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New study reveals when West Antarctica’s largest glacier started retreating

Reporting this week (Wednesday 23 November) in the journal Nature an international team led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) explains that present-day thinning and retreat of Pine Island Glacier, one of the largest and fastest shrinking glaciers of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is part of a climate trend that was already underway as early as the 1940s.  

 

Subantarctic seabed creatures shed new light on past climate

A new marine biodiversity study in one of the largest Marine Protected Areas in the world reveals the impact of environmental change on subantarctic seabed animals and answers big questions about the extent of South Georgia’s ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum around 20,000 years ago.  

 

New Antarctic ice discovery aids future climate predictions

A team of British climate scientists comparing today’s environment with the warm period before the last ice age has discovered a 65% reduction of Antarctic sea ice around 128,000 years ago.  The finding is an important contribution towards the challenge of making robust predictions about the Earth’s future climate.  

 

A Recent Pause in Antarctic Peninsula Warming

The rapid warming of the Antarctic Peninsula, which occurred from the early-1950s to the late 1990s, has paused. Stabilisation of the ozone hole along with natural climate variability were significant in bringing about the change. Together these influences have now caused the peninsula to enter a temporary cooling phase. Temperatures remain higher than measured during the middle of the 20th Century and glacial retreat is still taking place.

Carbon dioxide levels reach milestone on world’s most pristine continent

Levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere – which is the leading driver of recent climate change – have reached a milestone at British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Halley Research Station in Antarctica. Scientists from BAS and University of East Anglia (UEA) working at the station’s Clean Air Sector Laboratory (CASLab), recorded 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time this month (June).

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