A typical season in Ryder Bay,West Antarctic Peninsula
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The purpose of this report is to describe an average season (in terms of sea ice, temperature and chlorophyll a levels) in Ryder Bay, near the Rothera research station on the West Antarctic Peninsula. The data has been collected by a long term ecological research project called RaTS which has been in operation since 1997. This data shows there is very strong seasonality in terms of all three parameters. On average, solid sea ice can be present for approximately 5 months and while the sea ice is ‘fast’ there is no chlorophyll growth. As the warmer waters begin to break up the ice, chlorophyll growth increases dramatically. This pattern is repeated throughout 11 years of data. The duration and intensity of each season is variable year to year, and is influenced by factors outside the scope of this report. However the trend is for shorter sea ice seasons, longer chlorophyll a seasons and little significant change in sea water temperature.