Erin Ross Jun 29
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Antarctica's ice-free zones face rocky future

Jasmine Lee / Australian Antarctic Division

Antarctica is thought of as covered in ice, but a small part, about 1%, is dry land. These patches are the most biodiverse places on the continent. Despite this, little is known about the impacts climate change will have on those biological hotbeds. A new study, published today in Nature, found climate change could increase Antarctica's dry land by 25%.

Why it matters: Some patches of ice-free land have species that haven't been seen anywhere else. Others serve as important breeding grounds for seabirds and seals. It's unclear whether existing species could move into the dry land or if animals there now could disappear.