In the last 30,000 years there was, at times, more mixing in the Southern Ocean than previously thought. This meant that vast quantities of nutrients were available to phytoalgae, which in turn contributed to storing the greenhouse gas CO2 during the last glacial period. Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) present these new findings in a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
A decade ago scientists feared that the ability of the Southern Ocean to absorb additional atmospheric CO2 would soon be stalled. But the analysis of more recent observations show that this carbon sink reinvigorated during the past decade.
New research, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology reveals that old growth cushion plants and mosses estimated to be hundreds of years old on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island are being decimated by recent climate change.
Extreme weather phenomena called atmospheric rivers were behind intense snowstorms recorded in 2009 and 2011 in East Antarctica. The resulting snow accumulation partly offset recent ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet.