The west Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region has undergone significant changes in temperature and seasonal ice dynamics since the mid-twentieth century, with strong impacts on the regional ecosystem, ocean chemistry and hydrographic properties. Changes to these long-term trends of warming and sea ice decline have been observed in the 21st century, but their consequences for ocean physics, chemistry and the ecology of the high-productivity shelf ecosystem are yet to be fully established. The WAP shelf is important for regional krill stocks and higher trophic levels, whilst the degree of variability and change in the physical environment and documented biological and biogeochemical responses make this a model system for how climate and sea ice changes might restructure high-latitude ecosystems. Although this region is arguably the best-measured and best-understood shelf region around Antarctica, significant gaps remain in spatial and temporal data capable of resolving the atmosphere-ice-ocean-ecosystem feedbacks that control the dynamics and evolution of this complex polar system. Here we summarise the current state of knowledge regarding the key mechanisms and interactions regulating the physical, biogeochemical and biological processes at work, the ways in which the shelf environment is changing, and the ecosystem response to the changes underway. We outline the overarching cross-disciplinary priorities for future research, as well as the most important discipline-specific objectives. Underpinning these priorities and objectives is the need to better define the causes, magnitude and timescales of variability and change at all levels of the system. A combination of traditional and innovative approaches will be critical to addressing these priorities and developing a co-ordinated observing system for the WAP shelf, which is required to detect and elucidate change into the future.
Nathan White has admitted he feared he would never realise his dream for Test match rugby during two injury-ridden spells. Marty Moore will provide the immediate back-up if he recovers from shoulder trouble in time as expected, leaving White battling it out with Michael Bent for the last prop berth in Ireland’s 21-man World Cup line-up. Bent’s ability to prop on both sides of the scrum offers the kind of versatility Schmidt has already revealed he craves, but White’s unfussy solidity may yet see him trump his main rival. White himself was simply happy to have made his long-overdue Test debut, conceding he “felt like a kid again” on his international bow. “Being involved in November and in the Six Nations in the camps, that definitely helped me in terms of knowing what was expected on the field,” said White. “I felt like a kid again myself, especially when you’ve got Paul O’Connell out there, a guy I’ve watched for a fair while. “So I just really wanted to cherish the moment. “If Joe’s happy with what I’ve done on the field then hopefully I’ll get the call to go back into camp on Sunday night. “I’m just going week to week really at the moment, hopefully I can go back again. “Marty Moore is coming back, and Michael Bent covered tighthead last week so there’s plenty of options there.” Head coach Joe Schmidt kept faith with the 33-year-old, however, and his impressive cameo off the bench on Saturday has boosted his chances of squeezing into Ireland’s World Cup squad. “When I injured my arm back in November that was very disappointing, but then to get fit and injure my back, there were definitely a few demons,” said White. “Connacht offered me a new contract though, so that really made me determined to get myself right and do right by them. “And this opportunity came along, and that’s just great. “I don’t know how many coaches would show the kind of faith that Joe has shown in me. “He’s backed me and given me a crack, and it’s just fantastic to have had that chance. “There were dark days in rehab but the carrot was always to be in the position to play in a game like this, so it’s great to have done it.” Leinster stalwart Mike Ross remains the only player to feature in every Test in the Joe Schimdt era, and has the starting tighthead spot nailed down for next month’s World Cup. Connacht’s tighthead prop became Ireland’s third oldest debutant of all time in Saturday’s 28-22 victory over Scotland in Dublin, then conceded he fretted his Test chance had passed him by. New Zealand-born White was all set for his Test debut in Ireland’s autumn series in November, only to suffer an arm injury in training that then required surgery. Press Association
he mid tipp club get their campaign for Dan Breen underway this weekend with the opening round of games in this year’s senior hurling championship against Borris-Ileigh in Templemore on Sunday. There are a total of 14 games down for decision over Saturday and Sunday.Michael Maher, Chairman of Thurles Sars says it’s understandable that they are more of a target as the title-holders.
Former Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos has voiced his opinion that Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Lionel Messi because the Barcelona man has already won plenty of awards in the past few seasons.The Argentine has won the last three editions of the accolade, with his Portuguese counterpart having to settle for second place last term, and missing out on a top-three spot in 2010.Nevertheless, the legendary left-back feels that the Madrid man’s time has come now after a successful 2011-12 campaign.“Obviously everyone’s talking about Messi, but I reckon he has won enough and there cannot be much more room in his trophy cabinet,” he told Fifa.com.“Therefore, I would vote for Cristiano Ronaldo. He is someone who can win matches for you in many different ways, from varying situations in attack. He deserves to win it again.”The Brazilian then voiced his opinion that Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho should be named Coach of the Year by Fifa. “Well, seeing as Pep Guardiola has left Barcelona, I think it should go to Jose Mourinho.“A club side like his is harder to coach than a top national team – something I know a lot about. During my time at Real Madrid, I played under Fabio Capello, who did an amazing job.“But when you look at Mourinho’s results, you can see his coaching has a lot of merit and he really knows how to deal with the situations he faces.”Mourinho guided Real Madrid to their first Liga title since 2008 last term.