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Ocean warming threatens Antarctic wildlife
· Sea ice melts and glaciers shrink at accelerating rate
· Decline in stocks of krill hits entire food chain
David Adam, environment correspondent
Wednesday October 19, 2005
Scientists working in Antarctica have discovered an alarming rise in sea temperature that threatens to disrupt populations of penguins, whales, seals and a host of smaller creatures within a few decades.
The new study shows the ocean west of the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by more than a degree since the 1960s - confounding computer models and experts who believed that a combination of ice, winds and currents would keep the water cool and shield fragile marine creatures from the effects of climate change. This is the first evidence that the key Southern Ocean is getting warmer: a finding with potentially severe implications for wildlife.
Lloyd Peck, a marine biologist with the British Antarctic Survey, said: "The sea temperature is going up in a way that wasn't predicted and this makes me more worried for the marine animals. The evidence we've got and the models we've been looking at said sea temperature was not likely to change much in the Antarctic. A one degree increase puts us into the region where the animals are pushed to one end of their biological, physiological and ecological capabilities."
Originally posted by loam
I wonder what else we have wrong in our models....