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The scientific response to Antarctic ice-shelf loss

Biological communities beneath Antarctic ice shelves remain a mystery, hampering assessment of ecosystem development after ice-shelf collapse. Here we highlight major gaps in understanding of the patterns and processes in these areas, and suggest effective ways to study the ecological impacts of ice-shelf loss under climate change.

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Fig. 1: Ecosystem properties and processes shown with their responses to ice-shelf collapse.


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This Comment benefited from discussions at the ‘Antarctic Ecosystem Research Following Ice Shelf Collapse and Iceberg Calving Events’ workshop held in November 2017 at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory. The workshop and the creation of this product were funded by the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs through collaborative grants to all authors. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the 38 Antarctic scientists who participated in the workshop. This is contribution number 201 from the Institute for Global Ecology at the Florida Institute of Technology, and contribution number 10419 from the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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Correspondence to Jeroen Ingels.

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Ingels, J., Aronson, R.B. & Smith, C.R. The scientific response to Antarctic ice-shelf loss. Nature Clim Change 8, 848–851 (2018).

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