July 7, 2009

Antarctic faces ecological imbalances

British scientists say some species in Antarctic waters may be at risk due to global warming since they're now living close to their upper temperature range.

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey said they collected individuals from a wide range of species commonly found in Antarctic waters and subjected them to increasing water temperatures. The goal was to determine how each species is prepared to cope with the expected future conditions.

The scientists said they found several of the species are already living very close to their upper temperature range, and further increases caused by global warming could easily provoke serious ecological imbalances in this region.

The research was presented last week in Glasgow, Scotland, during the annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Biology.