Site: Palmer Antarctica LTER

Credit: US LTER

Between 2010 and 2017, the PAL LTER study area experienced cooler winter air temperatures, cooler summer surface ocean temperatures, and longer ice seasons relative to the first decade of the 21st century (but not relative to the 1950s-1970s). This has slowed sea ice declines, which is associated with increased primary productivity and ocean CO2 drawdown. Springtime phytoplankton productivity and krill recruitment increased in years with high winter sea ice, which fed directly into penguin diets. These processes are allowing researchers to assess the potential for food web recovery.