Antarctic Ecosystems: Environmental Contamination, Climate by R. Bargagli

By R. Bargagli

This quantity presents an summary of weather switch information, its results at the constitution and functioning of Antarctic ecosystems, and the incidence and biking of chronic contaminants. It discusses the position of Antarctic learn for the safety of the worldwide setting. The ebook additionally examines attainable destiny eventualities of weather switch and the position of Antarctic organisms within the early detection of environmental perturbations.

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Additional resources for Antarctic Ecosystems: Environmental Contamination, Climate Change, and Human Impact (Ecological Studies, 175)

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Clouds reduce the amount of absorbed radiation and decrease the loss of terrestrial radiation to space by absorbing and then re-emitting part of this radiation back down to the sur- Antarctica: Geomorphology and Climate Trends 15 Fig. 5. Typical albedos (%) of different natural surfaces compared with the whole Earth average value face. The net effect of possible changes in cloudiness over Antarctica is not easy to predict because it depends on cloud characteristics such as cloud height and water content (Arking 1991).

Clouds have a dominant effect on the planetary albedo, reflecting about 20 % of the solar radiation reaching the Earth, compared to the 6 % reflectance of gas molecules and aerosols (Loeb 2002). Cloud cover in Antarctica varies strongly: the average cloudiness is usually high over the ocean and in coastal areas of the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica,and lower along the East Antarctic coastline, with minimum values in the interior. e. the difference between intercepted and reflected radiation) is the principal source of energy which drives the climate system.

G. the Earth’s maximum distance from the Sun during the austral winter), ice cover (over the continent and Southern Ocean) and average altitude are the main factors affecting the climate of Antarctica. e. the major repository for heat in the rest of the world). Because it is the coldest place on Earth, Antarctica plays a very important role in the global climate system as the greatest heat sink of the Southern Hemisphere. Temperature gradients from the equator to the pole, and atmospheric and oceanic dynamics in the Southern Hemisphere are driven by temperatures and atmospheric pressures in Antarctica, the extent of sea ice, and water tempera- 12 R.

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