How is global warming affecting Antarctica?



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    As temperatures increase, the wildlife dynamic is changing.  Chinstrap penguins are moving in (they were not residents of Antarctica until 50 years ago when temperatures started rising) and Adelie penguins, which have long lived in the area and in some cases are “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.  The Emperor penguins are suffering from warmer sea levels, less krill supply, and less sea ice during the summer.

    Eroision and sea level rise are affecting communities in the area, as is reduced ability to hunt and fish in the winter because of ice loss.

    While the extent of glacier loss (and the future of the glaciers) is debated, large icebergs are breaking off and floating to sea.  The past 50 years show an increase in temperature.  It is also sufering from a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica, which has caused some cooling, but if and when the hole is repaired the continent will continue to warm at a rate matching the rest of the world.


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