MDV 43 2

Otago University's Marte Hofsteenge measuring precise GPS for a 3D glacier cliff model. Photo: Tamara Pletzer

December Update

23 December 2022

In the field: Monitoring terrestrial ecosystems

A hydroclimate team has visited Taylor Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys to retrieve soil sensors that had been taking measurements through the winter, in temperatures down to -40°C. The new records will be used to improve temperature datasets based on satellite data, and to evaluate regional and local-scale climate models. The team also revisited and maintained a weather station on the Commonwealth Glacier, downloading a full year's worth of weather observations, as part of ongoing research efforts to understand factors driving the melt of the Valley glaciers. The 'ground' team has now handed over fieldwork to an 'aerial' team, which is mapping the Commonwealth Glacier. Understanding climate-driven change to Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems is important to monitor, as physical changes to the environment have the potential to modify biological responses and the habitats of numerous species.

In-depth: Survival of emperor penguins depends on emissions reductions

Photographer Anthony Powell captured these close-ups at the emperor penguin colony at Cape Crozier this season. About 54 emperor colonies are distributed evenly around the coast of Antarctica, some only recently discovered through satellite-based observations. This species’ long-term survival depends on sea ice. What will happen to the emperors in a warming world? The Antarctic Science Platform looks at consequences of rising emissions, and what can be done to save the penguins.

Emperor Close Up 2 Medium By Anthony Powell 2022
Emperor Face
Emperors have Square Pupils

The penguin's eye muscle changes the shape of their lens to create a sharp, clear image both on land and in water. Photos: Anthony Powell

Publications list online

A list of publications generated by Antarctic Science Platform researchers from 2019 to 31 July 2022, including journal articles and conference papers, is now available on the website.

For more news from Antarctica New Zealand and Scott Base, click here