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Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
Cell Press

Antarctic Species Dwindle as Icebergs Batter Shores Year-Round (1 of 3)

Caption: The Antarctic shore is a place of huge contrasts, as quiet, dark, and frozen winters give way to bright, clear waters, thick with algae and peppered with drifting icebergs in summer. But as the planet has warmed in the last two decades, massive losses of sea ice in winter have left icebergs free to roam for most of the year. As a result, say researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 16, boulders on the shallow seabed -- once encrusted with a rich assemblage of species in intense competition for limited space -- now mostly support a single species. The climate-linked increase in iceberg activity has left all other species so rare as to be almost irrelevant.

Credit: British Antarctic Survey

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Related news release: Antarctic species dwindle as icebergs batter shores year-round

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