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Antarctic Peninsula: One of the Coldest Areas in the World is getting Greener, say Researchers

The cores, researchers say, showed “increased biological activity” over the past 50 years as the peninsula warmed. Researchers say their findings show “fundamental and widespread change,” and that the change was “striking.”

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Researchers say the Antarctic Peninsula is rapidly greening due to climate change. (Matt Amesbury). VOA

Antarctica, May 20,2017-One of the coldest areas in the world is getting greener, and researchers say it’s because of global warming.

Researchers from the University of Exeter in England who first studied the increase of moss and microbes in the Antarctic Peninsula in 2013, now say the greening of the region is widespread.

“This gives us a much clearer idea of the scale over which these changes are occurring,” says lead author Matthew Amesbury of the University of Exeter.

“Previously, we had only identified such a response in a single location at the far south of the Antarctic Peninsula, but now we know that moss banks are responding to recent climate change across the whole of the Peninsula.”

The peninsula, researchers say, is one of the more rapidly warming area in the world, adding that temperatures have risen by about a half-degree Celsius each decade since the 1950s.

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For their study, researchers looked at five more core samples from three areas of moss banks over 150 years old. The new samples included three Antarctic Islands off the peninsula.

The cores, researchers say, showed “increased biological activity” over the past 50 years as the peninsula warmed. Researchers say their findings show “fundamental and widespread change,” and that the change was “striking.”

The changes are likely to continue.

“Temperature increases over roughly the past half-century on the Antarctic Peninsula have had a dramatic effect on moss banks growing in the region, with rapid increases in growth rates and microbial activity,” says Dan Charman, who led the research. “If this continues, and with increasing amounts of ice-free land from continued glacier retreat, the Antarctic Peninsula will be a much greener place in the future.”

The next step for researchers is to look back even further in history to see how climate change affected the region before humans made an impact.

The findings appeared in Current Biology on May 18. (VOA)

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About 25% Tweets Regarding Climate Change are Produced by Bots, Reveals Study

The study could not identify the people responsible for setting up the bots that were trained to post climate denial messages on Twitter

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The researchers found that only five per cent of tweets advocating action to protect the environment were produced by bots. Pixabay

A lot of messages denying the effects of global warming might actually have been written by bots as new research from Brown University in the US found that about 25 per cent of the tweets about climate change that they analysed were produced by automated accounts.

Bots are non-personal or automated accounts that post content to social media platforms.

While the findings of the study are yet to be published, The Guardian newspaper reported them after seeing the draft study.

The results suggest that online conversations about climate change are often distorted due to the activities of the bots.

According to a report in the BBC on Saturday, the research team at Brown University analysed 6.5 million tweets from around the time US President Donald Trump revealed his intention to remove the US from the Paris climate accord in 2017.

The analysis showed a quarter of tweets on climate change were likely posted by bots.

“These findings suggest a substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denials messages about climate change, including support for Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement,” stated the draft study, according to The Guardian.

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A lot of messages denying the effects of global warming might actually have been written by bots as new research from Brown University in the US found that about 25 per cent of the tweets about climate change that they analysed were produced by automated accounts. Pixabay

The study could not identify the people responsible for setting up the bots that were trained to post climate denial messages on Twitter.

For the study, the researchers used a tool from Indiana University called Botometer, which uses an algorithm to assign a score to Twitter accounts based upon the likelihood they are automated.

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The researchers found that only five per cent of tweets advocating action to protect the environment were produced by bots. (IANS)