The Kind of Change You Can’t Say No To

The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming places on Earth. Around Palmer Station, the average winter temperature has risen by more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 50 years. That might sound slow in human terms, but in terms of the rate the Earth normally goes through big changes, climate change is moving like a racecar coming around a curve.

Because the Palmer area is warming so fast, people who have worked at Palmer Station for many years have had a front-row seat for these changes. Even now, clear signs of the recent warming are all around. Today we went out with Donna Fraser of the Project CONVERGE penguin team. She’s been coming to Antarctica for 25 years—click through the slideshow to see some of the examples she showed us:

Gradual Is InvisibleLonely Litchfield IslandLooking for a HomeThe Footprints of a GlacierAn Island UnmaskedNew FacesOne Thing Leads to AnotherWinners and Losers

Our time at Palmer Station is drawing to a close. Tomorrow, the ship that brought us here, the Laurence M. Gould, will tie up once again at our dock. There will be a frenzy of activity as the scientists pack up all of their gear, move out of their rooms, do the last of their laundry, and have their last meals in the Palmer galley. The Palmer staff and the Gould crew will spend the day loading crates of gear onto the ship, and we’ll depart on Tuesday morning.

We’ve enjoyed writing and photographing this blog immensely. While we’re on the ship, we’re going to send a wrap-up post to bring you up to date on what the scientists found at the end of their field season, and what’s next for Project CONVERGE. We’ll also do our best to answer the remaining questions that you’ve sent in—so if you’re still curious about something, please send us a comment!

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One Comment

  1. Profile photo of Patricia Hester-Fearon
    Pat Hester-Fearon February 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    WOW It’s sad to know those numbers that Donna Fraser has mentioned regarding the penguins and I can only hope that their populations will begin to increase. Your blog has brought tremendous insight to my middle school students in Kearny NJ and I am sure they are very sad at this point realizing such devastating statistics regarding the penguins and other living creatures down in Antarctica. We all hope for a better future and know that studying science especially our natural world is just one way we can all help. Thank you again and have a safe trip home! We all will miss your blog!!!