WorldWideScience

Sample records for arctic environmental change

  1. The changing role of environmental information in Arctic marine governance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, M.A.J.; Pristupa, A.O.; Amelung, B.; Knol, M.

    2016-01-01

    In the Arctic region global environmental change creates economic opportunities for various sectors, which is increasing pressure on marine biological resources. Next to state governance arrangements, informational governance instruments deployed by non-state actors, such as private certification sc

  2. SEARCH: Study of Environmental Arctic Change--A System-scale, Cross-disciplinary Arctic Research Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shnoro, R. S.; Eicken, H.; Francis, J. A.; Scambos, T. A.; Schuur, E. A.; Straneo, F.; Wiggins, H. V.

    2013-12-01

    SEARCH is an interdisciplinary, interagency program that works with academic and government agency scientists and stakeholders to plan, conduct, and synthesize studies of Arctic change. Over the past three years, SEARCH has developed a new vision and mission, a set of prioritized cross-disciplinary 5-year goals, an integrated set of activities, and an organizational structure. The vision of SEARCH is to provide scientific understanding of arctic environmental change to help society understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic. SEARCH's 5-year science goals include: 1. Improve understanding, advance prediction, and explore consequences of changing Arctic sea ice. 2. Document and understand how degradation of near-surface permafrost will affect Arctic and global systems. 3. Improve predictions of future land-ice loss and impacts on sea level. 4. Analyze societal and policy implications of Arctic environmental change. Action Teams organized around each of the 5-year goals will serve as standing groups responsible for implementing specific goal activities. Members will be drawn from academia, different agencies and stakeholders, with a range of disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives. 'Arctic Futures 2050' scenarios tasks will describe plausible future states of the arctic system based on recent trajectories and projected changes. These scenarios will combine a range of data including climate model output, paleo-data, results from data synthesis and systems modeling, as well as expert scientific and traditional knowledge. Current activities include: - Arctic Observing Network (AON) - coordinating a system of atmospheric, land- and ocean-based environmental monitoring capabilities that will significantly advance our observations of arctic environmental conditions. - Arctic Sea Ice Outlook - an international effort that provides monthly summer reports synthesizing community estimates of the expected sea ice minimum. A newly-launched Sea Ice Prediction Network

  3. White Arctic vs. Blue Arctic: A case study of diverging stakeholder responses to environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Robert; Pfirman, Stephanie; Schlosser, Peter; Tremblay, Bruno; Murray, Maribeth; Pomerance, Rafe

    2016-08-01

    Recent trends and climate models suggest that the Arctic summer sea ice cover is likely to be lost before climate interventions can stabilize it. There are environmental, socioeconomic, and sociocultural arguments for, but also against, restoring and sustaining current conditions. Even if global warming can be reversed, some people will experience ice-free summers before perennial sea ice begins to return. We ask: How will future generations feel about bringing sea ice back where they have not experienced it before? How will conflicted interests in ice-covered vs. ice-free conditions be resolved? What role will science play in these debates?

  4. Climate change and environmental impacts on maternal and newborn health with focus on Arctic populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torkjel M. Sandanger

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC presented a report on global warming and the impact of human activities on global warming. Later the Lancet commission identified six ways human health could be affected. Among these were not environmental factors which are also believed to be important for human health. In this paper we therefore focus on environmental factors, climate change and the predicted effects on maternal and newborn health. Arctic issues are discussed specifically considering their exposure and sensitivity to long range transported contaminants.Considering that the different parts of pregnancy are particularly sensitive time periods for the effects of environmental exposure, this review focuses on the impacts on maternal and newborn health. Environmental stressors known to affects human health and how these will change with the predicted climate change are addressed. Air pollution and food security are crucial issues for the pregnant population in a changing climate, especially indoor climate and food security in Arctic areas.The total number of environmental factors is today responsible for a large number of the global deaths, especially in young children. Climate change will most likely lead to an increase in this number. Exposure to the different environmental stressors especially air pollution will in most parts of the world increase with climate change, even though some areas might face lower exposure. Populations at risk today are believed to be most heavily affected. As for the persistent organic pollutants a warming climate leads to a remobilisation and a possible increase in food chain exposure in the Arctic and thus increased risk for Arctic populations. This is especially the case for mercury. The perspective for the next generations will be closely connected to the expected temperature changes; changes in housing conditions; changes in exposure patterns; predicted increased exposure to Mercury

  5. Does temporal variation of mercury levels in Arctic seabirds reflect changes in global environmental contamination, or a modification of Arctic marine food web functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Jérôme; Grémillet, David; Traisnel, Gwendoline; Amélineau, Françoise; Bustamante, Paco

    2016-04-01

    Studying long-term trends of contaminants in Arctic biota is essential to better understand impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on the exposure of sensitive species and marine ecosystems. We concurrently measured temporal changes (2006-2014) in mercury (Hg) contamination of little auks (Alle alle; the most abundant Arctic seabird) and in their major zooplankton prey species (Calanoid copepods, Themisto libellula, Gammarus spp.). We found an increasing contamination of the food-chain in East Greenland during summer over the last decade. More specifically, bird contamination (determined by body feather analyses) has increased at a rate of 3.4% per year. Conversely, bird exposure to Hg during winter in the northwest Atlantic (determined by head feather analyses) decreased over the study period (at a rate of 1.5% per year), although winter concentrations remained consistently higher than during summer. By combining mercury levels measured in birds and zooplankton to isotopic analyses, our results demonstrate that inter-annual variations of Hg levels in little auks reflect changes in food-chain contamination, rather than a reorganization of the food web and a modification of seabird trophic ecology. They therefore underline the value of little auks, and Arctic seabirds in general, as bio-indicators of long-term changes in environmental contamination.

  6. Rapid Environmental Change Drives Increased Land Use by an Arctic Marine Predator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd C Atwood

    Full Text Available In the Arctic Ocean's southern Beaufort Sea (SB, the length of the sea ice melt season (i.e., period between the onset of sea ice break-up in summer and freeze-up in fall has increased substantially since the late 1990s. Historically, polar bears (Ursus maritimus of the SB have mostly remained on the sea ice year-round (except for those that came ashore to den, but recent changes in the extent and phenology of sea ice habitat have coincided with evidence that use of terrestrial habitat is increasing. We characterized the spatial behavior of polar bears spending summer and fall on land along Alaska's north coast to better understand the nexus between rapid environmental change and increased use of terrestrial habitat. We found that the percentage of radiocollared adult females from the SB subpopulation coming ashore has tripled over 15 years. Moreover, we detected trends of earlier arrival on shore, increased length of stay, and later departure back to sea ice, all of which were related to declines in the availability of sea ice habitat over the continental shelf and changes to sea ice phenology. Since the late 1990s, the mean duration of the open-water season in the SB increased by 36 days, and the mean length of stay on shore increased by 31 days. While on shore, the distribution of polar bears was influenced by the availability of scavenge subsidies in the form of subsistence-harvested bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus remains aggregated at sites along the coast. The declining spatio-temporal availability of sea ice habitat and increased availability of human-provisioned resources are likely to result in increased use of land. Increased residency on land is cause for concern given that, while there, bears may be exposed to a greater array of risk factors including those associated with increased human activities.

  7. Communicating Arctic Change (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serreze, M.

    2009-12-01

    Nowhere on the planet are emerging signals of climate change more visible than in the Arctic. Rapid warming, a quickly shrinking summer sea ice cover, and thawing permafrost, will have impacts that extend beyond the Arctic and may reverberate around the globe. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) of the University of Colorado has taken a leading role in trying to effectively communicate the science and importance of Arctic change. Our popular “Sea Ice News and Analysis” web site tracks the Arctic’s shrinking ice cover and provides scientific analysis with language that is accurate yet accessible to a wide audience. Our Education Center provides accessible information on all components of the Earth’s cryosphere, the changes being seen, and how scientists conduct research. A challenge faced by NSIDC is countering the increasing level of confusion and misinformation regarding Arctic and global change, a complex problem that reflects the low level of scientific literacy by much of the public, the difficulties many scientists face in communicating their findings in accurate but understandable terms, and efforts by some groups to deliberately misrepresent and distort climate change science. This talk will outline through examples ways in which NSIDC has been successful in science communication and education, as well as lessons learned from failures.

  8. Changing sources and environmental factors reduce the rates of decline of organochlorine pesticides in the Arctic atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Becker

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available An extensive database of organochlorine (OC pesticide concentrations measured at the Norwegian Arctic monitoring station at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, was analysed to assess longer-term trends in the Arctic atmosphere. Dynamic Harmonic Regression (DHR is employed to investigate the seasonal and cyclical behaviour of chlordanes, DDTs and hexachlorobenzene (HCB, and to isolate underlying inter-annual trends. Although a simple comparison of annual mean concentrations (1994–2005 suggest a decline for all of the OCs investigated, the longer-term trends identified by DHR only show a significant decline for p,p'-DDT. Indeed, HCB shows an increase from 2003–2005. This is thought to be due to changes in source types and the presence of impurities in current use pesticides, together with retreating sea ice affecting air-water exchange. Changes in source types were revealed by using isomeric ratios for the chlordanes and DDTs. Declining trends in ratios of trans-chlordane/cis-chlordane (TC/CC indicate a shift from primary sources, to more "weathered" secondary sources, whereas an increasing trend in o,p'-DDT/p,p'-DDT ratios indicate a shift from use of technical DDT to dicofol. Continued monitoring of these OC pesticides is required to fully understand the influence of a changing climate on the behaviour and environmental cycling of these chemicals in the Arctic as well as possible impacts from "new" sources.

  9. Arctic Change Information for a Broad Audience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soreide, N. N.; Overland, J. E.; Calder, J.

    2002-12-01

    Demonstrable environmental changes have occurred in the Arctic over the past three decades. NOAA's Arctic Theme Page is a rich resource web site focused on high latitude studies and the Arctic, with links to widely distributed data and information focused on the Arctic. Included is a collection of essays on relevant topics by experts in Arctic research. The website has proven useful to a wide audience, including scientists, students, teachers, decision makers and the general public, as indicated through recognition by USA Today, Science magazine, etc. (http://www.arctic.noaa.gov) Working jointly with NSF and the University of Washington's Polar Science Center as part of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program, NOAA has developed a website for access to pan-Arctic time series spanning diverse data types including climate indices, atmospheric, oceanic, sea ice, terrestrial, biological and fisheries. Modest analysis functions and more detailed analysis results are provided. (http://www.unaami.noaa.gov/). This paper will describe development of an Artic Change Detection status website to provide a direct and comprehensive view of previous and ongoing change in the Arctic for a broad climate community. For example, composite metrics are developed using principal component analysis based on 86 multivariate pan-Arctic time series for seven data types. Two of these metrics can be interpreted as a regime change/trend component and an interdecadal component. Changes can also be visually observed through tracking of 28 separate biophysical indicators. Results will be presented in the form of a web site with relevant, easily understood, value-added knowledge backed by peer review from Arctic scientists and scientific journals.

  10. Methane turnover and environmental change from Holocene biomarker records in a thermokarst lake in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elvert, Marcus; Pohlman, John; Becker, Kevin W.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Wooller, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Arctic lakes and wetlands contribute a substantial amount of methane to the contemporary atmosphere, yet profound knowledge gaps remain regarding the intensity and climatic control of past methane emissions from this source. In this study, we reconstruct methane turnover and environmental conditions, including estimates of mean annual and summer temperature, from a thermokarst lake (Lake Qalluuraq) on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska for the Holocene by using source-specific lipid biomarkers preserved in a radiocarbon-dated sediment core. Our results document a more prominent role for methane in the carbon cycle when the lake basin was an emergent fen habitat between ~12,300 and ~10,000 cal yr BP, a time period closely coinciding with the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) in North Alaska. Enhanced methane turnover was stimulated by relatively warm temperatures, increased moisture, nutrient supply, and primary productivity. After ~10,000 cal yr BP, a thermokarst lake with abundant submerged mosses evolved, and through the mid-Holocene temperatures were approximately 3°C cooler. Under these conditions, organic matter decomposition was attenuated, which facilitated the accumulation of submerged mosses within a shallower Lake Qalluuraq. Reduced methane assimilation into biomass during the mid-Holocene suggests that thermokarst lakes are carbon sinks during cold periods. In the late-Holocene from ~2700 cal yr BP to the most recent time, however, temperatures and carbon deposition rose and methane oxidation intensified, indicating that more rapid organic matter decomposition and enhanced methane production could amplify climate feedback via potential methane emissions in the future.

  11. Tracking Biological and Ecosystem Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions in the Pacific Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.; Frey, K. E.; Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Changing seasonal sea ice conditions and seawater temperatures strongly influence biological processes and marine ecosystems at high latitudes. In the Pacific Arctic, persistent regions termed "hotspots", are localized areas with high benthic macroinfaunal biomass that have been documented over four decades (see Figure). These regions are now being more formally tracked to relate physical forcing and ecosystem response as an Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) supported by the US National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan and international partners. These hotspots are important foraging areas for upper trophic level benthic feeders, such as marine mammals and seabirds. South of St. Lawrence Island (SLI) in the northern Bering Sea, benthic feeding spectacled eiders, bearded seals and walruses are important winter consumers of infauna, such as bivalves and polychaetes. Gray whales have historically been a major summer consumer of benthic amphipods in the Chirikov Basin to the north of SLI, although summertime sightings of gray whales declined in the Chirikov from the 1980s up until at least 2002. The SE Chukchi Sea hotspot, as are the other hotspots, is maintained by export of high chlorophyll a that is produced locally as well as advected by water masses transiting northward through the system. Both walrus and gray whales are known to forage in this hotspot seasonally on high biomass levels of benthic prey. Notably the center of the highest benthic biomass regions has shifted northward in three of the DBO hotspots in recent years. This has coincided with changing sediment grain size, an indicator of current speed, and is also likely a response to changes in primary production in the region. Studies of these broad biological responses to changing physical drivers have been facilitated through development of the DBO cooperative effort by both US and international scientists. The DBO includes a series of coordinated, multi-trophic level observations that

  12. Changing Arctic ecosystems: ecology of loons in a changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uher-Koch, Brian; Schmutz, Joel; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative informs key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a changing climate. From 2010 to 2014, a key study area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced rapid warming during the past 30 years, leading to the thawing of permafrost and changes to lake and river systems. These changes, and projections of continued change, have raised questions about effects on wildlife populations that rely on northern lake ecosystems, such as loons. Loons rely on freshwater lakes for nesting habitat and the fish and invertebrates inhabiting the lakes for food. Loons live within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska’s northern coast, where oil and gas development is expected to increase. Research by the USGS examines how breeding loons use the Arctic lake ecosystem and the capacity of loons to adapt to future landscape change.

  13. Changing Arctic Ocean freshwater pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morison, James; Kwok, Ron; Peralta-Ferriz, Cecilia; Alkire, Matt; Rigor, Ignatius; Andersen, Roger; Steele, Mike

    2012-01-04

    Freshening in the Canada basin of the Arctic Ocean began in the 1990s and continued to at least the end of 2008. By then, the Arctic Ocean might have gained four times as much fresh water as comprised the Great Salinity Anomaly of the 1970s, raising the spectre of slowing global ocean circulation. Freshening has been attributed to increased sea ice melting and contributions from runoff, but a leading explanation has been a strengthening of the Beaufort High--a characteristic peak in sea level atmospheric pressure--which tends to accelerate an anticyclonic (clockwise) wind pattern causing convergence of fresh surface water. Limited observations have made this explanation difficult to verify, and observations of increasing freshwater content under a weakened Beaufort High suggest that other factors must be affecting freshwater content. Here we use observations to show that during a time of record reductions in ice extent from 2005 to 2008, the dominant freshwater content changes were an increase in the Canada basin balanced by a decrease in the Eurasian basin. Observations are drawn from satellite data (sea surface height and ocean-bottom pressure) and in situ data. The freshwater changes were due to a cyclonic (anticlockwise) shift in the ocean pathway of Eurasian runoff forced by strengthening of the west-to-east Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation characterized by an increased Arctic Oscillation index. Our results confirm that runoff is an important influence on the Arctic Ocean and establish that the spatial and temporal manifestations of the runoff pathways are modulated by the Arctic Oscillation, rather than the strength of the wind-driven Beaufort Gyre circulation.

  14. Time varying arctic climate change amplification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chylek, Petr [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dubey, Manvendra K [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Lesins, Glen [DALLHOUSIE U; Wang, Muyin [NOAA/JISAO

    2009-01-01

    During the past 130 years the global mean surface air temperature has risen by about 0.75 K. Due to feedbacks -- including the snow/ice albedo feedback -- the warming in the Arctic is expected to proceed at a faster rate than the global average. Climate model simulations suggest that this Arctic amplification produces warming that is two to three times larger than the global mean. Understanding the Arctic amplification is essential for projections of future Arctic climate including sea ice extent and melting of the Greenland ice sheet. We use the temperature records from the Arctic stations to show that (a) the Arctic amplification is larger at latitudes above 700 N compared to those within 64-70oN belt, and that, surprisingly; (b) the ratio of the Arctic to global rate of temperature change is not constant but varies on the decadal timescale. This time dependence will affect future projections of climate changes in the Arctic.

  15. The influence of global climate change on the environmental fate of persistent organic pollutants: A review with emphasis on the Northern Hemisphere and the Arctic as a receptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jianmin; Hung, Hayley; Macdonald, Robie W.

    2016-11-01

    Following worldwide bans and restrictions on the use of many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from the late 1970s, their regional and global distributions have become governed increasingly by phase partitioning between environmental reservoirs, such as air, water, soil, vegetation and ice, where POPs accumulated during the original applications. Presently, further transport occurs within the atmospheric and aquatic reservoirs. Increasing temperatures provide thermodynamic forcing to drive these chemicals out of reservoirs, like soil, vegetation, water and ice, and into the atmosphere where they can be transported rapidly by winds and then recycled among environmental media to reach locations where lower temperatures prevail (e.g., polar regions and high elevations). Global climate change, widely considered as global warming, is also manifested by changes in hydrological systems and in the cryosphere; with the latter now exhibiting widespread loss of ice cover on the Arctic Ocean and thawing of permafrost. All of these changes alter the cycling and fate of POPs. There is abundant evidence from observations and modeling showing that climate variation has an effect on POPs levels in biotic and abiotic environments. This article reviews recent progress in research on the effects of climate change on POPs with the intention of promoting awareness of the importance of interactions between climate and POPs in the geophysical and ecological systems.

  16. Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic Eis): Marine ecosystem dynamics in the rapidly changing Pacific Arctic Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueter, Franz J.; Weems, Jared; Farley, Edward V.; Sigler, Michael F.

    2017-01-01

    Arctic Marine Ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes associated with ice loss and surface warming resulting from human activities (IPCC, 2013). The most dramatic changes include an earlier ice retreat and a longer ice-free season, particularly on Arctic inflow shelves such as the Barents Sea in the Atlantic Arctic and the northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea in the Pacific Arctic, the two major gateways into the Arctic (Danielson et al., 2016; Frey et al., 2015; Serreze et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2015). The retreat of Arctic sea ice has opened access to the Arctic marine environment and its resources, particularly during summer, and among other changes has brought with it increased research activities. For the Pacific Arctic region, these activities have led to several recent compendiums examining physical, biogeochemical, and biological patterns and trends in this rapidly changing environment (Arrigo, 2015, 2016; Arrigo et al., 2014; Bluhm et al., 2010; Dunton et al., 2014; Grebmeier and Maslowski, 2014; Hopcroft and Day, 2013; Moore and Stabeno, 2015).

  17. NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment: A large-scale study of environmental change in Western North America and its implications for ecological systems and society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Hayes, D. J.; Griffith, P. C.; Larson, E. K.; Wickland, D. E.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change in high northern latitudes is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth, resulting in widespread changes in landscape structure and ecosystem function in the Arctic-Boreal Region (ABR). Recognizing its sensitivity, vulnerability and global importance, national- and international-level scientific efforts are now advancing our ability to observe, understand and model the complex, multi-scale processes that drive the ABR's natural and social systems. Long at the edge of our mental map of the world, environmental change in the ABR is increasingly becoming the focus of numerous policy discussions at the highest levels of decision-making. To improve our understanding of environmental change and its impacts in the ABR, the Terrestrial Ecology Program of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning its next major field campaign for Western Canada and Alaska. The field campaign will be based on the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) concept as described in the Revised Executive Summary from the ABoVE Scoping Study Report. The original Scoping Study Report provided the proof-of-concept demonstration of scientific importance and feasibility for this large-scale study. In early 2013, NASA announced the selection of the ABoVE Science Definition Team, which is charged with developing the Concise Experiment Plan for the campaign. Here, we outline the conceptual basis for ABoVE and present the compelling rationale explaining the scientific and societal importance of the study. We present the current status of the planning process, which includes development of the science questions to drive ABoVE research; the study design for the field campaign to address them; and the interagency and international collaborations necessary for implementation. The ABoVE study will focus on 1) developing a fuller understanding of ecosystem vulnerability to climate change in the ABR, and 2) providing the scientific information required to

  18. The Arctic Report Card: Communicating the State of the Rapidly Changing Arctic to a Diverse Audience via the Worldwide Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffries, M. O.; Richter-Menge, J.; Overland, J. E.; Soreide, N. N.

    2013-12-01

    Rapid change is occurring throughout the Arctic environmental system. The goal of the Arctic Report Card is to communicate the nature of the many changes to a diverse audience via the Worldwide Web. First published in 2006, the Arctic Report Card is a peer-reviewed publication containing clear, reliable and concise scientific information on the current state of the Arctic environment relative to observational records. Available only online, it is intended to be an authoritative source for scientists, teachers, students, decision-makers, policy-makers and the general public interested in the Arctic environment and science. The Arctic Report Card is organized into five sections: Atmosphere; Sea Ice & Ocean; Marine Ecosystem; Terrestrial Ecosystem; Terrestrial Cryosphere. Arctic Report Card 2012, the sixth annual update, comprised 20 essays on physical and biological topics prepared by an international team of 141 scientists from 15 different countries. For those who want a quick summary, the Arctic Report Card home page provides highlights of key events and findings, and a short video that is also available on YouTube. The release of the Report Card each autumn is preceded by a NOAA press release followed by a press conference, when the Web site is made public. The release of Arctic Report Card 2012 at an AGU Fall Meeting press conference on 5 December 2012 was subsequently reported by leading media organizations. The NOAA Arctic Web site, of which the Report Card is a part, is consistently at the top of Google search results for the keyword 'arctic', and the Arctic Report Card Web site tops search results for keyword "arctic report" - pragmatic indications of a Web site's importance and popularity. As another indication of the Web site's impact, in December 2012, the month when the 2012 update was released, the Arctic Report Card Web site was accessed by 19,851 unique sites in 105 countries, and 4765 Web site URLs referred to the Arctic Report Card. The 2012 Arctic

  19. Atmospheric dynamics: Arctic winds of change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notz, Dirk

    2016-09-01

    The Earth's climate evolves in response to both externally forced changes and internal variability. Now research suggests that both drivers combine to set the pace of Arctic warming caused by large-scale sea-ice loss.

  20. Death of an Arctic Mixed Phase Cloud: How Changes in the Arctic Environment Influence Cloud Properties and Cloud Radiative Feedbacks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roesler, E. L.; Posselt, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic mixed phase stratocumulus clouds exert an important influence on the radiative budget over the Arctic ocean and sea ice. Field programs and numerical experiments have shown the properties of these clouds to be sensitive to changes in the surface properties, thermodynamic environment, and aerosols. While it is clear that Arctic mixed-phase clouds respond to changes in the Arctic environment, uncertainty remains as to how climate warming will affect the cloud micro- and macrophysical properties. This is in no small part due to the fact that there are nonlinear interactions between changes in atmospheric and surface properties and changes in cloud characteristics. In this study, large-eddy simulations are performed of an arctic mixed phase cloud observed during the Indirect and Semi-Direct Aerosol Campaign. A parameter-space-filling uncertainty quantification technique is used to rigorously explore how simulated arctic mixed phase clouds respond to changes in the properties of the environment. Specifically, the cloud ice and aerosol concentration, surface sensible and latent heat fluxes, and large scale temperature, water vapor, and vertical motion are systematically changed, and the properties of the resulting clouds are examined. It is found that Arctic mixed phase clouds exhibit four characteristic behaviors: stability, growth, decay, and dissipation. Sets of environmental and surface properties that lead to the emergence of each type of behavior are presented, and the implications for the response of Arctic clouds to changes in climate are explored.

  1. Revealing Interactions between Human Resources, Quality of Life and Environmental Changes within Socially-oriented Observations : Results from the IPY PPS Arctic Project in the Russian North

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlasova, Tatiana

    2010-05-01

    Socially-oriented Observations (SOO) in the Russian North have been carried out within multidisciplinary IPY PPS Arctic project under the leadership of Norway and supported by the Research Council of Norway as well as Russian Academy of Sciences. The main objective of SOO is to increase knowledge and observation of changes in quality of life conditions (state of natural environment including climate and biota, safe drinking water and foods, well-being, employment, social relations, access to health care and high quality education, etc.) and - to reveal trends in human capital and capacities (health, demography, education, creativity, spiritual-cultural characteristics and diversity, participation in decision making, etc.). SOO have been carried out in industrial cities as well as sparsely populated rural and nature protection areas in observation sites situated in different bioms (from coastal tundra to southern taiga zone) of Murmansk, Arkhangelsk Oblast and Republic of Komi. SOO were conducted according to the international protocol included in PPS Arctic Manual. SOO approaches based both on local people's perceptions and statistics help to identify main issues and targets for life quality, human capital and environment improvement and thus to distinguish leading SOO indicators for further monitoring. SOO have revealed close interaction between human resources, quality of life and environmental changes. Negative changes in human capital (depopulation, increasing unemployment, aging, declining physical and mental health, quality of education, loss of traditional knowledge, marginalization etc.), despite peoples' high creativity and optimism are becoming the major driving force effecting both the quality of life and the state of environment and overall sustainability. Human induced disturbances such as uncontrolled forests cuttings and poaching are increasing. Observed rapid changes in climate and biota (ice and permafrost melting, tundra shrubs getting taller and

  2. How does climate change influence Arctic mercury?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Gary A; Macdonald, Robie W; Outridge, Peter M; Wilson, Simon; Chételat, John; Cole, Amanda; Hintelmann, Holger; Loseto, Lisa L; Steffen, Alexandra; Wang, Feiyue; Zdanowicz, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that climate change is already having significant impacts on many aspects of transport pathways, speciation and cycling of mercury within Arctic ecosystems. For example, the extensive loss of sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean and the concurrent shift from greater proportions of perennial to annual types have been shown to promote changes in primary productivity, shift foodweb structures, alter mercury methylation and demethylation rates, and influence mercury distribution and transport across the ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere interface (bottom-up processes). In addition, changes in animal social behavior associated with changing sea-ice regimes can affect dietary exposure to mercury (top-down processes). In this review, we address these and other possible ramifications of climate variability on mercury cycling, processes and exposure by applying recent literature to the following nine questions; 1) What impact has climate change had on Arctic physical characteristics and processes? 2) How do rising temperatures affect atmospheric mercury chemistry? 3) Will a decrease in sea-ice coverage have an impact on the amount of atmospheric mercury deposited to or emitted from the Arctic Ocean, and if so, how? 4) Does climate affect air-surface mercury flux, and riverine mercury fluxes, in Arctic freshwater and terrestrial systems, and if so, how? 5) How does climate change affect mercury methylation/demethylation in different compartments in the Arctic Ocean and freshwater systems? 6) How will climate change alter the structure and dynamics of freshwater food webs, and thereby affect the bioaccumulation of mercury? 7) How will climate change alter the structure and dynamics of marine food webs, and thereby affect the bioaccumulation of marine mercury? 8) What are the likely mercury emissions from melting glaciers and thawing permafrost under climate change scenarios? and 9) What can be learned from current mass balance inventories of mercury in the Arctic? The

  3. Schools In Board - Bridging Arctic Research And Environmental Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, D. G.; Barber, L.

    2008-12-01

    Schools on Board (www.arcticnet.ulaval.ca) was created in 2002 to address the outreach objectives of a network of Canadian scientists conducting research in the High Arctic. The program was piloted with great success with the 2004 research program called the Canadian Arctic Shelf Study (CASES). Since then, the S/B program continues as an integral outreach program of the Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) known as ArcticNet. The primary objective of the program is to bridge Arctic climate change research with science and environmental education in the public school system. It is a vehicle for scientists and graduate students to share their research program with high schools and the general public. The program encourages schools to include Arctic Sciences into their science programs by linking Arctic research to existing curriculum, providing resources and opportunities to send high school students and teachers into the Arctic to participate in a science expedition on board the Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen. The field program is an adventure into Arctic research that exposes students and teachers to the objectives and methods of numerous science teams representing a number of research disciplines and institutions from across Canada and beyond. Face-to-face interactions with scientists of all levels (masters, PhD's, researchers, CRC chairs), hands-on experiences in the field and in the labs, and access to state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, combine to create a powerful learning environment. In addition to hands-on research activities the program introduces participants to many aspects of Canada's North, including local knowledge related to climate change, culture, history, and politics - within the educational program on the ship and the planned visits to Northern communities. During International Polar Year (IPY) Schools on Board collaborated with international researchers and northern agencies from 11 countries to offer one

  4. Geochemistry of rare-earth elements and its significance in the study of climatic and environmental change in Barrow, Arctic Alaska

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Geochemical characteristics of rare-earth elements (REE) and sedimentary features were studied in the borehole 96-7-1 from Elson Lagoon in Barrow, Arctic Alaska. The results show that total contents of REE (∑ REE) are lower, suggesting that physical weathering is dominate, therefore, concentrations of rare-earth elements are lower in the paleosediment environment. The chondrite-normalized distribution patterns of RE,Es are characterized by light REE (LREE) enrichment and Eu-depletion with the terrestrial sedimentary rock as the parent materials. In comparison with the borecore AB-67 in Elson Lagoon, the main conclusions for climatic and environmental changes are similar: before 1740 A. D. , it was cold and dry with terrestrial properties,but the comparatively warming around 1400 A.D. and 1550 A. D. ; after 1740 A. D. ,it became warming, or markedly after 1821 A.D. ; but it was cold around 1890 A. D.From 1904 A. D. , it got warm again, but it was relatively cold around 1971 A. D..

  5. Environmental contaminants and human health in the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, S G; Van Oostdam, J; Tikhonov, C; Feeley, M; Armstrong, B; Ayotte, P; Boucher, O; Bowers, W; Chan, L; Dallaire, F; Dallaire, R; Dewailly, E; Edwards, J; Egeland, G M; Fontaine, J; Furgal, C; Leech, T; Loring, E; Muckle, G; Nancarrow, T; Pereg, D; Plusquellec, P; Potyrala, M; Receveur, O; Shearer, R G

    2010-10-15

    The third Canadian Arctic Human Health Assessment conducted under the Canadian Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), in association with the circumpolar Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), addresses concerns about possible adverse health effects in individuals exposed to environmental contaminants through a diet containing country foods. The objectives here are to: 1) provide data on changes in human contaminant concentrations and exposure among Canadian Arctic peoples; 2) identify new contaminants of concern; 3) discuss possible health effects; 4) outline risk communication about contaminants in country food; and 5) identify knowledge gaps for future contaminant research and monitoring. The nutritional and cultural benefits of country foods are substantial; however, some dietary studies suggest declines in the amount of country foods being consumed. Significant declines were found for most contaminants in maternal blood over the last 10 years within all three Arctic regions studied. Inuit continue to have the highest levels of almost all persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals among the ethnic groups studied. A greater proportion of people in the East exceed Health Canada's guidelines for PCBs and mercury, although the proportion of mothers exceeding these guidelines has decreased since the previous assessment. Further monitoring and research are required to assess trends and health effects of emerging contaminants. Infant development studies have shown possible subtle effects of prenatal exposure to heavy metals and some POPs on immune system function and neurodevelopment. New data suggest important beneficial effects on brain development for Inuit infants from some country food nutrients. The most successful risk communication processes balance the risks and benefits of a diet of country food through input from a variety of regional experts and the community, to incorporate the many socio-cultural and economic factors to arrive at a risk

  6. Environmental change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Majgaard Krarup, Jonna

    in the Denmark. Introducing dikes in coastal cities in order to protect them against floods would thus both have a huge spatial impact, but also a huge effect on issues related to identity, understanding and history. Therefore it is important that we as architects and planners understand and handle these new...... of a changing environment is also addressing social and human issues and concerns, and architectural norms and tools. One of the main themes and questions concerns how we relate the built environment and open urban spaces to water. Water plays an important role in Danish culture, tradition. To many Danes...... environmental conditions both in a practical, functional way but also in an aesthetical, spatial way. As professionals we should contribute to the creation of new images, ideas, strategies and solutions able to handle the challenges, to investigate the potentials and interpret these architecturally...

  7. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-27

    Greenland and 27 This section prepared by Jane Leggett, Specialist in Energy and Environmental...October 2007: 19-20, 22; Iam Austen , “Canada Announces Plans For 2 New Bases In Its Far North,” New York Times, August 11, 2007; “Canada To...Specific Arctic-Related Issues CRS Report RL34266, Climate Change: Science Highlights, by Jane A. Leggett CRS Report RS21890, The U.N. Law of the Sea

  8. Climate change and the ecology and evolution of Arctic vertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilg, Olivier; Kovacs, Kit M.; Aars, J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is taking place more rapidly and severely in the Arctic than anywhere on the globe, exposing Arctic vertebrates to a host of impacts. Changes in the cryosphere dominate the physical changes that already affect these animals, but increasing air temperatures, changes in precipitation......, and ocean acidification will also affect Arctic ecosystems in the future. Adaptation via natural selection is problematic in such a rapidly changing environment. Adjustment via phenotypic plasticity is therefore likely to dominate Arctic vertebrate responses in the short term, and many such adjustments have...... immigration from the South, many Arctic vertebrates are expected to become increasingly threatened during this century....

  9. Changing geo-political realities in the Arctic region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Camilla T. N.

    2014-01-01

    This article analyzes and discusses how Denmark seeks to manage the changing geopolitical realities in the Arctic region specifically focusing on how Denmark seeks to manage its relations with China in the Arctic region.......This article analyzes and discusses how Denmark seeks to manage the changing geopolitical realities in the Arctic region specifically focusing on how Denmark seeks to manage its relations with China in the Arctic region....

  10. The Arctic Ocean's seasonal cycle must change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carton, James; Ding, Yanni

    2015-04-01

    This paper discusses anticipated changes to the seasonal cycle of the Arctic Ocean along with Arctic surface climate due to the reduction of seasonal sea ice cover expected in the 21st century. Net surface shortwave radiation is a function of surface reflectivity and atmospheric transparency as well as solar declination. Recent observational studies and modeling results presented here strongly suggest that this excess heat in the summer is currently being stored locally in the form of ocean warming and sea ice melt. This heat is lost in winter/spring through surface loss through longwave and turbulent processes causing ocean cooling and the refreezing of sea ice. A striking feature of Arctic climate during the 20th century has been the enhanced warming experienced during winter in response to increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. The amplitude of the seasonal cycle of surface air temperature is declining by gradually warming winter temperatures relative to summer temperatures. Bintanja and van der Linden (2013) show this process will eventually cause the 30C seasonal change in air temperature to reduce by half as seasonal sea ice disappears. The much weaker seasonal cycle of ocean temperature, which is controlled by the need to store excess surface heat seasonally, is also going to be affected by the loss of sea ice but in quite different ways. In particular the ocean will need to compensate for the loss of seasonal heat storage by the ice pack. This study examines consequences for the Arctic Ocean stratification and circulation in a suite of CMIP5 models under future emissions scenarios relative to their performance during the 20th century and to explore a range of model ocean responses to declining sea ice cover on the Arctic Ocean.

  11. The Intersection of Environmental Variability, Policy, and Human Values: International Treaties, Yukon River Salmon, and Food Security in a Changing Arctic (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlach, S.; Loring, P. A.; Murray, M. S.

    2009-12-01

    2009 was a particularly devastating year for rural communities of the Yukon River in Alaska. For a number of reasons, including annual variability in Chinook and Chum salmon runs, imperfect monitoring and information, “best practices” management decisions by regulatory agencies, and international treaty obligations related to conservation and total allowable catch allocation, the smokehouses and freezers of many Alaska Native families, particularly those in up-river communities in the Yukon Flats region, are empty; a problem that has prompted Alaska’s Governor Sean Parnell to ask the US Federal Government to declare a disaster. However, depending on whom you ask, this year’s management of these resources, which provide food security and enable self-reliance in rural communities, may be evaluated as a failure or as a success. How can we reconcile an institutional assessment that claims success as defined in terms of internationally-agreed upon conservation and escapement goals, with the negative economic and health impacts on communities? We use this case to illustrate how the whole Yukon River watershed and drainage, including Alaska and Canada, provides an elegant, geographic context for the discussion and analysis of the human dimensions of environmental change and regional sustainability. Policymakers have arguably gone to great lengths to reconcile competing ‘uses’ of the Yukon River, including commercial and subsistence uses as well as conservation goals, but while managers continue to strive to be ‘adaptive learners’ in their approach to balancing these goals, the impacts on rural communities are immediate and cumulative, synergistic, temporally and spatially scaled, and directly related to rural livelihoods, community health, well-being and sustainability. The cost of this ‘adaptive’ process may be too high, both for the ecosystem and for the people who live there. Are we asking too much of the Yukon River? Are we asking too much of the

  12. The Northern Bering Sea: An Arctic Ecosystem in Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.

    2004-12-01

    Arctic systems can be rich and diverse habitats for marine life in spite of the extreme cold environment. Benthic faunal populations and associated biogeochemical cycling processes are influenced by sea-ice extent, seawater hydrography (nutrients, salinity, temperature, currents), and water column production. Benthic organisms on the Arctic shelves and margins are long-term integrators of overlying water column processes. Because these organisms have adapted to living at cold extremes, it is reasonable to expect that these communities will be among the most susceptible to climate warming. Recent observations show that Arctic sea ice in the North American Arctic is melting and retreating northward earlier in the season and the timing of these events can have dramatic impacts on the biological system. Changes in overlying primary production, pelagic-benthic coupling, and benthic production and community structure can have cascading effects to higher trophic levels, particularly benthic feeders such as walruses, gray whales, and diving seaducks. Recent indicators of contemporary Arctic change in the northern Bering Sea include seawater warming and reduction in ice extent that coincide with our time-series studies of benthic clam population declines in the shallow northern Bering shelf in the 1990's. In addition, declines in benthic amphipod populations have also likely influenced the movement of feeding gray whales to areas north of Bering Strait during this same time period. Finally a potential consequence of seawater warming and reduced ice extent in the northern Bering Sea could be the northward movement of bottom feeding fish currently in the southern Bering Sea that prey on benthic fauna. This would increase the feeding pressure on the benthic prey base and enhance competition for this food source for benthic-feeding marine mammals and seabirds. This presentation will outline recent biological changes observed in the northern Bering Sea ecosystem as documented in

  13. Climate change and the molecular ecology of Arctic marine mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Corry-Crowe, Gregory

    2008-03-01

    Key to predicting likely consequences of future climate change for Arctic marine mammals is developing a detailed understanding of how these species use their environment today and how they were affected by past climate-induced environmental change. Genetic analyses are uniquely placed to address these types of questions. Molecular genetic approaches are being used to determine distribution and migration patterns, dispersal and breeding behavior, population structure and abundance over time, and the effects of past and present climate change in Arctic marine mammals. A review of published studies revealed that population subdivision, dispersal, and gene flow in Arctic marine mammals was shaped primarily by evolutionary history, geography, sea ice, and philopatry to predictable, seasonally available resources. A meta-analysis of data from 38 study units across seven species found significant relationships between neutral genetic diversity and population size and climate region, revealing that small, isolated subarctic populations tend to harbor lower diversity than larger Arctic populations. A few small populations had substantially lower diversity than others. By contrast, other small populations retain substantial neutral diversity despite extensive population declines in the 19th and 20th centuries. The evolutionary and contemporary perspectives gained from these studies can be used to model the consequences of different climate projections for individual behavior and population structure and ultimately individual fitness and population viability. Future research should focus on: (1) the use of ancient-DNA techniques to directly reconstruct population histories through the analysis of historical and prehistorical material, (2) the use of genomic technologies to identify, map, and survey genes that directly influence fitness, (3) long-term studies to monitor populations and investigate evolution in contemporary time, (4) further Arctic-wide, multispecies analyses

  14. Environmental change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Majgaard Krarup, Jonna

    In low-lying regions like Denmark a rising sea level combined with change in rain and wind patterns now cause problems in several coastal cities where open urban spaces, infrastructure, and houses are flooded. The initiatives taken to prevent damages are mainly technical. But the impact of a chan......In low-lying regions like Denmark a rising sea level combined with change in rain and wind patterns now cause problems in several coastal cities where open urban spaces, infrastructure, and houses are flooded. The initiatives taken to prevent damages are mainly technical. But the impact...... of a changing environment is also addressing social and human issues and concerns, and architectural norms and tools. One of the main themes and questions concerns how we relate the built environment and open urban spaces to water. Water plays an important role in Danish culture, tradition. To many Danes...

  15. Arctic climate change in NORKLIMA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-01

    The NORKLIMA programme is the national Norwegian initiative on climate research established for the period 2004-2013. The programme seeks to generate key knowledge about climate trends, the impacts of climate change, and how Norway can adapt to these changes. The NORKLIMA programme also encompasses research on instruments and policies for reducing emissions. Large-scale Programmes As part of the effort to meet national research-policy priorities, the Research Council has established a special funding instrument called the Large-scale Programmes. This initiative is designed to build long-term knowledge in order to encourage innovation and enhance value creation as well as to help find solutions to important challenges facing society.(Author)

  16. Role of Greenland meltwater in the changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dukhovskoy, Dmitry; Proshutinsky, Andrey; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Myers, Paul; Platov, Gennady; Bamber, Jonathan; Curry, Beth; Somavilla, Raquel

    2016-04-01

    Observational data show that the Arctic ocean-ice-atmosphere system has been changing over the last two decades. Arctic change is manifest in the atypical behavior of the climate indices in the 21st century. Before the 2000s, these indices characterized the quasi-decadal variability of the Arctic climate related to different circulation regimes. Between 1948 and 1996, the Arctic atmospheric circulation alternated between anticyclonic circulation regimes and cyclonic circulation regimes with a period of 10-15 years. Since 1997, however, the Arctic has been dominated by an anticyclonic regime. Previous studies indicate that in the 20th century, freshwater and heat exchange between the Arctic Ocean and the sub-Arctic seas were self-regulated and their interactions were realized via quasi-decadal climate oscillations. What physical processes in the Arctic Ocean - sub-Arctic ocean-ice-atmosphere system are responsible for the observed changes in Arctic climate variability? The presented work is motivated by our hypothesis that in the 21st century, these quasi-decadal oscillations have been interrupted as a result of an additional freshwater source associated with Greenland Ice Sheet melt. Accelerating since the early 1990s, the Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss exerts a significant impact on thermohaline processes in the sub-Arctic seas. Surplus Greenland freshwater, the amount of which is about a third of the freshwater volume fluxed into the region during the 1970s Great Salinity Anomaly event, can spread and accumulate in the sub-Arctic seas influencing convective processes there. It is not clear, however, whether Greenland freshwater can propagate into the interior convective regions in the Labrador Sea and the Nordic Seas. In order to investigate the fate and pathways of Greenland freshwater in the sub-Arctic seas and to determine how and at what rate Greenland freshwater propagates into the convective regions, several numerical experiments using a passive tracer to

  17. Land-Cover and Land-Use Change under Changing Climate in the Eurasian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutman, G.

    2009-04-01

    An overview of the studies conducted in the framework of the NASA Land-Cover/Land- Use Change Program focused on the Eurasian Arctic will be presented. It includes discussion of vegetation changes under climate warming and implications to carbon cycle, changes in environmental pollution, hydrologic cycle, and impacts on society. Climate change can affect land cover in the Arctic through changes in the surface reflectivity and hydrology due to changes in snow melt timing; impacts of black carbon emitted by fires and settled on bright surfaces; changes in sea ice and the consequent change in ocean circulation affecting vegetation cover patterns indirectly; and changes in the amounts of greenhouse gases emission due to permafrost melting, especially in peatlands, as warming progresses. The Arctic Eurasia is being affected by global and regional external factors that are causing its change and the positive feedbacks to this forcing may further exaggerate the situation. If the warming trend continues it will have a tremendous impact on all aspects of land cover in the Arctic region with considerable consequences at the global scale. It will cause significant changes in the natural land cover, and perhaps even greater changes in the areas where the land cover has already been considerably modified by human activities. Major changes have already taken place in how land is used in the Arctic. In many regions, there has been a clear shift from the land use practiced by indigenous people to intensive exploitation of the land for commercial and industrial uses. Results on the climate/environment - land-cover interactions will be presented.

  18. Arctic security in an age of climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kraska, James (ed.)

    2013-03-01

    Publisher review: This book examines Arctic defense policy and military security from the perspective of all eight Arctic states. In light of climate change and melting ice in the Arctic Ocean, Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland), Norway and the United States, as well as Iceland, Sweden and Finland, are grappling with an emerging Arctic security paradigm. This volume brings together the world's most seasoned Arctic political-military experts from Europe and North America to analyze how Arctic nations are adapting their security postures to accommodate increased shipping, expanding naval presence, and energy and mineral development in the polar region. The book analyzes the ascent of Russia as the first 'Arctic superpower', the growing importance of polar security for NATO and the Nordic states, and the increasing role of Canada and the United States in the region.(Author)

  19. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-02-14

    and tourism (cruise ships) in the Arctic increase the risk of pollution in the region. Cleaning up oil spills in ice-covered waters will be more...resources, and expanded fishing and tourism (Figure 3). More broadly, physical changes in the Arctic include warming ocean, soil, and air temperatures...Alaska, and the Gulf of Mexico that had been in place since 1982 had not been restored in 2009 appropriations measures. Changes in the Arctic

  20. Early Paleogene Arctic terrestrial ecosystems affected by the change of polar hydrology under global warming:Implications for modern climate change at high latitudes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gaytha; A.; LANGLOIS

    2010-01-01

    Our understanding of both the role and impact of Arctic environmental changes under the current global warming climate is rather limited despite efforts of improved monitoring and wider assessment through remote sensing technology. Changes of Arctic ecosystems under early Paleogene warming climate provide an analogue to evaluate long-term responses of Arctic environmental alteration to global warming. This study reviews Arctic terrestrial ecosystems and their transformation under marked change of hydrological conditions during the warmest period in early Cenozoic, the Paleocene and Eocene. We describe a new approach to quantitatively reconstruct high latitudinal paleohydrology using compound-specific hydrogen isotope analysis which applies empirically derived genus-specific hydrogen isotope fractionations to in situ biomolecules from fossil plants. We propose a moisture recycling model at the Arctic to explain the reconstructed hydrogen isotope signals of ancient high latitude precipitation during early Paleogene, which bears implications to the likely change of modern Arctic ecosystems under the projected accelerated global warming.

  1. Biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and responses to climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michel, C.; Bluhm, B.; Gallucci, V.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is undergoing major changes in many of its fundamental physical constituents, from a shift from multi- to first-year ice, shorter ice-covered periods, increasing freshwater runoff and surface stratification, to warming and alteration in the distribution of water masses...... that structure ecosystem biodiversity in the Arctic Ocean. We also discuss climateassociated effects on the biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and discuss implications for the functioning of Arctic marine food webs. Based on the complexity and regional character of Arctic ecosystem reponses....... These changes have important impacts on the chemical and biological processes that are at the root of marine food webs, influencing their structure, function and biodiversity. Here we summarise current knowledge on the biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and provide an overview of fundamental factors...

  2. New views on changing Arctic vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Robert E.

    2012-03-01

    As climate changes, how will terrestrial vegetation respond? Because the fates of many biogeochemical, hydrological and economic cycles depend on vegetation, this question is fundamental to climate change science but extremely challenging to address. This is particularly true in the Arctic, where temperature change has been most acute globally (IPCC 2007) and where potential feedbacks to carbon, energy and hydrological cycles have important implications for the rest of the Earth system (Chapin et al 2000). It is well known that vegetation is tightly coupled to precipitation and temperature (Whittaker 1975), but predicting the response of vegetation to changes in climate involves much more than invoking the limitations of climate envelopes (Thuiller et al 2008). Models must also consider efficacy of dispersal, soil constraints, ecological interactions, possible CO2 fertilization impacts and the changing impact of other, more proximal anthropogenic effects such as pollution, disturbance, etc (Coops and Waring 2011, Lenihan et al 2008, Scheller and Mladenoff 2005). Given this complexity, a key test will be whether models can match empirical observations of changes that have already occurred. The challenge is finding empirical observations of change that are appropriate to test hypothesized impacts of climate change. As climate gradually changes across broad bioclimatic gradients, vegetation condition may change gradually as well. To capture these gradual trends, observations need at least three characteristics: (1) they must quantify a vegetation attribute that is expected to change, (2) they must measure that attribute in exactly the same way over long periods of time, and (3) they must sample diverse communities at geographic scales commensurate with the scale of expected climatic shifts. Observation networks meeting all three criteria are rare anywhere on the globe, but particularly so in remote areas. For this reason, satellite images have long been used as a

  3. Past changes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, climate and UV radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    that are apparently without precedent during the Pleistocene is likely to be considerable, particularly as their exposure to co-occurring environmental changes (such as enhanced levels of UV-B, deposition of nitrogen compounds from the atmosphere, heavy metal and acidic pollution, radioactive contamination, increased habitat fragmentation) is also without precedent.

  4. Past Changes in Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems, Climate and UV Radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaghan, Terry V. [Abisko Scientific Research Station, Abisko (Sweden); Bjoern, Lars Olof [Lund Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Cell and Organism Biology; Chernov, Yuri [Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation). A.N. Severtsov Inst. of Evolutionary Morphology and Animal Ecology] (and others)

    2004-11-01

    conditions that are apparently without precedent during the Pleistocene is likely to be considerable, particularly as their exposure to co-occurring environmental changes (such as enhanced levels of UV-B, deposition of nitrogen compounds from the atmosphere, heavy metal and acidic pollution, radioactive contamination, increased habitat fragmentation) is also without precedent.

  5. Changing Export of Dissolved Black Carbon from Arctic Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbins, A.; Spencer, R. G.; Mann, P. J.; Dittmar, T.; Niggemann, J.; Holmes, R. M.; McClelland, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic rivers carry black carbon (BC) from Arctic soils to the ocean, linking two of the largest carbon stores on Earth. Wildfires have charred biomass since land plants emerged. BC, a refractory component of char, has accumulated in soils. In the oceans, dissolved BC (DBC) has also accumulated. Here we use samples and data collected as part of the long-term, high temporal resolution Arctic Great Rivers Observatory to model export of DBC from the six largest Arctic Rivers. Scaling to the pan-Arctic catchment, we report that ~3 million tons of DBC are delivered to the Arctic Ocean each year, which is ~8% of dissolved organic carbon loads to the Arctic Ocean. We suggest the transfer of Arctic river DBC to areas of deep water formation is a major source of DBC to the deep ocean carbon store. As the Arctic warms, greater wildfire occurrence is expected to produce more BC and changing hydrology and permafrost thaw to promote DBC export. Thus, the transfer of BC from Arctic soils to the ocean is predicted to increase.

  6. Changes in viral and bacterial communities during the ice-melting season in the coastal Arctic (Kongsfjorden, Ny-Alesund)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Corte, Daniele; Sintes, Eva; Yokokawa, Taichi; Herndl, Gerhard J.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities in Arctic coastal waters experience dramatic changes in environmental conditions during the spring to summer transition period, potentially leading to major variations in the relationship between viral and prokaryotic communities. To document these variations, a number of physi

  7. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-28

    International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora , the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution and its protocols, and the... International Relations, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division. 32 The United States is party to the four conventions adopted in 1958...management of Arctic fish stocks. Changes in the Arctic could affect threatened and endangered species . Under the Endangered

  8. Arctic Cities and Climate Change: A Geographic Impact Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiklomanov, N. I.; Streletskiy, D. A.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic climate change is a concern for the engineering community, land-use planners and policy makers as it may have significant impacts on socio-economic development and human activities in the northern regions. A warmer climate has potential for a series of positive economic effects, such as development of maritime transportation, enhanced agricultural production and decrease in energy consumption. However, these potential benefits may be outwaited by negative impacts related to transportation accessibility and stability of existing infrastructure, especially in permafrost regions. Compared with the Arctic zones of other countries, the Russian Arctic is characterized by higher population, greater industrial development and urbanization. Arctic urban areas and associated industrial sites are the location of some of intense interaction between man and nature. However, while there is considerable research on various aspects of Arctic climate change impacts on human society, few address effects on Arctic cities and their related industries. This presentation overviews potential climate-change impacts on Russian urban environments in the Arctic and discusses methodology for addressing complex interactions between climatic, permafrost and socio-economic systems at the range of geographical scales. We also provide a geographic assessment of selected positive and negative climate change impacts affecting several diverse Russian Arctic cities.

  9. Arctic root-associated fungal community composition reflects environmental filtering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaalid, Rakel; Davey, Marie L; Kauserud, Håvard; Carlsen, Tor; Halvorsen, Rune; Høiland, Klaus; Eidesen, Pernille B

    2014-02-01

    There is growing evidence that root-associated fungi have important roles in Arctic ecosystems. Here, we assess the diversity of fungal communities associated with roots of the ectomycorrhizal perennial herb Bistorta vivipara on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and investigate whether spatial separation and bioclimatic variation are important structuring factors of fungal community composition. We sampled 160 plants of B. vivipara from 32 localities across Svalbard. DNA was extracted from entire root systems, and 454 pyrosequencing of ITS1 amplicons was used to profile the fungal communities. The fungal communities were predominantly composed of Basidiomycota (55% of reads) and Ascomycota (35%), with the orders Thelephorales (24%), Agaricales (13.8%), Pezizales (12.6%) and Sebacinales (11.3%) accounting for most of the reads. Plants from the same site or region had more similar fungal communities to one another than plants from other sites or regions, and sites clustered together along a weak latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, a decrease in per-plant OTU richness with increasing latitude was observed. However, no statistically significant spatial autocorrelation between sites was detected, suggesting that environmental filtering, not dispersal limitation, causes the observed patterns. Our analyses suggest that while latitudinal patterns in community composition and richness might reflect bioclimatic influences at global spatial scales, at the smaller spatial scale of the Svalbard archipelago, these changes more likely reflect varied bedrock composition and associated edaphic factors. The need for further studies focusing on identifying those specific bioclimatic and edaphic factors structuring root-associated fungal community composition at both global and local scales is emphasized.

  10. Climate change effects on human health in a gender perspective: some trends in Arctic research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kukarenko Natalia

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Climate change and environmental pollution have become pressing concerns for the peoples in the Arctic region. Some researchers link climate change, transformations of living conditions and human health. A number of studies have also provided data on differentiating effects of climate change on women's and men's well-being and health. Objective: To show how the issues of climate and environment change, human health and gender are addressed in current research in the Arctic. The main purpose of this article is not to give a full review but to draw attention to the gaps in knowledge and challenges in the Arctic research trends on climate change, human health and gender. Methods: A broad literature search was undertaken using a variety of sources from natural, medical, social science and humanities. The focus was on the keywords. Results: Despite the evidence provided by many researchers on differentiating effects of climate change on well-being and health of women and men, gender perspective remains of marginal interest in climate change, environmental and health studies. At the same time, social sciences and humanities, and gender studies in particular, show little interest towards climate change impacts on human health in the Arctic. As a result, we still observe the division of labour between disciplines, the disciplinary-bound pictures of human development in the Arctic and terminology confusion. Conclusion: Efforts to bring in a gender perspective in the Arctic research will be successful only when different disciplines would work together. Multidisciplinary research is a way to challenge academic/disciplinary homogeneity and their boundaries, to take advantage of the diversity of approaches and methods in production of new integrated knowledge. Cooperation and dialogue across disciplines will help to develop adequate indicators for monitoring human health and elaborating efficient policies and strategies to the benefit of both

  11. Holocene climate change in Arctic Canada and Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briner, Jason P.; McKay, Nicholas P.; Axford, Yarrow; Bennike, Ole; Bradley, Raymond S.; de Vernal, Anne; Fisher, David; Francus, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Gajewski, Konrad; Jennings, Anne; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Miller, Gifford; Rouston, Cody; Wagner, Bernd

    2016-09-01

    This synthesis paper summarizes published proxy climate evidence showing the spatial and temporal pattern of climate change through the Holocene in Arctic Canada and Greenland. Our synthesis includes 47 records from a recently published database of highly resolved Holocene paleoclimate time series from the Arctic (Sundqvist et al., 2014). We analyze the temperature histories represented by the database and compare them with paleoclimate and environmental information from 54 additional published records, mostly from datasets that did not fit the selection criteria for the Arctic Holocene database. Combined, we review evidence from a variety of proxy archives including glaciers (ice cores and glacial geomorphology), lake sediments, peat sequences, and coastal and deep-marine sediments. The temperature-sensitive records indicate more consistent and earlier Holocene warmth in the north and east, and a more diffuse and later Holocene thermal maximum in the south and west. Principal components analysis reveals two dominant Holocene trends, one with early Holocene warmth followed by cooling in the middle Holocene, the other with a broader period of warmth in the middle Holocene followed by cooling in the late Holocene. The temperature decrease from the warmest to the coolest portions of the Holocene is 3.0 ± 1.0 °C on average (n = 11 sites). The Greenland Ice Sheet retracted to its minimum extent between 5 and 3 ka, consistent with many sites from around Greenland depicting a switch from warm to cool conditions around that time. The spatial pattern of temperature change through the Holocene was likely driven by the decrease in northern latitude summer insolation through the Holocene, the varied influence of waning ice sheets in the early Holocene, and the variable influx of Atlantic Water into the study region.

  12. Climate Change in the North American Arctic: A One Health Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Joseph P; Hoberg, Eric P; Jenkins, Emily J; Parkinson, Alan J

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases among human and animal populations within the Arctic and subarctic latitudes of North America. Warmer temperatures are expected to increase disease risks from food-borne pathogens, water-borne diseases, and vector-borne zoonoses in human and animal populations of Arctic landscapes. Existing high levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutant chemicals circulating within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Arctic latitudes are a major concern for the reproductive health of humans and other mammals, and climate warming will accelerate the mobilization and biological amplification of toxic environmental contaminants. The adverse health impacts of Arctic warming will be especially important for wildlife populations and indigenous peoples dependent upon subsistence food resources from wild plants and animals. Additional research is needed to identify and monitor changes in the prevalence of zoonotic pathogens in humans, domestic dogs, and wildlife species of critical subsistence, cultural, and economic importance to Arctic peoples. The long-term effects of climate warming in the Arctic cannot be adequately predicted or mitigated without a comprehensive understanding of the interactive and synergistic effects between environmental contaminants and pathogens in the health of wildlife and human communities in Arctic ecosystems. The complexity and magnitude of the documented impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems, and the intimacy of connections between their human and wildlife communities, makes this region an appropriate area for development of One Health approaches to identify and mitigate the effects of climate warming at the community, ecosystem, and landscape scales.

  13. Arctic museum collections--Special Issue The Beringian Coevolution Project: Holistic collections of mammals and associated parasites reveal novel perspectives on evolutionary and environmental change in the North

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Joseph A.; Galbreath, Kurt E.; Campbell, Mariel; Carrière, Susanne; Colella, Jocelyn P.; Dawson, Natalie G.; Dunnum, Jonathan L.; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Greiman, Stephen E.; Fedorov, Vadim; Haas, Genevieve M. S.; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Henttonen, Heikki; Hope, Andrew G.; Jackson, Donavan; Jung, Tom; Koehler, Anson V.; Kinsella, John M.; Krejsa, Dianna; Kutz, Susan J.; Liphardt, Schuyler; MacDonald, Stephen O.; Malaney, Jason L.; Makarikov, Arseny; Martin, Jon; McLean, Bryan S.; Mulders, Robert; Nyamsuren, Batsaikhan; Talbot, Sandra; Tkach, Vasyl; Tsvetkova, Albina; Toman, Heather M; Waltari, Eric C.; Whitman, Jackson S.; Hoberg, Eric P.

    2017-01-01

    The Beringian Coevolution Project (BCP), a field program underway in the high northern latitudes since 1999, has focused on building key scientific infrastructure for integrated specimen-based studies on mammals and their associated parasites. BCP has contributed new insights across temporal and spatial scales into how ancient climate and environmental change have shaped faunas, emphasizing processes of assembly, persistence, and diversification across the vast Beringian region. BCP collections also represent baseline records of biotic diversity from across the northern high latitudes at a time of accelerated environmental change. These specimens and associated data form an unmatched resource for identifying hidden diversity, interpreting past responses to climate oscillations, documenting contemporary conditions, and anticipating outcomes for complex biological systems in a regime of ecological perturbation. Because of its dual focus on hosts and parasites, the BCP record also provides a foundation for comparative analyses that can document the effects of dynamic change on the geographic distribution, transmission dynamics, and emergence of pathogens. By using specific examples from carnivores, shrews, lagomorphs, rodents and their associated parasites, we demonstrate how broad, integrated field collections provide permanent infrastructure that informs policy decisions regarding human impact and the effect of climate change on natural populations.

  14. Assessing the Resource Gap in a Changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-01

    analysis.7 In a statement referencing the preparedness for Mass Rescue Operations ( MROs ) in the Arctic and the likely relevance to all Arctic-8 nations...the issue of US logistics shortfalls for major Search and Rescue (SAR) Mass Rescue Operations ( MRO ) and environmental threats posed by oil spills...happy ending had the weather been bad.”27 Clearly, none of these incidents resulted in a Mass Rescue Operation ( MRO ) or Spill Of National Significance

  15. Collaborative Proposal: Improving Decadal Prediction of Arctic Climate Variability and Change Using a Regional Arctic System Model (RASM)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maslowski, Wieslaw [Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (United States)

    2016-10-17

    This project aims to develop, apply and evaluate a regional Arctic System model (RASM) for enhanced decadal predictions. Its overarching goal is to advance understanding of the past and present states of arctic climate and to facilitate improvements in seasonal to decadal predictions. In particular, it will focus on variability and long-term change of energy and freshwater flows through the arctic climate system. The project will also address modes of natural climate variability as well as extreme and rapid climate change in a region of the Earth that is: (i) a key indicator of the state of global climate through polar amplification and (ii) which is undergoing environmental transitions not seen in instrumental records. RASM will readily allow the addition of other earth system components, such as ecosystem or biochemistry models, thus allowing it to facilitate studies of climate impacts (e.g., droughts and fires) and of ecosystem adaptations to these impacts. As such, RASM is expected to become a foundation for more complete Arctic System models and part of a model hierarchy important for improving climate modeling and predictions.

  16. The summer aerosol in the central Arctic 1991–2008: did it change or not?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Heintzenberg

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In the course of global warming dramatic changes are taking place in the Arctic and boreal environments. However, physical aerosol data in from the central summer Arctic taken over the course of 18 yr from 1991 to 2008 do not show systematic year-to-year changes, albeit substantial interannual variations. Besides the limited extent of the data several causes may be responsible for these findings. The processes controlling concentrations and particle size distribution of the aerosol over the central Arctic perennial pack ice area, north of 80°, may not have changed substantially during this time. Environmental changes are still mainly effective in the marginal ice zone, the ice-free waters and continental rims and have not propagated significantly into the central Arctic yet where they could affect the local aerosol and its sources. The analysis of meteorological conditions of the four expedition summers reveal substantial variations which we see as main causes of the measured variations in aerosol parameters. With combined lognormal fits of the hourly number size distributions of the four expeditions representative mode parameters for the summer aerosol in the central Arctic have been calculated. The combined aerosol statistics discussed in the present paper provide comprehensive physical data on the summer aerosol in the central Arctic. These data are the only surface aerosol information from this region.

  17. Climate change and zoonotic infections in the Russian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Revich

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Climate change in the Russian Arctic is more pronounced than in any other part of the country. Between 1955 and 2000, the annual average air temperature in the Russian North increased by 1.2°C. During the same period, the mean temperature of upper layer of permafrost increased by 3°C. Climate change in Russian Arctic increases the risks of the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases. This review presents data on morbidity rates among people, domestic animals and wildlife in the Russian Arctic, focusing on the potential climate related emergence of such diseases as tick-borne encephalitis, tularemia, brucellosis, leptospirosis, rabies, and anthrax.

  18. The summer aerosol in the Central Arctic 1991–2008: did it change or not?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Heintzenberg

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In the course of global warming dramatic changes are taking place in the Arctic and boreal environments. However, physical aerosol data in from the central summer Arctic taken over the course of 17 years from 1991 to 2008 to not show clear trends, albeit substantial interannual variations. Several causes can be responsible for these findings. The processes controlling concentrations and particle size distribution of the aerosol over the central Arctic perennial pack ice area, north of 80, may not have changed substantially during this time. Environmental changes are still mainly effective in the marginal ice zone, the ice-free waters and continental rims and have not propagated significantly into the central Arctic yet where they could affect the local aerosol and its sources. The analysis of meteorological conditions of the four expedition summers reveal substantial variations which we see as main causes of the measured variations in aerosol parameters and the lack of clear decadal trends. With combined lognormal fits of the hourly number size distributions of the four expeditions representative mode parameters for the summer aerosol in the central Arctic have been calculated. The combined aerosol statistics discussed in the present paper provide comprehensive physical data on the summer aerosol in the central Arctic. These data are the only aerosol information from this region and will probably remain so for some time because orbiting satellites do not cover the area close to the North Pole.

  19. Arctic Ocean shelf biogeochemical cycling under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellerby, Richard; Silyakova, Anna; Slagstad, Dag

    2014-05-01

    Changes to Arctic Ocean biogeochemistry will result from a complex array of climate and chemical perturbations over the next decades. Changes to freshwater and nutrient supply through ice melt and continental runoff; warming of the ocean and an increasing ocean acidification through partial equilibrium with a rising anthropogenic CO2 load will change the nature of Arctic Ocean ecological and biogeochemical coupling. This is no more apparent on the shelf regions where there is strong influence from land sources of freshwater and total alkalinity. This presentation will document our combined approach of studying Arctic biogeochemical change through coupled observational, experimental and modelling campaigns. We have identified large changes in recent anthropogenic carbon transport to the Arctic and have characterised the associated regional and water mass ocean acidification. We have determined, through targeted Arctic pelagic ecosystem perturbations experiments, changes to ecosystem structure, succession and biogeochemical cycling under high CO2. Observations have been incorporated into regional, coupled physical-ecosystem-carbon biogeochemical models (informed at the boundaries by downscaled global earth system models) to develop scenarios of change in biogeochemical pathways. We have identified large regional variability in ocean acidification that is shown to impact on shelf biogeochemistry, ecosystems and climate feedbacks in the Arctic Ocean.

  20. Arctic climate change: Greenhouse warming unleashed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritsen, Thorsten

    2016-04-01

    Human activity alters the atmospheric composition, which leads to global warming. Model simulations suggest that reductions in emission of sulfur dioxide from Europe since the 1970s could have unveiled rapid Arctic greenhouse gas warming.

  1. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-12

    ecosystems as well as global shipping, energy markets , and other commercial interests. To address these challenges and opportunities, we will align...scientific and policy attention on links to global climate change and projected ice-free seasons in the Arctic within decades. These changes have...20version/Chapters%20PDF.htm; and Hugo Ahlenius, editor in chief et al., Vital Arctic Graphics, People and Global Heritage on Our Last Wild Shores

  2. Arctic Synthesis Collaboratory: A Virtual Organization for Transformative Research and Education on a Changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnick, W. K.; Wiggins, H. V.; Hinzman, L.; Holland, M.; Murray, M. S.; Vörösmarty, C.; Loring, A. J.

    2008-12-01

    About the Arctic Synthesis Collaboratory The Arctic Synthesis Collaboratory concept, developed through a series of NSF-funded workshops and town hall meetings, is envisioned as a cyber-enabled, technical, organizational, and social-synthesis framework to foster: • Interactions among interdisciplinary experts and stakeholders • Integrated data analysis and modeling activities • Training and development of the arctic science community • Delivery of outreach, education, and policy-relevant resources Scientific Rationale The rapid rate of arctic change and our incomplete understanding of the arctic system present the arctic community with a grand scientific challenge and three related issues. First, a wealth of observations now exists as disconnected data holdings, which must be coordinated and synthesized to fully detect and assess arctic change. Second, despite great strides in the development of arctic system simulations, we still have incomplete capabilities for modeling and predicting the behavior of the system as a whole. Third, policy-makers, stakeholders, and the public are increasingly making demands of the science community for forecasts and guidance in mitigation and adaptation strategies. Collaboratory Components The Arctic Synthesis Collaboratory is organized around four integrated functions that will be established virtually as a distributed set of activities, but also with the advantage of existing facilities that could sponsor some of the identified activities. Community Network "Meeting Grounds:" The Collaboratory will link distributed individuals, organizations, and activities to enable collaboration and foster new research initiatives. Specific activities could include: an expert directory, social networking services, and virtual and face-to-face meetings. Data Integration, Synthesis, and Modeling Activities: The Collaboratory will utilize appropriate tools to enable the combination of data and models. Specific activities could include: a web

  3. Development of Exhibit on Arctic Climate Change Called The Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely Exhibition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stauffer, Barbara W.

    2006-04-01

    The exhibition, The Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely, was developed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) as a part of the museum’s Forces of Change exhibit series on global change. It opened to the public in Spring 2006, in conjunction with another Forces of Change exhibit on the Earth’s atmosphere called Change Is in the Air. The exhibit was a 2000 square-foot presentation that explored the forces and consequences of the changing Arctic as documented by scientists and native residents alike. Native peoples of the Arctic have always lived with year-to-year fluctuations in weather and ice conditions. In recent decades, they have witnessed that the climate has become unpredictable, the land and sea unfamiliar. An elder in Arctic Canada recently described the weather as uggianaqtuq —an Inuit word that can suggest strange, unexpected behavior, sometimes described as that of “a friend acting strangely.” Scientists too have been documenting dramatic changes in the Arctic. Air temperatures have warmed over most—though not all—of the Arctic since the 1950s; Arctic precipitation may have increased by as much as 8%; seasonal melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has increased on average by 16% since 1979; polar-orbiting satellites have measured a 15¬–20% decline in sea ice extent since the 1970s; aircraft reconnaissance and ship observations show a steady decrease in sea ice since the 1950s. In response to this warming, plant distributions have begun to shift and animals are changing their migration routes. Some of these changes may have beneficial effects while others may bring hardship or have costly implications. And, many scientists consider arctic change to be a ‘bell-weather’ for large-scale changes in other regions of the world. The exhibition included text, photos artifacts, hands-on interactives and other exhibitry that illustrated the changes being documented by indigenous people and scientists alike.

  4. Pan-Arctic observations in GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project and its successor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanouchi, Takashi

    2016-04-01

    We started a Japanese initiative - "Arctic Climate Change Research Project" - within the framework of the Green Network of Excellence (GRENE) Program, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT), in 2011. This Project targeted understanding and forecasting "Rapid Change of the Arctic Climate System and its Global Influences." Four strategic research targets are set by the Ministry: 1. Understanding the mechanism of warming amplification in the Arctic; 2. Understanding the Arctic climate system for global climate and future change; 3. Evaluation of the impacts of Arctic change on the weather and climate in Japan, marine ecosystems and fisheries; 4. Projection of sea ice distribution and Arctic sea routes. Through a network of universities and institutions in Japan, this 5-year Project involves more than 300 scientists from 39 institutions and universities. The National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) works as the core institute and The Japan Agency for Marine- Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) joins as the supporting institute. There are 7 bottom up research themes approved: the atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems, cryosphere, greenhouse gases, marine ecology and fisheries, sea ice and Arctic sea routes and climate modeling, among 22 applications. The Project will realize multi-disciplinal study of the Arctic region and connect to the projection of future Arctic and global climatic change by modeling. The project has been running since the beginning of 2011 and in those 5 years pan-Arctic observations have been carried out in many locations, such as Svalbard, Russian Siberia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland and the Arctic Ocean. In particular, 95 GHz cloud profiling radar in high precision was established at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, and intensive atmospheric observations were carried out in 2014 and 2015. In addition, the Arctic Ocean cruises by R/V "Mirai" (belonging to JAMSTEC) and other icebreakers belonging to other

  5. Environmental Protection of the Arctic Region: Effective Mechanisms of Legal Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Gladun

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The legal regulations on environmental issues that arise in the Arctic due to intensive exploitation of its oil and gas resources need to be explored. There are gaps in environmental regulations over the Arctic region both at international and domestic levels. For Russia, at least two basic problems can be seen in the legal norms: the absence of a coherent approach to the Arctic environmental legislation and policy, and the need to develop effective mechanisms of environmental protection in the process of the Arctic development. In recent years, the Arctic states have expanded legislation on the Arctic issues. Currently, the most effective legal instruments targeting the protection of the fragile Arctic environment have been created by the Arctic countries. The introduction of a system of integrated environmental management is the first step that should be taken. Deep scientific research should be the obligatory foundation of any Arctic project. Moreover, much attention should be paid to the analysis of biological diversity preservation schemes. Lastly, special laws are needed in Russia to ensure: the regulation, prevention, and response to pollution by oil and other containments; the protection and rational use of Arctic resources; and the conservation of the Arctic marine areas and natural landmarks. These ideas are based on a comparative analysis of the legal rules contained within the laws of Norway, Canada, and the United States.

  6. A Friend Acting Strangely: an Exhibition on Climate Change in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stauffer, B. W.; Fitzhugh, W. W.; Krupnik, I.; Mannes, J.; Rusk, K.

    2003-12-01

    The Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely is a new exhibit being developed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) as a part of the museum's Forces of Change exhibit series on global change issues. The exhibit will open to the public in Summer 2004 and is the third component of the series. The other two components are about El Niño (El Niño's Powerful Reach) and atmospheric chemistry (Change is in the Air). The Arctic exhibit's underlying theme is that current global change is causing such rapid shifts in Arctic weather and the polar environment that it has become `strange,' - or unpredictable - to its residents. The speed of change in Arctic ice and climate patterns, ocean and terrestrial ecosystems, and wildlife creates a great challenge for polar scientists; but it also advances beyond the experience and memory of northern indigenous people, who know it so well. The key issues the NMNH team faces in preparing the new exhibit are: how to document and display the forces and consequences of rapid change; how to make complex scientific processes and research comprehensible to visitors; and how to engage the general public in the on-going discussion. Because current shifts in the Arctic environment have been observed and recorded in much detail by scientists and Native residents alike, this topic offers unique opportunities beyond the museum presentation, including outreach through public programs and the Internet. The exhibit is being developed jointly by the NMNH Arctic Studies Center and Office of the Exhibits, and in close collaboration with NOAA' Office of Arctic Research, NSF' new Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) initiative, and NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. Exhibit components will include objects, text, graphic panels, video, and a computer interactive. Special efforts will be made to present the voices and opinions of Arctic indigenous people who experience new challenges to their traditional subsistence

  7. A Compendium of Arctic Environmental Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-03-01

    and ice, can cause the cornea to be painfully inflamed or actually burned if the eye is not shielded. The best protection is to wear sunglasses or...with triple antibiotic ointment. Skin infection, dirty wound • Local heat, 15 minutes every 4 hours to raise abscess to a head. Lance to allow...draining—do not squeeze. Continue hot soaks and dressing changes as required. 56 • Pack abscess with povidone-iodine prep pad. • Triple antibiotic

  8. Environmental Factors Influencing Arctic Halogen Chemistry During Late Spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burd, J.; Nghiem, S. V.; Simpson, W. R.

    2015-12-01

    Reactive halogen radicals (e.g. Br, Cl atoms and their oxides, BrO, ClO) are important oxidizers in the troposphere that decrease atmospheric pollutants and deplete tropospheric ozone, affecting the abundance of other oxidizers such as the hydroxyl radical. During Arctic springtime, the heterogeneous chemical cycles (often called the "bromine explosion") produce high levels of bromine monoxide (BrO), through reactions on saline snow, ice, and/or aerosol surfaces. Multi-AXis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measured BrO at Barrow, AK, from 2008-2009 and 2012-2015, as well at various locations above the frozen Arctic Ocean with O-Buoys in 2008 and 2011-2015. Observed BrO levels drop suddenly during late spring (May-June) and generally do not recover, which indicates the bromine explosion cycle can no longer produce significant amounts of BrO. We have established, through an objective algorithm, the local day of year of this drop in BrO as the "seasonal end." Additionally, in about half of the years, "recurrence" events were observed where BrO levels recover for at least a day. This study investigates the environmental factors influencing seasonal end and recurrence events including: temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and snowmelt. Analysis of BrO and air temperature revealed the temperature reaches 0°C within five days of the seasonal end event; however, temperatures drop below freezing during a recurrence event. In addition, there are periods where the temperature remains below freezing, but no recurrence event is observed. This BrO and temperature analysis indicates above-freezing air temperature prevents reactive bromine release; however, it is not the only environmental factor influencing this heterogeneous recycling. Further analysis of additional environmental influences on the bromine explosion cycle could help to better understand and model bromine chemistry in the Arctic.

  9. Arctic climate change in an ensemble of regional CORDEX simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torben Koenigk

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Fifth phase Climate Model Intercomparison Project historical and scenario simulations from four global climate models (GCMs using the Representative Concentration Pathways greenhouse gas concentration trajectories RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 are downscaled over the Arctic with the regional Rossby Centre Atmosphere model (RCA. The regional model simulations largely reflect the circulation bias patterns of the driving global models in the historical period, indicating the importance of lateral and lower boundary conditions. However, local differences occur as a reduced winter 2-m air temperature bias over the Arctic Ocean and increased cold biases over land areas in RCA. The projected changes are dominated by a strong warming in the Arctic, exceeding 15°K in autumn and winter over the Arctic Ocean in RCP8.5, strongly increased precipitation and reduced sea-level pressure. Near-surface temperature and precipitation are linearly related in the Arctic. The wintertime inversion strength is reduced, leading to a less stable stratification of the Arctic atmosphere. The diurnal temperature range is reduced in all seasons. The large-scale change patterns are dominated by the surface and lateral boundary conditions so future response is similar in RCA and the driving global models. However, the warming over the Arctic Ocean is smaller in RCA; the warming over land is larger in winter and spring but smaller in summer. The future response of winter cloud cover is opposite in RCA and the GCMs. Precipitation changes in RCA are much larger during summer than in the global models and more small-scale change patterns occur.

  10. Communicating Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soreide, N. N.; Overland, J. E.; Calder, J. A.; Rodionov, S.

    2005-12-01

    There is an explosion of interest in Northern Hemisphere climate, highlighting the importance of recent changes in the Arctic on mid-latitude climate and its impact on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Traditional sea ice and tundra dominated arctic ecosystems are being reorganizing into warmer sub-arctic ecosystem types. Over the previous two years we have developed a comprehensive, near real-time arctic change detection protocol to track physical and biological changes for presentation on the web: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/detect. The effort provides a continuous update to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) Report, released in November 2004. Principles for the protocol include an accessible narrative style, scientifically credible and objective indicators, notes multiple uses for the information, acknowledges uncertainties, and balances having too many indicators-which leads to information overload-and too few-which does not capture the complexity of the system. Screening criteria include concreteness, public awareness, being understandable, availability of historical time series, and sensitivity. The site provides sufficient information for an individual to make their own assessment regarding the balance of the evidence for tracking change. The product provides an overview, recent news, links to many arctic websites, and highlights climate, global impacts, land and marine ecosystems, and human consequences. Since its inception a year ago, it has averaged about 9000 hits an day on the web, and is a major information source as determined by Google search. The future direction focuses on understanding the causes for change. In spring 2005 we also presented a near real-time ecological and climatic surveillance website for the Bering Sea: www.beringclimate.noaa.gov. The site provides up-to-date information which ties northward shifts of fish, invertebrate and marine mammal populations to physical changes in the Arctic. This site is more technical than the

  11. The Contribution to Arctic Climate Change from Countries in the Arctic Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, T.; MacCracken, M. C.

    2013-12-01

    The conventional accounting frameworks for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions used today, established under the Kyoto Protocol 25 years ago, exclude short lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), and do not include regional effects on the climate. However, advances in climate science now suggest that mitigation of SLCPs can reduce up to 50% of global warming by 2050. It has also become apparent that regions such as the Arctic have experienced a much greater degree of anthropogenic warming than the globe as a whole, and that efforts to slow this warming could benefit the larger effort to slow climate change around the globe. A draft standard for life cycle assessment (LCA), LEO-SCS-002, being developed under the American National Standards Institute process, has integrated the most recent climate science into a unified framework to account for emissions of all radiatively significant GHGs and SLCPs. This framework recognizes four distinct impacts to the oceans and climate caused by GHGs and SLCPs: Global Climate Change; Arctic Climate Change; Ocean Acidification; and Ocean Warming. The accounting for Arctic Climate Change, the subject of this poster, is based upon the Absolute Regional Temperature Potential, which considers the incremental change to the Arctic surface temperature resulting from an emission of a GHG or SLCP. Results are evaluated using units of mass of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which can be used by a broad array of stakeholders, including scientists, consumers, policy makers, and NGOs. This poster considers the contribution to Arctic Climate Change from emissions of GHGs and SLCPs from the eight member countries of the Arctic Council; the United States, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Of this group of countries, the United States was the largest contributor to Arctic Climate Change in 2011, emitting 9600 MMT CO2e. This includes a gross warming of 11200 MMT CO2e (caused by GHGs, black and brown carbon, and warming effects

  12. Building Partnerships and Research Collaborations to Address the Impacts of Arctic Change: The North Atlantic Climate Change Collaboration (NAC3)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polk, J.; North, L. A.; Strenecky, B.

    2015-12-01

    Changes in Arctic warming influence the various atmospheric and oceanic patterns that drive Caribbean and mid-latitude climate events, including extreme events like drought, tornadoes, and flooding in Kentucky and the surrounding region. Recently, the establishment of the North Atlantic Climate Change Collaboration (NAC3) project at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in partnership with the University of Akureyri (UNAK), Iceland Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN), and Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) provides a foundation from which to engage students in applied research from the local to global levels and more clearly understand the many tenets of climate change impacts in the Arctic within both a global and local community context. The NAC3 project encompasses many facets, including joint international courses, student internships, economic development, service learning, and applied research. In its first phase, the project has generated myriad outcomes and opportunities for bridging STEM disciplines with other fields to holistically and collaboratively address specific human-environmental issues falling under the broad umbrella of climate change. WKU and UNAK students desire interaction and exposure to other cultures and regions that are threatened by climate change and Iceland presents a unique opportunity to study influences such as oceanic processes, island economies, sustainable harvest of fisheries, and Arctic influences on climate change. The project aims to develop a model to bring partners together to conduct applied research on the complex subject of global environmental change, particularly in the Arctic, while simultaneously focusing on changing how we learn, develop community, and engage internationally to understand the impacts and find solutions.

  13. Decadal changes of phenological patterns over Arctic tundra biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, G. J.; Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Wang, H.

    2008-12-01

    The northern high latitudes have experienced a continuous and accelerated trend of warming during the past 30 years, with most recent decade ranks the warmest years since 1850. Warmer springs are especially evident throughout the Arctic. Meanwhile, Arctic sea ice declined rapidly to unprecedented low extents in all months, with late summer experiences the most significant declining. Warming in the north is also evident from observations of early melting of snow and reducing snow cover. Now a key question is: in the warmth limited northern biome, what will happen to the phenological patterns of tundra vegetation as the global climate warms and seasonality of air temperature, sea ice, and snow cover shift? To answer the question we examined the onset of vegetation greenness, senescence of greenness, length of growing season, and dates of peak greenness along Arctic bioclimate gradients (subzones) to see how they change over years. Here, we combine multi-scale sub-pixel analysis and remote sensing time-series analysis to investigate recent decadal changes in vegetation phenology along spatial gradients of summer temperature and vegetation in the Arctic. The datasets used here are AVHRR 15-day 8 km time series, AVHRR 8-day 1 km dataset, and MODIS 8-day 500m Collection 5 dataset. There were detectable changes in phenological pattern over tundra biome in past two decades. Increases of vegetation greenness were observed in most of the summer periods in low arctic and mid-summer in high arctic. Peak greenness appeared earlier in high arctic and declined slower after peak in low arctic. Generally, tundra plants were having longer and stronger photosynthesis activities, and therefore increased annual vegetation productivities. Field studies have observed early growth and enhanced peak growth of many deciduous shrub species in tundra plant communities. These changes in seasonality are very likely to alter surface albedo and heat budget, modify plant photosynthesis

  14. 76 FR 50490 - Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Arctic National...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

    ... Statement, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Fairbanks, AK AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior... conservation plan (CCP) and draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge... documents required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). DATES: To ensure consideration,...

  15. One Health - a strategy for resilience in a changing arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruscio, Bruce A; Brubaker, Michael; Glasser, Joshua; Hueston, Will; Hennessy, Thomas W

    2015-01-01

    The circumpolar north is uniquely vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change. While international Arctic collaboration on health has enhanced partnerships and advanced the health of inhabitants, significant challenges lie ahead. One Health is an approach that considers the connections between the environment, plant, animal and human health. Understanding this is increasingly critical in assessing the impact of global climate change on the health of Arctic inhabitants. The effects of climate change are complex and difficult to predict with certainty. Health risks include changes in the distribution of infectious disease, expansion of zoonotic diseases and vectors, changing migration patterns, impacts on food security and changes in water availability and quality, among others. A regional network of diverse stakeholder and transdisciplinary specialists from circumpolar nations and Indigenous groups can advance the understanding of complex climate-driven health risks and provide community-based strategies for early identification, prevention and adaption of health risks in human, animals and environment. We propose a regional One Health approach for assessing interactions at the Arctic human-animal-environment interface to enhance the understanding of, and response to, the complexities of climate change on the health of the Arctic inhabitants.

  16. Transformational Change and Regime Shifts in the Circumpolar Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika E. Nilsson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic is changing rapidly, and there are many indications that the region is in the midst of transformational change. While some of the focus relates to impacts of climate change, rapid economic development and the potential for shifts in political and social structures in the region have also been in the limelight. This article looks at the circumpolar Arctic as a potential case of a regime shift in a large-scale social–ecological system that includes reinforcing feedbacks. A special focus is placed on governance structures, as these play an important role in social negotiations on the relationship between societies and the environment. While climate change is often portrayed as a driver of social change in the Arctic, it does not appear that the ongoing changes in the biophysical features of the Arctic region have rocked current circumpolar governance structures out of kilter. On the contrary, the ongoing climate-related changes, in particular sea ice decline, appear to have reinforced political commitment to existing legal structures. Major past social regime shifts have mainly been related to access to resources and national identity ideology, with political dynamics reinforced at times by military security considerations.

  17. A comparison of climate changes between Arctic and China in the last 600 years%近600年来北极与中国气候变化的对比

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    许娟

    2004-01-01

    A compilation of paleoclimate records from lake sediments, trees, ice cores, and historical documents provide a view of China and Arctic environmental changes in the last 600 years. Many of these changes have also been identified in sedimentary and geochemical signatures in deep-sea sediment cores from the North Atlantic Ocean, Arctic and Greenland and ice cores from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, confirming the linkage of environmental changes of different time scales between the Arctic and China. It is shown that the changes of precipitation, temperature and sea ice cover in Arctic were correlated with climate changes in China. This paper also developed a comparative research on the climate changes between Arctic and China both during the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the instrumental observation period. Cycles and trend of temperature variations during LIA and temperature and precipitation during the instrumental observation period are performed. We found some similarities and differences of environmental changes between Arctic and China.

  18. Climate Change and Risk Management Challenges in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, Uffe

    Climate change or global warming results in melting ice in the Arctic, both inland and sea ice. This opens up opportunities of natural ressource extraction and possibilities of new shipping routes, that opens up opportunities for increased maritime activities. However, with these opportunies come...... possibilies of transborder risk management and partnership building....

  19. Arctic Security: An Adaptive Approach for a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    that is most adaptable to change. —Charles Darwin This introductory section provides a brief overview of the problem addressed in this paper and the...temperatures to melting arctic icecaps, from lower crop yields to dying forests , from unforgiving hurricanes to unrelenting droughts, we have no

  20. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-04-28

    et al., Report of the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change: 20-24 April 2009, Anchorage, Alaska ( Darwin , Australia: United Nations...living in the Arctic, including floods or forest fires, were also urgently need[ed], the report said.210 Coast Guard Statements A January 2011 press

  1. Military plans massive Arctic exercise to prepare for environmental disaster

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon

    2004-12-01

    Planning by the Canadian military for a major exercise to prepare for a possible environmental disaster in the Mackenzie Delta is reported. There has been intense energy exploration over the least few years in the region and more is expected as the proposed pipeline to transport natural gas to southern markets is constructed. Additional drilling in the Beaufort Sea is also being rumored, which would represent further threat to the environment. The object of the exercise is for the military to be ready to respond to any industrial or shipping accident since the territorial government does not have the resources to do so. The Canadian Coast Guard and the RCMP also participated in the exercise last year; current plans call for bringing in Parks Canada, Environment Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and some of the Alaska-based Americans to participate in the exercises this year. This year's exercises will address some of the recommendations contained in the 2000 Arctic Capability Report which was particularly critical of the lack of contingency planning, the reduced Arctic training received by the military, and the quality of equipment available to the military to respond to emergencies.

  2. Changes in viral and bacterial communities during the ice-melting season in the coastal Arctic (Kongsfjorden, Ny-Ålesund)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Corte, D.; Sintes, E.; Yokokawa, T.; Herndl, G.J.; de Corte, D.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities in Arctic coastal waters experience dramatic changes in environmental conditions during the spring to summer transition period, potentially leading to major variations in the relationship between viral and prokaryotic communities. To document these variations, a number of physi

  3. Losing ground: past history and future fate of Arctic small mammals in a changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prost, Stefan; Guralnick, Robert P; Waltari, Eric; Fedorov, Vadim B; Kuzmina, Elena; Smirnov, Nickolay; van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Hofreiter, Michael; Vrieling, Klaas

    2013-06-01

    According to the IPCC, the global average temperature is likely to increase by 1.4-5.8 °C over the period from 1990 to 2100. In Polar regions, the magnitude of such climatic changes is even larger than in temperate and tropical biomes. This amplified response is particularly worrisome given that the so-far moderate warming is already impacting Arctic ecosystems. Predicting species responses to rapid warming in the near future can be informed by investigating past responses, as, like the rest of the planet, the Arctic experienced recurrent cycles of temperature increase and decrease (glacial-interglacial changes) in the past. In this study, we compare the response of two important prey species of the Arctic ecosystem, the collared lemming and the narrow-skulled vole, to Late Quaternary climate change. Using ancient DNA and Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM), we show that the two species, which occupy similar, but not identical ecological niches, show markedly different responses to climatic and environmental changes within broadly similar habitats. We empirically demonstrate, utilizing coalescent model-testing approaches, that collared lemming populations decreased substantially after the Last Glacial Maximum; a result consistent with distributional loss over the same period based on ENM results. Given this strong association, we projected the current niche onto future climate conditions based on IPCC 4.0 scenarios, and forecast accelerating loss of habitat along southern range boundaries with likely associated demographic consequences. Narrow-skulled vole distribution and demography, by contrast, was only moderately impacted by past climatic changes, but predicted future changes may begin to affect their current western range boundaries. Our work, founded on multiple lines of evidence suggests a future of rapidly geographically shifting Arctic small mammal prey communities, some of whom are on the edge of existence, and whose fate may have ramifications for the

  4. Albedo changes of the Arctic sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, D. K.; Light, B.; Jones, K. F.; Eicken, H.; Runciman, K.; Nghiem, S. V.; Stroeve, J.; Markus, T.

    2008-12-01

    The summer extent of the Arctic sea ice cover has decreased in recent decades and there have been alterations in the timing and duration of the summer melt season. This has resulted in changes in the evolution of albedo of the Arctic sea ice cover, and consequently in the partitioning of solar energy. These changes are examined on a pan-Arctic scale on a 25 x 25 km Equal Area Scalable Earth Grid for the years 1979 - 2007. Daily values of incident solar irradiance are obtained from ERA-40 reanalysis products and ice concentrations are determined from passive microwave satellite data. The albedo of the ice is modeled by a five-phase process that includes dry snow, melting snow, melt pond formation, melt pond evolution, and freezeup. The timing of these phases is governed by the onset dates of summer melt and fall freezeup, which are determined from satellite observations. Results indicate a general trend of increasing solar heat input to the Arctic ice-ocean system due to reductions in ice concentration and longer melt seasons. This trend may accelerate the loss of sea ice through the ice-albedo feedback. The evolution of albedo, and hence the total solar heating of the ocean, is more sensitive to the date of melt onset than the date of fall freezeup.

  5. Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Changes and Impacts (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.

    2013-12-01

    The extent of springtime Arctic perennial sea ice, important to preconditioning summer melt and to polar sunrise photochemistry, continues its precipitous reduction in the last decade marked by a record low in 2012, as the Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) was conducted around Barrow, Alaska, to investigate impacts of sea ice reduction on photochemical processes, transport, and distribution in the polar environment. In spring 2013, there was further loss of perennial sea ice, as it was not observed in the ocean region adjacent to the Alaskan north coast, where there was a stretch of perennial sea ice in 2012 in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. In contrast to the rapid and extensive loss of sea ice in the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has a trend of a slight increase in the past three decades. Given the significant variability in time and in space together with uncertainties in satellite observations, the increasing trend of Antarctic sea ice may arguably be considered as having a low confidence level; however, there was no overall reduction of Antarctic sea ice extent anywhere close to the decreasing rate of Arctic sea ice. There exist publications presenting various factors driving changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. After a short review of these published factors, new observations and atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological, and geological mechanisms contributed to different behaviors of sea ice changes in the Arctic and Antarctic are presented. The contribution from of hydrologic factors may provide a linkage to and enhance thermal impacts from lower latitudes. While geological factors may affect the sensitivity of sea ice response to climate change, these factors can serve as the long-term memory in the system that should be exploited to improve future projections or predictions of sea ice changes. Furthermore, similarities and differences in chemical impacts of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice changes are discussed. Understanding sea ice changes and

  6. Ecosystem responses to climate change at a Low Arctic and a High Arctic long-term research site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbie, John E; Shaver, Gaius R; Rastetter, Edward B; Cherry, Jessica E; Goetz, Scott J; Guay, Kevin C; Gould, William A; Kling, George W

    2017-02-01

    Long-term measurements of ecological effects of warming are often not statistically significant because of annual variability or signal noise. These are reduced in indicators that filter or reduce the noise around the signal and allow effects of climate warming to emerge. In this way, certain indicators act as medium pass filters integrating the signal over years-to-decades. In the Alaskan Arctic, the 25-year record of warming of air temperature revealed no significant trend, yet environmental and ecological changes prove that warming is affecting the ecosystem. The useful indicators are deep permafrost temperatures, vegetation and shrub biomass, satellite measures of canopy reflectance (NDVI), and chemical measures of soil weathering. In contrast, the 18-year record in the Greenland Arctic revealed an extremely high summer air-warming of 1.3 °C/decade; the cover of some plant species increased while the cover of others decreased. Useful indicators of change are NDVI and the active layer thickness.

  7. Interdecadal changes in snow depth on Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Melinda A.; Rigor, Ignatius G.; Nghiem, Son V.; Kurtz, Nathan T.; Farrell, Sinead L.; Perovich, Donald K.; Sturm, Matthew

    2014-08-01

    Snow plays a key role in the growth and decay of Arctic sea ice. In winter, it insulates sea ice from cold air temperatures, slowing sea ice growth. From spring to summer, the albedo of snow determines how much insolation is absorbed by the sea ice and underlying ocean, impacting ice melt processes. Knowledge of the contemporary snow depth distribution is essential for estimating sea ice thickness and volume, and for understanding and modeling sea ice thermodynamics in the changing Arctic. This study assesses spring snow depth distribution on Arctic sea ice using airborne radar observations from Operation IceBridge for 2009-2013. Data were validated using coordinated in situ measurements taken in March 2012 during the Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) field campaign. We find a correlation of 0.59 and root-mean-square error of 5.8 cm between the airborne and in situ data. Using this relationship and IceBridge snow thickness products, we compared the recent results with data from the 1937, 1954-1991 Soviet drifting ice stations. The comparison shows thinning of the snowpack, from 35.1 ± 9.4 to 22.2 ± 1.9 cm in the western Arctic, and from 32.8 ± 9.4 to 14.5 ± 1.9 cm in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. These changes suggest a snow depth decline of 37 ± 29% in the western Arctic and 56 ± 33% in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Thinning is negatively correlated with the delayed onset of sea ice freezeup during autumn.

  8. Arctic climate change and oil spill risk analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    William B. Samuels; David E. Amstutz; Heather A. Crowley

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this project was to:1) describe the effects of climate change in the Arctic and its impact on circulation,2) describe hindcast data used in the Ocean Energy Management,Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Oil Spill Risk Analysis (OSRA) model,3)evaluate alternatives such as using forecast results in the OSRA model,and 4) recommend future studies.Effects of climate change on winds,sea ice,ocean circulation and river discharge in the Arctic and impacts on surface circulation can be evaluated only through a series of specially designed numerical experiments using highresolution coupled ice-ocean models to elucidate the sensitivity of the models to various parameterizations or forcings.The results of these experiments will suggest what mechanisms are most important in controlling model response and guide inferences on how OSRA may respond to different climate change scenarios.Climatological change in the Arctic could lead to drastic alterations of wind,sea ice cover and concentration,and surface current fields all of which would influence hypothetical oil spill trajectories.Because of the pace at which conditions are changing,BOEMRE needs to assess whether forecast ice/ocean model results might contain useful information for the purposes of calculating hypothetical oil spill trajectories.

  9. Norwegian contributions to Arctic environmental sciences from the 1880s to the third International Polar Year

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Roger G. Barry

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews the major contributions made by Norwegian scientists to Arctic environmental sciences since the 1880s. The review begins with the ifrst International Polar Year (IPY) in 1882–83. It then considers the 1890s to 1920s with the scientiifc expeditions focusing on ocean and sea ice conditions of Nansen, Amundsen and H. Sverdrup, and the mapping of the Queen Elizabeth Islands by Otto Sverdrup and colleagues. The period from 1911 to the mid-1920s also witnessed annual expeditions to Svalbard led by Adolf Hoel. The 1930s to 1945 period encompassed the Second International Polar Year when Arctic weather stations were established or maintained. The time interval post-World War II to 2000 witnessed major advances made possible by technical and organizational innovations. The establishment of the Norwegian Polar Institute in 1948 led to extensive research on the glaciers and snow cover in the Svalbard archipelago and to oceanographic and sea ice research in the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean. Remote sensing methods began to be widely used from the 1980s. The new millennium saw the undertaking of the third IPY and a shift to multinational projects. New ifelds such as ocean–ice–atmosphere variability became active and there was much attention to high-latitudeclimate change in the context of global warming.

  10. Concept Study: Exploration and Production in Environmentally Sensitive Arctic Areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shirish Patil; Rich Haut; Tom Williams; Yuri Shur; Mikhail Kanevskiy; Cathy Hanks; Michael Lilly

    2008-12-31

    The Alaska North Slope offers one of the best prospects for increasing U.S. domestic oil and gas production. However, this region faces some of the greatest environmental and logistical challenges to oil and gas production in the world. A number of studies have shown that weather patterns in this region are warming, and the number of days the tundra surface is adequately frozen for tundra travel each year has declined. Operators are not allowed to explore in undeveloped areas until the tundra is sufficiently frozen and adequate snow cover is present. Spring breakup then forces rapid evacuation of the area prior to snowmelt. Using the best available methods, exploration in remote arctic areas can take up to three years to identify a commercial discovery, and then years to build the infrastructure to develop and produce. This makes new exploration costly. It also increases the costs of maintaining field infrastructure, pipeline inspections, and environmental restoration efforts. New technologies are needed, or oil and gas resources may never be developed outside limited exploration stepouts from existing infrastructure. Industry has identified certain low-impact technologies suitable for operations, and has made improvements to reduce the footprint and impact on the environment. Additional improvements are needed for exploration and economic field development and end-of-field restoration. One operator-Anadarko Petroleum Corporation-built a prototype platform for drilling wells in the Arctic that is elevated, modular, and mobile. The system was tested while drilling one of the first hydrate exploration wells in Alaska during 2003-2004. This technology was identified as a potentially enabling technology by the ongoing Joint Industry Program (JIP) Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) program. The EFD is headed by Texas A&M University and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), and is co-funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The EFD

  11. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-30

    established the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) to promote Arctic research and recommend Arctic research policy ; • designated the National Science...Foundation (NSF) as the lead federal agency for implementing Arctic research policy ; • established the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee...IARPC) to develop a national Arctic research policy and a five-year plan to implement that policy, and designated the NSF representative on the IARPC

  12. Cross-Border Assessment of Environmental Radioactivity in the Euro-Arctic Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nalbandyan, Anna; Gwynn, Justin P.; Moeller, Bredo [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), Section High North, 9296 Tromsoe (Norway); Leppaenen, Ari-Pekka; Rasilainen, Tiina [STUK Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Regional Laboratory in Northern Finland, 96400 Rovaniemi (Finland); Kasatkina, Nadezhda; Usiagina, Irina [Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI), 183010 Murmansk (Russian Federation)

    2014-07-01

    The Euro-Arctic region is currently experiencing rapid changes in environmental, social and economic conditions. The issue of environmental radioactivity is of special concern to the Arctic region due to numerous existing and potential sources of radioactive pollution in the immediate and adjacent areas. Due to cross-border nature of any potential radioactive contamination and common challenges in border countries, one should consider risks related to radioactivity, monitoring and protection at a regional and international level. This research presents results of cross-border cooperation between Norway, Finland and Russia and joint assessment of the status of terrestrial radioactivity in the Euro-Arctic region and in particular across Troms and Finnmark (Norway), Lapland (Finland) and Murmansk Oblast (Russia). To assess current environmental radioactivity levels in the terrestrial environment, environmental samples were collected in each country in 2010-2012. The main focus was comparison of radioactivity levels in the natural food products such as berries, mushrooms and freshwater fish. The results showed that large variations in activity concentrations exist between species and sampling areas. However, activity concentrations of {sup 137}Cs in all berries and mushrooms in Northern Norway, Finland and Russia were below the national limits set for commercial retail and well below the national limits for freshwater fish from Northern Norway and Finland. The sampled species from three countries were analysed in order to find out reference species available for further monitoring and data comparison. The doses to man arising from consumption of berries, mushrooms and freshwater fish were calculated. To compare overall terrestrial radioactivity levels in the Euro-Arctic region, partners exchanged long-term monitoring data available in the three countries such as data for soil, vegetation, berries, mushrooms, lichens, reindeer meat, freshwater fish, whole body counting

  13. Behavioral Ecology of Narwhals in a Changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    threshold)? How have these relationships changed over the past two decades of sea ice loss ? Are there population-level differences in sea ice habitat... ice and purported increase in killer whales in the Canadian Arctic , do killer whale catch and observation data from West Greenland follow this trend...ecology of narwhals in an area rapidly being altered by increases in shipping, seismic exploration, and sea ice loss . We anticipate our results will be

  14. Arctic marine mammals and climate change: impacts and resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Sue E; Huntington, Henry P

    2008-03-01

    Evolutionary selection has refined the life histories of seven species (three cetacean [narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales], three pinniped [walrus, ringed, and bearded seals], and the polar bear) to spatial and temporal domains influenced by the seasonal extremes and variability of sea ice, temperature, and day length that define the Arctic. Recent changes in Arctic climate may challenge the adaptive capability of these species. Nine other species (five cetacean [fin, humpback, minke, gray, and killer whales] and four pinniped [harp, hooded, ribbon, and spotted seals]) seasonally occupy Arctic and subarctic habitats and may be poised to encroach into more northern latitudes and to remain there longer, thereby competing with extant Arctic species. A synthesis of the impacts of climate change on all these species hinges on sea ice, in its role as: (1) platform, (2) marine ecosystem foundation, and (3) barrier to non-ice-adapted marine mammals and human commercial activities. Therefore, impacts are categorized for: (1) ice-obligate species that rely on sea ice platforms, (2) ice-associated species that are adapted to sea ice-dominated ecosystems, and (3) seasonally migrant species for which sea ice can act as a barrier. An assessment of resilience is far more speculative, as any number of scenarios can be envisioned, most of them involving potential trophic cascades and anticipated human perturbations. Here we provide resilience scenarios for the three ice-related species categories relative to four regions defined by projections of sea ice reductions by 2050 and extant shelf oceanography. These resilience scenarios suggest that: (1) some populations of ice-obligate marine mammals will survive in two regions with sea ice refugia, while other stocks may adapt to ice-free coastal habitats, (2) ice-associated species may find suitable feeding opportunities within the two regions with sea ice refugia and, if capable of shifting among available prey, may benefit from

  15. Environmental Change, Strategic Foresight, and Impacts on Military Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    scenario planning, and in developing early warning systems for energy and environmental inse - curity.1 Rather than take a simplistic view of...case scenarios for emissions of greenhouse gases and physical changes, such as Arctic summer sea ice or Greenland ice sheet melt, were surpassed

  16. Climate Change and China as a Global Emerging Regulatory Sea Power in the Arctic Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassotta Pertoldi-Bianchi, Sandra; Hossain, Kamrul; Ren, Jingzheng;

    2015-01-01

    The impact of climate change in the Arctic Ocean such as ice melting and ice retreat facilitates natural resources extraction. Arctic fossil fuel becomes the drivers of geopolitical changes in the Arctic Ocean. Climate change facilitates natural resource extractions and increases competition...... between states and can result in tensions, even military ones. This article investigates through a political and legal analysis the role of China as an emerging regulatory sea power in the Arctic Ocean given its assertive “energy hungry country behaviour” in the Arctic Ocean. The United Nations Convention...... on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Arctic Council (AC) are taken into consideration under climate change effects, to assess how global legal frameworks and institutions can deal with China’s strategy in the Arctic Ocean. China’s is moving away from its role as “humble power” to one of “informal...

  17. An Arctic perspective on dating Mid-Late Pleistocene environmental history

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexanderson, Helena; Backman, Jan; Cronin, Thomas M.;

    2014-01-01

    To better understand Pleistocene climatic changes in the Arctic, integrated palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic signals from a variety of marine and terrestrial geological records as well as geochronologic age control are required, not least for correlation to extra-Arctic records. In this pap...

  18. Islands of the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overpeck, Jonathan

    2004-02-01

    Few environments on Earth are changing more dramatically than the Arctic. Sea ice retreat and thinning is unprecedented in the period of the satellite record. Surface air temperatures are the warmest in centuries. The biology of Arctic lakes is changing like never before in millennia. Everything is pointing to the meltdown predicted by climate model simulations for the next 100 years. At the same time, the Arctic remains one of the most pristine and beautiful places on Earth. For both those who know the Arctic and those who want to know it, this book is worth its modest price. There is much more to the Arctic than its islands, but there's little doubt that Greenland and the major northern archipelagos can serve as a great introduction to the environment and magnificence of the Arctic. The book uses the islands of the Arctic to give a good introduction to what the Arctic environment is all about. The first chapter sets the stage with an overview of the geography of the Arctic islands, and this is followed by chapters that cover many key aspects of the Arctic: the geology (origins), weather and climate, glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice, permafrost and other frozen ground issues, coasts, rivers, lakes, animals, people, and environmental impacts. The material is pitched at a level well suited for the interested layperson, but the book will also appeal to those who study the science of the Arctic.

  19.  Climate Change and the Arctic Discourses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørst, Lill Rastad

    2009-01-01

      It is now a fact that global warming and climate change are on the public agenda and will remain there for a long time to come. The Arctic has been portrayed as a thermometer for the world mostly because it is very vulnerable to the climatic changes and the subsequent consequences. Inuit are used...... as an example and included as the first witnesses to ‘the big catastrophe'. My hypothesis is that the newly emerging climate debate can establish an unexpected and unique political platform where Inuit can get influence on local as well as global questions. My investigating focus concerning these matters...... are politics, risk and cultural discourses....

  20. Climate change impacts on seals and whales in the North Atlantic Arctic and adjacent shelf seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Kit M; Lydersen, Christian

    2008-01-01

    In a warmer Arctic, endemic marine mammal species will face extreme levels of habitat change, most notably a dramatic reduction in sea ice. Additionally, the physical environmental changes, including less ice and increased water (and air) temperatures will result in alterations to the forage base of arctic marine mammals, including density and distributional shifts in their prey, as well as potential losses of some of their traditionally favoured fat-rich prey species. In addition they are likely to face increased competition from invasive temperate species, increased predation from species formerly unable to access them in areas of extensive sea ice or simply because the water temperature was restrictive, increased disease risk and perhaps also increased risks from contaminants. Over the coming decades it is also likely that arctic marine mammals will face increased impacts from human traffic and development in previously inaccessible, ice-covered areas. Impacts on ice-associated cetaceans are difficult to predict because the reasons for their affiliation with sea ice are not clearly understood. But, it is certain that ice-breeding seals will have marked, or total, breeding-habitat loss in their traditional breeding areas and will certainly undergo distributional changes and in all probability abundance reductions. If species are fixed in traditional spatial and temporal cycles, and are unable to shift them within decadal time scales, some populations will go extinct. In somewhat longer time frames, species extinctions can also be envisaged.

  1. Scenarios use to engage scientists and decision-makers in a changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, O. A.; Eicken, H.; Payne, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Scenarios provide a framework to develop more adaptive Arctic policies that allow decision makers to consider the best available science to address complex relationships and key uncertainties in drivers of change. These drivers may encompass biophysical factors such as climate change, socioeconomic drivers, and wild-cards that represent low likelihood but influential events such as major environmental disasters. We outline some of the lessons learned from the North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI) scenarios project that could help in the development of adaptive science-based policies. Three spatially explicit development scenarios were identified corresponding to low, medium and high resource extraction activities on the North Slope and adjacent seas. In the case of the high energy development scenario science needs were focused on new technology, oil spill response, and the effects of offshore activities on marine mammals important for subsistence. Science needs related to community culture, erosion, permafrost degradation and hunting and trapping on land were also identified for all three scenarios. The NSSI science needs will guide recommendations for future observing efforts, and data from these observing activities could subsequently improve policy guidance for emergency response, subsistence management and other issues. Scenarios at pan-Arctic scales may help improve the development of international policies for resilient northern communities and encourage the use of science to reduce uncertainties in plans for adapting to change in the Arctic.

  2. Idiosyncratic responses of high Arctic plants to changing snow regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumpf, Sabine B; Semenchuk, Philipp R; Dullinger, Stefan; Cooper, Elisabeth J

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic is one of the ecosystems most affected by climate change; in particular, winter temperatures and precipitation are predicted to increase with consequent changes to snow cover depth and duration. Whether the snow-free period will be shortened or prolonged depends on the extent and temporal patterns of the temperature and precipitation rise; resulting changes will likely affect plant growth with cascading effects throughout the ecosystem. We experimentally manipulated snow regimes using snow fences and shoveling and assessed aboveground size of eight common high arctic plant species weekly throughout the summer. We demonstrated that plant growth responded to snow regime, and that air temperature sum during the snow free period was the best predictor for plant size. The majority of our studied species showed periodic growth; increases in plant size stopped after certain cumulative temperatures were obtained. Plants in early snow-free treatments without additional spring warming were smaller than controls. Response to deeper snow with later melt-out varied between species and categorizing responses by growth forms or habitat associations did not reveal generic trends. We therefore stress the importance of examining responses at the species level, since generalized predictions of aboveground growth responses to changing snow regimes cannot be made.

  3. Idiosyncratic responses of high Arctic plants to changing snow regimes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine B Rumpf

    Full Text Available The Arctic is one of the ecosystems most affected by climate change; in particular, winter temperatures and precipitation are predicted to increase with consequent changes to snow cover depth and duration. Whether the snow-free period will be shortened or prolonged depends on the extent and temporal patterns of the temperature and precipitation rise; resulting changes will likely affect plant growth with cascading effects throughout the ecosystem. We experimentally manipulated snow regimes using snow fences and shoveling and assessed aboveground size of eight common high arctic plant species weekly throughout the summer. We demonstrated that plant growth responded to snow regime, and that air temperature sum during the snow free period was the best predictor for plant size. The majority of our studied species showed periodic growth; increases in plant size stopped after certain cumulative temperatures were obtained. Plants in early snow-free treatments without additional spring warming were smaller than controls. Response to deeper snow with later melt-out varied between species and categorizing responses by growth forms or habitat associations did not reveal generic trends. We therefore stress the importance of examining responses at the species level, since generalized predictions of aboveground growth responses to changing snow regimes cannot be made.

  4. Sunlight, Sea Ice, and the Ice Albedo Feedback in a Changing Arctic Sea Ice Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas, with particular emphasis on the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Some of the largest changes to the sea ice cover are...Changing Arctic Sea Ice Cover Don Perovich ERDC – CRREL 72 Lyme Road Hanover, NH 03755 Phone: 603-646-4255 Email: donald.k.perovich...quantitative understanding of the partitioning of solar radiation by the Arctic sea ice cover and its impact on the heat and mass balance of the ice and upper

  5. Propaganda, News, or Education: Reporting Changing Arctic Sea Ice Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitzell, K.; Meier, W.

    2010-12-01

    The National Snow and Ice Data Center provides information on Arctic sea ice conditions via the Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis (ASINA) website. As a result of this effort to explain climatic data to the general public, we have attracted a huge amount of attention from our readers. Sometimes, people write to thank us for the information and the explanation. But people also write to accuse us of bias, slant, or outright lies in our posts. The topic of climate change is a minefield full of political animosity, and even the most carefully written verbiage can appear incomplete or biased to some audiences. Our strategy has been to report the data and stick to the areas in which our scientists are experts. The ASINA team carefully edits our posts to make sure that all statements are based on the science and not on opinion. Often this means using some technical language that may be difficult for a layperson to understand. However, we provide concise definitions for technical terms where appropriate. The hope is that by communicating the data clearly, without an agenda, we can let the science speak for itself. Is this an effective strategy to communicate clearly about the changing climate? Or does it downplay the seriousness of climate change? By writing at a more advanced level and avoiding oversimplification, we require our readers to work harder. But we may also maintain the attention of skeptics, convincing them to read further and become more knowledgeable about the topic.

  6. Socioeconomic and Cultural Changes in the European Arctic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stepien, Adam; Banul, Karolina; Scheepstra, Adriana; van Dam, Karin; Latola, Kirsi; Koivurova, Timo; Stepien, Adam; Koivurova, Timo; Kankaanpää, Paula

    2016-01-01

    The chapter provides overview of the Arctic sociocultural landscape, highlighting innovative and growing Arctic cities, thinnig-out rural areas, demographic challenges, and dependence on extractive and primary industries. Indigenous peoples often experience these elements in distinct manners. The EU

  7. Postglacial environmental succession of Nettilling Lake (Baffin Island, Canadian Arctic) inferred from biogeochemical and microfossil proxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narancic, Biljana; Pienitz, Reinhard; Chapligin, Bernhard; Meyer, Hanno; Francus, Pierre; Guilbault, Jean-Pierre

    2016-09-01

    Nettilling Lake (Baffin Island, Nunavut) is currently the largest lake in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Despite its enormous size, this freshwater system remains little studied until the present-day. Existing records from southern Baffin Island indicate that in the early postglacial period, the region was submerged by the postglacial Tyrell Sea due to isostatic depression previously exerted by the Laurentide Ice Sheet. However, these records are temporally and spatially discontinuous, relying on qualitative extrapolation. This paper presents the first quantitative reconstruction of the postglacial environmental succession of the Nettilling Lake basin based on a 8300 yr-long high resolution sedimentary record. Our multi-proxy investigation of the glacio-isostatic uplift and subsequent changes in paleosalinity and sediment sources is based on analyses of sediment fabric, elemental geochemistry (μ-XRF), diatom assemblage composition, as well as on the first diatom-based oxygen isotope record from the eastern Canadian Arctic. Results indicate that the Nettilling Lake basin experienced a relatively rapid and uniform marine invasion in the early Holocene, followed by progressive freshening until about 6000 yr BP when limnological conditions similar to those of today were established. Our findings present evidence for deglacial processes in the Foxe Basin that were initiated at least 400yrs earlier than previously thought.

  8. Climate change and natural hazards in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichelberger, J. C.; Eichelberger, L. P.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is motivating much of the science research in the Arctic. Natural hazards, which have always been with us and can be influenced by climate, also pose a serious threat to sustainability of Arctic communities, the Native cultures they support, and the health and wellbeing of their residents. These are themes of the US Chairship of the Arctic Council. For example, repetitive floods, often associated with spring ice jams, are a particularly severe problem for river communities. People live near rivers because access to food, water and river transportation support an indigenous subsistence lifestyle. Some settlement sites for Indigenous Peoples were mandated by distant authorities without regard to natural hazards, in Alaska no less than in other countries. Thus bad policy of the past casts a long shadow into the future. Remote communities are subject to multiple challenges, including natural hazards, access to education, and limited job opportunities. These intersect to reproduce structural vulnerability and have over time created a need for substantial support from government. In the past 40 years, the themes of "sustainability" and "self reliance" have become prominent strategies for governance at both state and local levels. Communities now struggle to demonstrate their sustainability while grappling with natural hazards and chronic poverty. In the extreme, the shifting of responsibility to resource-poor communities can be called "structural violence". Accepting the status quo can mean living without sanitation and reliable water supply, leading to the high observed rates of disease not normally encountered in developed countries. Many of the efforts to address climate change and natural hazards are complementary: monitoring the environment; forecasting extreme events; and community-based participatory research and planning. Natural disaster response is complementary to the Arctic Council's Search and Rescue (SAR) initiative, differing in that those

  9. Patterns and processes influencing helminth parasites of Arctic coastal communities during climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galaktionov, K V

    2017-03-22

    This review analyses the scarce available data on biodiversity and transmission of helminths in Arctic coastal ecosystems and the potential impact of climate changes on them. The focus is on the helminths of seabirds, dominant parasites in coastal ecosystems. Their fauna in the Arctic is depauperate because of the lack of suitable intermediate hosts and unfavourable conditions for species with free-living larvae. An increasing proportion of crustaceans in the diet of Arctic seabirds would result in a higher infection intensity of cestodes and acanthocephalans, and may also promote the infection of seabirds with non-specific helminths. In this way, the latter may find favourable conditions for colonization of new hosts. Climate changes may alter the composition of the helminth fauna, their infection levels in hosts and ways of transmission in coastal communities. Immigration of boreal invertebrates and fish into Arctic seas may allow the circulation of helminths using them as intermediate hosts. Changing migratory routes of animals would alter the distribution of their parasites, facilitating, in particular, their trans-Arctic transfer. Prolongation of the seasonal 'transmission window' may increase the parasitic load on host populations. Changes in Arctic marine food webs would have an overriding influence on the helminths' circulation. This process may be influenced by the predicted decreased of salinity in Arctic seas, increased storm activity, coastal erosion, ocean acidification, decline of Arctic ice, etc. Greater parasitological research efforts are needed to assess the influence of factors related to Arctic climate change on the transmission of helminths.

  10. The Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO)-A Change Detection Array in the Pacific Arctic Sector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Moore, S. E.; Cooper, L. W.; Frey, K. E.; Pickart, R. S.

    2011-12-01

    The Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean is experiencing major reductions in seasonal sea ice extent and increases in sea surface temperatures. One of the key uncertainties in this region is how the marine ecosystem will respond to seasonal shifts in the timing of spring sea ice retreat and/or delays in fall sea ice formation. Variations in upper ocean water hydrography, planktonic production, pelagic-benthic coupling and sediment carbon cycling are all influenced by sea ice and temperature changes. Climate changes are likely to result in shifts in species composition and abundance, northward range expansions, and changes in lower trophic level productivity that can directly cascade and affect the life cycles of higher trophic level organisms. Several regionally critical marine sites in the Pacific Arctic sector that have very high biomass and are focused foraging points for apex predators have been re-occupied during multiple international cruises. The data documenting the importance of these ecosystem "hotspots" provide a growing marine time-series from the northern Bering Sea to Barrow Canyon at the boundary of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Results from these studies show spatial changes in carbon production and export to the sediments as indicated by infaunal community composition and biomass, shifts in sediment grain size on a S-to-N latitudinal gradient, and range extensions for lower trophic levels and further northward migration of higher trophic organisms, such as gray whales. There is also direct evidence of negative impacts on ice dependent species, such as walrus and polar bears. To more systematically track the broad biological response to sea ice retreat and associated environmental change, an international consortium of scientists are developing a "Distributed Biological Observatory" (DBO) that includes selected biological measurements at multiple trophic levels. The DBO currently focuses on five regional biological "hotspot" locations along a

  11. Enabling Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Arctic Environmental Monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Storvold, Rune; la Cour-Harbo, Anders; Mulac, Brenda;

    , satellites and manned aircraft are the traditional platforms on which scientists gather data of the atmosphere, sea ice, glaciers, fauna and vegetation. However, significant data gaps still exist over much of the Arctic because there are few research stations, satellites are often hindered by cloud cover......, poor resolution, and the complicated surface of snow and ice. Measurements made from manned aircraft are also limited because of range and endurance, as well as the danger and costs presented by operating manned aircraft in harsh and remote environments like the Arctic. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS...

  12. Marine distribution of arctic seabirds over six decades: changes and conservation applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wong, SNP; Johansen, Kasper Lambert; Lieske, DJ

    Climate change is causing rapid changes in Arctic marine ecosystems and understanding its impacts on wildlife is critical for conservation management, especially as the decline in sea ice leads to increased development and vessel traffic. The Arctic supports hundreds of millions of seabirds, which...

  13. Modelling impact of climate change on atmospheric transport and fate of persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. M. Hansen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM was applied to investigate how projected climate changes will affect the atmospheric transport of 13 persistent organic pollutants (POPs to the Artic and their environmental fate within the Arctic. Two sets of simulations were performed, one with initial environmental concentrations from a 20 year spin-up simulation and one with initial environmental concentrations set to zero. Each set of simulations consisted of two ten-year time slices representing the present (1990–2000 and future (2090–2100 climate conditions. The same POP emissions were applied in all simulations to ensure that the difference in predicted concentrations for each set of simulations only arises from the difference in climate input. DEHM was driven using meteorological input from the global circulation model, ECHAM/MPI-OM, simulating the SRES A1B climate scenario. Under the applied climate and emission scenarios, the total mass of all compounds was predicted to be up to 20% higher across the Northern Hemisphere. The mass of HCHs within the Arctic was predicted to be up to 39% higher, whereas the change in mass of the PCBs was predicted to range from 14% lower to 17% higher depending on the congener and the applied initial environmental concentrations. The results of this study also indicate that contaminants with no or a short emission history will be more rapidly transported to and build up in the arctic environment in a future warmer climate. The process that dominates the environmental behaviour of POPs in the Arctic under a future warmer climate scenario is the shift in mass of POPs from the surface media to the atmosphere induced by the higher mean temperature. This is to some degree counteracted by higher degradation rates also following the higher mean temperature. The more dominant of these two processes depend on the physical-chemical properties of the compounds. Previous model studies have predicted that the effect of

  14. Modelling impact of climate change on atmospheric transport and fate of persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, K. M.; Christensen, J. H.; Geels, C.; Silver, J. D.; Brandt, J.

    2015-03-01

    The Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM) was applied to investigate how projected climate changes will affect the atmospheric transport of 13 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to the Artic and their environmental fate within the Arctic. Two sets of simulations were performed, one with initial environmental concentrations from a 20 year spin-up simulation and one with initial environmental concentrations set to zero. Each set of simulations consisted of two ten-year time slices representing the present (1990-2000) and future (2090-2100) climate conditions. The same POP emissions were applied in all simulations to ensure that the difference in predicted concentrations for each set of simulations only arises from the difference in climate input. DEHM was driven using meteorological input from the global circulation model, ECHAM/MPI-OM, simulating the SRES A1B climate scenario. Under the applied climate and emission scenarios, the total mass of all compounds was predicted to be up to 20% higher across the Northern Hemisphere. The mass of HCHs within the Arctic was predicted to be up to 39% higher, whereas the change in mass of the PCBs was predicted to range from 14% lower to 17% higher depending on the congener and the applied initial environmental concentrations. The results of this study also indicate that contaminants with no or a short emission history will be more rapidly transported to and build up in the arctic environment in a future warmer climate. The process that dominates the environmental behaviour of POPs in the Arctic under a future warmer climate scenario is the shift in mass of POPs from the surface media to the atmosphere induced by the higher mean temperature. This is to some degree counteracted by higher degradation rates also following the higher mean temperature. The more dominant of these two processes depend on the physical-chemical properties of the compounds. Previous model studies have predicted that the effect of a changed climate on

  15. Hydrological and temperature change in Arctic Siberia during the intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisling, Benjamin A.; Castañeda, Isla S.; Brigham-Grette, Julie

    2017-01-01

    The Pliocene epoch represents an analog for future climate, with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and continental configurations similar to present. Although the presence of multiple positive feedbacks in polar regions leads to amplified climatic changes, conditions in the Pliocene terrestrial Arctic are poorly characterized. High latitude sedimentary records indicate that dramatic glacial advance and decay occurred in the Pliocene Arctic, with attendant effects on global sea-level. Understanding these deposits and their implications for Earth's future requires developing a sense of climatic evolution across the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition and during the intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (iNHG) ∼2.7 million yr ago (Ma). Here we reconstruct Arctic terrestrial environmental change from 2.82-2.41 Ma (Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) G10-95) using the distribution of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) and the isotopic composition of plant leaf waxes (δDwax) in a sedimentary archive from Lake El'gygytgyn, Northeast Russia. Our records reveal changes in proxy behavior across this interval that we attribute to changing boundary conditions, including sea level, sea ice, vegetation and pCO2 during different MISs. We find that brGDGT temperatures and δDwax are decoupled for most of the record, although both show an increasing range of glacial-interglacial variability following iNHG. δDwax is stable from MIS G10-G4 despite changes in vegetation and temperature, suggesting different sources or pathways for moisture to Lake El'gygytgyn during the Late Pliocene.

  16. CLIMATE CHANGE AND VULNERABILITY OF THE ARCTIC ELDERLY: AN ASSESSMENT FROM HUMAN RIGHTS POINT OF VIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahnaj Begum

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available There are increasing challenges among the elderly in the Arctic region. Global warming due to climate change is one of the major reasons for these challenges. Because of climate change temperature in the region increases, which results in rapid melting of sea ice causing various environmental, social, cultural and economic problems. Population in the region suffers from these problems where elderly people are the most vulnerable. Climate change has already affected the elderly lives in different ways, such as, by physical, social, political, cultural and psychological ways. These have serious consequences in terms of human rights of this vulnerable group of people. However, the elderly people’s human rights issues have not been adequately researched in the context of this region. The goal of this paper is to present elderly related human rights issues, particularly the rights that are affected due to climate change in this specific region.

  17. Changing Arctic snow cover: A review of recent developments and assessment of future needs for observations, modelling, and impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Pedersen, Stine Højlund; Brucker, Ludovic; Anisimov, Oleg; Bjerke, Jarle W.; Brown, Ross D.; Ehrich, Dorothee; Essery, Richard L. H.; Heilig, Achim; Ingvander, Susanne; Johansson, Cecilia; Johansson, Margareta; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala; Inga, Niila; Luojus, Kari; Macelloni, Giovanni; Mariash, Heather; Mclennan, Donald; Rosqvist, Gunhild Ninis; Sato, Atsushi; Savela, Hannele; Schneebeli, Martin; Sokolov, Aleksandr; Sokratov, Sergey A.; Terzago, Silvia; Vikhamar-schuler, Dagrun; Williamson, Scott; Qiu, Yubao; Callaghan, Terry V.

    2016-01-01

    Snow is a critically important and rapidly changing feature of the Arctic. However, snow-cover and snowpack conditions change through time pose challenges for measuring and prediction of snow. Plausible scenarios of how Arctic snow cover will respond to changing Arctic climate are important for impa

  18. Impacts of Future Climate Change on Aerosol Transport to the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanner, M.; Jiao, C.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic climate is sensitive to small concentrations of light-absorbing aerosols like black carbon, and hence the impacts of global climate change on aerosol transport to the Arctic are of interest. Here, we explore how climate warming under the RCP 8.5 scenario would impact Arctic aerosol distributions via changes in atmospheric transport and removal processes. We modify the bulk aerosol module in the Community Atmosphere Model to track distributions and fluxes of 200 black carbon-like tracers emitted from different locations, and we conduct idealized experiments with and without active aerosol deposition. Changing wind patterns, operating in isolation, cause the Arctic burdens of tracers emitted from East Asia and West Europe during winter to increase about 20-30% by the end of the century, while decreasing the Arctic burdens of North American emissions by 20-40%. These changes are caused by an altered winter polar dome structure that results from Arctic amplification and inhomogeneous sea-ice loss and surface warming, both of which are enhanced in the Chukchi Sea region. The resulting geostrophic wind favors Arctic transport of East Asian emissions while inhibiting poleward transport of North American emissions. When active deposition is also considered, however, Arctic burdens of emissions from northern mid-latitudes show near-universal decline. This is a consequence of increased precipitation and wet removal, particularly within the Arctic, leading to decreased Arctic residence time. Simulations with present-day emissions of black carbon indicate a 17% reduction in the Arctic annual-mean burden by the end of the 21st century, due to warming-induced transport and deposition changes.

  19. Transitions in Arctic ecosystems: Ecological implications of a changing hydrological regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrona, Frederick J.; Johansson, Margareta; Culp, Joseph M.; Jenkins, Alan; Mârd, Johanna; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Prowse, Terry D.; Vincent, Warwick F.; Wookey, Philip A.

    2016-03-01

    Numerous international scientific assessments and related articles have, during the last decade, described the observed and potential impacts of climate change as well as other related environmental stressors on Arctic ecosystems. There is increasing recognition that observed and projected changes in freshwater sources, fluxes, and storage will have profound implications for the physical, biogeochemical, biological, and ecological processes and properties of Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. However, a significant level of uncertainty remains in relation to forecasting the impacts of an intensified hydrological regime and related cryospheric change on ecosystem structure and function. As the terrestrial and freshwater ecology component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis, we review these uncertainties and recommend enhanced coordinated circumpolar research and monitoring efforts to improve quantification and prediction of how an altered hydrological regime influences local, regional, and circumpolar-level responses in terrestrial and freshwater systems. Specifically, we evaluate (i) changes in ecosystem productivity; (ii) alterations in ecosystem-level biogeochemical cycling and chemical transport; (iii) altered landscapes, successional trajectories, and creation of new habitats; (iv) altered seasonality and phenological mismatches; and (v) gains or losses of species and associated trophic interactions. We emphasize the need for developing a process-based understanding of interecosystem interactions, along with improved predictive models. We recommend enhanced use of the catchment scale as an integrated unit of study, thereby more explicitly considering the physical, chemical, and ecological processes and fluxes across a full freshwater continuum in a geographic region and spatial range of hydroecological units (e.g., stream-pond-lake-river-near shore marine environments).

  20. Authority in Arctic governance: changing spheres of authority in Greenlandic offshore oil and gas developments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits, C.C.A.; Tatenhove, van J.; Leeuwen, van J.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic has rapidly transformed from a ‘‘frozen desert’’ into a theater for high-level politics. Climate change and socioeconomic interdependencies bring the World more and more to the Arctic and vice versa. Increased geological knowledge, new technologies, and high-energy prices make it possible

  1. Boundary layer stability and Arctic climate change: a feedback study using EC-Earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bintanja, R.; Linden, van der E.C.; Hazeleger, W.

    2012-01-01

    Amplified Arctic warming is one of the key features of climate change. It is evident in observations as well as in climate model simulations. Usually referred to as Arctic amplification, it is generally recognized that the surface albedo feedback governs the response. However, a number of feedback m

  2. Climate Change and China as a Global Emerging Regulatory Sea Power in the Arctic Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassotta, Sandra; Hossain, Kamrul; Ren, Jingzheng

    2015-01-01

    on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Arctic Council (AC) are taken into consideration under climate change effects, to assess how global legal frameworks and institutions can deal with China’s strategy in the Arctic Ocean. China’s is moving away from its role as “humble power” to one of “informal...

  3. Climate change in the North American Arctic: A one health perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change is expected to increase the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases among human and animal populations within the Arctic and sub-Arctic latitudes of North America. Warmer temperatures are expected to increase disease risks from food-borne pathogens, water-borne diseases, and vector-...

  4. Climate change and credibility of fish stock agreements : the case of the north-east arctic cod

    OpenAIRE

    Ekerhovd, Nils-Arne

    2010-01-01

    We simulate how an increase in the productivity of the North-East Arctic cod stock would affect the Russian-Norwegian cooperation on the management of the stock. The productivity increase is linked to environmental conditions in the sea and to climate change through a temperature-dependent stock-recruitment relationship, where the numbers of recruits is positively related to the sea temperature given the spawning stock biomass. Increased recruitment and productivity of the stock improved the...

  5. Changes in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice as a Microcosm of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is a key element of the climate system and has now been monitored through satellite observations for over three and a half decades. The satellite observations reveal considerable information about polar ice and its changes since the late 1970s, including a prominent downward trend in Arctic sea ice coverage and a much lesser upward trend in Antarctic sea ice coverage, illustrative of the important fact that climate change entails spatial contrasts. The decreasing ice coverage in the Arctic corresponds well with contemporaneous Arctic warming and exhibits particularly large decreases in the summers of 2007 and 2012, influenced by both preconditioning and atmospheric conditions. The increasing ice coverage in the Antarctic is not as readily explained, but spatial differences in the Antarctic trends suggest a possible connection with atmospheric circulation changes that have perhaps been influenced by the Antarctic ozone hole. The changes in the polar ice covers and the issues surrounding those changes have many commonalities with broader climate changes and their surrounding issues, allowing the sea ice changes to be viewed in some important ways as a microcosm of global climate change.

  6. Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low-relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at unprecedented rates. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) research initiative was developed to investigate and forecast these rapid changes in the physical environment of the Arctic, and the associated changes to wildlife populations, in order to inform key management decisions by the U.S. Department of the Interior and other agencies. Forecasting future wildlife responses to changes in the Arctic can benefit greatly from historical records that inform what changes have already occurred. Several Arctic wildlife and plant species have already responded to climatic and physical changes to the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. Thus, we located historical aerial imagery to improve our understanding of recent habitat changes and the associated response to such changes by wildlife populations.

  7. Technological and environmental challenges of Arctic shipping—a case study of a fictional voyage in the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars-Henrik Larsen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Shipping in Arctic seas is challenging and poses an environmental risk. This paper presents a fictional case involving a multipurpose supply vessel transporting one large object (a 750-tonne compressor and 24 containers loaded with chemicals and equipment for use by the petroleum industry in western Siberia. With technical details representative of vessels navigating the Arctic today, the fictitious ship Oleum has an ice class sufficient for navigating unaccompanied in the Barents and Kara seas, so no assistance is in range when, in late October, clogged fuel filters cause engine failure and the vessel eventually drifts ashore. Heeling over, Oleum loses both cargo and marine diesel oil. The scenario includes a successful helicopter rescue of the 16 crewmembers and a partial recovery of oil and chemicals by booms and skimmers. Recovery of chemicals with physical properties not allowing mechanical collection is not attempted. The scenario ends as the abandoned wreck is broken down at the stranding location, and containers rupture and discharge their cargo. The scenario postulates a moderate and short-lived environmental impact. The most visible effects of the grounding are the hull itself, the compressor and the spreading effects and degradation of oil and chemicals unmanageable for the clean-up operations.

  8. Effectively Communicating Information about Dynamically Changing Arctic Sea Ice to the Public through the Global Fiducials Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnia, B. F.; Friesen, B.; Wilson, E.; Noble, S.

    2015-12-01

    On July 15, 2009, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a report, Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products, advocating public release of Arctic images derived from classified data. In the NAS press release that announced the release, report lead Stephanie Pfirman states "To prepare for a possibly ice-free Arctic and its subsequent effects on the environment, economy, and national security, it is critical to have accurate projections of changes over the next several decades." In the same release NAS President Ralph Cicerone states "We hope that these images are the first of many that could help scientists learn how the changing climate could impact the environment and our society." The same day, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the requested images had been released and were available to the public on a US Geological Survey Global Fiducials Program (GFP) Library website (http://gfl.usgs.gov). The website was developed by the USGS to provide public access to the images and to support environmental analysis of global climate-related science. In the statement describing the release titled, Information Derived from Classified Materials Will Aid Understanding of Changing Climate, Secretary Salazar states "We need the best data from all places if we are to meet the challenges that rising carbon emissions are creating. This information will be invaluable to scientists, researchers, and the public as we tackle climate change." Initially about 700 Arctic sea ice images were released. Six years later, the number exceeds 1,500. The GFP continues to facilitate the acquisition of new Arctic sea ice imagery from US National Imagery Systems. This example demonstrates how information about dynamically changing Arctic sea ice continues to be effectively communicated to the public by the GFP. In addition to Arctic sea ice imagery, the GFP has publicly released imagery time series of more than 125 other environmentally important

  9. Gender specific reproductive strategies of an arctic key species (Boreogadus saida) and implications of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nahrgang, Jasmine; Varpe, Oystein; Korshunova, Ekaterina; Murzina, Svetlana; Hallanger, Ingeborg G; Vieweg, Ireen; Berge, Jørgen

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. What consequences this may have on the Arctic marine ecosystem depends to a large degree on how its species will respond both directly to elevated temperatures and more indirectly through ecological interactions. But despite an alarming recent warming of the Arctic with accompanying sea ice loss, reports evaluating ecological impacts of climate change in the Arctic remain sparse. Here, based upon a large-scale field study, we present basic new knowledge regarding the life history traits for one of the most important species in the entire Arctic, the polar cod (Boreogadus saida). Furthermore, by comparing regions of contrasting climatic influence (domains), we present evidence as to how its growth and reproductive success is impaired in the warmer of the two domains. As the future Arctic is predicted to resemble today's Atlantic domains, we forecast changes in growth and life history characteristics of polar cod that will lead to alteration of its role as an Arctic keystone species. This will in turn affect community dynamics and energy transfer in the entire Arctic food chain.

  10. Gender specific reproductive strategies of an arctic key species (Boreogadus saida and implications of climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasmine Nahrgang

    Full Text Available The Arctic climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. What consequences this may have on the Arctic marine ecosystem depends to a large degree on how its species will respond both directly to elevated temperatures and more indirectly through ecological interactions. But despite an alarming recent warming of the Arctic with accompanying sea ice loss, reports evaluating ecological impacts of climate change in the Arctic remain sparse. Here, based upon a large-scale field study, we present basic new knowledge regarding the life history traits for one of the most important species in the entire Arctic, the polar cod (Boreogadus saida. Furthermore, by comparing regions of contrasting climatic influence (domains, we present evidence as to how its growth and reproductive success is impaired in the warmer of the two domains. As the future Arctic is predicted to resemble today's Atlantic domains, we forecast changes in growth and life history characteristics of polar cod that will lead to alteration of its role as an Arctic keystone species. This will in turn affect community dynamics and energy transfer in the entire Arctic food chain.

  11. Climate Change Experiments in Arctic Ecosystems: Scientific Strategy and Design Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Hinzman, L. D.; McGuire, A. D.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Oechel, W. C.; Norby, R. J.; Thornton, P. E.; Schuur, E. A.; Shugart, H. H.; Walsh, J. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate. These are among the largest and coldest of all ecosystems and are perceived by many as especially vulnerable to environmental change. Warming, in particular, is expected to be greatest in northern latitudes with potentially significant consequences for tundra, taiga, and peat lands. Observational evidence suggests that warming is already affecting physical and ecological processes in high-latitude ecosystems. Models predict that permafrost degradation and the northward expansion of shrubs into tundra represent important feedbacks on climate. Manipulative experiments can help understand the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate warming. Previous attempts to manipulate the environment of ecosystems in arctic and subarctic regions have focused on warming plant and soils, but treatments have been limited to small scales and modest increases in temperature. Manipulating the environment at larger scales and exposing ecosystems to higher temperatures for longer periods of time will be required to fully describe the physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that govern land-atmosphere interactions. A variety of logistical and engineering challenges must be overcome and new approaches developed before we can address the questions being asked of the scientific community especially as we continue to move toward large-scale and long-term experiments. In light of the many uncertainties that surround the response of high-latitude ecosystems to global climate change, it is important that the scientific community consider how manipulative experiments can address and resolve ecosystem impacts and feedbacks to climate. A workshop sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science was recently held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The goal of the workshop was to highlight conclusions from observational and modeling studies about the response of arctic and subarctic ecosystems to a changing climate

  12. Arctic Climate Change: A Tale of Two Cod Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arctic cod play an important role in the Arctic trophic hierarchy as the consumer of primary productivity and a food source for many marine fish and mammals. Shifts in their distribution and abundance could have cascading affects in the marine environment. This paper investigates...

  13. Relationship between environmental conditions and rates of coastal erosion in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnhart, K. R.; Anderson, R. S.; Overeem, I.; Wobus, C. W.; Clow, G. D.; Urban, F. E.; LeWinter, A. L.; Stanton, T. P.

    2012-12-01

    Rates of coastal cliff erosion are a function of the geometry and substrate of the coast; storm frequency, duration, magnitude, and wave field; and regional sediment sources. In the Arctic, the duration of sea ice-free conditions limits the time over which coastal erosion can occur, and sea water temperature modulates erosion rates where ice content of coastal bluffs is high. Predicting how coastal erosion rates in this environment will respond to future climate change requires that we first understand modern coastal erosion rates. Arctic coastlines are responding rapidly to climate change. Remotely sensed observations of coastline position indicate that the mean annual erosion rate along a 60-km reach of Alaska's Beaufort Sea coast, characterized by high ice content and small grain size, doubled from 7 m yr-1 for the period 1955-1979 to 14 m yr-1 for 2002-2007. Over the last 30 years the duration of the open water season expanded from ˜45 days to ˜95 days, increasing exposure of permafrost bluffs to seawater by a factor of 2.5. Time-lapse photography indicates that coastal erosion in this environment is a halting process: most significant erosion occurs during storm events in which local water level is elevated by surge, during which instantaneous submarine erosion rates can reach 1-2 m/day. In contrast, at times of low water, or when sea ice is present, erosion rates are negligible. We employ a 1D coastal cross-section numerical model of the erosion of ice-rich permafrost bluffs to explore the sensitivity of the system to environmental drivers. Our model captures the geometry and style of coastal erosion observed near Drew Point, Alaska, including insertion of a melt-notch, topple of ice-wedge-bounded blocks, and subsequent degradation of these blocks. Using consistent rules, we test our model against the temporal pattern of coastal erosion over two periods: the recent past (~30 years), and a short (~2 week) period in summer 2010. Environmental conditions used

  14. Late Holocene Peat Growth at the Northern Siberian Periphery and its Relation to Arctic Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauch, H. A.; Abramova, E.; Alenius, T.; Saarnisto, M.

    2014-12-01

    During the last postglacial evolution of the shallow northern Siberian shelf systems regional sea level in the Arctic came to its Holocene highstand some time between 5 to 6 ka. After that time a general stabilization of the sedimentary regime occurred. That is well noted in a drastic decrease in sedimentation rates observed in all sediment cores taken from middle to outer shelf water depths of the Laptev Sea. But, at water depths lower than 30 meters - i.e., in the inner shelf and nearer to the coasts - sedimentation continued at relatively higher rates, presumably due to input of terrigenous material from river runoff as well as coastal erosion. Compared with that latter process, the huge Lena Delta should comprise a region of sediment catchment where aggradation wins over erosion. However, little is known about the detailed history of this delta during the second half of the Holocene. In order to gain more insight into this issue we have investigated three islands within the Lena Delta. All of these are comprised of massive peat of several meters in thickness. Picking discrete specimens of water mosses (Sphagnum) only, we have radiocarbon-dated these peat sections. The depth/age relation of the sampled profiles reflect the growth rate of peat. It shows that the islands' history above the present-day delta-sea level is about 4000 yrs. old. Moreover, a significant change in peat growth occurred after 2500 yrs BP in both, accumulation and composition, and allows the conclusion of a major shift in Arctic environmental conditions since then. Thus, our results may add further information also for other coastal studies, as the ongoing degradation of the rather vulnerable permafrost coast in the Laptev Sea and elsewhere along the North Siberian margin is often mentioned in context with recent Arctic climate change due to global warming.

  15. Long-term changes in pigmentation of arctic Daphnia provide potential for reconstructing aquatic UV exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevalainen, Liisa; Rantala, Marttiina V.; Luoto, Tomi P.; Ojala, Antti E. K.; Rautio, Milla

    2016-07-01

    Despite the biologically damaging impacts of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) in nature, little is known about its natural variability, forcing mechanisms, and long-term effects on ecosystems and organisms. Arctic zooplankton, for example the aquatic keystone genus Daphnia (Crustacea, Cladocera) responds to biologically damaging UV by utilizing photoprotective strategies, including pigmentation. We examined the preservation and content of UV-screening pigments in fossil Daphnia remains (ephippia) in two arctic lake sediment cores from Cornwallis Island (Lake R1), Canada, and Spitsbergen (Lake Fugledammen), Svalbard. The aims were to document changes in the degree of UV-protective pigmentation throughout the past centuries, elucidate the adaptive responses of zooplankton to long-term variations in UV exposure, and estimate the potential of fossil zooplankton pigments in reconstructing aquatic UV regimes. The spectroscopic absorbance measurements of fossil Daphnia ephippia under UV (280-400 nm) and visible light (400-700 nm) spectral ranges indicated that melanin (absorbance maxima at UV wavebands 280-350 nm) and carotenoids (absorbance maxima at 400-450 nm) pigments were preserved in the ephippia in both sediment cores. Downcore measurements of the most important UV-protective pigment melanin (absorbance measured at 305 and 340 nm) showed marked long-term variations in the degree of melanisation. These variations likely represented long-term trends in aquatic UV exposure and were positively related with solar radiation intensity. The corresponding trends in melanisation and solar activity were disrupted at the turn of the 20th century in R1, but remained as strong in Fugledammen. The reversed trends in the R1 core were simultaneous with a significant aquatic community reorganization taking place in the lake, suggesting that recent environmental changes, likely related to climate warming had a local effect on pigmentation strategies. This time horizon is also

  16. Rapid Arctic Changes due to Infrastructure and Climate (RATIC) in the Russian North

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D. A.; Kofinas, G.; Raynolds, M. K.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Shur, Y.; Ambrosius, K.; Matyshak, G. V.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Kumpula, T.; Forbes, B. C.; Khukmotov, A.; Leibman, M. O.; Khitun, O.; Lemay, M.; Allard, M.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Bell, T.; Forbes, D. L.; Vincent, W. F.; Kuznetsova, E.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Shiklomanov, N. I.; Fondahl, G.; Petrov, A.; Roy, L. P.; Schweitzer, P.; Buchhorn, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Rapid Arctic Transitions due to Infrastructure and Climate (RATIC) initiative is a forum developed by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) Terrestrial, Cryosphere, and Social & Human working groups for developing and sharing new ideas and methods to facilitate the best practices for assessing, responding to, and adaptively managing the cumulative effects of Arctic infrastructure and climate change. An IASC white paper summarizes the activities of two RATIC workshops at the Arctic Change 2014 Conference in Ottawa, Canada and the 2015 Third International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III) meeting in Toyama, Japan (Walker & Pierce, ed. 2015). Here we present an overview of the recommendations from several key papers and posters presented at these conferences with a focus on oil and gas infrastructure in the Russian north and comparison with oil development infrastructure in Alaska. These analyses include: (1) the effects of gas- and oilfield activities on the landscapes and the Nenets indigenous reindeer herders of the Yamal Peninsula, Russia; (2) a study of urban infrastructure in the vicinity of Norilsk, Russia, (3) an analysis of the effects of pipeline-related soil warming on trace-gas fluxes in the vicinity of Nadym, Russia, (4) two Canadian initiatives that address multiple aspects of Arctic infrastructure called Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition (ADAPT) and the ArcticNet Integrated Regional Impact Studies (IRIS), and (5) the effects of oilfield infrastructure on landscapes and permafrost in the Prudhoe Bay region, Alaska.

  17. Arctic cities and climate change: climate-induced changes in stability of Russian urban infrastructure built on permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiklomanov, Nikolay; Streletskiy, Dmitry; Swales, Timothy

    2014-05-01

    Planned socio-economic development during the Soviet period promoted migration into the Arctic and work force consolidation in urbanized settlements to support mineral resources extraction and transportation industries. These policies have resulted in very high level of urbanization in the Soviet Arctic. Despite the mass migration from the northern regions during the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the diminishing government support, the Russian Arctic population remains predominantly urban. In five Russian Administrative regions underlined by permafrost and bordering the Arctic Ocean 66 to 82% (depending on region) of the total population is living in Soviet-era urban communities. The political, economic and demographic changes in the Russian Arctic over the last 20 years are further complicated by climate change which is greatly amplified in the Arctic region. One of the most significant impacts of climate change on arctic urban landscapes is the warming and degradation of permafrost which negatively affects the structural integrity of infrastructure. The majority of structures in the Russian Arctic are built according to the passive principle, which promotes equilibrium between the permafrost thermal regime and infrastructure foundations. This presentation is focused on quantitative assessment of potential changes in stability of Russian urban infrastructure built on permafrost in response to ongoing and future climatic changes using permafrost - geotechnical model forced by GCM-projected climate. To address the uncertainties in GCM projections we have utilized results from 6 models participated in most recent IPCC model inter-comparison project. The analysis was conducted for entire extent of Russian permafrost-affected area and on several representative urban communities. Our results demonstrate that significant observed reduction in urban infrastructure stability throughout the Russian Arctic can be attributed to climatic changes and that

  18. Nonlinear response of mid-latitude weather to the changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overland, James E.; Dethloff, Klaus; Francis, Jennifer A.; Hall, Richard J.; Hanna, Edward; Kim, Seong-Joong; Screen, James A.; Shepherd, Theodore G.; Vihma, Timo

    2016-11-01

    Are continuing changes in the Arctic influencing wind patterns and the occurrence of extreme weather events in northern mid-latitudes? The chaotic nature of atmospheric circulation precludes easy answers. The topic is a major science challenge, as continued Arctic temperature increases are an inevitable aspect of anthropogenic climate change. We propose a perspective that rejects simple cause-and-effect pathways and notes diagnostic challenges in interpreting atmospheric dynamics. We present a way forward based on understanding multiple processes that lead to uncertainties in Arctic and mid-latitude weather and climate linkages. We emphasize community coordination for both scientific progress and communication to a broader public.

  19. Seasonal Changes in the Marine Production Cycles in Response to Changes in Arctic Sea Ice and Upper Ocean Circulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitz, Y. H.; Ashjian, C. J.; Campbell, R. G.; Steele, M.; Zhang, J.

    2011-12-01

    Significant seasonal changes in arctic sea ice have been observed in recent years, characterized by unprecedented summer melt-back. As summer sea ice extent shrinks to record low levels, the peripheral seas of the Arctic Ocean are exposed much earlier to atmospheric surface heat flux, resulting in longer and warmer summers with more oceanic heat absorption. The changing seasonality in the arctic ice/ocean system will alter the timing, magnitude, duration, and pattern of marine production cycles by disrupting key trophic linkages and feedbacks in planktonic food webs. We are using a coupled pan-arctic Biology/Ice/Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (BIOMAS) to investigate the changes in the patterns of seasonality in the arctic physical and biological system. Focus on specific regions of the Arctic, such as the Chukchi Sea, the Beaufort Sea and the adjacent central Arctic, reveals that changes in the timing of the spring bloom, its duration and the response of the secondary producers vary regionally. The major changes are, however, characterized by an earlier phytoplankton bloom and a slight increase of the biomass. In addition, the largest response in the secondary producers is seen in the magnitude of the microzooplankton concentration as well as in the period (early summer to late fall) over which the microzooplankton is present.

  20. Environmental impacts of shipping in 2030 with a particular focus on the Arctic region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. B. Dalsøren

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available We quantify the concentrations change of atmospheric pollutants and Radiative Forcing (RF of short-lived components due to shipping emissions of NOx, SOx, CO, NMVOCs, BC and OC. A set of models is used to evaluate the period 2004–2030. This time period reflects expected increasing traffic in the Arctic region. Two datasets for ship emissions are used that may characterize the potential impact from shipping and the degree to which shipping controls may mitigate impacts: A high (HIGH scenario and a low scenario with Maximum Feasible Reduction (MFR of black carbon in the Arctic. In MFR, BC emissions in the Arctic are reduced with 70% representing a combination technology performance and/or reasonable advances in single-technology performance. Both scenarios result in moderate to substantial increases in concentrations of pollutants both globally and in the Arctic. Exceptions are black carbon in the MFR scenario, and sulfur species and organic carbon in both scenarios due to the future phase-in of current regulation that reduces fuel sulfur content. In the season with potential transit traffic through the Arctic in 2030 significant increases occur for all pollutants in large parts of the Arctic. Net global RFs from 2004–2030 of 53 mW m−2 (HIGH and 73 mW m−2 (MFR are similar to those found for preindustrial to present net global aircraft RF. The found warming contrasts the cooling from historical ship emissions. The reason for this difference and the higher global forcing for the MFR scenario is mainly the reduced future fuel sulfur content resulting in less cooling from sulfate aerosols. Arctic regional forcing is largest in the HIGH scenario because other components become locally more important in polar latitudes. In the HIGH scenario ozone dominates the RF during Arctic summer and the transit season. RF due to BC in air, and snow and ice becomes of significance in Arctic spring. For the HIGH

  1. Environmental impacts of shipping in 2030 with a particular focus on the Arctic region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. B. Dalsøren

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available We quantify the concentrations changes and Radiative Forcing (RF of short-lived atmospheric pollutants due to shipping emissions of NOx, SOx, CO, NMVOCs, BC and OC. We use high resolution ship emission inventories for the Arctic that are more suitable for regional scale evaluation than those used in former studies. A chemical transport model and a RF model are used to evaluate the time period 2004–2030, when we expect increasing traffic in the Arctic region. Two datasets for ship emissions are used that characterize the potential impact from shipping and the degree to which shipping controls may mitigate impacts: a high (HIGH scenario and a low scenario with Maximum Feasible Reduction (MFR of black carbon in the Arctic. In MFR, BC emissions in the Arctic are reduced with 70% representing a combination technology performance and/or reasonable advances in single-technology performance. Both scenarios result in moderate to substantial increases in concentrations of pollutants both globally and in the Arctic. Exceptions are black carbon in the MFR scenario, and sulfur species and organic carbon in both scenarios due to the future phase-in of current regulation that reduces fuel sulfur content. In the season with potential transit traffic through the Arctic in 2030 we find increased concentrations of all pollutants in large parts of the Arctic. Net global RFs from 2004–2030 of 53 mW m−2 (HIGH and 73 mW m−2 (MFR are similar to those found for preindustrial to present net global aircraft RF. The found warming contrasts with the cooling from historical ship emissions. The reason for this difference and the higher global forcing for the MFR scenario is mainly the reduced future fuel sulfur content resulting in less cooling from sulfate aerosols. The Arctic RF is largest in the HIGH scenario. In the HIGH scenario ozone dominates the RF during the transit season (August–October. RF due to BC in air, and

  2. Regional Arctic System Model (RASM): A Tool to Advance Understanding and Prediction of Arctic Climate Change at Process Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslowski, W.; Roberts, A.; Osinski, R.; Brunke, M.; Cassano, J. J.; Clement Kinney, J. L.; Craig, A.; Duvivier, A.; Fisel, B. J.; Gutowski, W. J., Jr.; Hamman, J.; Hughes, M.; Nijssen, B.; Zeng, X.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic is undergoing rapid climatic changes, which are some of the most coordinated changes currently occurring anywhere on Earth. They are exemplified by the retreat of the perennial sea ice cover, which integrates forcing by, exchanges with and feedbacks between atmosphere, ocean and land. While historical reconstructions from Global Climate and Global Earth System Models (GC/ESMs) are in broad agreement with these changes, the rate of change in the GC/ESMs remains outpaced by observations. Reasons for that stem from a combination of coarse model resolution, inadequate parameterizations, unrepresented processes and a limited knowledge of physical and other real world interactions. We demonstrate the capability of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) in addressing some of the GC/ESM limitations in simulating observed seasonal to decadal variability and trends in the sea ice cover and climate. RASM is a high resolution, fully coupled, pan-Arctic climate model that uses the Community Earth System Model (CESM) framework. It uses the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model (CICE) and Parallel Ocean Program (POP) configured at an eddy-permitting resolution of 1/12° as well as the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) models at 50 km resolution. All RASM components are coupled via the CESM flux coupler (CPL7) at 20-minute intervals. RASM is an example of limited-area, process-resolving, fully coupled earth system model, which due to the additional constraints from lateral boundary conditions and nudging within a regional model domain facilitates detailed comparisons with observational statistics that are not possible with GC/ESMs. In this talk, we will emphasize the utility of RASM to understand sensitivity to variable parameter space, importance of critical processes, coupled feedbacks and ultimately to reduce uncertainty in arctic climate change projections.

  3. Holocene environmental change in Kamchatka: A synopsis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, S. J.; Diekmann, B.; Jones, V. J.; Hammarlund, D.

    2015-11-01

    We present a synthesis of the results of a multiproxy, multisite, palaeoecological study of Holocene environmental change in Kamchatka, Far East Russia, details of which are presented elsewhere in the volume. We summarise the results of the analyses of pollen, diatom, chironomid, and testate amoebae assemblages, together with stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon, and sediment characteristics from the sediments of five lakes and a peat succession on a latitudinal gradient of the Kamchatka Peninsula, to infer environmental change and establish the major climate forcers and climatic teleconnections. There are synchronous shifts in the assemblage composition of most of the biota and across most sites at 6.5-6.2 ka BP, 5.2 ka BP, 4.0 ka BP, and 3.5 ka BP, suggesting a response to strong regional climate forcing at these times. These dates correspond to the warmest part of the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) (6.5-6.2 ka BP), the beginning of the Neoglacial cooling (5.2 ka BP), the coolest and wettest part of the Neoglacial (4.0 ka BP), and a switch to warmer and drier conditions at 3.5 ka BP. Our results provide evidence for the penetration and domination of different air masses at different periods during the Holocene. Cool and dry periods in winter (e.g., at 6.0 ka BP) were driven by a relatively weak pressure gradient between the Siberian High and the Aleutian Low, whereas cool, wet periods in winter (e.g., the Neoglacial and during the LIA) developed when these two systems increased in strength. Warm, dry, continental periods in summer (e.g., at 2.5 ka BP) were driven by a weakening of the Siberian High. We find that the timing of the HTM in Kamchatka is later than in the Eurasian arctic but similar to northern Europe and the sub-arctic part of eastern Siberia. This progressive onset of the HTM was due to the effects of postglacial ice-sheet decay that modulated the routes of westerly storm tracks in Eurasia. A major ecosystem driver was the Siberian dwarf pine Pinus

  4. Future Climate Change Will Favour Non-Specialist Mammals in the (Sub)Arctics

    OpenAIRE

    Hof, Anouschka R.; Roland Jansson; Christer Nilsson

    2012-01-01

    Arctic and subarctic (i.e., [sub] arctic) ecosystems are predicted to be particularly susceptible to climate change. The area of tundra is expected to decrease and temperate climates will extend further north, affecting species inhabiting northern environments. Consequently, species at high latitudes should be especially susceptible to climate change, likely experiencing significant range contractions. Contrary to these expectations, our modelling of species distributions suggests that predic...

  5. Collaborative Research: Towards Advanced Understanding and Predictive Capability of Climate Change in the Arctic using a High-Resolution Regional Arctic Climate System Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lettenmaier, Dennis P

    2013-04-08

    Primary activities are reported in these areas: climate system component studies via one-way coupling experiments; development of the Regional Arctic Climate System Model (RACM); and physical feedback studies focusing on changes in Arctic sea ice using the fully coupled model.

  6. PAST Gateways (Palaeo-Arctic Spatial and Temporal Gateways): Introduction and overview

    OpenAIRE

    O Cofaigh, Colm; Briner, Jason; Kirchner, Nina; Lucchi, R. G.; Meyer, Hanno; Kaufman, Darrell S.

    2016-01-01

    This special issue relates to the Second International Conference of the PAST Gateways (Palaeo-Arctic Spatial and Temporal Gateways) network which was held in Trieste, Italy in 2014. Twenty five papers are included and they address topics under four main themes: (1) The growth and decay of Arctic ice sheets; (2) Arctic sea ice and palaeoceanography; (3) Terrestrial Arctic environments and permafrost change; and (4) Holocene Arctic environmental change. Geographically the focus is circum-Arcti...

  7. Macroecology of Environmental Change Response

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard

    challenges for human society in areas of food production, health and environmental protection. This kind of solution-oriented contributions in the ecological sciences will be important for the protection of biodiversity and human well-being during this century - that will be marked by climate change. Overall......Human induced changes in the earth system, such as anthropogenic climate change, cause loss of biodiversity that feed back as food, health and environmental challenges for human society. Climate change is one of the main threats to biodiversity and human society due to its global manifestation...... for their strengths and weaknesses when measuring organismal processes and environmental impacts over space and time. Chapter II provides an example of such integration. Genetic material from wild populations serves as a resource to reconstruct past changes in numbers, but the accuracy of reconstructions is often...

  8. Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Atlas: Northwest Arctic, Alaska, volume 2, maps and geographic information systems data (NODC Accession 0046028)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set comprises the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) data for Northwest Arctic, Alaska. ESI data characterize estuarine environments and wildlife by...

  9. Boundary layer stability and Arctic climate change: a feedback study using EC-Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bintanja, R.; van der Linden, E. C.; Hazeleger, W.

    2012-12-01

    Amplified Arctic warming is one of the key features of climate change. It is evident in observations as well as in climate model simulations. Usually referred to as Arctic amplification, it is generally recognized that the surface albedo feedback governs the response. However, a number of feedback mechanisms play a role in AA, of which those related to the prevalent near-surface inversion have received relatively little attention. Here we investigate the role of the near-surface thermal inversion, which is caused by radiative surface cooling in autumn and winter, on Arctic warming. We employ idealized climate change experiments using the climate model EC-Earth together with ERA-Interim reanalysis data to show that boundary-layer mixing governs the efficiency by which the surface warming signal is `diluted' to higher levels. Reduced vertical mixing, as in the stably stratified inversion layer in Arctic winter, thus amplifies surface warming. Modelling results suggest that both shortwave—through the (seasonal) interaction with the sea ice feedback—and longwave feedbacks are affected by boundary-layer mixing, both in the Arctic and globally, with the effect on the shortwave feedback dominating. The amplifying effect will decrease, however, with climate warming because the surface inversion becomes progressively weaker. We estimate that the reduced Arctic inversion has slowed down global warming by about 5% over the past 2 decades, and we anticipate that it will continue to do so with ongoing Arctic warming.

  10. Arctic shrubification mediates the impacts of warming climate on changes to tundra vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mod, Heidi K.; Luoto, Miska

    2016-12-01

    Climate change has been observed to expand distributions of woody plants in many areas of arctic and alpine environments—a phenomenon called shrubification. New spatial arrangements of shrubs cause further changes in vegetation via changing dynamics of biotic interactions. However, the mediating influence of shrubification is rarely acknowledged in predictions of tundra vegetation change. Here, we examine possible warming-induced landscape-level vegetation changes in a high-latitude environment using species distribution modelling (SDM), specifically concentrating on the impacts of shrubification on ambient vegetation. First, we produced estimates of current shrub and tree cover and forecasts of their expansion under climate change scenarios to be incorporated to SDMs of 116 vascular plants. Second, the predictions of vegetation change based on the models including only abiotic predictors and the models including abiotic, shrub and tree predictors were compared in a representative test area. Based on our model predictions, abundance of woody plants will expand, thus decreasing predicted species richness, amplifying species turnover and increasing the local extinction risk for ambient vegetation. However, the spatial variation demonstrated in our predictions highlights that tundra vegetation can be expected to show a wide variety of different responses to the combined effects of warming and shrubification, depending on the original plant species pool and environmental conditions. We conclude that realistic forecasts of the future require acknowledging the role of shrubification in warming-induced tundra vegetation change.

  11. Land-Cover and Land-Use Change (LCLUC) Interactions with Climate in the Eurasian Arctic: Past and new projects in the NASA LCLUC program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutman, G.

    2009-12-01

    An overview of the studies conducted in the framework of the NASA Land-Cover/Land- Use Change Program focused on the Eurasian Arctic will be presented. It includes discussion of vegetation changes under climate warming and implications to carbon cycle, changes in environmental pollution, hydrologic cycle, and impacts on society. Climate change can affect land cover in the Arctic through changes in the surface reflectivity and hydrology due to changes in snow melt timing; impacts of black carbon emitted by fires and settled on bright surfaces; changes in sea ice and the consequent change in ocean circulation affecting vegetation cover patterns indirectly; and changes in the amounts of greenhouse gases emission due to permafrost melting, especially in peat lands, as warming progresses. The Arctic Eurasia is being affected by global and regional external factors that are causing its change and the positive feedbacks to this forcing may further exaggerate the situation. If the warming trend continues it will have a tremendous impact on all aspects of land cover in the Arctic region with considerable consequences at the global scale. It will cause significant changes in the natural land cover, and perhaps even greater changes in the areas where the land cover has already been considerably modified by human activities. Major changes have already taken place in how land is used in the Arctic. In many regions, there has been a clear shift from the land use practiced by indigenous people to intensive exploitation of the land for commercial and industrial uses. This presentation will synthesize the results of the past NASA LCLUC projects and will showcase some new additions to the program that are relevant to the Arctic climate/environment - land-cover interactions.

  12. Selected physical, biological and biogeochemical implications of a rapidly changing Arctic Marginal Ice Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, David G.; Hop, Haakon; Mundy, Christopher J.; Else, Brent; Dmitrenko, Igor A.; Tremblay, Jean-Eric; Ehn, Jens K.; Assmy, Philipp; Daase, Malin; Candlish, Lauren M.; Rysgaard, Søren

    2015-12-01

    The Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) of the Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly due to a warming Arctic climate with commensurate reductions in sea ice extent and thickness. This Pan-Arctic review summarizes the main changes in the Arctic ocean-sea ice-atmosphere (OSA) interface, with implications for primary- and secondary producers in the ice and the underlying water column. Changes in the Arctic MIZ were interpreted for the period 1979-2010, based on best-fit regressions for each month. Trends of increasingly open water were statistically significant for each month, with quadratic fit for August-November, illustrating particularly strong seasonal feedbacks in sea-ice formation and decay. Geographic interpretations of physical and biological changes were based on comparison of regions with significant changes in sea ice: (1) The Pacific Sector of the Arctic Ocean including the Canada Basin and the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas; (2) The Canadian Arctic Archipelago; (3) Baffin Bay and Hudson Bay; and (4) the Barents and Kara seas. Changes in ice conditions in the Barents sea/Kara sea region appear to be primarily forced by ocean heat fluxes during winter, whereas changes in the other sectors appear to be more summer-autumn related and primarily atmospherically forced. Effects of seasonal and regional changes in OSA-system with regard to increased open water were summarized for photosynthetically available radiation, nutrient delivery to the euphotic zone, primary production of ice algae and phytoplankton, ice-associated fauna and zooplankton, and gas exchange of CO2. Changes in the physical factors varied amongst regions, and showed direct effects on organisms linked to sea ice. Zooplankton species appear to be more flexible and likely able to adapt to variability in the onset of primary production. The major changes identified for the ice-associated ecosystem are with regard to production timing and abundance or biomass of ice flora and fauna, which are related to

  13. The Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment: Observing, Understanding, and Predicting Social-Ecological Change in the Far North

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, M. C.; Goetz, S. J.; Kasischke, E. S.; Kimball, J. S.; Boelman, N.

    2015-12-01

    In the high northern latitudes, climate is warming more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth, transforming vulnerable arctic tundra and boreal forest landscapes. These changes are altering the structure and function of energy, water and carbon cycles, producing significant feedbacks to regional and global climate through changes in energy, water and carbon cycles. These changes are also challenging local and global society. At the local level, communities seek to adapt to new social-ecological regimes. At the global level, changing arctic and boreal systems are increasing becoming the focus of policy discussions at all levels of decision-making. National and international scientific efforts associated with a new NASA field campaign, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABOVE) will advance our ability to observe, understand and predict the complex, multiscale and non-linear processes that are confronting the natural and social systems in this rapidly changing region. Over the next decade, the newly assembled ABOVE Science Team will pursue this overarching question: "How vulnerable or resilient are ecosystems and society to environmental change in the Arctic and boreal region of western North America?" Through integration of remote sensing and in situ observations with modeling of both ecological and social systems, the ABOVE Science Team will advance an interdisciplinary understanding of the Far North. In this presentation, we will discuss the conceptual basis for the ABOVE Field Campaign, describe Science Team composition and timeline, and update the community on activities. In addition, we will reflect on the visionary role of Dr. Diane Wickland, retired NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program Manager and lead of the Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Focus Area, in the development and commencement of ABOVE.

  14. CEEPRA - Collaboration Network on EuroArctic Environmental Radiation Protection and Research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solatie, D.; Leppaenen, A.P. [STUK-Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Finland); Kasatkina, N. [Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (Russian Federation); Nalbandyan, A. [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (Norway); Paatero, J. [Finnish Meteorological Institute (Finland); Reinikainen, K.; Nissi, M. [Poeyry Finland Oy (Finland); Vaaramaa, K. [Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Finland)

    2014-07-01

    CEEPRA (Collaboration Network on EuroArctic Environmental Radiation Protection and Research) is an EU-funded project acting under the Kolarctic ENPI CBC programme. The CEEPRA project's main aim is to develop a collaboration network between key radiation research institutions in the EuroArctic region, which will lead to improved emergency preparedness capabilities in the event of any nuclear accidents. The project is studying the current state of radioactive contamination in the terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the EuroArctic region by examining environmental samples collected from Lapland in Finland, Finnmark and Troms in Norway, the Kola Peninsula in Russia and in the Barents Sea. The results provide updated information on the present levels, occurrence and the fate of radioactive substances in the Arctic environments and food chains. Special attention is given to collection and analyses of natural products widely used by general public in Finland, Russia and Norway, such as berries, mushrooms, fish and reindeer meat. The region-specific risk assessments are carried out through modelling and studying of long-term effects of potential nuclear accidents in the EuroArctic region and possible impacts on the region's indigenous population, terrestrial and marine environments, reindeer husbandry, the natural product sector, tourism and industries. The project partners are Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) from Finland, the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI) from Russia, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), Finnish Meteorological Institute and Poeyry Finland Oy. The Southern Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SSC RAS) and Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET) are taking part in the project as well. The main results of the project are presented in this study. Document available in abstract form only. (authors)

  15. Multivariate benthic ecosystem functioning in the Arctic – benthic fluxes explained by environmental parameters in the southeastern Beaufort Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Link

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The effects of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems and their biogeochemical cycles are difficult to predict given the complex physical, biological and chemical interactions among the ecosystem components. We studied benthic biogeochemical fluxes in the Arctic and the influence of short-term (seasonal to annual, long-term (annual to decadal and other environmental variability on their spatial distribution to provide a baseline for estimates of the impact of future changes. In summer 2009, we measured fluxes of dissolved oxygen, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, soluble reactive phosphate and silicic acid at the sediment–water interface at eight sites in the southeastern Beaufort Sea at water depths from 45 to 580 m. The spatial pattern of the measured benthic boundary fluxes was heterogeneous. Multivariate analysis of flux data showed that no single or reduced combination of fluxes could explain the majority of spatial variation, indicating that oxygen flux is not representative of other nutrient sink–source dynamics. We tested the influence of eight environmental parameters on single benthic fluxes. Short-term environmental parameters (sinking flux of particulate organic carbon above the bottom, sediment surface Chl a were most important for explaining oxygen, ammonium and nitrate fluxes. Long-term parameters (porosity, surface manganese and iron concentration, bottom water oxygen concentrations together with δ13Corg signature explained most of the spatial variation in phosphate, nitrate and nitrite fluxes. Variation in pigments at the sediment surface was most important to explain variation in fluxes of silicic acid. In a model including all fluxes synchronously, the overall spatial distribution could be best explained (57% by the combination of sediment Chl a, phaeopigments, δ13Corg, surficial manganese and bottom water oxygen concentration. We conclude that it is necessary to consider long-term environmental variability along with

  16. Seasonal changes in the optical properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in large Arctic rivers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Walker, S.A.; Amon, R.M.; Stedmon, Colin

    Arctic rivers deliver over 10% of the annual global river discharge yet little is known about the seasonal fluctuations in the quantity and quality of terrigenous dissolved organic matter (tDOM). A good constraint on such fluctuations is paramount to understand the role that climate change may have...... on tDOM input to the Arctic Ocean. To understand such changes the optical properties of colored tDOM (tCDOM) were studied. Samples were collected over several seasonal cycles from the six largest Arctic Rivers as part of the PARTNERS project. This unique dataset is the first of its kind capturing...... seasonal trends in Arctic river tCDOM composition. Parallel Factor Analysis was used to decompose the combined tCDOM fluorescence signal into five independent model components. The relationship of individual fluorescence components to dissolved organic carbon, lignin phenol concentrations, and the 14C...

  17. Biological response to climate change in the Arctic Ocean: The view from the past

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Thomas M.; Cronin, Matthew A.

    2017-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is undergoing rapid climatic changes including higher ocean temperatures, reduced sea ice, glacier and Greenland Ice Sheet melting, greater marine productivity, and altered carbon cycling. Until recently, the relationship between climate and Arctic biological systems was poorly known, but this has changed substantially as advances in paleoclimatology, micropaleontology, vertebrate paleontology, and molecular genetics show that Arctic ecosystem history reflects global and regional climatic changes over all timescales and climate states (103–107 years). Arctic climatic extremes include 25°C hyperthermal periods during the Paleocene-Eocene (56–46 million years ago, Ma), Quaternary glacial periods when thick ice shelves and sea ice cover rendered the Arctic Ocean nearly uninhabitable, seasonally sea-ice-free interglacials and abrupt climate reversals. Climate-driven biological impacts included large changes in species diversity, primary productivity, species’ geographic range shifts into and out of the Arctic, community restructuring, and possible hybridization, but evidence is not sufficient to determine whether or when major episodes of extinction occurred.

  18. Climate Change Effects on Iron Availability to Arctic Phytoplankton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Maria Teresa; Li, Jingxuan; Semeniuk, David; Schuback, Nina; Hoppe, Clara; AWI/UBC Collaboration

    2016-09-01

    Phytoplankton, unicellular algae, are responsible for 50% of earth's photosynthesis, and for a significant consumption of atmospheric CO2. Iron (Fe) is essential for phytoplankton, but is extremely depleted in seawater, limiting photosynthesis in 30% of the global ocean. Oceanic Fe bioavailability is determined by physical and chemical processes. The Arctic Ocean is experiencing the greatest decrease in seawater pH (termed ocean acidification). Simultaneously, ice retreat is promoting higher light intensity in Arctic Ocean. We investigated the effects of ocean acidification and high light on Fe availability to Arctic phytoplankton. Iron uptake rates by plankton, using the radionuclide 55Fe, were used as a proxy for Fe bioavailability. In an Arctic summer research cruise, we measured Fe uptake by two phytoplankton populations subjected to two light levels, as well as present CO2 levels (400ppm) or those expected by 2100 (1100 ppm). Our results demonstrated that high CO2 decreases Fe availability, while high light increases it, suggesting that future Fe bioavailability might be similar to present day. However, the detrimental effects of high CO2 were more pronounced in the plankton population exposed to higher seawater temperature. Future studies should investigate the interaction among light, CO2 and temperature on the Fe physiology of Arctic phytoplankton.

  19. Mass changes in Arctic ice caps and glaciers: implications of regionalizing elevation changes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nilsson, Johan; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Barletta, Valentina Roberta;

    2015-01-01

    The mass balance of glaciers and ice caps is sensitive to changing climate conditions. The mass changes derived n this study are determined from elevation changes derived measured by the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) for the time period 2003–2009. Four methods, based on interp......The mass balance of glaciers and ice caps is sensitive to changing climate conditions. The mass changes derived n this study are determined from elevation changes derived measured by the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) for the time period 2003–2009. Four methods, based...... of the regional mass balance of Arctic ice caps and glaciers to different regionalization schemes. The sensitivity analysis is based on studying the spread of mass changes and their associated errors, and the suitability of the different regionalization techniques is assessed through cross validation.The cross...

  20. Marine Transportation Implications of the Last Arctic Sea Ice Refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brigham, L. W.

    2010-12-01

    Marine access is increasing throughout the Arctic Ocean and the 'Last Arctic Sea Ice Refuge' may have implications for governance and marine use in the region. Arctic marine transportation is increasing due to natural resource developemnt, increasing Arctic marine tourism, expanded Arctic marine research, and a general linkage of the Arctic to the gloabl economy. The Arctic Council recognized these changes with the release of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment of 2009. This key study (AMSA)can be viewed as a baseline assessment (using the 2004 AMSA database), a strategic guide for a host of stakeholders and actors, and as a policy document of the Arctic Council. The outcomes of AMSA of direct relevance to the Ice Refuge are within AMSA's 17 recommendations provided under three themes: Enhancing Arctic Marine Safety, Protecting Arctic People and the Environment, and Building the Arctic Marine Infrastructure. Selected recommendations of importance to the Ice Refuge include: a mandatory polar navigation code; identifying areas of heightened ecological and cultural significance; potential designation of special Arctic marine areas; enhancing the tracking and monitoring of Arctic marine traffic; improving circumpolar environmental response capacity; developing an Arctic search and rescue agreement; and, assessing the effects of marine transportation on marine mammals. A review will be made of the AMSA outcomes and how they can influence the governance, marine use, and future protection of this unique Arctic marine environment.

  1. Projected changes in regional climate extremes arising from Arctic sea ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Screen, James A.; Deser, Clara; Sun, Lantao

    2015-08-01

    The decline in Arctic sea ice cover has been widely documented and it is clear that this change is having profound impacts locally. An emerging and highly uncertain area of scientific research, however, is whether such Arctic change has a tangible effect on weather and climate at lower latitudes. Of particular societal relevance is the open question: will continued Arctic sea ice loss make mid-latitude weather more extreme? Here we analyse idealized atmospheric general circulation model simulations, using two independent models, both forced by projected Arctic sea ice loss in the late twenty-first century. We identify robust projected changes in regional temperature and precipitation extremes arising solely due to Arctic sea ice loss. The likelihood and duration of cold extremes are projected to decrease over high latitudes and over central and eastern North America, but to increase over central Asia. Hot extremes are projected to increase in frequency and duration over high latitudes. The likelihood and severity of wet extremes are projected to increase over high latitudes, the Mediterranean and central Asia; and their intensity is projected to increase over high latitudes and central and eastern Asia. The number of dry days over mid-latitude Eurasia and dry spell duration over high latitudes are both projected to decrease. There is closer model agreement for projected changes in temperature extremes than for precipitation extremes. Overall, we find that extreme weather over central and eastern North America is more sensitive to Arctic sea ice loss than over other mid-latitude regions. Our results are useful for constraining the role of Arctic sea ice loss in shifting the odds of extreme weather, but must not be viewed as deterministic projections, as they do not account for drivers other than Arctic sea ice loss.

  2. Future climate change will favour non-specialist mammals in the (sub)arctics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hof, Anouschka R; Jansson, Roland; Nilsson, Christer

    2012-01-01

    Arctic and subarctic (i.e., [sub]arctic) ecosystems are predicted to be particularly susceptible to climate change. The area of tundra is expected to decrease and temperate climates will extend further north, affecting species inhabiting northern environments. Consequently, species at high latitudes should be especially susceptible to climate change, likely experiencing significant range contractions. Contrary to these expectations, our modelling of species distributions suggests that predicted climate change up to 2080 will favour most mammals presently inhabiting (sub)arctic Europe. Assuming full dispersal ability, most species will benefit from climate change, except for a few cold-climate specialists. However, most resident species will contract their ranges if they are not able to track their climatic niches, but no species is predicted to go extinct. If climate would change far beyond current predictions, however, species might disappear. The reason for the relative stability of mammalian presence might be that arctic regions have experienced large climatic shifts in the past, filtering out sensitive and range-restricted taxa. We also provide evidence that for most (sub)arctic mammals it is not climate change per se that will threaten them, but possible constraints on their dispersal ability and changes in community composition. Such impacts of future changes in species communities should receive more attention in literature.

  3. Environmental Working Group Arctic Meteorology and Climate Atlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Environmental Working Group (EWG) was established in June 1995 under the framework of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological...

  4. Seasonal Changes in Diversity and Metabolic Potential of Freshwater Microbial Communities in an Arctic Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nalven, S.; Crump, B. C.; Kling, G. W.

    2015-12-01

    Ecologists have studied the diversity of microbial communities worldwide, largely motivated by the hypothesis that diversity is an important determinant of ecosystem function. However, direct links between microbial diversity and ecosystem function are difficult to demonstrate. Here we use a combination of 16S amplicon sequencing and metagenomic sequencing to determine whether seasonal shifts in microbial diversity correspond to similar shifts in functional potential in Toolik Lake, a deep kettle lake in the Alaskan Arctic. We found that microbial diversity displays a repeating annual cycle set to the date of the spring snowmelt, with the most dramatic shifts in diversity occurring each year during the ten weeks following the onset of snowmelt. Similarly, the functional character of these communities appears to repeat annually, with season a better predictor of gene abundance than year among several gene families. Further, during the ten-week period after spring snowmelt, abundances of several gene families changed substantially. For example, while genes involved in photosynthesis were more abundant in summer than in winter, genes involved in the degradation of aromatic compounds were more abundant in winter than in summer. This pairing of shifts in diversity and metagenomic data suggests that microbial diversity is related to ecosystem function in a predictable way. Seasonally shifting environmental conditions likely drive transitions in both diversity and functional potential of Toolik Lake microbial communities, suggesting that both diversity and function will change in response to long-term shifts in environmental conditions such as those brought on by climate change.

  5. Breast cancer in the Arcticchanges over the past decades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stine Overvad Fredslund

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to review the current literatures on breast cancer (BC in the Arctic, especially the trends in incidence during the last decades and the possible explanations. The design of this study is a literature review. The scientific literature concerning BC were reviewed, especially focusing on the Arctic and the special conditions that exist in this region. Breast cancer incidence is increasing all over the world, including in the Arctic. The enormous transition in health conditions and lifestyle in the Arctic might be contributing to the known risk factors. In Greenland, the age at menarche has diminished by 3 years during the course of 100 years, and the number of children per women as well as the duration of breastfeeding is decreasing. Obesity and intake of saturated fat is increasing and the intake of traditional food rich in unsaturated fat and vitamin D decreasing. Smoking and alcohol consumption in the Arctic has been relatively high but is now decreasing. More focus on genetic susceptibility in relation to BC has identified the specific BRCA1 founder mutation in the Greenlandic population, which might appear to be an important risk factor. However, the known established risk factors alone cannot account for the increasing trend observed. Studies suggest that environmental contaminants such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs including perfluorinated compounds increase the risk of BC possibly in conjunction with certain genetic polymorphisms involved in carcinogen activation. The lipophilic POPs such as polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides are found at very high levels in the Arctic population. Several factors can explain the increasing incidence of BC in the Arctic. The transition in lifestyle and health conditions unfortunately increases the known risk factors of BC. Moreover, the population of the Arctic might show up to be especially vulnerable because of the contemporary high burden of POPs

  6. Environmental change in the Sahel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Kjeld; D'haen, Sarah Ann Lise; Fensholt, Rasmus;

    2016-01-01

    The Sahel has been the object of intensive international research since the drought of the early 1970s. A considerable part of the research has focused on environmental change in general and land degradation, land cover change and climate change in particular. Rich and diverse insights from many...... different scientific disciplines about these three domains have been put forward. One intriguing feature is that an agreement on the overall trends of environmental change does not appear to emerge: questions such as whether the Sahel is greening, cropland is encroaching on rangelands, drought persists...... and choice of indicators, (2) biases, for example, related to selection of study sites, methodological choices, measurement accuracy, perceptions among interlocutors, and selection of temporal and spatial scales of analysis. The analysis of the root causes for different interpretations suggests...

  7. Changing Arctic ecosystems: sea ice decline, permafrost thaw, and benefits for geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Paul; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Through the Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to inform resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. A key area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 30 years, leading to reductions in sea ice and thawing of permafrost. Loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Saltwater tolerant plants are now thriving in these areas and this appears to be a positive outcome for geese in the Arctic. This finding is contrary to the deleterious effects that declining sea ice is having on habitats of ice-dependent animals, such as polar bear and walrus.

  8. Social and cultural changes in the European Arctic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stępień, Adam; Banul, Karolina; Scheepstra, Annette; van Dam, Kim; Latola, Kirsi; Koivurova, Timo

    2014-01-01

    This report’s overview of the region’s sociocultural landscape includes innovative and growing Arctic cities, thinning-out rural areas, demographic challenges, and dependence on extractive and primary industries. Indigenous peoples often experience these elements in distinct manners. The EU has a nu

  9. Simulation of Extreme Arctic Cyclones in IPCC AR5 Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-15

    emerge in the interior Arctic Ocean, especially over regions where sea ice loss exposes open water. However, this change is not effected by the...htm> Scientific American ("Warming Arctic spurs cyclones and sea ice loss "), < http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/warming- arctic -spurs...cyclones-and-sea- ice - loss /?&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20140220> Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at University of Wisconsin feature ("More extreme Arctic

  10. The Endangered Arctic, the Arctic as Resource Frontier: Canadian News Media Narratives of Climate Change and the North.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoddart, Mark C J; Smith, Jillian

    2016-08-01

    The Arctic is one of the most radically altered parts of the world due to climate change, with significant social and cultural impacts as a result. Using discourse network analysis and qualitative textual analysis of articles published in the Globe and Mail and National Post during the period 2006 to 2010, we identify and analyze key frames that interpret the implications of climate change on the Arctic. We examine Canadian national news media coverage to ask: How does the Arctic enter media coverage of climate change? Is there evidence of a climate justice discourse in relation to regional disparities in the risks and harms of climate change between northern and southern Canada? Climate change in the Arctic is often framed through the lens of Canadian national interests, which downplays climate-related social impacts that are already occurring at subnational political and geographical scales. L'Arctique est une des régions du monde la plus radicalement altérée par le changement climatique, menant comme résultat des importants changements sociaux et culturels. En utilisant l'analyse des réseaux de discours ainsi que l'analyse textuelle qualitative des articles publiés dans le Globe and Mail et le National Post de 2006 à 2010, nous identifions and analysons des cadres clés qui servent à interpréter les conséquences du changement climatique dans l'Arctique. Nous examinons la couverture des médias nationaux canadiens pour pouvoir demander : comment est-ce que l'Arctique s'insère dans la couverture médiatique du changement climatique? Est-ce qu'il y a de la preuve d'un discours de la justice climatique en relation des disparités régionales des risques et méfaits du changement climatique entre le Canada du nord et du sud? Le changement climatique dans l'Arctique est souvent encadré à travers le prisme des intérêts nationaux canadiens, ce qui minimise les impacts sociaux reliés au climat qui se produisent actuellement aux échelons sous

  11. Recent oceanic changes in the Arctic in the context of long-term observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, Igor V; Bhatt, Uma S; Walsh, John E; Abrahamsen, E Povl; Pnyushkov, Andrey V; Wassmann, Paul F

    2013-12-01

    This synthesis study assesses recent changes of Arctic Ocean physical parameters using a unique collection of observations from the 2000s and places them in the context of long-term climate trends and variability. Our analysis demonstrates that the 2000s were an exceptional decade with extraordinary upper Arctic Ocean freshening and intermediate Atlantic water warming. We note that the Arctic Ocean is characterized by large amplitude multi-decadal variability in addition to a long-term trend, making the link of observed changes to climate drivers problematic. However, the exceptional magnitude of recent high-latitude changes (not only oceanic, but also ice and atmospheric) strongly suggests that these recent changes signify a potentially irreversible shift of the Arctic Ocean to a new climate state. These changes have important implications for the Arctic Ocean's marine ecosystem, especially those components that are dependent on sea ice or that have temperature-dependent sensitivities or thresholds. Addressing these and other questions requires a carefully orchestrated combination of sustained multidisciplinary observations and advanced modeling.

  12. Icy rivers heating up : Modelling hydrological impacts of climate change in the (sub)arctic

    OpenAIRE

    2003-01-01

    The Arctic is considered to be particularly sensitive to global climate change. Global warming will seriously affect the components of the water balance in northern regions and changes in precipitation and temperature have immediate as well as long term effects on river systems. The main goal of this thesis was to assess the potential impact of climate change on the water balance and river discharge in the (sub)arctic Usa basin, East-European Russia on an annual, monthly and 5-daily basis. Th...

  13. Climate Change, Degradation of Permafrost, and Hazards to Infrastructure in the Circumpolar Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, O.

    2001-12-01

    Warming, thawing and disappearance of permafrost have accelerated in recent decades damaging engineered structures and raising public concerns. By the middle of the 21st century anthropogenic climate change may cause 2 to 3 C warming of the frozen ground, 10% to 16% reduction of the total permafrost area, 30% to 50% deepening of the active-layer thickness, and shifts between the permafrost zones due to cumulative effect of changing surface temperature, soil moisture, and vegetation. Such changes will have important implications for northern engineering and infrastructure built upon permafrost. The foundations supporting engineered structures are designed for the constant climatic conditions with construction-specific safety factor, which in the practice of the cold-region engineering varies typically from 5% to 60% with respect to the bearing capacity. In the zone of discontinuous permafrost a 2.0 C rise in air temperature may decrease the bearing capacity of frozen ground under buildings by more than a half. This may have important consequences for the infrastructure and particularly for residential buildings constructed in the permafrost zone between 1950 and 1990 in northern Russian cities Vorkuta, Yakytsk, Norylsk, and Magadan. Many of them are already weakened or damaged, which may in part be attributed to the effect of climate change. Susceptibility of permafrost to environmental hazards associated with thermokarst, ground settlement, and other destructive cryogenic processes may be crudely evaluated using the geocryological hazard index, which is the combination of the predicted for the future climate relative change in the active-layer thickness and the ground ice content. Predictive maps constructed for scenarios of climate change indicated that several population centers (Barrow, Inuvik), river terminals on the arctic coast of Russia (Salekhard, Igarka, Dudinka, Tiksi), and gas production complexes with associated infrastructure in northwest Siberia fall

  14. Relevance of hydro-climatic change projection and monitoring for assessment of water cycle changes in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bring, Arvid; Destouni, Georgia

    2011-06-01

    Rapid changes to the Arctic hydrological cycle challenge both our process understanding and our ability to find appropriate adaptation strategies. We have investigated the relevance and accuracy development of climate change projections for assessment of water cycle changes in major Arctic drainage basins. Results show relatively good agreement of climate model projections with observed temperature changes, but high model inaccuracy relative to available observation data for precipitation changes. Direct observations further show systematically larger (smaller) runoff than precipitation increases (decreases). This result is partly attributable to uncertainties and systematic bias in precipitation observations, but still indicates that some of the observed increase in Arctic river runoff is due to water storage changes, for example melting permafrost and/or groundwater storage changes, within the drainage basins. Such causes of runoff change affect sea level, in addition to ocean salinity, and inland water resources, ecosystems, and infrastructure. Process-based hydrological modeling and observations, which can resolve changes in evapotranspiration, and groundwater and permafrost storage at and below river basin scales, are needed in order to accurately interpret and translate climate-driven precipitation changes to changes in freshwater cycling and runoff. In contrast to this need, our results show that the density of Arctic runoff monitoring has become increasingly biased and less relevant by decreasing most and being lowest in river basins with the largest expected climatic changes.

  15. Studying the impact of changes in the Arctic outflow by using a coupled ice-ocean model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasha Karami, Mehdi; Myers, Paul G.; Tremblay, Bruno; de Vernal, Anne

    2016-04-01

    The export of cold and fresh water from the Arctic Ocean into the North Atlantic Ocean happens mainly through the Fram Strait and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA). The magnitude of the Arctic outflow and its distribution between the Fram Strait and CAA has been suggested to change in the future. Such changes might affect the Arctic sea ice, and possibly alter the location and the intensity of dense water formation and, therefore, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). One factor controlling the Arctic outflow is the wind forcing. Another factor is the Atlantic inflow to the Arctic, which also depends on the wind forcing and is linked to the intermediate circulation within the Arctic. There is also synergy between all the Arctic gateways. Here we explore the changes in CAA and Fram outflows accompanying the Arctic dipole mode as a plausible climatic state in future, and their corresponding impacts on the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. For this purpose, a regional configuration of the coupled ice-ocean model, NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean model) version 3.4 is used for a set of sensitivity experiments. For the surface boundary condition, composites of atmospheric variables associated with the two phases of Arctic dipole mode were calculated from the COREII data. To better understand what controls the distribution of Arctic outflow between the Fram Strait and CAA and to exclude their synergism, we launch similar experiments with a closed CAA. This will allow us to better understand the impacts caused by the modulation of the wind forcing versus changes in the gateway flows. Our results will also have implications for the paleo-studies of the Arctic.

  16. Is "Warm Arctic, Cold Continent" A Fingerprint Pattern of Climate Change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoerling, M. P.; Sun, L.; Perlwitz, J.

    2015-12-01

    Cold winters and cold waves have recently occurred in Europe, central Asia and the Midwest to eastern United States, even as global mean temperatures set record highs and Arctic amplification of surface warming continued. Since 1979, Central Asia winter temperatures have in fact declined. Conjecture has it that more cold extremes over the mid-latitude continents should occur due to global warming and the impacts of Arctic sea ice loss. A Northern Hemisphere temperature signal termed the "Warm Arctic, Cold Continent" pattern has thus been surmised. Here we use a multi-model approach to test the hypothesis that such a pattern is indeed symptomatic of climate change. Diagnosis of a large model ensemble of historical climate simulations shows some individual realizations to yield cooling trends over Central Asia, but importantly the vast majority show warming. The observed cooling has thus likely been a low probability state of internal variability, not a fingerprint of forced climate change. We show that daily temperature variations over continents decline in winter due to global warming, and cold waves become less likely. This is partly related to diminution of Arctic cold air reservoirs due to warming-induced sea ice loss. Nonetheless, we find some evidence and present a physical basis that Arctic sea ice loss alone can induce a winter cooling over Central Asia, though with a magnitude that is appreciably smaller than the overall radiative-forced warming signal. Our results support the argument that recent cooling trends over central Asia, and cold extreme events over the winter continents, have principally resulted from atmospheric internal variability and have been neither a forced response to Arctic seas ice loss nor a symptom of global warming. The paradigm of climate change is thus better expressed as "Warm Arctic, Warm Continent" for the NH winter.

  17. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels M.; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier;

    2017-01-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they ...... that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems....

  18. Regional variability in sea ice melt in a changing Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, Donald K; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A

    2015-07-13

    In recent years, the Arctic sea ice cover has undergone a precipitous decline in summer extent. The sea ice mass balance integrates heat and provides insight on atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The amount of surface melt and bottom melt that occurs during the summer melt season was measured at 41 sites over the time period 1957 to 2014. There are large regional and temporal variations in both surface and bottom melting. Combined surface and bottom melt ranged from 16 to 294 cm, with a mean of 101 cm. The mean ice equivalent surface melt was 48 cm and the mean bottom melt was 53 cm. On average, surface melting decreases moving northward from the Beaufort Sea towards the North Pole; however interannual differences in atmospheric forcing can overwhelm the influence of latitude. Substantial increases in bottom melting are a major contributor to ice losses in the Beaufort Sea, due to decreases in ice concentration. In the central Arctic, surface and bottom melting demonstrate interannual variability, but show no strong temporal trends from 2000 to 2014. This suggests that under current conditions, summer melting in the central Arctic is not large enough to completely remove the sea ice cover.

  19. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska's Arctic National Parks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, David K

    2015-01-01

    We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area) and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss) on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7) with deep summer thaw (>80 cm) and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C) than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large shrub canopies

  20. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska's Arctic National Parks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David K Swanson

    Full Text Available We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7 with deep summer thaw (>80 cm and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large

  1. Icy rivers heating up : Modelling hydrological impacts of climate change in the (sub)arctic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linden, Sandra van der

    2003-01-01

    The Arctic is considered to be particularly sensitive to global climate change. Global warming will seriously affect the components of the water balance in northern regions and changes in precipitation and temperature have immediate as well as long term effects on river systems. The main goal of thi

  2. The fate of the Arctic seaweed Fucus distichus under climate change: an ecological niche modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jueterbock, Alexander; Smolina, Irina; Coyer, James A; Hoarau, Galice

    2016-03-01

    Rising temperatures are predicted to melt all perennial ice cover in the Arctic by the end of this century, thus opening up suitable habitat for temperate and subarctic species. Canopy-forming seaweeds provide an ideal system to predict the potential impact of climate-change on rocky-shore ecosystems, given their direct dependence on temperature and their key role in the ecological system. Our primary objective was to predict the climate-change induced range-shift of Fucus distichus, the dominant canopy-forming macroalga in the Arctic and subarctic rocky intertidal. More specifically, we asked: which Arctic/subarctic and cold-temperate shores of the northern hemisphere will display the greatest distributional change of F. distichus and how will this affect niche overlap with seaweeds from temperate regions? We used the program MAXENT to develop correlative ecological niche models with dominant range-limiting factors and 169 occurrence records. Using three climate-change scenarios, we projected habitat suitability of F. distichus - and its niche overlap with three dominant temperate macroalgae - until year 2200. Maximum sea surface temperature was identified as the most important factor in limiting the fundamental niche of F. distichus. Rising temperatures were predicted to have low impact on the species' southern distribution limits, but to shift its northern distribution limits poleward into the high Arctic. In cold-temperate to subarctic regions, new areas of niche overlap were predicted between F. distichus and intertidal macroalgae immigrating from the south. While climate-change threatens intertidal seaweeds in warm-temperate regions, seaweed meadows will likely flourish in the Arctic intertidal. Although this enriches biodiversity and opens up new seaweed-harvesting grounds, it will also trigger unpredictable changes in the structure and functioning of the Arctic intertidal ecosystem.

  3. 78 FR 70573 - Notice to Terminate the Environmental Impact Statement on a Gates of the Arctic National Park and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-26

    ....00.1] Notice to Terminate the Environmental Impact Statement on a Gates of the Arctic National Park.... SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) is terminating the Wilderness Study and Environmental Impact.... Under the enabling legislation, Section 201 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation...

  4. Resilience, human agency and climate change adaptation strategies in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sejersen, Frank

    2009-01-01

      In the Arctic, indigenous peoples, researchers and governments are working to develop climate change adaptation strategies due to the rapid changes in sea ice extent, weather conditions and in the ecosystem as such. These strategies are often based on specific perceptions of vulnerability...... the political processes taking place in the Arctic: one aspect emphasises stakeholder participation and integration while the other aspect emphasises rightholder possibilites and self-determination. The focus is thus on how adaptation strategies relate to political and legal processes at different scales...

  5. One Health – a strategy for resilience in a changing arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce A. Ruscio

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The circumpolar north is uniquely vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change. While international Arctic collaboration on health has enhanced partnerships and advanced the health of inhabitants, significant challenges lie ahead. One Health is an approach that considers the connections between the environment, plant, animal and human health. Understanding this is increasingly critical in assessing the impact of global climate change on the health of Arctic inhabitants. The effects of climate change are complex and difficult to predict with certainty. Health risks include changes in the distribution of infectious disease, expansion of zoonotic diseases and vectors, changing migration patterns, impacts on food security and changes in water availability and quality, among others. A regional network of diverse stakeholder and transdisciplinary specialists from circumpolar nations and Indigenous groups can advance the understanding of complex climate-driven health risks and provide community-based strategies for early identification, prevention and adaption of health risks in human, animals and environment. We propose a regional One Health approach for assessing interactions at the Arctic human–animal–environment interface to enhance the understanding of, and response to, the complexities of climate change on the health of the Arctic inhabitants.

  6. Potential changes in arctic seasonality and plant communities may impact tundra soil chemistry and carbon dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, S.; Cooper, E.; Beilman, D.; Filley, T.; Reimer, P.

    2009-04-01

    were dominated by cinnamyl-lignin forms that are easily degraded and thus not likely to persist as SOM. In contrast, roots and branches were comprised of more decay-resistant vanillyl and syringyl forms of lignin-derived phenols. Leaves of woody species were 10 times more concentrated in cutin/suberin-derived aliphatics than roots (which could provide a direct source of potentially stabilized C into the mineral soil). In the upper soil horizon, the MRT of isolated roots and organic debris was about 50 yr and the ‘resistant' C (i.e., C resistant to digestion in 6N HCl acid) was about 500 yr. In the lower soil horizon, the MRT of the ‘resistant' C was about 3500 yr, indicating that long-term C storage occurs in the near-surface layers of Arctic soil where environmental changes are likely to have a strong impact. Observed warming in high latitudes is most pronounced over land and a series of positive feedbacks between climate and net primary productivity are developing. Litter input quality may provide a rare negative feedback within this system and whether these feedbacks will ultimately result in SOM accumulation or losses due to increases in decomposition of older, stabilized C is unknown.

  7. Rethinking Greenland and the Arctic in the Era of Climate Change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sejersen, Frank

    communities engage with climate change and development discourses. It applies a critical and comparative approach, integrating both local perspectives and adaptation research from Canada and Greenland to make the case for recasting the way the Arctic and Inuit are approached conceptually and politically......This book investigates how Arctic indigenous communities deal with the challenges of climate change and how they strive to develop self-determination. Adopting an anthropological focus on Greenland’s vision to boost extractive industries and transform society, the book examines how indigenous....... The emphasis on indigenous peoples as future-makers and right-holders paves the way for a new understanding of the concept of indigenous knowledge and a more sensitive appreciation of predicaments and dynamics in the Arctic....

  8. Recent changes in the dynamic properties of declining Arctic sea ice: A model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinlun; Lindsay, Ron; Schweiger, Axel; Rigor, Ignatius

    2012-10-01

    Results from a numerical model simulation show significant changes in the dynamic properties of Arctic sea ice during 2007-2011 compared to the 1979-2006 mean. These changes are linked to a 33% reduction in sea ice volume, with decreasing ice concentration, mostly in the marginal seas, and decreasing ice thickness over the entire Arctic, particularly in the western Arctic. The decline in ice volume results in a 37% decrease in ice mechanical strength and 31% in internal ice interaction force, which in turn leads to an increase in ice speed (13%) and deformation rates (17%). The increasing ice speed has the tendency to drive more ice out of the Arctic. However, ice volume export is reduced because the rate of decrease in ice thickness is greater than the rate of increase in ice speed, thus retarding the decline of Arctic sea ice volume. Ice deformation increases the most in fall and least in summer. Thus the effect of changes in ice deformation on the ice cover is likely strong in fall and weak in summer. The increase in ice deformation boosts ridged ice production in parts of the central Arctic near the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland in winter and early spring, but the average ridged ice production is reduced because less ice is available for ridging in most of the marginal seas in fall. The overall decrease in ridged ice production contributes to the demise of thicker, older ice. As the ice cover becomes thinner and weaker, ice motion approaches a state of free drift in summer and beyond and is therefore more susceptible to changes in wind forcing. This is likely to make seasonal or shorter-term forecasts of sea ice edge locations more challenging.

  9. Changing Arctic Snow Cover: A Review of Recent Developments and Assessment of Future Needs for Observations, Modelling, and Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Pedersen, Stine Hojlund; Brucker, Ludovic; Anisimov, Oleg; Bjerke, Jarle W.; Brown, Ross D.; Ehrich, Dorothee; Essery, Richard L. H.; Heilig, Achim; Ingvander, Susanne; Johansson, Cecilia; Johansson, Margareta; Jonsdottir, Svala Ingibjorg; Inga, Niila; Luojus, Kari; Macelloni, Giovanni; Mariash, Heather; McLennan, Donald; Rosqvist, Gunhild Ninis; Sato, Atsushi; Savela, Hannele; Schneebeli, Martin; Sokolov, Aleksandr; Sokratov, Sergey A.; Terzago, Silivia; Vikhamar-Schuler, Dagrun; Williamson, Scott; Qui, Yubao; Callaghan, Terry V.

    2016-01-01

    Snow is a critically important and rapidly changing feature of the Arctic. However, snow-cover and snowpack conditions change through time pose challenges for measuring and prediction of snow. Plausible scenarios of how Arctic snow cover will respond to changing Arctic climate are important for impact assessments and adaptation strategies. Although much progress has been made in understanding and predicting snow-cover changes and their multiple consequences, many uncertainties remain. In this paper, we review advances in snow monitoring and modelling, and the impact of snow changes on ecosystems and society in Arctic regions. Interdisciplinary activities are required to resolve the current limitations on measuring and modelling snow characteristics through the cold season and at different spatial scales to assure human well-being, economic stability, and improve the ability to predict manage and adapt to natural hazards in the Arctic region.

  10. Influence of climate change on the Arctic Contamination Potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Kaj M.; Christensen, Jesper H.; Brandt, Jørgen

    2014-05-01

    Using the Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM) we have calculated the Arctic Contamination Potential (ACP). ACP is defined as the sum of masses in the arctic surface compartments (soil, vegetation, snow and water) at the end of a ten year simulated period normalised either with the total mass within the model domain of with the total amount emitted into the atmosphere during the ten year simulation. In this study we use the emission normalized ACP termed eACP. We have calculated the eACP for the physical-chemical phase space spanned by compounds with log Koa between 3 and 12 and log Kaw between -4 and 3 and for each point in this phase space grid we have included a perfectly persistent compound in the model. DEHM is a 3-D atmospheric chemistry-transport model modelling the atmospheric transport of four chemical groups: a group with SOx-NOx-VOC-ozone chemistry, a group with primary particulates group, a mercury chemistry group, and finally a group with Persistent Organic Pollutants with 2-d surface compartments (soil, vegetation, ocean water and a dynamic temporal snow cover) with inter-compartmental mass exchange process parameterizations. The model domain covers the Northern Hemisphere and thus includes all important source areas for the Arctic. The spatial horizontal resolution of the model system in this work is 150km x 150km and the model includes 20 vertical levels up to approximately 15km above the surface. The model system was run with meteorology obtain from ECHAM5/MPI-OM (SRES A1B scenario) for two decades: 1990-1999 and 2090-2099. Highest potential (12%) for reaching the Arctic surface compartments for the 1990s is seen for compounds with low log Koa and low log Kaw values. These are relative water soluble compounds referred to as "swimmers". For the 2090s, the overall pattern of the ACP phase space is similar to the pattern for the 1990s. ACP is generally larger for the 2090s than for the 1990s, with a maximum of 15%.

  11. Regional variability in sea ice melt in a changing Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Perovich, Donald K.; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, the Arctic sea ice cover has undergone a precipitous decline in summer extent. The sea ice mass balance integrates heat and provides insight on atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The amount of surface melt and bottom melt that occurs during the summer melt season was measured at 41 sites over the time period 1957 to 2014. There are large regional and temporal variations in both surface and bottom melting. Combined surface and bottom melt ranged from 16 to 294 cm, with a mean of...

  12. The effect of changing sea ice on the physical vulnerability of Arctic coasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. R. Barnhart

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice limits the interaction of the land and ocean water in the Arctic winter and influences this interaction in the summer by governing the fetch. In many parts of the Arctic, the open-water season is increasing in duration and summertime sea-ice extents are decreasing. Sea ice provides a first-order control on the physical vulnerability of Arctic coasts to erosion, inundation, and damage to settlements and infrastructures by ocean water. We ask how the changing sea-ice cover has influenced coastal erosion over the satellite record. First, we present a pan-Arctic analysis of satellite-based sea-ice concentration specifically along the Arctic coasts. The median length of the 2012 open-water season, in comparison to 1979, expanded by between 1.5 and 3-fold by Arctic Sea sector, which allows for open water during the stormy Arctic fall. Second, we present a case study of Drew Point, Alaska, a site on the Beaufort Sea, characterized by ice-rich permafrost and rapid coastal-erosion rates, where both the duration of the open-water season and distance to the sea-ice edge, particularly towards the northwest, have increased. At Drew Point, winds from the northwest result in increased water levels at the coast and control the process of submarine notch incision, the rate-limiting step of coastal retreat. When open-water conditions exist, the distance to the sea ice edge exerts control on the water level and wave field through its control on fetch. We find that the extreme values of water-level setup have increased consistently with increasing fetch.

  13. Response of Arctic Temperature to Changes in Emissions of Short-Lived Climate Forcers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sand, M.; Berntsen, T.; von Salzen, K.; Flanner, M.; Langner, J.; Victor, D. G.

    2015-12-01

    There is growing scientific and political interest in the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic emissions on the Arctic. Over recent decades temperatures in the Arctic have increased twice the global rate, largely due to ice albedo and temperature feedbacks. While deep cuts in global CO2 emissions are required to slow this warming, there is also growing interest in the potential for reducing short lived climate forcers (SLCFs). Politically, action on SLCFs may be particularly promising because the benefits of mitigation appear promptly and there are large co-benefits in terms of improved air quality. This study is the first to systematically quantify the Arctic climate impact of regional SLCF emissions, taking into account BC, sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile hydrocarbons (VOC), organic carbon (OC) and tropospheric ozone, their transport processes and transformations in the atmosphere. Using several chemical transport models we perform detailed radiative forcing calculations from emissions of these species. Geographically we separate emissions into seven source regions that correspond with the national groupings of the Arctic Council, the leading body organizing international policy in the region (the United States, Canada, the Nordic countries, the rest of Europe, Russia, East and South Asia, and the rest of the world). We look at six main sectors known to account for [nearly all] of these emissions: households (domestic), energy/industry/waste, transport, agricultural fires, grass/forest fires, and gas flaring. We find that the largest Arctic warming source is from emissions within the Asian nations. However, the Arctic is most sensitive, per unit mass emitted, to SLCFs emissions from a small number of activities within the Arctic nations themselves. A stringent, but technically feasible SLCFs mitigation scenario, phased in from 2015 through 2030, can cut warming by 0.2 K in 2050.

  14. Detecting change in seabird distributions at sea in arctic and sub-arctic waters over six decades

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjerdrum, Carina; Wong, Sarah; Johansen, Kasper Lambert

    predictive models to investigate how ice cover and ocean processes influence the distribution thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia), northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), dovekie (Alle alle), and black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) in summer and autumn between Canada and Greenland. We used the PIROP data......In the western North Atlantic and eastern Arctic, data on the distribution and abundance of seabirds at sea have been collected by the Canadian Wildlife Service from two main survey programs using ships of opportunity. The first, PIROP (Programme intégré de recherches sur les oiseaux pélagiques...... to examine how the distribution of these four species has changed over the last six decades. We discuss the results in relation to ocean climate variability, but also the challenges that exist when comparisons span such long time periods, including monitoring programs with changing priorities, differences...

  15. Sea-ice information co-management: Planning for sustainable multiple uses of ice-covered seas in a rapidly changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eicken, H.; Lovecraft, A. L.

    2012-12-01

    A thinner, less extensive and more mobile summer sea-ice cover is a major element and driver of Arctic Ocean change. Declining summer sea ice presents Arctic stakeholders with substantial challenges and opportunities from the perspective of sustainable ocean use and derivation of sea-ice or ecosystem services. Sea-ice use by people and wildlife as well as its role as a major environmental hazard focuses the interests and concerns of indigenous hunters and Arctic coastal communities, resource managers and the maritime industry. In particular, rapid sea-ice change and intensifying offshore industrial activities have raised fundamental questions as to how best to plan for and manage multiple and increasingly overlapping ocean and sea ice uses. The western North American Arctic - a region that has seen some of the greatest changes in ice and ocean conditions in the past three decades anywhere in the North - is the focus of our study. Specifically, we examine the important role that relevant and actionable sea-ice information can play in allowing stakeholders to evaluate risks and reconcile overlapping and potentially competing interests. Our work in coastal Alaska suggests that important prerequisites to address such challenges are common values, complementary bodies of expertise (e.g., local or indigenous knowledge, engineering expertise, environmental science) and a forum for the implementation and evaluation of a sea-ice data and information framework. Alongside the International Polar Year 2007-08 and an associated boost in Arctic Ocean observation programs and platforms, there has been a movement towards new governance bodies that have these qualities and can play a central role in guiding the design and optimization of Arctic observing systems. To help further the development of such forums an evaluation of the density and spatial distribution of institutions, i.e., rule sets that govern ocean use, as well as the use of scenario planning and analysis can serve as

  16. Arctic sea level change over the past 2 decades from GRACE gradiometry and multi-mission satellite altimetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, O. B.; Stenseng, L.; Sørensen, C. S.

    2014-01-01

    gradiometer observations from the ESA GOCE mission, we are now able to derive a mean dynamic topography of the Arctic Ocean with unprecedented accuracy to constrain the Arctic Ocean circulation controlling sea level variations in the Arctic. We present both a new estimation of the mean ocean circulation......The Arctic is still an extremely challenging region for theuse of remote sensing for sea level studies. Despite the availability of 20 years of altimetry, only very limited sea level observations exist in the interior of the Arctic Ocean. However, with Cryosat-2 SAR altimetry the situation...... is changing and through development of tailored retrackers dealing with presence of sea ice within the radar footprint, we can now develop sea surface height and its variation in most of the Arctic Ocean. We have processed 3 years of Cryosat-2 data quantified as either Lead or Ocean data within the Cryosat-2...

  17. The Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO): A Change Detection Array in the Pacific Arctic Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Moore, S. E.; Cooper, L. W.; Frey, K. E.; Pickart, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    The Pacific region of the Arctic Ocean is experiencing major reductions in seasonal sea ice extent and increases in sea surface temperatures. One of the key uncertainties in this region is how the marine ecosystem will respond to seasonal shifts in the timing of spring sea ice retreat and/or delays in fall sea ice formation. Climate changes are likely to result in shifts in species composition and abundance, northward range expansions, and changes in lower trophic level productivity that can directly cascade and affect the life cycles of higher trophic level organisms. The developing Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) is composed of focused biological and oceanographic sampling at biological "hot spot" sites for lower and higher trophic organisms on a latitudinal S-to-N array. The DBO is being developed by an international consortium of scientists in the Pacific Arctic as a change detection array to systematically track the broad biological response to sea ice retreat and associated environmental change. Coordinated ship-based observations over various seasons, together with satellite and mooring data collections at the designated sites, can provide an early detection system for biological and ecosystem response to climate warming. The data documenting the importance of these ecosystem "hotspots" provide a growing marine time-series from the northern Bering Sea to Barrow Canyon at the boundary of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Results from these studies show spatial changes in carbon production and export to the sediments as indicated by infaunal community composition and biomass, shifts in sediment grain size on a S-to-N latitudinal gradient, and range extensions for lower trophic levels and further northward migration of higher trophic organisms, such as gray whales. There is also direct evidence of negative impacts on ice dependent species, such as walrus and polar bears. As a ramp up to a fully operational observatory, hydrographic transects and select

  18. Delivering Global Environmental Change Science Through Documentary Film

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodgson, K.; Byrne, J. M.; Graham, J. R.

    2010-12-01

    Communicating authentic science to society presents a significant challenge to researchers. This challenge stems from unfortunate misrepresentation and misunderstanding in the mainstream media, particularly in relation to science on global environmental change. This has resulted in a lower level of confidence and interest amongst audiences in regards to global environmental change and anthropogenic climate change discussions. This project describes a new form of documentary film that aspires to break this trend and increase audiences’ interest, reinvigorating discussion about global environmental change. The documentary film adopts a form that marries traditional scientific presentation with the high entertainment value of narrative storytelling. This format maintains the authenticity of the scientific message and ensures audience engagement throughout the entire presentation due to the fact that a sense of equality and intimacy between the audience and the scientists is achieved. The film features interviews with scientists studying global environmental change and opens with a comparison of authentic scientific information and the mainstream media’s presentation, and subsequent public opinion. This enables an analysis of the growing disconnect between society and the scientific community. Topics investigated include: Arctic ice melt, coastal zone hypoxia, tropical cyclones and acidification. Upon completion of the film, public and private screenings with predetermined audience demographics will be conducted using a short, standardized survey to gain feedback regarding the audience’s overall review of the presentation. In addition to the poster, this presentation features an extended trailer for the documentary film.

  19. The effect on Arctic climate of atmospheric meridional energy-transport changes studied based on the CESM climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grand Graversen, Rune

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic amplification of global warming and the pronounced Arctic sea-ice retreat constitute some of the most alarming signs of global climate change. These Arctic changes are likely a consequence of a combination of several processes, for instance enhanced uptake of solar radiation in the Arctic due to a lowering of the planetary albedo, and increase in the local Arctic greenhouse effect due to enhanced moister flux from lower latitudes. Many of the proposed processes appear to be dependent on each other, for instance an increase in water-vapour advection to the Arctic enhances the greenhouse effect in the Arctic and the longwave radiation to the surface which melts the sea ice and causes an increase in absorption of solar radiation. The effects of albedo changes have been investigated in earlier studies based on model experiments designed to examine these effects specifically. Here we instead focus on the effects of meridional transport changes into the Arctic, both of water vapour and dry-static energy. Hence we here present results of model experiments with the CESM climate model designed specifically to extract the effects of the changes of the two transport components.

  20. Effects of environmental variation and spatial distance on bacteria, archaea and viruses in sub-polar and arctic waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Christian; Matthews, Blake; Suttle, Curtis A

    2013-08-01

    We investigated the influence of environmental parameters and spatial distance on bacterial, archaeal and viral community composition from 13 sites along a 3200-km long voyage from Halifax to Kugluktuk (Canada) through the Labrador Sea, Baffin Bay and the Arctic Archipelago. Variation partitioning was used to disentangle the effects of environmental parameters, spatial distance and spatially correlated environmental parameters on prokaryotic and viral communities. Viral and prokaryotic community composition were related in the Labrador Sea, but were independent of each other in Baffin Bay and the Arctic Archipelago. In oceans, the dominant dispersal mechanism for prokaryotes and viruses is the movement of water masses, thus, dispersal for both groups is passive and similar. Nevertheless, spatial distance explained 7-19% of the variation in viral community composition in the Arctic Archipelago, but was not a significant predictor of bacterial or archaeal community composition in either sampling area, suggesting a decoupling of the processes regulating community composition within these taxonomic groups. According to the metacommunity theory, patterns in bacterial and archaeal community composition suggest a role for species sorting, while patterns of virus community composition are consistent with species sorting in the Labrador Sea and suggest a potential role of mass effects in the Arctic Archipelago. Given that, a specific prokaryotic taxon may be infected by multiple viruses with high reproductive potential, our results suggest that viral community composition was subject to a high turnover relative to prokaryotic community composition in the Arctic Archipelago.

  1. Arctic tipping points: governance in turbulent times.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Oran R

    2012-02-01

    Interacting forces of climate change and globalization are transforming the Arctic. Triggered by a non-linear shift in sea ice, this transformation has unleashed mounting interest in opportunities to exploit the region's natural resources as well as growing concern about environmental, economic, and political issues associated with such efforts. This article addresses the implications of this transformation for governance, identifies limitations of existing arrangements, and explores changes needed to meet new demands. It advocates the development of an Arctic regime complex featuring flexibility across issues and adaptability over time along with an enhanced role for the Arctic Council both in conducting policy-relevant assessments and in promoting synergy in interactions among the elements of the emerging Arctic regime complex. The emphasis throughout is on maximizing the fit between the socioecological features of the Arctic and the character of the governance arrangements needed to steer the Arctic toward a sustainable future.

  2. The Taimyr Peninsula and the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, Arctic Russia: a synthesis of glacial history and palaeo-environmental change during the Last Glacial cycle (MIS 5e-2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Möller, Per; Alexanderson, Helena; Funder, Svend; Hjort, Christian

    2015-01-01

    We here suggest a glacial and climate history of the Taimyr Peninsula and Severnaya Zemlya archipelago in arctic Siberia for the last about 150 000 years (ka). Primarily it is based on results from seven field seasons between 1996 and 2012, to a large extent already published in papers referred to in the text - and on data presented by Russian workers from the 1930s to our days and by German colleagues working there since the 1990s. Although glaciations even up here often started in the local mountains, their culminations in this region invariably seems to have centred on the shallow Kara Sea continental shelf - most likely due to expanding marine ice-shelves grounding there, as a combined effect of thickening ice and eustatically lowered sea-levels. The most extensive glaciation so far identified in this region (named the Taz glaciation) took place during Marine Isotope Stage 6 (MIS 6), i.e. being an equivalent to the late Saale/Illinoian glaciations. It reached c. 400 km southeast of the Kara Sea coast, across and well beyond the Byrranga Mountain range and ended c. 130 ka. It was followed by the MIS 5e (Karginsky/Eemian) interglacial, with an extensive marine transgression to 140 m above present sea level - facilitated by strong isostatic downloading during the preceding glaciation. During the latest (Zyryankan/Weichselian/Wisconsinan) glacial cycle followed a series of major glacial advances. The earliest and most extensive, culminating c. 110-100 ka (MIS 5d-5e), also reached south of the Byrranga mountains and its post-glacial marine limit there was c. 100 m a.s.l. The later glacial phases (around 70-60 ka and 20 ka) terminated at the North Taimyr Ice Marginal Zone (NTZ), along or some distance inland from the present northwest coast of Taimyr. They dammed glacial lakes, which caused the Taimyr River to flow southwards where to-day it flows northwards into the Kara Sea. The c. 20 ka glacial phase, contemporary with the maximum (LGM) glaciation in NW Europe

  3. Prediction of Arctic plant phenological sensitivity to climate change from historical records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panchen, Zoe A; Gorelick, Root

    2017-03-01

    The pace of climate change in the Arctic is dramatic, with temperatures rising at a rate double the global average. The timing of flowering and fruiting (phenology) is often temperature dependent and tends to advance as the climate warms. Herbarium specimens, photographs, and field observations can provide historical phenology records and have been used, on a localised scale, to predict species' phenological sensitivity to climate change. Conducting similar localised studies in the Canadian Arctic, however, poses a challenge where the collection of herbarium specimens, photographs, and field observations have been temporally and spatially sporadic. We used flowering and seed dispersal times of 23 Arctic species from herbarium specimens, photographs, and field observations collected from across the 2.1 million km(2) area of Nunavut, Canada, to determine (1) which monthly temperatures influence flowering and seed dispersal times; (2) species' phenological sensitivity to temperature; and (3) whether flowering or seed dispersal times have advanced over the past 120 years. We tested this at different spatial scales and compared the sensitivity in different regions of Nunavut. Broadly speaking, this research serves as a proof of concept to assess whether phenology-climate change studies using historic data can be conducted at large spatial scales. Flowering times and seed dispersal time were most strongly correlated with June and July temperatures, respectively. Seed dispersal times have advanced at double the rate of flowering times over the past 120 years, reflecting greater late-summer temperature rises in Nunavut. There is great diversity in the flowering time sensitivity to temperature of Arctic plant species, suggesting climate change implications for Arctic ecological communities, including altered community composition, competition, and pollinator interactions. Intraspecific temperature sensitivity and warming trends varied markedly across Nunavut and could

  4. Climate change impacts on wildlife in a High Arctic archipelago - Svalbard, Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Descamps, Sébastien; Aars, Jon; Fuglei, Eva; Kovacs, Kit M; Lydersen, Christian; Pavlova, Olga; Pedersen, Åshild Ø; Ravolainen, Virve; Strøm, Hallvard

    2017-02-01

    The Arctic is warming more rapidly than other region on the planet, and the northern Barents Sea, including the Svalbard Archipelago, is experiencing the fastest temperature increases within the circumpolar Arctic, along with the highest rate of sea ice loss. These physical changes are affecting a broad array of resident Arctic organisms as well as some migrants that occupy the region seasonally. Herein, evidence of climate change impacts on terrestrial and marine wildlife in Svalbard is reviewed, with a focus on bird and mammal species. In the terrestrial ecosystem, increased winter air temperatures and concomitant increases in the frequency of 'rain-on-snow' events are one of the most important facets of climate change with respect to impacts on flora and fauna. Winter rain creates ice that blocks access to food for herbivores and synchronizes the population dynamics of the herbivore-predator guild. In the marine ecosystem, increases in sea temperature and reductions in sea ice are influencing the entire food web. These changes are affecting the foraging and breeding ecology of most marine birds and mammals and are associated with an increase in abundance of several temperate fish, seabird and marine mammal species. Our review indicates that even though a few species are benefiting from a warming climate, most Arctic endemic species in Svalbard are experiencing negative consequences induced by the warming environment. Our review emphasizes the tight relationships between the marine and terrestrial ecosystems in this High Arctic archipelago. Detecting changes in trophic relationships within and between these ecosystems requires long-term (multidecadal) demographic, population- and ecosystem-based monitoring, the results of which are necessary to set appropriate conservation priorities in relation to climate warming.

  5. Climate change alters leaf anatomy, but has no effects on volatile emissions from Arctic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schollert, Michelle; Kivimäenpää, Minna; Valolahti, Hanna M; Rinnan, Riikka

    2015-10-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions are expected to change substantially because of the rapid advancement of climate change in the Arctic. BVOC emission changes can feed back both positively and negatively on climate warming. We investigated the effects of elevated temperature and shading on BVOC emissions from arctic plant species Empetrum hermaphroditum, Cassiope tetragona, Betula nana and Salix arctica. Measurements were performed in situ in long-term field experiments in subarctic and high Arctic using a dynamic enclosure system and collection of BVOCs into adsorbent cartridges analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In order to assess whether the treatments had resulted in anatomical adaptations, we additionally examined leaf anatomy using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Against expectations based on the known temperature and light-dependency of BVOC emissions, the emissions were barely affected by the treatments. In contrast, leaf anatomy of the studied plants was significantly altered in response to the treatments, and these responses appear to differ from species found at lower latitudes. We suggest that leaf anatomical acclimation may partially explain the lacking treatment effects on BVOC emissions at plant shoot-level. However, more studies are needed to unravel why BVOC emission responses in arctic plants differ from temperate species.

  6. Decadal Changes in Arctic Radiative Forcing from Aerosols and Tropospheric Ozone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breider, T. J.; Mickley, L. J.; Jacob, D. J.; Payer Sulprizio, M.; Croft, B.; Ridley, D. A.; Ge, C.; Yang, Q.; Bitz, C. M.; McConnell, J.; Sharma, S.; Skov, H.; Eleftheriadis, K.

    2014-12-01

    Annual average Arctic sea ice coverage has declined by 3.6% per decade since the 1980s, but factors driving this trend are uncertain. Long-term surface observations and ice core records suggest recent, large declines in the Arctic atmospheric burden of sulfate aerosol, which may account in part for the warming trend. The decline in black carbon (BC) aerosol in the Arctic during the same period may partly offset the warming due to decreases in sulfate. Here we use the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model together with a detailed inventory of historical anthropogenic trace gas and primary aerosol emissions to quantify changes in Arctic radiative forcing from tropospheric ozone and aerosol between 1980 and 2010. Previous studies have reported an increasing trend in observed ozone at 500 hPa over Canada, but our simulation shows no significant trend. Over Europe, good agreement is found with observed long-term trends in sulfate in surface air (observed = -0.14±0.02 μg m-3 yr-1, model = -0.13±0.01 μg m-3 yr-1), while the observed trend in sulfate in precipitation (-0.20±0.03 μg m-3 yr-1) is underestimated by 40%. At Alert, the timing of the observed decline in sulfate after 1991 is well captured in the simulation, but the observed trend between 1991 and 2001 (-36.3±4.1 ng m-3 yr-1) is underestimated by 26%. BC observations at remote Arctic surface stations are biased low throughout 1980-2010 by a factor of 2. At Greenland ice cores, observed 1980-2010 trends in sulfate deposition are underestimated by 35%. The smaller model bias in observed sulfate and BC deposition at ice cores in southern Greenland (5% and 65%) compared to northern Greenland (56% and 90%) indicates greater uncertainty in pollution emissions from Eurasian sources. We estimate a surface radiative forcing from atmospheric aerosols in the Arctic during 2008 of -0.51 W m-2. The forcing is largest in spring (-1.36 W m-2) and dominated by sulfate aerosol (87%). We will quantify the contributions to the

  7. Arctic sea surface height variability and change from satellite radar altimetry and GRACE, 2003-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Thomas W. K.; Bacon, Sheldon; Ridout, Andy L.; Thomas, Sam F.; Aksenov, Yevgeny; Wingham, Duncan J.

    2016-06-01

    Arctic sea surface height (SSH) is poorly observed by radar altimeters due to the poor coverage of the polar oceans provided by conventional altimeter missions and because large areas are perpetually covered by sea ice, requiring specialized data processing. We utilize SSH estimates from both the ice-covered and ice-free ocean to present monthly estimates of Arctic Dynamic Ocean Topography (DOT) from radar altimetry south of 81.5°N and combine this with GRACE ocean mass to estimate steric height. Our SSH and steric height estimates show good agreement with tide gauge records and geopotential height derived from Ice-Tethered Profilers. The large seasonal cycle of Arctic SSH (amplitude ˜5 cm) is dominated by seasonal steric height variation associated with seasonal freshwater fluxes, and peaks in October-November. Overall, the annual mean steric height increased by 2.2 ± 1.4 cm between 2003 and 2012 before falling to circa 2003 levels between 2012 and 2014 due to large reductions on the Siberian shelf seas. The total secular change in SSH between 2003 and 2014 is then dominated by a 2.1 ± 0.7 cm increase in ocean mass. We estimate that by 2010, the Beaufort Gyre had accumulated 4600 km3 of freshwater relative to the 2003-2006 mean. Doming of Arctic DOT in the Beaufort Sea is revealed by Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis to be concurrent with regional reductions in the Siberian Arctic. We estimate that the Siberian shelf seas lost ˜180 km3 of freshwater between 2003 and 2014, associated with an increase in annual mean salinity of 0.15 psu yr-1. Finally, ocean storage flux estimates from altimetry agree well with high-resolution model results, demonstrating the potential for altimetry to elucidate the Arctic hydrological cycle.

  8. On the Arctic Ocean ice thickness response to changes in the external forcing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stranne, Christian; Bjoerk, Goeran [University of Gothenburg, Department of Earth Sciences, Box 460, Goeteborg (Sweden)

    2012-12-15

    Submarine and satellite observations show that the Arctic Ocean ice cover has undergone a large thickness reduction and a decrease in the areal extent during the last decades. Here the response of the Arctic Ocean ice cover to changes in the poleward atmospheric energy transport, F{sub wall}, is investigated using coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean column models. Two models with highly different complexity are used in order to illustrate the importance of different internal processes and the results highlight the dramatic effects of the negative ice thickness - ice volume export feedback and the positive surface albedo feedback. The steady state ice thickness as a function of F{sub wall} is determined for various model setups and defines what we call ice thickness response curves. When a variable surface albedo and snow precipitation is included, a complex response curve appears with two distinct regimes: a perennial ice cover regime with a fairly linear response and a less responsive seasonal ice cover regime. The two regimes are separated by a steep transition associated with surface albedo feedback. The associated hysteresis is however small, indicating that the Arctic climate system does not have an irreversible tipping point behaviour related to the surface albedo feedback. The results are discussed in the context of the recent reduction of the Arctic sea ice cover. A new mechanism related to regional and temporal variations of the ice divergence within the Arctic Ocean is presented as an explanation for the observed regional variation of the ice thickness reduction. Our results further suggest that the recent reduction in areal ice extent and loss of multiyear ice is related to the albedo dependent transition between seasonal and perennial ice i.e. large areas of the Arctic Ocean that has previously been dominated by multiyear ice might have been pushed below a critical mean ice thickness, corresponding to the above mentioned transition, and into a state dominated

  9. Changes in viral and bacterial communities during the ice-melting season in the coastal Arctic (Kongsfjorden, Ny-Ålesund).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Corte, Daniele; Sintes, Eva; Yokokawa, Taichi; Herndl, Gerhard J

    2011-07-01

    Microbial communities in Arctic coastal waters experience dramatic changes in environmental conditions during the spring to summer transition period, potentially leading to major variations in the relationship between viral and prokaryotic communities. To document these variations, a number of physico-chemical and biological parameters were determined during the ice-melting season in the coastal Arctic (Kongsfjorden, Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen). The bacterial and viral abundance increased during the spring to summer transition period, probably associated to the increase in temperature and the development of a phytoplankton bloom. The increase in viral abundance was less pronounced than the increase in prokaryotic abundance; consequently, the viral to prokaryotic abundance ratio decreased. The bacterial and viral communities were stratified as determined by Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis and Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA-PCR respectively. Both the bacterial and viral communities were characterized by a relatively low number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Despite the apparent low complexity of the bacterial and viral communities, the link between these two communities was weak over the melting season, as suggested by the different trends of prokaryotic and viral abundance during the sampling period. This weak relationship between the two communities might be explained by UV radiation and suspended particles differently affecting the viruses and prokaryotes in the coastal Arctic during this period. Based on our results, we conclude that the viral and bacterial communities in the Arctic were strongly affected by the variability of the environmental conditions during the transition period between spring and summer.

  10. Variability and changes of Arctic sea ice draft distribution – submarine sonar measurements revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Haapala

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the mean sea ice thickness and concentration in the Arctic are well known. However, quantitative information about changes in the ice thickness distribution and the composition of the pack ice is lacking. In this paper we determine the ice draft distributions, mean and modal thicknesses, and their regional and seasonal variability in the Arctic for the time period 1975–2000. We compare characteristics of the Arctic pack ice for the years 1975–1987 and 1988–2000. These periods represent different large-scale atmospheric circulation modes and sea ice circulation patterns, most evident in clearly weaker Beaufort Gyre and stronger as well as westward shifted Transpolar Drift during the later period. The comparison of these two periods reveals that the peak of sea ice draft distributions has narrowed and shifted toward thinner ice, with reductions in both mean and modal ice draft. These noticeable changes are attributed to the loss of thick, mostly deformed ice. Springtime, loss of ice volume with draft greater than 5 m exceeds 35 % in all regions except the Nansen Basin, with as much as 45 % or more at the North Pole and in the Eastern Arctic. Autumn volume reduction, mostly of deformed ice, exceeds 40 % in the Canada Basin only, but is above 30 % also in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. During the later period, the volume of ice category consisting thin, mostly level first-year ice, is clearly larger than during the former period, especially in the spring. In the Beaufort Sea region, changes in the composition of ice cover have resulted in a shift of modal draft from level multiyear ice draft range to values of level first-year ice. The regional and seasonal variability of sea ice draft has decreased, since the thinning has been most pronounced in regions with the thickest pack ice (the Western Arctic, and during the spring (0.6–0.8 m per decade.

  11. T, S, and U: Arctic Ocean Change in Response to Sea Ice Loss and Other Forcings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly, partly in response to sea ice loss and partly from other forcings. Here we consider the three main parameters of physical oceanography: temperature, salinity, and momentum. With regard to temperature, the ocean is experiencing enhanced seasonal surface warming each summer as the ice pack retreats and thins. Some of this summer heat can persist through the winter below the surface mixed layer, although enhanced mixing and other processes can act against this survival. Deeper subsurface layers advected into the Arctic from the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans are also warming as these areas respond to warming trends and decadal climate variability. Arctic Ocean warming has implications for the mass balance of the sea ice pack, as well as both marine and coastal terrestrial ecosystems. With regard to salinity, the ocean has just begun to show an overall freshening signal, although with high spatial and temporal variance. This freshening is partly a result of sea ice melt, but also a response to global hydrologic and oceanographic changes. Arctic Ocean freshening enhances the surface stratification, which suppresses upward fluxes of heat and nutrients from below. It also reduces the transfer of momentum (i.e., the stress) from winds to the deep ocean. With regard to momentum, sea ice reduction has created a "looser" ice pack that allows more wind energy to enter the ocean. This effect opposes that of enhanced freshening/stratification when one considers mixing in the upper ocean; the sign and amplitude of the net result is a hot topic in the field. It should also be noted that surface stress in the summer season might actually be declining, as the rough ice pack transitions to a generally smoother sparse pack or open water. In summary, the Arctic Ocean is on the cusp of great change, largely (but not exclusively) forced by changes in the sea ice pack.

  12. White Arctic vs. Blue Arctic: Making Choices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Newton, R.; Schlosser, P.; Pomerance, R.; Tremblay, B.; Murray, M. S.; Gerrard, M.

    2015-12-01

    As the Arctic warms and shifts from icy white to watery blue and resource-rich, tension is arising between the desire to restore and sustain an ice-covered Arctic and stakeholder communities that hope to benefit from an open Arctic Ocean. If emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere continue on their present trend, most of the summer sea ice cover is projected to be gone by mid-century, i.e., by the time that few if any interventions could be in place to restore it. There are many local as well as global reasons for ice restoration, including for example, preserving the Arctic's reflectivity, sustaining critical habitat, and maintaining cultural traditions. However, due to challenges in implementing interventions, it may take decades before summer sea ice would begin to return. This means that future generations would be faced with bringing sea ice back into regions where they have not experienced it before. While there is likely to be interest in taking action to restore ice for the local, regional, and global services it provides, there is also interest in the economic advancement that open access brings. Dealing with these emerging issues and new combinations of stakeholders needs new approaches - yet environmental change in the Arctic is proceeding quickly and will force the issues sooner rather than later. In this contribution we examine challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities related to exploring options for restoring Arctic sea ice and potential pathways for their implementation. Negotiating responses involves international strategic considerations including security and governance, meaning that along with local communities, state decision-makers, and commercial interests, national governments will have to play central roles. While these issues are currently playing out in the Arctic, similar tensions are also emerging in other regions.

  13. Recent changes in winter Arctic clouds and their relationships with sea ice and atmospheric conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang-Yoon Jun

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Changes in Arctic clouds during boreal winter (December through February and their relationship with sea ice and atmospheric conditions in recent decades have been examined using satellite and reanalysis data, and they are compared with output data from atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM experiments. All the datasets used in this study consistently show that cloud amount over the Arctic Ocean (north of 67°N decreased until the late 1990s but rapidly increased thereafter. Cloud increase in recent decade was a salient feature in the lower troposphere over a large part of the Arctic Sea, in association with obvious increase of lower tropospheric temperature and moisture. The comparison between the two periods before and after 1997 indicates that interannual covariability of Arctic clouds and lower tropospheric temperature and moisture was significantly enhanced after the late 1990s. Large reduction of sea ice cover during boreal winter decreased lower tropospheric static stability and deepened the planetary boundary layer. These changes led to an enhanced upward moisture transport and cloud formation, which led to considerable longwave radiative forcing and, as a result, strengthened the cloud–moisture–temperature relationship in the lower troposphere. AGCM experiments under reduced sea ice conditions support those results obtained by satellite and reanalysis datasets reproducing the increases in cloud amount and lower tropospheric temperature and their enhanced covariability.

  14. Arctic sea ice area in CMIP3 and CMIP5 climate model ensembles - variability and change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenov, V. A.; Martin, T.; Behrens, L. K.; Latif, M.

    2015-02-01

    The shrinking Arctic sea ice cover observed during the last decades is probably the clearest manifestation of ongoing climate change. While climate models in general reproduce the sea ice retreat in the Arctic during the 20th century and simulate further sea ice area loss during the 21st century in response to anthropogenic forcing, the models suffer from large biases and the model results exhibit considerable spread. The last generation of climate models from World Climate Research Programme Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), when compared to the previous CMIP3 model ensemble and considering the whole Arctic, were found to be more consistent with the observed changes in sea ice extent during the recent decades. Some CMIP5 models project strongly accelerated (non-linear) sea ice loss during the first half of the 21st century. Here, complementary to previous studies, we compare results from CMIP3 and CMIP5 with respect to regional Arctic sea ice change. We focus on September and March sea ice. Sea ice area (SIA) variability, sea ice concentration (SIC) variability, and characteristics of the SIA seasonal cycle and interannual variability have been analysed for the whole Arctic, termed Entire Arctic, Central Arctic and Barents Sea. Further, the sensitivity of SIA changes to changes in Northern Hemisphere (NH) averaged temperature is investigated and several important dynamical links between SIA and natural climate variability involving the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and sea level pressure gradient (SLPG) in the western Barents Sea opening serving as an index of oceanic inflow to the Barents Sea are studied. The CMIP3 and CMIP5 models not only simulate a coherent decline of the Arctic SIA but also depict consistent changes in the SIA seasonal cycle and in the aforementioned dynamical links. The spatial patterns of SIC variability improve in the CMIP5 ensemble, particularly in summer. Both

  15. Arctic Low Cloud Changes as Observed by MISR and CALIOP: Implication for the Enhanced Autumnal Warming and Sea Ice Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Dong L.; Lee, Jae N.

    2012-01-01

    Retreat of Arctic sea ice extent has led to more evaporation over open water in summer and subsequent cloud changes in autumn. Studying recent satellite cloud data over the Arctic Ocean, we find that low (0.5-2 km) cloud cover in October has been increasing significantly during 2000-2010 over the Beaufort and East Siberian Sea (BESS). This change is consistent with the expected boundary-layer cloud response to the increasing Arctic evaporation accumulated during summer. Because low clouds have a net warming effect at the surface, October cloud increases may be responsible for the enhanced autumnal warming in surface air temperature, which effectively prolong the melt season and lead to a positive feedback to Arctic sea ice loss. Thus, the new satellite observations provide a critical support for the hypothesized positive feedback involving interactions between boundary-layer cloud, water vapor, temperature and sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

  16. Arctic Defense Concerns: The Need to Reorganize United States Defense Structure to Meet Threats in a Changing Arctic Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-03

    great North American allies. „ Gold Rush ‟ The retreating Arctic ice cap presents another potential benefit and major source of Figure 1 - Northwest...international tension. The possibility of significant untapped natural resources in the arctic have prompted a veritable international „ Gold - rush ‟ to the

  17. The Arctic in the Anthropocene: a Report from the National Academy of Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everett, L. M.; Huntington, H. P.; Pfirman, S. L.

    2014-12-01

    With rapid change unfolding throughout the Arctic, the need for actionable Arctic science has never been greater. A warming climate is reshaping Arctic ecosystems, bringing changes such as the loss of sea ice and glaciers, thawing of permafrost, and changing snow patterns. These shifts challenge Arctic citizens who must adapt to new environmental conditions, and have significant global implications. A 2014 National Research Council report, The Arctic in the Anthropocene: Emerging Research Questions, identifies research questions important for understanding how environmental and societal transitions will affect the Arctic and the rest of the world. It also assesses what is required to address these questions, and points to the need to translate research findings into practical information that can help guide management and policy decisions. Drawing upon the report, this presentation will focus on the scientific research questions identified under five categories: Evolving Arctic, Hidden Arctic, Connected Arctic, Managed Arctic, and Undetermined Arctic. It will also address methods to meet the challenges and assess what is needed to leverage efficiencies in making Arctic research happen, from collaboration and coordination to sustained observations, building human and operational capacity, making information actionable as well as accessible, and possible changes in funding approaches. It will demonstrate that fostering a sense of shared purpose to manage change to the best of our abilities is essential, as is a continued commitment to studying what exists, what is emerging, and what awaits us in the Arctic.

  18. Environmental Partitioning of Biomass Combustion Biomarkers in Arctic Rivers across the Spring Freshet Hydrograph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers-Pigg, A.; Louchouarn, P.; Tananaev, N.; Teisserenc, R.

    2014-12-01

    A number of studies have recently documented that pyrogenic carbon (PyC) is an integral and significant proportion of DOM in worldwide rivers, and that this material originates from all fractions of the PyC continuum, from highly resistant PyC to more soluble, labile components. Understanding the transfer of PyC to river systems is paramount for Arctic regions, given the projected increase in frequency and intensity of forest fires in boreal ecosystems. Considering this potential increase in the production of boreal PyC, constraining the PyC-cycle in Arctic environments is essential. However, one of the parameters that affect the fate of PyC in river systems, the environmental partitioning between soluble and particulate phases (Kd), has so far been unstudied. This is particularly important to quantify for low-temperature PyC, due to the greater experimental solubility of this portion of the PyC continuum. Here, we present for the first time a study that analyzes phase partitioning of low-temperature PyC biomarkers in two Arctic Rivers: a small Canadian river, the Great Whale River in northern Quebec, and the largest Arctic River, the Yenisei River in north-central Siberia. During the spring freshet increases in discharge in each river, mass-normalized sorption coefficients (Kd) increase by two orders of magnitude, whereas organic carbon-normalized sorption coefficients (KOC) vary by a much smaller range. The former trend implies that spring discharge events export potentially fresher materials in the sorbed fractions, as the PyC components may not yet have fully equilibrated with the aqueous phase. The latter observation suggests an association of combustion biomarkers with particulate organic matter (char particles or sorbed soil organic matter). The present work confirms that low temperature PyC biomarkers sorb to particles at a high enough level to enter sedimentary deposits and record wildfire signatures. However, the Kd-KOC values for these rivers are 3

  19. Arctic security and Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tamnes, Rolf

    2013-03-01

    Global warming is one of the most serious threats facing mankind. Many regions and countries will be affected, and there will be many losers. The earliest and most intense climatic changes are being experienced in the Arctic region. Arctic average temperature has risen at twice the rate of the global average in the past half century. These changes provide an early indication for the world of the environmental and societal significance of global warming. For that reason, the Arctic presents itself as an important scientific laboratory for improving our understanding of the causes and patterns of climate changes. The rapidly rising temperature threatens the Arctic ecosystem, but the human consequences seem to be far less dramatic there than in many other places in the world. According to the U.S. National Intelligence Council, Russia has the potential to gain the most from increasingly temperate weather, because its petroleum reserves become more accessible and because the opening of an Arctic waterway could provide economic and commercial advantages. Norway might also be fortunate. Some years ago, the Financial Times asked: #Left Double Quotation Mark#What should Norway do about the fact that global warming will make their climate more hospitable and enhance their financial situation, even as it inflicts damage on other parts of the world?#Right Double Quotation Mark#(Author)

  20. Relations between Arctic large-scale TEC changes and scintillations over Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Durgonics, Tibor; Høeg, Per; von Benzon, Hans-Henrik

    The increasing dependence on GNSS-based methods and technologies for global or regionalnavigation and communication has raised concerns about the impact of space weather on thesesystems. Temporal and spatial ionosphere variations caused by driving forces, such as changes insolar radiation, solar...... wind, and the Earth’s magnetic field contribute to errors in satellite navigationpositioning and communication systems. In this study we will focus on the impact of space weatherin the Arctic region related to total electron content (TEC) and scintillation changes.Measurements from the GNSS network...... elements and parameters (such as the auroral oval and the auroralelectrojet), driving these changes in the Greenland TEC, S4 and σϕ distributions, in order to come upwith appropriate algorithms and tools for monitoring and predicting Arctic TEC and scintillationlarge-scale patterns....

  1. Arctic Warming and Sea Ice Diminution Herald Changing Glacier and Cryospheric Hazard Regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, Jeffrey; Bush, Andrew; Leonard, Gregory

    2013-04-01

    The recent expansion of summertime melt zones in both Greenland and some Arctic ice caps, and the clearing of perennial sea ice from much of the Arctic, may presage more rapid shifts in mass balances of land ice than glaciologists had generally expected. The summer openings of vast stretches of open water in the Arctic, particularly in straits and the Arctic Ocean shores of the Queen Elizabeth Islands and along some Greenland coastal zones, must have a large impact on summer and early autumn temperatures and precipitation now that the surface boundary condition is no longer limited by the triple-point temperature and water-vapor pressure of H2O. This state change in the Arctic probably is part of the explanation for the expanded melt zones high in the Greenland ice sheet. However, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic are vast regions subject to climatic influences of multiple marine bodies, and the situation with sea ice and climate change remains heterogeneous, and so the local climate feedbacks from sea ice diminution remain patchy. Projected forward just a few decades, it is likely that sea ice will play a significant role in the Queen Elizabeth Islands and around Greenland only in the winter months. The region is in the midst of a dramatic climate change that is affecting the mass balances of the Arctic's ice bodies; some polar-type glaciers must be transforming to polythermal, and polythermal ones to maritime-temperate types. Attendant with these shifts, glacier response times will shorten, the distribution and sizes of glacier lakes will change, unconsolidated debris will be debuttressed, and hazards-related dynamics will shift. Besides changes to outburst flood, debris flow, and rock avalanche occurrences, the tsunami hazard (with ice and debris landslide/avalanche triggers) in glacierized fjords and the surge behaviors of many glaciers is apt to increase or shift locations. For any given location, the past is no longer the key to the present, and the present

  2. The Arctic Sea ice in the CMIP3 climate model ensemble – variability and anthropogenic change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. K. Behrens

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The strongest manifestation of global warming is observed in the Arctic. The warming in the Arctic during the recent decades is about twice as strong as in the global average and has been accompanied by a summer sea ice decline that is very likely unprecedented during the last millennium. Here, Arctic sea ice variability is analyzed in the ensemble of CMIP3 models. Complementary to several previous studies, we focus on regional aspects, in particular on the Barents Sea. We also investigate the changes in the seasonal cycle and interannual variability. In all regions, the models predict a reduction in sea ice area and sea ice volume during 1900–2100. Toward the end of the 21st century, the models simulate higher sea ice area variability in September than in March, whereas the variability in the preindustrial control runs is higher in March. Furthermore, the amplitude and phase of the sea ice seasonal cycle change in response to enhanced greenhouse warming. The amplitude of the sea ice area seasonal cycle increases due to the very strong sea ice area decline in September. The seasonal cycle amplitude of the sea ice volume decreases due to the stronger reduction of sea ice volume in March.

    Multi-model mean estimates for the late 20th century are comparable with observational data only for the entire Arctic and the Central Arctic. In the Barents Sea, differences between the multi-model mean and the observational data are more pronounced. Regional sea ice sensitivity to Northern Hemisphere average surface warming has been investigated.

  3. Divergent Arctic-Boreal Vegetation Changes between North America and Eurasia over the Past 30 Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arindam Samanta

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Arctic-Boreal region—mainly consisting of tundra, shrub lands, and boreal forests—has been experiencing an amplified warming over the past 30 years. As the main driving force of vegetation growth in the north, temperature exhibits tight coupling with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI—a proxy to photosynthetic activity. However, the comparison between North America (NA and northern Eurasia (EA shows a weakened spatial dependency of vegetation growth on temperature changes in NA during the past decade. If this relationship holds over time, it suggests a 2/3 decrease in vegetation growth under the same rate of warming in NA, while the vegetation response in EA stays the same. This divergence accompanies a circumpolar widespread greening trend, but 20 times more browning in the Boreal NA compared to EA, and comparative greening and browning trends in the Arctic. These observed spatial patterns of NDVI are consistent with the temperature record, except in the Arctic NA, where vegetation exhibits a similar long-term trend of greening to EA under less warming. This unusual growth pattern in Arctic NA could be due to a lack of precipitation velocity compared to the temperature velocity, when taking velocity as a measure of northward migration of climatic conditions.

  4. US CLIVAR Working Group: Arctic Change and Possible Influence on Mid-latitude Climate and Weather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, J. L.; Zhang, X.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification (AA). These profound changes to the Arctic system have coincided with a period of ostensibly more frequent events of extreme weather across the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, including extreme heat and rainfall events and recent severe winters. The possible link between Arctic change and mid-latitude weather has spurred a rush of new observational and modeling studies. These studies have argued that heavy precipitation events and heat waves are at least partially attributable to Arctic warming. A growing number of recent studies even argue that recent extreme winter weather is related to AA. In part due to the high impact of extreme weather on our society, some of these studies linking AA to the increased frequency of extreme weather have garnered public and media attention. At the same time, uncertainties from the large intrinsic variability of the system, the short observational record due to the recentness of AA and the shortcomings of global climate models have also resulted in much skepticism in any argued links between AA and severe weather. This in turn has resulted in a number of workshops trying to frame the problem and laying the groundwork to improve our understanding of Arctic-mid-latitude linkages and accurate attribution of extreme weather events. Although these workshops identified existing problems and difficulties, and provided broad recommendations, they did not synthesize the diversified research results to identify where community consensus and gaps exist. Therefore we have assembled many of the leading scientists researching Arctic-mid-latitude linkages as part of a US CLIVAR working group. Through the three-year efforts of this working group, we will use the outcome of the previous workshops and newly planned activities to guide the synthesis efforts, coordinate on-going research to fill out key gaps, and provide specific

  5. Changes in Arctic vegetation amplify high-latitude warming through the greenhouse effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Abigail L; Fung, Inez Y; Levis, Samuel; Bonan, Gordon B; Doney, Scott C

    2010-01-26

    Arctic climate is projected to change dramatically in the next 100 years and increases in temperature will likely lead to changes in the distribution and makeup of the Arctic biosphere. A largely deciduous ecosystem has been suggested as a possible landscape for future Arctic vegetation and is seen in paleo-records of warm times in the past. Here we use a global climate model with an interactive terrestrial biosphere to investigate the effects of adding deciduous trees on bare ground at high northern latitudes. We find that the top-of-atmosphere radiative imbalance from enhanced transpiration (associated with the expanded forest cover) is up to 1.5 times larger than the forcing due to albedo change from the forest. Furthermore, the greenhouse warming by additional water vapor melts sea-ice and triggers a positive feedback through changes in ocean albedo and evaporation. Land surface albedo change is considered to be the dominant mechanism by which trees directly modify climate at high-latitudes, but our findings suggest an additional mechanism through transpiration of water vapor and feedbacks from the ocean and sea-ice.

  6. A Holocene Record of Changing Arctic Surface Ice Drift, Analogous to the Effects of the Arctic Oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, D. A.; Bischof, J. F.

    2003-12-01

    The Arctic Oscillation (AO) controls the strength and location of the Trans Polar Drift (TPD), a system that exports ice through Fram Strait into the Nordic Seas. There, changing amounts of sea ice influence surface water salinity and the formation of North Atlantic deep water (NADW), and this, in turn has an impact on the global climate. Therefore, in order to understand how the global climate system functions it is imperative to know how the TPD changed over the last millennium or more. To that end we performed a provenance study on ice rafted sand grains in a sediment core located near the confluence of the counterclockwise TPD and the clockwise Beaufort Gyre. The core has more than 200 cm of Holocene sediment with intervals dominated by grains from the Siberian shelves alternating with intervals of abundant grains from North American sources. Grains matched to Siberian shelves indicate that the TPD was shifted toward North America similar to what occurs during a more positive phase of the AO. This scenario alternated with intervals where few grains matched to Russian sources. During the last 1300 years increased influx of Russian grains occurred approximately every 50-150 years. We suggest that this periodicity represents the long-term fluctuation of the AO, which produces the same TPD shift today. In addition, we found evidence for ice drift changes corresponding to the Medieval Warm interval from 900-1200 AD and at the end of the last deglaciation when glacial iceberg rafting rapidly declined. These more recent changes prior to the Little Ice Age were opposite in sense to the mineralogic changes at the last termination, and might indicate changes leading to the onset of the Little Ice Age.

  7. Changing black carbon transport to the Arctic from present day to the end of 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Chaoyi; Flanner, Mark G.

    2016-05-01

    Here we explore how climate warming under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) impacts Arctic aerosol distributions via changes in atmospheric transport and removal processes. We modify the bulk aerosol module in the Community Atmosphere Model to track distributions and fluxes of 200 black carbon-like tracers emitted from different locations, and we conduct idealized experiments with and without active aerosol deposition. Changing wind patterns, studied in isolation, cause the Arctic burdens of tracers emitted from East Asia and West Europe during winter to increase about 20% by the end of the century while decreasing the Arctic burdens of North American emissions by about 30%. These changes are caused by an altered winter polar dome structure that results from Arctic amplification and inhomogeneous sea ice loss and surface warming, both of which are enhanced in the Chukchi Sea region. The resulting geostrophic wind favors Arctic transport of East Asian emissions while inhibiting poleward transport of North American emissions. When active deposition is also considered, however, Arctic burdens of emissions from northern midlatitudes show near-universal decline. This is a consequence of increased precipitation and wet removal, particularly within the Arctic, leading to decreased Arctic residence time. Simulations with present-day emissions of black carbon indicate a 13.6% reduction in the Arctic annual mean burden by the end of the 21st century, due to warming-induced transport and deposition changes, while simulations with changing climate and emissions under RCP8.5 show a 61.0% reduction.

  8. Does Reality Matter? Social and Science Bases of Public Beliefs about Arctic Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D. A.; Schaefer, K. M.; Schaeffer, K. P.; Schaefer, K. M.; Hamilton, L.

    2015-12-01

    Surveys of public perceptions about trends in Arctic sea ice find that over two-thirds are aware of the multi-decade decrease. This awareness differs sharply across ideological and educational subgroups, however. It does not appear to shift in response to scientific and media discussion following a September with unusually low (2012) or somewhat higher (2013) sea ice extent. Other perceptions about Arctic change, such as impacts on mid-latitude weather, follow similar patterns with sharp ideological difference and limited response to external events, including science reports. On the other hand, public accuracy on basic factual questions that do not by themselves imply directional change (such as location of the North Pole) may be very low, and among some subgroups accurate knowledge shows an oddly negative correlation with self-confidence about understanding of climate change. These results from 13 surveys over 2011-2015 suggest that biased assimilation filters the acceptance of information about Arctic change, with implications for science communication.

  9. Marine Mammals and Climate Change in the Pacific Arctic: Impacts & Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Extreme reductions in Arctic sea ice extent and thickness have become a hallmark of climate change, but impacts to the marine ecosystem are poorly understood. As top predators, marine mammals must adapt to biological responses to physical forcing and thereby become sentinels to ecosystem variability and reorganization. Recent sea ice retreats have influenced the ecology of marine mammals in the Pacific Arctic sector. Walruses now often haul out by the thousands along the NW Alaska coast in late summer, and reports of harbor porpoise, humpback, fin and minke whales in the Chukchi Sea demonstrate that these temperate species routinely occur there. In 2010, satellite tagged bowhead whales from Atlantic and Pacific populations met in the Northwest Passage, an overlap thought precluded by sea ice since the Holocene. To forage effectively, baleen whales must target dense patches of zooplankton and small fishes. In the Pacific Arctic, bowhead and gray whales appear to be responding to enhanced prey availability delivered both by new production and advection pathways. Two programs, the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) and the Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR), include tracking of marine mammal and prey species' responses to ecosystem shifts associated with sea ice loss. Both programs provide an integrated-ecosystem baseline in support of the development of a web-based Marine Mammal Health Map, envisioned as a component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). An overarching goal is to identify ecological patterns for marine mammals in the 'new' Arctic, as a foundation for integrative research, local response and adaptive management.

  10. Climate states and variability of Arctic ice and water dynamics during 1946–1997

    OpenAIRE

    Proshutinsky, Andrey Y.; Polyakov, Igor V; Johnson, Mark A.

    1999-01-01

    Recently observed changes in the Arctic have highlighted the need for a better understanding of Arctic dynamics. This research addresses that need and is also motivated by the recent finding of two regimes of Arctic ice - ocean wind-driven circulation. In this paper, we demonstrate that during 1946-1997 the Arctic environmental parameters have oscillated with a period of 10-15 years. Our results reveal significant differences among atmosphere, ice, and ocean processes during the anticyclonic ...

  11. Use of Declassified High-Resolution Imagery and Coincident Data Sets for Characterizing the Changing Arctic Ice Cover, and Collaboration with SIZRS

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Arctic Ocean sea ice cover . OBJECTIVES Literal Image Derived...imagery for understanding of sea ice processes of the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover . RELATED PROJECTS Developing Remote Sensing Capabilities for...Coincident Data Sets for Characterizing the Changing Arctic Ice Cover , and Collaboration with SIZRS” R. Kwok Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  12. Exploring Arctic Transpolar Drift During Dramatic Sea Ice Retreat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gascard, J.C.; Festy, J.; le Goff, H.

    2008-01-01

    The Arctic is undergoing significant environmental changes due to climate warming. The most evident signal of this warming is the shrinking and thinning of the ice cover of the Arctic Ocean. If the warming continues, as global climate models predict, the Arctic Ocean will change from a perennially...... ice-covered to a seasonally ice-free ocean. Estimates as to when this will occur vary from the 2030s to the end of this century. One reason for this huge uncertainty is the lack of systematic observations describing the state, variability, and changes in the Arctic Ocean....

  13. Atmospheric winter response to Arctic sea ice changes in reanalysis data and model simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaiser, Ralf; Nakamura, Tetsu; Handorf, Dörthe; Dethloff, Klaus; Ukita, Jinro; Yamazaki, Koji

    2016-07-01

    The changes of atmospheric flow patterns related to Arctic Amplification have impacts well beyond the Arctic regional weather and climate system. Here we examine modulations of vertically propagating planetary waves, a major feature of the climate response to Arctic sea ice reduction by comparing the corresponding results of an atmospheric general circulation model with reanalysis data for periods of high and low sea ice conditions. Under low sea ice condition we find enhanced coupling between troposphere and stratosphere starting in November with preferred polar stratospheric vortex breakdowns in February, which then feeds back to the troposphere. The model experiment and ERA-Interim reanalysis data agree well with respect to temporal and spatial characteristics associated with vertical planetary wave propagation including its precursors. The upward propagating planetary wave anomalies resemble a wave number 1 and 2 pattern depending on region and timing. Since our experimental design only allows influences from sea ice changes and there is a high degree of resemblance between model results and observations, we conclude that sea ice is a main driver of observed winter circulation changes.

  14. PAST Gateways (Palaeo-Arctic Spatial and Temporal Gateways): Introduction and overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Briner, Jason P.; Kirchner, Nina; Lucchi, Renata G.; Meyer, Hanno; Kaufman, Darrell S.

    2016-09-01

    This special issue relates to the Second International Conference of the PAST Gateways (Palaeo-Arctic Spatial and Temporal Gateways) network which was held in Trieste, Italy in 2014. Twenty five papers are included and they address topics under four main themes: (1) The growth and decay of Arctic ice sheets; (2) Arctic sea ice and palaeoceanography; (3) Terrestrial Arctic environments and permafrost change; and (4) Holocene Arctic environmental change. Geographically the focus is circum-Arctic; the special issue includes detailed regional studies from Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia, and Arctic North America and the adjoining seas, as well as a series of synthesis-type, review papers on Fennoscandian Ice Sheet deglaciation and Holocene Arctic palaeo-climate change. The methodologies employed are diverse and include marine sediment core and geophysical investigations, terrestrial glacial geology and geomorphology, isotopic analysis of ground ice, palaeo-ecological analysis of lacustrine and terrestrial sedimentary archives, geochronology and numerical ice sheet modeling.

  15. Climate change and the loss of organic archaeological deposits in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Matthiesen, Henning; Møller, Anders Bjørn;

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average with overlooked consequences for the preservation of the rich cultural and environmental records that have been stored for millennia in archaeological deposits. In this article, we investigate the oxic degradation of different types...... of organic archaeological deposits located in different climatic zones in West and South Greenland. The rate of degradation is investigated based on measurements of O2 consumption, CO2 production and heat production at different temperatures and water contents. Overall, there is good consistency between...

  16. Globalization and climate change challenges the Arctic communities adaptability and increases vulnerability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Kåre

    2011-01-01

    countries, carrying out the processing before export, are increasing. Although the local populations often are able to adapt to climate change and exploit new seasonal fluxions and species, these developments leaves a series of smaller settlements without proper basis for commercially viable activities...... pressure from multinational companies to exploit the Arctic mineral and oil resources as well as hydro-power in large scale industries appears to (local) governments as a potential for economic growth and thus reduced economic dependence on subsidies from the nation states the Arctic are dependent of...... in contemporary developments leaving them with a feeling of being powerless. The consequences of contemporary policies and the problems arising will be illustrated through examples from traditional hunting and fishing districts in Greenland....

  17. Climate Change Influences on Species Interrelationships and Distributions in High-Arctic Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D. R., Klein; Bruun, H. H.; Lundgren, R.

    2008-01-01

    , reproduction, and dispersal of all life forms present. Climate-associated changes in the biotic communities of the region are altering inter-species interactions, notably pollination, seed dispersal and plant-herbivore relations. Sexual reproduction and dispersal of propagules, primarily seeds, are essential...... be of particular significance to long-distance seed dispersal. In Northeast Greenland, dispersal of viable seeds may frequently occur by passage through the guts of geese and musk oxen. Research at Zackenberg on the role of insects in pollination of flowering plants has shown that Diptera species, primarily flies......, dominate among the insect species visiting flowers each summer. Diptera, Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Hymenoptera (bumble bees and small wasps), and one Hemiptera (true bugs) species have constituted the primary pollinators at Zackenberg. Arctic willow Salix arctica, white arctic bell heather...

  18. Arctic Vegetation under Climate Change – Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound Emissions and Leaf Anatomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schollert, Michelle

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted from terrestrial vegetation are highly reactive non-methane hydrocarbons which participate in oxidative reactions in the atmosphere prolonging the lifetime of methane and contribute to the formation of secondary organic aerosols. The BVOC...... measurements in this thesis were performed using a dynamic enclosure system and collection of BVOCs into adsorbent cartridges analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry following thermal desorption. Also modifications in leaf anatomy in response to the studied effects of climate change were assessed...... by the use of light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. This thesis reports the first estimates of high arctic BVOC emissions, which suggest that arctic environments can be a considerable source of BVOCs to the atmosphere. The BVOC emissions differed qualitatively and quantitatively for the studied...

  19. Ice Mass Changes in the Russian High Arctic from Repeat High Resolution Topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Michael; Zheng, Whyjay; Pritchard, Matthew; Melkonian, Andrew; Morin, Paul; Porter, Claire; Howat, Ian; Noh, Myoung-Jong; Jeong, Seongsu

    2016-04-01

    We use a combination of ASTER and cartographically derived Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) supplemented with WorldView DEMs, the ArcticDEM and ICESat lidar returns to produce a time-series of ice changes occurring in the Russian High Arctic between the mid-20th century and the present. Glaciers on the western, Barents Sea coast of Novaya Zemlya are in a state of general retreat and thinning, while those on the eastern, Kara Sea coast are retreating at a slower rate. Franz Josef Land has a complicated pattern of thinning and thickening, although almost all the thinning is associated with rapid outlet glaciers feeding ice shelves. Severnaya Zemlya is also thinning in a complicated manner. A very rapid surging glacier is transferring mass into the ocean from the western periphery of the Vavilov Ice Cap on October Revolution Island, while glaciers feeding the former Matusevich Ice Shelf continue to thin at rates that are faster than those observed during the operational period of ICESat, between 2003 and 2009. Passive microwave studies indicate the total number of melt days is increasing in the Russian Arctic, although much of the melt may refreeze within the firn. It is likely that ice dynamic changes will drive mass loss for the immediate future. The sub-marine basins beneath several of the ice caps in the region suggest the possibility that mass loss rates may accelerate in the future.

  20. Change of sea ice content in the Arctic and the associated climatic effects: detection and simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. I. Mokhov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Modeling results of the impact of sea surface temperature and sea ice extent changes over the last decades on the formation of weather and climate anomalies are presented. It was found that the Arctic sea ice area reduction may lead to anti-cyclonic regimes’ formation causing anomalously cold winters in particular on the Russian territory. Using simulation with an atmospheric general circulation model, it is shown that the Early 20th Century Warming must have been accompanied by a large negative Arctic sea ice area anomaly in winter time. The results imply a considerable role of long-term natural climate variations in the modern sea ice area decrease. Estimates of the possible probability’s changes of the dangerous events of strong winds and high waves in the Arctic basin and favorable navigation conditions for the Northern Sea Route in the 21st century are made based on numerical model calculations. An increase of extreme wave height is found to the middle of the 21st century for Kara and Chukchi Seas as a consequence of prolonged run length and increased surface winds.

  1. Arctic sea ice thickness changes in terms of sea ice age

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    BI Haibo; FU Min; SUN Ke; LIU Yilin; XU Xiuli; HUANG Haijun

    2016-01-01

    In this study, changes in Arctic sea ice thickness for each ice age category were examined based on satellite observations and modelled results. Interannual changes obtained from Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat)-based results show a thickness reduction over perennial sea ice (ice that survives at least one melt season with an age of no less than 2 year) up to approximately 0.5–1.0 m and 0.6–0.8 m (depending on ice age) during the investigated winter and autumn ICESat periods, respectively. Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS)-based results provide a view of a continued thickness reduction over the past four decades. Compared to 1980s, there is a clear thickness drop of roughly 0.50 m in 2010s for perennial ice. This overall decrease in sea ice thickness can be in part attributed to the amplified warming climate in north latitudes. Besides, we figure out that strongly anomalous southerly summer surface winds may play an important role in prompting the thickness decline in perennial ice zone through transporting heat deposited in open water (primarily via albedo feedback) in Eurasian sector deep into a broader sea ice regime in central Arctic Ocean. This heat source is responsible for enhanced ice bottom melting, leading to further reduction in ice thickness.

  2. Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Atlas: Alaska - 2, Northwest Arctic - 2002, North Slope - 2005, Western - 2003, maps and geographic systems data (NODC Accession 0049913)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set comprises the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) data for Northwest Arctic, North Slope, and Western Alaska. ESI data characterize estuarine...

  3. Net primary productivity estimates and environmental variables in the Arctic Ocean: An assessment of coupled physical-biogeochemical models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Younjoo J.; Matrai, Patricia A.; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M.; Saba, Vincent S.; Aumont, Olivier; Babin, Marcel; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Chevallier, Matthieu; de Mora, Lee; Dessert, Morgane; Dunne, John P.; Ellingsen, Ingrid H.; Feldman, Doron; Frouin, Robert; Gehlen, Marion; Gorgues, Thomas; Ilyina, Tatiana; Jin, Meibing; John, Jasmin G.; Lawrence, Jon; Manizza, Manfredi; Menkes, Christophe E.; Perruche, Coralie; Le Fouest, Vincent; Popova, Ekaterina E.; Romanou, Anastasia; Samuelsen, Annette; Schwinger, Jörg; Séférian, Roland; Stock, Charles A.; Tjiputra, Jerry; Tremblay, L. Bruno; Ueyoshi, Kyozo; Vichi, Marcello; Yool, Andrew; Zhang, Jinlun

    2016-12-01

    The relative skill of 21 regional and global biogeochemical models was assessed in terms of how well the models reproduced observed net primary productivity (NPP) and environmental variables such as nitrate concentration (NO3), mixed layer depth (MLD), euphotic layer depth (Zeu), and sea ice concentration, by comparing results against a newly updated, quality-controlled in situ NPP database for the Arctic Ocean (1959-2011). The models broadly captured the spatial features of integrated NPP (iNPP) on a pan-Arctic scale. Most models underestimated iNPP by varying degrees in spite of overestimating surface NO3, MLD, and Zeu throughout the regions. Among the models, iNPP exhibited little difference over sea ice condition (ice-free versus ice-influenced) and bottom depth (shelf versus deep ocean). The models performed relatively well for the most recent decade and toward the end of Arctic summer. In the Barents and Greenland Seas, regional model skill of surface NO3 was best associated with how well MLD was reproduced. Regionally, iNPP was relatively well simulated in the Beaufort Sea and the central Arctic Basin, where in situ NPP is low and nutrients are mostly depleted. Models performed less well at simulating iNPP in the Greenland and Chukchi Seas, despite the higher model skill in MLD and sea ice concentration, respectively. iNPP model skill was constrained by different factors in different Arctic Ocean regions. Our study suggests that better parameterization of biological and ecological microbial rates (phytoplankton growth and zooplankton grazing) are needed for improved Arctic Ocean biogeochemical modeling.

  4. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stow, D.A.; Hope, A.; McGuire, D.; Verbyla, D.; Gamon, J.; Huemmrich, F.; Houston, S.; Racine, C.; Sturm, M.; Tape, K.; Hinzman, L.; Yoshikawa, K.; Tweedie, C.; Noyle, B.; Silapaswan, C.; Douglas, D.; Griffith, B.; Jia, G.; Epstein, H.; Walker, D.; Daeschner, S.; Petersen, A.; Zhou, L.; Myneni, R.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review research conducted over the past decade on the application of multi-temporal remote sensing for monitoring changes of Arctic tundra lands. Emphasis is placed on results from the National Science Foundation Land-Air-Ice Interactions (LAII) program and on optical remote sensing techniques. Case studies demonstrate that ground-level sensors on stationary or moving track platforms and wide-swath imaging sensors on polar orbiting satellites are particularly useful for capturing optical remote sensing data at sufficient frequency to study tundra vegetation dynamics and changes for the cloud prone Arctic. Less frequent imaging with high spatial resolution instruments on aircraft and lower orbiting satellites enable more detailed analyses of land cover change and calibration/validation of coarser resolution observations. The strongest signals of ecosystem change detected thus far appear to correspond to expansion of tundra shrubs and changes in the amount and extent of thaw lakes and ponds. Changes in shrub cover and extent have been documented by modern repeat imaging that matches archived historical aerial photography. NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) time series provide a 20-year record for determining changes in greenness that relates to photosynthetic activity, net primary production, and growing season length. The strong contrast between land materials and surface waters enables changes in lake and pond extent to be readily measured and monitored. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Signs of the Land: Reaching Arctic Communities Facing Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparrow, E. B.; Chase, M. J.; Demientieff, S.; Pfirman, S. L.; Brunacini, J.

    2014-12-01

    In July 2014, a diverse and intergenerational group of Alaskan Natives came together on Howard Luke's Galee'ya Camp by the Tanana River in Fairbanks, Alaska to talk about climate change and it's impacts on local communities. Over a period of four days, the Signs of the Land Climate Change Camp wove together traditional knowledge, local observations, Native language, and climate science through a mix of storytelling, presentations, dialogue, and hands-on, community-building activities. This camp adapted the model developed several years ago under the Association for Interior Native Educators (AINE)'s Elder Academy. Part of the Polar Learning and Responding Climate Change Education Partnership, the Signs of the Land Climate Change Camp was developed and conducted collaboratively with multiple partners to test a model for engaging indigenous communities in the co-production of climate change knowledge, communication tools, and solutions-building. Native Alaskans have strong subsistence and cultural connections to the land and its resources, and, in addition to being keen observers of their environment, have a long history of adapting to changing conditions. Participants in the camp included Elders, classroom teachers, local resource managers and planners, community members, and climate scientists. Based on their experiences during the camp, participants designed individualized outreach plans for bringing culturally-responsive climate learning to their communities and classrooms throughout the upcoming year. Plans included small group discussions, student projects, teacher training, and conference presentations.

  6. Monitoring adaptive genetic responses to environmental change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, M.M.; Olivieri, I.; Waller, D.M.

    2012-01-01

    Widespread environmental changes including climate change, selective harvesting and landscape alterations now greatly affect selection regimes for most organisms. How animals and plants can adapt to these altered environments via contemporary evolution is thus of strong interest. We discuss how...... for selection and establishing clear links between genetic and environmental change. We then review a few exemplary studies that explore adaptive responses to climate change in Drosophila, selective responses to hunting and fishing, and contemporary evolution in Daphnia using resurrected resting eggs. We...

  7. Environmental management systems and organizational change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Tine Herreborg

    2000-01-01

    The establishment of an environmental management system and its continuous improvements is a process towards a reduction of the companies' and the products' environmental impact. The organizations' ability to change is crucial in order to establish a dynamic environmental management system...... and environmental management systems. The structure of the organizations has changed, the relationships with external partners have strengthened and the implementation of quality and environmental management systems has trimmed the organizations to manage and develop these areas. The organization analysis is based...... and to achieve continuous environmental improvements. The study of changes gives an insight into how organizations function, as well as their forces and barriers. This article focuses on the organizational changes that two companies have undergone from 1992 up until today in connection with their quality...

  8. More Arctic research needed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Susan

    The desire to achieve a balance between Arctic and Antarctic study was the message of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which heard testimony on the need for more Arctic research on April 24. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) noted that since 1986, study in the area has not increased as the National Science Foundation has claimed, but rather, owing to inflation, has merely kept pace. Robert Correll, assistant director of geosciences at NSF and chair of the Interagency Arctic Oceans Working Group, gave several reasons why the Arctic is an important area for study by the scientific community. Its unique environment, he said, makes it a natural laboratory. And due to its environmental sensitivity, it may provide one of the earliest indicators of global climate change. Also, its geographic location makes it a “window on space,” some of the world's largest mineral and petroleum resources are in the Arctic, and the region has great strategic and military importance.

  9. Response of the Arctic pteropod Limacina helicina to projected future environmental conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steeve Comeau

    Full Text Available Thecosome pteropods (pelagic mollusks can play a key role in the food web of various marine ecosystems. They are a food source for zooplankton or higher predators such as fishes, whales and birds that is particularly important in high latitude areas. Since they harbor a highly soluble aragonitic shell, they could be very sensitive to ocean acidification driven by the increase of anthropogenic CO(2 emissions. The effect of changes in the seawater chemistry was investigated on Limacina helicina, a key species of Arctic pelagic ecosystems. Individuals were kept in the laboratory under controlled pCO(2 levels of 280, 380, 550, 760 and 1020 microatm and at control (0 degrees C and elevated (4 degrees C temperatures. The respiration rate was unaffected by pCO(2 at control temperature, but significantly increased as a function of the pCO(2 level at elevated temperature. pCO(2 had no effect on the gut clearance rate at either temperature. Precipitation of CaCO(3, measured as the incorporation of (45Ca, significantly declined as a function of pCO(2 at both temperatures. The decrease in calcium carbonate precipitation was highly correlated to the aragonite saturation state. Even though this study demonstrates that pteropods are able to precipitate calcium carbonate at low aragonite saturation state, the results support the current concern for the future of Arctic pteropods, as the production of their shell appears to be very sensitive to decreased pH. A decline of pteropod populations would likely cause dramatic changes to various pelagic ecosystems.

  10. Towards a calculation of organic carbon release from erosion of Arctic coasts using non-fractal coastline datasets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lantuit, H.; Rachold, V.; Pollard, W. H.; Steenhuisen, F.; Odegard, R.; Hubberten, H. -W.

    2009-01-01

    Changing environmental conditions in the Arctic will affect patterns of coastal erosion processes and thus modify the carbon cycle in the Arctic Ocean. To address this issue, a coastal classification of the Arctic was established to provide the first reliable estimate of organic carbon input from co

  11. COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: TOWARDS ADVANCED UNDERSTANDING AND PREDICTIVE CAPABILITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ARCTIC USING A HIGH-RESOLUTION REGIONAL ARCTIC CLIMATE SYSTEM MODEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutowski, William J.

    2013-02-07

    The motivation for this project was to advance the science of climate change and prediction in the Arctic region. Its primary goals were to (i) develop a state-of-the-art Regional Arctic Climate system Model (RACM) including high-resolution atmosphere, land, ocean, sea ice and land hydrology components and (ii) to perform extended numerical experiments using high performance computers to minimize uncertainties and fundamentally improve current predictions of climate change in the northern polar regions. These goals were realized first through evaluation studies of climate system components via one-way coupling experiments. Simulations were then used to examine the effects of advancements in climate component systems on their representation of main physics, time-mean fields and to understand variability signals at scales over many years. As such this research directly addressed some of the major science objectives of the BER Climate Change Research Division (CCRD) regarding the advancement of long-term climate prediction.

  12. Little auks buffer the impact of current Arctic climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grémillet, David; Welcker, Jorg; Karnovsky, Nina J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate models predict a multi-degree warming of the North Atlantic in the 21st century. A research priority is to understand the impact of such changes upon marine organisms. With 40-80 million individuals, planktivorous little auks (Alle alle) are an essential component of pelagic food webs in ...

  13. Rapid Arctic change and implications for sea-ice use and its management at the local and regional level: An example from Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eicken, H.; Lovecraft, A. L.; Meek, C. L.; Druckenmiller, M. L.

    2008-12-01

    Reductions in sea-ice thickness and summer extent over the past few decades have been particularly pronounced in Alaska. This rapid environmental change coincides with significant socio-economic transformations, including increased ship traffic and offshore oil and gas development. Adaptation and response to these changes and regulation of coastal and offshore activities require environmental data and projections on seasonal to decadal timescales. Nascent Arctic observation networks are of great potential value in this context. However, in order for such observing and associated modeling activities to be useful, several criteria have to be met: (1) observations need to be relevant to stakeholders adapting or responding to a changing ice regime, (2) data products need to be accessible and interpretable by those they are meant to serve, and (3) institutions and governance strategies need to be in place to allow effective utilization of environmental data and information on changing ice conditions. We show how the concept of sea-ice system services can help guide observing programs, in particular in situations with conjoined uses of the ice cover. An example from our work in Arctic Alaska illustrates this concept for the use of sea ice as a platform by indigenous hunters, industry and marine mammals. Adaptive responses by different user groups to the substantial variability observed in local-scale ice conditions will require a significant effort in downscaling standard sea-ice data products and integrating new types of measurements. The challenge for ice-covered waters is that current approaches governing utilization of the sea-ice environment may not always be effective in addressing conjoined, potentially conflicting uses. The major transformations underway in the Arctic now provide us with an opportunity to explore and evaluate different approaches of observing, adapting and responding to change.

  14. Stakeholder perspectives on triage in wildlife monitoring in a rapidly changing Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen C Wheeler

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring activities provide a core contribution to wildlife conservation in the Arctic. Effective monitoring which allows changes in population status to be detected early, provides opportunities to mitigate pressures driving declines. Monitoring triage involves decisions about how and where to prioritise activities in species and ecosystem based monitoring. In particular, monitoring triage examines whether to divert resources away from species where there is high likelihood of extinction in the near-future in favour of species where monitoring activities may produce greater conservation benefits. As a place facing both rapid change with a high likelihood of population extinctions, and serious logistic and financial challenges for field data acquisition, the Arctic provides a good context in which to examine attitudes toward triage in monitoring.For effective decision-making to emerge from monitoring, multiple stakeholders must be involved in defining aims and priorities. We conducted semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in arctic wildlife monitoring (either contributing to observation and recording of wildlife, using information from wildlife observation and recording, or using wildlife as a resource to elicit their perspectives on triage in wildlife monitoring in the Arctic.The majority (56% of our 23 participants were predominantly in opposition to triage, 26% were in support of triage and 17% were undecided. Representatives of Indigenous organisations were more likely to be opposed to triage than scientists and those involved in decision-making showed greatest support for triage amongst the scientist participants. Responses to the concept of triage included that: 1 The species-focussed approach associated with triage did not match their more systems-based view (5 participants, 2 Important information is generated through monitoring threatened species which advances understanding of the drivers of change, responses and ecosystem

  15. The Detection of Change in the Arctic Using Satellite and Buoy Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.; Yang, J.; Honjo, S.; Krishfield, R.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The decade of the 1990s is the warmest decade of the last century while the year 1998 is the warmest year ever observed by modern techniques with 9 out of 12 months of the year being the warmest month. Since the Arctic is expected to provide early signals of a possible warming scenario, detailed examination of changes in the Arctic environment is important. In this study, we examined available satellite ice cover and surface temperature data, wind and pressure data, and ocean hydrographic data to gain insights into the warming phenomenon. The areas of open water in both western and eastern regions of the Arctic were found to follow a cyclical pattern with approximately decadal period but with a lag of about three years between the two regions. The pattern was interrupted by unusually large anomalies in open water area in the western region in 1993 and 1998 and in the eastern region in 1995. The big 1998 open water anomaly occurred at the same time when a large surface temperature anomaly was also occurring in the area and adjacent regions. The infrared temperature data show for the first time the complete spatial scope of the warming anomalies and it is apparent that despite the magnitude of the 1998 anomaly, it is basically confined to North America and the Western Arctic. The large increases in open water areas in the Western Sector form 1996 to 1998 were observed to be coherent with changing wind directions which was predominantly cyclonic in 1996 and anti-cyclonic in 1997 and 1998. Detailed hydrography measurements up to 500 m depth over the same general area in April 1996 and April 1997 also indicate significant freshening and warming in the upper part of the mixed layer suggesting increases in ice melt. Continuous ocean temperature and salinity data from ocean buoys confirm this result and show significant seasonal changes from 1996 to 1998, at depths of 8 m, 45 m, and 75 m. Long data records of temperature and hydrography were also examined and the potential

  16. Recent changes in Arctic sea ice melt onset, freezeup, and melt season length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markus, Thorsten; Stroeve, Julienne C.; Miller, Jeffrey

    2009-12-01

    In order to explore changes and trends in the timing of Arctic sea ice melt onset and freezeup, and therefore melt season length, we developed a method that obtains this information directly from satellite passive microwave data, creating a consistent data set from 1979 through present. We furthermore distinguish between early melt (the first day of the year when melt is detected) and the first day of continuous melt. A similar distinction is made for the freezeup. Using this method we analyze trends in melt onset and freezeup for 10 different Arctic regions. In all regions except for the Sea of Okhotsk, which shows a very slight and statistically insignificant positive trend (0.4 d decade-1), trends in melt onset are negative, i.e., toward earlier melt. The trends range from -1.0 d decade-1 for the Bering Sea to -7.3 d decade-1 for the East Greenland Sea. Except for the Sea of Okhotsk all areas also show a trend toward later autumn freeze onset. The Chukchi/Beaufort seas and Laptev/East Siberian seas observe the strongest trends with 7 d decade-1. For the entire Arctic, the melt season length has increased by about 20 days over the last 30 years. Largest trends of over 10 d decade-1 are seen for Hudson Bay, the East Greenland Sea, the Laptev/East Siberian seas, and the Chukchi/Beaufort seas. Those trends are statistically significant at the 99% level.

  17. Net primary productivity estimates and environmental variables in the Arctic Ocean: An assessment of coupled physical-biogeochemical models

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Younjoo J.; Matrai, Patricia A.; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M; Vincent S. Saba; Aumont, Olivier; Babin, Marcel; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Chevallier, Matthieu; de Mora, Lee; Dessert, Morgane; Dunne, John P.; Ellingsen, Ingrid; Feldman, Doron; Frouin, Robert; Gehlen, Marion

    2016-01-01

    The relative skill of 21 regional and global biogeochemical models was assessed in terms of how well the models reproduced observed net primary productivity (NPP) and environmental variables such as nitrate concentration (NO3), mixed layer depth (MLD), euphotic layer depth (Zeu), and sea ice concentration, by comparing results against a newly updated, quality-controlled in situ NPP database for the Arctic Ocean (1959-2011). The models broadly captured the spatial features of integrated NPP (i...

  18. Abrupt Climate Change in the Arctic (and Beyond): An Update (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, R. B.

    2013-12-01

    Our understanding of future Arctic change is informed by the history of past changes, which often have been both large and abrupt. The well-known ice-age events such as the Younger Dryas show how sea-ice changes can amplify forcing to produce very large responses, with wintertime sea ice especially important. These changes are increasingly seen to have played a central role in the ice-age cycling through their global impact on CO2 storage in the deep ocean. The Heinrich events reveal processes of ice-sheet/ocean interaction, some of which are being played out in Greenland and Antarctica now, and which may have large future effects on sea-level rise. The paleoclimatic record plus physical understanding greatly reduce the worst worries about instabilities from methane stored in cold places, but tend to support a role in amplifying future warming. Overall, the very large impacts of past Arctic changes, and the likelihood that future changes under business-as-usual fossil-fuel emissions will be unprecedented in combined size and speed, raise important questions.

  19. Flux variations and vertical distributions of microzooplankton (Radiolaria in the western Arctic Ocean: environmental indices in a warming Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Ikenoue

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The vertical distribution of radiolarians was investigated using a vertical multiple plankton sampler (100–0, 250–100, 500–250 and 1000–500 m water depths, 62 μm mesh size at the Northwind Abyssal Plain and southwestern Canada Basin in September 2013. To investigate seasonal variations in the flux of radiolarians in relation to sea-ice and water masses, time series sediment trap system was moored at Station NAP (75°00' N, 162°00' W, bottom depth 1975 m in the western Arctic Ocean during October 2010–September 2012. We showed characteristics of fourteen abundant radiolarian taxa related to the vertical hydrographic structure in the western Arctic Ocean. We found the Ceratocyrtis histricosus, a warm Atlantic water species, in net samples, indicating that it has extended its habitat into the Pacific Winter Water. The radiolarian flux was comparable to that in the North Pacific Oceans. Amphimelissa setosa was dominant during the open water and the beginning and the end of ice cover seasons with well-grown ice algae, ice fauna and with alternation of stable water masses and deep vertical mixing. During the sea-ice cover season, however, oligotrophic and cold-water tolerant Actinommidae was dominant and the productivity of radiolaria was lower and its species diversity was greater, which might be associated with the seasonal increase of solar radiation that induce the growth of algae on the ice and the other phytoplankton species under the sea-ice. These indicated that the dynamics of sea-ice was a major factor affecting the productivity, distribution, and composition of radiolarian fauna.

  20. Does Change in the Arctic Sea Ice Indicate Climate Change? A Lesson Using Geospatial Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Judith K.

    2011-01-01

    The Arctic sea ice has not since melted to the 2007 extent, but annual summer melt extents do continue to be less than the decadal average. Climate fluctuations are well documented by geologic records. Averages are usually based on a minimum of 10 years of averaged data. It is typical for fluctuations to occur from year to year and season to…

  1. Adapting to a Changing World: The United States, Climate Change, and the Arctic Maritime Commons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-05

    ice brings. Like the gold rush that followed the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1849, the opening of the Arctic is resulting in a new gold ... rush , on an international scale, to secure access to the oil the region might contain. 2 The

  2. Why unprecedented ozone loss in the Arctic in 2011? Is it related to climatic change?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-P. Pommereau

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available An unprecedented ozone loss occurred in the Arctic in spring 2011. The details of the event are re-visited from the twice-daily total ozone and NO2 columns measurements of the eight SAOZ/NDACC (Système d'Analyse par Observation Zénitale/Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition Changes stations in the Arctic. It is shown that the total ozone depletion in the polar vortex reached 38% (approx. 170 DU by the end of March that is larger than the 30% of the previous record in 1996. Asides from the long extension of the cold stratospheric NAT PSC period, the amplitude of the event is shown to be resulting from a record daily total ozone loss rate of 0.7% day���1 after mid-February, never seen before in the Arctic but similar to that observed in the Antarctic over the last 20 yr. This high loss rate is attributed to the absence of NOx in the vortex until the final warming, in contrast to all previous winters where, as shown by the early increase of NO2 diurnal increase, partial renoxification is occurring by import of NOx or HNO3 from the outside after minor warming episodes, leading to partial chlorine deactivation.

    The cause of the absence of renoxification and thus of high loss rate, is attributed to a vortex strength similar to that of the Antarctic but never seen before in the Arctic. The total ozone reduction on 20 March was identical to that of the 2002 Antarctic winter, which ended around 20 September, and a 15-day extension of the cold period would have been enough to reach the mean yearly amplitude of the Antarctic ozone hole. However there is no sign of trend since 1994, neither in PSC volume, early winter denitrification, late vortex renoxification, and vortex strength nor in total ozone loss. The unprecedented large Arctic ozone loss in 2011 appears to resulting from an extreme meteorological event and there is no indication of possible strengthening

  3. Why unprecedented ozone loss in the Arctic in 2011? Is it related to climate change?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-P. Pommereau

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available An unprecedented ozone loss occurred in the Arctic in spring 2011. The details of the event are revisited from the twice-daily total ozone and NO2 column measurements of the eight SAOZ/NDACC (Système d'Analyse par Observation Zénithale/Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition Changes stations in the Arctic. It is shown that the total ozone depletion in the polar vortex reached 38% (approx. 170 DU by the end of March, which is larger than the 30% of the previous record in 1996. Aside from the long extension of the cold stratospheric NAT PSC period, the amplitude of the event is shown to be resulting from a record daily total ozone loss rate of 0.7% d−1 after mid-February, never seen before in the Arctic but similar to that observed in the Antarctic over the last 20 yr. This high loss rate is attributed to the absence of NOx in the vortex until the final warming, in contrast to all previous winters where, as shown by the early increase of NO2 diurnal increase, partial renoxification occurs by import of NOx or HNO3 from the outside after minor warming episodes, leading to partial chlorine deactivation. The cause of the absence of renoxification and thus of high loss rate, is attributed to a vortex strength similar to that of the Antarctic but never seen before in the Arctic. The total ozone reduction on 20 March was identical to that of the 2002 Antarctic winter, which ended around 20 September, and a 15-day extension of the cold period would have been enough to reach the mean yearly amplitude of the Antarctic ozone hole. However there is no sign of trend since 1994, either in PSC (polar stratospheric cloud volume (volume of air cold enough to allow formation of PSCs, early winter denitrification, late vortex renoxification, and vortex strength or in total ozone loss. The unprecedented large Arctic ozone loss in 2011 appears to result from an extreme meteorological event and there is no indication of possible strengthening related to

  4. Arctic Vortex changes alter the sources and isotopic values of precipitation in northeastern US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puntsag, Tamir; Mitchell, Myron J.; Campbell, John L.; Klein, Eric S.; Likens, Gene E.; Welker, Jeffrey M.

    2016-03-01

    Altered atmospheric circulation, reductions in Arctic sea ice, ocean warming, and changes in evaporation and transpiration are driving changes in the global hydrologic cycle. Precipitation isotopic (δ18O and δ2H) measurements can help provide a mechanistic understanding of hydrologic change at global and regional scales. To study the changing water cycle in the northeastern US, we examined the longest (1968–2010) record of precipitation isotope values, collected at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, US (43o56‧N, 71o45‧W). We found a significant reduction in δ18O and δ2H values over the 43-year record, coupled with a significant increase in d-excess values. This gradual reduction in δ18O and δ2H values unexpectedly occurred during a period of regional warming. We provide evidence that these changes are governed by the interactions among the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, loss of Arctic sea ice, the fluctuating jet stream, and regular incursions of polar air into the northeastern US.

  5. Monitoring Arctic sea ice phenology change using hypertemporal remotely sensed data: 1989-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Wenxia; LeDrew, Ellsworth

    2016-07-01

    Arctic sea ice has undergone a significant decline in recent years. Previous studies have demonstrated that the annual sea ice cycle has experienced earlier melt and later freeze up, leading to a significant reduction in minimum sea ice extents and the lengthening of the melting season. The Arctic is being transformed into a regime of widespread seasonal ice with a large loss of old and thick multiyear ice in recent years. However, the sea ice change exhibits considerable interannual and regional variability at different spatial and temporal scales. In this study, we present a new method for hypertemporal sea ice data change detection based on the annual sea ice concentration (SIC) profile for the melt months of each year. A decision tree-based classification is adopted to group pixels with similar annual SIC profiles, and a phenology map of each year is generated for visualization. The phenoregion map visualizes the spatial and temporal configurations of ice melt process for a year. The change detection objective is achieved by comparing the phenoregion number of the same pixel in different years. The algorithm further leads to interpretation of anomalies to obtain change maps at the pixel level. Compared to previous sea ice studies that mainly focused on a particular spatial region and commonly use time period averages, the proposed pixel-based approach has the potential to map sea ice data change both temporally and spatially.

  6. Response of Arctic marine microalgae to changes of salinity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    An algal assemblage collected from the bottom of floe in the Greenland Sea was batchcultured at 1 ± 1℃ and 10 salinity gradients varied from 4.0 to 90.8 for 19 d. The growth for both the algal community and individual populations was characterized by an initial lag phase of six days followed by positive growth. Maximum growth rates were obtained as 0.19/d for the algal community and 0.32 to 0.39 d- 1 for individual populations for the whole experiment period, which mostly occurred at the lower salinities. The competition between the algal species and the evolution of the algal assemblages under the salinity changes was checked. After 14-d culture, the dominating algae in the lower salinities were centric diatoms, pennate diatoms and phytoflagellates, while ones in the higher salinities almost belonged to pennate diatoms. It is suggested that the sea ice algal community from the Greenland Sea prefer lower salinities to higher ones, and the decrease in salinity in small ranges could stimulate the growth of sea ice algae.

  7. Marine Arctic science capability making big strides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Leonard; Brass, Garrett

    The profound influence of the Arctic Ocean on global environment, the rapid variability of Arctic processes, and the unresolved geology of the ocean floor have led to growing scientific interest in this region. Ongoing studies are investigating recent historical processes and modern processes such as changes in ocean circulation and ice cover patterns. Sediments beneath the Arctic Ocean record long- and short-term waxing and waning of the cryosphere in the Northern Hemisphere and its linkages to bottom water renewal and faunal adaptation. Underlying basement rocks reflect the tectonic history of the ocean basin, including its ridges and plateaus, which are unsampled and of unknown composition and origin. The vulnerability of Arctic populations to environmental problems makes the need to understand the region even more compelling (see, for example, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, 1997; also see Web site http://www.grida.no/amap).

  8. Arctic Watch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orcutt, John; Baggeroer, Arthur; Mikhalevsky, Peter; Munk, Walter; Sagen, Hanne; Vernon, Frank; Worcester, Peter

    2015-04-01

    The dramatic reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will increase human activities in the coming years. This will be driven by increased demand for energy and the marine resources of an Arctic Ocean more accessible to ships. Oil and gas exploration, fisheries, mineral extraction, marine transportation, research and development, tourism and search and rescue will increase the pressure on the vulnerable Arctic environment. Synoptic in-situ year-round observational technologies are needed to monitor and forecast changes in the Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean system at daily, seasonal, annual and decadal scales to inform and enable sustainable development and enforcement of international Arctic agreements and treaties, while protecting this critical environment. This paper will discuss multipurpose acoustic networks, including subsea cable components, in the Arctic. These networks provide communication, power, underwater and under-ice navigation, passive monitoring of ambient sound (ice, seismic, biologic and anthropogenic), and acoustic remote sensing (tomography and thermometry), supporting and complementing data collection from platforms, moorings and autonomous vehicles. This paper supports the development and implementation of regional to basin-wide acoustic networks as an integral component of a multidisciplinary, in situ Arctic Ocean Observatory.

  9. Habitat-specific effects of climate change on a low-mobility Arctic spider species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bowden, Joseph James; Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Olsen, Kent;

    2015-01-01

    habitats. Such differences between habitats may influence the effects of climate changes on animals and this could be especially true in low-mobility species. Suitable model systems to test this idea, however, are rare. We examined how proxies of reproductive success (body size, juvenile/female ratios......Abstract Terrestrial ecosystems are heterogeneous habitat mosaics of varying vegetation types that are differentially affected by climate change. Arctic plant communities, for example, are changing faster in moist habitats than in dry habitats and abiotic changes like snowmelt vary locally among......) and sex ratios have changed in low-mobility crab spiders collected systematically over a 17-year period (1996–2012) from two distinct habitats (mesic and arid dwarf shrub heath) at Zackenberg in northeast Greenland. We identified all adults in the collection to confirm that they represented just one...

  10. Adaptation of mammalian host-pathogen interactions in a changing arctic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hueffer, Karsten; O'Hara, Todd M; Follmann, Erich H

    2011-03-11

    Many arctic mammals are adapted to live year-round in extreme environments with low winter temperatures and great seasonal variations in key variables (e.g. sunlight, food, temperature, moisture). The interaction between hosts and pathogens in high northern latitudes is not very well understood with respect to intra-annual cycles (seasons). The annual cycles of interacting pathogen and host biology is regulated in part by highly synchronized temperature and photoperiod changes during seasonal transitions (e.g., freezeup and breakup). With a warming climate, only one of these key biological cues will undergo drastic changes, while the other will remain fixed. This uncoupling can theoretically have drastic consequences on host-pathogen interactions. These poorly understood cues together with a changing climate by itself will challenge host populations that are adapted to pathogens under the historic and current climate regime. We will review adaptations of both host and pathogens to the extreme conditions at high latitudes and explore some potential consequences of rapid changes in the Arctic.

  11. Adaptation of mammalian host-pathogen interactions in a changing arctic environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O'Hara Todd M

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Many arctic mammals are adapted to live year-round in extreme environments with low winter temperatures and great seasonal variations in key variables (e.g. sunlight, food, temperature, moisture. The interaction between hosts and pathogens in high northern latitudes is not very well understood with respect to intra-annual cycles (seasons. The annual cycles of interacting pathogen and host biology is regulated in part by highly synchronized temperature and photoperiod changes during seasonal transitions (e.g., freezeup and breakup. With a warming climate, only one of these key biological cues will undergo drastic changes, while the other will remain fixed. This uncoupling can theoretically have drastic consequences on host-pathogen interactions. These poorly understood cues together with a changing climate by itself will challenge host populations that are adapted to pathogens under the historic and current climate regime. We will review adaptations of both host and pathogens to the extreme conditions at high latitudes and explore some potential consequences of rapid changes in the Arctic.

  12. Adaptation of mammalian host-pathogen interactions in a changing arctic environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Many arctic mammals are adapted to live year-round in extreme environments with low winter temperatures and great seasonal variations in key variables (e.g. sunlight, food, temperature, moisture). The interaction between hosts and pathogens in high northern latitudes is not very well understood with respect to intra-annual cycles (seasons). The annual cycles of interacting pathogen and host biology is regulated in part by highly synchronized temperature and photoperiod changes during seasonal transitions (e.g., freezeup and breakup). With a warming climate, only one of these key biological cues will undergo drastic changes, while the other will remain fixed. This uncoupling can theoretically have drastic consequences on host-pathogen interactions. These poorly understood cues together with a changing climate by itself will challenge host populations that are adapted to pathogens under the historic and current climate regime. We will review adaptations of both host and pathogens to the extreme conditions at high latitudes and explore some potential consequences of rapid changes in the Arctic. PMID:21392401

  13. Global environmental change and sustainable development

    OpenAIRE

    Pardo Buendía, Mercedes

    2008-01-01

    The UC3M group of “Global environmental change and sustainable development: social trends and emerging policies” offers its experience on the following fields: • Sustainable Development. • Environmental Education. • Agenda 21. • Sustainable Cities and Sustainable Land Planning. • Environmental Impact Evaluation. • Sustainable Transport and Mobility. • Social Management and Saving Policies (energy, waste, water, noise). Within this framework, the work of this research g...

  14. Environmental Awareness Campaign: The Change It Brings

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The study was conducted to determine the awareness and sensitivity of the younger generation in environmental issues such global warming, climate change and waste management. Data were gathered from selected students who attended the environmental awareness seminar held at Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna in 2011. There were 54 students who participated in the survey. The respondents had participated in several activities related to environmental issues which include attendance ...

  15. Last straw versus Blitzkrieg overkill: Climate-driven changes in the Arctic Siberian mammoth population and the Late Pleistocene extinction problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolskiy, P. A.; Sulerzhitsky, L. D.; Pitulko, V. V.

    2011-08-01

    A set of radiocarbon dates on woolly mammoth were obtained from several regions of Arctic Siberia: the New Siberian Islands ( n = 68), north of the Yana-Indigirka Lowland ( n = 43), and the Taimyr Peninsula ( n = 18). Based on these and earlier published dates ( n = 201) from the East Arctic, a comparative analysis of the time-related density distribution of 14C dates was conducted. It was shown that the frequencies of 14C dates under certain conditions reflect temporal fluctuations in mammoth numbers. At the end of the Pleistocene the number of mammoths in the East Arctic changed in a cyclic manner in keeping with a general "Milankovitch-like" trend. The fluctuations in numbers at the end of the Pleistocene occurred synchronously with paleoenvironmental changes controlled by global climatic change. There were three minima of relative mammoth numbers during the last 50 000 years: 22 000, 14 500-19 000, and 9500 radiocarbon years ago, or around 26 000, 16-20 000, and 10 500 calendar years respectively. The last mammoths lived on the New Siberian Islands, which were connected to the continent at that time, 9470 ± 40 radiocarbon years ago (10 700 ± 70 calendar years BP). This new youngest date approximates the extinction time of mammoths in the last continental refugium of the Holarctic. The adverse combination of environmental parameters was apparently a major factor in the critical reduction in mammoth numbers. The dispersal of humans into the Arctic areas of Siberia no later than 28 000 radiocarbon years ago did not overtly influence animal numbers. Humans were not responsible for the destruction of a sustainable mammoth population. The expanding human population could have become fatal to mammoths during strong the minima of their numbers, one of which occurred at the very beginning of the Holocene.

  16. Environmental change enhances cognitive abilities in fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Kotrschal

    Full Text Available Flexible or innovative behavior is advantageous, especially when animals are exposed to frequent and unpredictable environmental perturbations. Improved cognitive abilities can help animals to respond quickly and adequately to environmental dynamics, and therefore changing environments may select for higher cognitive abilities. Increased cognitive abilities can be attained, for instance, if environmental change during ontogeny triggers plastic adaptive responses improving the learning capacity of exposed individuals. We tested the learning abilities of fishes in response to experimental variation of environmental quality during ontogeny. Individuals of the cichlid fish Simochromis pleurospilus that experienced a change in food ration early in life outperformed fish kept on constant rations in a learning task later in life--irrespective of the direction of the implemented change and the mean rations received. This difference in learning abilities between individuals remained constant between juvenile and adult stages of the same fish tested 1 y apart. Neither environmental enrichment nor training through repeated neural stimulation can explain our findings, as the sensory environment was kept constant and resource availability was changed only once. Instead, our results indicate a pathway by which a single change in resource availability early in life permanently enhances the learning abilities of animals. Early perturbations of environmental quality may signal the developing individual that it lives in a changing world, requiring increased cognitive abilities to construct adequate behavioral responses.

  17. Relationships between ecosystem metabolism, benthic macroinvertebrate densities, and environmental variables in a sub-arctic Alaskan river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Emily R.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Clapcott, Joanne E.; Hughes, Nicholas F.

    2013-01-01

    Relationships between environmental variables, ecosystem metabolism, and benthos are not well understood in sub-arctic ecosystems. The goal of this study was to investigate environmental drivers of river ecosystem metabolism and macroinvertebrate density in a sub-arctic river. We estimated primary production and respiration rates, sampled benthic macroinvertebrates, and monitored light intensity, discharge rate, and nutrient concentrations in the Chena River, interior Alaska, over two summers. We employed Random Forests models to identify predictor variables for metabolism rates and benthic macroinvertebrate density and biomass, and calculated Spearman correlations between in-stream nutrient levels and metabolism rates. Models indicated that discharge and length of time between high water events were the most important factors measured for predicting metabolism rates. Discharge was the most important variable for predicting benthic macroinvertebrate density and biomass. Primary production rate peaked at intermediate discharge, respiration rate was lowest at the greatest time since last high water event, and benthic macroinvertebrate density was lowest at high discharge rates. The ratio of dissolved inorganic nitrogen to soluble reactive phosphorus ranged from 27:1 to 172:1. We found that discharge plays a key role in regulating stream ecosystem metabolism, but that low phosphorous levels also likely limit primary production in this sub-arctic stream.

  18. Arctic sea ice in transformation: A review of recent observed changes and impacts on biology and human activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Walter N.; Hovelsrud, Greta K.; Oort, Bob E. H.; Key, Jeffrey R.; Kovacs, Kit M.; Michel, Christine; Haas, Christian; Granskog, Mats A.; Gerland, Sebastian; Perovich, Donald K.; Makshtas, Alexander; Reist, James D.

    2014-09-01

    Sea ice in the Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing components of the global climate system. Over the past few decades, summer areal extent has declined over 30%, and all months show statistically significant declining trends. New satellite missions and techniques have greatly expanded information on sea ice thickness, but many uncertainties remain in the satellite data and long-term records are sparse. However, thickness observations and other satellite-derived data indicate a 40% decline in thickness, due in large part to the loss of thicker, older ice cover. The changes in sea ice are happening faster than models have projected. With continued increasing temperatures, summer ice-free conditions are likely sometime in the coming decades, though there are substantial uncertainties in the exact timing and high interannual variability will remain as sea ice decreases. The changes in Arctic sea ice are already having an impact on flora and fauna in the Arctic. Some species will face increasing challenges in the future, while new habitat will open up for other species. The changes are also affecting people living and working in the Arctic. Native communities are facing challenges to their traditional ways of life, while new opportunities open for shipping, fishing, and natural resource extraction. Significant progress has been made in recent years in understanding of Arctic sea ice and its role in climate, the ecosystem, and human activities. However, significant challenges remain in furthering the knowledge of the processes, impacts, and future evolution of the system.

  19. Climate change and water security with a focus on the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgitta Evengard

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Water is of fundamental importance for human life; access to water of good quality is of vital concern for mankind. Currently however, the situation is under severe pressure due to several stressors that have a clear impact on access to water. In the Arctic, climate change is having an impact on water availability by melting glaciers, decreasing seasonal rates of precipitation, increasing evapotranspiration, and drying lakes and rivers existing in permafrost grounds. Water quality is also being impacted as manmade pollutants stored in the environment are released, lowland areas are flooded with salty ocean water during storms, turbidity from permafrost-driven thaw and erosion is increased, and the growth or emergence of natural pollutants are increased. By 2030 it is estimated that the world will need to produce 50% more food and energy which means a continuous increase in demand for water. Decisionmakers will have to very clearly include life quality aspects of future generations in the work as impact of ongoing changes will be noticeable, in many cases, in the future. This article will focus on effects of climate-change on water security with an Arctic perspective giving some examples from different countries how arising problems are being addressed.

  20. Climate change and water security with a focus on the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evengard, Birgitta; Berner, Jim; Brubaker, Michael; Mulvad, Gert; Revich, Boris

    2011-01-01

    Water is of fundamental importance for human life; access to water of good quality is of vital concern for mankind. Currently however, the situation is under severe pressure due to several stressors that have a clear impact on access to water. In the Arctic, climate change is having an impact on water availability by melting glaciers, decreasing seasonal rates of precipitation, increasing evapotranspiration, and drying lakes and rivers existing in permafrost grounds. Water quality is also being impacted as manmade pollutants stored in the environment are released, lowland areas are flooded with salty ocean water during storms, turbidity from permafrost-driven thaw and erosion is increased, and the growth or emergence of natural pollutants are increased. By 2030 it is estimated that the world will need to produce 50% more food and energy which means a continuous increase in demand for water. Decisionmakers will have to very clearly include life quality aspects of future generations in the work as impact of ongoing changes will be noticeable, in many cases, in the future. This article will focus on effects of climate-change on water security with an Arctic perspective giving some examples from different countries how arising problems are being addressed.

  1. Climate change and infectious diseases in the Arctic: establishment of a circumpolar working group

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan J. Parkinson

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic, even more so than other parts of the world, has warmed substantially over the past few decades. Temperature and humidity influence the rate of development, survival and reproduction of pathogens and thus the incidence and prevalence of many infectious diseases. Higher temperatures may also allow infected host species to survive winters in larger numbers, increase the population size and expand their habitat range. The impact of these changes on human disease in the Arctic has not been fully evaluated. There is concern that climate change may shift the geographic and temporal distribution of a range of infectious diseases. Many infectious diseases are climate sensitive, where their emergence in a region is dependent on climate-related ecological changes. Most are zoonotic diseases, and can be spread between humans and animals by arthropod vectors, water, soil, wild or domestic animals. Potentially climate-sensitive zoonotic pathogens of circumpolar concern include Brucella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella spp., Clostridium botulinum, Francisella tularensis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Bacillus anthracis, Echinococcus spp., Leptospira spp., Giardia spp., Cryptosporida spp., Coxiella burnetti, rabies virus, West Nile virus, Hantaviruses, and tick-borne encephalitis viruses.

  2. Snow on Arctic sea ice: model representation and last decade changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Castro-Morales

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Together with sea ice, Arctic snow has experienced vast changes during the last decade due to a warming climate. Thus, it is relevant to study the past and present changes of Arctic snow to understand the implications to the sea ice component, precipitation, heat and radiation budgets. In this study, we analyze the changes of snow depth between 2000 and 2013 at regional scale represented in an Arctic coupled sea ice-general circulation model. We evaluate the model performance by direct comparison of the modeled snow depths (hs_mod to snow depths from radar measurements from the NASA Operation IceBridge (hs_OIB during the flight campaigns completed from 2009 to 2013. Despite the description of the snow in our model is simple (i.e. single layer without explicit snow redistribution processes as in many current sea-ice models; the latitudinal distribution of hs_mod in the western Arctic is in good agreement to observations. The hs_mod is on average 3 cm thicker than hs_OIB in latitudes > 76° N. According to the model results, the hs in 2013 decreased 21 % with respect to the multi-year mean between 2000 and 2013. This snow reduction occurred mainly in FYI dominated areas, and is in good agreement to the year-to-year loss of sea ice, also well reproduced by the model. In a simple snow mass budget, our results show that 65 % of the yearly accumulated snow is lost by sublimation and snowmelt due to the heat transfer between the snow/ice interface and the atmosphere. Although the snow layer accumulates again every year, the long-term reduction in the summer sea-ice extent ultimately affects the maximum spring accumulation of snow. The model results exhibit a last decade thinning of the snowpack that is however one order of magnitude lower than previous estimates based on radar measurements. We suggest that the later is partially due to the lack of explicit snow redistribution processes in the model, emphasizing the need to include these in current sea

  3. Environmental Contaminants in American and Arctic Peregrine Falcon Eggs in Alaska, 1979-95

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Arctic and American peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius and F. p. anatum) were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Preservation Act (1969) in...

  4. Environmental contaminants in three eider species from Alaska and Arctic Russia

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This study provides baseline data on contaminant concentrations in three eider species from coastal areas of western and northern Alaska and arctic Russia....

  5. Arctic marine fishes and their fisheries in light of global change

    OpenAIRE

    Jørgen S. Christiansen; Mecklenburg, Catherine W; Karamushko, Oleg V

    2013-01-01

    In light of ocean warming and loss of Arctic sea ice, harvested marine fishes of boreal origin (and their fisheries) move poleward into yet unexploited parts of the Arctic seas. Industrial fisheries, already in place on many Arctic shelves, will radically affect the local fish species as they turn up as unprecedented bycatch. Arctic marine fishes are indispensable to ecosystem structuring and functioning, but they are still beyond credible assessment due to lack of basic biological data. The ...

  6. Numerical simulation of the impact of underlying surface changes on Arctic climate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xiying; XIA Huasheng

    2014-01-01

    Using a regional atmospheric model for Arctic climate simulation, two groups of numerical experiments were carried out to study the inlfuence of changes in the underlying surface (land surface, sea surface, and sea ice (LS/SS/SI)) from mild ice years to severe ice years on Arctic climate. In each experiment in the same group, the initial values and lateral boundary conditions were identical. The underlying surface conditions were updated every six hours. The model was integrated for 10 a and monthly mean results were saved for analysis. Variations in annual mean surface air temperature were closely correlated with changes in LS/SS/SI, with a maximum change of more than 15 K. The impact of changes in LS/SS/SI on low-level air temperature was also evident, with signiifcant changes seen over the ocean. However, the maximum change was less than 2 K. For air temperature above 700 hPa, the impact of LS/SS/SI changes was not signiifcant. The distribution of annual mean sea level pressure differences was coincident with the distribution of annual mean sea ice concentration. The difference centers were located in the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, and the East Siberian Sea, with the maximum value exceeding 3 hPa. For geopotential height, some results passed and some failed at-test. For results passing thet-test, the area of signiifcance did not decrease with height. There was a signiifcant difference at high levels, with a value of 27 gpm in the difference center at 200 hPa.

  7. The Impact of Climate Change on Microbial Communities and Carbon Cycling in High Arctic Permafrost Soil from Spitsbergen, Northern Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Leon, K. C.; Schwery, D.; Yoshikawa, K.; Christiansen, H. H.; Pearce, D.

    2014-12-01

    Permafrost-affected soils are among the most fragile ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of climate change. Warmer conditions in the high Arctic will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer of permafrost, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. The viable and non-viable fractions of the microbial community in a permafrost soil from Adventdalen, Spitsbergen, Norway were subjected to a comprehensive investigation using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Molecular analyses using FISH (with CTC-DAPI) and amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) on a 257cm deep core, revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups, with the active layer having more viable cells, and a higher microbial community diversity. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux measurements were performed to show the amount of C stored in the sample. We demonstrated that the microbial community composition from the soil in the center of the core was most likely influenced by small scale variations in environmental conditions. Community structure showed distinct shift of presence of bacterial groups along the vertical temperature gradient profile and microbial counts and diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing with depth. It was observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied across the permafrost table. Data on the variability of CO2 and CH4 distribution described in peat structure heterogeneity are important for modeling emissions on a larger scale. Furthermore, linking microbial biomass to gas distribution may elucidate the cause of peak CO2 and CH4 and their changes in relation to environmental change and peat composition.

  8. Impact of climate change on zooplankton communities, seabird populations and arctic terrestrial ecosystem—A scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stempniewicz, Lech; Błachowiak-Samołyk, Katarzyna; Węsławski, Jan M.

    2007-11-01

    Many arctic terrestrial ecosystems suffer from a permanent deficiency of nutrients. Marine birds that forage at sea and breed on land can transport organic matter from the sea to land, and thus help to initiate and sustain terrestrial ecosystems. This organic matter initiates the emergence of local tundra communities, increasing primary and secondary production and species diversity. Climate change will influence ocean circulation and the hydrologic regime, which will consequently lead to a restructuring of zooplankton communities between cold arctic waters, with a dominance of large zooplankton species, and Atlantic waters in which small species predominate. The dominance of large zooplankton favours plankton-eating seabirds, such as the little auk ( Alle alle), while the presence of small zooplankton redirects the food chain to plankton-eating fish, up through to fish-eating birds (e.g., guillemots Uria sp.). Thus, in regions where the two water masses compete for dominance, such as in the Barents Sea, plankton-eating birds should dominate the avifauna in cold periods and recess in warmer periods, when fish-eaters should prevail. Therefore under future anthropogenic climate scenarios, there could be serious consequences for the structure and functioning of the terrestrial part of arctic ecosystems, due in part to changes in the arctic marine avifauna. Large colonies of plankton-eating little auks are located on mild mountain slopes, usually a few kilometres from the shore, whereas colonies of fish-eating guillemots are situated on rocky cliffs at the coast. The impact of guillemots on the terrestrial ecosystems is therefore much smaller than for little auks because of the rapid washing-out to sea of the guano deposited on the seabird cliffs. These characteristics of seabird nesting sites dramatically limit the range of occurrence of ornithogenic soils, and the accompanying flora and fauna, to locations where talus-breeding species occur. As a result of climate

  9. Competition of NAO regime changes and increasing greenhouse gases and aerosols with respect to Arctic climate projections

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dorn, W.; Dethloff, K.; Rinke, A. [Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Telegrafenberg A43, 14473 Potsdam (Germany); Roeckner, E. [Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 55, 20146 Hamburg (Germany)

    2003-11-01

    Regional magnitudes and patterns of Arctic winter climate changes in consequence of regime changes of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) are analyzed using a regional atmospheric climate model. The regional model has been driven with data of positive and negative NAO phases from a control simulation as well as from a time-dependent greenhouse gas and aerosol scenario simulation. Both global model simulations include a quite realistic interannual variability of the NAO with pronounced decadal regime changes and no or rather weak long-term NAO trends. The results indicate that the effects of NAO regime changes on Arctic winter temperatures and precipitation are regionally significant over most of northwestern Eurasia and parts of Greenland. In this regard, mean winter temperature variations of up to 6 K may occur over northern Europe. Precipitation and synoptic variability are also regionally modified by NAO regime changes, but not as significantly as temperatures. However, the climate changes associated with the NAO are in some regions clearly stronger than those attributed to enhanced greenhouse gases and aerosols, indicating that projected global changes of the atmospheric composition and internal circulation changes are competing with each other in their importance for the Arctic climate evolution in the near future. The knowledge of the future NAO trend on decadal and longer time scales appears to be vitally important in terms of a regional assessment of climate scenarios for the Arctic. (orig.)

  10. Nye Lecture: Snow Crystals, Shrubs, and the Changing Climate of the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturm, M.

    2005-12-01

    At the peak of winter, snow covers more than 45 million km2 of the northern hemisphere. More than 90 percent of this snow will melt before the end of the following summer. In the southern part of this snow-covered area, the seasonal pack is ephemeral, lasting but a few short weeks, but with increasing latitude (or altitude), it lasts much longer. In arctic and alpine locations it can persist for 9 months of the year. In these more extreme locations, the snow is an essential element of the ecosystem, both acting upon, and being acted on, by the biota. For historical reasons, our understanding of snow cover and its interactions has come from two disparate scientific sources: geophysicists working on glaciers and avalanches who were trying to understand snow properties and to develop a physical basis for snow science, and ecologists who were trying to understand the impact of snow on plants, animals, and humans. With the recognition now that snow is both a passive and active agent, we are seeing an increasing number of studies wherein both of these traditional approaches are combined. Geophysicists are learning the Latin names of shrubs while botanist can now identify wind slab. A personal example that illustrates the necessity of this melding process has been our effort to understand the climatic implications of Arctic snow-shrub interactions. We have had to combine traditional snow geophysical studies (i.e., crystal growth, thermal processes, light reflection) with traditional ecological studies (i.e., competition, carbon and nitrogen cycling). Through this process we have discovered that snow-shrub interactions, or more broadly, snow-vegetation interactions, are helping to push the Arctic down a warming trajectory that has global implications. Soil microbes and snow crystals, wind-blown snow and shrubs, are all leading actors in a climate change drama whose outcome is of concern to us all.

  11. Recent Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Melt Onset, Freeze-Up, and Melt Season Length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markus, Thorsten; Stroeve, Julienne C.; Miller, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    In order to explore changes and trends in the timing of Arctic sea ice melt onset and freeze-up and therefore melt season length, we developed a method that obtains this information directly from satellite passive microwave data, creating a consistent data set from 1979 through present. We furthermore distinguish between early melt (the first day of the year when melt is detected) and the first day of continuous melt. A similar distinction is made for the freeze-up. Using this method we analyze trends in melt onset and freeze-up for 10 different Arctic regions. In all regions except for the Sea of Okhotsk, which shows a very slight and statistically insignificant positive trend (O.4 days/decade), trends in melt onset are negative, i.e. towards earlier melt. The trends range from -1.0day/decade for the Bering Sea to -7.3 days/decade for the East Greenland Sea. Except for the Sea of Okhotsk all areas also show a trend towards later autumn freeze onset. The Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Laptev/East Siberian Seas observe the strongest trends with 7 days/decade. For the entire Arctic, the melt season length has increased by about 20 days over the last 30 years. Largest trends of over 1O days/decade are seen for Hudson Bay, the East Greenland Sea the Laptev/East Siberian Seas, and the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. Those trends are statistically significant a1 the 99% level.

  12. 末次间冰段以来北极及北半球其他地区气候变化%Climate change comparison between Arctic and other areas in the Northern Hemisphere since the last Interstade

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    许娟; 王国; 张百平

    2007-01-01

    Based on temperature reconstruction and proxy data from 14 sites in the Northern Hemisphere, this paper focused on comparing the cycles of temperature variations between the Arctic and other areas, including Atlantic, Europe, China, Asia, Pacific, Indian Ocean, and America during the transition from the last Interstade to the Last Glacial Maximum, from the Last Glacial Maximum to megathermal period in Holocene and the transition of the Little Ice Age (LIA) by the methods of Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA) and Maximum Entropy Spectrum (MES). The results showed that environmental changes in the Arctic are most similar to that in the North American and better similar to Asia, Atlantic and Pacific, the least similar to Indian Ocean and Europe. The 1500-year oscillation of temperature existed both in Arctic and Europe.

  13. Recent climate change in the Arctic and its impact on contaminant pathways and interpretation of temporal trend data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, R W; Harner, T; Fyfe, J

    2005-04-15

    The Arctic has undergone dramatic change during the past decade. The observed changes include atmospheric sea-level pressure, wind fields, sea-ice drift, ice cover, length of melt season, change in precipitation patterns, change in hydrology and change in ocean currents and watermass distribution. It is likely that these primary changes have altered the carbon cycle and biological systems, but the difficulty of observing these together with sporadic, incomplete time series makes it difficult to evaluate what the changes have been. Because contaminants enter global systems and transport through air and water, the changes listed above will clearly alter contaminant pathways. Here, we review what is known about recent changes using the Arctic Oscillation as a proxy to help us understand the forms under which global change will be manifest in the Arctic. For Pb, Cd and Zn, the Arctic is likely to become a more effective trap because precipitation is likely to increase. In the case of Cd, the natural cycle in the ocean appears to have a much greater potential to alter exposure than do human releases of this metal. Mercury has an especially complex cycle in the Arctic including a unique scavenging process (mercury depletion events), biomagnifying foodwebs, and chemical transformations such as methylation. The observation that mercury seems to be increasing in a number of aquatic species whereas atmospheric gaseous mercury shows little sign of change suggests that factors related to change in the physical system (ice cover, permafrost degradation, organic carbon cycling) may be more important than human activities. Organochlorine contaminants offer a surprising array of possibilities for changed pathways. To change in precipitation patterns can be added change in ice cover (air-water exchange), change in food webs either from the top down or from the bottom up (biomagnification), change in the organic carbon cycle and change in diets. Perhaps the most interesting

  14. Recent climate change in the Arctic and its impact on contaminant pathways and interpretation of temporal trend data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macdonald, R.W. [Institute of Ocean Sciences, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, P.O. Box 6000, Sydney, BC (Canada); Harner, T. [Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Downsview, ON (Canada); Fyfe, J. [Meteorological Service of Canada, Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, 3964 Gordon Head Road, Victoria, BC (Canada)

    2005-04-15

    The Arctic has undergone dramatic change during the past decade. The observed changes include atmospheric sea-level pressure, wind fields, sea-ice drift, ice cover, length of melt season, change in precipitation patterns, change in hydrology and change in ocean currents and watermass distribution. It is likely that these primary changes have altered the carbon cycle and biological systems, but the difficulty of observing these together with sporadic, incomplete time series makes it difficult to evaluate what the changes have been. Because contaminants enter global systems and transport through air and water, the changes listed above will clearly alter contaminant pathways. Here, we review what is known about recent changes using the Arctic Oscillation as a proxy to help us understand the forms under which global change will be manifest in the Arctic. For Pb, Cd and Zn, the Arctic is likely to become a more effective trap because precipitation is likely to increase. In the case of Cd, the natural cycle in the ocean appears to have a much greater potential to alter exposure than do human releases of this metal. Mercury has an especially complex cycle in the Arctic including a unique scavenging process (mercury depletion events), biomagnifying foodwebs, and chemical transformations such as methylation. The observation that mercury seems to be increasing in a number of aquatic species whereas atmospheric gaseous mercury shows little sign of change suggests that factors related to change in the physical system (ice cover, permafrost degradation, organic carbon cycling) may be more important than human activities. Organochlorine contaminants offer a surprising array of possibilities for changed pathways. To change in precipitation patterns can be added change in ice cover (air-water exchange), change in food webs either from the top down or from the bottom up (biomagnification), change in the organic carbon cycle and change in diets. Perhaps the most interesting

  15. Has prey availability for Arctic birds advanced with climate change? Hindcasting the abundance of tundra Arthropods using weather and seasonal variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tulp, I.Y.M.; Schekkerman, H.

    2008-01-01

    Of all climatic zones on earth, Arctic areas have experienced the greatest climate change in recent decades. Predicted changes, including a continuing rise in temperature and precipitation and a reduction in snow cover, are expected to have a large impact on Arctic life. Large numbers of birds breed

  16. Has prey availability for Arctic birds advanced with climate change? Hindcasting the abundance of tundra arthropods using weather and seasonal variations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tulp, I.; Schekkerman, H.

    2008-01-01

    Of all climatic zones on earth, Arctic areas have experienced the greatest climate change in recent decades. Predicted changes, including a continuing rise in temperature and precipitation and a reduction in snow cover, are expected to have a large impact on Arctic life. Large numbers of birds breed

  17. Surface water mass composition changes captured by cores of Arctic land-fast sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, I. J.; Eicken, H.; Mahoney, A. R.; Van Hale, R.; Gough, A. J.; Fukamachi, Y.; Jones, J.

    2016-04-01

    In the Arctic, land-fast sea ice growth can be influenced by fresher water from rivers and residual summer melt. This paper examines a method to reconstruct changes in water masses using oxygen isotope measurements of sea ice cores. To determine changes in sea water isotope composition over the course of the ice growth period, the output of a sea ice thermodynamic model (driven with reanalysis data, observations of snow depth, and freeze-up dates) is used along with sea ice oxygen isotope measurements and an isotopic fractionation model. Direct measurements of sea ice growth rates are used to validate the output of the sea ice growth model. It is shown that for sea ice formed during the 2011/2012 ice growth season at Barrow, Alaska, large changes in isotopic composition of the ocean waters were captured by the sea ice isotopic composition. Salinity anomalies in the ocean were also tracked by moored instruments. These data indicate episodic advection of meteoric water, having both lower salinity and lower oxygen isotopic composition, during the winter sea ice growth season. Such advection of meteoric water during winter is surprising, as no surface meltwater and no local river discharge should be occurring at this time of year in that area. How accurately changes in water masses as indicated by oxygen isotope composition can be reconstructed using oxygen isotope analysis of sea ice cores is addressed, along with methods/strategies that could be used to further optimize the results. The method described will be useful for winter detection of meteoric water presence in Arctic fast ice regions, which is important for climate studies in a rapidly changing Arctic. Land-fast sea ice effective fractionation coefficients were derived, with a range of +1.82‰ to +2.52‰. Those derived effective fractionation coefficients will be useful for future water mass component proportion calculations. In particular, the equations given can be used to inform choices made when

  18. Climate Change and Corporate Environmental Responsibility

    OpenAIRE

    Dewan Mahboob HOSSAIN; Chowdhury, M. Jahangir Alam

    2012-01-01

    Climate change, as an international environmental issue, is getting a lot of attention. The negative effects of climate change have become one of the most talked about issues among Governments, scientists, environmentalists and others. It is said that business activities are affecting the climate negatively. In order to minimize the negative effects of climate change, the activities of the businesses should be controlled and encouraged to perform in a socially responsible manner. The article ...

  19. Environmental Awareness Campaign: The Change It Brings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merlita C. Medallon

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to determine the awareness and sensitivity of the younger generation in environmental issues such global warming, climate change and waste management. Data were gathered from selected students who attended the environmental awareness seminar held at Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna in 2011. There were 54 students who participated in the survey. The respondents had participated in several activities related to environmental issues which include attendance to seminars, and participation in school and community projects. Most of the information about environmental issues was obtained by the students from their teachers. Global warming was the most common issue. There was a significant increase in the level of knowledge after the environmental awareness campaign was made. As a result, the highest level of action proposed by the students is on the proper disposal of wastes and the proper segregation of wastes.

  20. Organic Geochemical Reconstructions from Lake El'gygytgyn, Northeast Arctic Siberia, Constrain Arctic Temperature and Hydrologic Change Across the Pliocene-Pleistocene Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisling, B. A.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Castañeda, I. S.

    2015-12-01

    The Pliocene epoch (5-2.65 Ma) represents an analog for future climate conditions, with pCO2 and continental configurations similar to present. Thus, understanding the climatic changes that occurred during the Pliocene might be useful for predicting how climate will involve in the future. In pursuit of this goal, reconstructions based on ocean sediments have proven useful, but also highlighted inconsistencies and gaps in our understanding of the climate mechanisms important during the Pliocene. For example, the conditions that drove ice growth and decay in the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene, especially during a period known as the intensification of northern hemisphere glaciation, are debated. A major obstacle to refining our knowledge of such phenomena is the lack of paleoclimate records from terrestrial sites. To address this shortcoming, we develop a record of climatic changes across the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, spanning 2.82-2.41 million years ago (Ma), in a lacustrine record from Arctic Russia. Here we use branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) and the hydrogen isotopic composition of leaf waxes (n-alkane δD) to reconstruct temperature and hydrology during this interval. We find close coupling between the proxies from 2.55 - 2.41 Ma, suggesting glacial-interglacial temperature changes of 5-10ºC during this time in the Arctic. Prior to this, the proxies do not agree on the character of climate changes, suggesting a decoupling of temperature and the hydrologic cycle in the Arctic from 2.7-2.55 Ma. Shifts in the leaf wax hydrogen isotope record at 2.69 and 2.73 Ma, independent of changes in temperature, point to potentially dramatic changes in the high-latitude hydrological cycle at these times. This record allows us, for the first time, to put discontinuous and time-uncertain records into regional perspective and better constrain the evolution of multiple independent Arctic feedback systems during the Pliocene and into the

  1. Modeling crop responses to environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia

    1993-01-01

    Potential biophysical responses of crops to climate change are studied focusing on the primary environmental variables which define the limits to agricultural crop growth and production, and the principal methods for predicting climate change impacts on crop geography and production. It is concluded that the principal uncertainties in the prediction of the impacts of climate change on agriculture reside in the contribution of the direct effects of increasing CO2, in potential changes inclimate variability, and the effects of adjustments mechanisms in the context of climatic changes.

  2. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 with rapidly changing high Arctic landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmerton, Craig A; St Louis, Vincent L; Humphreys, Elyn R; Gamon, John A; Barker, Joel D; Pastorello, Gilberto Z

    2016-03-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However, our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near-zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3 ± 13.5 g C m(-2) ). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over 300 times more carbon (NEE: -79.3 ± 20.0 g C m(-2) ) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southerly latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on-site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote sensing; however, high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases enough to offset poor soil moisture retention, climate-related changes to productivity on polar semideserts may be restricted.

  3. Climate change and Arctic ecosystems: 2. Modeling, paleodata-model comparisons, and future projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, J.O.; Bigelow, N.H.; Prentice, I.C.; Harrison, S.P.; Bartlein, P.J.; Christensen, T.R.; Cramer, W.; Matveyeva, N.V.; McGuire, A.D.; Murray, D.F.; Razzhivin, V.Y.; Smith, B.; Walker, D. A.; Anderson, P.M.; Andreev, A.A.; Brubaker, L.B.; Edwards, M.E.; Lozhkin, A.V.

    2003-01-01

    Large variations in the composition, structure, and function of Arctic ecosystems are determined by climatic gradients, especially of growing-season warmth, soil moisture, and snow cover. A unified circumpolar classification recognizing five types of tundra was developed. The geographic distributions of vegetation types north of 55??N, including the position of the forest limit and the distributions of the tundra types, could be predicted from climatology using a small set of plant functional types embedded in the biogeochemistry-biogeography model BIOME4. Several palaeoclimate simulations for the last glacial maximum (LGM) and mid-Holocene were used to explore the possibility of simulating past vegetation patterns, which are independently known based on pollen data. The broad outlines of observed changes in vegetation were captured. LGM simulations showed the major reduction of forest, the great extension of graminoid and forb tundra, and the restriction of low- and high-shrub tundra (although not all models produced sufficiently dry conditions to mimic the full observed change). Mid-Holocene simulations reproduced the contrast between northward forest extension in western and central Siberia and stability of the forest limit in Beringia. Projection of the effect of a continued exponential increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, based on a transient ocean-atmosphere simulation including sulfate aerosol effects, suggests a potential for larger changes in Arctic ecosystems during the 21st century than have occurred between mid-Holocene and present. Simulated physiological effects of the CO2 increase (to > 700 ppm) at high latitudes were slight compared with the effects of the change in climate.

  4. Long-term increase in snow depth leads to compositional changes in arctic ectomycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgado, Luis N; Semenova, Tatiana A; Welker, Jeffrey M; Walker, Marilyn D; Smets, Erik; Geml, József

    2016-09-01

    Many arctic ecological processes are regulated by soil temperature that is tightly interconnected with snow cover distribution and persistence. Recently, various climate-induced changes have been observed in arctic tundra ecosystems, e.g. shrub expansion, resulting in reduction in albedo and greater C fixation in aboveground vegetation as well as increased rates of soil C mobilization by microbes. Importantly, the net effects of these shifts are unknown, in part because our understanding of belowground processes is limited. Here, we focus on the effects of increased snow depth, and as a consequence, increased winter soil temperature on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in dry and moist tundra. We analyzed deep DNA sequence data from soil samples taken at a long-term snow fence experiment in Northern Alaska. Our results indicate that, in contrast with previously observed responses of plants to increased snow depth at the same experimental site, the ECM fungal community of the dry tundra was more affected by deeper snow than the moist tundra community. In the dry tundra, both community richness and composition were significantly altered while in the moist tundra, only community composition changed significantly while richness did not. We observed a decrease in richness of Tomentella, Inocybe and other taxa adapted to scavenge the soil for labile N forms. On the other hand, richness of Cortinarius, and species with the ability to scavenge the soil for recalcitrant N forms, did not change. We further link ECM fungal traits with C soil pools. If future warmer atmospheric conditions lead to greater winter snow fall, changes in the ECM fungal community will likely influence C emissions and C fixation through altering N plant availability, fungal biomass and soil-plant C-N dynamics, ultimately determining important future interactions between the tundra biosphere and atmosphere.

  5. Changing Social and Environmental Reporting Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaspersen, Mia; Riise Johansen, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Based on a case study of a large multinational group, this paper addresses the way in which social and environmental reporting (SER) systems were changed and the consequences and controversies associated with this change. Drawing on Power's work on the processes by which things are made auditable...... via underlying systems, we focus on how and why a specific programme with auditability as its ultimate aim changed the basis on which the external social and environmental report was prepared. Our analysis demonstrates that the perceived alignment with the financial report preparation and the explicit...... pursuit of auditability legitimized SER and paved the way for data systems to be changed. The programme borrowed authority from financial accounting technologies not only to make a system change but also to push SER internally, as we suggest that an intraorganizational group used the programme to ensure...

  6. Fluctuating Arctic Sea ice thickness changes estimated by an in situ learned and empirically forced neural network model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belchansky, G.I.; Douglas, D.C.; Platonov, N.G.

    2008-01-01

    Sea ice thickness (SIT) is a key parameter of scientific interest because understanding the natural spatiotemporal variability of ice thickness is critical for improving global climate models. In this paper, changes in Arctic SIT during 1982-2003 are examined using a neural network (NN) algorithm trained with in situ submarine ice draft and surface drilling data. For each month of the study period, the NN individually estimated SIT of each ice-covered pixel (25-km resolution) based on seven geophysical parameters (four shortwave and longwave radiative fluxes, surface air temperature, ice drift velocity, and ice divergence/convergence) that were cumulatively summed at each monthly position along the pixel's previous 3-yr drift track (or less if the ice was Arctic (+7.6 ?? 0.9 cm yr-1), decreased through 1996 Arctic-wide (-6.1 ?? 1.2 cm yr-1), then modestly increased through 2003 mostly in the central Arctic (+2.1 ?? 0.6 cm yr-1). Net ice volume change in the Arctic Ocean from 1982 to 2003 was negligible, indicating that cumulative ice growth had largely replaced the estimated 45 000 km3 of ice lost by cumulative export. Above 65??N, total annual ice volume and interannual volume changes were correlated with the Arctic Oscillation (AO) at decadal and annual time scales, respectively. Late-summer ice thickness and total volume varied proportionally until the mid-1990s, but volume did not increase commensurate with the thickening during 1996-2002. The authors speculate that decoupling of the ice thickness-volume relationship resulted from two opposing mechanisms with different latitudinal expressions: a recent quasi-decadal shift in atmospheric circulation patterns associated with the AO's neutral state facilitated ice thickening at high latitudes while anomalously warm thermal forcing thinned and melted the ice cap at its periphery. ?? 2008 American Meteorological Society.

  7. Landscape and Hydrological Transformation in the Canadian High Arctic: Climate Change and Permafrost Degradation As Drivers of Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamoureux, S. F.; Lafreniere, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Recent climate warming and landscape instability arising from permafrost degradation in the Canadian High Arctic have resulted in significant changes to the hydrological system. We have undertaken an integrated watershed and permafrost research program at the Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory (75°N, 109°W) in paired watershed-lake systems to assess the impact of these changes. Research has captured hydrological changes resulting from exceptional warmth, and permafrost degradation and disturbance. Results highlight the contrasting effect of thermal (deeper soil thaw) versus physical perturbation (slope failures and permafrost degradation). Thermal perturbation applies to most of the landscape, and results indicate that ground ice melt alters flow and mobilizes solutes for a number of years following a single warm year. These effects are measureable at the slope-catchment scale, especially during baseflow. By contrast, physical disturbance is highly localized and produces high sediment and particulate carbon erosion from slopes, but downstream particulate delivery is dependent on surface connectivity. Recovery from disturbances appears to occur rapidly, and continued geomorphic change and new slope channels result in sustained delivery of particulates to channels. The result is increased long term landscape heterogeneity with respect to erosion compared to the pre-disturbance condition. Downstream channel response to particulate loading further dampens the response to physical disturbance through channel storage of material. Hence, at the larger watershed scale, the effect of physical perturbation is minimal in the initial years of recovery. These results point to a landscape that has been substantially impacted by recent hydrological and permafrost changes. Understanding and distinguishing these impacts provides a basis for systematically evaluating biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem responses in aquatic settings.

  8. Large-scale temperature and salinity changes in the upper Canadian Basin of the Arctic Ocean at a time of a drastic Arctic Oscillation inversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Bourgain

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Between 2008 and 2010, the Arctic Oscillation index over Arctic regions shifted from positive values corresponding to more cyclonic conditions prevailing during the 4th International Polar Year (IPY period (2007–2008 to extremely negative values corresponding to strong anticyclonic conditions in 2010. In this context, we investigated the recent large-scale evolution of the upper western Arctic Ocean, based on temperature and salinity summertime observations collected during icebreaker campaigns and from ice-tethered profilers (ITPs drifting across the region in 2008 and 2010. Particularly, we focused on (1 the freshwater content which was extensively studied during previous years, (2 the near-surface temperature maximum due to incoming solar radiation, and (3 the water masses advected from the Pacific Ocean into the Arctic Ocean. The observations revealed a freshwater content change in the Canadian Basin during this time period. South of 80° N, the freshwater content increased, while north of 80° N, less freshening occurred in 2010 compared to 2008. This was more likely due to the strong anticyclonicity characteristic of a low AO index mode that enhanced both a wind-generated Ekman pumping in the Beaufort Gyre and a possible diversion of the Siberian River runoff toward the Eurasian Basin at the same time. The near-surface temperature maximum due to incoming solar radiation was almost 1 °C colder in the southern Canada Basin (south of 75° N in 2010 compared to 2008, which contrasted with the positive trend observed during previous years. This was more likely due to higher summer sea ice concentration in 2010 compared to 2008 in that region, and surface albedo feedback reflecting more sun radiation back in space. The Pacific water (PaW was also subjected to strong spatial and temporal variability between 2008 and 2010. In the Canada Basin, both summer and winter PaW signatures were stronger between 75° N and 80° N. This was more likely

  9. Identifying the main drivers of soil carbon response to climate change in arctic and boreal Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genet, H.; McGuire, A. D.; He, Y.; Johnson, K.; Wylie, B. K.; Pastick, N. J.; Zhuang, Q.; Zhu, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Boreal and arctic regions represent the largest reservoir of carbon among terrestrial biomes. Most of this carbon is stored deep in the soil in permafrost where frozen organic matter is protected from decomposition. The vulnerability of soil carbon stocks to a changing climate in high latitudes depends on a number of physical and ecological processes. The importance of these processes in controlling the dynamics of soil carbon stocks vary across regions because of variability in vegetation composition, drainage condition, and permafrost characteristics. To better understand the main drivers of the vulnerability of soil carbon stocks to climate change in Alaska, we ran a process-based ecosystem model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model. This model explicitly simulates interactions between the carbon cycle and permafrost dynamics and was coupled with a disturbance model and a model of biogenic methane dynamics to assess historical and projected soil carbon dynamics in Alaska, from 1950 to 2100. The uncertainties related to climate, fire regime and atmospheric CO2projections on soil carbon dynamics were quantified by running simulations using climate projections from 2 global circulation models, 3 fossil fuel emission scenarios and 3 alternative fire management scenarios. During the historical period [1950-2009], soil carbon stocks increased by 4.7 TgC/yr in Alaska. Soil carbon stocks decreased in boreal Alaska due to substantial fire activity in the early 2000's. This loss was offset by carbon accumulation in the arctic. Changes in soil carbon stocks from 2010 to 2099 ranged from 8.9 to 25.6 TgC/yr, depending on the climate projections. Soil carbon accumulation was slower in lowlands than in uplands and slower in the boreal than in the arctic regions because of the negative effect of fire activity on soil carbon stocks. Tundra ecosystems were more vulnerable to carbon loss from fire than forest ecosystems because of a lower productivity. As a result, the increase in

  10. Airborne observations of changes of ice sheet and sea ice in the Arctic using CryoVEx campaign data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidegaard, Sine Munk; Skourup, Henriette; Forsberg, René

    DTU Space have collected surface elevation observations of the Arctic sea ice and land ice since 1998 using laser scanning and radar altimetry from a small fixed‐wing Twin‐Otter aircraft. The observations provide unique datasets for studying ongoing changes, and support the analysis of satellite......‐launch validation studies, with several aircraft and international in‐situ ground teams participating, both in Greenland, Arctic Canada, and Svalbard. The methods and campaigns are outlined together with examples of results.The campaigns focused on five main validation sites: Devon ice cap (Canada), Austfonna ice...

  11. Could 4 degrees warming change Arctic tundra from carbon sink to carbon source?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torn, M. S.; Abramoff, R. Z.; Chafe, O.; Curtis, J. B.; Smith, L. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    We have set up a controlled, active warming experiment in permafrost tundra on the North Slope of Alaska. The aim of this micro-warming experiment is to investigate the direct effect of soil warming on microbial decomposition of soil organic matter. We are testing the feasibility of small, short-term, in situ warming that can be run off batteries for distributed deployment and that preserves plant-soil relations and natural variability in wind, temperature, and precipitation. Based on preliminary results, the approach looks promising. One resistance heater cable per plot (25 cm diameter plots) was inserted vertically to 50 cm, spanning the full active layer (maximum thaw depth was 40 cm in 2014). Heaters were turned on August 1, 2015, and heated plots reached the 4ºC warming target within 1-3 days. We are measuring soil microclimate, thaw depth, CO2 and CH4 fluxes, and 14CO2, and microbial composition, as part of the DOE Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic). Ecosystem respiration increased immediately in the heated plots, and net ecosystem exchange under clear chambers changed from net uptake to net CO2 source in two of the four plots. CH4 flux shifted toward reduced net emissions or greater net uptake in all plots. These rapid responses demonstrate direct changes in decomposition without complications from microbial acclimation, altered community structure or changes in substrate availability. However, future Arctic tundra carbon balance will depend on both short term and long term microbial responses, as well as the links between warming, decomposition, nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth. Thus, we envision that distributed micro-warming plots could be combined with new approaches to aboveground passive warming being developed in NGEE, gradient studies, and modeling.

  12. Projected Impact of Climate Change on the Water and Salt Budgets of the Arctic Ocean by a Global Climate Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, James R.; Russell, Gary L.

    1996-01-01

    The annual flux of freshwater into the Arctic Ocean by the atmosphere and rivers is balanced by the export of sea ice and oceanic freshwater. Two 150-year simulations of a global climate model are used to examine how this balance might change if atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) increase. Relative to the control, the last 50-year period of the GHG experiment indicates that the total inflow of water from the atmosphere and rivers increases by 10% primarily due to an increase in river discharge, the annual sea-ice export decreases by about half, the oceanic liquid water export increases, salinity decreases, sea-ice cover decreases, and the total mass and sea-surface height of the Arctic Ocean increase. The closed, compact, and multi-phased nature of the hydrologic cycle in the Arctic Ocean makes it an ideal test of water budgets that could be included in model intercomparisons.

  13. Arctic climate changes in the 21st century: Ensemble model estimates accounting for realism in present-day climate simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliseev, A. V.; Semenov, V. A.

    2016-11-01

    In the course of forecasting future climate changes in the Arctic Region based on calculations and an ensemble of the state-of-the-art global climate models, the results depend on the method of construction the statistics from the models.

  14. Arctic Sea Ice in Transformation: A Review of Recent Observed Changes and Impacts on Biology and Human Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Walter N.; Hovelsrud, Greta K.; van Oort, Bob E. H.; Key, Jeffrey R.; Kovacs, Kit M.; Michel, Christine; Haas, Christian; Granskog, Mats A.; Gerland, Sebastian; Perovich, Donald K.; Makshtas, Alexander; Reist, James D.

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice in the Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing components of the global climate system. Over the past few decades, summer areal extent has declined over 30, and all months show statistically significant declining trends. New satellite missions and techniques have greatly expanded information on sea ice thickness, but many uncertainties remain in the satellite data and long-term records are sparse. However, thickness observations and other satellite-derived data indicate a 40 decline in thickness, due in large part to the loss of thicker, older ice cover. The changes in sea ice are happening faster than models have projected. With continued increasing temperatures, summer ice-free conditions are likely sometime in the coming decades, though there are substantial uncertainties in the exact timing and high interannual variability will remain as sea ice decreases. The changes in Arctic sea ice are already having an impact on flora and fauna in the Arctic. Some species will face increasing challenges in the future, while new habitat will open up for other species. The changes are also affecting peoples living and working in the Arctic. Native communities are facing challenges to their traditional ways of life, while new opportunities open for shipping, fishing, and natural resource extraction.

  15. Methods for environmental change; an exploratory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kok Gerjo

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While the interest of health promotion researchers in change methods directed at the target population has a long tradition, interest in change methods directed at the environment is still developing. In this survey, the focus is on methods for environmental change; especially about how these are composed of methods for individual change (‘Bundling’ and how within one environmental level, organizations, methods differ when directed at the management (‘At’ or applied by the management (‘From’. Methods The first part of this online survey dealt with examining the ‘bundling’ of individual level methods to methods at the environmental level. The question asked was to what extent the use of an environmental level method would involve the use of certain individual level methods. In the second part of the survey the question was whether there are differences between applying methods directed ‘at’ an organization (for instance, by a health promoter versus ‘from’ within an organization itself. All of the 20 respondents are experts in the field of health promotion. Results Methods at the individual level are frequently bundled together as part of a method at a higher ecological level. A number of individual level methods are popular as part of most of the environmental level methods, while others are not chosen very often. Interventions directed at environmental agents often have a strong focus on the motivational part of behavior change. There are different approaches targeting a level or being targeted from a level. The health promoter will use combinations of motivation and facilitation. The manager will use individual level change methods focusing on self-efficacy and skills. Respondents think that any method may be used under the right circumstances, although few endorsed coercive methods. Conclusions Taxonomies of theoretical change methods for environmental change should include combinations of individual

  16. Amplified North Atlantic warming in the late Pliocene by changes in Arctic gateways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto-Bliesner, Bette L.; Jahn, Alexandra; Feng, Ran; Brady, Esther C.; Hu, Aixue; Löfverström, Marcus

    2017-01-01

    Under previous reconstructions of late Pliocene boundary conditions, climate models have failed to reproduce the warm sea surface temperatures reconstructed in the North Atlantic. Using a reconstruction of mid-Piacenzian paleogeography that has the Bering Strait and Canadian Arctic Archipelago Straits closed, however, improves the simulation of the proxy-indicated warm sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic in the Community Climate System Model. We find that the closure of these small Arctic gateways strengthens the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, by inhibiting freshwater transport from the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean and from the Arctic Ocean to the Labrador Sea, leading to warmer sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic. This indicates that the state of the Arctic gateways may influence the sensitivity of the North Atlantic climate in complex ways, and better understanding of the state of these Arctic gateways for past time periods is needed.

  17. Arctic marine fishes and their fisheries in light of global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Jørgen S; Mecklenburg, Catherine W; Karamushko, Oleg V

    2014-02-01

    In light of ocean warming and loss of Arctic sea ice, harvested marine fishes of boreal origin (and their fisheries) move poleward into yet unexploited parts of the Arctic seas. Industrial fisheries, already in place on many Arctic shelves, will radically affect the local fish species as they turn up as unprecedented bycatch. Arctic marine fishes are indispensable to ecosystem structuring and functioning, but they are still beyond credible assessment due to lack of basic biological data. The time for conservation actions is now, and precautionary management practices by the Arctic coastal states are needed to mitigate the impact of industrial fisheries in Arctic waters. We outline four possible conservation actions: scientific credibility, 'green technology', legitimate management and overarching coordination.

  18. Recent advances in understanding the Arctic climate system state and change from a sea ice perspective: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Döscher

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic sea ice is the central and essential component of the Arctic climate system. The depletion and areal decline of the Arctic sea ice cover, observed since the 1970's, have accelerated after the millennium shift. While a relationship to global warming is evident and is underpinned statistically, the mechanisms connected to the sea ice reduction are to be explored in detail. Sea ice erodes both from the top and from the bottom. Atmosphere, sea ice and ocean processes interact in non-linear ways on various scales. Feedback mechanisms lead to an Arctic amplification of the global warming system. The amplification is both supported by the ice depletion and is at the same time accelerating the ice reduction. Knowledge of the mechanisms connected to the sea ice decline has grown during the 1990's and has deepened when the acceleration became clear in the early 2000's. Record summer sea ice extents in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2012 provided additional information on the mechanisms. This article reviews recent progress in understanding of the sea ice decline. Processes are revisited from an atmospheric, ocean and sea ice perspective. There is strong evidence for decisive atmospheric changes being the major driver of sea ice change. Feedbacks due to reduced ice concentration, surface albedo and thickness allow for additional local atmosphere and ocean influences and self-supporting feedbacks. Large scale ocean influences on the Arctic Ocean hydrology and circulation are highly evident. Northward heat fluxes in the ocean are clearly impacting the ice margins, especially in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic. Only little indication exists for a direct decisive influence of the warming ocean on the overall sea ice cover, due to an isolating layer of cold and fresh water underneath the sea ice.

  19. Environmental Working Group Joint U.S.-Russian Arctic Sea Ice Atlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Note: The Russian chart component of this product has been replaced and updated by Sea Ice Charts of the Russian Arctic in Gridded Format, 1933-2006 and the U.S...

  20. Hydrographic changes in the Lincoln Sea in the Arctic Ocean with focus on an upper ocean freshwater anomaly between 2007 and 2010

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Steur, L.; Steele, M.; Hansen, E.; Morison, J.; Polyakov, I.; Olsen, S.M.; Melling, H.; McLaughlin, F.A.; Kwok, R.; Smethie Jr., W.M.; Schlosser, P.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrographic data from the Arctic Ocean show that freshwater content in the Lincoln Sea, north of Greenland, increased significantly from 2007 to 2010, slightly lagging changes in the eastern and central Arctic. The anomaly was primarily caused by a decrease in the upper ocean salinity. In 2011 uppe

  1. Seasonal Changes of Arctic Sea Ice Physical Properties Observed During N-ICE2015: An Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerland, S.; Spreen, G.; Granskog, M. A.; Divine, D.; Ehn, J. K.; Eltoft, T.; Gallet, J. C.; Haapala, J. J.; Hudson, S. R.; Hughes, N. E.; Itkin, P.; King, J.; Krumpen, T.; Kustov, V. Y.; Liston, G. E.; Mundy, C. J.; Nicolaus, M.; Pavlov, A.; Polashenski, C.; Provost, C.; Richter-Menge, J.; Rösel, A.; Sennechael, N.; Shestov, A.; Taskjelle, T.; Wilkinson, J.; Steen, H.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic sea ice is changing, and for improving the understanding of the cryosphere, data is needed to describe the status and processes controlling current seasonal sea ice growth, change and decay. We present preliminary results from in-situ observations on sea ice in the Arctic Basin north of Svalbard from January to June 2015. Over that time, the Norwegian research vessel «Lance» was moored to in total four ice floes, drifting with the sea ice and allowing an international group of scientists to conduct detailed research. Each drift lasted until the ship reached the marginal ice zone and ice started to break up, before moving further north and starting the next drift. The ship stayed within the area approximately 80°-83° N and 5°-25° E. While the expedition covered measurements in the atmosphere, the snow and sea ice system, and in the ocean, as well as biological studies, in this presentation we focus on physics of snow and sea ice. Different ice types could be investigated: young ice in refrozen leads, first year ice, and old ice. Snow surveys included regular snow pits with standardized measurements of physical properties and sampling. Snow and ice thickness were measured at stake fields, along transects with electromagnetics, and in drillholes. For quantifying ice physical properties and texture, ice cores were obtained regularly and analyzed. Optical properties of snow and ice were measured both with fixed installed radiometers, and from mobile systems, a sledge and an ROV. For six weeks, the surface topography was scanned with a ground LIDAR system. Spatial scales of surveys ranged from spot measurements to regional surveys from helicopter (ice thickness, photography) during two months of the expedition, and by means of an array of autonomous buoys in the region. Other regional information was obtained from SAR satellite imagery and from satellite based radar altimetry. The analysis of the data collected has started, and first results will be

  2. Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the arctic (VACCA): Implementing recommendations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-07-01

    This report provides recommendations for how Norway's government could move forward with the results from the Arctic Council supported VACCA project, suggesting how concrete activities may be implemented and applied to policy and practice. Based on the results of interviews with Arctic peoples and people involved in Arctic work, combined with desk studies of relevant literature, four Arctic contexts are defined within the dividing lines coastal/non-coastal and urban/non-urban. This report provides up to five concrete recommendations within each context, recommendations for cross-contextual action, and specific projects for further research and action.(auth)

  3. Climate driven changes in hydrology, nutrient cycling, and food web dynamics in surface waters of the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, J. C.; Wipfli, M.; Schmutz, J.; Gurney, K.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are changing rapidly as a result of a warming climate. While many areas of the arctic are expected to dry as a result of warming, the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska, which extends from the Brooks Range north to the Beaufort Sea will likely become wetter, because subsurface hydrologic fluxes are constrained by thick, continuous permafrost. This landscape is characterized by large, oriented lakes and many smaller ponds that form in the low centers and troughs/edges of frost polygons. This region provides important breeding habitat for many migratory birds including loons, arctic terns, eiders, shorebirds, and white-fronted geese, among others. Increased hydrologic fluxes may provide a bottom-up control on the success of these species by altering the availability of food resources including invertebrates and fish. This work aimed to 1) characterize surface water fluxes and nutrient availability in the small streams and lake types of two study regions in the ACP, 2) predict how increased hydrological fluxes will affect the lakes, streams, and water chemistry, and 3) use nutrient additions to simulate likely changes in lake chemistry and invertebrate availability. Initial observations suggest that increasing wetland areas and availability of nutrients will result in increased invertebrate abundance, while the potential for drainage and terrestrialization of larger lakes may reduce fish abundance and overwintering habitat. These changes will likely have positive implications for insectivores and negative implications for piscivorous waterfowl.

  4. Beyond Thin Ice: Co-Communicating the Many Arctics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druckenmiller, M. L.; Francis, J. A.; Huntington, H.

    2015-12-01

    Science communication, typically defined as informing non-expert communities of societally relevant science, is persuaded by the magnitude and pace of scientific discoveries, as well as the urgency of societal issues wherein science may inform decisions. Perhaps nowhere is the connection between these facets stronger than in the marine and coastal Arctic where environmental change is driving advancements in our understanding of natural and socio-ecological systems while paving the way for a new assortment of arctic stakeholders, who generally lack adequate operational knowledge. As such, the Arctic provides opportunity to advance the role of science communication into a collaborative process of engagement and co-communication. To date, the communication of arctic change falls within four primary genres, each with particular audiences in mind. The New Arctic communicates an arctic of new stakeholders scampering to take advantage of unprecedented access. The Global Arctic conveys the Arctic's importance to the rest of the world, primarily as a regulator of lower-latitude climate and weather. The Intra-connected Arctic emphasizes the increasing awareness of the interplay between system components, such as between sea ice loss and marine food webs. The Transforming Arctic communicates the region's trajectory relative to the historical Arctic, acknowledging the impacts on indigenous peoples. The broad societal consensus on climate change in the Arctic as compared to other regions in the world underscores the opportunity for co-communication. Seizing this opportunity requires the science community's engagement with stakeholders and indigenous peoples to construct environmental change narratives that are meaningful to climate responses relative to non-ecological priorities (e.g., infrastructure, food availability, employment, or language). Co-communication fosters opportunities for new methods of and audiences for communication, the co-production of new interdisciplinary

  5. Arctic sea ice decline: Projected changes in timing and extent of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, D.C.

    2010-01-01

    The Arctic region is warming faster than most regions of the world due in part to increasing greenhouse gases and positive feedbacks associated with the loss of snow and ice cover. One consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades?a decline that is projected to continue by state-of-the-art models. Many stakeholders are therefore interested in how global warming may change the timing and extent of sea ice Arctic-wide, and for specific regions. To inform the public and decision makers of anticipated environmental changes, scientists are striving to better understand how sea ice influences ecosystem structure, local weather, and global climate. Here, projected changes in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are examined because sea ice influences the presence of, or accessibility to, a variety of local resources of commercial and cultural value. In this study, 21st century sea ice conditions in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are based on projections by 18 general circulation models (GCMs) prepared for the fourth reporting period by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007. Sea ice projections are analyzed for each of two IPCC greenhouse gas forcing scenarios: the A1B `business as usual? scenario and the A2 scenario that is somewhat more aggressive in its CO2 emissions during the second half of the century. A large spread of uncertainty among projections by all 18 models was constrained by creating model subsets that excluded GCMs that poorly simulated the 1979-2008 satellite record of ice extent and seasonality. At the end of the 21st century (2090-2099), median sea ice projections among all combinations of model ensemble and forcing scenario were qualitatively similar. June is projected to experience the least amount of sea ice loss among all months. For the Chukchi Sea, projections show extensive ice melt during July and ice-free conditions during August, September, and October by the end of the century, with high agreement

  6. History of Sea Ice Changes in the Canadian Arctic and the Impact on Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudie, P. J.; Rochon, A.; Levac, E.

    2004-05-01

    The discontinuous chronology of archaeological records from the Canadian Arctic suggests that major climatic changes caused the abrupt abandonment of settlements and life style shifts in Paleo- and Neo-Eskimo societies. The centennial-scale resolution of previous paleoclimate reconstructions, however, does not permit detailed examination of this idea. Climate warming of more than 1.5C during the past 3 decades has caused reduction of sea ice and loss of marine mammals, forcing catastrophic changes on the Inuit people. Computer models forecast continued Arctic warming up to 4C but the 150-year database for the models covers only a fraction of the warm-cold cyclicity data in Holocene geological records. We therefore examine the decadal-scale paleoclimatic changes recorded by quantitative palynological data in a 6,500 year-long record from Coburg Polynya (Core LSSL 2001-006 75 35' N, 78 41'W) near the Palaeo- and Neo-Eskimo occupations of the North Devon Lowlands and in cores Hu 91-039-008 and 007 from the central North Water Polynya (NOW) between Ellesmere Island and Thule, Greenland (77 16.0'N, 74 19.9'W). Palaeotransfer function data from dinoflagellate cyst assemblages in the cores provide quantitative estimates of changes in sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice cover (SIC) with the same accuracy as historical shipboard oceanographic measurements. Both sites record abrupt temperature changes of 2 - 4C that can be related to the archaeological record of major changes in hunting modes of Paleo- and Neo-Eskimo peoples and to detailed occupation-abandonment cycles on Devon and Ellesmere Islands. The paleoceanographic reconstructions show that from 6500 to 2600 BP, there were large oscillations in summer SST from 2-4C cooler than now to 6C warmer, and that annual variations in SIC ranged from 2 months more of heavy (more than 50 percent) ice to a 4-month extension of open water. This interval corresponds to the period of pre-Dorset Palaeo-Eskimo cultures that

  7. Urbanization, Economic Development and Environmental Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shushu Li

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper applies the pressure-state-response (PSR model to establish environmental quality indices for 30 administrative regions in China from 2003 to 2011 and employs panel data analysis to study the relationships among the urbanization rate, economic development and environmental change. The results reveal a remarkable inverted-U-shaped relationship between the urbanization rate and changes in regional environmental quality; the “turning point” generally appears near an urbanization rate of 60%. In addition, the degree and mode of economic development have significant, but anisotropic effects on the regional environment. Generally, at a higher degree of economic development, the environment will tend to improve, but an extensive economic growth program that simply aims to increase GDP has a clear negative impact on the environment. Overall, the results of this paper not only further confirm the “environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis”, but also expand it in a manner. The analysis in this paper implies that the inverted-U-shaped evolving relationship between environmental quality and economic growth (urbanization is universally applicable.

  8. Islands of the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowdeswell, Julian; Hambrey, Michael

    2002-11-01

    The Arctic islands are characterized by beautiful mountains and glaciers, in which the wildlife lives in delicate balance with its environment. It is a fragile region with a long history of exploration and exploitation that is now experiencing rapid environmental change. All of these themes are explored in Islands of the Arctic, a richly illustrated volume with superb photographs from the Canadian Arctic archipelago, Greenland, Svalbard and the Russian Arctic. It begins with the various processes shaping the landscape: glaciers, rivers and coastal processes, the role of ice in the oceans and the weather and climate. Julian Dowdeswell and Michael Hambrey describe the flora and fauna in addition to the human influences on the environment, from the sustainable approach of the Inuit, to the devastating damage inflicted by hunters and issues arising from the presence of military security installations. Finally, they consider the future prospects of the Arctic islands Julian Dowdeswell is Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and Professor of Physical Geography at 0he University of Cambridge. He received the Polar Medal from Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to the study of glacier geophysics and the Gill Memorial Award from the Royal Geographical Society. He is chair of the Publications Committee of the International Glaciological Society and head of the Glaciers and Ice Sheets Division of the International Commission for Snow and Ice. Michael Hambrey is Director of the Centre for Glaciology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. A past recipient of the Polar Medal, he was also given the Earth Science Editors' Outstanding Publication Award for Glaciers (Cambridge University Press). Hambrey is also the author of Glacial Environments (British Columbia, 1994).

  9. Environmental change makes robust ecological networks fragile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2016-01-01

    Complex ecological networks appear robust to primary extinctions, possibly due to consumers’ tendency to specialize on dependable (available and persistent) resources. However, modifications to the conditions under which the network has evolved might alter resource dependability. Here, we ask whether adaptation to historical conditions can increase community robustness, and whether such robustness can protect communities from collapse when conditions change. Using artificial life simulations, we first evolved digital consumer-resource networks that we subsequently subjected to rapid environmental change. We then investigated how empirical host–parasite networks would respond to historical, random and expected extinction sequences. In both the cases, networks were far more robust to historical conditions than new ones, suggesting that new environmental challenges, as expected under global change, might collapse otherwise robust natural ecosystems.

  10. Future generations, environmental ethics, and global environmental change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tonn, B.E.

    1994-12-31

    The elements of a methodology to be employed by the global community to investigate the consequences of global environmental change upon future generations and global ecosystems are outlined in this paper. The methodology is comprised of two major components: A possible future worlds model; and a formal, citizen-oriented process to judge whether the possible future worlds potentially inheritable by future generations meet obligational standards. A broad array of descriptors of future worlds can be encompassed within this framework, including survival of ecosystems and other species and satisfaction of human concerns. The methodology expresses fundamental psychological motivations and human myths journey, renewal, mother earth, and being-in-nature-and incorporates several viewpoints on obligations to future generations-maintaining options, fairness, humility, and the cause of humanity. The methodology overcomes several severe drawbacks of the economic-based methods most commonly used for global environmental policy analysis.

  11. Arctic in Rapid Transition: Priorities for the future of marine and coastal research in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Kirstin; Fritz, Michael; Morata, Nathalie; Keil, Kathrin; Pavlov, Alexey; Peeken, Ilka; Nikolopoulos, Anna; Findlay, Helen S.; Kędra, Monika; Majaneva, Sanna; Renner, Angelika; Hendricks, Stefan; Jacquot, Mathilde; Nicolaus, Marcel; O'Regan, Matt; Sampei, Makoto; Wegner, Carolyn

    2016-09-01

    Understanding and responding to the rapidly occurring environmental changes in the Arctic over the past few decades require new approaches in science. This includes improved collaborations within the scientific community but also enhanced dialogue between scientists and societal stakeholders, especially with Arctic communities. As a contribution to the Third International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARPIII), the Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) network held an international workshop in France, in October 2014, in order to discuss high-priority requirements for future Arctic marine and coastal research from an early-career scientists (ECS) perspective. The discussion encompassed a variety of research fields, including topics of oceanographic conditions, sea-ice monitoring, marine biodiversity, land-ocean interactions, and geological reconstructions, as well as law and governance issues. Participants of the workshop strongly agreed on the need to enhance interdisciplinarity in order to collect comprehensive knowledge about the modern and past Arctic Ocean's geo-ecological dynamics. Such knowledge enables improved predictions of Arctic developments and provides the basis for elaborate decision-making on future actions under plausible environmental and climate scenarios in the high northern latitudes. Priority research sheets resulting from the workshop's discussions were distributed during the ICARPIII meetings in April 2015 in Japan, and are publicly available online.

  12. Pyrosequencing analysis of the protist communities in a High Arctic meromictic lake: DNA preservation and change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eCharvet

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available High Arctic meromictic lakes are extreme environments characterized by cold temperatures, low nutrient inputs from their polar desert catchments and prolonged periods of low irradiance and darkness. These lakes are permanently stratified with an oxygenated freshwater layer (mixolimnion overlying a saline, anoxic water column (monimolimnion. The physical and chemical properties of the deepest known lake of this type in the circumpolar Arctic, Lake A, on the far northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada, have been studied over the last 15 years, but little is known about the lake’s biological communities. We applied high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene to investigate the protist communities down the water column at three sampling times: under the ice at the end of winter in 2008, during an unusual period of warming and ice-out the same year, and again under the ice in mid-summer 2009. Sequences of many protist taxa occurred throughout the water column at all sampling times, including in the deep anoxic layer where growth is highly unlikely. Furthermore, there were sequences for taxonomic groups including diatoms and marine taxa, which have never been observed in Lake A by microscopic analysis. However the sequences of other taxa such as ciliates, chrysophytes, Cercozoa and Telonema varied with depth, between years and during the transition to ice-free conditions. These results imply that there are seasonally active taxa in the surface waters of the lake that are sensitive to depth and change with time. DNA from these taxa is superimposed upon background DNA from multiple internal and external sources that is preserved in the deep, cold, largely anoxic water column.

  13. Arctic geese, migratory connectivity and agricultural change : calling the sorcerer's apprentice to order

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jefferies, Robert L.; Drent, Rudolf H.

    2006-01-01

    The current favourable numerical status of most arctic-breeding goose populations conceals an increasing dependence on man-modified habitats for much of the year. Almost all populations are now heavily dependent on agricultural crops when the birds are away from the arctic breeding grounds. We exami

  14. Monitoring Polar Environmental Change Using FORMOSAT-2 Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, C.; Liu, C.; Chang, L.; Wang, S.; Yan, K.; Wu, F.; Wu, A.

    2007-12-01

    Polar ice loss to the sea currently account for virtually all of the sea-level rise that is not attributable to ocean warming. Huge section of the Ayles Ice Shelf broke off into the Arctic Ocean. Permafrost soil is losing its permanence across the Northern Hemisphere, altering ecosystems and damaging roads and buildings across Alaska, Canada, and Russia. Global warming change the polar environment significantly, especially in recent year. The National Space Organization (NSPO) of Taiwan successfully launched FORMOSAT-2 on 20 May 2004. The orbit is designed to be high-altitude,. Sun-synchronous, and daily-revisit. With high agility in attitude control, FORMOSAT-2 can cover the polar areas up to +/- 90 deg latitude. More than 72 Area of interests in Alaska, Canada, Greenland area and Ice land have imaged periodically in 2006 and 2007. The images have 2m resolution in panchromatic band and 8m in multispectral bands, with size of about 24 x 100 km or large. The ability of FORMOSAT-2 daily revisit has been extended to monitor the change of topography for the glacier and ice shelf daily, weekly and monthly. By using the FORMOSAT-2 stereo pair, we can determine the elevation profile (DEM) across the glacier surface. In this paper, we will present the mapping and topography of Greenland glaciers and ice land including Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier, Greenland, Belcher Glacier, Canada and Ayles ice island. We will demonstrate the DEM extract ability from FORMOSAT-2 polar stereo images( up to 82 deg latitude), and compared with the DEM of the popular SRTM, ASTER which can be acquired to 79 deg latitude. It is expected that FORMOSAT-2 polar images will be continuously collected for years and contribute to the research of global environmental change.

  15. Climate change and consequences in the Arctic: perception of climate change by the Nenets people of Vaigach Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander N. Davydov

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Arctic climate change is already having a significant impact on the environment, economic activity, and public health. For the northern peoples, traditions and cultural identity are closely related to the natural environment so any change will have consequences for society in several ways.A questionnaire was given to the population on the Vaigach island, the Nenets who rely to a large degree on hunting, fishing and reindeer herding for survival. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted about perception of climate change.Climate change is observed and has already had an impact on daily life according to more than 50% of the respondents. The winter season is now colder and longer and the summer season colder and shorter. A decrease in standard of living was noticeable but few were planning to leave.Climate change has been noticed in the region and it has a negative impact on the standard of living for the Nenets. However, as of yet they do not want to leave as cultural identity is important for their overall well-being.

  16. Polar cloud observatory at Ny-Ålesund in GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanouchi, Takashi; Takano, Toshiaki; Shiobara, Masataka; Okamoto, Hajime; Koike, Makoto; Ukita, Jinro

    2016-04-01

    Cloud is one of the main processes in the climate system and especially a large feed back agent for Arctic warming amplification (Yoshimori et al., 2014). From this reason, observation of polar cloud has been emphasized and 95 GHz cloud profiling radar in high precision was established at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard in 2013 as one of the basic infrastructure in the GRENE (Green Network of Excellence Program) Arctic Climate Change Research Project. The radar, "FALCON-A", is a FM-CW (frequency modulated continuous wave) Doppler radar, developed for Arctic use by Chiba University (PI: T. Takano) in 2012, following its prototype, "FALCON-1" which was developed in 2006 (Takano et al., 2010). The specifications of the radar are, central frequency: 94.84 GHz; antenna power: 1 W; observation height: up to 15 km; range resolution: 48 m; beam width: 0.2 degree (15 m at 5 km); Doppler width: 3.2 m/s; time interval: 10 sec, and capable of archiving high sensitivity and high spatial and time resolution. An FM-CW type radar realizes similar sensitivity with much smaller parabolic antennas separated 1.4 m from each other used for transmitting and receiving the wave. Polarized Micro-Pulse Lidar (PMPL, Sigma Space MPL-4B-IDS), which is capable to measure the backscatter and depolarization ratio, has also been deployed to Ny-Ålesund in March 2012, and now operated to perform collocated measurements with FALCON-A. Simultaneous measurement data from collocated PMPL and FALCON-A are available for synergetic analyses of cloud microphysics. Cloud mycrophysics, such as effective radius of ice particles and ice water content, are obtained from the analysis based on algorithm, which is modified for ground-based measurements from Okamoto's retrieval algorithm for satellite based cloud profiling radar and lidar (CloudSat and CALIPSO; Okamoto et al., 2010). Results of two years will be shown in the presentation. Calibration is a point to derive radar reflectivity (dBZ) from original intensity data

  17. National Institute for Global Environmental Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Werth, G.C.

    1992-04-01

    This document is the Semi-Annual Report of the National Institute for Global Environmental Change for the reporting period July 1 to December 31, 1991. The report is in two parts. Part I presents the mission of the Institute, examples of progress toward that mission, a brief description of the revised management plan, and the financial report. Part II presents the statements of the Regional Center Directors along with progress reports of the projects written by the researchers themselves.

  18. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Parker , Melanie; Kelley , Scott T.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2015-08-01

    Summary This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes,

  19. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Parker , Melanie; Kelley , Scott T.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2015-07-21

    This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska, and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography, but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes, dominated by fermenters (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes).

  20. Adapting to Climate Change: Social-Ecological Resilience in a Canadian Western Arctic Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fikret Berkes

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Human adaptation remains an insufficiently studied part of the subject of climate change. This paper examines the questions of adaptation and change in terms of social-ecological resilience using lessons from a place-specific case study. The Inuvialuit people of the small community of Sachs Harbour in Canada's western Arctic have been tracking climate change throughout the 1990s. We analyze the adaptive capacity of this community to deal with climate change. Short-term responses to changes in land-based activities, which are identified as coping mechanisms, are one component of this adaptive capacity. The second component is related to cultural and ecological adaptations of the Inuvialuit for life in a highly variable and uncertain environment; these represent long-term adaptive strategies. These two types of strategies are, in fact, on a continuum in space and time. This study suggests new ways in which theory and practice can be combined by showing how societies may adapt to climate change at multiple scales. Switching species and adjusting the "where, when, and how" of hunting are examples of shorter-term responses. On the other hand, adaptations such as flexibility in seasonal hunting patterns, traditional knowledge that allows the community to diversity hunting activities, networks for sharing food and other resources, and intercommunity trade are longer-term, culturally ingrained mechanisms. Individuals, households, and the community as a whole also provide feedback on their responses to change. Newly developing co-management institutions create additional linkages for feedback across different levels, enhancing the capacity for learning and self-organization of the local inhabitants and making it possible for them to transmit community concerns to regional, national, and international levels.

  1. Potential Arctic tundra vegetation shifts in response to changing temperature, precipitation and permafrost thaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kolk, Henk-Jan; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Pullens, Jeroen W. M.; Berendse, Frank

    2016-11-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation and climate have changed significantly in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid-dominated wetland. Which factors drive vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem are still not sufficiently clear. In this study, the dynamic tundra vegetation model, NUCOM-tundra (NUtrient and COMpetition), was used to evaluate the consequences of climate change scenarios of warming and increasing precipitation for future tundra vegetation change. The model includes three plant functional types (moss, graminoids and shrubs), carbon and nitrogen cycling, water and permafrost dynamics and a simple thaw pond module. Climate scenario simulations were performed for 16 combinations of temperature and precipitation increases in five vegetation types representing a gradient from dry shrub-dominated to moist mixed and wet graminoid-dominated sites. Vegetation composition dynamics in currently mixed vegetation sites were dependent on both temperature and precipitation changes, with warming favouring shrub dominance and increased precipitation favouring graminoid abundance. Climate change simulations based on greenhouse gas emission scenarios in which temperature and precipitation increases were combined showed increases in biomass of both graminoids and shrubs, with graminoids increasing in abundance. The simulations suggest that shrub growth can be limited by very wet soil conditions and low nutrient supply, whereas graminoids have the advantage of being able to grow in a wide range of soil moisture conditions and have access to nutrients in deeper soil layers. Abrupt permafrost thaw initiating thaw pond formation led to complete domination of graminoids. However, due to increased drainage, shrubs could profit from such changes in adjacent areas. Both climate and thaw pond formation

  2. Radioactive and other environmental threats to the United States and the Arctic resulting from past Soviet activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-12-31

    Earlier this year the Senate Intelligence Committee began to receive reports from environmental and nuclear scientists in Russia detailing the reckless nuclear waste disposal practices, nuclear accidents and the use of nuclear detonations. We found that information disturbing to say the least. Also troubling is the fact that 15 Chernobyl style RBMK nuclear power reactors continue to operate in the former Soviet Union today. These reactors lack a containment structure and they`re designed in such a way that nuclear reaction can actually increase when the reactor overheats. As scientists here at the University of Alaska have documented, polar air masses and prevailing weather patterns provide a pathway for radioactive contaminants from Eastern Europe and Western Russia, where many of these reactors are located. The threats presented by those potential radioactive risks are just a part of a larger Arctic pollution problem. Every day, industrial activities of the former Soviet Union continue to create pollutants. I think we should face up to the reality that in a country struggling for economic survival, environment protection isn`t necessarily the high priority. And that could be very troubling news for the Arctic in the future.

  3. Observed microphysical changes in Arctic mixed-phase clouds when transitioning from sea-ice to open ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Gillian; Jones, Hazel M.; Crosier, Jonathan; Bower, Keith N.; Darbyshire, Eoghan; Taylor, Jonathan W.; Liu, Dantong; Allan, James D.; Williams, Paul I.; Gallagher, Martin W.; Choularton, Thomas W.

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic sea-ice is intricately coupled to the atmosphere[1]. The decreasing sea-ice extent with the changing climate raises questions about how Arctic cloud structure will respond. Any effort to answer these questions is hindered by the scarcity of atmospheric observations in this region. Comprehensive cloud and aerosol measurements could allow for an improved understanding of the relationship between surface conditions and cloud structure; knowledge which could be key in validating weather model forecasts. Previous studies[2] have shown via remote sensing that cloudiness increases over the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and ocean with comparison to the sea-ice; however, to our knowledge, detailed in-situ data of this transition have not been previously presented. In 2013, the Aerosol-Cloud Coupling and Climate Interactions in the Arctic (ACCACIA) campaign was carried out in the vicinity of Svalbard, Norway to collect in-situ observations of the Arctic atmosphere and investigate this issue. Fitted with a suite of remote sensing, cloud and aerosol instrumentation, the FAAM BAe-146 aircraft was used during the spring segment of the campaign (Mar-Apr 2013). One case study (23rd Mar 2013) produced excellent coverage of the atmospheric changes when transitioning from sea-ice, through the MIZ, to the open ocean. Clear microphysical changes were observed, with the cloud liquid-water content increasing by almost four times over the transition. Cloud base, depth and droplet number also increased, whilst ice number concentrations decreased slightly. The surface warmed by ~13 K from sea-ice to ocean, with minor differences in aerosol particle number (of sizes corresponding to Cloud Condensation Nuclei or Ice Nucleating Particles) observed, suggesting that the primary driver of these microphysical changes was the increased heat fluxes and induced turbulence from the warm ocean surface as expected. References: [1] Kapsch, M.L., Graversen, R.G. and Tjernström, M. Springtime

  4. The Changing Seasonality of Tundra Nutrient Cycling: Implications for Arctic Ecosystem Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weintraub, M. N.; Steltzer, H.; Sullivan, P.; Schimel, J.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Segal, A. D.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large stores of carbon (C) and may act as a significant CO2 source with warming. However, the key to understanding tundra soil processes is nitrogen (N), as both plant growth and decomposition are N limited. However, current models of tundra ecosystems assume that while N limits plant growth, C limits decomposition. In addition, N availability is strongly seasonal with relatively high concentrations early in the growing season followed by a pronounced crash. We need to understand the controls on this seasonality to predict responses to climate change, but there are multiple questions that need answers: 1) What causes the seasonality in N? 2) Does microbial activity switch seasonally between C and N limitation? 3) How will a lengthening of the growing season alter overall ecosystem C and N dynamics, as a result of differential extension of the periods before and after the nutrient crash? We hypothesized that microbial activity is C limited early in the growing season, when N availability is higher and root exudate C is unavailable, and that microbial activity becomes N limited in response to plant N uptake and immobilization stimulated by root C. To address these questions we are conducting an accelerated snow-melt X warming field experiment in an Alaskan moist acidic arctic tundra community, and following plant and soil dynamics. Changes in the timing of C and N interactions in the different treatments will enable us to develop an enhanced mechanistic understanding of why the nutrient crash occurs and what the implications are for a lengthening of the arctic growing season. In 2010 we successfully accelerated snowmelt by 4 days. Both earlier snowmelt and warming accelerated early season plant life history events, with a few exceptions. However, responses to the combined treatment could not always be predicted from single factor effects. End of season life history events occurred later in response to the treatments, again with a few exceptions

  5. The role of natural versus forced change in future rapid summer Arctic ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Marika M.; Bitz, Cecilia M.; Tremblay, L.-Bruno; Bailey, David A.

    Climate model simulations from the Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3) suggest that Arctic sea ice could undergo rapid September ice retreat in the 21st century. A previous study indicated that this results from a thinning of sea ice to more vulnerable conditions, a "kick" in the form of pulse-like increases in ocean heat transport and positive feedbacks that accelerate the retreat. Here we further examine the factors affecting these events, including the role of natural versus forced change and the possibility of threshold-like behavior in the simulated sea ice cover. We find little indication that a critical sea ice state is reached that then leads to rapid ice loss. Instead, our results suggest that the rapid ice loss events result from anthropogenic change reinforced by growing intrinsic variability. The natural variability in summer ice extent increases in the 21st century because of the thinning ice cover. As the ice thins, large regions can easily melt out, resulting in considerable ice extent variations. The important role of natural variability in the simulated rapid ice loss is such that we find little capability for predicting these events based on a knowledge of prior ice and ocean conditions. This is supported by results from sensitivity simulations initialized several years prior to an event, which exhibit little predictive skill.

  6. Reconstruction of Holocene patterns of change in a High Arctic coastal landscape, Southern Sassenfjorden, Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sessford, Evangeline G.; Strzelecki, Mateusz C.; Hormes, Anne

    2015-04-01

    Abrupt shifts in sediment supply, relative sea level, permafrost regime, glacier state, snow cover and sea ice conditions associated with Holocene climate changes control processes operating on High Arctic coasts and make reconstructions of their past evolution a significant research challenge. This study attempts to describe the development of the coastal zone in southern Sassenfjorden, Svalbard, throughout the Holocene focusing on the styles of adjustment to major landscape changes. Five marine terraces (MT1-5) are identified and assessed. Spatial and chronological analysis suggests that the highest terrace, MT5, is pre-LGM (Last Glacial Maximum) and that MT4-3 underwent rapid uplift (151 and 11.4 mm/year, respectively) shortly prior to 11 061 ± 174 cal. yr BP and became fully terrestrial by 9100 years ago (as indicated by emergence rates) during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM). Uplift rates for MT2-1 slowed to 5 and 2 mm/year, respectively, with suggested emergence between 7200 and 6800 cal. yr BP. A final 2 m uplift of the relict alluvial plain probably happened during the Medieval Warm Period (1200-950 cal. yr BP). Most recent coastal development (AD 1912-2012) is characterised by episodes of coastal erosion on the cliff and progradation of the Nøiselva delta. Interactions between sea ice, snow cover, permafrost, wind and wave regimes are assessed to understand their implications on future coastal development in a warming climate.

  7. 77 FR 2513 - Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-18

    ... Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean.'' Based on several written requests.../pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Candace Nachman, Jolie Harrison,...

  8. Comparative analysis of land, marine, and satellite observations of methane in the lower Atmosphere in the Russian Arctic under conditions of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, O. A.; Kokorev, V. A.

    2015-12-01

    Land, marine, and satellite observations have been used to study changes in methane concentrations in the lower atmosphere during the warm months of the year (July through October) in Arctic regions having different potentials for methane production. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) data for 2002-2013 are used to explore the interplay between local methane sources in the terrestrial region of the Eurasian Arctic and on the Arctic shelf over the warm period of the year. Linear trends in atmospheric methane concentrations over different Arctic regions are calculated, and a hypothesis of the relation of concentration variations to climatic parameters is tested. The combination of land, marine, and satellite observation is used to develop a conceptual model of the atmospheric methane field in the terrestrial part of the Russian Arctic and on the Arctic shelf. It is shown that the modern methane growth rate in the Arctic does not exceed the Northern Hemisphere mean. It is concluded that the methane emission in the Arctic has little effect on global climate compared to other factors.

  9. Hydrologic connectivity responses to thermally-controlled changes in hydraulic gradients on Arctic hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushlow, C. R.; Godsey, S.

    2012-12-01

    Active layer freeze and thaw exerts a first-order control on Arctic hillslope hydrology, and thus the weathering and transport of material within Arctic watersheds. We investigate how changes in active layer thaw depth over the summer warm season affect the storage and flux of water, especially in response to snowmelt and storm events. We focus our investigation on six water tracks -linear regions of preferential, but unchannelized flow- draining the hillslopes of the Upper Kuparuk River basin in northern Alaska. Water tracks form a slight topographic depression on the hillslope, and snow depth surveys from before spring snowmelt indicate that snow depths are deeper in the water tracks than on the surrounding hillslope. Thermocouples installed at ten intervals up to 35 cm below ground on the inside, edge and outside of each water track monitored ground temperatures as the active layer expanded throughout the summer. In general, the amplitude of diurnal temperature variability decreases with increasing depth, and the amplitude increases over the course of the season at all depths. Temperatures inside the water track have a muted diurnal cyclicity relative to the temperatures on the edge and outside the water track. Furthermore, surface soil moisture content inside the water tracks is consistently higher than outside. Both of these observations reflect that water moderates subsurface temperatures. Thaw depth surveys perpendicular to the water track show that over the course of the season, thaw depth becomes greater within the water track, increasing the hydraulic gradient from the surrounding hillslope to the water track. Thus, during annual late May snowmelt the surface topography is the main control on water flow paths, but as temperatures continue to warm, the topography of the active layer dominates. Thirty pressure transducers deployed in shallow groundwater wells along perpendicular transects of one water track measure changes in water table elevation during

  10. Climate change, its consequences in the Arctic and around the world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayer, Sophie; Le Divenah, Claudie; Rosetti, Alexandra

    2010-05-01

    CLIMATE CHANGE, ITS CONSEQUENCES IN THE ARCTIC AND AROUND THE WORLD This project has been led in a French European Class either in physics, chemistry, geology, biology and English by: - Sophie Jayer (Biology and geology teacher) - Claudie Le Divenah (Physics and Chemistry teacher) - Alexandra Rosetti (English teacher) As it was a European class, all the classes were held in English. The goals were - to have the students study both sciences and English - to show them that all these subjects were linked in real life and how important English was for scientists - To give them a glimpse of what scientific researches were both in the field and in a lab - To get them involved in the polar year - To make them work on the notion of world citizenship and raise their awareness about the issue of sustainable development We first introduced the Damocles and Tara project to the pupils. Then we studied the Arctic's geography, their inhabitants and ecosystem (Biology and English). In physics and chemistry, they talked about their working conditions, equipments and what kind of analysis they would do. In geology, we studied the evolution of the sea ice and its consequences but also climate changes of the past, the influence of climate on human history and the evidences of global warming nowadays (the pupils had to find information and to make a presentation about different climate events that could be evidence of global warming). A man who works on a research boat for a French national organization came in our class and was able to present his work, the conditions of life on board and to answer the pupils' questions. This is a quick summary of our work. If you need any additional information before the GIFT, please contact me at: sophie.jayer@neuf.fr or Sophie Jayer 61 A route de Paris 78550 Bazainville 0033 (0)1 34 87 61 06 0033 (0)6 20 53 84 65 (mobile) Our group teaches at Emilie de Breteuil High School In Montigny le Bretonneux, 30 km southwest of Paris Lycée Emilie de

  11. 2.8 Million Years of Arctic Climate Change from Deep Drilling at Lake El'gygytgyn, NE Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melles, M.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Minyuk, P.; Wennrich, V.; Nowaczyk, N.; DeConto, R.; Anderson, P.; Andreev, A.; Haltia-Hovi, E.; Kukkonen, M.; Lozhkin, A.; Rosén, P.; Tarasov, P.

    2012-12-01

    Scientific deep drilling at Lake El'gygtygyn in Chukotka, northeastern Russia (67.5 °N, 172 °E) revealed the first high-resolution record of environmental history in the Arctic that spans the past 2.8 Ma continuously (Melles et al. 2012). In this presentation we focus on the end-member glacial and interglacial climatic conditions during this period as clearly reflected in the pelagic lake sediments recovered. Peak glacial conditions, when mean annual air temperatures at least 4 (± 0.5) °C lower than today led to perennial lake ice (Nolan 2012), first appeared at Lake El'gygytgyn 2.602 - 2.598 Ma ago, during marine isotope stage (MIS) 104. These pervasive glacial episodes gradually increase in frequency from ~2.3 to ~1.8 Ma, eventually concurring with all glacials and several stadials reflected globally in stacked marine isotope records. Particularly warm interglacials, in contrast, experienced a long ice-free season and enhanced nutrient supply from the catchment, which allowed for significantly higher primary production than today. These settings were most pronounced for MIS 11c, 31, 49, 55, 77, 87, 91, and 93. Their exceptional character becomes evident based upon pollen-based climate reconstructions in selected interglacials, showing that the mean temperature of the warmest month and the annual precipitation during the thermal maxima of MIS 11c and 31 ("super" interglacials) were 4-5 °C and ~300 mm higher than those of MIS 1 and 5e ("normal" interglacials), respectively. According to climate simulations, the exceptional warm and moist climates at least during MIS 11c cannot be explained by the natural variability in Earth's orbital parameters and greenhouse gas concentrations alone. A remarkable coincidence of the super interglacials at Lake El'gygytgyn with diatomite layers in the Antarctic ANDRILL 1B, which reflect periods of a diminished West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) (Naish et al. 2009, Pollard and DeConto 2009), suggests intra-hemispheric climate

  12. Large-scale temperature and salinity changes in the upper Canadian basin of the Arctic Ocean at a time of a drastic Arctic Oscillation inversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Bourgain

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Between 2008 and 2010, the Arctic Oscillation index over Arctic regions shifted from positive values corresponding to more cyclonic conditions prevailing during IPY period (2007–2008 to extremely negative values corresponding to strong anticyclonic conditions in 2010. In this context, we investigated the recent large scale evolution of the upper Western Arctic Ocean based on temperature and salinity summertime observations collected during icebreaker campaigns and from Ice-Tethered Platforms (ITP drifting across the region in 2008 and 2010. Particularly, we focused on (1 the freshwater content which was extensively studied during previous years, (2 the Near Surface Temperature Maximum due to incoming solar radiation and (3 the water masses advected from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans into the deep Arctic Ocean.

    The observations revealed a freshwater content change in the Canadian basin during this time period. South of 80° N, the freshwater content increased, while north of 80° N, less freshening occurred in 2010 compared to 2008. This was more likely due to the strong anticyclonicity characteristic of a low AO index mode that enhanced both a wind-generated Ekman pumping in the Beaufort Gyre and a diversion of the Siberian rivers runoff toward the Eurasian basin at the same time.

    The Near Surface Temperature Maximum due to incoming solar radiation was almost 1 °C colder in the Southern Canada basin (south of 75° N in 2010 compared to 2008 which contrasted with the positive trend observed during previous years. This was more likely due to higher summer sea ice concentration in 2010 compared to 2008 in that region, and surface albedo feedback reflecting more sun radiation back in space.

    The Pacific waters were also subjected to strong spatial and temporal variability between 2008 and 2010. In the Canada basin, both Summer and Winter Pacific waters influence increased between 75° N and 80° N. This was more likely

  13. EDITORIAL: Northern Hemisphere high latitude climate and environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groisman, Pavel; Soja, Amber

    2007-10-01

    funded projects (always with international participation) in the United States, Russian Federation, China, European Union, Japan, and Canada have been mutually united to explore the scientifically significant Northern Eurasian region. NEESPI scientists have been quite productive during the past two years (2005 2006) publishing more than 200 books, book chapters, and papers in refereed journals. NEESPI sessions at international conferences are open to everyone who works on environmental and climate change problems in Northern Eurasia and the circumpolar boreal zone. This thematic issue brings together articles from the authors who presented their latest results at the Annual Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco (December 2006). The research letters in this issue are preceded by two editorial papers (Leptoukh et al and Sherstyukov et al) devoted to informational support of research in the NEESPI domain that is critical to the success of the Initiative. The following papers are quite diverse and are assembled into five groups devoted to studies of climate and hydrology, land cover and land use, the biogeochemical cycle and its feedbacks, the cryosphere, and human dimensions in the NEESPI domain and the circumpolar boreal zone. Focus on Northern Hemisphere High Latitude Climate and Environmental Change Contents The articles below represent the first accepted contributions and further additions will appear in the near future. Editorials NASA NEESPI Data and Services Center for Satellite Remote Sensing Information Gregory Leptoukh, Ivan Csiszar, Peter Romanov, Suhung Shen, Tatiana Loboda and Irina Gerasimov NEESPI Science and Data Support Center for Hydrometeorological Information in Obninsk, Russia B G Sherstyukov, V N Razuvaev, O N Bulygina and P Ya Groisman Climate and hydrology Changes in the fabric of the Arctic's greenhouse blanket Jennifer A Francis and Elias Hunter Spatial variations of summer precipitation trends in South Korea, 1973 2005 Heejun

  14. Recent Changes in Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Motion Associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, R.

    1999-01-01

    Examination of a new ice motion dataset of the Arctic Ocean over a recent eighteen year period (1978-1996) reveals patterns of variability that can be linked directly to the North Atlantic Oscillation.

  15. Adaptation in Arctic circumpolar communities: food and water security in a changing climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Berner

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The AMAP Human Health Assessment Group has developed different adaptation strategies through a long-term collaboration with all Arctic countries. Different adaptation strategies are discussed, with examples mainly from native population groups in Alaska.

  16. Attribution of recent changes in autumn cyclone associated precipitation in the Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Stroeve, Julienne C.; Serreze, Mark C.; Barrett, Andrew; Kindig, David N.

    2011-01-01

    An Arctic Ocean with less sea ice and more open water in September has led to anomalous warming of the overlying atmosphere in autumn. Through influences on column water vapour and atmospheric circulation, it is reasonable to expect that this warming will have impacts on Arctic precipitation. Analysis of data from the JRA-25 atmospheric reanalysis reveals an autumn increase in cyclone-associated precipitation over the past decade. This is linked to a shift in atmospheric circulation towards m...

  17. Extreme changes of the Arctic Ocean during and after IPY 2007/2008

    OpenAIRE

    Timokhov, Leonid; Ashik, Igor; Dmitrenko, Igor; Hoelemann, Jens; Kassens, Heidemarie; Kirillov, Sergey; Polyakov, Igor; Sokolov, Vladimir

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale features of Arctic Ocean temperature and salinity distributions observed during 2007-2009 are described and discussed in the context of historical observation in order to document long-term variations. Oceanographic observations carried out in the frame of the International Polar Year (IPY 2007/2008) demonstrated unique conditions in the Arctic Ocean and seas during that period. For example, analyses of upper ocean temperature and salinity patterns 2007-2009 revealed an apparen...

  18. Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnard, Christophe; Zdanowicz, Christian M; Fisher, David A; Isaksson, Elisabeth; de Vernal, Anne; Thompson, Lonnie G

    2011-11-23

    Arctic sea ice extent is now more than two million square kilometres less than it was in the late twentieth century, with important consequences for the climate, the ocean and traditional lifestyles in the Arctic. Although observations show a more or less continuous decline for the past four or five decades, there are few long-term records with which to assess natural sea ice variability. Until now, the question of whether or not current trends are potentially anomalous has therefore remained unanswerable. Here we use a network of high-resolution terrestrial proxies from the circum-Arctic region to reconstruct past extents of summer sea ice, and show that-although extensive uncertainties remain, especially before the sixteenth century-both the duration and magnitude of the current decline in sea ice seem to be unprecedented for the past 1,450 years. Enhanced advection of warm Atlantic water to the Arctic seems to be the main factor driving the decline of sea ice extent on multidecadal timescales, and may result from nonlinear feedbacks between sea ice and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. These results reinforce the assertion that sea ice is an active component of Arctic climate variability and that the recent decrease in summer Arctic sea ice is consistent with anthropogenically forced warming.

  19. Loss of Arctic sea ice causing punctuated change in sightings of killer whales (Orcinus orca) over the past century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higdon, Jeff W; Ferguson, Steven H

    2009-07-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are major predators that may reshape marine ecosystems via top-down forcing. Climate change models predict major reductions in sea ice with the subsequent expectation for readjustments of species' distribution and abundance. Here, we measure changes in killer whale distribution in the Hudson Bay region with decreasing sea ice as an example of global readjustments occurring with climate change. We summarize records of killer whales in Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and Foxe Basin in the eastern Canadian Arctic and relate them to an historical sea ice data set while accounting for spatial and temporal autocorrelation in the data. We find evidence for "choke points," where sea ice inhibits killer whale movement, thereby creating restrictions to their Arctic distribution. We hypothesize that a threshold exists in seasonal sea ice concentration within these choke points that results in pulses in advancements in distribution of an ice-avoiding predator. Hudson Strait appears to have been a significant sea ice choke point that opened up .approximately 50 years ago allowing for an initial punctuated appearance of killer whales followed by a gradual advancing distribution within the entire Hudson Bay region. Killer whale sightings have increased exponentially and are now reported in the Hudson Bay region every summer. We predict that other choke points will soon open up with continued sea ice melt producing punctuated predator-prey trophic cascades across the Arctic.

  20. The progress in the study of Arctic pack ice ecology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何剑锋; 王桂忠; 蔡明红; 李少菁

    2004-01-01

    The sea ice community plays an important role in the Arctic marine ecosystem. Because of the predicted environmental changes in the Arctic environment and specifically related to sea ice, the Arctic pack ice biota has received more attention in recent years using modern ice-breaking research vessels. Studies show that the Arctic pack ice contains a diverse biota and besides ice algae, the bacterial and protozoan biomasses can be high. Surprisingly high primary production values were observed in the pack ice of the central Arctic Ocean. Occasionally biomass maximum were discovered in the interior of the ice floes, a habitat that had been ignored in most Arctic studies. Many scientific questions, which deserve special attention, remained unsolved due to logistic limitations and the sea ice characteristics. Little is know about the pack ice community in the central Arctic Ocean. Almost no data exists from the pack ice zone for the winter season. Concerning the abundance of bacteria and protozoa, more studies are needed to understand the microbial network within the ice and its role in material and energy flows. The response of the sea ice biota to global change will impact the entire Arctic marine ecosystem and a long-term monitoring program is needed. The techniques, that are applied to study the sea ice biota and the sea ice ecology, should be improved.

  1. Effects of Temperature Changes on Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Contaminated Soils from an Arctic Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, W.; Klemm, S.; Whyte, L.; Ghoshal, S.

    2009-05-01

    Bioremediation is being considered as a cost-effective and a minimally disruptive remedial option at remote sites in the Arctic and sub-Arctic impacted by petroleum NAPL contamination. The implementation of on-site bioremediation in cold environments has been generally limited in the short, non-freezing summer months since ground remains frozen for 8-9 months of the year. This study evaluates the effect of different temperature regimes on petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation rates and extent, as well as on the microbial activity. A series of pilot-scale landfarming bioremediation experiments (1 m×0.6 m×0.35 m soil tank dimension) was performed using aged, petroleum fuel-contaminated soils shipped from Resolution Island, Nunavut, Canada. These experiments were conducted under the following temperature conditions: (1) variable daily average field temperatures (1 to 10°C) representative of summers at the site; (2) constant mean temperature-mode with 6°C, representing typical stable laboratory incubation; and (3) under seasonal freeze-thaw conditions (-8°C to 10°C). Data to be presented include changes with time of petroleum hydrocarbons concentration fractionated by C-lengths, soil moisture (unfrozen water) contents, O2 and CO2 concentrations in soil pore gas, microbial population size and community composition in nutrient- amended and untreated landfarms. Hydrocarbon biodegradation and heterotrophic respiration activity was more rapid under the variable temperature cycle (1 to 10°C) than at a constant average temperature of 6°C, and total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations were reduced by 55% due to biodegradation over a 60 day test period under the variable temperature regime, compared to only 21% in soil tanks which were subjected to a constant temperature of 6°C. Shifts in microbial community were clearly observed in the both temperature modes using PCR-DGGE analyses and the emergence of a hydrocarbon-degrading population, Alkanindiges, was

  2. Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the Earth's four major oceans, covering 14x10(exp 6) sq km located entirely within the Arctic Circle (66 deg 33 min N). It is a major player in the climate of the north polar region and has a variable sea ice cover that tends to increase its sensitivity to climate change. Its temperature, salinity, and ice cover have all undergone changes in the past several decades, although it is uncertain whether these predominantly reflect long-term trends, oscillations within the system, or natural variability. Major changes include a warming and expansion of the Atlantic layer, at depths of 200-900 m, a warming of the upper ocean in the Beaufort Sea, a considerable thinning (perhaps as high as 40%) of the sea ice cover, a lesser and uneven retreat of the ice cover (averaging approximately 3% per decade), and a mixed pattern of salinity increases and decreases.

  3. Environmental health implications of global climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watson, Robert T.; Patz, Jonathan; Gubler, Duane J.; Parson, Edward A.; Vincent, James H.

    2005-07-01

    This paper reviews the background that has led to the now almost-universally held opinion in the scientific community that global climate change is occurring and is inescapably linked with anthropogenic activity. The potential implications to human health are considerable and very diverse. These include, for example, the increased direct impacts of heat and of rises in sea level, exacerbated air and water-borne harmful agents, and - associated with all the preceding - the emergence of environmental refugees. Vector-borne diseases, in particular those associated with blood-sucking arthropods such as mosquitoes, may be significantly impacted, including redistribution of some of those diseases to areas not previously affected. Responses to possible impending environmental and public health crises must involve political and socio-economic considerations, adding even greater complexity to what is already a difficult challenge. In some areas, adjustments to national and international public health practices and policies may be effective, at least in the short and medium terms. But in others, more drastic measures will be required. Environmental monitoring, in its widest sense, will play a significant role in the future management of the problem. (Author)

  4. Differential physiological responses to environmental change promote woody shrub expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heskel, Mary; Greaves, Heather; Kornfeld, Ari; Gough, Laura; Atkin, Owen K; Turnbull, Matthew H; Shaver, Gaius; Griffin, Kevin L

    2013-05-01

    Direct and indirect effects of warming are increasingly modifying the carbon-rich vegetation and soils of the Arctic tundra, with important implications for the terrestrial carbon cycle. Understanding the biological and environmental influences on the processes that regulate foliar carbon cycling in tundra species is essential for predicting the future terrestrial carbon balance in this region. To determine the effect of climate change impacts on gas exchange in tundra, we quantified foliar photosynthesis (A net), respiration in the dark and light (R D and R L, determined using the Kok method), photorespiration (PR), carbon gain efficiency (CGE, the ratio of photosynthetic CO2 uptake to total CO2 exchange of photosynthesis, PR, and respiration), and leaf traits of three dominant species - Betula nana, a woody shrub; Eriophorum vaginatum, a graminoid; and Rubus chamaemorus, a forb - grown under long-term warming and fertilization treatments since 1989 at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Under warming, B. nana exhibited the highest rates of A net and strongest light inhibition of respiration, increasing CGE nearly 50% compared with leaves grown in ambient conditions, which corresponded to a 52% increase in relative abundance. Gas exchange did not shift under fertilization in B. nana despite increases in leaf N and P and near-complete dominance at the community scale, suggesting a morphological rather than physiological response. Rubus chamaemorus, exhibited minimal shifts in foliar gas exchange, and responded similarly to B. nana under treatment conditions. By contrast, E. vaginatum, did not significantly alter its gas exchange physiology under treatments and exhibited dramatic decreases in relative cover (warming: -19.7%; fertilization: -79.7%; warming with fertilization: -91.1%). Our findings suggest a foliar physiological advantage in the woody shrub B. nana that is further mediated by warming and increased soil nutrient availability, which may facilitate shrub expansion and

  5. Peeking Under the Ice… Literally: Records of Arctic Climate Change from Radiocarbon Dating Moss Emerging from Beneath Retreating Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briner, J. P.; Schweinsberg, A.; Miller, G. H.; Lifton, N. A.; Beel, C. R.; Bennike, O.

    2014-12-01

    Dramatic changes are taking place throughout the Arctic. Many glaciers have already melted away completely, and most others are well on their way as rising snowline elevations promise continued glacier retreat. Emerging from beneath retreating glacier margins is a landscape rich in information about past climate and glacier changes. Within newly exposed bedrock is an inventory of cosmogenic nuclides that archive past ice cover timing and duration. Lake basins re-appearing due to retreating ice preserve sediment archives that tell of cooling climate and advancing ice. And ancient surfaces vegetated with tundra communities that have long been entombed beneath frozen-bedded ice caps are now being revealed for the first time in millennia. This presentation will focus on the climate and glacier record derived from radiocarbon dating of in situ moss recently exhumed from retreating local ice cap margins on western Greenland. Dozens of radiocarbon ages from moss group into several distinct modes, which are interpreted as discrete times of persistent summer cooling and resultant glacier expansion. The data reveal a pattern of glacier expansion beginning ~5000 years ago, followed by periods of glacier growth around 3500 and 1500 years ago. Because these times of glacier expansion are recorded at many sites in western Greenland and elsewhere in the Arctic, they are interpreted as times of step-wise summer cooling events during the Holocene. These non-linear climate changes may be a result of feedbacks that amplify linear insolation forcing of Holocene climate. In addition to these insights into the Arctic climate system, the antiquity of many radiocarbon ages of ice-killed moss indicate that many arctic surfaces are being re-exposed for the first time in millennia due to retreating ice, emphasizing the unprecedented nature of current summer warming.

  6. Source Characterization and Temporal Variation of Methane Seepage from Thermokarst Lakes on the Alaska North Slope in Response to Arctic Climate Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2012-09-30

    The goals of this research were to characterize the source, magnitude and temporal variability of methane seepage from thermokarst lakes (TKL) within the Alaska North Slope gas hydrate province, assess the vulnerability of these areas to ongoing and future arctic climate change and determine if gas hydrate dissociation resulting from permafrost melting is contributing to the current lake emissions. Analyses were focused on four main lake locations referred to in this report: Lake Qalluuraq (referred to as Lake Q) and Lake Teshekpuk (both on Alaska's North Slope) and Lake Killarney and Goldstream Bill Lake (both in Alaska's interior). From analyses of gases coming from lakes in Alaska, we showed that ecological seeps are common in Alaska and they account for a larger source of atmospheric methane today than geologic subcap seeps. Emissions from the geologic source could increase with potential implications for climate warming feedbacks. Our analyses of TKL sites showing gas ebullition were complemented with geophysical surveys, providing important insight about the distribution of shallow gas in the sediments and the lake bottom manifestation of seepage (e.g., pockmarks). In Lake Q, Chirp data were limited in their capacity to image deeper sediments and did not capture the thaw bulb. The failure to capture the thaw bulb at Lake Q may in part be related to the fact that the present day lake is a remnant of an older, larger, and now-partially drained lake. These suggestions are consistent with our analyses of a dated core of sediment from the lake that shows that a wetland has been present at the site of Lake Q since approximately 12,000 thousand years ago. Chemical analyses of the core indicate that the availability of methane at the site has changed during the past and is correlated with past environmental changes (i.e. temperature and hydrology) in the Arctic. Discovery of methane seeps in Lake Teshekpuk in the northernmost part of the lake during 2009

  7. Long-term increases in young-of-the-year growth of Arctic cisco Coregonus autumnalis and environmental influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Biela, V R; Zimmerman, C E; Moulton, L L

    2011-01-01

    Arctic cisco Coregonus autumnalis young-of-year (YOY) growth was used as a proxy to examine the long-term response of a high-latitude fish population to changing climate from 1978 to 2004. YOY growth increased over time (r² = 0·29) and was correlated with monthly averages of the Arctic oscillation index, air temperature, east wind speed, sea-ice concentration and river discharge with and without time lags. Overall, the most prevalent correlates to YOY growth were sea-ice concentration lagged 1 year (significant correlations in 7 months; r² = 0·14-0·31) and Mackenzie River discharge lagged 2 years (significant correlations in 8 months; r² = 0·13-0·50). The results suggest that decreased sea-ice concentrations and increased river discharge fuel primary production and that life cycles of prey species linking increased primary production to fish growth are responsible for the time lag. Oceanographic studies also suggest that sea ice concentration and fluvial inputs from the Mackenzie River are key factors influencing productivity in the Beaufort Sea. Future research should assess the possible mechanism relating sea ice concentration and river discharge to productivity at upper trophic levels.

  8. Long-term increases in young-of-the-year growth of Arctic cisco Coregonus autumnalis and environmental influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Von Biela, V.R.; Zimmerman, C.E.; Moulton, L.L.

    2011-01-01

    Arctic cisco Coregonus autumnalis young-of-year (YOY) growth was used as a proxy to examine the long-term response of a high-latitude fish population to changing climate from 1978 to 2004. YOY growth increased over time (r2 = 0??29) and was correlated with monthly averages of the Arctic oscillation index, air temperature, east wind speed, sea-ice concentration and river discharge with and without time lags. Overall, the most prevalent correlates to YOY growth were sea-ice concentration lagged 1 year (significant correlations in 7 months; r2 = 0??14-0??31) and Mackenzie River discharge lagged 2 years (significant correlations in 8 months; r2 = 0??13-0??50). The results suggest that decreased sea-ice concentrations and increased river discharge fuel primary production and that life cycles of prey species linking increased primary production to fish growth are responsible for the time lag. Oceanographic studies also suggest that sea ice concentration and fluvial inputs from the Mackenzie River are key factors influencing productivity in the Beaufort Sea. Future research should assess the possible mechanism relating sea ice concentration and river discharge to productivity at upper trophic levels. Journal of Fish Biology ?? 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. No claim to original US government works.

  9. Under-ice ambient noise in Eastern Beaufort Sea, Canadian Arctic, and its relation to environmental forcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinda, G Bazile; Simard, Yvan; Gervaise, Cédric; Mars, Jérome I; Fortier, Louis

    2013-07-01

    This paper analyzes an 8-month time series (November 2005 to June 2006) of underwater noise recorded at the mouth of the Amundsen Gulf in the marginal ice zone of the western Canadian Arctic when the area was >90% ice covered. The time-series of the ambient noise component was computed using an algorithm that filtered out transient acoustic events from 7-min hourly recordings of total ocean noise over a [0-4.1] kHz frequency band. Under-ice ambient noise did not respond to thermal changes, but showed consistent correlations with large-scale regional ice drift, wind speed, and measured currents in upper water column. The correlation of ambient noise with ice drift peaked for locations at ranges of ~300 km off the mouth of the Amundsen Gulf. These locations are within the multi-year ice plume that extends westerly along the coast in the Eastern Beaufort Sea due to the large Beaufort Gyre circulation. These results reveal that ambient noise in Eastern Beaufort Sea in winter is mainly controlled by the same meteorological and oceanographic forcing processes that drive the ice drift and the large-scale circulation in this part of the Arctic Ocean.

  10. Forecasting sudden changes in environmental pollution patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olascoaga, María J.; Haller, George

    2012-01-01

    The lack of reliable forecasts for the spread of oceanic and atmospheric contamination hinders the effective protection of the ecosystem, society, and the economy from the fallouts of environmental disasters. The consequences can be dire, as evidenced by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. We present a methodology to predict major short-term changes in environmental contamination patterns, such as oil spills in the ocean and ash clouds in the atmosphere. Our approach is based on new mathematical results on the objective (frame-independent) identification of key material surfaces that drive tracer mixing in unsteady, finite-time flow data. Some of these material surfaces, known as Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs), turn out to admit highly attracting cores that lead to inevitable material instabilities even under future uncertainties or unexpected perturbations to the observed flow. These LCS cores have the potential to forecast imminent shape changes in the contamination pattern, even before the instability builds up and brings large masses of water or air into motion. Exploiting this potential, the LCS-core analysis developed here provides a model-independent forecasting scheme that relies only on already observed or validated flow velocities at the time the prediction is made. We use this methodology to obtain high-precision forecasts of two major instabilities that occurred in the shape of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This is achieved using simulated surface currents preceding the prediction times and assuming that the oil behaves as a passive tracer. PMID:22411824

  11. Changing Arctic Ecosystems: Updated forecast: Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions required to improve polar bear outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, Karen L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Mugel, Douglas N.; Rode, Karyn D.; Whalen, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to the loss of snow and ice, which increases the amount of solar energy absorbed by the region. The most visible consequence has been the rapid decline in sea ice over the last 3 decades-a decline projected to bring long ice-free summers if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not significantly reduced. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice over the biologically productive continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean as a platform for hunting seals. In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the threat posed by sea ice loss. The polar bear was the first species to be listed due to forecasted population declines from climate change.

  12. The Svalbard REU Program: Undergraduates Pursuing Arctic Climate Change Research on Svalbard, Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roof, S.; Werner, A.

    2007-12-01

    The Svalbard Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the Arctic Natural Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation has been successfully providing international field research experiences since 2004. Each year, 7-9 undergraduate students have participated in 4-5 weeks of glacial geology and climate change fieldwork on Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago in the North Atlantic (76- 80° N lat.). While we continue to learn new and better ways to run our program, we have learned specific management and pedagogical strategies that allow us to streamline our logistics and to provide genuine, meaningful research opportunities to undergraduate students. We select student participants after extensive nationwide advertising and recruiting. Even before applying to the program, students understand that they will be doing meaningful climate change science, will take charge of their own project, and will be expected to continue their research at their home institution. We look for a strong commitment of support from a student's advisor at their home institution before accepting students into our program. We present clear information, including participant responsibilities, potential risks and hazards, application procedures, equipment needed, etc on our program website. The website also provides relevant research papers and data and results from previous years, so potential participants can see how their efforts will contribute to growing body of knowledge. New participants meet with the previous years' participants at a professional meeting (our "REUnion") before they start their field experience. During fieldwork, students are expected to develop research questions and test their own hypotheses while providing and responding to peer feedback. Professional assessment by an independent expert provides us with feedback that helps us improve logistical procedures and shape our educational strategies. The assessment also shows us how

  13. Spatial and temporal variation of an ice-adapted predator's feeding ecology in a changing Arctic marine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steven H; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Spatial and temporal variation can confound interpretations of relationships within and between species in terms of diet composition, niche size, and trophic position (TP). The cause of dietary variation within species is commonly an ontogenetic niche shift, which is a key dynamic influencing community structure. We quantified spatial and temporal variations in ringed seal (Pusa hispida) diet, niche size, and TP during ontogeny across the Arctic-a rapidly changing ecosystem. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis was performed on 558 liver and 630 muscle samples from ringed seals and on likely prey species from five locations ranging from the High to the Low Arctic. A modest ontogenetic diet shift occurred, with adult ringed seals consuming more forage fish (approximately 80 versus 60 %) and having a higher TP than subadults, which generally decreased with latitude. However, the degree of shift varied spatially, with adults in the High Arctic presenting a more restricted niche size and consuming more Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) than subadults (87 versus 44 %) and adults at the lowest latitude (29 %). The TPs of adult and subadult ringed seals generally decreased with latitude (4.7-3.3), which was mainly driven by greater complexity in trophic structure within the zooplankton communities. Adult isotopic niche size increased over time, likely due to the recent circumpolar increases in subarctic forage fish distribution and abundance. Given the spatial and temporal variability in ringed seal foraging ecology, ringed seals exhibit dietary plasticity as a species, suggesting adaptability in terms of their diet to climate change.

  14. Arctic tipping points

    OpenAIRE

    Smolkova, Valentina

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is warming much faster than the entire planet, and this causes severe melting of sea ice. However, the climate of different regions of the Earth is interconnected, and changes in the amount of ice in the Arctic can dramatically affect the climate across the whole planet. Some scientists claim that a possible tipping point is the event of the ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer. Certain predictions point towards ice-free Arctic summers around the year 2050, whereas others pre- dict this...

  15. The Role of Disturbance in Arctic Ecosystem Response to a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinzman, L. D.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires in the tundra regions and the boreal forest project an immediate effect upon the surface energy and water budget by drastically altering the surface albedo, roughness, infiltration rates, and moisture absorption capacity in organic soils. Although fires create a sudden and drastic change to the landcover, it is only the beginning of a long process of recovery and perhaps a shift to a different successional pathway. In permafrost regions, these effects become part of a process of long-term (20-50 years) cumulative impacts. Burn severity may largely determine immediate impacts and long-term disturbance trajectories. As transpiration decreases or ceases, soil moisture increases markedly, remaining quite wet throughout the year. Because the insulating quality of the organic layer is removed during fires, permafrost begins to thaw near the surface and warm to greater depths. Within a few years, it may thaw to the point where it can no longer completely refreeze every winter, creating a permanently thawed layer in the soil called a talik. After formation of a talik, soils can drain internally throughout the year. At this point, soils may become quite dry, as the total precipitation received annually in the Arctic is quite low. The local ecological community must continuously adapt to the changing soil thermal and moisture regimes. The wet soils found over shallow permafrost favor black spruce forests. After a fire creates a deeper permafrost table (thicker active layer) the invading tree species tend to be birch or alder. The hydrologic and thermal regime of the soil is the primary factor controlling these vegetation trajectories and the subsequent changes in surface mass and energy fluxes. The complexities of a changing climate accentuate these processes of change and complicate predictions of the resulting vegetation trajectories. Understanding these shifts in vegetative communities and quantifying the consequences of thawing permafrost can only be

  16. Amphibians as models for studying environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, William A

    2007-01-01

    The use of amphibians as models in ecological research has a rich history. From an early foundation in studies of amphibian natural history sprang generations of scientists who used amphibians as models to address fundamental questions in population and community ecology. More recently, in the wake of an environment that human disturbances rapidly altered, ecologists have adopted amphibians as models for studying applied ecological issues such as habitat loss, pollution, disease, and global climate change. Some of the characteristics of amphibians that make them useful models for studying these environmental problems are highlighted, including their trophic importance, environmental sensitivity, research tractability, and impending extinction. The article provides specific examples from the recent literature to illustrate how studies on amphibians have been instrumental in guiding scientific thought on a broad scale. Included are examples of how amphibian research has transformed scientific disciplines, generated new theories about global health, called into question widely accepted scientific paradigms, and raised awareness in the general public that our daily actions may have widespread repercussions. In addition, studies on amphibian declines have provided insight into the complexity in which multiple independent factors may interact with one another to produce catastrophic and sometimes unpredictable effects. Because of the complexity of these problems, amphibian ecologists have been among the strongest advocates for interdisciplinary research. Future studies of amphibians will be important not only for their conservation but also for the conservation of other species, critical habitats, and entire ecosystems.

  17. Drifting buoy and other data from the Arctic Ocean in support of the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program (OCSEAP) from 04 June 1976 to 27 November 1976 (NODC Accession 7700205)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Drifting buoy data were collected from the Arctic Ocean by the University of Washington in support of the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program...

  18. Drifting buoy and other data from the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea as part of the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program (OCSEAP) from 04 November 1975 to 01 October 1976 (NODC Accession 7700114)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Drifting buoy data was collected from the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea by the University of Washington (UW) as part of the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental...

  19. Conclusions: environmental change, wildlife conservation and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, William V; Brown, Janine L; Comizzoli, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Our intention when planning this book was to explore the diverse ways that reproductive science is inextricably tied to many aspects of biodiversity conservation, using the opportunity to present a vast amount of specialised information in a way that forms a coherent and important body of work. Some of the chapters were therefore concerned with understanding how taxonomic groups and species are being affected by globally important environmental changes, mostly caused through anthropogenic influences. Others were more focused on monitoring and understanding the physiology of wild species, with the aim of better understanding mechanisms underlying responses to captive conditions and environmental change, in both wild and captive animals. We also wanted to review advances in technological measures that are being actively developed to support the breeding and management of wildlife. In a few cases we have presented specific case studies that highlight the amount of effort required for the successful development of assisted reproductive technologies for wild species. Viewed overall, the outcome is spectacular; the last decade has seen enormous progress in many aspects of the sciences and technologies relevant to the topic. It is also clear that the boundaries between different scientific disciplines are becoming ever more blurred, and it is no longer easy or even possible to remain focused on a highly specialized topic in reproduction or conservation, without having at least some understanding of allied subjects. Here we present a few concluding comments about what we have learnt, and how the various topics interact with each other. We also emphasize that, as far as we know, no similarly comprehensive consideration of the contribution of reproductive science to wildlife conservation has been published within the last decade.

  20. Changing Arctic snow cover: A review of recent developments and assessment of future needs for observations, modelling, and impacts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Pedersen, Stine Højlund; Brucker, Ludovic;

    2016-01-01

    for impact assessments and adaptation strategies. Although much progress has been made in understanding and predicting snow-cover changes and their multiple consequences, many uncertainties remain. In this paper, we review advances in snow monitoring and modelling, and the impact of snow changes...... on ecosystems and society in Arctic regions. Interdisciplinary activities are required to resolve the current limitations on measuring and modelling snow characteristics through the cold season and at different spatial scales to assure human well-being, economic stability, and improve the ability to predict...

  1. Simulation of changes in arctic terrestrial carbon stocks under using ecosys mathematical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metivier, K.; Grant, R. F.; Humphreys, E. R.; Lafleur, P.; Zhang, H.

    2010-12-01

    Sustainable Canadian arctic terrestrial ecosystems are vital for northern communities and also for global communities. Arctic terrestrial ecosystems have huge stores of soil C and also contain plant C, all which are important for ecosystem health. However, there are large knowledge gaps concerning the current state of these northern ecosystems, which lead to huge uncertainties in quantification of how climate variables affect these ecosystems. These uncertainties are in part due to the complex nature of climate impacts on biological, physical and chemical activities in soils and plants. The major objective of the modelling effort is to develop a methodology using the ecosys mathematical model, to bring a greater understanding and quantification of ecological processes in northern ecosystems thereby reduce uncertainties of the dynamics of these ecosystems. Addressing current uncertainties associated with quantifying tundra ecosystems may improve our long - term predictions of climate impact on future sustainability of these ecosystems. This research will allow further insights of these ecosystems at several spatial scales - site/plot, landscape and regional. Study site locations include Daring Lake (mesic tundra, wet sedge and fen tundra), Churchill, Iqaluit, Cape Bounty and Ellesmere Island-Lake Hazen, Canada. Modelled results will be compared to measured soil temperature, carbon dioxide and energy exchange fluxes, nitrous oxide, methane emissions and phytomass growth. We have conducted preliminary simulations for the Daring Lake fen site - Modelled (57 g C m-2) and measured (43 g C m-2) shoot biomass were comparable for sedge however, the model underestimated the growth of the dwarf birch trees; work is in progress to determine whether the dwarf tree physiology is represented correctly in the model. Overall, the fen site resulted in a net C source with net ecosystem productivity of 13.5 g C m-2 yr-1, however this could change when the dwarf birch tree growth are

  2. The Submarine -- The Key to Winning an Arctic Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-15

    Cold Horizons: Arctic Maritime Security Challenges.” 17 Franklyn Griffiths, Rob Huebert, and P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Canada and the Changing Arctic... Franklyn , Rob Huebert, and P. Whitney Lackenbauer. Canada and the Changing Arctic: Sovereignty, Security, and Stewardship. Waterloo, Ontario

  3. The shallow benthic food web structure in the high Arctic does not follow seasonal changes in the surrounding environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kędra, Monika; Kuliński, Karol; Walkusz, Wojciech; Legeżyńska, Joanna

    2012-12-01

    Seasonality, quality and quantity of food resources strongly affect fitness and survival of polar fauna. Most research conducted in polar areas has been carried out during the summer, rarely including aspects of seasonality; therefore, there are gaps in our knowledge of the structure of food webs in the Arctic, particularly information is lacking on the possible shifts in winter feeding strategies of organisms. This study is the first to compare potential shifts in benthic food-web structure between winter and summer in a shallow-water Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard). Winter data were collected in March when conditions are representative of winter and when Arctic shallow benthic fauna is likely to be most affected by absence of fresh food supply as opposed to summer (August). Samples of particulate suspended organic matter (POM), settled organic matter, surface sediment and benthic organisms were taken and analyzed for stable isotopes signatures (δ13C and δ15N). Four relative trophic levels (TL) were distinguished in both winter and summer, and no differences in the structure of benthic food web were found between seasons. Our study shows that the shallow sublittoral benthos depends on primary production, fresh and reworked settled organic matter and, to a certain degree, on terrestrial input. We also demonstrate that shallow water polar benthic fauna is characterized by a high level of omnivory and feeds at multiple trophic levels showing strong resilience to changing seasonal conditions.

  4. The ocean's role in polar climate change: asymmetric Arctic and Antarctic responses to greenhouse gas and ozone forcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, John; Armour, Kyle C; Scott, Jeffery R; Kostov, Yavor; Hausmann, Ute; Ferreira, David; Shepherd, Theodore G; Bitz, Cecilia M

    2014-07-13

    In recent decades, the Arctic has been warming and sea ice disappearing. By contrast, the Southern Ocean around Antarctica has been (mainly) cooling and sea-ice extent growing. We argue here that interhemispheric asymmetries in the mean ocean circulation, with sinking in the northern North Atlantic and upwelling around Antarctica, strongly influence the sea-surface temperature (SST) response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing, accelerating warming in the Arctic while delaying it in the Antarctic. Furthermore, while the amplitude of GHG forcing has been similar at the poles, significant ozone depletion only occurs over Antarctica. We suggest that the initial response of SST around Antarctica to ozone depletion is one of cooling and only later adds to the GHG-induced warming trend as upwelling of sub-surface warm water associated with stronger surface westerlies impacts surface properties. We organize our discussion around 'climate response functions' (CRFs), i.e. the response of the climate to 'step' changes in anthropogenic forcing in which GHG and/or ozone-hole forcing is abruptly turned on and the transient response of the climate revealed and studied. Convolutions of known or postulated GHG and ozone-hole forcing functions with their respective CRFs then yield the transient forced SST response (implied by linear response theory), providing a context for discussion of the differing warming/cooling trends in the Arctic and Antarctic. We speculate that the period through which we are now passing may be one in which the delayed warming of SST associated with GHG forcing around Antarctica is largely cancelled by the cooling effects associated with the ozone hole. By mid-century, however, ozone-hole effects may instead be adding to GHG warming around Antarctica but with diminished amplitude as the ozone hole heals. The Arctic, meanwhile, responding to GHG forcing but in a manner amplified by ocean heat transport, may continue to warm at an accelerating rate.

  5. Recent changes in aquatic biota in subarctic Fennoscandia - the role of global and local environmental variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weckström, Jan; Leppänen, Jaakko; Sorvari, Sanna; Kaukolehto, Marjut; Weckström, Kaarina; Korhola, Atte

    2013-04-01

    The Arctic, representing a fifth of the earth's surface, is highly sensitive to the predicted future warming and it has indeed been warming up faster than most other regions. This makes the region critically important and highlights the need to investigate the earliest signals of global warming and its impacts on the arctic and subarctic aquatic ecosystems and their biota. It has been demonstrated that many Arctic freshwater ecosystems have already experienced dramatic and unpreceded regime shifts during the last ca. 150 years, primarily driven by climate warming. However, despite the indisputable impact of climate-related variables on freshwater ecosystems other, especially local-scale catchment related variables (e.g. geology, vegetation, human activities) may override the climate signal and become the primary factor in shaping the structure of aquatic ecosystems. Although many studies have contributed to an improved understanding of limnological and hydrobiological features of Artic and subarctic lakes, much information is still needed especially on the interaction between the biotic and abiotic components, i.e. on factors controlling the food web dynamics in these sensitive aquatic ecosystems. This is of special importance as these lakes are of great value in water storage, flood prevention, and maintenance of biodiversity, in addition to which they are vital resources for settlement patterns, food production, recreation, and tourism. In this study we compare the pre-industrial sediment assemblages of primary producers (diatoms and Pediastrum) and primary consumers (cladoceran and chironomids) with their modern assemblages (a top-bottom approach) from 50 subarctic Fennoscandian lakes. We will evaluate the recent regional pattern of changes in aquatic assemblages, and assess how coherent the lakes' responses are across the subarctic area. Moreover, the impact of global (e.g. climate, precipitation) and local (e.g. lake and its catchment characteristics) scale

  6. Ice cores from Arctic sub-polar glaciers : Chronology and post-depositional processes deduced from radioactivity measurements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pinglot, J.F.; Vaikmae, R.A.; Kamiyama, K.; Igarashi, M.; Fritsche, D.; Wilhalms, F.; Koerner, R.; Henderson, L.; Isaksson, E.; Winther, J.G.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Fournier, M; Bouisset, P.; Meijer, H.A.J.

    2003-01-01

    The response of Arctic ice masses to climate change is studied using ice cores containing information on past climatic and environmental features. Interpretation of this information requires accurate chronological data. Absolute dating of ice cores from sub-polar Arctic glaciers is possible using we

  7. Shifts in the hydrodynamic regime determine patterns of regional changes of the Arctic Ocean carbon cycle in future climate change projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilyina, T.; Heinze, M.; Li, H.; Jungclaus, J. H.; Six, K. D.

    2015-12-01

    In future projections the Arctic Ocean carbon cycle is a hotspot for changes driven by rising CO2 emissions. Concomitantly, the Arctic Ocean hydrodynamic regime undergoes substantial shifts so the net effect on the carbon cycle is not intuitively clear. In the high CO2 scenario RCP8.5 extended until 2300 in projections of the Max Planck Institute's Earth System Model, the averaged Arctic Ocean surface temperature rises by 4°C in 2100 and by 10°C in 2300, respectively. The Arctic becomes free of summer sea ice in the second half of the 21st century, whereas winter sea ice disappears at the beginning of the 23rd century. Owing to increased sea ice melting and runoff, fresh water content increases gradually until the end of the 22nd century and then drops abruptly as a result of an intensification of the saline Atlantic water inflow. Accumulation of Atlantic water collapses the halocline in the central basin of the Arctic Ocean by the first half of the 23rd century. Ongoing warming enhances thermal stratification and the mixed layer shoales. In contrast, halocline erosion and the cooling of the ice free water act in concert to favor formation of convection cells in the central basin. Freshening in the Canada basin and transport of salty water into the Eurasian basin generate a dipole structure in the anomalies of surface salinity. Driven by the rising CO2, the averaged dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) is growing. Changes in the averaged total alkalinity (TA) go along with the fresh water content evolution and decreasing carbonate ion concentration so that TA drops below preindustrial values. Yet, along with salinity, the Eurasian basin receives waters with higher DIC and TA from the Atlantic. As a result, the distributions of TA and DIC anomalies resemble the dipole pattern projected for salinity. We show that while future changes in the Arctic Ocean carbon cycle proceed at rates determined by atmospheric CO2 levels, the regional patterns are driven by shifts in the

  8. Immune system changes during simulated planetary exploration on Devon Island, high arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Effenhauser Rainer

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dysregulation of the immune system has been shown to occur during spaceflight, although the detailed nature of the phenomenon and the clinical risks for exploration class missions have yet to be established. Also, the growing clinical significance of immune system evaluation combined with epidemic infectious disease rates in third world countries provides a strong rationale for the development of field-compatible clinical immunology techniques and equipment. In July 2002 NASA performed a comprehensive immune assessment on field team members participating in the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP on Devon Island in the high Canadian Arctic. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of mission-associated stressors on the human immune system. To perform the study, the development of techniques for processing immune samples in remote field locations was required. Ten HMP-2002 participants volunteered for the study. A field protocol was developed at NASA-JSC for performing sample collection, blood staining/processing for immunophenotype analysis, whole-blood mitogenic culture for functional assessments and cell-sample preservation on-location at Devon Island. Specific assays included peripheral leukocyte distribution; constitutively activated T cells, intracellular cytokine profiles, plasma cortisol and EBV viral antibody levels. Study timepoints were 30 days prior to mission start, mid-mission and 60 days after mission completion. Results The protocol developed for immune sample processing in remote field locations functioned properly. Samples were processed on Devon Island, and stabilized for subsequent analysis at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The data indicated that some phenotype, immune function and stress hormone changes occurred in the HMP field participants that were largely distinct from pre-mission baseline and post-mission recovery data. These immune changes appear similar to those observed in astronauts

  9. Arctic Diatoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tammilehto, Anna

    are often dominated by diatoms. They are single-celled, eukaryotic algae, which play an essential role in ocean carbon and silica cycles. Many species of the diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia Peragallo produce a neurotoxin, domoic acid (DA), which can be transferred to higher levels in food webs causing amnesic...... as vectors for DA to higher levels in the arctic marine food web, posing a possible risk also to humans. DA production in P. seriata was, for the first time, found to be induced by chemical cues from C. finmarchicus, C. hyperboreus and copepodite stages C3 and C4, suggesting that DA may be related to defense...... against grazing. This thesis also quantified population genetic composition and changes of the diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus spring bloom using microsatellite markers. Diatom-dominated spring blooms in the Arctic are the key event of the year, providing the food web with fundamental pulses of organic...

  10. Effect of environmental variables on eukaryotic microbial community structure of land-fast Arctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eddie, Brian; Juhl, Andrew; Krembs, Christopher; Baysinger, Charles; Neuer, Susanne

    2010-03-01

    Sea ice microbial community structure affects carbon and nutrient cycling in polar seas, but its susceptibility to changing environmental conditions is not well understood. We studied the eukaryotic microbial community in sea ice cores recovered near Point Barrow, AK in May 2006 by documenting the composition of the community in relation to vertical depth within the cores, as well as light availability (mainly as variable snow cover) and nutrient concentrations. We applied a combination of epifluorescence microscopy, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and clone libraries of a section of the 18S rRNA gene in order to compare the community structure of the major eukaryotic microbial phylotypes in the ice. We find that the community composition of the sea ice is more affected by the depth horizon in the ice than by light availability, although there are significant differences in the abundance of some groups between light regimes. Epifluorescence microscopy shows a shift from predominantly heterotrophic life styles in the upper ice to autotrophy prevailing in the bottom ice. This is supported by the statistical analysis of the similarity between the samples based on the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis banding patterns, which shows a clear difference between upper and lower ice sections with respect to phylotypes and their proportional abundance. Clone libraries constructed using diatom-specific primers confirm the high diversity of diatoms in the sea ice, and support the microscopic counts. Evidence of protistan grazing upon diatoms was also found in lower sections of the core, with implications for carbon and nutrient recycling in the ice.

  11. Environmental factors structuring Arctic megabenthos - a case study from a shelf and two fjords

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirstin eMeyer

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available From photographic samples, we describe the benthic megafaunal communities in two north Svalbard fjords and on the adjacent continental shelf. We analyze the fauna in relation to abiotic factors of depth, bottom water temperature, percent cover of hard substratum, heterogeneity of stone size, and bottom-water turbidity to explore how these factors might affect the fauna and how they are related to the functional traits (size, morphology, mobility, colonial/solitary, and feeding type of the megabenthos. Depth and bottom water temperature were consistently the strongest correlates with faunal composition and functional traits of the constituent species. A greater proportion of the variability in the functional traits of the megabenthos could be explained by abiotic factors rather than faunal composition, indicating that the abiotic factors of depth and temperature were strongly related to the functional traits of the megabenthos. On a local scale, stone size heterogeneity explained most variation in the functional traits of the megabenthos in one fjord. The results of this case study show a significant relationship between bottom water temperature and the functioning of north Svalbard megabenthic communities. Warming temperatures in the Arctic will likely decrease the variety of functional traits represented in Svalbard megabentos, resulting in scavenger-dominated communities. A reduction in megabenthic biomass may also result, reducing energy availability to higher trophic levels.

  12. Engaging Students in Science Courses: Lessons of Change from the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Lawrence K.; Godduhn, Anna; Fabbri, Cindy E.; van Muelken, Mary; Nicholas-Figueroa, Linda; Middlecamp, Catherine Hurt

    2011-01-01

    Where you live should have something to do with what you teach. In the Arctic, the idea of place-based education--teaching and sharing knowledge that is needed to live well--is central to the UARCTIC consortium and the 4th International Polar Year educational reform effort. A place-based issue oriented context can engage students in chemistry…

  13. Tourism and Arctic Observation Systems: exploring the relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne de la Barre

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic is affected by global environmental change and also by diverse interests from many economic sectors and industries. Over the last decade, various actors have attempted to explore the options for setting up integrated and comprehensive trans-boundary systems for monitoring and observing these impacts. These Arctic Observation Systems (AOS contribute to the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of environmental change and responsible social and economic development in the Arctic. The aim of this article is to identify the two-way relationship between AOS and tourism. On the one hand, tourism activities account for diverse changes across a broad spectrum of impact fields. On the other hand, due to its multiple and diverse agents and far-reaching activities, tourism is also well-positioned to collect observational data and participate as an actor in monitoring activities. To accomplish our goals, we provide an inventory of tourism-embedded issues and concerns of interest to AOS from a range of destinations in the circumpolar Arctic region, including Alaska, Arctic Canada, Iceland, Svalbard, the mainland European Arctic and Russia. The article also draws comparisons with the situation in Antarctica. On the basis of a collective analysis provided by members of the International Polar Tourism Research Network from across the polar regions, we conclude that the potential role for tourism in the development and implementation of AOS is significant and has been overlooked.

  14. Changing Arctic: A Strategic Analysis of United States Arctic Policy and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-01

    accomplished Canadian academic said: “What the Aegean Sea was to antiquity, what the Mediterranean was to the Roman world, what the Atlantic Ocean was to...Linda Jakobson and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute., "China Prepares for an Ice-Free Arctic," Stockholm International Peace Research...Quarterly (Jul 1, 2012): 45. Jakobson , Linda and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. "China Prepares for an Ice-Free Arctic." Stockholm

  15. Understanding changes in the Arctic basin sea ice mass budget as simulated by CCSM4: Implications from melt season characteristics and the surface albedo feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollak, D. A.; Holland, M. M.; Bailey, D. A.

    2010-12-01

    Observations reveal alarming drops in Arctic sea ice extent, and climate models project that further changes will occur that could have global repercussions. An important aspect of this change is the surface albedo feedback, driven by the contrast between the albedos of snow/ice and the open ocean. In response to warming, this feedback enhances ice melt and amplifies surface warming in the Arctic. The newly released, fully coupled Community Climate System Model Version 4 (CCSM4) is used to assess long-term changes in the Arctic sea ice mass budget. Analysis of monthly-averaged mass budget time series from the 20th and 21st centuries revealed drastic changes from 1980-2050, the focus years of this study. While numerous factors determine the Arctic sea ice mass budget, we focus on the surface melt terms as they are most closely related to the surface albedo feedback. During the study period, annually averaged difference plots of sea ice thickness and area both revealed substantial decreases across the entire Arctic domain. Helping to clarify these long-term changes, new daily output data from this model allowed for the examination of melt season characteristics such as melt onset and cessation dates as well as season duration. One of the most interesting aspects was the shift to earlier melt onset dates throughout the Arctic Basin. This shift, coupled with the seasonal solar cycle has substantial implications. Earlier onset dates imply an earlier decrease of albedo that overlaps with the seasonal maximum of downward shortwave radiation. This leads to increases in shortwave absorption and results in amplified ice melt that directly impacts the strength of the surface albedo feedback. The strong relationship between earlier melt onset dates and increased absorbed radiation therefore is a key factor influencing Arctic amplification. This figure is created from daily model output and displays changes in melt season duration, end date, and onset date from the first and

  16. Human-induced Arctic moistening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Seung-Ki; Zhang, Xuebin; Zwiers, Francis

    2008-04-25

    The Arctic and northern subpolar regions are critical for climate change. Ice-albedo feedback amplifies warming in the Arctic, and fluctuations of regional fresh water inflow to the Arctic Ocean modulate the deep ocean circulation and thus exert a strong global influence. By comparing observations to simulations from 22 coupled climate models, we find influence from anthropogenic greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols in the space-time pattern of precipitation change over high-latitude land areas north of 55 degrees N during the second half of the 20th century. The human-induced Arctic moistening is consistent with observed increases in Arctic river discharge and freshening of Arctic water masses. This result provides new evidence that human activity has contributed to Arctic hydrological change.

  17. Environmental Working Group Joint U.S.-Russian Atlas of the Arctic Ocean

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Environmental Working Group (EWG) was established in June 1995 under the framework of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological...

  18. AMAP Assessment 2013: Arctic Ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    This assessment report presents the results of the 2013 AMAP Assessment of Arctic Ocean Acidification (AOA). This is the first such assessment dealing with AOA from an Arctic-wide perspective, and complements several assessments that AMAP has delivered over the past ten years concerning the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and people. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) is a group working under the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council Ministers have requested AMAP to: - produce integrated assessment reports on the status and trends of the conditions of the Arctic ecosystems;

  19. Greenland ice sheet initiation and Arctic sea ice coincide with Eocene and Oligocene CO2 changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripati, Aradhna; Darby, Dennis

    2016-04-01

    Earth's modern ocean-climate system is largely defined by the presence of glacial ice on landmasses in both hemispheres. Northern Hemisphere ice was previously thought to have formed no earlier than the Miocene or Oligocene, about 20-30 million years after the widespread onset of Antarctic glaciation at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Controversially, the episodic presence of seasonal Arctic sea ice and glacial ice in the Northern Hemisphere beginning in the early Oligocene to Middle Eocene has been inferred from multiple observations. Here we use precise source determinations based on geochemical measurements of ice-rafted debris (IRD) from an ODP core in the Greenland Sea (75° N) to constrain glacial ice and sea ice-rafting in the Northern Hemisphere during the middle Eocene through early Oligocene. The chemical fingerprint of 2,334 detrital Fe oxide grains indicates most of these grains are from Greenland with >98% certainty. Thus the coarse IRD in the Greenland Sea originates from widespread areas of east Greenland as far south as the Denmark Strait area (~68° N), with additional IRD sources from the circum-Arctic Ocean. This is the first definitive evidence that mid-Eocene IRD in the Greenland Sea is from Greenland. Episodic glaciation of different source regions on Greenland is synchronous with times of ice-rafting in the western Arctic and ephemeral perennial Arctic ice cover. Intervals of bipolar glacial ice storage in the middle Eocene through early Oligocene coincide with evidence for periods of reduced CO2, associated with carbon cycle perturbations.

  20. Recent and future changes of the Arctic sea-ice cover

    OpenAIRE

    Smedsrud, Lars Henrik; Sorteberg, Asgeir; Kloster, Kjell

    2008-01-01

    The present and future state of the Arctic sea ice cover is explored using new observations and a coupled one dimensional air–sea–ice model. Updated satellite observations of Fram Strait ice-area export show an increase over the last four years, with 37% increase in winter 07–08. Atmospheric poleward energy flux declined since 1990, but advection of oceanic heat has recently increased. Simulations show that the ice area export is a stronger driver of thinning than the...

  1. The Eurasian and Makarov Basins target changes in the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, I.; Padman, L.; Pnyushkov, A.; Rember, R.; Ivanov, V.; Lenn, Y. D.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean interior is warming, and there is no indication that the rate of warming will decrease in the near future. The relative role of the interior ocean's warmth in setting net energy flux to, and the mass balance of, Arctic sea ice, however, is still under debate. Thus, quantifying this flux and understanding mechanisms for redistributing heat in the ocean interior are of particular importance. Warm (>0°C) intermediate-depth (150-900m) water of Atlantic origin (the so-called Atlantic Water, AW) is the major source of heat for the ocean interior. Ice thickness along the continental slope east of Svalbard is much less than that expected of first-year ice, suggesting that AW has a direct impact on sea ice just after entering the Arctic. However, in the Canadian Basin, far away from Fram Strait, overlying fresher and colder stable layers effectively insulate the upper mixed layer and ice from impacts of the AW heat. Even though the eastern Eurasian Basin (EEB) is separated from Fram Strait by hundreds of kilometers, the AW heat finds its ways for reaching the ice base in this part of the Arctic Ocean. A distinct process, double diffusion convection, plays an important role in vertical redistribution of AW heat in this region. Double diffusion convection is typically identified as a vertical sequence of almost-homogeneous convective layers separated by high-gradient interfaces, forming a double diffusive "staircase". The staircase structure is a consequence of the differing molecular diffusivities of heat and salt; surprisingly, even though molecular properties drive the instability, resulting net fluxes can be very large, up to several W/m2. The interaction of shear and diffusive layering can significantly alter the heat (and momentum) flux through a staircase. The existing data set are limited and further detailed process studies in the EEB targeting the unique mechanisms of oceanic heat exchange in the interior of the EEB are required.

  2. Climate Change and International Competition: the US Army in the Arctic Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

    texts/unclos/closindx.htm. 42 Ibid. 43 Natalie Mychajlyszyn, “The Arctic: Geopolitical Issues,” October 24, 2008, Canadian Parliamentary Information...ensure the Army forces are prepared to prevent conflict, shape the security environment, and win wars.”112 Heeding the advice of Perkins, this section...senior Non Commissioned Officers can remain in a duty location longer and provide important advice , the commanding officer is ultimately responsible

  3. National Environmental Change Information System Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, S. J.; Ritschard, R.; Estes, M. G., Jr.; Hatch, U.

    2001-01-01

    The Global Hydrology and Climate Center and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center conducted a fact-finding case study for the Data Management Working Group (DMWG), now referred to as the Data and Information Working Group (DIWG), of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to determine the feasibility of an interagency National Environmental Change Information System (NECIS). In order to better understand the data and information needs of policy and decision makers at the national, state, and local level, the DIWG asked the case study team to choose a regional water resources issue in the southeastern United States that had an impact on a diverse group of stakeholders. The southeastern United States was also of interest because the region experiences interannual climatic variations and impacts due to El Nino and La Nina. Jointly, with input from the DIWG, a focus on future water resources planning in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basins of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida was selected. A tristate compact and water allocation formula is currently being negotiated between the states and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) that will affect the availability of water among competing uses within the ACF River basin. All major reservoirs on the ACF are federally owned and operated by the U.S. Army COE. A similar two-state negotiation is ongoing that addresses the water allocations in the adjacent Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River basin, which extends from northwest Georgia to Mobile Bay. The ACF and ACT basins are the subject of a comprehensive river basin study involving many stakeholders. The key objectives of this case study were to identify specific data and information needs of key stakeholders in the ACF region, determine what capabilities are needed to provide the most practical response to these user requests, and to identify any limitations in the use of federal data and information. The NECIS case study followed the terms of reference

  4. Impacts of decline harvest of country food on nutrient intake among Inuit in Arctic Canada: impact of climate change and possible adaptation plan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Rosol

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The pervasive food insecurity and the diet transition away from local, nutrient-rich country foods present a public health challenge among Inuit living in the Canadian Arctic. While environmental factors such as climate change decreased the accessibility and availability of many country food species, new species were introduced into regions where they were previously unavailable. An adaptation such as turning to alternate country food species can be a viable solution to substitute for the nutrients provided by the declined food species. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact on nutrient intake using hypothetical scenarios that current commonly harvested country foods were reduced by 50%, and were replaced with alternate or new species. Methods: Data collected during the 2007–2008 Inuit Health Survey from 36 Canadian Arctic communities spanning Nunavut, the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Nunatsiavut were used. Results: A 50% decline in consumption of fish, whale, ringed seals and birds (the food that was reported to be in decline resulted in a significant decrease in essential nutrient intake. Possible substitute foods were identified but some nutrients such as zinc and especially vitamin D were most often found lacking in the alternative diet. Conclusions: If the alternative species are not available or feasible, more expensive and less nutritionally dense store-bought foods may be sought. Given the superior quality of country foods and their association with food security, and Inuit cultural health and personal identity, developing skills and awareness for adaptation, promoting regional sharing networks, forming a co-management agency and continuing nutritional monitoring may potentially preserve the nutritional integrity of Inuit diet, and in turn their health and cultural survival.

  5. Climatic and biotic extreme events moderate long-term responses of above- and belowground sub-Arctic heathland communities to climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Berg, Matty P.; Callaghan, Terry V.; Kirby-Lambert, Christopher; Bjerke, Jarle W.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change impacts are not uniform across the Arctic region because interacting factors causes large variations in local ecosystem change. Extreme climatic events and population cycles of herbivores occur simultaneously against a background of gradual climate warming trends and can redirect ecos

  6. Environmental variation and population responses to global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Callum R; Vindenes, Yngvild; Bailey, Liam; van de Pol, Martijn

    2015-07-01

    Species' responses to environmental changes such as global warming are affected not only by trends in mean conditions, but also by natural and human-induced environmental fluctuations. Methods are needed to predict how such environmental variation affects ecological and evolutionary processes, in order to design effective strategies to conserve biodiversity under global change. Here, we review recent theoretical and empirical studies to assess: (1) how populations respond to changes in environmental variance, and (2) how environmental variance affects population responses to changes in mean conditions. Contrary to frequent claims, empirical studies show that increases in environmental variance can increase as well as decrease long-term population growth rates. Moreover, environmental variance can alter and even reverse the effects of changes in the mean environment, such that even if environmental variance remains constant, omitting it from population models compromises their ability to predict species' responses to changes in mean conditions. Drawing on theory relating these effects of environmental variance to the curvatures of population growth responses to the environment, we outline how species' traits such as phylogenetic history and body mass could be used to predict their responses to global change under future environmental variability.

  7. Distribution of detrital minerals and sediment color in western Arctic Ocean and northern Bering Sea sediments: Changes in the provenance of western Arctic Ocean sediments since the last glacial period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Daisuke; Yamamoto, Masanobu; Irino, Tomohisa; Nam, Seung-Il; Park, Yu-Hyeon; Harada, Naomi; Nagashima, Kana; Chikita, Kazuhisa; Saitoh, Sei-Ichi

    2016-12-01

    This paper describes the distribution of detrital minerals and sediment color in the surface sediments of the western Arctic Ocean and the northern Bering Sea and investigates the relationship between mineral composition and sediment provenance. This relationship was used to determine the provenance of western Arctic Ocean sediments deposited during the last glacial period. Sediment color is governed by water depth, diagenesis, and mineral composition. An a*-b* diagram was used to trace color change during diagenesis in the Arctic Ocean sediments. The mineral composition of surface sediments is governed by grain size and provenance. The feldspar/quartz ratio of the sediments studied was higher on the Siberian side than on the North American side of the western Arctic Ocean. The (chlorite + kaolinite)/illite and chlorite/illite ratios were high in the Bering Sea but decrease northwards in the Chukchi Sea. Thus, these ratios are useful for provenance studies in the Chukchi Sea area as indices of the Beaufort Gyre circulation and the Bering Strait inflow. The sediments deposited during the last glacial period have a lower feldspar/quartz ratio and a higher dolomite intensity than Holocene sediments on the Chukchi Plateau, suggesting a greater contribution of North American grains during the last glacial period.

  8. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan, Final Environmental Impact Statement, Wilderness Review, and Wild and Scenic River Review

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) was written to guide management on Arctic NWR for the next 15 years. It is a revision of the 1988 plan, and it describes...

  9. Environmental variation and population responses to global change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lawson, Callum R.; Vindenes, Yngvild; Bailey, Liam; van de Pol, Martijn

    2015-01-01

    Species' responses to environmental changes such as global warming are affected not only by trends in mean conditions, but also by natural and human-induced environmental fluctuations. Methods are needed to predict how such environmental variation affects ecological and evolutionary processes, in or

  10. Climatic and biotic extreme events moderate long-term responses of above- and belowground sub-Arctic heathland communities to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Phoenix, Gareth K; Berg, Matty P; Callaghan, Terry V; Kirby-Lambert, Christopher; Bjerke, Jarle W

    2015-11-01

    Climate change impacts are not uniform across the Arctic region because interacting factors causes large variations in local ecosystem change. Extreme climatic events and population cycles of herbivores occur simultaneously against a background of gradual climate warming trends and can redirect ecosystem change along routes that are difficult to predict. Here, we present the results from sub-Arctic heath vegetation and its belowground micro-arthropod community in response to the two main drivers of vegetation damage in this region: extreme winter warming events and subsequent outbreaks of the defoliating autumnal moth caterpillar (Epirrita autumnata). Evergreen dwarf shrub biomass decreased (30%) following extreme winter warming events and again by moth caterpillar grazing. Deciduous shrubs that were previously exposed to an extreme winter warming event were not affected by the moth caterpillar grazing, while those that were not exposed to warming events (control plots) showed reduced (23%) biomass from grazing. Cryptogam cover increased irrespective of grazing or winter warming events. Micro-arthropods declined (46%) following winter warming but did not respond to changes in plant community. Extreme winter warming and caterpillar grazing suppressed the CO2 fluxes of the ecosystem. Evergreen dwarf shrubs are disadvantaged in a future sub-Arctic with more stochastic climatic and biotic events. Given that summer warming may further benefit deciduous over evergreen shrubs, event and trend climate change may both act against evergreen shrubs and the ecosystem functions they provide. This is of particular concern given that Arctic heath vegetation is typically dominated by evergreen shrubs. Other components of the vegetation showed variable responses to abiotic and biotic events, and their interaction indicates that sub-Arctic vegetation response to multiple pressures is not easy to predict from single-factor responses. Therefore, while biotic and climatic events may

  11. Hydrological and Biogeochemical Trajectories Change in Response to Permafrost Thaw in Arctic and Subarctic Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Striegl, R. G.; Walvoord, M. A.

    2012-12-01

    High latitude regions are particularly susceptible to changes in hydrology, carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry, and ecosystem dynamics in response to climate warming. However, these regions are vast, have few historical data, and are difficult to study because of their remoteness. Large-scale studies of water and materials exports by river systems inform on changes that are occurring on the basin scale, but provide limited process level information. Conversely, process studies in small watersheds and catchments provide bounds on responses to environmental change, but have limited value in scaling to larger systems, unless the variability of controlling conditions has been adequately captured and the distribution of these conditions is known. Regional process-based models that accurately account for spatial and temporal variability can inform on the potential location and intensity of change in a basin or region. We use the Yukon River basin of Alaska USA and NW Canada as a model for understanding the trajectories of hydrologic and carbon cycle changes in permafrost-dominated landscapes. Early measurements of carbon exports by the Yukon River suggested that recent changes in hydrology were affecting C exports; this was confirmed by historical analyses of change in groundwater contributions to river flow. Since all carbon cycling processes are directly linked to water distribution, availability, and movement, we recognized the need for implementing hydrologic models to quantify the role of permafrost on water flow and distribution and to accurately project hydrologic conditions, based on historical hydrologic information, current and projected land surface and subsurface information, and current and projected climatic information. Coupling of hydrologic projections with source, sink, and other process understanding of carbon biogeochemistry resulted in improved basin scale understanding of current and future carbon dynamics in permafrost-dominated landscapes.

  12. Changing environmental characteristics of European cropland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, M.M.; Hatna, E.; Kuhlman, T.; Mücher, C.A.

    2011-01-01

    The spatial configuration of agricultural systems is continuously changing in response to changes in demand for agricultural goods, changes in the level of competition between different land use activities, and progress in agricultural technology. This may lead to a change in the location of agricul

  13. Influence of seabird colonies and other environmental variables on benthic community structure, Lancaster Sound Region, Canadian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard Marmen, Mariève; Kenchington, Ellen; Ardyna, Mathieu; Archambault, Philippe

    2017-03-01

    The Canadian Arctic shelters millions of seabirds each year during the breeding season. By the excretion of important quantities of guano, seabirds locally concentrate nutrient-rich organic matter in the marine areas surrounding colonies. Seabirds, acting as biological vectors of nutrients, can markedly affect terrestrial ecosystems, but their influence on the structure of marine benthic communities is still under-studied. Sessile and long-lived megabenthic species can integrate environmental variation into marine food webs over long time frames. The objectives of this study were (1) to characterize the epifaunal and infaunal communities of the Lancaster Sound Region (LSR) and (2) to test the influence of the presence of seabird colonies and other environmental parameters on the structure of those benthic communities. Our prediction was that benthic diversity, number of taxa, total biomass of infauna and total density of epifauna and infauna, would be higher in areas with colonies present. Photos of the seafloor (data on epifauna) and grab samples (data on infauna) were taken at three control areas and at five areas near seabird colonies, within a depth range of 122 to 442 m. A database of 26 environmental parameters was built to study the environment-benthos relationships. Infauna, which was relatively uniform across the LSR, was numerically dominated by Annelida. Epifauna was much patchier, with each study area having unique epibenthic assemblages. Brittle stars were highly abundant in epifaunal communities, reaching 600 individuals per square meter. The presence of seabird colonies was not a major driver of benthic community structure in the LSR at the depths studied. Negative effects of colonies were detected on the density and number of taxa of infauna, perhaps due to top-down effects transmitted by the seabirds which feed in the water column and can directly reduce the quantity of food reaching the seabed. Sediment concentration of pigment, percent cover of

  14. Radioecology in hte Arctic: Activities of the new environmental protection unit of the NRPA in Tromsoe[Norwegian RadiationProtection Authority

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gerland, S.; Lind, B. [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Polar Environmental Centre, Environmental Proctection Unit, Tromsoe (Norway)

    2002-04-01

    In August 1999, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (Statens straelevern) established an Environmental Protection Unit in the Polar Environmental Centre in Tromsoe, northern Norway. Major tasks of the three persons at the unit include monitoring and research in both marine and terrestrial environments in northern Eurasian areas and the Arctic. This includes field and laboratory work, collaboration with the other institutions within the Polar Environmental Centre (e.g. the Norwegian Polar Institute), and integrating studies within the AMAP programme. The Environmental Protection Unit was recently involved in fieldwork in Kongsfjorden (Svalbard), an international cruise to the Fram Strait, a technetium monitoring program in the Western Barents Sea, and radiation measurements on the site in the Barents Sea where the Russian submarine 'Kursk' sunk. (LN)

  15. The role of sustained observations and data co-management in Arctic Ocean governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eicken, H.; Lee, O. A.; Rupp, S. T.; Trainor, S.; Walsh, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid environmental change, a rise in maritime activities and resource development, and increasing engagement by non-Arctic nations are key to major shifts underway in Arctic social-environmental systems (SES). These shifts are triggering responses by policy makers, regulators and a range of other actors in the Arctic Ocean region. Arctic science can play an important role in informing such responses, in particular by (i) providing data from sustained observations to serve as indicators of change and major transitions and to inform regulatory and policy response; (ii) identifying linkages across subsystems of Arctic SES and across regions; (iii) providing predictions or scenarios of future states of Arctic SES; and (iv) informing adaptation action in response to rapid change. Policy responses to a changing Arctic are taking a multi-faceted approach by advancing international agreements through the Arctic Council (e.g., Search and Rescue Agreement), global forums (e.g., IMO Polar Code) or private sector instruments (e.g., ISO code for offshore structures). At the regional level, co-management of marine living resources involving local, indigenous stakeholders has proven effective. All of these approaches rely on scientific data and information for planning and decision-making. Examples from the Pacific Arctic sector illustrate how such relevant data is currently collected through a multitude of different government agencies, universities, and private entities. Its effective use in informing policy, planning and emergency response requires coordinated, sustained acquisition, common standards or best practices, and data sharing agreements - best achieved through data co-management approaches. For projections and scenarios of future states of Arctic SES, knowledge co-production that involves all relevant stakeholders and specifically addresses major sources of uncertainty is of particular relevance in an international context.

  16. Shifts in identity and activity of methanotrophs in arctic lake sediments in response to temperature changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ruo; Wooller, Matthew J.; Pohlman, John W.; Quensen, John; Tiedje, James M.; Leigh, Mary Beth

    2012-01-01

    Methane (CH4) flux to the atmosphere is mitigated via microbial CH4 oxidation in sediments and water. As arctic temperaturesincrease, understanding the effects of temperature on the activity and identity of methanotrophs in arctic lake sediments is importantto predicting future CH4 emissions. We used DNA-based stable-isotope probing (SIP), quantitative PCR (Q-PCR), andpyrosequencing analyses to identify and characterize methanotrophic communities active at a range of temperatures (4°C, 10°C,and 21°C) in sediments (to a depth of 25 cm) sampled from Lake Qalluuraq on the North Slope of Alaska. CH4 oxidation activitywas measured in microcosm incubations containing sediments at all temperatures, with the highest CH4 oxidation potential of37.5 mol g1 day1 in the uppermost (depth, 0 to 1 cm) sediment at 21°C after 2 to 5 days of incubation. Q-PCR of pmoA and ofthe 16S rRNA genes of type I and type II methanotrophs, and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes in 13C-labeled DNA obtained bySIP demonstrated that the type I methanotrophs Methylobacter, Methylomonas, and Methylosoma dominated carbon acquisitionfrom CH4 in the sediments. The identity and relative abundance of active methanotrophs differed with the incubation temperature.Methylotrophs were also abundant in the microbial community that derived carbon from CH4, especially in the deeper sediments(depth, 15 to 20 cm) at low temperatures (4°C and 10°C), and showed a good linear relationship (R0.82) with the relativeabundances of methanotrophs in pyrosequencing reads. This study describes for the first time how methanotrophiccommunities in arctic lake sediments respond to temperature variations.

  17. Moisture flux changes and trends for the entire Arctic in 2003-2011 derived from EOS Aqua data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisvert, L. N.; Markus, T.; Vihma, T. P.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic sea ice acts as a barrier between the ocean and lower atmosphere, reducing the exchange of heat and moisture. In recent years the ice pack has undergone many changes, in particular a rapid reduction in sea ice extent and compactness in summer and autumn. This, along with modeling studies, would cause one to believe that the moisture flux would be increasing. We estimate the daily moisture flux from 2003-2011 using geophysical data from multiple sensors onboard NASA's Aqua satellite, taking advantage of observations being collected at the same time and along the same track. Our findings show the moisture flux, averaged over the entire Arctic, has had large interannual variations. Increases in air specific humidity tend to reduce the moisture flux, whereas the decrease in sea ice cover tends to increase the flux. Statistically significant seasonal decreasing trends are seen in December, January and February because of the dominating effect of increase in 2m air specific humidity increasing, reducing the surface-air specific humidity difference by -0.0547 kg/kg in the Kara/Barents Seas, E. Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay regions where there is some open water year round. Our results also show that the contribution of the sea ice zone to the total moisture flux has increased by 3.6% because the amount of open water within the sea ice has increased by 4.3%.

  18. Under-ice distribution of polar cod Boreogadus saida in the central Arctic Ocean and their association with sea-ice habitat properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    David, Carmen; Lange, Benjamin; Krumpen, Thomas; Schaafsma, F.L.; Franeker, van J.A.; Flores, H.

    2016-01-01

    In the Arctic Ocean, sea-ice habitats are undergoing rapid environmental change. Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) is the most abundant fish known to reside under the pack-ice. The under-ice distribution, association with sea-ice habitat properties and origins of polar cod in the central Arctic Ocean, ho

  19. Competition, predation and species responses to environmental change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang, Lin; Kulczychi, A. [Rutgers Univ., Cook College, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, New Brunswick, NJ (United States)

    2004-08-01

    Despite much effort over the past decade on the ecological consequences of global warming, ecologists still have little understanding of the importance of interspecific interactions in species responses to environmental change. Models predict that predation should mitigate species responses to environmental change, and that interspecific competition should aggravate species responses to environmental change. To test this prediction, we studied how predation and competition affected the responses of two ciliates, Colpidiumstriatum and Parameciumtetraurelia, to temperature change in laboratory microcosms. We found that neither predation nor competition altered the responses of Colpidiumstratum to temperature change, and that competition but not predation altered the responses of Paramecium tetraurelia to temperature change. Asymmetric interactions and temperature-dependent interactions may have contributed to the disparity between model predictions and experimental results. Our results suggest that models ignoring inherent complexities in ecological communities may be inadequate in forecasting species responses to environmental change. (au)

  20. Determination of Changes in the State of the Arctic Ice Pack Using the NPS Pan-Arctic Coupled Ice-Ocean Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-03-01

    54 Francis, Jennifer A., Elias Hunter, Jeffrey R. Key and Xuanji Wang, “Clues To Variability in Arctic Minimum Sea Ice Extent,” Geophysical...3975, 15 December 2000. Warren, Stephen G., Ignatius G. Rigor, Norbert Untersteiner, Vladimir F. Radionov, Nikolay N. Bryazgin, Yevgeniy I

  1. Sustainability and environmental enhancement in changing cirumstances

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LU Yong-long; SHI Ya-juan

    2007-01-01

    @@ Natural environment has endured fast economic growth and population explosion sine the 20th century,which has soil erosion,land desertification,ozone layer depletion,bio-diversity reduction and persistent toxic and harmful pollutants are among the major environmental challenges.

  2. Environmental Change And It’s Affect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaizar Hossain

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Modern economic development sometimes disrupts nature’s delicate balance. The extent of environmental pollution caused by humans is already so great that some scientist question whether the Earth can continue to support life unless immediate corrective action is taken. If left undisturbed, natural environmental systems tend to achieve balance or stability among the various species of plants and animals. Much of the world’s air, water and land are now partially poisoned by chemical wastes. Some places have become inhabitable. These pollution exposes people all around the globe to new risks from disease. As a result of these developments, governments have passed laws to limit or reverse the threat of environmental pollution. The 19th century, industrial revolution placed greater pressures on the environment. Although industrial development through the control of nature and development of new products improved the standard of living of humans, this was at a great environmental cost. Keywords: Environment, pollution, health, ground water, indicators.

  3. Changes in Arctic melt season and implications for sea ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, J. C.; Markus, T.; Boisvert, L.; Miller, J.; Barrett, A.

    2014-02-01

    The Arctic-wide melt season has lengthened at a rate of 5 days decade-1 from 1979 to 2013, dominated by later autumn freezeup within the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas between 6 and 11 days decade-1. While melt onset trends are generally smaller, the timing of melt onset has a large influence on the total amount of solar energy absorbed during summer. The additional heat stored in the upper ocean of approximately 752 MJ m-2 during the last decade increases sea surface temperatures by 0.5 to 1.5 °C and largely explains the observed delays in autumn freezeup within the Arctic Ocean's adjacent seas. Cumulative anomalies in total absorbed solar radiation from May through September for the most recent pentad locally exceed 300-400 MJ m-2 in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and East Siberian seas. This extra solar energy is equivalent to melting 0.97 to 1.3 m of ice during the summer.

  4. Changes in Arctic Melt Season and Implications for Sea Ice Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, J. C.; Markus, T.; Boisvert, L.; Miller, J.; Barrett, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic-wide melt season has lengthened at a rate of 5 days dec-1 from 1979 to 2013, dominated by later autumn freeze-up within the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, Chukchi and Beaufort seas between 6 and 11 days dec(exp -1). While melt onset trends are generally smaller, the timing of melt onset has a large influence on the total amount of solar energy absorbed during summer. The additional heat stored in the upper ocean of approximately 752MJ m(exp -2) during the last decade, increases sea surface temperatures by 0.5 to 1.5 C and largely explains the observed delays in autumn freeze-up within the Arctic Ocean's adjacent seas. Cumulative anomalies in total absorbed solar radiation from May through September for the most recent pentad locally exceed 300-400 MJ m(exp -2) in the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas. This extra solar energy is equivalent to melting 0.97 to 1.3 m of ice during the summer.

  5. Tourism and Arctic Observation Systems: exploring the relationships

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barre, de la Suzanne; Maher, Patrick; Dawson, Jackie; Hillmer-Pegram, Kevin; Huijbens, Edward; Lamers, M.A.J.; Liggett, D.; Müller, D.; Pashkevich, A.; Stewart, Emma

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is affected by global environmental change and also by diverse interests from many economic sectors and industries. Over the last decade, various actors have attempted to explore the options for setting up integrated and comprehensive trans-boundary systems for monitoring and observing th

  6. Marine Invasive Species Management: Adapting in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaiser, Brooks

    2014-01-01

    The rapid pace of climate change and increased human disturbance of ecosystems in the Arctic is bringing urgency to concern over non-native species introductions and their potential threats to the marine environment and its economic productivity, where before environmental conditions served as a ...

  7. The Environmental Justice Dimensions of Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Miranda, Marie Lynn; Hastings, Douglas Andrew; Aldy, Joseph Edgar; Schlesinger, William H.

    2011-01-01

    Nations around the world are considering strategies to mitigate the severe impacts of climate change predicted to occur in the twenty-first century. Many countries, however, lack the wealth, technology, and government institutions to effectively cope with climate change. This study investigates the varying degrees to which developing and developed nations will be exposed to changes in three key variables: temperature, precipitation, and runoff. We use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) anal...

  8. Lepidoptera Larvae as an Indicator of Multi-trophic Level Responses to Changing Seasonality in an Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, K. M.; Steltzer, H.; Boelman, N.; Weintraub, M. N.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Sullivan, P.; Gough, L.; Rich, M.; Hendrix, C.; Kielland, K.; Philip, K.; Doak, P.; Ferris, C.; Sikes, D.

    2011-12-01

    Earlier snowmelt and warming temperatures in the Arctic will impact multiple trophic levels through the timing and availability of food resources. Lepidoptera are a vital link within the ecosystem; their roles include pollinator, parasitized host for other pollinating insects, and essential food source for migrating birds and their fledglings. Multiple environmental cues including temperature initiate plant growth, and in turn, trigger the emergence of Lepidoptera and the migrations of birds. If snowmelt is accelerated and temperature is increased, it is expected that the Lepidoptera larvae will respond to early plant growth by increasing their abundance within areas that have accelerated snowmelt and warmer conditions. In May of 2011 in a moist acidic tussock tundra system, we accelerated snowmelt by 15 days through the use of radiation-absorbing fabric and warmed air and soil temperatures using open-top chambers, individually and in combination. Every 1-2 days from May 27th to July 8th, 2 minute searches were performed for Lepidoptera larvae in all treatments; when an animal was found, their micro-habitat, surface temperature, behavior, food source, and time of day were noted. The length, body and head width were measured, and the animals were examined for braconid wasp and tachinid fly parasites. Lepidoptera larvae collected in pitfall traps from May 26th to July 7th were also examined and measured. Total density of parasitized larvae accounted for 54% of observed specimens and 50% of pitfall specimens, indicating that Lepidoptera larvae serve an integral role as a host for other pollinators. Total larvae density was highest within the accelerated snowmelt plots compared to the control plots; 66% of observed live specimens and 63% of pitfall specimens were found within the accelerated snowmelt plots. Ninety percent of the total observed animals were found within the open-top warming chambers. Peak density of animals occurred at Solar Noon between 14:00 -15

  9. World Wind Tools Reveal Environmental Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Originally developed under NASA's Learning Technologies program as a tool to engage and inspire students, World Wind software was released under the NASA Open Source Agreement license. Honolulu, Hawaii based Intelesense Technologies is one of the companies currently making use of the technology for environmental, public health, and other monitoring applications for nonprofit organizations and Government agencies. The company saved about $1 million in development costs by using the NASA software.

  10. Cryolithic zone and Arctic shelf under conditions of climate changes as exemplified by the Kara Sea basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodzher, T.

    2012-04-01

    In 2009-2011, a number of interdisciplinary surveys were carried out in the Lower Yenisei River, the Kara Sea shelf. Comprehensive analysis of the environmental state revealed no significant anthropogenic effect on atmosphere and water bodies in the Kara sector of the Arctic. Morphotype diversity of cysts of chrysophycean algae were for the first time studied in water and bottom sediments in the mixing zone of marine and river waters. A collection was composed from 100 strains of organotrophic psychrotolerant microorganisms with different level of activity. There was recorded a great variety of spore forming microorganisms of the genus Bacillus tolerant to extreme natural conditions. Distribution patterns of organic material were determined in the coastal-shelf zone of the Kara Sea. Shores composed of glacial complex contributed a large amount of organic carbon (2-3%) to the seas. Concentrations of organic carbon and nitrogen in sediments depended on type of sediments and sedimentation conditions. Concentration ratio Corg/Norg and isotopic ratio 13C/12C demonstrated that contribution of terrigenous component to organic matter of sediments decreased towards the open sea. Comprehensive survey of 7 thermokarst lakes (from 66.6° to 72.7° N) showed that these lakes are low-mineralised (30-80 mg/l) with high oxygen content (9-11 mgO/l). Degradation of permafrost for the past 170 years was reconstructed using results of analyses of chemical and biological composition of bottom sediments in thermokarst lakes. Degradation process of permafrost causing the formation of these lakes started in the 1930-60s. Beginning from the 1950s, this process accelerated followed by temperature maxima with the time lag of 5-7 years. These reconstructions of paleogeographic conditions of the past based on studies of thermokarst Arctic lakes appeared to be prospective and require further investigations. This work was supported by RAS Presidium, Programme No. 21, Project No. 21.7.

  11. Changes in arterial oxygen tension and physiological status in resting, unrestrained Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.) exposed to mild hypoxia and hyperoxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, A; Rosseland, B O; Thorarensen, H; Kiessling, A

    2011-03-01

    In arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus, arterial blood partial pressures of oxygen (PaO2) and carbon dioxide increased with increasing water oxygen tension (PwO2), while the water to arterial PO2 difference (PwO2-PaO2) did not change in relation to PwO2.

  12. Quaternary Arctic Climate Change of the past 2.8 Ma as reconstructed from sediments of Lake El'gygytgyn, NE Russia (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wennrich, V.; Melles, M.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Minyuk, P.; Nowaczyk, N. R.; Deconto, R. M.; Anderson, P. A.; Andreev, A. A.; Haltia, E.; Kukkonen, M.; Lozhkin, A. V.; Rosen, P.; Tarasov, P. E.

    2013-12-01

    Scientific deep drilling at Lake El'gygtygyn in Chukotka, northeastern Russia (67.5° N, 172° E) revealed the first high-resolution record of environmental history in the Arctic that spans the past 3.6 Ma continuously (Melles et al. 2012, Brigham-Grette et al. 2013). In this presentation we focus on the end-member glacial and interglacial climatic conditions of the past 2.8 Ma as clearly reflected in the pelagic lake sediments recovered. Peak glacial conditions, when mean annual air temperatures at least 3.3 (×0.9) °C lower than today led to perennial lake ice (Nolan 2013), first appeared at Lake El'gygytgyn 2.602 - 2.598 Ma ago, during marine isotope stage (MIS) 104. These pervasive glacial episodes gradually increase in frequency from ~2.3 to ~1.8 Ma, eventually concurring with all glacials and several stadials reflected globally in stacked marine isotope records. Particularly warm interglacials, in contrast, experienced a long ice-free season and enhanced nutrient supply from the catchment, which allowed for significantly higher primary production than today. These settings were most pronounced for MIS 11c, 31, 49, 55, 77, 87, 91, and 93. Their exceptional character becomes evident based upon pollen-based climate reconstructions in selected interglacials, showing that the mean temperature of the warmest month and the annual precipitation during the thermal maxima of MIS 11c and 31 ('super' interglacials) were 4-5 °C and ~300 mm higher than those of MIS 1 and 5e ('normal' interglacials), respectively. According to climate simulations, the exceptional warm and moist climates at least during MIS 11c cannot be explained by the natural variability in Earth's orbital parameters and greenhouse gas concentrations alone. A remarkable coincidence of the super interglacials at Lake El'gygytgyn with diatomite layers in the Antarctic ANDRILL 1B, which reflect periods of a diminished West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) (Naish et al. 2009, Pollard and DeConto 2009), suggests

  13. Comparison of Freshwater Diatom Assemblages from a High Arctic Oasis to Nearby Polar Desert Sites and Their Application to Environmental Inference Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelutti, Neal; McCleary, Kathryn; Douglas, Marianne S V; Smol, John P

    2013-02-01

    Arctic oases are regions of atypical warmth and relatively high biological production and diversity. They are small in area (Achnanthes sensu lato, Fragilaria sensu lato, and Nitzschia dominating the assemblages. A correspondence analysis (CA) ordination showed that oasis sites generally plotted separately from the northern sites, although the sites also appear to plot separately based on whether they were lakes or ponds. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) identified specific conductivity, DOC, and SiO2 as explaining significant (P < 0.05) and additional amounts of variation in the diatom data set. The most robust diatom-based inference model was generated for DOC, which will provide useful reconstructions on long-term changes in paleo-optics of high Arctic lakes.

  14. Impact processes, permafrost dynamics, and climate and environmental variability in the terrestrial Arctic as inferred from the unique 3.6 Myr record of Lake El'gygytgyn, Far East Russia - A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wennrich, Volker; Andreev, Andrei A.; Tarasov, Pavel E.; Fedorov, Grigory; Zhao, Wenwei; Gebhardt, Catalina A.; Meyer-Jacob, Carsten; Snyder, Jeffrey A.; Nowaczyk, Norbert R.; Schwamborn, Georg; Chapligin, Bernhard; Anderson, Patricia M.; Lozhkin, Anatoly V.; Minyuk, Pavel S.; Koeberl, Christian; Melles, Martin

    2016-09-01

    Lake El'gygytgyn in Far East Russia is a 3.6 Myr old impact crater lake. Located in an area that has never been affected by Cenozoic glaciations nor desiccation, the unique sediment record of the lake represents the longest continuous sediment archive of the terrestrial Arctic. The surrounding crater is the only impact structure on Earth developed in mostly acid volcanic rocks. Recent studies on the impactite, permafrost, and sediment sequences recovered within the framework of the ICDP "El'gygytgyn Drilling Project" and multiple pre-site surveys yielded new insight into the bedrock origin and cratering processes as well as permafrost dynamics and the climate and environmental history of the terrestrial Arctic back to the mid-Pliocene. Results from the impact rock section recovered during the deep drilling clearly confirm the impact genesis of the El'gygytgyn crater, but indicate an only very reduced fallback impactite sequence without larger coherent melt bodies. Isotope and element data of impact melt samples indicate a F-type asteroid of mixed composition or an ordinary chondrite as the likely impactor. The impact event caused a long-lasting hydrothermal activity in the crater that is assumed to have persisted for c. 300 kyr. Geochemical and microbial analyses of the permafrost core indicate a subaquatic formation of the lower part during lake-level highstand, but a subaerial genesis of the upper part after a lake-level drop after the Allerød. The isotope signal and ion compositions of ground ice is overprinted by several thaw-freeze cycles due to variations in the talik underneath the lake. Modeling results suggest a modern permafrost thickness in the crater of c. 340 m, and further confirm a pervasive character of the talik below Lake El'gygytgyn. The lake sediment sequences shed new leight into the Pliocene and Pleistocene climate and environmental evolution of the Arctic. During the mid-Pliocene, significantly warmer and wetter climatic conditions in

  15. Seasonal Change in Trophic Niche of Adfluvial Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus and Coexisting Fishes in a High-Elevation Lake System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle A Cutting

    Full Text Available Introduction of non-native species is a leading threat to global aquatic biodiversity. Competition between native and non-native species is often influenced by changes in suitable habitat or food availability. We investigated diet breadth and degree of trophic niche overlap for a fish assemblage of native and non-native species inhabiting a shallow, high elevation lake system. This assemblage includes one of the last remaining post-glacial endemic populations of adfluvial Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus in the contiguous United States. We examined gut contents and stable isotope values of fish taxa in fall and spring to assess both short- (days and long-term (few months changes in trophic niches. We incorporate these short-term (gut contents data into a secondary isotope analysis using a Bayesian statistical framework to estimate long-term trophic niche. Our data suggest that in this system, Arctic grayling share both a short- and long-term common food base with non-native trout of cutthroat x rainbow hybrid species (Oncorhynchus clarkia bouvieri x Oncorhynchus mykiss and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis. In addition, trophic niche overlap among Arctic grayling, hybrid trout, and brook trout appeared to be stronger during spring than fall. In contrast, the native species of Arctic grayling, burbot (Lota lota, and suckers (Catostomus spp. largely consumed different prey items. Our results suggest strong seasonal differences in trophic niche overlap among Arctic grayling and non-native trout, with a potential for greatest competition for food during spring. We suggest that conservation of endemic Arctic grayling in high-elevation lakes will require recognition of the potential for coexisting non-native taxa to impede well-intentioned recovery efforts.

  16. Arctic ice management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desch, Steven J.; Smith, Nathan; Groppi, Christopher; Vargas, Perry; Jackson, Rebecca; Kalyaan, Anusha; Nguyen, Peter; Probst, Luke; Rubin, Mark E.; Singleton, Heather; Spacek, Alexander; Truitt, Amanda; Zaw, Pye Pye; Hartnett, Hilairy E.

    2017-01-01

    As the Earth's climate has changed, Arctic sea ice extent has decreased drastically. It is likely that the late-summer Arctic will be ice-free as soon as the 2030s. This loss of sea ice represents one of the most severe positive feedbacks in the climate system, as sunlight that would otherwise be reflected by sea ice is absorbed by open ocean. It is unlikely that CO2 levels and mean temperatures can be decreased in time to prevent this loss, so restoring sea ice artificially is an imperative. Here we investigate a means for enhancing Arctic sea ice production by using wind power during the Arctic winter to pump water to the surface, where it will freeze more rapidly. We show that where appropriate devices are employed, it is possible to increase ice thickness above natural levels, by about 1 m over the course of the winter. We examine the effects this has in the Arctic climate, concluding that deployment over 10% of the Arctic, especially where ice survival is marginal, could more than reverse current trends of ice loss in the Arctic, using existing industrial capacity. We propose that winter ice thickening by wind-powered pumps be considered and assessed as part of a multipronged strategy for restoring sea ice and arresting the strongest feedbacks in the climate system.

  17. Arctic River organic matter transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Peter; Gustafsson, Orjan; Vonk, Jorien; Spencer, Robert; McClelland, Jim

    2016-04-01

    Arctic Rivers have unique hydrology and biogeochemistry. They also have a large impact on the Arctic Ocean due to the large amount of riverine inflow and small ocean volume. With respect to organic matter, their influence is magnified by the large stores of soil carbon and distinct soil hydrology. Here we present a recap of what is known of Arctic River organic matter transport. We will present a summary of what is known of the ages and sources of Arctic River dissolved and particulate organic matter. We will also discuss the current status of what is known about changes in riverine organic matter export due to global change.

  18. Projected Impact of Climate Change on the Energy Budget of the Arctic Ocean by a Global Climate Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, James R.; Russell, Gary L.; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The annual energy budget of the Arctic Ocean is characterized by a net heat loss at the air-sea interface that is balanced by oceanic heat transport into the Arctic. The energy loss at the air-sea interface is due to the combined effects of radiative, sensible, and latent heat fluxes. The inflow of heat by the ocean can be divided into two components: the transport of water masses of different temperatures between the Arctic and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the export of sea ice, primarily through Fram Strait. Two 150-year simulations (1950-2099) of a global climate model are used to examine how this balance might change if atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) increase. One is a control simulation for the present climate with constant 1950 atmospheric composition, and the other is a transient experiment with observed GHGs from 1950 to 1990 and 0.5% annual compounded increases of CO2 after 1990. For the present climate the model agrees well with observations of radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere, atmospheric advective energy transport into the Arctic, and surface air temperature. It also simulates the seasonal cycle and summer increase of cloud cover and the seasonal cycle of sea-ice cover. In addition, the changes in high-latitude surface air temperature and sea-ice cover in the GHG experiment are consistent with observed changes during the last 40 and 20 years, respectively. Relative to the control, the last 50-year period of the GHG experiment indicates that even though the net annual incident solar radiation at the surface decreases by 4.6 W(per square meters) (because of greater cloud cover and increased cloud optical depth), the absorbed solar radiation increases by 2.8 W(per square meters) (because of less sea ice). Increased cloud cover and warmer air also cause increased downward thermal radiation at the surface so that the net radiation into the ocean increases by 5.0 Wm-2. The annual increase in radiation into the ocean, however, is

  19. The Blazing Arctic? Linkages of Tundra Fire Regimes to Climatic Change and Implications for Carbon Cycling (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, F.; Higuera, P. E.; Walsh, J. E.; Chapman, W.; Duffy, P.; Brubaker, L.; Chipman, M. L.

    2010-12-01

    Among the major challenges in anticipating Arctic changes are “surprises” stemming from changes in system components that have remained relatively stable in the historic record. Tundra burning is potentially one such component. We conducted charcoal analysis of lake sediments from several tundra regions to evaluate the uniqueness of recent tundra fires, and examined potential climatic controls of Alaskan tundra fires from CE 1950-2009. A striking example of tundra burning is the 2007 Anaktuvuk River (AR) Fire, an unusually large fire in the tundra of the Alaskan Arctic. This fire doubled the area burned north of 68 oN in that region since record keeping began in 1950. Analysis of lake-sediment cores reveals peak values of charcoal accumulation corresponding to the AR Fire in 2007, with no evidence of other fire events in that area throughout the past five millennia. However, a number of tundra fires, including one as large as the AR Fire, have occurred over the past 60 years in western Alaska, where average summer temperatures are substantially higher than the AR area. In addition, charcoal analysis of lake sediments from interior and northwestern Alaska suggests that during certain periods of the Late Glacial and Holocene, tundra fire frequencies were as high as those of the modern boreal forests. These records along with the AR and historic fires demonstrate that tundra ecosystems support diverse fire regimes and can burn frequently. Reconciling these dramatic differences in tundra fire regimes requires knowledge of climate-fire relationships. Atmospheric reanalysis suggests that the AR Fire was favored by exceptionally warm/dry weather conditions in summer and early autumn. Boosted regression tree modeling shows that warm, dry summer conditions can explain up to 95% of the inter-annual variability in tundra area burned throughout Alaska over the past 60 years and that the response of tundra burning to climatic warming is non-linear. Additionally, tundra area

  20. Evidence of recent changes in the ice regime of lakes in the Canadian High Arctic from spaceborne satellite observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. M. Surdu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Arctic lakes, through their ice cover phenology, are a key indicator of climatic changes that the high-latitude environment is experiencing. In the case of lakes in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA, many of which are ice covered more than ten months per year, warmer temperatures could result in ice regime shifts. Within the dominant polar-desert environment, small local warmer areas have been identified. These relatively small regions – polar oases – with longer growing seasons, greater biological production and diversity, are confined from the surrounding barren polar desert. The ice regimes of 11 lakes located in both polar-desert and polar-oasis environments, with surface areas between 4 and 542 km2, many of unknown bathymetry, were documented. In order to investigate the response of ice cover of lakes in the CAA to climate conditions during recent years, a 15-year time series (1997–2011 of RADARSAT-1/2 ScanSAR Wide Swath, ASAR Wide Swath and Landsat acquisitions were analysed. Results show that melt onset (MO occurred earlier for all observed lakes. With the exception of Lower Murray Lake, all lakes experienced earlier summer-ice minimum and water-clear-of-ice dates (WCI, with greater changes being observed for polar-oasis lakes (9–24 days earlier WCI dates for lakes located in polar oases and 2–20 days earlier WCI dates for polar-desert lakes. Additionally, results suggest that some lakes may be transitioning from a perennial/multiyear to a seasonal ice regime, with only a few lakes maintaining a multiyear ice cover on occasional years. Aside Lake Hazen and Murray Lakes that preserved their ice cover during the summer of 2009, no residual ice was observed on any of the other lakes from 2007 to 2011.

  1. Evidence of recent changes in the ice regime of lakes in the Canadian High Arctic from spaceborne satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surdu, Cristina M.; Duguay, Claude R.; Fernández Prieto, Diego

    2016-05-01

    Arctic lakes, through their ice cover phenology, are a key indicator of climatic changes that the high-latitude environment is experiencing. In the case of lakes in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA), many of which are ice covered more than 10 months per year, warmer temperatures could result in ice regime shifts. Within the dominant polar-desert environment, small local warmer areas have been identified. These relatively small regions - polar oases - with longer growing seasons and greater biological productivity and diversity are secluded from the surrounding barren polar desert. The ice regimes of 11 lakes located in both polar-desert and polar-oasis environments, with surface areas between 4 and 542 km2, many of unknown bathymetry, were documented. In order to investigate the response of ice cover of lakes in the CAA to climate conditions during recent years, a 15-year time series (1997-2011) of RADARSAT-1/2 ScanSAR Wide Swath, ASAR Wide Swath, and Landsat acquisitions were analyzed. Results show that melt onset occurred earlier for all observed lakes. With the exception of Lower Murray Lake, all lakes experienced earlier summer ice minimum and water-clear-of-ice (WCI) dates, with greater changes being observed for polar-oasis lakes (9-24 days earlier WCI dates for lakes located in polar oases and 2-20 days earlier WCI dates for polar-desert lakes). Additionally, results suggest that some lakes may be transitioning from a perennial/multiyear to a seasonal ice regime, with only a few lakes maintaining a multiyear ice cover on occasional years. Aside Lake Hazen and Murray Lakes, which preserved their ice cover during the summer of 2009, no residual ice was observed on any of the other lakes from 2007 to 2011.

  2. The changing Arctic and its effects on the development of Norway and Russia's offshore oil-spill prevention policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouffard, T. J.

    2015-12-01

    Two very different nations are joined with a northern border and have worked together for decades to manage shared Arctic affairs, yet have very disparate approaches to policy development. Increased access to the Arctic and the push to develop its resources has also created a requirement for developing national policies to address the possibilities of oil spill response and remediation. Norway and Russia are the significant regional powers, with a shared arctic boundary, yet substantially differing approaches to policy development and implementation. We are exploring the variations in their approaches to Arctic offshore oil-spill policy development, in the context of policy informed by economic, social, and physical sciences.

  3. Collaborative Research: Towards Advanced Understanding and Predictive Capability of Climate Change in the Arctic Using a High-Resolution Regional Arctic Climate Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cassano, John [Principal Investigator

    2013-06-30

    The primary research task completed for this project was the development of the Regional Arctic Climate Model (RACM). This involved coupling existing atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land models using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate System Model (CCSM) coupler (CPL7). RACM is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) atmospheric model, the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) ocean model, the CICE sea ice model, and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land model. A secondary research task for this project was testing and evaluation of WRF for climate-scale simulations on the large pan-Arctic model domain used in RACM. This involved identification of a preferred set of model physical parameterizations for use in our coupled RACM simulations and documenting any atmospheric biases present in RACM.

  4. Power Scaling and Seasonal Changes of Floe Areas in the Arctic East Siberian Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geise, Gregory R.; Barton, Christopher C.; Tebbens, Sarah F.

    2017-01-01

    The cumulative number versus floe area distribution of seasonal sea floes from six satellite images of the Arctic Ocean during the summer breakup and melting is fit by two scale-invariant power law scaling regimes for floe areas ranging from 30 to 28,400,000 m2. Scaling exponents, β, for larger floe areas range from -0.6 to -1.0 with an average of -0.8. Scaling exponents, β, for smaller floe areas range from -0.3 to -0.6 with an average of -0.5. The inflection point between the two scaling regimes ranges from 283 × 102 to 4850 × 102 m2 and generally moves from larger to smaller floe areas through the summer melting season. The stability of the power scaling results is demonstrated for two of the images by dividing each in half and analyzing each half separately, with the result that the scaling exponents and the size of the inflection points are nearly the same for each half as for the whole image. We propose that the two scaling regimes and the inflection between them are established during the initial breakup of sea ice solely by the process of fracture. The distributions of floe size regimes retain their scaling exponents as the floe pack evolves from larger to smaller floe areas from the initial breakup through the summer season, due to grinding, crushing, fracture, and melting. The scaling exponents for floe area distribution are in the same range as those reported in previous studies of Arctic floes and for the single scaling exponents found for crushed and ground geologic materials including streambed gravel, lunar debris, and artificially crushed quartz. The single scaling exponent found for fault gouge falls below the range for floes possibly because the fracturing and grinding process in fault gouge takes place under high confining pressure. A probabilistic model of fragmentation is proposed that generates a single power law scaling distribution of fragment size.

  5. Climate and environmental change in China. 1951-2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qin, Dahe [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou (China). Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute; Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, BJ (China). State Meteorological Administration; Ding, Yongjian [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou (China). Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute; Mu, Mu (ed.) [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao (China). Inst. of Oceanology

    2016-02-01

    Through numerous color figures and tables, this book presents the most up-to-date knowledge on climate and environmental change in China. It documents the evidence and attribution of climate and environmental changes in the past few decades and discusses the impacts of climate change on environments, economy, and society. The book further provides projections of climate change and its impacts in the future. Finally, it offers the climate change mitigation and adaption technologies with strategic options which will be of interest for policy makers, researchers and the general public as well.

  6. Environmental Assessment for a Marine Geophysical Survey of Parts of the Arctic Ocean, August-September 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Beth; Ireland, Darren; Childs, Jonathan R.

    2010-01-01

    According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), individual nations? sovereign rights extend to 200 nautical miles (n.mi.) (370 km) offshore or to a maritime boundary in an area called the continental shelf. These rights include jurisdiction over all resources in the water column and on and beneath the seabed. Article 76 of UNCLOS also establishes the criteria to determine areas beyond the 200 n.mi. (370 km) limit that could be defined as ?extended continental shelf,? where a nation could extend its sovereign rights over the seafloor and sub-seafloor (As used in UNCLOS, ?continental shelf? refers to a legally defined region of the sea floor rather than a morphological shallow-water area adjacent to continents commonly used by geologists and hydrographers.). This jurisdiction provided in Article 76 includes resources on and below the seafloor but not in the water column. The United States has been acquiring data to determine the outer limits of its extended continental shelf in the Arctic and has a vested interest in declaring and receiving international recognition of the reach of its extended continental shelf. The U.S. collaborated with Canada in 2008 and 2009 on extended continental shelf studies in the Arctic Ocean. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Healy worked with the Canadian Coast Guard ship Louis S. St. Laurent to map the continental shelf beyond 200 n.mi. (370 km) in the Arctic. Each icebreaking vessel contributed different capabilities in order to collect data needed by both nations more efficiently in order to save money, avoid redundancy, and foster cooperation. Generally, the Healy collects bathymetric (sea-floor topography) data and the Louis S. St. Laurent collects seismic reflection profile data. The vessels work in concert when ice conditions are heavy, with one vessel breaking ice for the ship collecting data. The Canadian Environmental Assessments for these projects are available on line at http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/052

  7. Projected changes in atmospheric heating due to changes in fire disturbance and the snow season in the western Arctic, 2003–2100

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E.S.; McGuire, Anthony; Rupp, T.S.; Chapin, F. S.; Walsh, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    In high latitudes, changes in climate impact fire regimes and snow cover duration, altering the surface albedo and the heating of the regional atmosphere. In the western Arctic, under four scenarios of future climate change and future fire regimes (2003–2100), we examined changes in surface albedo and the related changes in regional atmospheric heating due to: (1) vegetation changes following a changing fire regime, and (2) changes in snow cover duration. We used a spatially explicit dynamic vegetation model (Alaskan Frame-based Ecosystem Code) to simulate changes in successional dynamics associated with fire under the future climate scenarios, and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model to simulate changes in snow cover. Changes in summer heating due to the changes in the forest stand age distributions under future fire regimes showed a slight cooling effect due to increases in summer albedo (mean across climates of −0.9 W m−2 decade−1). Over this same time period, decreases in snow cover (mean reduction in the snow season of 4.5 d decade−1) caused a reduction in albedo, and a heating effect (mean across climates of 4.3 W m−2 decade−1). Adding both the summer negative change in atmospheric heating due to changes in fire regimes to the positive changes in atmospheric heating due to changes in the length of the snow season resulted in a 3.4 W m−2 decade−1 increase in atmospheric heating. These findings highlight the importance of gaining a better understanding of the influences of changes in surface albedo on atmospheric heating due to both changes in the fire regime and changes in snow cover duration.

  8. Climate Change and Arctic Response:Opportunities, Challenges and Risks%气候变化与北极响应--机遇、挑战与风险

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨孟倩; 葛珊珊; 张韧

    2016-01-01

    Based on research results on observed facts, trends and impact assessments about global climate change and the Arctic region response, this paper systematically analyzed and reviewed the spatial and temporal distribution, trends, meteorological, hydrological and geographic factors, pathways and mechanisms that affect the ecological environment of Arctic sea ice in the background of global climate change. We analyzed that the ice melting made oil and gas in theArctic, development of mineral resources, and the expected impact on Arctic navigation and shipping of the channel pattern of maritime strategy, opportunities, challenges and risks. And it puts forward some suggestions about our government participating in Arctic affairs, planning to use of Arctic waterways and Arctic interests of the game to respond to Arctic circumpolar countries for strategy.%基于全球气候变化与北极区域响应的观测事实、趋势预测和影响评估等国内外研究成果,较为系统地分析、评述了全球气候变化背景下,北极海冰的时空分布特征、变化趋势及其对气象、水文要素和地理形态、生态环境的影响途径和机理;分析了冰雪融化对北极油气、矿藏资源开发、北极通航预期及对我国海上战略通道和航运格局的影响、机遇、挑战和风险;针对环北极国家的北极战略,提出了我国参与北极事务、规划利用北极航道和北极利益博弈的对策建议。

  9. Modelling land use change and environmental impact

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldkamp, A.; Verburg, P.H.

    2004-01-01

    Land use change models are tools for understanding and explaining the causes and consequences of land use dynamics. Recently, new models, combining knowledge and tools from biophysical and socio-economic sciences, have become available. This has resulted in spatially explicit models focussed on patt

  10. Some discussions on Arctic vortex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Hai; Sun Lantao; Wu Huiding; Li Xiang

    2006-01-01

    The Arctic vortex is a persistent large-scale cyclonic circulation in the middle and upper troposphere and the stratosphere. Its activity and variation control the semi-permanent active centers of Pan-Arctic and the short-time cyclone activity in the subarctic areas. Its strength variation, which directly relates to the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice and ecosystem of the Arctic, can affect the lower atmospheric circulation, the weather of subarctic area and even the weather of middle latitude areas. The 2003 Chinese Second Arctic Research Expedition experienced the transition of the stratosphereic circulation from a warm anticyclone to a cold cyclone during the ending period of Arctic summertime, a typical establishing process of the polar vortex circulation. The impact of the polar vortex variation on the low-level circulation has been investigated by some scientists through studying the coupling mechanisms of the stratosphere and troposphere. The impact of the Stratospheric Sudden Warming (SFW) events on the polar vortex variation was drawing people's great attention in the fifties of the last century. The Arctic Oscillation (AO) , relating to the variation of the Arctic vortex, has been used to study the impact of the Arctic vortex on climate change. The recent Arctic vortex studies are simply reviewed and some discussions on the Arctic vertex are given in the paper. Some different views and questions are also discussed.

  11. Environmental change in Bashang Region historical periods

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    The Bashang region is a typical vulnerable eco-environmentalzone. Our analysis of paleodunes, paleosol profiles, and lake changes taking place during last ten thousands years indicated that:(1) 10-6.9 ka B.P. was a post-glacial temperature-increasing stage, in which lakes had their high water level; (2) 6.9-3.0 ka B. P. was a large warm stage, during which four paleosol layers were developed and climate fluctuation has assumed 4-5 smallcold-humid and cold-dry alternations. Since 5.4 ka B.P, the lakestended to gradually shrink; and by 2.1 ka B.P., water level has fallen by 2.7 m; (3) since 3.0 ka B. P. a general trend of the region was to change into a dry, warm-dry and cold-dry environment.

  12. How well do environmental archives of atmospheric mercury deposition in the Arctic reproduce rates and trends depicted by atmospheric models and measurements?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodsite, M E; Outridge, P M; Christensen, J H; Dastoor, A; Muir, D; Travnikov, O; Wilson, S

    2013-05-01

    This review compares the reconstruction of atmospheric Hg deposition rates and historical trends over recent decades in the Arctic, inferred from Hg profiles in natural archives such as lake and marine sediments, peat bogs and glacial firn (permanent snowpack), against those predicted by three state-of-the-art atmospheric models based on global Hg emission inventories from 1990 onwards. Model veracity was first tested against atmospheric Hg measurements. Most of the natural archive and atmospheric data came from the Canadian-Greenland sectors of the Arctic, whereas spatial coverage was poor in other regions. In general, for the Canadian-Greenland Arctic, models provided good agreement with atmospheric gaseous elemental Hg (GEM) concentrations and trends measured instrumentally. However, there are few instrumented deposition data with which to test the model estimates of Hg deposition, and these data suggest models over-estimated deposition fluxes under Arctic conditions. Reconstructed GEM data from glacial firn on Greenland Summit showed the best agreement with the known decline in global Hg emissions after about 1980, and were corroborated by archived aerosol filter data from Resolute, Nunavut. The relatively stable or slowly declining firn and model GEM trends after 1990 were also corroborated by real-time instrument measurements at Alert, Nunavut, after 1995. However, Hg fluxes and trends in northern Canadian lake sediments and a southern Greenland peat bog did not exhibit good agreement with model predictions of atmospheric deposition since 1990, the Greenland firn GEM record, direct GEM measurements, or trends in global emissions since 1980. Various explanations are proposed to account for these discrepancies between atmosphere and archives, including problems with the accuracy of archive chronologies, climate-driven changes in Hg transfer rates from air to catchments, waters and subsequently into sediments, and post-depositional diagenesis in peat bogs

  13. Paleo-environmental gateways in the eastern Canadian arctic - Recent isotope hydrology and diatom oxygen isotopes from Nettilling Lake, Baffin Island, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapligin, B.; Narancic, B.; Meyer, H.; Pienitz, R.

    2016-09-01

    Nettilling Lake is located on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada between the areas of past warming (Canadian High Arctic to the North) and climatic stability (Northern Quebec and Labrador region to the South). Despite being the largest lake in the Nunavut region with a postglacial marine to lacustrine transition history only a few paleo-environmental investigations were completed in this area. The oxygen isotope composition of diatoms (δ18Odiatom) can provide valuable insights into paleo-environmental conditions. Here, the recent (isotope) hydrology and hydrochemical data from the lake are presented to facilitate the interpretation of a δ18Odiatom record from an 82 cm sediment core (Ni-2B). The well-mixed lake (δ18Owater = -17.4‰) is influenced by a heavier (less negative) isotope composition (-18.80‰) from Amadjuak River draining Amadjuak Lake to the South and water of lighter (more negative) isotopic composition (-16.4‰) from the Isurtuq River originating from Penny Ice Cap in the North-East. From the δ18Owater and δ18Odiatom of the topmost sample of core Ni-2B a Δ18Osilica-water of 1000 ln α(silica-water) = 40.2‰ for sub-recent diatoms of Nettilling Lake was calculated matching the known water-silica fractionation for fossil sediments well and thereby showing the general applicability of this proxy for paleo-reconstructions in this region. Extremely large δ18Odiatom variations in the core of more than 13‰ are mainly induced by changes in the isotopic composition of the lake water due to a shift from glaciomarine (δ18Odiatom = +34.6‰) through brackish (+23.4 to +27.2‰) towards lacustrine (+21.5‰) conditions (transition zones glaciomarine to brackish at 69 cm/7300 yr cal. BP and brackish to lacustrine at 35 cm/6000 yr cal. BP) associated with a shift in the degree of salinity. Our study provides the first evidence that paleo-salinity can be reconstructed by δ18Odiatom. Additionally, for the lacustrine section it could be demonstrated that

  14. Environmental and policy change to support healthy aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Rebecca H; Sykes, Kathy; Lowman, Sarah G; Duncan, Richard; Satariano, William A; Belza, Basia

    2011-10-01

    Given the growing evidence of the influence of the environment on older adult health, the need to design and implement effective environmental policy around healthy and vital aging is urgent. This article describes issues amenable to improvement through policy change, evidence supporting specific policy approaches and outcomes, and promising strategies for implementing those approaches. Key areas of focus are neighborhood design and safety, housing, transportation, and mobility. Strategies to build capacity for policy change are also addressed. Our goals are to foster greater attention to environmental change in support of healthy aging and to illuminate directions for policy change.

  15. Observed microphysical changes in Arctic mixed-phase clouds when transitioning from sea ice to open ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Gillian; Jones, Hazel M.; Choularton, Thomas W.; Crosier, Jonathan; Bower, Keith N.; Gallagher, Martin W.; Davies, Rhiannon S.; Renfrew, Ian A.; Elvidge, Andrew D.; Darbyshire, Eoghan; Marenco, Franco; Brown, Philip R. A.; Ricketts, Hugo M. A.; Connolly, Paul J.; Lloyd, Gary; Williams, Paul I.; Allan, James D.; Taylor, Jonathan W.; Liu, Dantong; Flynn, Michael J.

    2016-11-01

    In situ airborne observations of cloud microphysics, aerosol properties, and thermodynamic structure over the transition from sea ice to ocean are presented from the Aerosol-Cloud Coupling And Climate Interactions in the Arctic (ACCACIA) campaign. A case study from 23 March 2013 provides a unique view of the cloud microphysical changes over this transition under cold-air outbreak conditions. Cloud base lifted and cloud depth increased over the transition from sea ice to ocean. Mean droplet number concentrations, Ndrop, also increased from 110 ± 36 cm-3 over the sea ice to 145 ± 54 cm-3 over the marginal ice zone (MIZ). Downstream over the ocean, Ndrop decreased to 63 ± 30 cm-3. This reduction was attributed to enhanced collision-coalescence of droplets within the deep ocean cloud layer. The liquid water content increased almost four fold over the transition and this, in conjunction with the deeper cloud layer, allowed rimed snowflakes to develop and precipitate out of cloud base downstream over the ocean. The ice properties of the cloud remained approximately constant over the transition. Observed ice crystal number concentrations averaged approximately 0.5-1.5 L-1, suggesting only primary ice nucleation was active; however, there was evidence of crystal fragmentation at cloud base over the ocean. Little variation in aerosol particle number concentrations was observed between the different surface conditions; however, some variability with altitude was observed, with notably greater concentrations measured at higher altitudes ( > 800 m) over the sea ice. Near-surface boundary layer temperatures increased by 13 °C from sea ice to ocean, with corresponding increases in surface heat fluxes and turbulent kinetic energy. These significant thermodynamic changes were concluded to be the primary driver of the microphysical evolution of the cloud. This study represents the first investigation, using in situ airborne observations, of cloud microphysical changes with

  16. Arctic freshwater synthesis: Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prowse, T.; Bring, A.; Mârd, J.; Carmack, E.

    2015-11-01

    In response to a joint request from the World Climate Research Program's Climate and Cryosphere Project, the International Arctic Science Committee, and the Arctic Council's Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, an updated scientific assessment has been conducted of the Arctic Freshwater System (AFS), entitled the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis (AFSΣ). The major reason for joint request was an increasing concern that changes to the AFS have produced, and could produce even greater, changes to biogeophysical and socioeconomic systems of special importance to northern residents and also produce extra-Arctic climatic effects that will have global consequences. Hence, the key objective of the AFSΣ was to produce an updated, comprehensive, and integrated review of the structure and function of the entire AFS. The AFSΣ was organized around six key thematic areas: atmosphere, oceans, terrestrial hydrology, terrestrial ecology, resources and modeling, and the review of each coauthored by an international group of scientists and published as separate manuscripts in this special issue of Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. This AFSΣ—Introduction reviews the motivations for, and foci of, previous studies of the AFS, discusses criteria used to define the domain of the AFS, and details key characteristics of the definition adopted for the AFSΣ.

  17. Sensitizing nurses for a changing environmental health role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiedje, L B; Wood, J

    1995-12-01

    This paper traces the evolution of a broader environmental health role for nursing by focusing on the health effects of exposure to environmental pollutants and of global environmental change. This evolving role is reviewed through the examination of selected community health nursing texts published during the last several decades. Key role strategies based on this expanded and evolving environmental role are proposed. Finally, a survey is described that is intended to heighten awareness of personal and professional attitudes and behaviors related to the environment.

  18. Changing summer sea ice roughness modifies momentum transfer into the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Torge; Tsamados, Michel; Feltham, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    The current shrinking of Arctic sea ice affects the transfer of momentum from the atmosphere into the ocean. While in winter a thinner and thus weaker sea ice cover enables a greater ocean surface stress than in previous decades, the enormous retreat of sea ice in recent summers reduced the surface roughness of the Arctic Ocean and hence causes a negative ocean surface stress trend in this season. The latter is related to a generally enhanced surface drag in the presence of sea ice. Martin et al. (2014, JGR) suggested that such amplification of momentum transfer by ice floes peaks at an optimal ice concentration of 80-90% -- since higher concentrations damp momentum transfer due to ice internal stresses. However, this model study only considered a constant sea ice roughness in the calculation of the surface stress. Tsamados et al. (2014, JPO) recently implemented complex variable sea-ice drag coefficients into the sea ice model CICE also distinguishing between skin and form drag. They showed in stand-alone sea ice simulations that varying sea ice roughness due to, amongst others, pressure ridges and floe edges significantly impacts sea ice motion likely with implications for the ocean circulation underneath. Here, we present the effect of variable sea ice drag on the ocean surface stress. A comparison of the CICE results with Martin et al. (2014, JGR) shows that on basin-wide average the ice concentration-ocean stress relationship still peaks at about 80-90% but stress increases more rapidly with increasing ice concentration forming a "plateau" at 40-70%. We find that pressure ridges contribute more to the 80-90% peak whereas floe edges and skin drag shape the plateau. Further, Tsamados et al. (2014, JPO) found for the summer season that floe edges dominate the ice-water drag magnitude and that an increase in the floe edge form drag dominates the overall ice-water drag trend over the past two decades. This hints at the possibility that a favorable floe size

  19. Atmospheric HCH concentrations over the Marine Boundary Layer from Shanghai, China to the Arctic Ocean: role of human activity and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoguo; Lam, James C W; Xia, Chonghuan; Kang, Hui; Sun, Liguang; Xie, Zhouqing; Lam, Paul K S

    2010-11-15

    From July to September 2008, air samples were collected aboard the research expedition icebreaker XueLong (Snow Dragon) as part of the 2008 Chinese Arctic Research Expedition Program. Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) concentrations were analyzed in all of the samples. The average concentrations (± standard deviation) over the entire period were 33 ± 16, 5.4 ± 3.0, and 13 ± 7.5 pg m⁻³ for α-, β- and γ-HCH, respectively. Compared to previous studies in the same areas, total HCH (ΣHCH, the sum of α-, β-, and γ-HCH) levels declined by more than 10 × compared to those observed in the 1990s, but were approximately 4 × higher than those measured by the 2003 China Arctic Research Expedition, suggesting the increase of atmospheric ΣHCH recently. Because of the continuing use of lindane, ratios of α/γ-HCH showed an obvious decrease in North Pacific and Arctic region compared with those for 2003 Chinese Arctic Research Expedition. In Arctic, the level of α-HCH was found to be linked to sea ice distribution. Geographically, the average concentration of α-HCH in air samples from the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, neither of which contain sea ice, was 23 ± 4.4 pg m⁻³, while samples from the area covered by seasonal ice (∼75°N to ∼83°N), the so-called "floating sea ice region", contained the highest average levels of α-HCH at 48 ± 12 pg m⁻³, likely due to emission from sea ice and strong air-sea exchange. The lowest concentrations of α-HCH were observed in the pack ice region in the high Arctic covered by multiyear sea ice (∼83°N to ∼86°N). This phenomenon implies that the re-emission of HCH trapped in ice sheets and Arctic Ocean may accelerate during the summer as ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean decreases in response to global climate change.

  20. Quantifying the Mass Balance of Ice Caps on Severnaya Zemlya, Russian High Arctic. III: Sensitivity of Ice Caps in Severnaya Zemlya to Future Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Bassford, R.P.; Siegert, M. J.; J. A. Dowdeswell

    2006-01-01

    A coupled surface mass balance and ice-flow model was used to predict the response of three ice caps on Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic, to the present climate and to future climate changes as postulated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Ice cap boundary conditions are derived from