Scientists from several countries will participate in a global initiative to characterize the atmosphere above Antarctica and Greenland to see how the poles are amplifying the effects of climate change around the world and thus improve weather forecasts. Scientists will measure the optical properties of clouds in both Antarctica and Greenland, in various regions which are known to be severely affected by global warming and the hole in the ozone layer.
“It is very important for everyone to understand how Antarctica works because it is the only way to predict what will happen in the coming decades,” explained Raul Cordero, one of the scientists of the Antarctica research group, a professor at the University of Santiago de Chile.
Over the last four decades, anomalies in the atmosphere over Antarctica and Greenland have induced significant changes in wind, cloud and rainfall patterns throughout the southern hemisphere. These changes have significantly affected countries in South America, such as Chile where the amount of rainfall has decreased by 30% in the last 40 years.
Research has so far shown that Antarctica is warming much slower than the equator line due to climate change
As the temperature difference between the two points increases, the winds around the Antarctica continent intensify. So, researchers expect the temperature difference to continue to widen as a result of climate change, and with it the intensity of Antarctic winds, which draw waters warmer than normal towards the shores of Antarctica.
These warm waters are contributing to the acceleration of the ice sheet melting which, at its turn is contributing to rising sea levels around the world.
In the last seven years alone, the level of the oceans has risen by an average of seven centimeters and 25% of this increase is due to the melting of the Antarctic ice, cumulated to that of the Greenland ice sheet.
Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.