Apr 21, 2019 | Updated: 07:00 AM EDT

Rising Temperatures Alter Antarctic Peninsula Landscape Into Greener Continent

May 22, 2017 02:19 AM EDT

NASA's Operation IceBridge has been studying how polar ice has evolved over the past eight years and is currently flying a set of 12-hour research flights over West Antarctica at the start of the melt
(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The study of researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey show that their gathered data point out that even the modest rise in temperatures alter the soils and plants sprouting up in the once very cold region. Plant life used to exist on 0.3 percent of land area in the Antarctic. Now the greening of the continent is developing with abundant growth of moss.

Another team from the University of Exeter is studying the massive moss outset from an area across 400 miles.The scientists found out that there are major biological changes that are happening in a span of 50 years due to rising temperatures

Dr. Matt Amesbury of the University of Exeter explains that rising temperatures have a substantial effect on moss banks growing in the area. Continuing rise in temperature and subsequent glacial retreat will turn the Antarctic into a green zone of the future.

Weather records began the Antarctic documentation in the 1950s. Logged rising temperatures, wind strength, and an increase in precipitation indicates behavioral changes in climate patterns. Biological data preserved in moss bank cores can provide further information on climate change, scientists added.

Professor Dan Charman, leading the study from the University of Exeter stresses that the data analysis from the last 150 years indicate that ecosystems will face major alterations with continuing rise in temperatures and drastically change the biology and landscape in the once coldest place on earth, reports The Mirror.

Amesbury notes that moss generously spurts out in the Northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula. His records show that the previous growth of moss was around less than a millimeter per year. In his latest survey moss grew to about an average of three millimeters per year. He further stated that this is an indication that these untouched parts of the world are even affected by what humans had done to induce climate change, reports The Washington Post.

The study of Amesbury and his team, together with the University of Cambridge, University of Durham and the British Antarctic Survey, was published in the journal Current Biology. The research further shows a four to fivefold of moss growth increase.

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