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Accelerating flow of the Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica

first_imgPosition fixes made at the British Antarctic Survey station, Halley, on the Brunt Ice Shelf are considered for the period 1968–82. These show an initial westward velocity of approximately 400 ma−1 rising to over 700 m a−1 by the end of the period. The data are well fitted by two straight lines. The first for 1968–71 has a slope 430 m a−1 in agreement with that found by Thomas (1973) for the period up to 1968. The second for 1972–83 has a slope 740 ma −1, a large increase sustained for up to 10 years.last_img read more

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Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Marguerite Bay area, Antarctic Peninsula, interpreted from geophysical data

first_imgMagnetic, gravity and bathymetric data from Marguerite Bay are used to study the relationships between oceanic and continental tectonic evolution in the arc and fore-arc of the Antarctic Peninsula. The data are used to redefine the crustal structure of the Marguerite Bay area, providing evidence for a northward continuation of George VI Sound and the Alexander Island Mesozoic accretionary prism almost to the continental shelf edge. A two-stage model of extension, associated with changes in spreading rates and approaching ridge segments, is proposed to explain the crustal structure and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the area. The model involves the opening of George VI trough by Tertiary dextral transtension, followed by oblique extension in an area bounded by the Tula and Adelaide fracture zones. This interpretation confirms previous work linking oceanic tectonic processes with continental arc and fore-arc structural development.last_img read more

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Influence of ice and snow covers on the UV exposure of terrestrial microbial communities: dosimetric studies

first_imgBacillus subtilis spore biological dosimeters and electronic dosimeters were used to investigate the exposure of terrestrial microbial communities in micro-habitats covered by snow and ice in Antarctica. The melting of snow covers of between 5- and 15-cm thickness, depending on age and heterogeneity, could increase B. subtilis spore inactivation by up to an order of magnitude, a relative increase twice that caused by a 50% ozone depletion. Within the snow-pack at depths of less than similar to3 em snow algae could receive two to three times the DNA-weighted irradiance they would receive on bare ground. At the edge of the snow-pack, warming of low albedo soils resulted in the formation of overhangs that provided transient UV protection to thawed and growing microbial communities on the soils underneath. In shallow aquatic habitats, thin layers of heterogeneous ice of a few millimetres thickness were found to reduce DNA-weighted irradiances by up to 55% compared to full-sky values with equivalent DNA-weighted diffuse attenuation coefficients (K-DNA) of >200 m(-1). A 2-mm snow-encrusted ice cover on a pond was equivalent to 10 cm of ice on a perennially ice covered lake. Ice covers also had the effect of stabilizing the UV exposure, which was often subject to rapid variations of up to 33% of the mean value caused by wind-rippling of the water surface. These data show that changing ice and snow covers cause relative changes in microbial UV exposure at least as great as those caused by changing ozone column abundance.last_img read more

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Lactation and mother–pup behaviour in the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus: an unusual pattern for a phocid

first_imgThis paper presents baseline information on maternal behaviour and lactation in the Mediterranean monk seal, with particular focus on the age at which pups are weaned. The study was conducted in the western Saharan population, the only surviving colony of the species. The first moult finished at a mean pup age of 72.3±17 d (N=17) and, in contrast to other taxonomically-related phocids, this process was not associated with weaning. Lactation lasted a mean of 119.4 d (N=9; range: 103–149 d) in the pups that could be monitored until full weaning had taken place. This period almost doubles the maximum lactation length reported in other phocid species. During the first week after birth the mother–pup bond was well developed and mothers always remained with their pups. The time invested in nursing (17%, SD: ±36) and in mother–pup interactions (14%, SD: ±32) was higher during this period than afterwards (8%, SD: ±23 and 4%, SD: ±19, respectively). After the first week, nursing continued but mothers started to leave their pups in order to feed at sea. Weaning occurred gradually. Already since birth, pups were active and mobile, and swam frequently before moulting or weaning occurred. Fostering and milk stealing were common patterns of behaviour for both lactating females and pups. In 26.6% of the suckling episodes observed in mother–pup pairs of known identity, pups suckled from females other than their mothers. Some females nursed more than one pup, at least occasionally, and in some cases a pup was fostered long-term by an alien female. The Mediterranean monk seal exhibits maternal-care characteristics that are more like otarids than phocids. This observation contradicts previous proposals that a short lactation period is a phylogenetic characteristic of phocids. Several of the unusual maternal traits observed may be favoured by year-round access to abundant food supply, availability of breeding sites, and mild climatic conditions. This information should be taken into account when designing conservation strategies for the species and, very particularly, in the implementation of pup rehabilitation programmes.last_img read more

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The sedimentary legacy of a palaeo-ice stream on the shelf of the southern Bellingshausen Sea: Clues to West Antarctic glacial history during the Late Quaternary

first_imgA major trough (“Belgica Trough”) eroded by a palaeo-ice stream crosses the continental shelf of the southern Bellingshausen Sea (West Antarctica) and is associated with a trough mouth fan (“Belgica TMF”) on the adjacent continental slope. Previous marine geophysical and geological studies investigated the bathymetry and geomorphology of Belgica Trough and Belgica TMF, erosional and depositional processes associated with bedform formation, and the temporal and spatial changes in clay mineral provenance of subglacial and glaciomarine sediments. Here, we present multi-proxy data from sediment cores recovered from the shelf and uppermost slope in the southern Bellingshausen Sea and reconstruct the ice-sheet history since the last glacial maximum (LGM) in this poorly studied area of West Antarctica. We combined new data (physical properties, sedimentary structures, geochemical and grain-size data) with published data (shear strength, clay mineral assemblages) to refine a previous facies classification for the sediments. The multi-proxy approach allowed us to distinguish four main facies types and to assign them to the following depositional settings: 1) subglacial, 2) proximal grounding-line, 3) distal sub-ice shelf/sub-sea ice, and 4) seasonal open-marine. In the seasonal open-marine fades we found evidence for episodic current-induced winnowing of near-seabed sediments on the middle to outer shelf and at the uppermost slope during the late Holocene. In addition, we obtained data on excess Pb-210 activity at three core sites and 44 AMS C-14 dates from the acid-insoluble fraction of organic matter (AIO) and calcareous (micro-) fossils, respectively, at 12 sites. These chronological data enabled us to reconstruct, for the first time, the timing of the last advance and retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet (APIS) in the southern Bellingshausen Sea. We used the down-core variability in sediment provenance inferred from clay mineral changes to identify the most reliable AIO C-14 ages for ice-sheet retreat. The palaeo-ice stream advanced through Belgica Trough after similar to 36.0 corrected C-14 ka before present (B.P.). It retreated from the outer shelf at similar to 25.5 ka B.P, the middle shelf at similar to 19.8 ka B.P., the inner shelf in Eltanin Bay at similar to 12.3 ka B.P., and the inner shelf in Ronne Entrance at similar to 6.3 ka B.P. The retreat of the WAIS and APIS occurred slowly and stepwise, and may still be in progress. This dynamical ice-sheet behaviour has to be taken into account for the interpretation of recent and the prediction of future mass-balance changes in the study area. The glacial history of the southern Bellingshausen Sea is unique when compared to other regions in West Antarctica, but some open questions regarding its chronology need to be addressed by future work. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Marine ecosystem models for earth systems applications: The MarQUEST experience

first_imgThe MarQUEST (Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Modelling Initiative in QUEST) project was established to develop improved descriptions of marine biogeochemistry, suited for the next generation of Earth system models. We review progress in these areas providing insight on the advances that have been made as well as identifying remaining key outstanding gaps for the development of the marine component of next generation Earth system models. The following issues are discussed and where appropriate results are presented; the choice of model structure, scaling processes from physiology to functional types, the ecosystem model sensitivity to changes in the physical environment, the role of the coastal ocean and new methods for the evaluation and comparison of ecosystem and biogeochemistry models. We make recommendations as to where future investment in marine ecosystem modelling should be focused, highlighting a generic software framework for model development, improved hydrodynamic models, and better parameterisation of new and existing models, reanalysis tools and ensemble simulations. The final challenge is to ensure that experimental/observational scientists are stakeholders in the models and vice versa.last_img read more

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Assessing population viability while accounting for demographic and environmental uncertainty

first_imgPredicting the future trend and viability of populations is an essential task in ecology. Because many populations respond to changing environments, uncertainty surrounding environmental responses must be incorporated into population assessments. However, understanding the effects of environmental variation on population dynamics requires information on several important demographic parameters which are often difficult to estimate. Integrated population models facilitate the integration of time-series data on population size and all existing demographic information from a species, allowing the estimation of demographic parameters for which limited or no empirical data exist. Although these models are ideal for assessments of population viability, they have so far not included environmental uncertainty. We incorporated environmental variation in an integrated population model to account for both demographic and environmental uncertainty in an assessment of population viability. In addition, we used this model to estimate true juvenile survival, an important demographic parameter for population dynamics that is difficult to estimate empirically. We applied this model to assess the past and future population trend of a rare island endemic songbird, the Montserrat Oriole Icterus oberi, which is threatened by volcanic activity. Montserrat Orioles experienced lower survival in years with volcanic ash-fall, causing periodic population declines that were compensated by higher seasonal fecundity in years with high pre-breeding season rainfall. Due to the inclusion of both demographic and environmental uncertainty in the model, the estimated population growth rate in the immediate future was highly imprecise (95% credible interval 0.844 – 1.105), and the probability of extinction after three generations (in the year 2028) was low (2.1%). This projection demonstrates that accounting for both demographic and environmental sources of uncertainty provides a more realistic assessment of the viability of populations under unknown future environmental conditions.last_img read more

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Past ice flow in Wahlenbergfjorden and its implications for late Quaternary ice sheet dynamics in northeastern Svalbard

first_imgWahlenbergfjorden is a fjord situated in the western part of Nordaustlandet in northern Svalbard. It leads into the 400 m deep Hinlopen Strait located between Nordaustlandet and Spitsbergen. High-resolution multibeam bathymetric and sub-bottom data, as well as sediment cores are used to study the past extent and dynamics of glaciers in Wahlenbergfjorden and western Nordaustlandet. The submarine landform assemblage in Wahlenbergfjorden consists of landforms characteristic of subglacial, ice marginal and proglacial conditions. Glacial lineations indicate that Wahlenbergfjorden was occupied by streaming ice during the LGM and most likely acted as an ice stream onset zone. Westward ice flow in the fjord merged with the ice stream in Hinlopen Strait. Absence of ice recessional landforms in outer Wahlenbergfjorden suggests relatively fast deglaciation, possibly by flotation of the glacier front in the deeper parts of the fjord. The inner part of Wahlenbergfjorden and Palanderbukta are characterized by De Geer moraines, indicating episodic retreat of a grounded glacier front. In Palanderbukta, longer still stands of the glacier terminus resulted in the formation of larger terminal moraine ridges. The inner part of Wahlenbergfjorden was deglaciated prior to 11.3 ± 55 Cal. ka BP. The submarine landform assemblages in front of Bodleybreen, Etonbreen, Idunbreen, Frazerbreen and Aldousbreen confirm that these glaciers have surged at least once during the Holocene.last_img read more

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White Sox Pitcher Danny Farquhar improving

first_img Written by Beau Lund FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailDavid Banks/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Chicago White Sox Pitcher Danny Farquhar is improving after undergoing surgery on Saturday following a brain aneurysm.Farquhar sustained the aneurysm during the team’s game against the Houston Astros on Friday. He collapsed in the dugout after pitching the sixth inning of the game.In a statement released by the team, Farquhar is “responding appropriately to questions and commands” and that he remains in critical, but neurologically stable condition.”The pitcher in the ICU at the Rush University Medical Center. His wife and family are with him at the center, where he is expected to stay for several weeks.The White Sox moved him to the 60-day disabled list before their game Monday night against Seattle, a team Farquhar used to play for.The Mariners honored their former teammate by hanging his former jersey in the bullpen.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.center_img April 24, 2018 /Sports News – National White Sox Pitcher Danny Farquhar improvinglast_img read more

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Scoreboard roundup — 4/28/18

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Saturday’s sports events: INTERLEAGUEMinnesota 3, Cincinnati 1 AMERICAN LEAGUEChicago White Sox 8, Kansas City 0Tampa Bay 12, Boston 6Texas 7, Toronto 4Seattle 12, Cleveland 4Detroit 9, Baltimore 5Houston 11, Oakland 0Kansas City 5, Chicago White Sox 2N.Y. Yankees 11, L.A. Angels 1NATIONAL LEAGUEChicago Cubs 3, Milwaukee 0Arizona 4, Washington 3, 10 InningsL.A. Dodgers 15, San Francisco 6Atlanta 4, Philadelphia 1Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 2Miami 4, Colorado 1San Diego 12, N.Y. Mets 2San Francisco 8, L.A. Dodgers 3NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFSBoston 112, Milwaukee 96Golden State 123, New Orleans 101NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFSBoston 6, Tampa Bay 2San Jose 4, Vegas 3Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Beau Lund April 29, 2018 /Sports News – National Scoreboard roundup — 4/28/18center_img Written bylast_img read more

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