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Battling Antarctic Ice Storms to Study the Secrets of Subzero Survival

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 Environmental   |   Science
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This biologist lives for months at a time in Antarctica, crossing dangerous sea ice to collect creatures from underneath it.

Experience intense, unique, and sometimes dangerous moments with scientists working in the field, as they explain first-hand the kinds of risks they take to find answers. There's so much more to being a scientist than being stuck in a lab. Watch every Friday for new episodes of Science in the Extremes.

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Even Small Increases in Ocean Temperature Can Affect Marine Life
"Researchers working in Antarctica found some species of marine life can double when water temperatures increase by only 1 or 2 degrees Celsius (1.8 or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), according to a study published today in Current Biology. Study co-author Gail Ashton of the British Antarctic Survey and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center said the findings were a snapshot of what might happen on a wider scale if ocean temperatures continue to rise."

A Massive Chunk of Ice the Size of Delaware Just Broke Off of Antarctica
"A crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, a drifting extension of the land-based ice sheet, finally broke through after inching its way across the ice formation for years. The calving of ice shelves occurs naturally, though global warming is believed to have accelerated the process. Warmer ocean water erodes the underbelly of the ice shelves, while rising air temperatures weaken them from above."

Antarctica's Meltdown May Be Worsening Due to Shifting Wind Patterns
"Changing winds at one end of the continent could actually be setting off a series of changes, like a set of falling dominoes, that pushes warm water below the ice at the other end, thousands of miles away. Finding these pieces of the Antarctic melt puzzle and putting them together will help scientists better pin down how much sea level rise is in store as the world warms, and when cities from Miami to Shanghai may largely disappear from the map."

Climate Change Is Threatening Many More Animals Than We Thought
"While most studies seek to predict global warming's future impact on animal survival, the new analysis found that for 'large numbers' of threatened species, the damage was already being done.
The data suggests that 'the impact of climate change on mammals and birds in the recent past is currently greatly under-appreciated,' said a study in the journal Nature Climate Change."
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Written By: Paige Keipper

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