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Latest News !

South Atlantic Darwin Projects lead to the Discovery of Growing Carbon Sinks around Antarctic Islands

The latest Darwin Initiative newsletter has highlighted new research from our ASCCC team in the measurment of 'blue carbon' in the Southern Ocean.
 
Darwin grants were awarded to the British Antarctic Survey, the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and Tristan da Cunha Conservation Department, to explore the benthic biology on the continental shelves of remote islands in UK Overseas Territories.
 
Their combined research, which utilised over 20 years of data, found that animals on the seabed are accumulating a large and increasing amount of carbon. These findings were published in Global Change Biology , and indicate that the capture and storage of 'blue carbon' is greatest in the Marine Protected Area of the South Orkney Islands.
 
Our research illustrates that when seasonal sea ice reduces spatially and temporally, life on the seabed is able to grow for longer each year, thereby taking more carbon to the seabed, where is it buried when the animals die.
 
These new results illustrate the importance of further investigating whether we can maximise natural carbon capture by seabed life, in order to achieve our global goal to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels.

Less sea ice leads to more carbon drawdown by animals on the seabed

Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) Proposal

 We have submitted a propsal to ACE in order to undertake the first estimation of the circum-Antarctic seabed carbon budget for the 2016/2017 season.  The project wants to understand how regional warming impacts 'blue carbon' accumulation around Antarctica. So we need to investigate how much carbon is currently within benthic animals, and how this changes over time. This work will follow on from previous group work around the Atlantic Ocean sector islands, which found that these continental shelves are important carbon sinks in this region. The propsal will extend this work to better determine the scale and pattern of carbon accumulation around the Antarctic.
 

Upcoming cruise around South Orkneys

Starting from the 25th of February to the 25th of March several members of the team (Dave, Rachel and Camille) will take place on board of the RRS James Clark Ross for a mission around the South Orkney Islands.

More information about this expedition and the SO-AntEco (South Orkneys - State of the Antarctic Ecosystem) project are available on the following links :
 
http://www.scar.org/anteco/anteco-news
https://www.bas.ac.uk/project/so-anteco/