impact on some of the species that lives there.
According to independent biologists who accompanied a Greenpeace trip to the region before the epidemic, chinstrap penguin populations in certain parts of the Antarctic had plummeted by more than 75% in the last half-century. They think climate change is mainly to blame, claiming that decreased sea ice and warmer seas have lowered the amount of krill that many penguins eat.
Seaman said, “Phytoplankton grows on the underside of the sea ice, and that is what the krill feed on.” “Then the penguins eat the krill, the whales eat the krill, the seals eat the krill, and the sea lions eat the krill. As a result, it has this amazing chain effect. This phytoplankton is lost if the sea ice melts. The phytoplankton is lost, and then the krill is lost, and the cycle continues all the way up.”
Neko Harbor is home to gentoo penguins. They’re doing better than the rest of the continent’s penguin species. According to the charity Oceanites, their population rose from 2019 to 2020.
On Cuverville Island, penguin tracks may be observed.
Cold-weather penguins, particularly chicks, may struggle in warmer temperatures, according to Seaman.
Last year, she was in Antarctica’s Paulet Island while the temperature was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. She captured a young Adélie penguin cooling down by putting out its tongue.
“There were tens of thousands of these penguins in distress because it was so hot and there was no snow,” she said. “They were on the lookout for any little piece of snow or ice to lie down on.”
On Paulet Island, an Adélie girl struggles to stay cool as the temperature rises.
On Paulet Island, Adélie penguins attempt to stay cool.
Some Antarctic penguin species, such as the gentoo, are more adaptive than others, according to Seaman. In certain parts of the continent, Adélie penguins are decreasing, while in others, they are thriving.
When Seaman first visited Antarctica, she wasn’t very fond of penguins, but she now looks forward to watching what they do next.
She added, “They’re very fascinating people, and you can’t help but respect them.” “They have a fantastic sense of humour.” I’ve seen it many times: they’ll fall flat on their beak — whether it’s from a fall in the snow or anything else — and when they get up, I believe they glance around to see who saw them.”
During the breeding season on Neko Harbor, a gentoo penguin cries out. Many penguins will frequently join in on the cries, forming a chorus, according to Seaman.
In the Antarctic Sound, tourists get up up and personal with Adélie penguins.
Seaman, who has spent years photographing the polar areas, called the UN report released this week “extremely worrisome, but not unexpected.” She, like teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, is upset by the lack of action she has witnessed across the globe to decrease carbon emissions.
“I agree with Greta: we should behave as though our home is on fire,” Seaman added. “If you pay attention to the news this week, you’ll notice that the fires in Greece and Italy, as well as Algeria, Oregon, and California, are not typical, and they’re just going to get worse. This is just the start.”
She believes that the news would cause people to pay attention.
“That report this week is devastating,” she added, “but it may just be the kick in the pants that a lot of us need to get up and do what we need to do individually.”
An expedition guide keeps a close eye on the situation to ensure that a tsunami caused by glacier calving does not strike without notice.
In the Antarctic Sound, a tabular iceberg may be observed. These table-top icebergs may reach heights of over 100 feet above the water’s surface. They may float for years in the marine currents before completely melting.
Seaman is beginning to wonder whether her personal travels to Antarctica are worthwhile and if she might do more to help. She hasn’t been there since the outbreak began.
She hasn’t been to Svalbard, Norway, in over a decade. Hundreds of polar bears live in the archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
She said, “I haven’t gone back to Svalbard since 2011, partially because there was no ice, which meant the polar bears had to stay on the ground.” “And I didn’t want to be the one who made us have to kill a polar bear simply because we were in its territory.”
At Port Lockroy, a former British station, penguins congregate. Port Lockroy currently houses a museum and the world’s southernmost post office.
At Almirante Brown, an Argentine outpost in Antarctica, tourists walk the steep and slippery route.
Seaman felt especially angry and despondent about climate change around the year 2011. Her 11-year-old daughter, on the other hand, advised her not to give up: “You have to try.” Something must be done.”
As a result, she now devotes herself entirely to her job in order to raise awareness about the problems.
She said, “If the only thing I truly know how to do is create pictures that ideally can convey emotion and knowledge, then that’s what I do.”
She has also done TED Talks and other public speaking engagements.
“People often ask me, ‘What can I do?’ What can I do as a single person?’ And I say, stand up for anything you care about on this earth, whether it’s flowers, monarch butterflies, or your backyard oak tree. Whales or polar bears, it doesn’t matter. When you stand up for what you believe in, you will discover that you are not alone. That there are others who like that item and do not want to see it go missing while we are watching.”
Tourists seem little in comparison to the massive snow and ice at Neko Harbor.
On Elephant Island, a group of penguins scale an iceberg together.
The Antarctica is changing. The impact could be catastrophic is a news article that discusses the changes in Antarctica and how it might affect our planet. Reference: is there land under antarctica.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is Antarctica changing?
What will happen to Antarctica due to climate change?
Antarctica is currently experiencing a large amount of melting due to climate change.
What are the 4 main threats to Antarctica?
The four main threats to Antarctica are global warming, pollution, over fishing and the ozone layer depletion.
- the paris climate agreement and future sea level rise from antarctica
- nature sea-level rise
- is antarctica all ice
- capital of antarctica
- does anyone live in antarctica