|Seen on the wall of the ship|
Whenever conditions would cause plans to change and a morning or afternoon would end up free we would get presentations from the naturalists and photographers, as well as during evening 'recap' when they would do short talks on their favourite topics. As this was also a research ship, presentations could include videos, photos and information on research they had just conducted during a dive while we were out on excursion. Talks included:
- Historical account of whaling
- The skua support society. Skuas were generally not liked because they attacked the penguins, but they gave a more balanced perspective on the circle of life in Antarctica.
- Ice and frozen oceans
- Shackleton's amazing 1915/16 adventure in Antarctica
- Their research on leopard seals
- Killer whales
- Long term data shows temperatures at Palmer Station have increased 7 degrees Celsius since 1945. This is more than 5 times the global average. Antarctica in general has increased temperature at about twice the global average.
- The station used to get fresh water from a nearby glacier but since it has receded so much they now use osmosis to purify seawater.
- The Adelie penguin numbers have decreased from 15,000 in 1974 to 2,000 in 2014 due to the decline in sea ice.
- Krill numbers are falling in the area and are affected by warming oceans. 70% of the krill population might die due to climate change. This is a huge issue as krill are near the bottom of the food chain and are eaten by penguins, seals and even whales.
- Phytoplankton has decreased by 90% north of the station but has increased 60% in the south. Phytoplankton produces about two thirds of the planet's atmospheric oxygen. New research indicates that as oceans warm photosynthesis in phytoplankton may shut down.
- There is accelerating glacier loss in West Antarctica.
- The Larsen B ice shelf in West Antarctica is almost all gone making a total of 5 ice shelves that will have collapsed since 1989. Larsen C is showing signs of beginning to collapse. While ice shelves do not contribute to sea level rise they hold back glaciers that do contribute to sea level rise. These collapses are partly due to warming oceans melting the ice shelves from underneath and were unexpected, meaning current sea level rise projections are greatly underestimated.