Rethinking climate change impacts on subsurface temperatures in a sub-Antarctic mire affected by synoptic scale processes
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa; Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
This paper presents the first high resolution temperature data from a small Agrostis magellanica mire on subantarctic Marion Island as part of an ongoing island-wide monitoring project on subsurface ground temperature variability. Variations in ground temperatures were found to be directly linked to the passage of synoptic scale weather systems that influence thermal characteristics and heat fluxes especially in the upper 30 cm of the mire. Preliminary data published here suggest that shallow temperatures will be most affected by changes in synoptic climate that Marion Island is currently experiencing with an increase in average temperatures and a reduction in temperature variability with depth. This study proposes that to effectively detect the ecosystem responses to climate change in a maritime sub-Antarctic environment the temporal scale of measurement needs to be at least on a diurnal scale to be effective. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Agrostis; Average temperature; Climate change impact; Ecosystem response; Ground temperature; High resolution temperature datum; Marion Island; Mire temperatures; Preliminary data; Subsurface temperature; Synoptic weather; Temperature variability; Temporal scale; Thermal characteristics; Weather systems; Climate change; climate change; climate effect; heat flux; mire; surface temperature; synoptic meteorology; Indian Ocean; Indian Ocean islands; Marion Island; Prince Edward Islands; Agrostis magellanica