Monday, December 27, 2004

Grass now established in warmer Antarctic

According to The Australian scientists with the British Antarctic Survey are now reporting that the Antarctic has warmed enough for the establishment of year round grass:
Grass has become established in Antarctica, showing the continent is warming to temperatures unseen for 10,000 years.

Scientists have reported that broad areas of grass are now forming turf where there were once ice-sheets and glaciers.

Tufts have previously grown on patches of Antarctica in summer, but the scientists have now observed larger areas surviving winter and spreading in the summer months.

Some fear the change portends a much wider melting of the ice-cap that formed at least 20 million years ago.

'Grass has taken a grip. There are very rapid changes going on in the Antarctic's climate, allowing grass to colonise areas that would once have been far too cold,' said Pete Convey, an ecologist conducting research with the British Antarctic Survey.

Mr Convey said that many species of wildlife were at serious risk from such rapid change, including emperor and other species of penguin, seals, cold-water fish and giant sea spiders.


Via Infoshop News - Thaw sees grass take hold in Antarctica.

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