Colorado State scientist co-authors Antarctica policy forum article

Antarctica Trip 2001
(Photo credit: John “Pathfinder” Lester)

Diana Wall, a Colorado State researcher, University Distinguished Professor and director of the university’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, co-authored a policy forum article which presented a call-to-action to address the environmental changes faced in Antarctica.

Wall, who has spent 22 seasons studying the response of soil biodiversity and ecosystem processes to environmental change, explains the importance of quickly addressing the changes facing Antarctica.

This is an environment undergoing rapid changes from the isolated landscape we once knew,” she said.

The authors of the paper, published in Science Magazine, identified short term threats like the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems, in addition to long term threats such as an increase in ocean acidity.

“This is the first time we’ve brought together experts in everything on the Antarctic terrestrial and marine environments, to find out what the big issues are for species and eocsystems,” Wall said. “We are seeing an urgency of issues that are converging on Antarctica and they are affecting species and ecosystems much faster than we thought.”

The authors agree that the Antarctic Treaty System is currently the best for of governance for accomplishing these goals, but that action must be taken much more quickly.