Global warming affects Artic and Antarctic regions differently

Feb 18, 2013

(Phys.org)—The robustness of food webs of Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems has been compared for the first time, revealing that global warming can affect the biodiversity of these ecosystems in different ways despite the similarities between them.

The research, co-authored by the Director of The University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute, Winthrop Professor Carlos Duarte, in conjunction with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), is based on the study of more than 700 species.

The International Laboratory on Global Change (LINCGlobal) research analysed the feeding relationships among 145 Arctic and 586 species. The results, published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, show that can affect the biodiversity of these ecosystems in different ways.

The research found that the , which has a higher proportion of predator species, is more susceptible to disturbances affecting species such as whales and polar bears higher up the food chain. According to the researchers, this phenomenon - called "trophic cascade" - represents a major threat to the ecosystem because disturbances among predator species are more likely to affect species at lower levels.

The Antarctic food web, however, has a higher proportion of prey species and the effects of disturbances are most likely to affect species lower down the food chain. One example is evidence of a decrease of Antarctic krill caused by overfishing and climate change.

"By applying complex to understand the topology of polar food webs, we have found distinctive elements - which are also relative to non-polar food webs - that show polar , particularly the Arctic one, are highly vulnerable to functional extinctions of key species, such as Antarctic krill in the Antarctic food web," Professor Duarte said.

The study also shows that the Arctic food web has more omnivorous species than the Antarctic (80.71% vs. 41.13%). The loss of these species makes the Arctic more susceptible to invasion by other species.

Arctic and Antarctic Poles are two of the regions where the effects of climate change are more intensely observed in the planet. While for the rest of the world an average increase in mean annual temperature of 0.5°C (32.9ºF) since 1950 has been recorded, for the Arctic and Antarctic Peninsula, an increase of about 1.5ºC (34.70°F) has been recorded.

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NikFromNYC
1.3 / 5 (15) Feb 18, 2013
Note the bait and switch fraud here as far as honestly reporting science to lay readers, a baiting of the South Pole then an offering merely of the hot spot volcanically active tiny little Peninsula, a slight of hand that conceals something astonishing indeed, that the South Pole has been steadily *cooling* since records began in the 1950s a fact that falsifies the whole theory the article tries to support: ["Arctic and Antarctic Poles are two of the regions where the effects of climate change are more intensely observed in the planet. While for the rest of the world an average increase in mean annual temperature of 0.5°C (32.9ºF) since 1950 has been recorded, for the Arctic and Antarctic Peninsula"] http://noconsensu...2007.jpg Author Steig used bad statistics in fact to create a cover image for his Nature paper that smeared Peninsula warming out over the bulk of the continent that represents a whopping 90% of the planet's ice mass.
schwarz
4.7 / 5 (13) Feb 18, 2013
Nik, you're just making crap up.
ahaveland
4.6 / 5 (9) Feb 18, 2013
Antarctic ice in the interior at -60C isn't going to notice a 5 degree rise. It'll still be there for a long time yet, however - cold ice still flows, and it is the edges and shelfs that are being attacked by a warming ocean and more energetic winds and storms, and the rate of seaward glacial flow is growing into an exodus, while warmer seas erode the base of the ice shelves and loosening their grip.
However, the Arctic is a very different case, and has a much greater influence on our Northen climate, and it is in big trouble - something that the oil soaked cretinosphere are desperately trying to hide and discredit.

The Arctic is dying far more quickly than predicted, and we are just seeing the beginnings of a new climate state, such as Sandy, which refused to be swept under the carpet.

Arctic Death Spiral
http://thinkprogr...llapsed/
captainelectron
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 18, 2013
A blink of an eye ago in geologic time, most of Canada was buried under a kilometer or more of ice. That was a catastrophe. The hot Gore alarmospherians never cease to amaze with their myopicvision.
deepsand
3 / 5 (16) Feb 18, 2013
That was a catastrophe. The hot Gore alarmospherians never cease to amaze with their myopicvision.

You and your ilk never cease to amaze by your blindness and ignorance of Science.
maxberan
1 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2013
No Schwarz, NikFromNYC is spot on. You really do have to be very alert to linguistic devices that, for example, upgrade a conditional to a real and on to a certainty. And this piece has more than its fair share of that sort of thing to leave an overall impression far removed from what can be justified on the basis of the observations.