Science & Technology

  • Antarctica is the southernmost continent on Earth. The Antarctic Peninsula on the west coast is warming at unprecedented rates. (NASA map Robert Simmon)
  • British Antarctic Survey scientists Dominic Hodson and Jessica Royles work with core sampling equipment on a high elevation moss bank on Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • Core head being carefully removed from a moss bank on Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • Frozen moss core over 500 years old removed from core head, Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • Low-lying moss growth on Ardley Island, South Shetland Islands makes the most of the occasional sunny days after the snow cover has melted. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • Deep exposed moss bank, Elephant Island , South Shetland Islands built up over thousands of years, preserves information about the environment at the time of growth. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • The moss banks on Green Island provide a vivid green splash amidst the surrounding ice caps, glaciers and icebergs. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • Researchers on Green Island, Berthelot Islands, camped below the moss have blue-eyed cormorants and the calving icebergs just offshore as their only companions. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • Close up of Polytrichum strictum growing on a moss bank on Green Island, Berthelot Islands 2013. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • Barrientos Island, South Shetland, with a thin covering of moss and algae in 2012, that a year later was covered with snow with barely any green growth. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)
  • Campsite on Barrientos Island, South Shetland Islands, sharing beach with penguin colony, 2012. (Dan Charman/Matt Amesbury)

Antarctic Peninsula Shows Green Spots

Published August 30, 2013

The rugged mountain peninsula that juts from the west coast of Antarctica is one of most rapidly warming places on the planet. With increases as much as 3 degrees Celsius, a new study finds unprecedented ecological change in response to a warmer climate.

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