Antarctic wildlife expert Dr. Rodolfo Werner is sailing the Southern Ocean with the world’s best photographers and filmmakers. They are on a mission to inspire the world to protect the Antarctic Peninsula. In his latest dispatch, Rodolfo comprehends the full impact of climate change on Antarctica’s krill, penguins, and seals. This blog is Rodolfo’s second dispatch from Antarctica.
February 15th – Gerlach Strait
The weather is very humid. I started coming to Antarctica in January 2006, and I feel that the weather on the Antarctic Peninsula has become more humid in recent years. According to some studies, the increased precipitation, especially snow, blocks the sunlight from penetrating the sea ice. Less light intensity results in reduced growth of sea-ice algae (diatoms) under the ice. Fewer diatoms mean less food for krill. Fewer krill mean less food for penguins, whales, fish and seals. This relatively small change in the weather can have a tremendous impact on the ecosystem.
In the afternoon, we encountered approximately 50 humpback whales feeding in the waters of the Gerlach Strait. Capturing all the action was difficult. Jeff flew the drone and obtained incredible images from the air. And I saw something that I have never seen before – humpbacks producing a three line bubble curtain.…Continue reading »