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Changes in the Antarctic sea ice ecosystem: potential effects on krill and baleen whales


Nicol, S and Worby, A and Leaper, R, Changes in the Antarctic sea ice ecosystem: potential effects on krill and baleen whales, Marine and Freshwater Research, 59, (2008) pp. 1323-1650. ISSN 1323-1650 (2008) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2008 CSIRO

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DOI: doi:10.1071/MF07161


The annual formation and loss of some 15 million km2 of sea ice around the Antarctic significantly affects global ocean circulation, particularly through the formation of dense bottom water.As one of the most profound seasonal changes on Earth, the formation and decay of sea ice plays a major role in climate processes. It is also likely to be impacted by climate change, potentially changing the productivity of the Antarctic region. The sea ice zone supports much wildlife, particularly large vertebrates such as seals, seabirds and whales, some exploited to near extinction. Cetacean species in the Southern Ocean will be directly impacted by changes in sea ice patterns as well as indirectly by changes in their principal prey, Antarctic krill, affected by modifications to their own environment through climate change. Understanding how climate change will affect species at all trophic levels in the Southern Ocean requires new approaches and integrated research programs. This review focuses on the current state of knowledge of the sea ice zone and examines the potential for climatic and ecological change in the region. In the context of changes already documented for seals and seabirds, it discusses potential effects on the most conspicuous vertebrate of the region, baleen whales.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sea ice, krill, baleen whale, climate change, exploitation
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Climate change impacts and adaptation
Research Field:Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Leaper, R (Dr Rebecca Leaper)
ID Code:70553
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:70
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2011-06-28
Last Modified:2015-07-10
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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