Snow melts, plants appear: Ukrainian polar explorers show summer in Antarctica
Ukrainian polar explorers from the Akademik Vernadsky station showed what summer looks like in the Antarctic: the snow is beginning to melt, revealing the unique Antarctic vegetation
This was reported by the National Antarctic Research Centre.
"Usually, only snow, ice, frost and icicles are associated with Antarctica. But now it is summer there, and at this time the air temperature fluctuates around 0 °C. In particular, this summer, the highest temperature reached +5 °C (on January 3), and the lowest dropped to -1.2 °C (on January 12)," the statement said.
According to the polar explorers, under such conditions, snow begins to melt and unique Antarctic vegetation appears. These are two types of vascular plants - Antarctic pike grass, which is related to oats, and pearl wort, which belongs to the clove family. There are also about 100 species of mosses and lichens in the Antarctic.
"Ukrainian polar explorers are studying how climate change affects Antarctic vegetation. To do this, they keep records of bushes and their distribution. In addition to climate change, penguins help Antarctic plants to grow. After all, it is they who generously "fertilize" rocks and narrow areas of soil, making them suitable for further landscaping," the researchers noted.
- Earlier, Ukrainian polar explorers showed a rare phenomenon - "snow donuts". These are multilayered snow bundles with usually a void inside. They can be either very small - from a few centimetres in diameter, or quite noticeable - over a meter in diameter, resembling bales of hay in a field.