David Barnes and his colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey have found that the sea-floor ecosystem of an area of the West Antarctic Peninsula is suffering from the
They also studied the duration of the skin of ‘fast ice’ that forms on the
There was also worrying data from looking at the bryozoans. Since 1997, the chance of a bryozoan colony reaching sexual maturity, around 2 years old, has halved. Obviously if they are killed before they can breed, this will have a damaging effect on the species. Plus benthic species like the bryozoans are important for carbon sequestration. Reduced sea ice coverage can mean an increase in growth, but the authors suggest that this will be counteracted by the damaging effects of ice scouring.