Antarctica Is Turning Green Due To Climate Change

As the planet heats up, plant life and vegetation on both the North and South pole is rapidly growing.

A recent study has detected a steady, consistent growth of moss in Antarctica during the last fifty years. This is due to temperatures increasing due to climate change. This study, which was published in Current Biology yesterday, demonstrates that Antarctica is turning much greener and will continue this into the future, says Matt Amesbury, the lead author and a researcher at the University of Exeter, located in the United Kingdom.

As the glaciers continue to retreat, the Antarctic Peninsula will become much greener in the future because it has been warming more quickly than the rest of Antarctica, Amesbury states.

Amesbury also says, “It’s a clear sign that the biological response to climate warming is pervasive around the globe. The Antarctic Peninsula is often thought of as a very remote and possibly even untouched region, but this clearly shows that the effects of climate change are felt here.”

Matt Amesbury

Amesbury, along with the other researchers on his team, used the moss bank cores to come to their conclusions. By looking at 150 years of data, they discovered obvious “changepoints” during the last fifty years that proved the increase of moss cover. Amesbury described the growth of moss as a significant sign that the region is already beginning to undergo change.

Although plant life is only existent in a tiny part of Antarctica, specifically 0.3 percent, researches have determined that this is likely to increase drastically as the region continues to heat up. As ice and snow cover decreases and land cover expands, the region also absorbs a larger amount of heat. This could potentially cause an ecosystem shift in Antarctica, which will match more strongly what researchers have detected in the Arctic.

Both poles have high temperatures that continue to shape plant life and vegetation. The globe encountered its second warmest April in history, only coming second to 2016. Also, sea ice cover in the Antarctic and Arctic is almost at record lows, which was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration yesterday.