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Antarctica Turning Green as Warm Temperatures Increase Moss Growth

Image: Antarctica Turning Green as Warm Temperatures Increase Moss Growth

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By    |   Friday, 19 May 2017 03:13 PM

The growth of moss on the land of Antarctica is causing it to turn green where there used to be just ice, with some attributing the growth to climate change.

"If you’d taken a photograph of these parts of the Peninsula 50 years ago it would have been a monochrome shot of ice," Dominic Hodgson, co-author of a new study published in Current Biology, told CNN. "Today that photo would show extensive patches of green."

Another study co-author, Tom Roland, said moss growth has increased four to five times in the past 50 years, CNN added.

The study by scientists from Exeter and Cambridge Universities and the British Antarctic Survey studied cores of moss from different sites in Antarctica and how they have changed over 150 years. Scientists found that the moss is growing an average of 3 millimeters a year when it used to grow less than a millimeter, according to The Washington Post.

The moss itself is probably not a problem, Hodgson said, but non-indigenous plant species could be if they are introduced from outside the continent. This has already happened in sub-Antarctic islands, with the species being carried in accidentally on clothing and equipment of those working there, CNN reported.

Someday even trees may grow there if the rising temperatures continue, the Post reported. While many scientists are convinced that man-made climate change will lead to negative outcomes for the planet, others believe the last few years were warmer because of El Nino weather patterns, which are ending this year, Earth Institute of Columbia University reported.

Twitter continued to debate climate change in response to the news.

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The growth of moss on the land of Antarctica is causing it to turn green where there used to be just ice, with some attributing the growth to climate change.
antarctica, turning, green, moss
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2017-13-19
Friday, 19 May 2017 03:13 PM
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