- News Home
10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
- About Us
ScienceShot: In a Scrape
25 September 2011 1:00 pm
Icebergs are scraping the sea floor of Antarctic waters more than ever, much to the detriment of bottom-dwelling creatures. The change comes because seasonal ice in the Antarctic doesn't last as long. Icebergs that break off from glaciers onshore are driven by winds and currents into shallow waters. At Rothera station on the West Antarctic Peninsula, the so-called "fast ice" that forms each winter lasts, on average, about 5 days less per year than it did a quarter-century ago, researchers from the British Antarctic Survey report online today in Nature Climate Change. Accordingly, the number of iceberg scrapes (see image) on the sea floor there has increased substantially. Only half as many colonies of Fenestrulina rugula, a filter-feeder that lives on rocks on the sea floor, survive to sexual maturity—the first demonstrable effect of climate change on the Antarctic seabed, the researchers say. Because about 80% of all marine species found around Antarctica live on or just beneath the sea floor, and because many reach sexual maturity more slowly than F. rugula does, the new finding bodes ill for ecosystems in the Antarctic shallows.
See more ScienceShots.