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Scientists surprised by changes under Antarctic ice - video

The ice caps in the Antarctic are significantly shrinking and scientists studying the region are surprised by the rapid changes they have observed in the flora and fauna of the Ross Sea. Researchers are conducting experiments on the seabed to better understand the impact of climate change on the local ecosystem. The scientific team includes
Published: February 3, 2018 - 15:30
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:24
Scientists surprised by changes under Antarctic ice – video

The ice caps in the Antarctic are significantly shrinking and scientists studying the region are surprised by the rapid changes they have observed in the flora and fauna of the Ross Sea. Researchers are conducting experiments on the seabed to better understand the impact of climate change on the local ecosystem.

The scientific team includes a group of researchers and experienced divers, but there was also room for fresh blood.” For Hamilton University marine ecologist Samantha Parkes and Auckland-based PhD student Jenny Hillman, this is a debut expedition into the waters of the ice-covered sea and the Antarctic in general.

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They began their frosty adventure in New Harbour Bay, diving under 3.5 metres of ice in -2ºC water. Dry suits and the rest of their equipment enabled them to bravely endure the hardships of the dive for 45 minutes, reaching a depth of 20 metres.

[blockquote style=”2″]”Everything happened quite naturally. There wasn’t that shock of – Oh my god! We’re under the ice! “[/blockquote].

During the dive, the team deployed special chambers on the seabed that will provide a closer look at how the local fauna is responding to rapid climate change. In the past, ice blanketed New Harbour Bay for more than a decade. Now it breaks up every few years, generating more food and significantly influencing the flourishing of local organisms.

[blockquote style=”2″]”The changes that have taken place since 2009 are downright amazing. But the most surprising thing is how quickly the animals have responded to such a change. The diversity of organisms is very high and there are many more of them than when we were here last time.” – says expedition leader Dr Drew Lohrer[/blockquote]

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The development of more life forms also means an increase in danger. It is natural that the greater the diversity and flourishing of an ecosystem, the more quickly predators will appear, indispensable in any food chain.

The data collected during their stay in Antarctica will allow the scientists to get on with their work in laboratories in New Zealand for another year as they study and develop the results of the experiments conducted and materials collected.

Source: Science Under The Ice

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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