Antarctica (a global common) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Antarctica (a global common) Deck (32)
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what is ablation

the opposite of accumulation, refers to all processes that remove snow, ice or water from a glacier or snow field


what is a nunatak

is an exposed, often rocky element of a ridge, mountain or peak not covered with ice or snow within an ice field or glacier


what is the Antarctic convergence zone

a natural boundary separating two distinct hydrological regions/areas of distinct climate/areas of distinct wildlife


what is the global thermohaline circulation (explain it)

water wants to move from where it is warm to where it is colder - but when water becomes colder it sinks. in the oceans this is accelerated further by changes in ocean salinity. these changes in temperature and salinity and the desire of water to move along gradients create the global thermohaline circulation


where does surface flow for the global thermohaline circulation come from

the tropics (warmest water)


where does bottom flow for the global thermohaline circulation come from

Antarctica (coldest water)


where is Vostok

is a south pole station- is isolated in the middle of the continent- in the coldest part of Antarctica


in which months is Antarctica warmest

October, November and December (temperature peak is in December and January)


main 4 threats to Antarctica

climate change
fishing and whaling
search for minerals
tourism and scientific research


Krill: there is a NEGATIVE feedback on

species that eat krill (as there is less krill in the oceans)


Krill: there is a POSITIVE feedback on

species that are eaten by krill


what impact has climate change has on Antarctica

parts of Antarctica are cooling and accumulating ice
the Antarctic peninsula has lost several large ice shelves causing a speed up of ice inland (positive dieback)


how many birds breed along the coast of Antarctica

100 million (from 35 species)


how many permanent scientific bases are there in Antarctica



example of an organisation that regulates tourism in Antarctica

International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (compromised of 99 companies from 16 countries- membership is voluntary)


economic pressures on Antarctica: fishing and whaling

already an issue as Antarctica is rich in fish stock
number of krill dropped in the 1970s
increase in allowance of catch - to reduce pressure elsewhere


where are fishing restrictions

in the north sea- so people have gone to the south sea


when was whaling banned and by who

banned in 1904 by the IWC. but still allowed to for scientific purposes


mineral exploitation in Antarctica

need for fuels. coal found on the coast and on mountains


how many barrels of oil can be extracted in the Ross Sea area

50 billion- but no one is allowed to as it could cause conflict


negative impacts of scientific research

limited breeding space for penguins due to research
risk of oil spills and accidents from supply ships


research impacts: argentina 1989

in 1989 an argentine ship released 250,000 gallons of oil into the sea- affecting species of krill and sea birds


how many tourists come to Antarctica every year



issues of tourism in Antarctica

more vessels on seas around Antarctica
little policing and management in place (no quarantine)


how much does it cost a tourist to go to antarctica

£4,500 to see it
£15,000 to get on land


how much has the temperature of Antarctica increased by

3 degrees celcius (faster than anywhere else- 5X the mean rate of global warming)


how much has the population of emperor penguins declined by in some areas

50% - breed on sea ice which is retreating


since the 1950s how many km2 of ice shelf has been left

28,000 km2


what species will be affected by the decline in krill numbers

whales, seals and penguins


how much have krill numbers dropped by since the 1970s

80% (worsened by our over fishing of krill)