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Hotter, Colder–It’s Still Your Fault!

September 26, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dave Ward



Emerging from the ice for a brief growing season every Antarctic summer, the lush green mosses of East Antarctica are finally succumbing to climate change.

That is according to a study of the small, ancient and hardy plants – carried out over more than a decade.

This revealed that vegetation in East Antarctica is changing rapidly in response to a drying climate.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"Visiting Antarctica, you expect to see icy, white landscapes," said lead scientist Prof Sharon Robinson from the University of Wollongong, in Australia. "But in some areas there are lush, green moss beds that emerge from under the snow for a growing period of maybe six weeks."

While West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are some of the fastest warming places of the planet, East Antarctica has not yet experienced much climate warming, so the scientists did not expect to see much change in the vegetation there.

"But we were really surprised when we saw how fast it was changing," Prof Robinson said.

"After a pilot study in 2000, we set up monitoring in 2003. When we returned in 2008, all these green moss beds had turned dark red, indicating they were severely stressed. It was a dramatic change.

"They change from green to red to grey if they get really stressed.

"The red pigments are the sunscreen and drought stress protective pigments they produce to protect themselves – antioxidant and UV screening compounds.

"Grey means they are dying."

The scientists discovered evidence of a drying climate affecting the plants.

When their study started, the moss beds were dominated by a species called Schistidium antarctici, which can survive long periods under water. By 2013, many of the beds the team studied were being encroached by two other moss species that thrive in drier conditions and are less tolerant to being submerged.

East Antarctica, the researchers say, has become colder, windier and drier due to the combined effects of climate change and ozone depletion.


So, apparently, global warming now means the East Antarctic is getting colder!!


The research was undertaken near Casey Station, the Australian research centre. They have been recording temperatures since 1989, and there is no evidence of temperatures either going up or down:

casey (300017) annual  graph

casey (300017) annual  graph


And they are so concerned about precipitation that they have barely bothered measuring it since 2005. What information they have does not suggest Casey is getting drier.

casey (300017) annual  graph


The so called scientists have provided no proof that what they have observed is not simply short term weather events, which have no doubt happened millions of times in the past.

  1. The Informed Consumer permalink
    September 26, 2018 7:38 pm

    This’ll be the land based equivalent of the Great barrier Reef coral then.

    They might also weigh this up against the planets 14% greening over the last 35 years of satellite observations. Two continents the size of mainland USA according to one of the authors of the NASA study.

    But that’s inconsequential in the face of moss on an entirely useless, frozen continent.

    • HotScot permalink
      September 26, 2018 7:38 pm

      Damn! done it again…..that should be HotScot.

      • Adrian permalink
        September 26, 2018 9:57 pm

        Yup my fault, can’t get away from it. I always knew it really, but I guess I was in denial.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    September 26, 2018 7:43 pm

    And of course, the Antarctic ozone depletion is seasonal and very temporary.

  3. quaesoveritas permalink
    September 26, 2018 7:44 pm

    “And they are so concerned about precipitation that they have barely bothered measuring it since 2005. What information they have does not suggest Casey is getting drier.”

    Are you sure they haven’t misinterpreted the absence of rainfall data as the absence of rain!

  4. September 26, 2018 8:18 pm

    Or (and here’s a thought) this could be something to do with a process we so-called ecologists know as “succession” whereby pioneer species give way to more competitive kinds over time, even in the absence of abiotic change in the habitat.

    I can’t find the paper on google scholar, & the beeb doesn’t link to it of course. Searching the good Prof. Robinson’s oeuvre does not lead me to think this is anything significant… but it includes the magic word, so…

  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 26, 2018 8:50 pm

    No worries! Corbyn is gong to double wind generation and triple solar so that we shall be 60% renewable when he is in power (hopefully not solar power as he will only be running the country 11% of the time). That way, global warming will be conquered by the glorious Social Revolution that he will bring about. Renewables will save Arctic Moss. (But SC 24 may have more to do with it).

    • roger permalink
      September 26, 2018 10:08 pm

      Not only that, but he is going to create hundreds of thousands of new green jobs presumably for more new immigrants as we already have close to full employment.
      So that is why he will have a second referendum on Brexit.

      • Up2snuff permalink
        September 26, 2018 10:35 pm

        roger, please do not believe all that you hear on the BBC. They are busy helping to push the modern urban myth of full UK employment.

        We have approx. 1.35million unemployed in the UK. Arguably, we are a million jobs away from full employment.

      • roger permalink
        September 27, 2018 2:06 pm

        At 1•4 million unemployed in the seventies I was told by my local employment exchange that none of the people on their books were suitable for the four posts that I was desperate to fill because they were work shy and likely to turn up only for one day if at all if I was lucky.
        And weren’t the Labour Party talking about the right not to work just this week at conference?

  6. September 27, 2018 12:05 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  7. September 27, 2018 2:01 am

    The green mosses were being succeeded by mosses which are not so tolerant of being submerged. This shows a drier climate. I think the reporter got confused reading the abstract of a scientific paper on line and in a hurry

    • david permalink
      September 27, 2018 5:48 am

      The scare stories are becoming sillier by the day. Imagine going up to a Chinaman and shouting through the window, “Take that piece of coal off the fire! We have had complaints from a rock in Antarctica and his closest friend, Moss, that you’re annoying them!”

      As I have suggested before, ‘they’ are in a full ‘rapture state’ of trembling anticipation. When reality strikes I hope it strikes them hard – but they are completely delusional at present.

  8. Bitter@twisted permalink
    September 27, 2018 8:11 am

    I worked down in the Antarctic and did some research on these moss beds.
    They are very susceptible to disturbance- such as researchers crawling all over them.
    A footprint willl last a 100 years.
    But it ain’t climate change.

  9. September 27, 2018 10:07 am

    Which version of ‘climate change’ did this?

    NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses (2015)

  10. 4TimesAYear permalink
    September 27, 2018 10:30 am

    Reblogged this on 4TimesAYear's Blog.

  11. September 27, 2018 1:11 pm

    The article conveniently did not name the “two other species.” In fact it did not give methods, etc. Apparently a picture is worth a thousand words or actual scientific data.

    The genus, “Schistidium” is a widely dispersed one. The species in question, “Schistidium antarctici” is described as such by Wikipedia: It lives in compact clumps that are yellowish green at the top and brownish black at the bottom. It grows on both soil and rocks. If its habitat supplies ample moisture, it may form a “carpet-like” growth, but if its habitat is dry, it forms a short “cushion-like” growth.

    Since we do not have the names for the two other species, it is rather impossible to draw any conclusions about their habitat/ecology. Very convenient. Schistidium is in the family
    Grimmiaceae. As I remember from my one moss identification course, they are rock mosses. We have the family-naming genus, “Grimmia” in WV.

    Mosses, along with liverworts and hornworts are non-vascular plants in the Division Bryophyta. These are very primitive and thus ancient plants. As such, these groups are able to “roll with the punches.” Mosses are stinkers to identify. Moss experts (bryologists) are few and far between. Nowhere in the somewhat fact-lacking article (I clicked and read the “article”) was Dr. Robinson’s claim to science expounded. Therefore, I doubt that she or anyone else was a bryologist. These sound like ecologists and today that group is fairly devoid of organismal knowledge. They mostly sit at computers and model things to suit their pre-conceived conclusions.

    I have found Wikipedia remarkably good for plants. It is my go-to for any species in question which is outside the realm of my personal collection of floras.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 27, 2018 1:56 pm

      You know the rules – no use of superior knowledge when talking about global warming. You’ll just upset them.

      • September 27, 2018 2:50 pm

        I also know the tenets of the Scientific Method. The “rules” about which you speak are non-consequential to science. This does not pass the Scientific Method smell test. Neither does man-caused climate change.

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