75CFDA33-4183-4D54-9393-81C6E28FAAD9 Created with sketchtool. Biodiversity of Antarctica Under Threat From Increase In Ice-Free Areas


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Biodiversity of Antarctica Under Threat From Increase In Ice-Free Areas

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  Last updated August 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Most people picture Antarctica as a land of ice. But there is a small portion, 1%, that is permanently ice-free and home to 99% of all species on the continent. By 2100 there could be an extra 17,000 sq km of ice-free land, a 25% increase thanks to climate change. What does this mean for life there? Patches of previously isolated ice-free areas will join up, which changes how species interact with each other. Perhaps less successful species will go extinct under new competition. More ice-free areas mean more habitat, and more suitable habitat, for invasive species. Action to limit warming to 2C is the best way to protect and conserve the unique biodiversity of Antarctica. Vision courtesy the Australian Antarctic Division. Original research at DOI: 10.1038/nature22996

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