October 14, 2017

Antarctica -a complicated subject

A view from Apex Office Centers

Sea ice over Antarctica has fallen to a record low but experts
say it is not necessarily linked to climate change. More than
60 meteorologists and scientists are meeting in Australia to
discuss a ‘massive’ increase in variability over the last number of years.

Its a complicated subject that is still being understood, as the
increasing temperatures are melting ice but it can also help it
freeze. Increased temperature speeds up the melt of ice
underneath the shelf which then increases the amount of
fresh water balance in the ocean, and as fresh water more
readily freezes at the surface, this in turn increases the
amount of sea ice again.

Recent news though of a group of penguins in Antarctica
where only 2 chicks have survived out of a colony of 40,000.
Their area had more sea ice then normal forcing the parents
to travel further for food resulting in the devastating
starvation. They rely on krill which is in decline. On top of this
there are a number of exploratory krill fisheries that want to
open in the area.


50 cruise vessels took over 35,000 tourists to Antarctica last
year and that just adds to the level of change that is hitting
the area.

The vast continent contains 90% of the worlds fresh water,
with a lot of it locked into ice that can be a few miles thick.

In July this year a block came off the Larson C shelf that was
a trillion tonnes. It just collapsed into the sea.
But now the good news. A number of governments from
around the world have agreed to an ocean treaty. It will not
be in effect until 2020 but momentum is building. Just last
year there was a vast track of 1.5 million sq km protected in
Antarctica called the Ross Sea.

Germany is part of the group and they are making progress
to have a an even larger area protected that would be 5 times
the size of Germany.
So bad news and good news in the ongoing saga of life on
planet earth.

Come to Apex Office Centers in Sacramento for a break and
to get some work done.

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~ by John Tomnay. CEO at Apex Office Centers