By Professor Dr. Roberto Bargagli (auth.)
Choice amazing identify! (January 2006)
The photograph of Antarctica as an emblem of the final nice desert and pristine surroundings has replaced significantly within the final twenty years. Environmental difficulties reminiscent of the ozone gap and the break-up of ice-shelves have proven that Antarctica is inextricably associated with worldwide procedures and uncovered to the effect of human actions within the remainder of the realm. This quantity offers an summary of weather switch information, its results at the constitution and functioning of Antarctic ecosystems, and the prevalence and biking of power contaminants. It discusses the original physico-chemical features of the Antarctic surroundings, ecophysiological diversifications of terrestrial and marine organisms, the move of contaminants in pelagic and neritic meals chains and the potential outcomes for animals at better trophic degrees. The textual content concludes with attainable destiny eventualities of weather switch and atmospheric infection 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
The wind direction at a site can be deduced from the alignment of snow erosional features (sastrugi). Maps of surface streamlines over the continent have been produced by combining data recorded in stations with sastrugi observations made during traverse expeditions (Parish and Bromwich 1987). As a rule, coastal stations exhibit a wider range of directional constancy because the wind regime is affected by katabatic winds and synoptically forced winds, while plateau surface winds are largely controlled by local topography.
A significant inverse relationship between winter air surface temperature and the extent of sea ice has also been found in the Bellingshausen Sea (King and Turner 1997). The coast of the west Antarctic Peninsula lies close to the ice edge during most of the winter, and the sea ice affects the absorption of sun radiation by seawater and the flow of heat from the sea to the atmosphere. Routine satellite records show considerable inter-annual variability in the winter extent of ice in the Bellingshausen Sea, although remote sensing records are not long enough to determine whether there is a significant relationship between the sea-ice extent and winter warming (Gloersen and Campbell 1988).
In the coastal region of the south-eastern Bellingshausen Sea, which is at the end of a depression track and in an area of frequent cyclogenesis, more than 800 mm (water equivalent) of snow accumulate each year. A rather high annual precipitation occurs in the western Antarctic Peninsula and in Marie Byrd Land. On the contrary, in the coastal belts of East Antarctica the annual water-equivalent precipitation is about 200–300 mm, with very low values in the Ronne and Ross ice shelves (probably in relation to the lack of topographic lifting of mild air masses).