Sunday, 16 February 2014
Columbus CD (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
The Palmer LTER program has been sampling the western Antarctic Peninsula (wAP) continental shelf waters since 1993, a region subject to regional warming among the fastest documented on Earth. Consequently, it is host to rapidly melting marine glaciers, considerable changes in the sea ice field (transition of coastal perennial sea ice to seasonal ice fields) and marine ecosystem migrations. The Palmer LTER project has been systematically sampling this region since 1993. Presented here are the results of the analysis of twenty years of LTER upper ocean physical data designed to address (among other things): (1) the relationship of shelf waters to those of the (warm) Antarctic circumpolar waters, (2) the dramatic warming of the subsurface waters responsible for melting the ice streams entering the ocean in the Pine Island Bay south of the LTER site, and (3) fundamental ocean changes associated with the dramatic reduction in sea ice and their implications to the ecosystem.