LARISSA - LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica, a NSF-funded project.

LARISSA - LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica, a NSF-funded project.
We are conducting an integrated, multi-disciplinary field program to address the rapid and fundamental changes occurring in the Antarctic Peninsula region as a consequence of the abrupt collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in the fall of 2002. A profound transformation in ecosystem structure and function is occurring in coastal waters of the western Weddell Sea. This transformation appears to be yielding a redistribution of energy flow between chemoautotrophic and photosynthetic production, and to be causing the rapid demise of the extraordinary seep ecosystem discovered beneath the ice shelf, providing an ideal opportunity to test fundamental paradigms in ecosystem evolution.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 12th. The ship has been rocky a bit since we left Punta Arenas so many of us have been resting today and spending time up on the bridge, which is definitely the place with the best view on the ship. Today’s views included layers of thick clouds and the mountains of the “Land of Fire” (Tierra del Fuego) in the distance. The officers on the bridge are very kind to let us hang out up there and use the binoculars and wildlife guide books. They are also very knowledgeable about the wildlife of this region. So today we saw a few different species of petrels, such as the giant southern petrel and learned that the big, majestic birds that have been following us around and gliding above the waves are black-browed albatrosses.

Mike looking at the wildlife from the ship’s bridge

Sailing between Tierra del Fuego and Staten Island

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