Biology Citizen Science Connected Blog Oceanography 

Why Citizen Scientists Study Phytoplankton in Antarctica

By Allison Cusick and Verena Meraldi Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography are working with Antarctic tour operators like Hurtigurten to enable vacationers to serve as citizen scientists with the FjordPhyto citizen science project. Travelers collect samples of phytoplankton from Antarctic fjords in an effort to understand the base of the food web, helping scientists learn how one of the most fertile ocean regions in the world may be changing. Human Impact in Remote Areas You would think that the most remote continent on Earth, Antarctica, would be the least…

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What Happens When Antarctica Melts? Environment 

What Happens When Antarctica Melts?

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Between December 2001 and February 2002, the Antarctic continent underwent a season of intense melting. Aside from the loss of ice, what really happens when Antarctica melts? New research reveals that the changes range from sped-up microbial food webs to shifting penguin populations. The clash of two climatic cycles, the Southern Annular Mode and the El Niño Southern Oscillation, produced an unusually warm and windy spring season across Antarctica back in 2001–2002. This climate event melted glaciers including the Totten Glacier, thinned lake ice, and caused…

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Satellite image of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (NASA) Environment 

Unlocking Antarctica with Photography

At a remote Antarctic outpost, cameras are being installed to capture time-lapse images of geological features in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The images are giving scientists from Brown University and elsewhere a view of geological change in the Dry Valleys of the Antarctic that can’t be seen any other way. Time-lapse photography is combined with weather data is revealing new details about the changing climate on Earth, but also offering insight into what conditions might be like in the similar frozen deserts of Mars. Investigating Climate Change The Dry Valleys…

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