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Antarctic Catastrophe Threatens

A catastrophe threatens because of the rapid warming of theAntarctic. Melting ice and a rapid increase in temperaturesin the Southern Ocean have caused a horrendous drop in thenumbers of Antarctic Krill, which is the key food source atthe bottom of the Antarctic food chain.

In the past, every time the base of the oceanic food chainhas been destroyed, mass extinction has followed, on bothland and sea. This is because the complex biosphere of ourplanet is based in the oceans, and life cannot be sustainedanywhere on the planet if the oceans die.

In addition to the Antarctic disaster, similar catastrophesare taking place in Scotland, as Unknowncountry has reportedpreviously, and in growing ?dead zones? in both the Atlanticand Pacific oceans.

In the Antarctic, penguins, seals, fish, birds and whalesall depend on krill as a food source.

The British Antarctic Survey has said "This is the firsttime that we have understood the full scale of this decline,the Antarctic Peninsula, a key breeding ground for thekrill, has warmed by 2.5 degrees Celsius in the last 50years, with a striking decrease in sea-ice... The airtemperature increase is about five times faster than theglobal mean rate. We're already seeing some effects incertain penguin species at several sites in this area wherekrill are declining so much."

"We need to understand the mechanisms of these ecosysteminteractions to be able to predict what is going to happenin the future. The key thing is the climatic change at theAntarctic Peninsula. It is this particular area that iswarming up."

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