The Changes in Antarctica

by Lauranie Phan on March 14, 2018 - 11:11am

In the article published in Science Daily entitled “Extreme melt season lead to decade-long ecosystem change in Antarctic polar desert”, a group of researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulders found that during the very hot summer of 2002, the McMurdo Dry Valley in Antarctica endured rough changes in its ecosystem that would have an impact for the years to follow. The team believes that this event proved that even small appearing weather events can have impacts on a region for a very long time. Some examples given in the article of the ecosystem changes that occurred are the slow growth of a previously diminishing population of soil species. This potentially means that the future of Antarctica will be full of ecosystem changes. 

I think that this article is clearing illustrating how Antarctica as we know it today will be very different in the years to come, so much that the white desert that we can see now will potentially be transformed into a green land. The ecosystem will have changed, because the conditions (weather and environment) will have caused it to do so. I hope very much that in 100 years we will still see glaciers, but ecosystems are things that happen naturally, therefore I just hope that our human activities won't cause it to change too quickly.




I find your topic very interesting because we always talk about the Antarctica and the polar bears when we bring up the subject of climate change and impacts on our ecosystem. It is crazy to think that we were like 3-4 years old when they saw an extreme melt in this region of the Earth and the world population haven't done anything even 16 years ago. It proves that we could prevent such situation if we start acting right when something negative happens to our planet.
Moreover, do you know what will be these changes in the ecosystems in the future of Antarctica? An ecosystem is in constant change but what are some drastic differences that we will see in the future?
Here is what I found: of course, a change in the climate is undeniable, a reduced sea ice which will decrease the population of Krill (planktonic crustacean) and other species in the food chain in the Southern Ocean and destruction of the Ozone layer above Antarctica. Repairs in the ecosystem can take many years but let's wish that the population to take a turn for its best and realizes the consequences on our planet.


I choose to answer this topic because I am concerned about the situation of Antarctica and the consequences of it’s melting on the world. Indeed, in the magazine Science by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, it is showed how ice is important, like trees, in a ecosystem (AAAS, 2013, p.519). We should protect Antarctica in order to maintain a certain equilibrium of life in the poles.
Link to the article:

I wanted to comment on your summary because I find the topic of the melting glacier in Antartica very interesting. It is a big issue all around the world that should be addressed seriously because the rising of sea level will affect everyone in the future. The melting of the glaciers is caused by the increasing climate of global warming. If all of the Antarctican ice would melt the sea level would rise by 60m, which would cover many of the low land countries. Furthermore, the melting of the polar ice-caps will make the polar bear population decrease, their habitats become smaller and smaller and harder to find when coming back from fishing. Since polar ice-caps are melting, polar bears will end up drowning trying to find hard ice to live on. This ecosystem issue will have a great impact on the future of the Antartic glacier if it is not addressed soon, in 100 years there will be might be no more glacier and the consequences we will face, will make us wish we did something sooner. I hope that we will continue to have glaciers and polar bears for the rest of human existence, but for that to happen we need to help.

About the author