The paper titled 'Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat' was released in the journal Nature this week. The research provides a prediction of the expansion of ice-free areas of Antarctica due to climate change, and was led by Justine's PhD student, Jasmine Lee.
The research suggests that Antarctica's ice-free habitat could expand by almost 25%, to a total area of 17,000 km2.
Most of this expansion is likely to occur in the Antarctic Peninsula, a location that scientists expect to experience the greatest degree of climate change by the end of the century.
An increase in ice-free habitat will have many and varied impacts on the local biodiversity - a system that includes Adelie penguins (pictured), many invertebrates, mosses, lichens and microbes. The researchers hypothesize that the effects could lead to the extinction of less-competitive species and the spread of invasive species.
Read the full paper HERE
Jasmine R. Lee, Ben Raymond, Thomas J. Bracegirdle, Iadine Chadès, Richard A. Fuller, Justine D. Shaw & Aleks Terauds. (2017). Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat. Nature XX: XX-XX. Published online DOI:10.1038/nature22996
Image: Adelie penguins (Jasmine Lee).