First discovery! Penguin activity affects Antarctic ozone hole

Science and Technology Daily reporter learned from the University of science and technology of China on October 15 that Zhu Renbin, a Key Laboratory of polar environment and global change in Anhui Province, cooperated with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and made important progress in the research on the process and mechanism of the generation and consumption of halomethane in the Antarctic tundra. The results were published online in the famous Environmental Science Journal “environment” Science and technology. < / P > < p > Antarctica is one of the most intense warming regions in the world. With the climate warming, the ice free tundra formed by the retreat of Antarctic ice sheet is an important habitat for marine animals such as penguins. The deposition of penguin dung in soil strongly changed the biogeochemical process of tundra. < / P > < p > the researchers collected soil samples from common tundra, penguin colony area and nearby tundra, and tundra swamp in Antarctica. The results showed that the increase of temperature promoted the consumption of halomethane in common tundra soil. Natural halomethanes can destroy ozone. A large number of penguins’ activities and their feces’ biological transport of marine source elements promoted the production of halomethane and weakened the intensity of soil consumption of halomethane; climate change affected the migration and population size of penguins, and then interfered with the source and sink of halomethane in tundra soil and the local atmospheric environment. This study is of great significance for predicting the contribution of the source and sink processes of Antarctic halomethane to the future stratospheric ozone depletion.