Imagine diving into the crystal-clear, icy waters of Antarctica only to encounter a seafloor carpeted with a dazzling array of seaweeds, colorful sponges, soft corals, sea squirts, sea anemones, and starfish. Above the seafloor swim pulsating jellyfish and sea butterflies. Antarctic fish, their blood enriched with antifreeze, and an abundance of krill-eating penguins, seals, and whales, round out an amazing diversity of marine life. Dr. James McClintock has spent his entire career studying this
remarkable icy world. His presentations bring to life not only its delicate ecology, but its unsurpassed beauty.
In his upcoming book Lost Antarctica – Adventures in a Disappearing Land (Palgrave/McMillan) Dr. McClintock provides a compelling overview of how climate warming is rapidly altering the Antarctic Peninsula. His insights on the impacts of a warming climate on the marine environment are intertwined with stories of discovery and adventure spanning twenty-five years of leading expeditions to Antarctica. Having spent the past decade working on the Antarctic Peninsula, McClintock has felt the warming sea and air temperatures, and seen first-hand the glacial recessions, the break-up of ice sheets, and the rapid retreat of the annual sea ice. Accordingly, Adélie penguins and krill are disappearing, and shell-crushing king crabs are poised to invade Antarctica for the first time in millions of years. While some species may survive these rapid changes, others, including sea squirts that McClintock and his colleagues have discovered harbor unique cancer-fighting chemicals, may vanish. But there is hope for a brighter future. The history of the discovery, mitigation, and healing of the vast hole in atmospheric ozone over Antarctica offers a poignant metaphor of how an international effort can lead to a global solution.
Dr. James McClintock is the Endowed University Professor of Polar Marine Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Principal Investigator supported by the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Division of the Office of Polar Programs. He is an expert on the impacts of climate change on Antarctic marine ecosystems and has served in an advisory capacity to the National Academy of Sciences on climate change in Polar Ecosystems. He received his B.A. in biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology from the University of South Florida. He has been a professor of biology at the University of Alabama at Birminghan for the past 24 years (1987-present) where he has garnered numerous teaching and research awards. He has published over 200 scientific papers and several academic books on aspects of marine invertebrate chemical ecology, reproduction, nutrition, as well as ocean acidification and the impacts of climate change on Antarctic marine life. His Antarctic research has been featured in National Geographic, Discovery Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and on CNN, the Weather Channel, the BBC and NPR, among other major media outlets. He has appeared on screen in the Globe Trekker TV series filmed in Antarctica, a high definition production for public broadcasting television entitled The White Continent: Climate Change in Antarctica (RMI Resource Media, Inc.), and the CNBC World television production The Eco Capitalist. In July 1987, the United States Board on Geographic Names honored his contributions to polar marine biology by naming McClintock Point along the coast of Victoria Land on the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
You can visit Dr. McClintock’s Antarctic web site at www.Antarctica.uab.edu