Home Research With time, Antarctica is turning green!

With time, Antarctica is turning green!


Plant life on both the poles is going dense as the planet is becoming more warm, thanks to the continuous increase in temperature. A new study has derived that there has been a steady growth of moss in Antarctica over the last 50 years.

The consistent increase in temperatures across the globe and specifically at the polar regions continues to shape life on both the poles. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced recently that the globe experienced its second warmest April in recorded history and the ice cover in both the Arctic and Antarctic is near record lows.

During 1981 – 2010, Arctic sea ice cover was 18.2 per cent or around 520,000 square miles. In April 2016, Arctic sea ice cover was down to 6.9 per cent or around 394,000 square miles.

Antarctica has been held up as an exception to the understanding of global climate change, but that may be because scientists haven’t understood enough about why it is not warming at the same rate as the Arctic. Researchers have been repetitively stating that Arctic has transformed into a ‘new state’ and that further change is inevitable. In Antarctica, the observed changes have been less dramatic. Marc Salzmann, a researcher at the university of Leipzig – Germany observed that this doesn’t disprove of the growing understanding of human-caused climate change.

After a research was conducted at the University of Exeter – United Kingdom, the lead author Matt Amesbury suggested that Antarctica will be much greener in the future. The continued retreat of glaciers will make the Antarctic Peninsula to warm at immensely high rate than the rest of the continent.

He also said, “It’s a clear sign that the biological response to climate change is pervasive around the globe. The Antarctic Peninsula is often thought of as a very remote and possibly even untouched region but this clearly shows that the effects of climate change are felt here.”

Scientists once thought tiny marine plants like Phytoplankton could not thrive under sea ice in the frigid Arctic. But the thinning of ice has allowed them to thrive to an extent than green patches have been observed. The thinner ice sheet lets sunshine to reach the previous dark areas, which allows the Plankton to grow and has the potential to dramatically changing the ecosystem as animals have started migrating to this area in pursuit of food.