Stay at the British Antarctic Survey
During July this year I was working together with David Barnes at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The stay was very nice and we shared two weeks of work and sunny days at Cambridge.
Our studies are focused in measuring the iceberg impacts on the seabed and the biological responses of Antarctic benthic communities. In Rothera Station, David has performed iceberg impact surveys for ten years. In Carlini Station, for the last three years we have been performing similar ice scouring experiments in two newly ice-free areas with different degree of glacial influence at Potter Cove.
In 2012 we set up a series of markers on the seabed to assess icebergs impacts that were monitored by divers each year. Throughout my stay we analyzed these data and prepared the coming expedition 2014/2015 in Carlini Station. We quantified the number of days with sea-ice each year; the number of markers hit by icebergs, and analyzed the biological cover by photographic analysis.
Linking regional warming, sea ice losses, iceberg scouring and biological responses in a regional scale is very difficult and challenging. This experience is a start of a cooperation lead by David between Argentina (Instituto Antartico Argentino), Germany (Alfred Wegener Institute) and the UK (British Antarctic Survey). We aim to broaden these collaborations as we believe that more studies of this type are the key to scale ice scouring impacts on benthic communities in a climate change scenario.