Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

Content

Polish Polar Research | 2006 | vol. 27 | No 4 |

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Abstract

Penguin bones from the La Meseta Formation (Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula) are the only record of Eocene Antarctic Sphenisciformes. Being an abundant component of the youngest unit of the formation (Telm7), they are not so common in earlier strata. Here, I present the oldest penguin remains from the La Meseta Formation (Telm1-Telm2), often bearing close resemblance to their counterparts from younger units. Addressing the recent findings in fossil penguin systematics, I suggest there is too weak a basis for erecting new Eocene Antarctic taxa based on non-tarsometatarsal elements of penguin skeletons, and considering Oligocene species part of the studied assemblage. Finally, I conclude if the common ancestor of extant Sphenisciformes lived in the Eocene Antarctic (as suggested recently), penguins referred to Delphinornis seem to be prime candidates to that position.

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Authors and Affiliations

Piotr Jadwiszczak
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Abstract

Campylobacter is one of the most common bacterial causes of diarrheal illness in humans. This study describes the isolation of Campylobacter lari from seabirds during 4 consecutive summers (2000-2003) in Hope Bay, Antarctic Peninsula. One hundred and twenty-two spontaneously dead Antarctic seabirds were studied. Ten Campylobacter lari isolates from 7 skuas (Stercorarius spp.), 2 kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus), and 1 Adelie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) were identified by phenotypical characteristics. Human activity in Antarctica was identified as a possible source of infectious agents, and migratory birds could be carriers of infectious diseases. However, nothing is known about zoonotic enteropathogens causing diseases in humans living in the Antarctic region. We demonstrated that seabirds carried C. lari in their intestines, and that they were settled around the lakes where humans are supplied with fresh water. Consumption of fresh water from Antarctic lakes contaminated with feces of seabirds could be a risk of human campylobacteriosis. This is the first report of C. lari isolated from seabirds in Hope Bay, Antarctica.

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Authors and Affiliations

Gerardo Leotta
Germán Vigo
Gabriela Giacoboni
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Abstract

We describe the spatial variability of snow accumulation on three selected glaciers in Spitsbergen (Hansbreen, Werenskioldbreen and Aavatsmarkbreen) in the winter seasons of 1988/89, 1998/99 and 2001/2002 respectively. The distribution of snow cover is determined by the interrelationships between the direction of the glacier axes and the dominant easterly winds. The snow distribution is regular on the glaciers located E-W, but is more complicated on the glaciers located meridionally. The western part of glaciers is more predisposed to the snow accumulation than the eastern. This is due to snowdrift intensity. Statistical relationships between snow accumulation, deviation of accumulation from the mean values and accumulation variability related to topographic parameters such as: altitude, slope inclination, aspect, slope curvature and distance from the edge of the glacier have been determined. The only significant relations occured between snow accumulation and altitude (r = 0.64-0.91).

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Authors and Affiliations

Mariusz Grabiec
Jan Leszkiewicz
Piotr Głowacki
Jacek Jania
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Abstract

Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography, concentrations of uric acid in the surface waters of two non-glaciated catchments (Fugle and Dynamisk) on Spitsbergen were measured. Measurements of specific conductivity enabled us to perform tests on the dissolution of the carbonate rocks present in both catchments in both natural and aqueous solutions of uric acid. Samples of calcium urate were made and its water solubility determined. Given a knowledge of concentrations of uric acid, calcium ions and calcium urate solubility product, an estimate of the role of uric acid in the dissolution of carbonate rocks was possible. Uric acid increases the dissolution of carbonate rocks by c. 12.5% in case of the Fugle catchment and 7% in Dynamisk.

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Authors and Affiliations

Maciej Burzyk
Marian Pulina
Mieczysław Sajewicz
Ireneusz Zjawiony
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Abstract

This paper presents the spatial distribution of changes in the value of the predicted insulation index of clothing (Iclp) in the Norwegian Arctic for the period 1971-2000. For this study, data from six meteorological stations were used: Ny-Alesund, Svalbard Airport, Hornsund, Hopen, Bjřrnřya and Jan Mayen. The impact on the atmospheric circulation to the course of the Iclp index was analyzed using the catalogue of circulation types by Niedźwiedź (1993, 2002), the circulation index according to Murray and Lewis (1966) modified by Niedźwiedź (2001), the North Atlantic Oscillation Index according to Luterbacher et al. (1999, 2002), and the Arctic Oscillation Index (Thompson and Wallace 1998).

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Authors and Affiliations

Andrzej Araźny

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