Bill Fraser, Polar Oceans Research Group, Oregon State University, NSF Palmer Station, Antarctica LTER Site
The Western Antarctic Peninsula is among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth. Mid-winter temperatures have increased, on average, by more than six degrees Celsius (10.8ºF) over the last six decades, resulting in melting of sea ice and changes in the timing of seasonal events such as when the ice first freezes for the winter season and when it thaws in the Antarctic spring. Species such as Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins use sea ice differently. Their responses to the warming of Antarctica are leading to new insights into changing food webs in one of the planet’s most distant places.