Global Warming Images
Antarctica is the coldest, most pristine area of the planet which apart from a handful of scientists has never been inhabited. Temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsular have risen 2.8 degrees c in the last 50 years, making it one of the fastest warming areas of the planet.There has been an increase in positive degree days of 74% over the same period. This has led to 87% of the peninsular's glaciers retreating, and a loss of 25,0000 km square of sea ice from floating ice shelves. This loss of sea ice is particularly worrying. Antarctic Krill are the most abundant species by mass on the planet. They feed on algae that graze on the underside of sea ice. Loss of sea ice means loss of algae resulting in a loss of up to 80% of Antarctic Krill. The krill are the basis of the whole Antarctic food chain, sustaining the whales, seals and penguins. The two ,true Antarctic penguins, Adelie's and Emperors are both in serious decline. Emperors due to a loss of ice shelf and Adelie's which need bare ground to breed on. The rising temperatures have resulted in the air being able to hold more moisture, most of this falls as snow, covering the Adelie's breeding grounds. They are declining in numbers, and migrating to the south, whilst Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins are moving in to take their place.