Download Antarctic Ecosystems: Environmental Contamination, Climate by R. Bargagli PDF

By R. Bargagli

This quantity offers an summary of weather swap information, its results at the constitution and functioning of Antarctic ecosystems, and the prevalence and biking of chronic contaminants. It discusses the position of Antarctic study for the safety of the worldwide setting. The e-book additionally examines attainable destiny situations of weather switch and the function of Antarctic organisms within the early detection of environmental perturbations.

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Additional info for Antarctic Ecosystems: Environmental Contamination, Climate Change, and Human Impact (Ecological Studies, 175)

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Associations have been hypothesised between El Niño events and variations in Antarctic surface temperatures and pressures (Smith and Stearn 1993), the polar jet stream (Chen et al. 1996), low pressures in the Amundsen Sea, the extent of ice cover in the Southern Ocean, and the precipitation rate in West Antarctica (Gloersen 1995). 1 Climate Variability and Changes Due to Human Activities The climate varies naturally on all timescales as a consequence of internal (interactions within and between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere) and external factors (volcanic eruptions, variations in Earth’s orbit, tectonic variations in the position of continents, asteroid impacts).

Most annual surface wind data indicate the unidirectional nature of katabatic winds, usually oriented 20–50° to the left of the fall line (according to the Coriolis deflection of a gravity-driven airflow) and in a narrow sector (about 30°, Bromwich and Parish 1998). The outflow of cold surface air hugs the coastline of the continent as an anticyclonic vortex (King and Turner 1997). The wind direction at a site can be deduced from the alignment of snow erosional features (sastrugi). Maps of surface streamlines over the continent have been produced by combining data recorded in stations with sastrugi observations made during traverse expeditions (Parish and Bromwich 1987).

As a result, during the austral summer, the coldest place in the world receives more solar radiation than anywhere else on Earth (Zillman 1967). During the dark polar winters, the plateau receives less solar radiation than anywhere else on Earth. Nevertheless, the total annual irradiation of the plateau may be higher than that of Antarctic coastal areas. 9° E; King and Turner 1997). This is due to intense irradiation during the continuous summer daylight,the elevation,the clean atmosphere and, above all, the limited cloud cover at Vostok Station.

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