Sample records for rapidly changing arctic

  1. How Rapid Change Affects Deltas in the Arctic Region (United States)

    Overeem, I.; Bendixen, M.


    Deltas form where the river drains into the ocean. Consequently, delta depositional processes are impacted by either changes in the respective river drainage basin or by changes in the regional marine environment. In a warming Arctic region rapid change has occurred over the last few decades in both the terrestrial domain as well as in the marine domain. Important terrestrial controls include 1) change in permafrost possibly destabilizing river banks, 2) strong seasonality of river discharge due to a short melting season, 3) high sediment supply if basins are extensively glaciated, 4) lake outbursts and ice jams favoring river flooding. Whereas in the Arctic marine domain sea ice loss promotes wave and storm surge impact, and increased longshore transport. We here ask which of these factors dominate any morphological change in Arctic deltas. First, we analyze hydrological data to assess change in Arctic-wide river discharge characteristics and timing, and sea ice concentration data to map changes in sea ice regime. Based on this observational analysis we set up a number of scenarios of change. We then model hypothetical small-scale delta formation considering change in these primary controls by setting up a numerical delta model, and combining it dynamically with a permafrost model. We find that for typical Greenlandic deltas changes in river forcing due to ice sheet melt dominate the morphological change, which is corroborated by mapping of delta progradation from aerial photos and satellite imagery. Whereas in other areas, along the North Slope and the Canadian Arctic small deltas are more stable or experienced retreat. Our preliminary coupled model allows us to further disentangle the impact of major forcing factors on delta evolution in high-latitude systems.

  2. The Arctic Report Card: Communicating the State of the Rapidly Changing Arctic to a Diverse Audience via the Worldwide Web (United States)

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


    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

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


    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

  4. Rapid socio-cultural change and health in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerregaard, P


    The colonization of the circumpolar peoples has had a profound influence on their health. History tells about devastating epidemics and the introduction of alcohol. The last 50 years have witnessed an unprecedented societal development in Greenland and a rapid epidemiological transition. Physical...... health and survival have improved but at the expense of mental health. The incidence of tuberculosis and the infant mortality rate have decreased because of improved socioeconomic conditions and health care. Mental health has deteriorated parallel to the rapid modernization of Greenlandic society...

  5. Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 with Rapidly Changing High Arctic Landscapes (United States)

    Emmerton, C. A.


    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 two magnitudes 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 southern 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 substantially, climate-related changes of dry high Arctic landscapes may be restricted by poor soil moisture retention, and therefore have some inertia against

  6. Human adaptation responses to a rapidly changing Arctic: A research context for building system resilience (United States)

    Chapin, T.; Brinkman, T. J.


    Although human behavior accounts for more uncertainty in future trajectories in climate change than do biophysical processes, most climate-change research fails to include human actions in research design and implementation. This is well-illustrated in the Arctic. At the global scale, arctic processes strongly influence the strength of biophysical feedbacks between global human emissions and the rate of climate warming. However, most human actions in the arctic have little effect on these feedbacks, so research can contribute most effectively to reduction in arctic warming through improved understanding of the strength of arctic-global biophysical feedbacks, as in NASA's ABoVE program, and its effective communication to policy makers and the public. In contrast, at the local to regional scale within the arctic, human actions may influence the ecological and societal consequences of arctic warming, so research benefits from active stakeholder engagement in research design and implementation. Human communities and other stakeholders (government and NGOs) respond heterogeneously to socioeconomic and environmental change, so research that documents the range of historical and current adaptive responses to change provides insights on the resilience (flexibility of future options) of social-ecological processes in the arctic. Alaskan communities have attempted a range of adaptive responses to coastal erosion (e.g., seasonal migration, protection in place, relocation), wildfire (fire suppression to use of fire to manage wildlife habitat or landscape heterogeneity), declining sea ice (e.g., new hunting technology, sea ice observations and predictions), and changes in wildlife and fish availability (e.g., switch to harvest of alternative species, harvest times, or harvest locations). Research that draws on both traditional and western knowledge facilitates adaptation and predictions of the likely societal consequences of climate change in the Arctic. Effective inclusion of

  7. Tracking and unpacking rapid Arctic change: Indicators of community health and sustainability in northern Alaska and links to cryospheric change (United States)

    Eicken, H.; Sam, J. M.; Mueller-stoffels, M.; Lovecraft, A. L.; Fresco, N. L.


    Tracking and responding to rapid Arctic change benefits from time series of indicator variables that describe the state of the system and can inform anticipatory action. A key challenge is to identify and monitor sets of indicators that capture relevant variability, trends, and transitions in social-environmental systems. We present findings from participatory scenarios focused on community health and sustainability in northern Alaska. In a series of workshops in 2015 and 2016 (Kotzebue workshop photo shown below), over 50 experts, mostly local, identified determinants of community health and sustainability by 2040 in the Northwest Arctic and North Slope Boroughs, Alaska. Drawing on further research, an initial set of factors and uncertainties was refined and prioritized into a total of 20 key drivers, ranging from governance issues to socio-economic and environmental factors. The research team then developed sets of future projections that describe plausible outcomes by mid-century for each of these drivers. A plausibility and consistency analysis of all pairwise combinations of these projections (following Mueller-Stoffels and Eicken, In: North by 2020 - Perspectives on Alaska's Changing Social-Ecological Systems, University of Alaska Press, 2011) resulted in the identification of robust scenarios. The latter were further reviewed by workshop participants, and a set of indicator variables, including indicators of relevant cryospheric change, was identified to help track trajectories towards plausible future states. Publically accessible recorded data only exist for a subset of the more than 70 indicators, reaching back a few years to several decades. For several indicators, the sampling rate or time series length are insufficient for tracking of and response to change. A core set of variables has been identified that meets indicator requirements and can serve as a tool for Alaska Arctic communities in adapting to or mitigating rapid change affecting community

  8. 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.

  9. The US Arctic Observing Network - Mobilizing Interagency Observing Actions in an Era of Rapid Change (United States)

    Starkweather, S.


    US agencies have long relied upon sustained Arctic observing to achieve their missions, be they in support of long-term monitoring, operationalized forecasts, or long-term process studies. One inventory of Arctic observing activities ( suggests that there are more than 10,000 sustained data collection sites that have been supported by US agencies. Yet despite calls from academia (e.g. National Research Council, 2006) and agency leadership (e.g. IARPC, 2007) for more integrated approaches, such coherence - in the form of a US Arctic Observing Network (US AON) - has been slow and ad hoc in emerging. Two approaches have been invoked in systematically creating networks of greater coherence. One involves solving the "backward problem" or drawing existing observations into interoperable, multi-sensor, value-added data products. These approaches have the benefit that they build from existing assets and extend observations over greater time and space scales than individual efforts can approach. They suffer from being high-energy undertakings, often proceeding through voluntary efforts, and are limited by the observational assets already in place. Solving the "forward problem", or designing the network that is "needed" entails its own challenges of aligning multiple agency needs and capabilities into coordinated frameworks, often tied into a societal benefit structure. The solutions to the forward problem are greatly constrained by financial and technical feasibility. The benefit of such approaches is that interoperability and user-needs are baked into the network design, and some critical prioritization has been invoked. In September 2016, NOAA and other US agencies advanced plans to formally establish and fund the coordination of a US AON initiative. This US AON initiative brings new coordination capabilities on-line to support and strengthen US engagement in sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems that serve

  10. Monitoring the welfare of polar bear populations in a rapidly changing Arctic (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Patyk, Kelly A.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.


    Most programs for monitoring the welfare of wildlife populations support efforts aimed at reaching discrete management objectives, like mitigating conflict with humans. While such programs can be effective, their limited scope may preclude systemic evaluations needed for large-scale conservation initiatives, like the recovery of at-risk species. We discuss select categories of metrics that can be used to monitor how polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are responding to the primary threat to their long-term persistence—loss of sea ice habitat due to the unabated rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG; e.g., CO2) concentrations—that can also provide information on ecosystem function and health. Monitoring key aspects of polar bear population dynamics, spatial behavior, health and resiliency can provide valuable insight into ecosystem state and function, and could be a powerful tool for achieving Arctic conservation objectives, particularly those that have transnational policy implications.

  11. Arctic action against climatic changes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Njaastad, Birgit


    The articles describes efforts to map the climatic changes in the Arctic regions through the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Project which is a joint venture between eight Arctic countries: Denmark, Canada, the USA, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The project deals with the consequences of the changes such as the UV radiation due to diminishing ozone layers. The aims are: Evaluate and integrate existing knowledge in the field and evaluate and predict the consequences particularly on the environment both in the present and the future and produce reliable and useful information in order to aid the decision-making processes

  12. Public Perceptions of Arctic Change (United States)

    Hamilton, L.


    What does the general US public know, or think they know, about Arctic change? Two broad nationwide surveys in 2006 and 2010 addressed this topic in general terms, before and after the International Polar Year (IPY). Since then a series of representative national or statewide surveys have carried this research farther. The new surveys employ specific questions that assess public knowledge of basic Arctic facts, along with perceptions about the possible consequences of future Arctic change. Majorities know that late-summer Arctic sea ice area has declined compared with 30 years ago, although substantial minorities -- lately increasing -- believe instead that it has now recovered to historical levels. Majorities also believe that, if the Arctic warms in the future, this will have major effects on the weather where they live. Their expectation of local impacts from far-away changes suggests a degree of global thinking. On the other hand, most respondents do poorly when asked whether melting Arctic sea ice, melting Greenland/Antarctic land ice, or melting Himalayan glaciers could have more effect on sea level. Only 30% knew or guessed the right answer to this question. Similarly, only 33% answered correctly on a simple geography quiz: whether the North Pole could best be described as ice a few feet or yards thick floating over a deep ocean, ice more than a mile thick over land, or a rocky, mountainous landscape. Close analysis of response patterns suggests that people often construct Arctic "knowledge" on items such as sea ice increase/decrease from their more general ideology or worldview, such as their belief (or doubt) that anthropogenic climate change is real. When ideology or worldviews provide no guidance, as on the North Pole or sealevel questions, the proportion of accurate answers is no better than chance. These results show at least casual public awareness and interest in Arctic change, unfortunately not well grounded in knowledge. Knowledge problems seen on

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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...... already been documented. Changes in phenology and range will occur for most species but will only partly mitigate climate change impacts, which are particularly difficult to forecast due to the many interactions within and between trophic levels. Even though Arctic species richness is increasing via...

  14. Forecasting wildlife response to rapid warming in the Alaskan Arctic (United States)

    Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Flint, Paul L.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Koch, Joshua C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Oakley, Karen L.; Pearce, John M.


    Arctic wildlife species face a dynamic and increasingly novel environment because of climate warming and the associated increase in human activity. Both marine and terrestrial environments are undergoing rapid environmental shifts, including loss of sea ice, permafrost degradation, and altered biogeochemical fluxes. Forecasting wildlife responses to climate change can facilitate proactive decisions that balance stewardship with resource development. In this article, we discuss the primary and secondary responses to physical climate-related drivers in the Arctic, associated wildlife responses, and additional sources of complexity in forecasting wildlife population outcomes. Although the effects of warming on wildlife populations are becoming increasingly well documented in the scientific literature, clear mechanistic links are often difficult to establish. An integrated science approach and robust modeling tools are necessary to make predictions and determine resiliency to change. We provide a conceptual framework and introduce examples relevant for developing wildlife forecasts useful to management decisions.

  15. Arctic adaptation and climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agnew, T.A.; Headley, A.


    The amplification of climatic warming in the Arctic and the sensitivity of physical, biological, and human systems to changes in climate make the Arctic particularly vulnerable to climate changes. Large areas of the Arctic permafrost and sea ice are expected to disappear under climate warming and these changes will have considerable impacts on the natural and built environment of the north. A review is presented of some recent studies on what these impacts could be for the permafrost and sea ice environment and to identify linkages with socioeconomic activities. Terrestrial adaptation to climate change will include increases in ground temperature; melting of permafrost with consequences such as frost heave, mudslides, and substantial settlement; rotting of peat contained in permafrost areas, with subsequent emission of CO 2 ; increased risk of forest fire; and flooding of low-lying areas. With regard to the manmade environment, structures that will be affected include buildings, pipelines, highways, airports, mines, and railways. In marine areas, climate change will increase the ice-free period for marine transport operations and thus provide some benefit to the offshore petroleum industry. This benefit will be offset by increased wave height and period, and increased coastal erosion. The offshore industry needs to be particularly concerned with these impacts since the expected design life of industry facilities (30-60 y) is of the same order as the time frame for possible climatic changes. 18 refs., 5 figs

  16. Changing Arctic Ocean freshwater pathways. (United States)

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


    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.

  17. Challenges of climate change: an Arctic perspective. (United States)

    Corell, Robert W


    Climate change is being experienced particularly intensely in the Arctic. Arctic average temperature has risen at almost twice the rate as that of the rest of the world in the past few decades. Widespread melting of glaciers and sea ice and rising permafrost temperatures present additional evidence of strong Arctic warming. These changes in the Arctic provide an early indication of the environmental and societal significance of global consequences. The Arctic also provides important natural resources to the rest of the world (such as oil, gas, and fish) that will be affected by climate change, and the melting of Arctic glaciers is one of the factors contributing to sea level rise around the globe. An acceleration of these climatic trends is projected to occur during this century, due to ongoing increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. These Arctic changes will, in turn, impact the planet as a whole.

  18. The changing seasonal climate in the Arctic. (United States)

    Bintanja, R; van der Linden, E C


    Ongoing and projected greenhouse warming clearly manifests itself in the Arctic regions, which warm faster than any other part of the world. One of the key features of amplified Arctic warming concerns Arctic winter warming (AWW), which exceeds summer warming by at least a factor of 4. Here we use observation-driven reanalyses and state-of-the-art climate models in a variety of standardised climate change simulations to show that AWW is strongly linked to winter sea ice retreat through the associated release of surplus ocean heat gained in summer through the ice-albedo feedback (~25%), and to infrared radiation feedbacks (~75%). Arctic summer warming is surprisingly modest, even after summer sea ice has completely disappeared. Quantifying the seasonally varying changes in Arctic temperature and sea ice and the associated feedbacks helps to more accurately quantify the likelihood of Arctic's climate changes, and to assess their impact on local ecosystems and socio-economic activities.

  19. Collaborative Research: Improving Decadal Prediction of Arctic Climate Variability and Change Using a Regional Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutowski, William J. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)


    This project developed and applied a regional Arctic System model for enhanced decadal predictions. It built on successful research by four of the current PIs with support from the DOE Climate Change Prediction Program, which has resulted in the development of a fully coupled Regional Arctic Climate Model (RACM) consisting of atmosphere, land-hydrology, ocean and sea ice components. An expanded RACM, a Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), has been set up to include ice sheets, ice caps, mountain glaciers, and dynamic vegetation to allow investigation of coupled physical processes responsible for decadal-scale climate change and variability in the Arctic. RASM can have high spatial resolution (~4-20 times higher than currently practical in global models) to advance modeling of critical processes and determine the need for their explicit representation in Global Earth System Models (GESMs). The pan-Arctic region is a key indicator of the state of global climate through polar amplification. However, a system-level understanding of critical arctic processes and feedbacks needs further development. Rapid climate change has occurred in a number of Arctic System components during the past few decades, including retreat of the perennial sea ice cover, increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet, acceleration and thinning of outlet glaciers, reduced snow cover, thawing permafrost, and shifts in vegetation. Such changes could have significant ramifications for global sea level, the ocean thermohaline circulation and heat budget, ecosystems, native communities, natural resource exploration, and commercial transportation. The overarching goal of the RASM project has been to advance understanding of past and present states of arctic climate and to improve seasonal to decadal predictions. To do this the project has focused on variability and long-term change of energy and freshwater flows through the arctic climate system. The three foci of this research are: - Changes

  20. Synthesizing International Understanding of Changes in the Arctic Hydrological System (United States)

    Pundsack, J. W.; Vorosmarty, C. J.; Hinzman, L. D.


    There are several notable gaps in our current level of understanding of Arctic hydrological systems. At the same time, rapidly emerging data sets, technologies, and modeling resources provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to move substantially forward. The Arctic Community-Wide Hydrological Analysis and Monitoring Program (Arctic-CHAMP), funded by NSF/ARCSS, was established to initiate a major effort to improve our current monitoring of water cycle variables, and to foster collaboration with the many relevant U.S. and international arctic research initiatives. These projects, funded under ARCSS through the ‘Freshwater Integration (FWI) study’, links CHAMP, the Arctic/Subarctic Ocean Fluxes (ASOF) Programme, and SEARCH. As part of the overall synthesis and integration efforts of the NSF-ARCSS Freshwater Integration (FWI) study, the program carried-out a major International Synthesis Capstone Workshop in Fall 2009 as an International Polar Year (IPY) affiliated meeting. The workshop, "Synthesizing International Understanding of Changes in the Arctic Hydrological System,” was held 30 September to 4 October 2009 in Stockholm at the Beijer Auditorium of the Royal Swedish Academy. The workshop was sponsored by the NSF-ARCSS Arctic-CHAMP Science Management Office (City College of New York / Univ. of New Hampshire), the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC), and the International Arctic Research Center (IARC; Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks). The overarching goals of the meeting were to stage a post-IPY lessons-learned workshop with co-equal numbers of FWI, IPY, and ICARP-II researchers, using insights from recent scientific findings, data, and strategies to afford synthesis. The workshop aimed to: (1) take stock of recent advances in our understanding of changes in the Arctic hydrological system; (2) identify key remaining research gaps / unanswered questions; and (3) gather insight on where to focus future research efforts/initiatives (nationally and

  1. 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|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/41327697X; 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.


    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

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

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


    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. Detecting and Understanding Changing Arctic Carbon Emissions (United States)

    Bruhwiler, L.


    Warming in the Arctic has proceeded faster than anyplace on Earth. Our current understanding of biogeochemistry suggests that we can expect feedbacks between climate and carbon in the Arctic. Changes in terrestrial fluxes of carbon can be expected as the Arctic warms, and the vast stores of organic carbon frozen in Arctic soils could be mobilized to the atmosphere, with possible significant impacts on global climate. Quantifying trends in Arctic carbon exchanges is important for policymaking because greater reductions in anthropogenic emissions may be required to meet climate goals. Observations of greenhouse gases in the Arctic and globally have been collected for several decades. Analysis of this data does not currently support significantly changed Arctic emissions of CH4, however it is difficult to detect changes in Arctic emissions because of transport from lower latitudes and large inter-annual variability. Unfortunately, current space-based remote sensing systems have limitations at Arctic latitudes. Modeling systems can help untangle the Arctic budget of greenhouse gases, but they are dependent on underlying prior fluxes, wetland distributions and global anthropogenic emissions. Also, atmospheric transport models may have significant biases and errors. For example, unrealistic near-surface stability can lead to underestimation of emissions in atmospheric inversions. We discuss our current understanding of the Arctic carbon budget from both top-down and bottom-up approaches. We show that current atmospheric inversions agree well on the CH4 budget. On the other hand, bottom-up models vary widely in their predictions of natural emissions, with some models predicting emissions too large to be accommodated by the budget implied by global observations. Large emissions from the shallow Arctic ocean are also inconsistent with atmospheric observations. We also discuss the sensitivity of the current atmospheric network to what is likely small, gradual increases in

  4. Transformational Change and Regime Shifts in the Circumpolar Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika E. Nilsson


    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.

  5. Pan-Arctic observations in GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project and its successor (United States)

    Yamanouchi, Takashi


    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

  6. Foreword to the thematic cluster: the Arctic in Rapid Transition—marine ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Kędra


    Full Text Available The Arctic is warming and losing sea ice. Happening at a much faster rate than previously expected, these changes are causing multiple ecosystem feedbacks in the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART initiative was developed by early-career scientists as an integrative, international, multidisciplinary, long-term pan-Arctic network to study changes and feedbacks among the physical and biogeochemical components of the Arctic Ocean and their ultimate impacts on biological productivity on different timescales. In 2012, ART jointly organized with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists their second science workshop—Overcoming Challenges of Observation to Model Integration in Marine Ecosystem Response to Sea Ice Transitions—at the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, in Sopot. This workshop aimed to identify linkages and feedbacks between atmosphere–ice–ocean forcing and biogeochemical processes, which are critical for ecosystem function, land–ocean interactions and productive capacity of the Arctic Ocean. This special thematic cluster of Polar Research brings together seven papers that grew out of workgroup discussions. Papers examine the climate change impacts on various ecosystem elements, providing important insights on the marine ecological and biogeochemical processes on various timescales. They also highlight priority areas for future research.

  7. The Climate Science Special Report: Arctic Changes and their Effect on Alaska and the Rest of the United States (United States)

    Taylor, P. C.


    Rapid and visible climate change is happening across the Arctic, outpacing global change. Annual average near-surface air temperatures across the Arctic are increasing at more than twice the rate of global average surface temperature. In addition to surface temperature, all components of the Arctic climate system are responding in kind, including sea ice, mountain glaciers and the Greenland Ice sheet, snow cover, and permafrost. Many of these changes with a discernable anthropogenic imprint. While Arctic climate change may seem physically remote to those living in other regions of the planet, Arctic climate change can affect the global climate influencing sea level, the carbon cycle, and potentially atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. As an Arctic nation, United States' adaptation, mitigation, and policy decisions depend on projections of future Alaskan and Arctic climate. This chapter of the Climate Science Special Report documents significant scientific progress and knowledge about how the Alaskan and Arctic climate has changed and will continue to change.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schollert, Michelle

    common arctic plant species, illustrating the great importance of vegetation composition for determining ecosystem BVOC emissions. Additionally, this thesis assesses the BVOC emission responses in common arctic plant species to effects of climate change: warming, shading and snow addition. Against...... treatment effects on BVOC emissions. Furthermore, the anatomy of arctic plants seems to respond differently to warming than species at lower latitudes. The results in this thesis demonstrate the complexity of the effects of climate change on BVOC emissions and leaf anatomy of arctic plant species...... emissions from the arctic region are assumed to be low, but data from the region is lacking. BVOC emissions are furthermore expected to change drastically due to the rapidly proceeding climate change in the Arctic, which can provide a feedback to climate warming of unknown direction and magnitude. BVOC...

  9. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice (United States)

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, David C.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Atwood, Todd C.; Jay, C.


    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  10. Changing geo-political realities in the Arctic region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Camilla T. N.


    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....

  11. Greenland and the international politics of a changing arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greenland and the International Politics of a Changing Arctic examines the international politics of semi-independent Greenland in a changing and increasingly globalised Arctic. Without sovereign statehood, but with increased geopolitical importance, independent foreign policy ambitions......, and a solidified self-image as a trailblazer for Arctic indigenous peoples’ rights, Greenland is making its mark on the Arctic and is in turn affected – and empowered – by Arctic developments. The chapters in this collection analyse how a distinct Greenlandic foreign policy identity shapes political ends and means...... for regional change in the Arctic. This is the first comprehensive and interdisciplinary examination of Greenland’s international relations and how they are connected to wider Arctic politics. It will be essential reading for students and scholars interested in Arctic governance and security, international...

  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...... collected from 1988 to 2015 and covering a combined 185,000 linear km, we examined the marine distribution of seabirds in sub-arctic and Arctic waters between Canada and Greenland, an area covering over 5,000,000 km2. We developed a predictive model to investigate how ice cover and ocean processes influence...... the distribution of arctic seabirds in summer and autumn and identified existing areas of high density. Comparing these results to at-sea surveys conducted in the same waters from 1966 - 1987, we examined how seabird distribution has changed over the last six decades. Understanding how changes in the marine...

  13. Sensitivity of the carbon cycle in the Arctic to climate change (United States)

    A.D. McGuire; L.G. Anderson; T.R. Christensen; S. Dallimore; L. Guo; D.J. Hayes; M. Heimann; T.D. Lorenson; R.W. Macdonald; N. Roulet


    The recent warming in the Arctic is affecting a broad spectrum of physical, ecological, and human/cultural systems that may be irreversible on century time scales and have the potential to cause rapid changes in the earth system. The response of the carbon cycle of the Arctic to changes in climate is a major issue of global concern, yet there has not been a...

  14. Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Changes and Impacts (Invited) (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.


    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

  15. Climate Change, Globalization and Geopolitics in the New Maritime Arctic (United States)

    Brigham, L. W.


    Early in the 21st century a confluence of climate change, globalization and geopolitics is shaping the future of the maritime Arctic. This nexus is also fostering greater linkage of the Arctic to the rest of the planet. Arctic sea ice is undergoing a historic transformation of thinning, extent reduction in all seasons, and reduction in the area of multiyear ice in the central Arctic Ocean. Global Climate Model simulations of Arctic sea ice indicate multiyear ice could disappear by 2030 for a short period of time each summer. These physical changes invite greater marine access, longer seasons of navigation, and potential, summer trans-Arctic voyages. As a result, enhanced marine safety, environmental protection, and maritime security measures are under development. Coupled with climate change as a key driver of regional change is the current and future integration of the Arctic's natural wealth with global markets (oil, gas and hard minerals). Abundant freshwater in the Arctic could also be a future commodity of value. Recent events such as drilling for hydrocarbons off Greenland's west coast and the summer marine transport of natural resources from the Russian Arctic to China across the top of Eurasia are indicators of greater global economic ties to the Arctic. Plausible Arctic futures indicate continued integration with global issues and increased complexity of a range of regional economic, security and environmental challenges.

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


    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.

  17. Arctic climate change in NORKLIMA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    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)

  18. The state of climate change adaptation in the Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, James D; McDowell, Graham; Jones, Julie


    The Arctic climate is rapidly changing, with wide ranging impacts on natural and social systems. A variety of adaptation policies, programs and practices have been adopted to this end, yet our understanding of if, how, and where adaptation is occurring is limited. In response, this paper develops a systematic approach to characterize the current state of adaptation in the Arctic. Using reported adaptations in the English language peer reviewed literature as our data source, we document 157 discrete adaptation initiatives between 2003 and 2013. Results indicate large variations in adaptation by region and sector, dominated by reporting from North America, particularly with regards to subsistence harvesting by Inuit communities. Few adaptations were documented in the European and Russian Arctic, or have a focus on the business and economy, or infrastructure sectors. Adaptations are being motivated primarily by the combination of climatic and non-climatic factors, have a strong emphasis on reducing current vulnerability involving incremental changes to existing risk management processes, and are primarily initiated and led at the individual/community level. There is limited evidence of trans-boundary adaptations or initiatives considering potential cross-scale/sector impacts. (letter)

  19. 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)


    At the last glacial maximum, vast ice sheets covered many continental areas. The beds of some shallow seas were exposed thereby connecting previously separated landmasses. Although some areas were ice-free and supported a flora and fauna, mean annual temperatures were 10-13 deg C colder than during the Holocene. Within a few millennia of the glacial maximum, deglaciation started, characterized by a series of climatic fluctuations between about 18,000 and 11,400 years ago. Following the general thermal maximum in the Holocene, there has been a modest overall cooling trend, superimposed upon which have been a series of millennial and centennial fluctuations in climate such as the 'Little Ice Age' spanning approximately the late 13th to early 19th centuries. Throughout the climatic fluctuations of the last 150,000 years, Arctic ecosystems and biota have been close to their minimum extent within the most recent 10,000 years. They suffered loss of diversity as a result of extinctions during the most recent large-magnitude rapid global warming at the end of the last glacial stage. Consequently, Arctic ecosystems and biota such as large vertebrates are already under pressure and are particularly vulnerable to current and projected future global warming. Evidence from the past indicates that the treeline will very probably advance, perhaps rapidly, into tundra areas, as it did during the early Holocene, reducing the extent of tundra and increasing the risk of species extinction. Species will very probably extend their ranges northwards, displacing Arctic species as in the past. However, unlike the early Holocene, when lower relative sea level allowed a belt of tundra to persist around at least some parts of the Arctic basin when treelines advanced to the present coast, sea level is very likely to rise in future, further restricting the area of tundra and other treeless Arctic ecosystems. The negative response of current Arctic ecosystems to global climatic

  20. Arctic security in an age of climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kraska, James (ed.)


    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)

  1. Climate Change: Science and Policy in the Arctic Climate Change: Science and Policy in the Arctic (United States)

    Bigras, S. C.


    It is an accepted fact that the Earth’s climate is warming. Recent research has demonstrated the direct links between the Arctic regions and the rest of the planet. We have become more aware that these regions are feeling the effects of global climate change more intensely than anywhere else on Earth -- and that they are fast becoming the new frontiers for resources and political disputes. This paper examines some of the potential climate change impacts in the Arctic and how the science of climate change can be used to develop policies that will help mitigate some of these impacts. Despite the growing body of research we do not yet completely understand the potential consequences of climate change in the Arctic. Climate models predict significant changes and impacts on the northern physical environment and renewable resources, and on the communities and societies that depend on them. Policies developed and implemented as a result of the research findings will be designed to help mitigate some of the more serious consequences. Given the importance of cost in making policy decisions, the financial implications of different scenarios will need to be considered. The Arctic Ocean Basin is a complex and diverse environment shared by five Arctic states. Cooperation among the states surrounding the Arctic Ocean is often difficult, as each country has its own political and social agenda. Northerners and indigenous peoples should be engaged and able to influence the direction of northern adaptation policies. Along with climate change, the Arctic environment and Arctic residents face many other challenges, among them safe resource development. Resource development in the Arctic has always been a controversial issue, seen by some as a solution to high unemployment and by others as an unacceptably disruptive and destructive force. Its inherent risks need to be considered: there are needs for adaptation, for management frameworks, for addressing cumulative effects, and for

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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....... 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...... 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...

  3. New views on changing Arctic vegetation (United States)

    Kennedy, Robert E.


    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

  4. Dangerous climate change and the importance of adaptation for the Arctic's Inuit population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, James D


    The Arctic's climate is changing rapidly, to the extent that 'dangerous' climate change as defined by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change might already be occurring. These changes are having implications for the Arctic's Inuit population and are being exacerbated by the dependence of Inuit on biophysical resources for livelihoods and the low socio-economic-health status of many northern communities. Given the nature of current climate change and projections of a rapidly warming Arctic, climate policy assumes a particular importance for Inuit regions. This paper argues that efforts to stabilize and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are urgent if we are to avoid runaway climate change in the Arctic, but unlikely to prevent changes which will be dangerous for Inuit. In this context, a new policy discourse on climate change is required for Arctic regions-one that focuses on adaptation. The paper demonstrates that states with Inuit populations and the international community in general has obligations to assist Inuit to adapt to climate change through international human rights and climate change treaties. However, the adaptation deficit, in terms of what we know and what we need to know to facilitate successful adaptation, is particularly large in an Arctic context and limiting the ability to develop response options. Moreover, adaptation as an option of response to climate change is still marginal in policy negotiations and Inuit political actors have been slow to argue the need for adaptation assistance. A new focus on adaptation in both policy negotiations and scientific research is needed to enhance Inuit resilience and reduce vulnerability in a rapidly changing climate.

  5. Dangerous climate change and the importance of adaptation for the Arctic's Inuit population

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ford, James D [Department of Geography, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC, H3A 2K6 (Canada)], E-mail:


    The Arctic's climate is changing rapidly, to the extent that 'dangerous' climate change as defined by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change might already be occurring. These changes are having implications for the Arctic's Inuit population and are being exacerbated by the dependence of Inuit on biophysical resources for livelihoods and the low socio-economic-health status of many northern communities. Given the nature of current climate change and projections of a rapidly warming Arctic, climate policy assumes a particular importance for Inuit regions. This paper argues that efforts to stabilize and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are urgent if we are to avoid runaway climate change in the Arctic, but unlikely to prevent changes which will be dangerous for Inuit. In this context, a new policy discourse on climate change is required for Arctic regions-one that focuses on adaptation. The paper demonstrates that states with Inuit populations and the international community in general has obligations to assist Inuit to adapt to climate change through international human rights and climate change treaties. However, the adaptation deficit, in terms of what we know and what we need to know to facilitate successful adaptation, is particularly large in an Arctic context and limiting the ability to develop response options. Moreover, adaptation as an option of response to climate change is still marginal in policy negotiations and Inuit political actors have been slow to argue the need for adaptation assistance. A new focus on adaptation in both policy negotiations and scientific research is needed to enhance Inuit resilience and reduce vulnerability in a rapidly changing climate.

  6. 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)


    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.

  7. Arctic indigenous peoples as representations and representatives of climate change. (United States)

    Martello, Marybeth Long


    Recent scientific findings, as presented in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), indicate that climate change in the Arctic is happening now, at a faster rate than elsewhere in the world, and with major implications for peoples of the Arctic (especially indigenous peoples) and the rest of the planet. This paper examines scientific and political representations of Arctic indigenous peoples that have been central to the production and articulation of these claims. ACIA employs novel forms and strategies of representation that reflect changing conceptual models and practices of global change science and depict indigenous peoples as expert, exotic, and at-risk. These portrayals emerge alongside the growing political activism of Arctic indigenous peoples who present themselves as representatives or embodiments of climate change itself as they advocate for climate change mitigation policies. These mutually constitutive forms of representation suggest that scientific ways of seeing the global environment shape and are shaped by the public image and voice of global citizens. Likewise, the authority, credibility, and visibility of Arctic indigenous activists derive, in part, from their status as at-risk experts, a status buttressed by new scientific frameworks and methods that recognize and rely on the local experiences and knowledges of indigenous peoples. Analyses of these relationships linking scientific and political representations of Arctic climate change build upon science and technology studies (STS) scholarship on visualization, challenge conventional notions of globalization, and raise questions about power and accountability in global climate change research.

  8. Building Resilience and Adaptation to Manage Arctic Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chapin, F. Stuart III [Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks (United States). Inst. of Arctic Biology; Hoel, Michael [Oslo Univ. (Norway). Dept. of Economics; Carpenter, Steven R. [Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI, (US). Center for Limnology] (and others)


    Unprecedented global changes caused by human actions challenge society's ability to sustain the desirable features of our planet. This requires proactive management of change to foster both resilience (sustaining those attributes that are important to society in the face of change) and adaptation (developing new socio- ecological configurations that function effectively under new conditions). The Arctic may be one of the last remaining opportunities to plan for change in a spatially extensive region where many of the ancestral ecological and social processes and feedbacks are still intact. If the feasibility of this strategy can be demonstrated in the Arctic, our improved understanding of the dynamics of change can be applied to regions with greater human modification. Conditions may now be ideal to implement policies to manage Arctic change because recent studies provide the essential scientific understanding, appropriate international institutions are in place, and Arctic nations have the wealth to institute necessary changes, if they choose to do so.

  9. Detecting Arctic Climate Change Using Koeppen Climate Classification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, M. [Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Oceans, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (United States); Overland, J.E. [NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington (United States)


    Ecological impacts of the recent warming trend in the Arctic are already noted as changes in tree line and a decrease in tundra area with the replacement of ground cover by shrubs in northern Alaska and several locations in northern Eurasia. The potential impact of vegetation changes to feedbacks on the atmospheric climate system is substantial because of the large land area impacted and the multi-year persistence of the vegetation cover. Satellite NDVI estimates beginning in 1981 and the Koeppen climate classification, which relates surface types to monthly mean air temperatures from 1901 onward, track these changes on an Arctic-wide basis. Temperature fields from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis and CRU analysis serve as proxy for vegetation cover over the century. A downward trend in the coverage of tundra group for the first 40 yr of the twentieth century was followed by two increases during 1940s and early 1960s, and then a rapid decrease in the last 20 yr. The decrease of tundra group in the 1920-40 period was localized, mostly over Scandinavia; whereas the decrease since 1990 is primarily pan-Arctic, but largest in NW Canada, and eastern and coastal Siberia. The decrease in inferred tundra coverage from 1980 to 2000 was 1.4 x 106 km{sup 2}, or about a 20% reduction in tundra area based on the CRU analyses. This rate of decrease is confirmed by the NDVI data. These tundra group changes in the last 20 yr are accompanied by increase in the area of both the boreal and temperate groups. During the tundra group decrease in the first half of the century boreal group area also decreased while temperate group area increased. The calculated minimum coverage of tundra group from both the Koeppen classification and NDVI indicates that the impact of warming on the spatial coverage of the tundra group in the 1990s is the strongest in the century, and will have multi-decadal consequences for the Arctic.

  10. Biological response to climate change in the Arctic Ocean: The view from the past (United States)

    Cronin, Thomas M.; Cronin, Matthew A.


    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.

  11. The Immediacy of Arctic Change: New 2016-17 Extremes (United States)

    Overland, J. E.; Kattsov, V.; Olsen, M. S.; Walsh, J. E.


    Additional recent observations add increased certainty to cryospheric Arctic changes, and trends are very likely to continue past mid-century. Observed and projected Arctic changes are large compared with those at mid-latitude, driven by greenhouse gas (GHG) increase and Arctic feedbacks. Sea ice has undergone a regime shift from mostly multi-year to first-year sea ice, and summer sea ice is likely to be esentially gone within the next few decades. Spring snow cover is decreasing, and Arctic greening is increasing, although somewhat variable. There are potential emerging impacts of Arctic change on mid-latitude weather and sea level rise. Model assessments under different future GHG concentration scenarios show that stabilizing global temperatures near 2° C compliant with Paris agreement could slow, but not halt further major changes in the Arctic before mid- 21st century; foreseeable Arctic temperature changes are 4-5° C for fall/winter by 2040-2050. Substantial and immediate mitigation reductions in GHG emissions (at least at the level of the RCP 4.5 emission scenario) should reduce the risk of further change for most cryospheric components after mid-century, and reduce the likelyhood of potential runaway loss of ice sheets and glaciers and their impact on sea level rise. Extreme winter 2016 Arctic temperatures and a large winter 2017 sea ice deficit demonstrate contemporary climate states outside the envelope of previous experience. While there is confidence in the sign of Arctic changes, recent observations increase uncertainty in projecting the rate for future real world scenarios. Do events return to mean conditions, represent irreversible changes, or contribute to accelerating trends beyond those provided by climate models? Such questions highlight the need for improved quantitative prediction of the cryosphere and its global impacts, crucial for adaptation actions and risk management at local to global scales.

  12. Arctic Climate and Climate Change with a Focus on Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stendel, Martin; Christensen, Jens Hesselbjerg; Petersen, Dorthe


    Paleoclimatic evidence suggests that the Arctic presently is warmer than during the last 125,000 years, and it is very likely11The term "likelihood" is used here as in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4). According to the definition in this rep...... Ice Sheet, the fate of arctic sea ice and a possible weakening of the thermohaline circulation (THC) under future warming conditions have led to increased research activities, including an assessment of arctic climate and climate change (ACIA, 2005), the fourth assessment report (AR4...

  13. Climate change and zoonotic infections in the Russian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Revich


    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.

  14. Recent Changes in the Arctic Melt Season (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne; Markus, Thorsten; Meier, Walter N.; Miller, Jeff


    Melt-season duration, melt-onset and freeze-up dates are derived from satellite passive microwave data and analyzed from 1979 to 2005 over Arctic sea ice. Results indicate a shift towards a longer melt season, particularly north of Alaska and Siberia, corresponding to large retreats of sea ice observed in these regions. Although there is large interannual and regional variability in the length of the melt season, the Arctic is experiencing an overall lengthening of the melt season at a rate of about 2 weeks decade(sup -1). In fact, all regions in the Arctic (except for the central Arctic) have statistically significant (at the 99% level or higher) longer melt seasons by greater than 1 week decade(sup -1). The central Arctic shows a statistically significant trend (at the 98% level) of 5.4 days decade(sup -1). In 2005 the Arctic experienced its longest melt season, corresponding with the least amount of sea ice since 1979 and the warmest temperatures since the 1880s. Overall, the length of the melt season is inversely correlated with the lack of sea ice seen in September north of Alaska and Siberia, with a mean correlation of -0.8.

  15. Sensitivity of the carbon cycle in the Arctic to climate change (United States)

    McGuire, A. David; Anderson, Leif G.; Christensen, Torben R.; Dallimore, Scott; Guo, Laodong; Hayes, Daniel J.; Heimann, Martin; Lorenson, T.D.; Macdonald, Robie W.; Roulet, Nigel


    The recent warming in the Arctic is affecting a broad spectrum of physical, ecological, and human/cultural systems that may be irreversible on century time scales and have the potential to cause rapid changes in the earth system. The response of the carbon cycle of the Arctic to changes in climate is a major issue of global concern, yet there has not been a comprehensive review of the status of the contemporary carbon cycle of the Arctic and its response to climate change. This review is designed to clarify key uncertainties and vulnerabilities in the response of the carbon cycle of the Arctic to ongoing climatic change. While it is clear that there are substantial stocks of carbon in the Arctic, there are also significant uncertainties associated with the magnitude of organic matter stocks contained in permafrost and the storage of methane hydrates beneath both subterranean and submerged permafrost of the Arctic. In the context of the global carbon cycle, this review demonstrates that the Arctic plays an important role in the global dynamics of both CO2 and CH4. Studies suggest that the Arctic has been a sink for atmospheric CO2 of between 0 and 0.8 Pg C/yr in recent decades, which is between 0% and 25% of the global net land/ocean flux during the 1990s. The Arctic is a substantial source of CH4 to the atmosphere (between 32 and 112 Tg CH4/yr), primarily because of the large area of wetlands throughout the region. Analyses to date indicate that the sensitivity of the carbon cycle of the Arctic during the remainder of the 21st century is highly uncertain. To improve the capability to assess the sensitivity of the carbon cycle of the Arctic to projected climate change, we recommend that (1) integrated regional studies be conducted to link observations of carbon dynamics to the processes that are likely to influence those dynamics, and (2) the understanding gained from these integrated studies be incorporated into both uncoupled and fully coupled carbon

  16. Future Arctic climate changes: Adaptation and mitigation time scales (United States)

    Overland, James E.; Wang, Muyin; Walsh, John E.; Stroeve, Julienne C.


    The climate in the Arctic is changing faster than in midlatitudes. This is shown by increased temperatures, loss of summer sea ice, earlier snow melt, impacts on ecosystems, and increased economic access. Arctic sea ice volume has decreased by 75% since the 1980s. Long-lasting global anthropogenic forcing from carbon dioxide has increased over the previous decades and is anticipated to increase over the next decades. Temperature increases in response to greenhouse gases are amplified in the Arctic through feedback processes associated with shifts in albedo, ocean and land heat storage, and near-surface longwave radiation fluxes. Thus, for the next few decades out to 2040, continuing environmental changes in the Arctic are very likely, and the appropriate response is to plan for adaptation to these changes. For example, it is very likely that the Arctic Ocean will become seasonally nearly sea ice free before 2050 and possibly within a decade or two, which in turn will further increase Arctic temperatures, economic access, and ecological shifts. Mitigation becomes an important option to reduce potential Arctic impacts in the second half of the 21st century. Using the most recent set of climate model projections (CMIP5), multimodel mean temperature projections show an Arctic-wide end of century increase of +13°C in late fall and +5°C in late spring for a business-as-usual emission scenario (RCP8.5) in contrast to +7°C in late fall and +3°C in late spring if civilization follows a mitigation scenario (RCP4.5). Such temperature increases demonstrate the heightened sensitivity of the Arctic to greenhouse gas forcing.

  17. Vulnerability to climate change in the Arctic: a case study from Arctic Bay, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ford, J.D.; Smit, B.; Wandel, J. [University of Guelph, Ontario (Canada). Department of Geography


    This paper develops a vulnerability-based approach to characterize the human implications of climate change in Arctic Bay, Canada. It focuses on community vulnerabilities associated with resource harvesting and the processes through which people adapt to them in the context of livelihood assets, constraints, and outside influences. Inuit in Arctic Bay have demonstrated significant adaptability in the face of changing climate-related exposures. This adaptability is facilitated by traditional Inuit knowledge, strong social networks, flexibility in seasonal hunting cycles, some modern technologies, and economic support. Changing Inuit livelihoods, however, have undermined certain aspects of adaptive capacity, and have resulted in emerging vulnerabilities in certain sections of the community. (author)

  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...... also the challenges of increased maritime activities that result in several risks in the Arctic such as the risk of pollution and the risks of accidents, which produce a need for preparedness towards oil spill and towards search and rescue (SAR) and institutions for SAR. Since the Arctic is such a huge...... possibilies of transborder risk management and partnership building....

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


    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.

  20. The Arctic: between climatic change, economic development and security issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Degeorges, Damien


    The Arctic is a perfect illustration of how climate change is impacting international relations, in particular because it triggers new economic and safety issues. Since every major economic power has interests in the region, it has now become the stage of many rivalries, including between China and the United-States. Whether it is because its extreme climate conditions or the growing international pressure, the Arctic sets a new challenge for investors: securing a sustainable economic growth in the region

  1. Relevance of hydro-climatic change projection and monitoring for assessment of water cycle changes in the Arctic. (United States)

    Bring, Arvid; Destouni, Georgia


    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.

  2. The Rapid Arctic Warming and Its Impact on East Asian Winter Weather in Recent Decade (United States)

    Kim, S. J.; Kim, B. M.; Kim, J. H.


    The Arctic is warming much more rapidly than the lower latitudes. In contrast to the rapid Arctic warming, in winters of the recent decade, the cold-air outbreaks over East Asia occur more frequently and stronger than in 1990s. By accompanying the snow over East Asia, the strong cold surges have led to a severe socio-economic impact. Such severe cold surges in recent decade over east Asia is consistent with the more dominant negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO), that may be attributed by the Arctic amplification. In both observation-based reanalysis and numerical model experiments, the Arctic sea ice melting leads to the weakening of the AO polarity by reducing the meridional temperature gradient through a heat flux feedback. The Arctic warming and associated sea ice melting over the Kara-Barents area in late fall and early winter first release a lot of heat to the atmosphere from the ocean by a strong contrast in temperature and moisture and higher height anomaly is developed over the Kara/Barents and the Ural mountains The anomalous anticyclonic anomaly over the Arctic strengthen the Siberian High and at the same time the east Asian trough is developed over the western coast of the North Pacific. Through the passage between the margin of the Siberian High and east Asian tough, an extremely cold air is transported from east Siberia to east Asia for sometimes more than a week. Such a severe sold air brings about the moisture from nearby ocean, largely influencing the daily lives and economy in north East China, Korea, and Japan. The recent Arctic and associated sea ice melting is not only contributed to the local climate and weather, but also a severe weather in mid-latitudes through a modulation in polar vortex.

  3. Arctic alpine ecosystems and people in a changing environment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ørbæk, Jon Børre


    ... for the population structures and the interaction between species. These changes may also have socio-economic effects if the changes affect the bio-production, which form the basis for the marine and terrestrial food chains. The book is uniquely multidisciplinary and provides examples of various aspects of contemporary environmental change in arctic and ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torben Koenigk


    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.

  5. The Contribution to Arctic Climate Change from Countries in the Arctic Council (United States)

    Schultz, T.; MacCracken, M. C.


    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

  6. Biodiversity, Distributions and Adaptations of Arctic Species in the Context of Environmental Change

    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)


    adapted to the Arctic's climate: some can metabolize at temperatures down to -39 deg C. Cyanobacteria and algae have a wide range of adaptive strategies that allow them to avoid, or at least minimize UV injury. Microorganisms can tolerate most environmental conditions and they have short generation times which can facilitate rapid adaptation to new environments. In contrast, Arctic plant and animal species are very likely to change their distributions rather than evolve significantly in response to warming.

  7. Changes in the seasonality of Arctic sea ice and temperature (United States)

    Bintanja, R.


    Observations show that the Arctic sea ice cover is currently declining as a result of climate warming. According to climate models, this retreat will continue and possibly accelerate in the near-future. However, the magnitude of this decline is not the same throughout the year. With temperatures near or above the freezing point, summertime Arctic sea ice will quickly diminish. However, at temperatures well below freezing, the sea ice cover during winter will exhibit a much weaker decline. In the future, the sea ice seasonal cycle will be no ice in summer, and thin one-year ice in winter. Hence, the seasonal cycle in sea ice cover will increase with ongoing climate warming. This in itself leads to an increased summer-winter contrast in surface air temperature, because changes in sea ice have a dominant influence on Arctic temperature and its seasonality. Currently, the annual amplitude in air temperature is decreasing, however, because winters warm faster than summer. With ongoing summer sea ice reductions there will come a time when the annual temperature amplitude will increase again because of the large seasonal changes in sea ice. This suggests that changes in the seasonal cycle in Arctic sea ice and temperature are closely, and intricately, connected. Future changes in Arctic seasonality (will) have an profound effect on flora, fauna, humans and economic activities.

  8. Is climate change affecting wolf populations in the high Arctic? (United States)

    Mech, L.D.


    Gobal climate change may affect wolves in Canada's High Arctic (80?? N) acting through three trophic levels (vegetation, herbivores, and wolves). A wolf pack dependent on muskoxen and arctic hares in the Eureka area of Ellesmere Island denned and produced pups most years from at least 1986 through 1997. However, when summer snow covered vegetation in 1997 and 2000 for the first time since records were kept, halving the herbivore nutrition-replenishment period, muskox and hare numbers dropped drastically, and the area stopped supporting denning wolves through 2003. The unusual weather triggering these events was consistent with global-climate-change phenomena. ?? 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  9. Decadal Climate Change in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, A Representative Area of the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minghu Ding


    Full Text Available In recent decades, global warming hiatus/slowdown has attracted considerable attention and has been strongly debated. Many studies suggested that the Arctic is undergoing rapid warming and significantly contributes to a continual global warming trend rather than a hiatus. In this study, we evaluated the climate changes of Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, a representative location of the northern North Atlantic sector of the Arctic, based on observational records from 1975–2014. The results showed that the annual warming rate was four times higher than the global mean (+0.76 °C·decade−1 and was also much greater than Arctic average. Additionally, the warming trend of Ny-Ålesund started to slow down since 2005–2006, and our estimates showed that there is a 8–9 years-lagged, but significant, correlation between records of Ny-Ålesund and global HadCRUT4 datasets. This finding indicates that the Arctic was likely experiencing a hiatus pattern, which just appeared later than the low-mid latitudes due to transport processes of atmospheric circulations and ocean currents, heat storage effect of cryospheric components, multidecadal variability of Arctic cyclone activities, etc. This case study provides a new perspective on the global warming hiatus/slowdown debate.

  10. Climate-driven changes in functional biogeography of Arctic marine fish communities. (United States)

    Frainer, André; Primicerio, Raul; Kortsch, Susanne; Aune, Magnus; Dolgov, Andrey V; Fossheim, Maria; Aschan, Michaela M


    Climate change triggers poleward shifts in species distribution leading to changes in biogeography. In the marine environment, fish respond quickly to warming, causing community-wide reorganizations, which result in profound changes in ecosystem functioning. Functional biogeography provides a framework to address how ecosystem functioning may be affected by climate change over large spatial scales. However, there are few studies on functional biogeography in the marine environment, and none in the Arctic, where climate-driven changes are most rapid and extensive. We investigated the impact of climate warming on the functional biogeography of the Barents Sea, which is characterized by a sharp zoogeographic divide separating boreal from Arctic species. Our unique dataset covered 52 fish species, 15 functional traits, and 3,660 stations sampled during the recent warming period. We found that the functional traits characterizing Arctic fish communities, mainly composed of small-sized bottom-dwelling benthivores, are being rapidly replaced by traits of incoming boreal species, particularly the larger, longer lived, and more piscivorous species. The changes in functional traits detected in the Arctic can be predicted based on the characteristics of species expected to undergo quick poleward shifts in response to warming. These are the large, generalist, motile species, such as cod and haddock. We show how functional biogeography can provide important insights into the relationship between species composition, diversity, ecosystem functioning, and environmental drivers. This represents invaluable knowledge in a period when communities and ecosystems experience rapid climate-driven changes across biogeographical regions. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  11. Food and water security in a changing arctic climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, Daniel M; Gerlach, S Craig; Loring, Philip; Tidwell, Amy C; Chambers, Molly C


    In the Arctic, permafrost extends up to 500 m below the ground surface, and it is generally just the top metre that thaws in summer. Lakes, rivers, and wetlands on the arctic landscape are normally not connected with groundwater in the same way that they are in temperate regions. When the surface is frozen in winter, only lakes deeper than 2 m and rivers with significant flow retain liquid water. Surface water is largely abundant in summer, when it serves as a breeding ground for fish, birds, and mammals. In winter, many mammals and birds are forced to migrate out of the Arctic. Fish must seek out lakes or rivers deep enough to provide good overwintering habitat. Humans in the Arctic rely on surface water in many ways. Surface water meets domestic needs such as drinking, cooking, and cleaning as well as subsistence and industrial demands. Indigenous communities depend on sea ice and waterways for transportation across the landscape and access to traditional country foods. The minerals, mining, and oil and gas industries also use large quantities of surface water during winter to build ice roads and maintain infrastructure. As demand for this limited, but heavily-relied-upon resource continues to increase, it is now more critical than ever to understand the impacts of climate change on food and water security in the Arctic

  12. Changing seasonality of Arctic hydrology disrupts key biotic linkages in Arctic aquatic ecosystems. (United States)

    Deegan, L.; MacKenzie, C.; Peterson, B. J.; Fishscape Project


    Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is an important circumpolar species that provide a model system for understanding the impacts of changing seasonality on arctic ecosystem function. Grayling serve as food for other biota, including lake trout, birds and humans, and act as top-down controls in stream ecosystems. In Arctic tundra streams, grayling spend their summers in streams but are obligated to move back into deep overwintering lakes in the fall. Climatic change that affects the seasonality of river hydrology could have a significant impact on grayling populations: grayling may leave overwintering lakes sooner in the spring and return later in the fall due to a longer open water season, but the migration could be disrupted by drought due to increased variability in discharge. In turn, a shorter overwintering season may impact lake trout dynamics in the lakes, which may rely on the seasonal inputs of stream nutrients in the form of migrating grayling into these oligotrophic lakes. To assess how shifting seasonality of Arctic river hydrology may disrupt key trophic linkages within and between lake and stream components of watersheds on the North Slope of the Brooks Mountain Range, Alaska, we have undertaken new work on grayling and lake trout population and food web dynamics. We use Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags coupled with stream-width antenna units to monitor grayling movement across Arctic tundra watersheds during the summer, and into overwintering habitat in the fall. Results indicate that day length may prime grayling migration readiness, but that flooding events are likely the cue grayling use to initiate migration in to overwintering lakes. Many fish used high discharge events in the stream as an opportunity to move into lakes. Stream and lake derived stable isotopes also indicate that lake trout rely on these seasonally transported inputs of stream nutrients for growth. Thus, changes in the seasonality of river hydrology may have broader

  13. 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


    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...... 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...... imperialistic” resulting in substantial impact on the Arctic and Antartic dynamism. Due to ice-melting, an easy access to natural resources, China’s Arctic strategy in the Arctic Ocean has reinforced its military martitime strategy and has profoundly changed its maritime military doctrine shifting from regional...

  14. Enzymology under global change: organic nitrogen turnover in alpine and sub-Arctic soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weedon, J.T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.


    Understanding global change impacts on the globally important carbon storage in alpine, Arctic and sub-Arctic soils requires knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the balance between plant primary productivity and decomposition. Given that nitrogen availability limits both processes, understanding

  15. Enzymology under global change: organic nitrogen turnover in alpine and sub-Arctic soils.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weedon, J.T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.


    Understanding global change impacts on the globally important carbon storage in alpine, Arctic and sub-Arctic soils requires knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the balance between plant primary productivity and decomposition. Given that nitrogen availability limits both processes, understanding

  16. Engaging Local Communities in Arctic Observing Networks: A Collaborative Shoreline Change Risk WebGIS for Alaska's Arctic Slope Region (United States)

    Brady, M.


    This study engaged local community stakeholders in Alaska's Arctic Slope Region to develop a web-based shoreline change risk geographic information system (WebGIS) in collaboration with the North Slope Borough and its residents. The value of the effort includes rich spatial documentation of local risks across the vast, remote, and rapidly changing shoreline, and identification of local manager information needs to direct WebGIS development. The study advances our understanding of shoreline change problems from the perspective of local Arctic communities beyond municipal impacts while building decision support. Over fifty local residents in three communities with collective coastal knowledge that extends across the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge shared their perspectives on hard copy maps. Sixteen managers provided usability perceptions of a beta WebGIS with shoreline change susceptibility information summarized at relevant asset locations such as subsistence camps. The hard copy maps with 300 "problem places" were digitized for analysis, which revealed problems across the coastline, especially challenges to boating for subsistence hunting such as shoaling cutting off access and creating hazards. The usability workshop revealed specific information needs including the need to monitor impacts at decommissioned national defense radar sites repurposed by locals to centralize oil and gas activity. These results were analyzed using an Instructional Systems Design (ISD) framework consisting of front-end and formative WebGIS evaluation phases. The front-end evaluation is the local input on hard copy maps, which provided local verification of coastal risks. The formative evaluation is the usability workshop with managers, which informed WebGIS development while promoting user buy-in. In terms of product and process, the local knowledge and information needs collected are significant because they establish local engagement with the

  17. Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society (ACCESS): Integrated perspectives. (United States)

    Crépin, Anne-Sophie; Karcher, Michael; Gascard, Jean-Claude


    This introduction to the special issue presents an overview of the wide range of results produced during the European Union project Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society (ACCESS). This project assessed the main impacts of climate change on Arctic Ocean's geophysical variables and how these impending changes could be expected to impact directly and indirectly on socio-economic activities like transportation, marine sea food production and resource exploitation. Related governance issues were examined. These results were used to develop several management tools that can live on beyond ACCESS. In this article, we synthesize most of the project results in the form of tentative responses to questions raised during the project. By doing so, we put the findings of the project in a broader perspective and introduce the contributions made in the different articles published in this special issue.

  18. Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Adams, Layne G.; Whalen, Mary E.; Pearce, John M.


    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative strives to inform key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information and forecasts for current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. Over the past 5 years, a focal area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the North Slope of Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 60 years, yet the rate of change has been varied across the North Slope, leading scientists to question the future response and resilience of wildlife populations, such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus), that rely on tundra habitats for forage. Future changes in temperature and precipitation to coastal wet sedge and upland low shrub tundra are expected, with unknown consequences for caribou that rely on these plant communities for food. Understanding how future environmental change may affect caribou migration, nutrition, and reproduction is a focal question being addressed by the USGS CAE research. Results will inform management agencies in Alaska and people that rely on caribou for food.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robertson, William [Univ. of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States)


    RASM is a multi-disciplinary project, which brings together researchers from six state universities, one military postgraduate school, and one DoE laboratory to address the core modeling objectives of the arctic research community articulated in the Arctic System Modeling report by Roberts et al. (2010b). This report advocates the construction of a regional downscaling tool to generate probabilistic decadal projections of Greenland ice sheet retreat, evolution of arctic sea ice cover, changes in land surface vegetation, and regional processes leading to arctic amplification. Unified coupled models such as RASM are ideal for this purpose because they simulate fine-scale physics, essential for the realistic representation of intra-annual variability, in addition to processes fundamental to long term climatic shifts (Hurrell et al. 2009). By using RASM with boundary conditions from a global model, we can generate many-member ensembles essential for understanding uncertainty in regional climate projections (Hawkins and Sutton 2009). This probabilistic approach is computationally prohibitive for high-resolution global models in the foreseeable future, and also for regional models interactively nested within global simulations. Yet it is fundamental for quantifying uncertainty in decadal forecasts to make them useful for decision makers (Doherty et al. 2009). For this reason, we have targeted development of ensemble generation techniques as a core project task (Task 4.5). Environmental impact assessment specialists need high-fidelity regional ensemble projections to improve the accuracy of their work (Challinor et al. 2009; Moss et al. 2010). This is especially true of the Arctic, where economic, social and national interests are rapidly reshaping the high north in step with regional climate change. During the next decade, considerable oil and gas discoveries are expected across many parts of the marine and terrestrial Arctic (Gautier et al. 2009), the economics of the

  20. Long-term bird study records Arctic climate change (United States)

    Zielinski, Sarah

    Alaska's summer of 2005 was the second warmest on record there, with a record retreat of arctic pack ice. As Alaskan temperatures gradually increase, artic birds, such as the black guillemots of Cooper Island, near Barrow, Alaska, are experiencing drastic habitat changes. Though these small black and white birds—the subjects of a long-term study of climate change—fared better this year than they have in the recent past (due to local cool conditions), they are nonetheless struggling to adapt as their artic island summer home becomes subarctic.George Divokyan ornithologist at the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, discovered the Cooper Island colony of guillemots in the early 1970s and has spent every summer since 1975 there studying these birds. He presented his latest research during a 3 November talk in Washington, D.C.

  1. Annual changes in Arctic fjord environment and modern benthic foraminiferal fauna: Evidence from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (United States)

    Jernas, Patrycja; Klitgaard-Kristensen, Dorthe; Husum, Katrine; Koç, Nalan; Tverberg, Vigdis; Loubere, Paul; Prins, Maarten; Dijkstra, Noortje; Gluchowska, Marta


    The relationships between modern Arctic benthic foraminifera and their ecological controls, along with their sensitivity to rapid environmental changes, is still poorly understood. This study examines how modern benthic foraminifera respond to annual environmental changes in the glaciated Arctic fjord Kongsfjorden, western Svalbard. Large environmental gradients due to the inflow of warm and saline Atlantic Water and the influence of tidewater glaciers characterise the fjord hydrography. A transect of six multi-corer stations, from the inner to the outer fjord, was sampled in the late summers of 2005 to 2008 to study the distribution of living (rose Bengal stained) benthic foraminifera. Physical properties of the water masses were measured concurrently. In general, nearly the entire Kongsfjorden region was dominated by ubiquitous N. labradorica foraminiferal assemblage that successfully exploited the local food resources and thrived particularly well in the presence of Atlantic-derived Transformed Atlantic Water (TAW). Further, the annual investigation revealed that Kongsfjorden underwent large interannual hydrological changes during the studied years related to variable inflow of warm and saline Atlantic Water. This led to a strong fauna variability particularly at the two marginal sites: the glacially influenced inner fjord and marine influenced shelf region. We also observed significant species shift from the 'cold' to 'warm' years and an expansion of widespread and sub-arctic to boreal species into the fjord.

  2. Integrated regional changes in arctic climate feedbacks: Implications for the global climate system (United States)

    McGuire, A.D.; Chapin, F. S.; Walsh, J.E.; Wirth, C.; ,


    The Arctic is a key part of the global climate system because the net positive energy input to the tropics must ultimately be resolved through substantial energy losses in high-latitude regions. The Arctic influences the global climate system through both positive and negative feedbacks that involve physical, ecological, and human systems of the Arctic. The balance of evidence suggests that positive feedbacks to global warming will likely dominate in the Arctic during the next 50 to 100 years. However, the negative feedbacks associated with changing the freshwater balance of the Arctic Ocean might abruptly launch the planet into another glacial period on longer timescales. In light of uncertainties and the vulnerabilities of the climate system to responses in the Arctic, it is important that we improve our understanding of how integrated regional changes in the Arctic will likely influence the evolution of the global climate system. Copyright ?? 2006 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

  3. Heritage and Change in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    as stakeholders, developers and wardens of resources. In times characterized by such change and ambivalence, heritage offers itself as a means by which a community can meaningfully relate to both past and future; but its use (and the inclusion and exclusion of particular identity-building elements) must also...

  4.  Climate Change and the Arctic Discourses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørst, Lill Rastad


      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...

  5. Propaganda, News, or Education: Reporting Changing Arctic Sea Ice Conditions (United States)

    Leitzell, K.; Meier, W.


    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. Changes in aerosol properties during spring-summer period in the Arctic troposphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.-C. Engvall


    Full Text Available The change in aerosol properties during the transition from the more polluted spring to the clean summer in the Arctic troposphere was studied. A six-year data set of observations from Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard, covering the months April through June, serve as the basis for the characterisation of this time period. In addition four-day-back trajectories were used to describe air mass histories. The observed transition in aerosol properties from an accumulation-mode dominated distribution to an Aitken-mode dominated distribution is discussed with respect to long-range transport and influences from natural and anthropogenic sources of aerosols and pertinent trace gases. Our study shows that the air-mass transport is an important factor modulating the physical and chemical properties observed. However, the air-mass transport cannot alone explain the annually repeated systematic and rather rapid change in aerosol properties, occurring within a limited time window of approximately 10 days. With a simplified phenomenological model, which delivers the nucleation potential for new-particle formation, we suggest that the rapid shift in aerosol microphysical properties between the Arctic spring and summer is mainly driven by the incoming solar radiation in concert with transport of precursor gases and changes in condensational sink.

  7. Comparative responses of phenology and reproductive development to simulated environmental change in sub-arctic and high arctic plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wookey, P A; Welker, J M; Callaghan, T V [Inst. of Terrestrial Ecology, Merlewood Research Station, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria (United Kingdom); Parsons, A N; Potter, J A; Lee, J A; Press, M C [Dept. of Environmental Biology, Univ. of Manchester, Manchester (United Kingdom)


    The effects of temperature, precipitation and nutrient perturbations, and their interactions, are being assessed on two contrasting arctic ecosystems to simulate impacts of climate change. One, a high arctic polar semi-desert community, is characterized by a sparse, low and aggregated vegetation cover where plant proliferation is by seedlings, whereas the other, a sub-arctic dwarf shrub health, is characterized by a complete, vegetation cover of erect, clonal dwarf shrubs which spread vegetatively. The developmental processes of seed production were shown to be highly sensitive, even within one growing season to specific environmental perturbations which differed between sites. At the polar semi-desert site, there was a striking effect of the temperature enhancement treatments on phenology and seed-setting of Dryas octopetala ssp. octopetala, with almost no seed-setting occurring in plots experiencing ambient temperatures. By contrast, there were no significant effects of temperature enhancement alone on fruit production of Empetrum hermaphroditum at the sub-Arctic dwarf shrub heath site, although fruit production was significantly influenced by the application of nutrients and/or water. The response of dominant high arctic dwarf shrub to increased temperature suggests that any climate warming may stimulate seed-set. This could be particularly important in the high Arctic where colonization can proceed in areas dominated by bare ground and where genetic recombination may be needed to generate tolerance to predicted changes of great magnitude. In the sub-Arctic, however the closed vegetation is dominated by clonally-proliferating species. Plant fitness will increase here in response to any increased vegetative growth resulting from higher nutrient availability in warmer organic soils. (ua) (59 refs.)

  8. Patterns and processes influencing helminth parasites of Arctic coastal communities during climate change. (United States)

    Galaktionov, K V


    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.

  9. Climate change and natural hazards in the Arctic (United States)

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


    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

  10. Inuit Perspectives on Arctic Environmental Change': A Traveling Exhibition (United States)

    Sheffield, E. M.; Hakala, J. S.; Gearheard, S.


    The Inuit of Nunavut, Canada, have an intimate relationship with their surroundings. As a culture that relies on knowledge of sea ice, snow, and weather conditions for success in hunting, fishing, and healthy wellbeing, Inuit have observed and studied environmental patterns for generations. An ongoing study into their traditional knowledge and their observations of environmental change is being conducted by researcher Dr. Shari Gearheard, who has worked with Inuit communities in Nunavut for over a decade. The results of the research have been published in scientific journals, and to communicate the results to a broader audience, Dr. Gearheard designed an interactive CD-ROM displaying photographs, maps, and interview videos of Inuit Elders' perspectives on the changes they have witnessed. Receiving immediate popularity since its release in 2004, copies of `When the Weather is Uggianaqtuq: Inuit Observations of Environmental Change' have been distributed worldwide, to indigenous peoples, social science and climate change researchers, teachers, students, and the general public. To further disseminate the information contained on the CD-ROM, the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the Museum of Natural History, both of the University of Colorado, are partnering to create an exhibition which will open at the Museum during the International Polar Year in April 2008. The exhibit, tentatively titled `Inuit Perspectives on Arctic Environmental Change,' will feature photographs, graphics, and text in both English and Inuktitut describing environmental change in the North. The goals are to make the information and interpretation contained on the CD-ROM available and more accessible to a broad audience and to raise awareness about Arctic climate change and the important contribution of Inuit knowledge. Following exhibition at the Museum, the exhibit will travel throughout the United States, Alaska, and Nunavut, through a network of museums, schools, libraries, tribal

  11. Arctic Newcomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonami, Aki


    Interest in the Arctic region and its economic potential in Japan, South Korea and Singapore was slow to develop but is now rapidly growing. All three countries have in recent years accelerated their engagement with Arctic states, laying the institutional frameworks needed to better understand...... and influence policies relating to the Arctic. But each country’s approach is quite different, writes Aki Tonami....

  12. Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE) (United States)

    Weckström, J.; Korhola, A.; Väliranta, M.; Seppä, H.; Luoto, M.; Tuittila, E.-S.; Leppäranta, M.; Kahilainen, K.; Saarinen, J.; Heikkinen, H.


    The predicted climate warming has raised many questions and concerns about its impacts on the environment and society. As a respond to the need of holistic studies comprising both of these areas, The Academy of Finland launched The Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change (FICCA 2011-2014) in spring 2010 with the main aim to focus on the interaction between the environment and society. Ultimately 11 national consortium projects were funded (total budget 12 million EUR). Here we shortly present the main objectives of the largest consortium project "Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society" (CLICHE). The CLICHE consortium comprises eight interrelated work packages (treeline, diversity, peatlands, snow, lakes, fish, tourism, and traditional livelihoods), each led by a prominent research group and a team leader. The research consortium has three main overall objectives: 1) Investigate, map and model the past, present and future climate change-induced changes in central ecosystems of the European Arctic with unprecedented precision 2) Deepen our understanding of the basic principles of ecosystem and social resilience and dynamics; identify key taxa, structures or processes that clearly indicate impending or realised global change through their loss, occurrence or behaviour, using analogues from the past (e.g. Holocene Thermal Maximum, Medieval Warm Period), experiments, observations and models 3) Develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of climate change on local communities, traditional livelihoods, fisheries, and tourism industry, and promote sustainable development of local community structures and enhance the quality of life of local human populations. As the project has started only recently no final results are available yet. However, the fieldwork as well as the co-operation between the research teams has thus far been very successful. Thus, the expectations for the final outcome of the project

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


    K. R. Barnhart; I. Overeem; R. S. Anderson


    Shorefast sea ice prevents the interaction of the land and the ocean in the Arctic winter and influences this interaction in the summer by governing the fetch. In many parts of the Arctic the sea-ice-free season is increasing in duration, and the summertime sea ice extents are decreasing. Sea ice provides a first order control on the vulnerability of Arctic coasts to erosion, inundation, and damage to settlements and infrastructure. We ask how the changing sea ic...

  14. Modes of Arctic Ocean Change from GRACE, ICESat and the PIOMAS and ECCO2 Models of the Arctic Ocean (United States)

    Peralta Ferriz, C.; Morison, J. H.; Bonin, J. A.; Chambers, D. P.; Kwok, R.; Zhang, J.


    EOF analysis of month-to-month variations in GRACE derived Arctic Ocean bottom pressure (OBP) with trend and seasonal variation removed yield three dominant modes. The first mode is a basin wide variation in mass associated with high atmospheric pressure (SLP) over Scandinavia mainly in winter. The second mode is a shift of mass from the central Arctic Ocean to the Siberian shelves due to low pressure over the basins, associated with the Arctic Oscillation. The third mode is a shift in mass between the Eastern and Western Siberian shelves, related to strength of the Beaufort High mainly in summer, and to eastward alongshore winds on the Barents Sea in winter. The PIOMAS and ECCO2 modeled OBP show fair agreement with the form of these modes and provide context in terms of variations in sea surface height SSH. Comparing GRACE OBP from 2007 to 2011 with GRACE OBP from 2002 to 2006 reveals a rising trend over most of the Arctic Ocean but declines in the Kara Sea region and summer East Siberian Sea. ECCO2 bears a faint resemblance to the observed OBP change but appears to be biased negatively. In contrast, PIOMAS SSH and ECCO2 especially, show changes between the two periods that are muted but similar to ICESat dynamic ocean topography and GRACE-ICESat freshwater trends from 2005 through 2008 [Morison et al., 2012] with a rising DOT and freshening in the Beaufort Sea and a trough with decreased freshwater on the Russian side of the Arctic Ocean. Morison, J., R. Kwok, C. Peralta-Ferriz, M. Alkire, I. Rigor, R. Andersen, and M. Steele (2012), Changing Arctic Ocean freshwater pathways, Nature, 481(7379), 66-70.

  15. Arctic Sea Ice in Transformation: A Review of Recent Observed Changes and Impacts on Biology and Human Activity (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.; hide


    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.

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

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


    latitudinal gradient. Hydrographic transects occupied from spring to fall in 2010 and 2011 at two pilot sites in the SE Chukchi Sea and Barrow Canyon provide repeat collections of water parameters over the seasons that are unavailable from single cruises. This sampling indicates freshening and warming as Pacific seawater transits northward over the spring to fall seasons, with impacts on both plankton and benthic prey bases for larger marine mammals and seabirds. The intent of the DBO is to serve as a change detection array for the identification and consistent monitoring of biophysical responses. This network of spatially explicit DBOs is being organized through the Pacific Arctic Group (PAG), a collaborative network endorsed by the International Arctic Science Committee. Our presentation will provide new information to evaluate the status and developing trends of the marine biological system as it responds to the rapid environmental change.

  17. Changing Conditions in the Arctic: An Analysis of 45 years of Tropospheric Ozone Measurements at Barrow Observatory (United States)

    McClure-Begley, A.; Petropavlovskikh, I. V.; Crepinsek, S.; Jefferson, A.; Emmons, L. K.; Oltmans, S. J.


    In order to understand the impact of climate on local bio-systems, understanding the changes to the atmospheric composition and processes in the Arctic boundary layer and free troposphere is imperative. In the Arctic, many conditions influence tropospheric ozone variability such as: seasonal halogen caused depletion events, long range transport of pollutants from mid-northern latitudes, compounds released from wildfires, and different meteorological conditions. The Barrow station in Utqiagvik, Alaska has collected continuous measurements of ground-level ozone since 1973. This unique long-term time series allows for analysis of the influence of a rapidly changing climate on ozone conditions in this region. Specifically, this study analyzes the frequency of enhanced ozone episodes over time and provides in depth analysis of periods of positive deviations from the expected conditions. To discern the contribution of different pollutant sources to observed ozone variability, co-located measurements of aerosols, carbon monoxide, and meteorological conditions are used. In addition, the NCAR Mozart-4/MOPITT Chemical Forecast model and NOAA Hysplit back-trajectory analysis provide information on transport patterns to the Arctic and confirmation of the emission sources that influenced the observed conditions. These anthropogenic influences on ozone variability in and below the boundary layer are essential for developing an understanding of the interaction of climate change and the bio-systems in the Arctic.

  18. Arctic Climate Change: A Tale of Two Cod Species (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...

  19. Changes in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice as a Microcosm of Global Climate Change (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.


    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sejersen, Frank


    and work with a number of barriers for resilience. The objective of the article is first to address the position of institutional barriers in the studies and strategies. Second the article analyses the role human agency is ascribed in proposed strategies and projects in Nunavut and Greenland. With a focus......  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...... on institutions and human agency the question is not only ‘how do people manage to adapt?' but moreover ‘what constrains people in pursuing a given adaptation strategy?' The article introduces the concept of double agency which stresses two different aspects of human agency that can be used to understand...

  1. Assessing STEM content learning: using the Arctic's changing climate to develop 21st century learner (United States)

    Henderson, G. R.; Durkin, S.; Moran, A.


    In recent years the U.S. federal government has called for an increased focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the educational system to ensure that there will be sufficient technical expertise to meet the needs of business and industry. As a direct result of this STEM emphasis, the number of outreach activities aimed at actively engaging these students in STEM learning has surged. Such activities, frequently in the form of summer camps led by university faculty, have targeted primary and secondary school students with the goal of growing student interest in STEM majors and STEM careers. This study assesses short-term content learning using a climate module that highlights rapidly changing Arctic climate conditions to illustrate concepts of radiative energy balance and climate feedback. Hands-on measurement of short and longwave radiation using simple instrumentation is used to demonstrate concepts that are then related back to the "big picture" Arctic issue. Pre and post module questionnaires were used to assess content learning, as this learning type has been identified as the basis for STEM literacy and the vehicle by which 21st century learning skills are usually developed. In this instance, students applied subject knowledge they gained by taking radiation measurements to better understand the real-world problem of climate change.

  2. Modelling the impact of climate change on the atmospheric transport and the fate of persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic (United States)

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


    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 Arctic and their environmental fate within the Arctic. Three sets of simulations were performed, one with present day emissions and initial environmental concentrations from a 20-year spin-up simulation, one with present day emissions and with initial environmental concentrations set to zero and one without emissions but with initial environmental concentrations from the 20-year spin-up simulation. Each set of simulations consisted of two 10-year time slices representing the present (1990-2000) and future (2090-2100) climate conditions. DEHM was driven using meteorological input from the global circulation model, ECHAM/MPI-OM, simulating the SRES (Special Report on Emissions Scenarios) A1B climate scenario. Under the applied climate and emission scenarios, the total mass of all compounds was predicted to be up to 55 % lower across the Northern Hemisphere at the end of the 2090s than in the 1990s. The mass of HCHs within the Arctic was predicted to be up to 38 % higher, whereas the change in mass of the PCBs was predicted to range from 38 % 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 depends on the physical-chemical properties of the compounds. Previous model

  3. Soil microbial succession along a chronosequence on a High Arctic glacier foreland, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard: 10 years' change (United States)

    Yoshitake, Shinpei; Uchida, Masaki; Iimura, Yasuo; Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki; Nakatsubo, Takayuki


    Rapid glacial retreat in the High Arctic causes the expansion of new habitats, but the successional trajectories of soil microbial communities are not fully understood. We examined microbial succession along a chronosequence twice with a 10-year interval in a High Arctic glacier foreland. Soil samples were collected from five study sites with different ages and phospholipid fatty acids analysis was conducted to investigate the microbial biomass and community structure. Microbial biomass did not differ significantly between the two sampling times but tended to increase with the chronosequence and showed a significant correlation with soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content. Microbial community structure clearly differed along the chronosequence and was correlated with C and N content. The largest shift in community structure over 10 years was observed in the newly exposed sites after deglaciation. The accumulation of soil organic matter was regarded as an important determinant both of microbial biomass and community structure over the successional period. In contrast, the initial microbial community on the newly exposed soil changed rapidly even in the High Arctic, suggesting that some key soil processes such as C and N cycling can also shift within the relatively short period after rapid glacial retreat.

  4. Drivers of inter-annual variation and long-term change in High-Arctic spider species abundances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bowden, Joseph J.; Hansen, Oskar L. P.; Olsen, Kent


    Understanding how species abundances vary in space and time is a central theme in ecology, yet there are few long-term field studies of terrestrial invertebrate abundances and the determinants of their dynamics. This is particularly relevant in the context of rapid climate change occurring...... in the Arctic. Arthropods can serve as strong indicators of ecosystem change due to their sensitivity to increasing temperatures and other environmental variables. We used spider samples collected by pitfall trapping from three different habitats (fen, mesic and arid heath) in High-Arctic Greenland to assess...... interpretation of long-term trends. We used model selection to determine which climatic variables and/or previous years’ abundance best explained annual variation in species abundances over this period. We identified and used 28 566 adult spiders that comprised eight species. Most notably, the abundances of some...

  5. Toward Process-resolving Synthesis and Prediction of Arctic Climate Change Using the Regional Arctic System Model (United States)

    Maslowski, W.


    The Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) has been developed to better understand the operation of Arctic System at process scale and to improve prediction of its change at a spectrum of time scales. RASM is a pan-Arctic, fully coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere-land model with marine biogeochemistry extension to the ocean and sea ice models. The main goal of our research is to advance a system-level understanding of critical processes and feedbacks in the Arctic and their links with the Earth System. The secondary, an equally important objective, is to identify model needs for new or additional observations to better understand such processes and to help constrain models. Finally, RASM has been used to produce sea ice forecasts for September 2016 and 2017, in contribution to the Sea Ice Outlook of the Sea Ice Prediction Network. Future RASM forecasts, are likely to include increased resolution for model components and ecosystem predictions. Such research is in direct support of the US environmental assessment and prediction needs, including those of the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense, and the recent IARPC Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021. In addition to an overview of RASM technical details, selected model results are presented from a hierarchy of climate models together with available observations in the region to better understand potential oceanic contributions to polar amplification. RASM simulations are analyzed to evaluate model skill in representing seasonal climatology as well as interannual and multi-decadal climate variability and predictions. Selected physical processes and resulting feedbacks are discussed to emphasize the need for fully coupled climate model simulations, high model resolution and sensitivity of simulated sea ice states to scale dependent model parameterizations controlling ice dynamics, thermodynamics and coupling with the atmosphere and ocean.

  6. 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...

  7. Arctic Sea Ice Trafficability - New Strategies for a Changing Icescape (United States)

    Dammann, Dyre Oliver

    Sea ice is an important part of the Arctic social-environmental system, in part because it provides a platform for human transportation and for marine flora and fauna that use the ice as a habitat. Sea ice loss projected for coming decades is expected to change ice conditions throughout the Arctic, but little is known about the nature and extent of anticipated changes and in particular potential implications for over-ice travel and ice use as a platform. This question has been addressed here through an extensive effort to link sea ice use and key geophysical properties of sea ice, drawing upon extensive field surveys around on-ice operations and local and Indigenous knowledge for the widely different ice uses and ice regimes of Utqiagvik, Kotzebue, and Nome, Alaska.. A set of nine parameters that constrain landfast sea ice use has been derived, including spatial extent, stability, and timing and persistence of landfast ice. This work lays the foundation for a framework to assess and monitor key ice-parameters relevant in the context of ice-use feasibility, safety, and efficiency, drawing on different remote-sensing techniques. The framework outlines the steps necessary to further evaluate relevant parameters in the context of user objectives and key stakeholder needs for a given ice regime and ice use scenario. I have utilized this framework in case studies for three different ice regimes, where I find uses to be constrained by ice thickness, roughness, and fracture potential and develop assessment strategies with accuracy at the relevant spatial scales. In response to the widely reported importance of high-confidence ice thickness measurements, I have developed a new strategy to estimate appropriate thickness compensation factors. Compensation factors have the potential to reduce risk of misrepresenting areas of thin ice when using point-based in-situ assessment methods along a particular route. This approach was tested on an ice road near Kotzebue, Alaska, where

  8. Additive impacts of experimental climate change increase risk to an ectotherm at the Arctic's edge (United States)

    Davenport, Jon M.; Hossack, Blake R.; Fishback, LeeAnn


    Globally, Arctic and Subarctic regions have experienced the greatest temperature increases during the last 30 years. These extreme changes have amplified threats to the freshwater ecosystems that dominate the landscape in many areas by altering water budgets. Several studies in temperate environments have examined the adaptive capacity of organisms to enhance our understanding of the potential repercussions of warming and associated accelerated drying for freshwater ecosystems. However, few experiments have examined these impacts in Arctic or Subarctic freshwater ecosystems, where the climate is changing most rapidly. To evaluate the capacity of a widespread ectotherm to anticipated environmental changes, we conducted a mesocosm experiment with wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) in the Canadian Subarctic. Three warming treatments were fully crossed with three drying treatments to simulate a range of predicted changes in wetland environments. We predicted wetland warming and drying would act synergistically, with water temperature partially compensating for some of the negative effects of accelerated drying. Across all drying regimes, a 1 °C increase in water temperature increased the odds of survival by 1.79, and tadpoles in 52-day and 64-day hydroperiod mesocosms were 4.1–4.3 times more likely to survive to metamorphosis than tadpoles in 45-day mesocosms. For individuals who survived to metamorphosis, there was only a weak negative effect of temperature on size. As expected, increased temperatures accelerated tadpole growth through day 30 of the experiment. Our results reveal that one of the dominant herbivores in Subarctic wetlands, wood frog tadpoles, are capable of increasing their developmental rates in response to increased temperature and accelerated drying, but only in an additive manner. The strong negative effects of drying on survival, combined with lack of compensation between these two environmental drivers, suggest changes in the aquatic environment

  9. Additive impacts of experimental climate change increase risk to an ectotherm at the Arctic's edge. (United States)

    Davenport, Jon M; Hossack, Blake R; Fishback, LeeAnn


    Globally, Arctic and Subarctic regions have experienced the greatest temperature increases during the last 30 years. These extreme changes have amplified threats to the freshwater ecosystems that dominate the landscape in many areas by altering water budgets. Several studies in temperate environments have examined the adaptive capacity of organisms to enhance our understanding of the potential repercussions of warming and associated accelerated drying for freshwater ecosystems. However, few experiments have examined these impacts in Arctic or Subarctic freshwater ecosystems, where the climate is changing most rapidly. To evaluate the capacity of a widespread ectotherm to anticipated environmental changes, we conducted a mesocosm experiment with wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) in the Canadian Subarctic. Three warming treatments were fully crossed with three drying treatments to simulate a range of predicted changes in wetland environments. We predicted wetland warming and drying would act synergistically, with water temperature partially compensating for some of the negative effects of accelerated drying. Across all drying regimes, a 1 °C increase in water temperature increased the odds of survival by 1.79, and tadpoles in 52-day and 64-day hydroperiod mesocosms were 4.1-4.3 times more likely to survive to metamorphosis than tadpoles in 45-day mesocosms. For individuals who survived to metamorphosis, there was only a weak negative effect of temperature on size. As expected, increased temperatures accelerated tadpole growth through day 30 of the experiment. Our results reveal that one of the dominant herbivores in Subarctic wetlands, wood frog tadpoles, are capable of increasing their developmental rates in response to increased temperature and accelerated drying, but only in an additive manner. The strong negative effects of drying on survival, combined with lack of compensation between these two environmental drivers, suggest changes in the aquatic environment that

  10. Evidence and implications of recent climate change in Northern Alaska and other Arctic regions (United States)

    Hinzman, L.D.; Bettez, N.D.; Bolton, W.R.; Chapin, F.S.; Dyurgerov, M.B.; Fastie, C.L.; Griffith, B.; Hollister, R.D.; Hope, A.; Huntington, H.P.; Jensen, A.M.; Jia, G.J.; Jorgenson, T.; Kane, D.L.; Klein, D.R.; Kofinas, G.; Lynch, A.H.; Lloyd, A.H.; McGuire, A.D.; Nelson, Frederick E.; Oechel, W.C.; Osterkamp, T.E.; Racine, C.H.; Romanovsky, V.E.; Stone, R.S.; Stow, D.A.; Sturm, M.; Tweedie, C.E.; Vourlitis, G.L.; Walker, M.D.; Walker, D.A.; Webber, P.J.; Welker, J.M.; Winker, K.S.; Yoshikawa, K.


    The Arctic climate is changing. Permafrost is warming, hydrological processes are changing and biological and social systems are also evolving in response to these changing conditions. Knowing how the structure and function of arctic terrestrial ecosystems are responding to recent and persistent climate change is paramount to understanding the future state of the Earth system and how humans will need to adapt. Our holistic review presents a broad array of evidence that illustrates convincingly; the Arctic is undergoing a system-wide response to an altered climatic state. New extreme and seasonal surface climatic conditions are being experienced, a range of biophysical states and processes influenced by the threshold and phase change of freezing point are being altered, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles are shifting, and more regularly human sub-systems are being affected. Importantly, the patterns, magnitude and mechanisms of change have sometimes been unpredictable or difficult to isolate due to compounding factors. In almost every discipline represented, we show how the biocomplexity of the Arctic system has highlighted and challenged a paucity of integrated scientific knowledge, the lack of sustained observational and experimental time series, and the technical and logistic constraints of researching the Arctic environment. This study supports ongoing efforts to strengthen the interdisciplinarity of arctic system science and improve the coupling of large scale experimental manipulation with sustained time series observations by incorporating and integrating novel technologies, remote sensing and modeling. ?? Springer 2005.

  11. Impacts of projected sea ice changes on trans-Arctic navigation (United States)

    Stephenson, S. R.; Smith, L. C.


    Reduced Arctic sea ice continues to be a palpable signal of global change. Record lows in September sea ice extent from 2007 - 2011 have fueled speculation that trans-Arctic navigation routes may become physically viable in the 21st century. General Circulation Models project a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer by mid-century; however, how reduced sea ice will realistically impact navigation is not well understood. Using the ATAM (Arctic Transportation Accessibility Model) we present simulations of 21st-century trans-Arctic voyages as a function of climatic (ice) conditions and vessel class. Simulations are based on sea ice projections for three climatic forcing scenarios (RCP 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5 W/m^2) representing present-day and mid-century conditions, assuming Polar Class 6 (PC6) and open-water vessels (OW) with medium and no ice-breaking capability, respectively. Optimal least-cost routes (minimizing travel time while avoiding ice impassible to a given vessel class) between the North Atlantic and the Bering Strait were calculated for summer months of each time window. While Arctic navigation depends on other factors besides sea ice including economics, infrastructure, bathymetry, current, and weather, these projections should be useful for strategic planning by governments, regulatory and environmental agencies, and the global maritime industry to assess potential changes in the spatial and temporal ranges of Arctic marine operations.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bintanja, R.; Linden, E.C. van der; Hazeleger, W. [Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt (Netherlands)


    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. (orig.)

  13. Sea-Level Change in the Russian Arctic Since the Last Glacial Maximum (United States)

    Horton, B.; Baranskaya, A.; Khan, N.; Romanenko, F. A.


    Relative sea-level (RSL) databases that span the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to present have been used to infer changes in climate, regional ice sheet variations, the rate and geographic source of meltwater influx, and the rheological structure of the solid Earth. Here, we have produced a quality-controlled RSL database for the Russian Arctic since the LGM. The database contains 394 index points, which locate the position of RSL in time and space, and 244 limiting points, which constrain the minimum or maximum limit of former sea level. In the western part of the Russian Arctic (Barents and White seas,) RSL was driven by glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) due to deglaciation of the Scandinavian ice sheet, which covered the Baltic crystalline shield at the LGM. RSL data from isolation basins show rapid RSL from 80-100 m at 11-12 ka BP to 15-25 m at 4-5 ka BP. In the Arctic Islands of Franz-Joseph Land and Novaya Zemlya, RSL data from dated driftwood in raised beaches show a gradual fall from 25-35 m at 9-10 ka BP to 5-10 m at 3 ka BP. In the Russian plain, situated at the margins of the formerly glaciated Baltic crystalline shield, RSL data from raised beaches and isolation basins show an early Holocene rise from less than -20 m at 9-11 ka BP before falling in the late Holocene, illustrating the complex interplay between ice-equivalent meltwater input and GIA. The Western Siberian Arctic (Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas, Beliy Island and islands of the Kara Sea) was not glaciated at the LGM. Sea-level data from marine and salt-marsh deposits show RSL rise at the beginning of the Holocene to a mid-Holocene highstand of 1-5 m at 5-1 ka BP. A similar, but more complex RSL pattern is shown for Eastern Siberia. RSL data from the Laptev Sea shelf show RSL at -40- -45 m and 11-14 ka BP. RSL data from the Lena Delta and Tiksi region have a highstand from 5 to 1 ka BP. The research is supported by RSF project 17-77-10130

  14. Elevation Changes of Ice Caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (United States)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Yungel, J.; Koerner, R.


    Precise repeat airborne laser surveys were conducted over the major ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the spring of 1995 and 2000 in order to measure elevation changes in the region. Our measurements reveal thinning at lower elevations (below 1600 m) on most of the ice caps and glaciers, but either very little change or thickening at higher elevations in the ice cap accumulation zones. Recent increases in precipitation in the area can account for the slight thickening where it was observed, but not for the thinning at lower elevations. For the northern ice caps on the Queen Elizabeth Islands, thinning was generally less than 0.5 m/yr , which is consistent with what would be expected from the warm temperature anomalies in the region for the 5-year period between surveys and appears to be a continuation of a trend that began in the mid 1980s. Further south, however, on the Barnes and Penny ice caps on Baffin Island, this thinning was much more pronounced at over 1 m/yr in the lower elevations. Here temperature anomalies were very small, and the thinning at low elevations far exceeds any associated enhanced ablation. The observations on Barnes, and perhaps Penny are consistent with the idea that the observed thinning is part of a much longer term deglaciation, as has been previously suggested for Barnes Ice Cap. Based on the regional relationships between elevation and elevation-change in our data, the 1995-2000 mass balance for the region is estimated to be 25 cu km/yr of ice, which corresponds to a sea level increase of 0.064 mm/ yr . This places it among the more significant sources of eustatic sea level rise, though not as substantial as Greenland ice sheet, Alaskan glaciers, or the Patagonian ice fields.

  15. Changing Arctic Ecosystems: Updated forecast: Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions required to improve polar bear outlook (United States)

    Oakley, Karen L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Mugel, Douglas N.; Rode, Karyn D.; Whalen, Mary E.


    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.

  16. Impacts of northern climate changes on Arctic engineering practice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esch, D.C.


    Potential impacts of climate changes on engineering design practices in the Arctic are discussed with reference to permafrost engineering aspects, hydrology, and coastal and sea ice processes. Permafrost generally remains thermally stable only when mean annual air temperature remains 2-4 degrees below zero and the original surface conditions remain unchanged. It has been demonstrated that a temperature rise of only 1-2 degrees is very critical. The many different climate change forecasts make it difficult to design structures in permafrost with definite levels of confidence over a project's lifetime (i.e. up to 50 years). Consequences of climate warming on transportation-related structures can be estimated to a certain degree by examining experience with natural permafrost surfaces affected by land clearing or with structures built in permafrost. Melting of permafrost will be accompanied by surface settlements, slumping of slopes and banks, and creation of thaw pits and ponds, with eventual distress to many surface structures such as pavements and foundations. Designing for a warmer climate is illustrated for the case of the Bethel Highway, the first in Alaska to be designed for a progressively warmer climate. Increased water flows both from ice melting and increased precipitation in a warmer climate will make forecasting of discharge levels in drainage basins a difficult task. Of great concern to engineers is the potential for increased erosion and sediment loadings in streams. In coastal engineering, the effects of rising sea levels, increased open-water areas, and more severe storms foreseen in a warmer climate will require heavier and more elevated shore protection. On the other hand, shipping and offshore operations will be made easier. 9 refs., 4 figs

  17. Modelling impact of climate change on atmospheric transport and fate of persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic (United States)

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


    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

  18. Changes in Arctic sea ice result in increasing light transmittance and absorption


    Nicolaus, Marcel; Katlein, Christian; Maslanik, J.; Hendricks, Stefan


    Arctic sea ice has declined and become thinner and younger (more seasonal) during the last decade. One consequence of this is that the surface energy budget of the Arctic Ocean is changing. While the role of surface albedo has been studied intensively, it is still widely unknown how much light penetrates through sea ice into the upper ocean, affecting seaice mass balance, ecosystems, and geochemical processes. Here we present the first large-scale under-ice light measurem...

  19. Climate change effects on human health in a gender perspective: some trends in Arctic research. (United States)

    Natalia, Kukarenko


    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. 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. A broad literature search was undertaken using a variety of sources from natural, medical, social science and humanities. The focus was on the keywords. 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. 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 women and men in the Arctic. Global Health Action 2011. © 2011 Kukarenko

  20. The Arctic in the Twenty-First Century: Changing Biogeochemical Linkages across a Paraglacial Landscape of Greenland (United States)

    Anderson, N. John; Saros, Jasmine E.; Bullard, Joanna E.; Cahoon, Sean M. P.; McGowan, Suzanne; Bagshaw, Elizabeth A.; Barry, Christopher D.; Bindler, Richard; Burpee, Benjamin T.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Fowler, Rachel A.; Fox, Anthony D.; Fritz, Sherilyn C.; Giles, Madeleine E.; Hamerlik, Ladislav; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Law, Antonia C.; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Northington, Robert M.; Osburn, Christopher L.; Pla-Rabès, Sergi; Post, Eric; Telling, Jon; Stroud, David A.; Whiteford, Erika J.; Yallop, Marian L.; Yde, Jacob C.


    Abstract The Kangerlussuaq area of southwest Greenland encompasses diverse ecological, geomorphic, and climate gradients that function over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Ecosystems range from the microbial communities on the ice sheet and moisture-stressed terrestrial vegetation (and their associated herbivores) to freshwater and oligosaline lakes. These ecosystems are linked by a dynamic glacio-fluvial-aeolian geomorphic system that transports water, geological material, organic carbon and nutrients from the glacier surface to adjacent terrestrial and aquatic systems. This paraglacial system is now subject to substantial change because of rapid regional warming since 2000. Here, we describe changes in the eco- and geomorphic systems at a range of timescales and explore rapid future change in the links that integrate these systems. We highlight the importance of cross-system subsidies at the landscape scale and, importantly, how these might change in the near future as the Arctic is expected to continue to warm. PMID:28596614

  1. Climate change and infectious diseases in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parkinson, Alan J; Evengard, Birgitta; Semenza, Jan C


    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......., Coxiella burnetti, rabies virus, West Nile virus, Hantaviruses, and tick-borne encephalitis viruses....

  2. Climate Change and Thawing Permafrost in Two Iñupiaq Communities of Alaska's Arctic: Observations, Implications, and Resilience (United States)

    Woodward, A.; Kofinas, G.


    For thousands of years the Iñupiat of northern Alaska have relied on ecosystems underlain by permafrost for material and cultural resources. As permafrost thaws across the Arctic, these social-ecological systems are changing rapidly. Community-based research and extensive local knowledge of Iñupiaq villagers offer unique and valuable contributions to understanding permafrost change and its implications for humans. We partnered with two Iñupiaq communities in Alaska's Arctic to investigate current and potential effects of thawing permafrost on social-ecological systems. Anaktuvuk Pass is situated on thaw-stable consolidated gravel in the Brooks Range, while Selawik rests on ice-rich permafrost in Beringia lowland tundra. Using the transdisciplinary approach of resilience theory and mixed geophysical and ethnographic methods, we measured active layer thaw depths and documented local knowledge about climate and permafrost change. Thaw depths were greater overall in Selawik. Residents of both communities reported a variety of changes in surface features, hydrology, weather, flora, and fauna that they attribute to thawing permafrost and / or climate change. Overall, Selawik residents described more numerous and extreme examples of such changes, expressed higher degrees of certainty that change is occurring, and anticipated more significant and negative implications for their way of life than did residents of Anaktuvuk Pass. Of the two villages, Selawik faces greater and more immediate challenges to the resilience of its social-ecological system as permafrost thaws.

  3. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress (United States)


    response like we did in the Gulf of Mexico—I sent 3,000 people down for Deepwater Horizon. You know how many hotel rooms are available in Barrow...played its cards close to the vest, remaining silent on the issue until the day of the decision. Secretary of State John Kerry is said to have...the Northern Sea route.248 United States The attendance by Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry of the last two Arctic Council summits, as

  4. Behavioral Ecology of Narwhals in a Changing Arctic (United States)


    impacted by increasing anthropogenic activities in Baffin Bay (increasing shipping, future transit through the NW Passage, seismic exploration, increasing...whistles being missed). Second, we utlilized a custom made 16 channel vertical array (with a laptop and pre-amplifier inside an insulated considering ongoing and expected significant increases in anthropogenic sound (e.g., seismic exploration, shipping) in the Arctic. The

  5. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress (United States)


    Representative for the Arctic,” Press Statement, John Kerry, Secretary of State, Washington, DC , July 16, 2014, accessed July 17, 2014, at http...Shared Opportunities, Challenges, and Responsibilities,” accessed September 29, 2015, at arc /uschair/index.htm...25, 2015, at arc /uschair/248957.htm. —Statement of Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Special Representative for the

  6. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress (United States)


    Arctic accidents and incidents in the past. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers , along with the state of Alaska, is studying the feasibility of a... aeronautical and maritime search and rescue for each party. For the United States , those agencies are the Coast Guard and the Department of Defense...purchased from Ukraine a research icebreaker it named the Xuelong, and has constructed a state -of-the- art polar capable research vessel, the Snow Dragon

  7. Breast cancer in the Arctic - changes over the past decades

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredslund, Stine Overvad; Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Eva Cecilie


    , 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...... 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 and genetic susceptibility....

  8. Biogeochemical Indicators in High- and Low-Arctic Marine and Terrestrial Avian Community Changes: Comparative Isotopic (13C, 15N, and 34S) Studies in Alaska and Greenland (United States)

    Causey, D.; Bargmann, N. A.; Burnham, K. K.; Burnham, J. L.; Padula, V. M.; Johnson, J. A.; Welker, J. M.


    Understanding the complex dynamics of environmental change in northern latitudes is of paramount importance today, given documented rapid shifts in sea ice, plant phenology, temperatures, deglaciation, and habitat fidelity. This knowledge is particularly critical for Arctic avian communities, which are integral components by which biological teleconnections are maintained between the mid and northern latitudes. Furthermore, Arctic birds are fundamental to Native subsistence lifestyles and a focus for conservation activities. Avian communities of marine and terrestrial Arctic environments represent a broad spectrum of trophic levels, from herbivores (eg., geese Chen spp.), planktivores (eg., auklets Aethia spp.), and insectivores (eg., passerines: Wheatears Oenanthe spp., Longspurs Calcarius spp.), to predators of marine invertebrates (eg., eiders Somateria spp.), nearshore and offshore fish (eg., cormorants Phalacrocorax spp, puffins Fratercula spp.), even other bird species (eg., gulls Larus spp., falcons Peregrinus spp.). This diversity of trophic interconnections is an integral factor in the dynamics of Arctic ecosystem ecology, and they are key indicators for the strength and trajectories of change. We are especially interested in their feeding ecology, using stable isotope-diet relations to examine historical diets and to predict future feeding ecology by this range of species. Since 2009, we have been studying the foodweb ecology using stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) of contemporaneous coastal and marine bird communities in High Arctic (Northwest Greenland) and Low Arctic (western Aleutian Islands, AK). We are quantifying the isotopic values of blood, organ tissues, and feathers, and have carried out comparisons between native and lipid-extracted samples. Although geographically distant, these communities comprise similar taxonomic and ecological congeners, including several species common to both (eg., Common Eider, Black-legged Kittiwake, Northern

  9. Predicting Changes in Arctic Tundra Vegetation: Towards an Understanding of Plant Trait Uncertainty (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Serbin, S.; Carman, T.; Iversen, C. M.; Salmon, V.; Helene, G.; McGuire, A. D.


    Arctic tundra plant communities are currently undergoing unprecedented changes in both composition and distribution under a warming climate. Predicting how these dynamics may play out in the future is important since these vegetation shifts impact both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes. More precise estimates of these future vegetation shifts is a key challenge due to both a scarcity of data with which to parameterize vegetation models, particularly in the Arctic, as well as a limited understanding of the importance of each of the model parameters and how they may vary over space and time. Here, we incorporate newly available field data from arctic Alaska into a dynamic vegetation model specifically developed to take into account a particularly wide array of plant species as well as the permafrost soils of the arctic tundra (the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model with Dynamic Vegetation and Dynamic Organic Soil, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model; DVM-DOS-TEM). We integrate the model within the Predicative Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn), an open-source integrated ecological bioinformatics toolbox that facilitates the flows of information into and out of process models and model-data integration. We use PEcAn to evaluate the plant functional traits that contribute most to model variability based on a sensitivity analysis. We perform this analysis for the dominant types of tundra in arctic Alaska, including heath, shrub, tussock and wet sedge tundra. The results from this analysis will help inform future data collection in arctic tundra and reduce model uncertainty, thereby improving our ability to simulate Arctic vegetation structure and function in response to global change.

  10. Climate-induced behavioral changes influence exposure of an Arctic apex predator to pathogens and contaminants (United States)

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) may serve as sentinels for pathogens and contaminants, providing insight into changing Arctic ecosystems and health risks to wildlife and humans. Recent changes in the availability of sea ice habitat have coincided with increased use of land by polar bears from the sout...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce A. Ruscio


    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.

  12. Arctic sea ice area changes in CMIP3 and CMIP5 climate models’ ensembles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Semenov


    Full Text Available 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 results exhibit considerable spread. Here, we compare results from the two last generations of climate models, CMIP3 and CMIP5, with respect to total and regional Arctic sea ice change. Different characteristics of sea ice area (SIA in March and September have been analysed for the Entire Arctic, Central Arctic and Barents Sea. Further, the sensitivity of SIA to changes in Northern Hemisphere (NH temperature is investigated and dynamical links between SIA and some atmospheric variability modes are assessed.CMIP3 (SRES A1B and CMIP5 (RCP8.5 models not only simulate a coherent decline of the Arctic SIA but also depict consistent changes in the SIA seasonal cycle. The spatial patterns of SIC variability improve in CMIP5 ensemble, most noticeably in summer when compared to HadISST1 data. A better simulation of summer SIA in the Entire Arctic by CMIP5 models is accompanied by a slightly increased bias for winter season in comparison to CMIP3 ensemble. SIA in the Barents Sea is strongly overestimated by the majority of CMIP3 and CMIP5 models, and projected SIA changes are characterized by a high uncertainty. Both CMIP ensembles depict a significant link between the SIA and NH temperature changes indicating that a part of inter-ensemble SIA spread comes from different temperature sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing. The results suggest that, in general, a sensitivity of SIA to external forcing is enhanced in CMIP5 models. Arctic SIA interannual variability in the end of the 20th century is on average well simulated by both ensembles. To the end of the 21st century, September

  13. Live from the Arctic (United States)

    Warnick, W. K.; Haines-Stiles, G.; Warburton, J.; Sunwood, K.


    residents speak in eloquent terms of the changes they see around them, manifested in new patterns of vegetation, the melting of permafrost and the absence of game species that used to be abundant. Meanwhile, new satellites and more sophisticated sensors on the ground and in the ice, add scientific testimony that seems to support and even extend native perceptions. Live from the Arctic will unify both perspectives, and use todays most powerful and effective communications media to connect young people and general audiences all across America to researchers and communities living and working in the Arctic. During IPY there will be a level of interest in the Polar regions unprecedented in a generation. Live from the Arctic offers unique resources to satisfy that curiosity, and encourage active participation and engagement in understanding some of Earths most significant peoples, places and rapidly changing conditions.

  14. Effect of recent climate change on Arctic Pb pollution: A comparative study of historical records in lake and peat sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Xiaodong; Jiang Shan; Zhang Pengfei; Xu Liqiang


    Historical changes of anthropogenic Pb pollution were reconstructed based on Pb concentrations and isotope ratios in lake and peat sediment profiles from Ny-Ålesund of Arctic. The calculated excess Pb isotope ratios showed that Pb pollution largely came from west Europe and Russia. The peat profile clearly reflected the historical changes of atmospheric deposition of anthropogenic Pb into Ny-Ålesund, and the result showed that anthropogenic Pb peaked at 1960s–1970s, and thereafter a significant recovery was observed by a rapid increase of 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratios and a remarkable decrease in anthropogenic Pb contents. In contrast to the peat record, the longer lake record showed relatively high anthropogenic Pb contents and a persistent decrease of 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratios within the uppermost samples, suggesting that climate-sensitive processes such as catchment erosion and meltwater runoff might have influenced the recent change of Pb pollution record in the High Arctic lake sediments. - Highlights: ► Historical changes of anthropogenic Pb pollution in Ny-Ålesund were reconstructed. ► Anthropogenic Pb in Ny-Ålesund was largely originated from W. European and Russia. ► Anthropogenic Pb recorded in peat sediments peaked at 1960–1970s and then declined. ► High anthropogenic fluxes were found in recent change of Pb record from lake sediments. ► Climate-sensitive processes might have influenced recent Pb accumulation rate in lakes. - This manuscript reports the effects of climate-sensitive processes on historical records of Pb pollution in sediments of Arctic lakes.

  15. 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...

  16. Climate Change Impacts on Environmental and Human Exposure to Mercury in the Arctic (United States)

    Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Jozef M.; Banel, Anna; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Rautio, Arja


    This paper reviews information from the literature and the EU ArcRisk project to assess whether climate change results in an increase or decrease in exposure to mercury (Hg) in the Arctic, and if this in turn will impact the risks related to its harmful effects. It presents the state-of-the art of knowledge on atmospheric mercury emissions from anthropogenic sources worldwide, the long-range transport to the Arctic, and it discusses the likely environmental fate and exposure effects on population groups in the Arctic under climate change conditions. The paper also includes information about the likely synergy effects (co-benefits) current and new climate change polices and mitigation options might have on mercury emissions reductions in the future. The review concludes that reductions of mercury emission from anthropogenic sources worldwide would need to be introduced as soon as possible in order to assure lowering the adverse impact of climate change on human health. Scientific information currently available, however, is not in the position to clearly answer whether climate change will increase or decrease the risk of exposure to mercury in the Arctic. New research should therefore be undertaken to model the relationships between climate change and mercury exposure. PMID:25837201

  17. Climate change impacts on environmental and human exposure to mercury in the arctic. (United States)

    Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Jozef M; Banel, Anna; Pacyna, Elisabeth G; Rautio, Arja


    This paper reviews information from the literature and the EU ArcRisk project to assess whether climate change results in an increase or decrease in exposure to mercury (Hg) in the Arctic, and if this in turn will impact the risks related to its harmful effects. It presents the state-of-the art of knowledge on atmospheric mercury emissions from anthropogenic sources worldwide, the long-range transport to the Arctic, and it discusses the likely environmental fate and exposure effects on population groups in the Arctic under climate change conditions. The paper also includes information about the likely synergy effects (co-benefits) current and new climate change polices and mitigation options might have on mercury emissions reductions in the future. The review concludes that reductions of mercury emission from anthropogenic sources worldwide would need to be introduced as soon as possible in order to assure lowering the adverse impact of climate change on human health. Scientific information currently available, however, is not in the position to clearly answer whether climate change will increase or decrease the risk of exposure to mercury in the Arctic. New research should therefore be undertaken to model the relationships between climate change and mercury exposure.

  18. Changes in cold tolerance due to a 14-day stay in the Canadian Arctic (United States)

    Livingstone, S. D.; Romet, T.; Keefe, A. A.; Nolan, R. W.


    Responses to cold exposure tests both locally and of the whole body were examined in subjects who stayed in the Arctic (average maximum and minimum temperatures -11 and -21° C respectively) for 14 days of skiing and sleeping in tents. These changes were compared to responses in subjects living working in Ottawa, Canada (average max. and min. temperatures -5 and -11° C respectively). The tests were done before the stay in the Arctic (Pre), immediately after the return (Post 1) and approximately 32 days after the return (Post 2). For the whole-body cold exposure each subject, wearing only shorts and lying on a rope mesh cot, was exposed to an ambient temperature of 10° C. There was no consistent response in the changes of metabolic or body temperature to this exposure in either of groups and, in addition, the changes over time were variable. Cold induced vasodilatation (CIVD) was determined by measuring temperature changes in the middle finger of the nondominant hand upon immersion in ice water for 30 min. CIVD was depressed after the Arctic exposure whilst during the Post 2 testing, although variable, did not return to the Pre values; the responses of the control group were similar. These results indicate that normal seasonal changes may be as important in adaptation as a stay in the Arctic. Caution is advised in the separation of seasonal effects when examining the changes in adaptation after exposure to a cold environment.

  19. Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress (United States)


    monitored on an ongoing basis.” 237 Canada’s stated priorities for its chairmanship are intended to benefit the 4 million people of the north through...Arctic, and ordered the development by 2014 of a strategic command in the region. However, as noted above, in order to reap the economic benefits, June 15, 2016; Gerard O’Dwyer, “9.8% Budget Hike Set for Norwegian Armed Forces,” Defense News, October 9, 2015; Lydia Tomkiw

  20. The Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO) (United States)

    Morin, P.; Howat, I. M.; Ahn, Y.; Porter, C.; McFadden, E. M.


    The recent expansion of observational capacity from space has revealed dramatic, rapid changes in the Earth’s ice cover. These discoveries have fundamentally altered how scientists view ice-sheet change. Instead of just slow changes in snow accumulation and melting over centuries or millennia, important changes can occur in sudden events lasting only months, weeks, or even a single day. Our understanding of these short time- and space-scale processes, which hold important implications for future global sea level rise, has been impeded by the low temporal and spatial resolution, delayed sensor tasking, incomplete coverage, inaccessibility and/or high cost of data available to investigators. New cross-agency partnerships and data access policies provide the opportunity to dramatically improve the resolution of ice sheet observations by an order of magnitude, from timescales of months and distances of 10’s of meters, to days and meters or less. Advances in image processing technology also enable application of currently under-utilized datasets. The infrastructure for systematically gathering, processing, analyzing and distributing these data does not currently exist. Here we present the development of a multi-institutional, multi-platform observatory for rapid ice change with the ultimate objective of helping to elucidate the relevant timescales and processes of ice sheet dynamics and response to climate change. The Rapid Ice Sheet Observatory (RISCO) gathers observations of short time- and space-scale Cryosphere events and makes them easily accessible to investigators, media and general public. As opposed to existing data centers, which are structured to archive and distribute diverse types of raw data to end users with the specialized software and skills to analyze them, RISCO focuses on three types of geo-referenced raster (image) data products in a format immediately viewable with commonly available software. These three products are (1) sequences of images

  1. A New Perspective on Changing Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Panarchy Adaptive Cycles in Pan-Arctic Spatial and Temporal Scales (United States)

    Wiese, F. K.; Huntington, H. P.; Carmack, E.; Wassmann, P. F. J.; Leu, E. S.; Gradinger, R.


    Changes in the physical/biological interactions in the Arctic are occurring across a variety of spatial and temporal scales and may be mitigated or strengthened based on varying rates of evolutionary adaptation. A novel way to view these interactions and their social relevance is through the systems theory perspective of "Panarchy" proposed by Gunderson and Holling. Panarchy is an interdisciplinary approach in which structures, scales and linkages of complex-adaptive systems, including those of nature (e.g. ocean), humans (e.g. economics), and combined social-ecological systems (e.g. institutions that govern natural resource use), are mapped across multiple space and time scales in continual and interactive adaptive cycles of growth, accumulation, restructuring and renewal. In complex-adaptive systems the dynamics at a given scale are generally dominated by a small number of key internal variables that are forced by one or more external variables. The stability of such a system is characterized by its resilience, i.e. its capacity to absorb disturbance and re-organize while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially similar function, structure, identity and feedbacks. It is in the capacity of a system to cope with pressures and adversities such as exploitation, warming, governance restrictions, competition, etc. that resilience embraces human and natural systems as complex entities continually adapting through cycles of change. In this paper we explore processes at four linked spatial domains in the Arctic Ocean and link it to ecosystem resilience and re-organization characteristics. From this we derive a series of hypotheses concerning the biological responses to future physical changes and suggest ways how Panarchy theory can be applied to observational strategies to help detect early signs of environmental shifts affecting marine system services and functions. We close by discussing possible implications of the Panarchy framework for policy and governance.

  2. Indigenous people's detection of rapid ecological change. (United States)

    Aswani, Shankar; Lauer, Matthew


    When sudden catastrophic events occur, it becomes critical for coastal communities to detect and respond to environmental transformations because failure to do so may undermine overall ecosystem resilience and threaten people's livelihoods. We therefore asked how capable of detecting rapid ecological change following massive environmental disruptions local, indigenous people are. We assessed the direction and periodicity of experimental learning of people in the Western Solomon Islands after a tsunami in 2007. We compared the results of marine science surveys with local ecological knowledge of the benthos across 3 affected villages and 3 periods before and after the tsunami. We sought to determine how people recognize biophysical changes in the environment before and after catastrophic events such as earthquakes and tsunamis and whether people have the ability to detect ecological changes over short time scales or need longer time scales to recognize changes. Indigenous people were able to detect changes in the benthos over time. Detection levels differed between marine science surveys and local ecological knowledge sources over time, but overall patterns of statistically significant detection of change were evident for various habitats. Our findings have implications for marine conservation, coastal management policies, and disaster-relief efforts because when people are able to detect ecological changes, this, in turn, affects how they exploit and manage their marine resources. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Variations in the Sensitivity of Shrub Growth to Climate Change along Arctic Environmental and Biotic Gradients (United States)

    Beck, P. S. A.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Elmendorf, S.; Georges, D.


    Despite evidence of rapid shrub expansion at many Arctic sites and the profound effects this has on ecosystem structure, biogeochemical cycling, and land-atmosphere feedbacks in the Arctic, the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. The compilation of 41,576 annual shrub growth measurements made around the Arctic, allowed for the first systematic evaluation of the climate sensitivity of Arctic shrub growth, i.e. the strength of the relationship between annual shrub growth and monthly climate variables. The growth measurements were taken on 1821 plants of 25 species at 37 arctic and alpine sites, either as annual ring widths or as stem increments. We evaluated climate sensitivity of shrub growth for each genus-by-site combination in this data set based on the performance and parameters of linear mixed models that used CRU TS3.21 climate data as predictors of shrub growth between 1950 and 2010. 76% of genus-by-site combinations showed climate sensitive growth, but climate-growth relationships varied with soil moisture, species canopy height, and geographic position within the species ranges. Shrubs growing at sites with more soil moisture showed greater climate sensitivity, suggesting that water availability might limit shrub growth if continued warming isn't matched by a steady increase in soil moisture. Tall shrub species growing at their northern range limit were particularly climate sensitive causing climate sensitivity of shrubs to peak at the transition between Low and High Arctic, where carbon storage in permafrost is greatest. Local and regional studies have documented matching spatial and temporal patterns in dendrochronological measurements and satellite observations of vegetation indices both in boreal and Arctic regions. Yet the circumarctic comparison of patterns in dendrochronological and remote sensing data sets yielded poor levels of agreement. In much of the Arctic, steep environmental gradients generate fine spatial patterns of vegetation

  4. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate. (United States)

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan


    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Reduced arctic tundra productivity linked with landform and climate change interactions (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; Martin, Philip; McGuire, A. David


    Arctic tundra ecosystems have experienced unprecedented change associated with climate warming over recent decades. Across the Pan-Arctic, vegetation productivity and surface greenness have trended positively over the period of satellite observation. However, since 2011 these trends have slowed considerably, showing signs of browning in many regions. It is unclear what factors are driving this change and which regions/landforms will be most sensitive to future browning. Here we provide evidence linking decadal patterns in arctic greening and browning with regional climate change and local permafrost-driven landscape heterogeneity. We analyzed the spatial variability of decadal-scale trends in surface greenness across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km²) using the Landsat archive (1999–2014), in combination with novel 30 m classifications of polygonal tundra and regional watersheds, finding landscape heterogeneity and regional climate change to be the most important factors controlling historical greenness trends. Browning was linked to increased temperature and precipitation, with the exception of young landforms (developed following lake drainage), which will likely continue to green. Spatiotemporal model forecasting suggests carbon uptake potential to be reduced in response to warmer and/or wetter climatic conditions, potentially increasing the net loss of carbon to the atmosphere, at a greater degree than previously expected.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolk, van der Henk-Jan; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Huissteden, van J.; Pullens, J.W.M.; Berendse, F.


    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

  7. Changes in Ocean Circulation with an Ice-Free Arctic: Reconstructing Early Holocene Arctic Ocean Circulation Using Geochemical Signals from Individual Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral) Shells (United States)

    Livsey, C.; Spero, H. J.; Kozdon, R.


    The impacts of sea ice decrease and consequent hydrologic changes in the Arctic Ocean will be experienced globally as ocean and atmospheric temperatures continue to rise, though it is not evident to what extent. Understanding the structure of the Arctic water column during the early/mid Holocene sea ice minimum ( 6-10 kya), a post-glacial analogue of a seasonally ice-free Arctic, will help us to predict what the changes we can expect as the Earth warms over the next century. Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral; Nps) is a species of planktonic foraminifera that dominates assemblages in the polar oceans. This species grows its chambers (ontogenetic calcite) in the surface waters and subsequently descends through the water column to below the mixed layer where it quickly adds a thick crust of calcite (Kohfeld et al., 1996). Therefore, geochemical signals from both the surface waters and sub-mixed layer depths are captured within single Nps shells. We were able to target ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), therefore capturing signals from both the ontogenetic and crust calcite in single Nps shells. This data was combined with laser ablation- inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) Mg/Ca profiles of trace metals through the two layers of calcite of the same shells, to determine the thermal structure of the water column. Combining δ18O, temperature, and salinity gradients from locations across the Arctic basin allow us to reconstruct the hydrography of the early Holocene Arctic sea ice minimum. These results will be compared with modern Arctic water column characteristics in order to develop a conceptual model of Arctic Ocean oceanographic change due to global warming. Kohfeld, K.E., Fairbanks, R.G., Smith, S.L., Walsh, I.D., 1996. Neogloboquadrina pachyderma(sinistral coiling) as paleoceanographic tracers in polar oceans: Evidence from northeast water polynya plankton tows, sediment traps, and surface sediments. Paleoceanography 11, 679-699.

  8. Ethics, Collaboration, and Presentation Methods for Local and Traditional Knowledge for Understanding Arctic Change (United States)

    Parsons, M. A.; Gearheard, S.; McNeave, C.


    Local and traditional knowledge (LTK) provides rich information about the Arctic environment at spatial and temporal scales that scientific knowledge often does not have access to (e.g. localized observations of fine-scale ecological change potentially from many different communities, or local sea ice and conditions prior to 1950s ice charts and 1970s satellite records). Community-based observations and monitoring are an opportunity for Arctic residents to provide ‘frontline’ observations and measurements that are an early warning system for Arctic change. The Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA) was established in response to the growing number of community-based and community-oriented research and observation projects in the Arctic. ELOKA provides data management and user support to facilitate the collection, preservation, exchange, and use of local observations and knowledge. Managing these data presents unique ethical challenges in terms of appropriate use of rare human knowledge and ensuring that knowledge is not lost from the local communities and not exploited in ways antithetical to community culture and desires. Local Arctic residents must be engaged as true collaborative partners while respecting their perspectives, which may vary substantially from a western science perspective. At the same time, we seek to derive scientific meaning from the local knowledge that can be used in conjunction with quantitative science data. This creates new challenges in terms of data presentation, knowledge representations, and basic issues of metadata. This presentation reviews these challenges, some initial approaches to addressing them, and overall lessons learned and future directions.

  9. Arctic security and Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tamnes, Rolf


    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)

  10. Rapid Change Detection Algorithm for Disaster Management (United States)

    Michel, U.; Thunig, H.; Ehlers, M.; Reinartz, P.


    This paper focuses on change detection applications in areas where catastrophic events took place which resulted in rapid destruction especially of manmade objects. Standard methods for automated change detection prove not to be sufficient; therefore a new method was developed and tested. The presented method allows a fast detection and visualization of change in areas of crisis or catastrophes. While often new methods of remote sensing are developed without user oriented aspects, organizations and authorities are not able to use these methods because of absence of remote sensing know how. Therefore a semi-automated procedure was developed. Within a transferable framework, the developed algorithm can be implemented for a set of remote sensing data among different investigation areas. Several case studies are the base for the retrieved results. Within a coarse dividing into statistical parts and the segmentation in meaningful objects, the framework is able to deal with different types of change. By means of an elaborated Temporal Change Index (TCI) only panchromatic datasets are used to extract areas which are destroyed, areas which were not affected and in addition areas where rebuilding has already started.

  11. Evaluating rapid ground sampling and scaling estimated plant cover using UAV imagery up to Landsat for mapping arctic vegetation (United States)

    Nelson, P.; Paradis, D. P.


    The small stature and spectral diversity of arctic plant taxa presents challenges in mapping arctic vegetation. Mapping vegetation at the appropriate scale is needed to visualize effects of disturbance, directional vegetation change or mapping of specific plant groups for other applications (eg. habitat mapping). Fine spatial grain of remotely sensed data (ca. 10 cm pixels) is often necessary to resolve patches of many arctic plant groups, such as bryophytes and lichens. These groups are also spectrally different from mineral, litter and vascular plants. We sought to explore method to generate high-resolution spatial and spectral data to explore better mapping methods for arctic vegetation. We sampled ground vegetation at seven sites north or west of tree-line in Alaska, four north of Fairbanks and three northwest of Bethel, respectively. At each site, we estimated cover of plant functional types in 1m2 quadrats spaced approximately every 10 m along a 100 m long transect. Each quadrat was also scanned using a field spectroradiometer (PSR+ Spectral Evolution, 400-2500 nm range) and photographed from multiple perspectives. We then flew our small UAV with a RGB camera over the transect and at least 50 m on either side collecting on imagery of the plot, which were used to generate a image mosaic and digital surface model of the plot. We compare plant functional group cover ocular estimated in situ to post-hoc estimation, either automated or using a human observer, using the quadrat photos. We also compare interpolated lichen cover from UAV scenes to estimated lichen cover using a statistical models using Landsat data, with focus on lichens. Light and yellow lichens are discernable in the UAV imagery but certain lichens, especially dark colored lichens or those with spectral signatures similar to graminoid litter, present challenges. Future efforts will focus on integrating UAV-upscaled ground cover estimates to hyperspectral sensors (eg. AVIRIS ng) for better combined

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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. - Highlights: • We examined temporal trends of Hg in Arctic seabirds and major zooplankton species. • We investigated the role of underlying ecological drivers in seabird contamination. • Hg contamination of the East Greenland marine food web increased over the last decade. • Hg levels in Arctic seabirds reflect changes in the food-chain contamination. • Little auks are bio-indicators of long-term changes in environmental contamination. - Temporal increase of seabird exposure to Hg reflects changes in Arctic environmental contamination.

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

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


    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.

  14. Effect of recent climate change on Arctic Pb pollution: a comparative study of historical records in lake and peat sediments. (United States)

    Liu, Xiaodong; Jiang, Shan; Zhang, Pengfei; Xu, Liqiang


    Historical changes of anthropogenic Pb pollution were reconstructed based on Pb concentrations and isotope ratios in lake and peat sediment profiles from Ny-Ålesund of Arctic. The calculated excess Pb isotope ratios showed that Pb pollution largely came from west Europe and Russia. The peat profile clearly reflected the historical changes of atmospheric deposition of anthropogenic Pb into Ny-Ålesund, and the result showed that anthropogenic Pb peaked at 1960s-1970s, and thereafter a significant recovery was observed by a rapid increase of (206)Pb/(207)Pb ratios and a remarkable decrease in anthropogenic Pb contents. In contrast to the peat record, the longer lake record showed relatively high anthropogenic Pb contents and a persistent decrease of (206)Pb/(207)Pb ratios within the uppermost samples, suggesting that climate-sensitive processes such as catchment erosion and meltwater runoff might have influenced the recent change of Pb pollution record in the High Arctic lake sediments. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Impacts of Changed Extratropical Storm Tracks on Arctic Sea Ice Export through Fram Strait (United States)

    Wei, J.; Zhang, X.; Wang, Z.


    Studies have indicated a poleward shift of extratropical storm tracks and intensification of Arctic storm activities, in particular on the North Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean. To improve understanding of dynamic effect on changes in Arctic sea ice mass balance, we examined the impacts of the changed storm tracks and activities on Arctic sea ice export through Fram Strait through ocean-sea ice model simulations. The model employed is the high-resolution Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), which was forced by the Japanese 25-year Reanalysis (JRA-25) dataset. The results show that storm-induced strong northerly wind stress can cause simultaneous response of daily sea ice export and, in turn, exert cumulative effects on interannual variability and long-term changes of sea ice export. Further analysis indicates that storm impact on sea ice export is spatially dependent. The storms occurring southeast of Fram Strait exhibit the largest impacts. The weakened intensity of winter storms in this region after 1994/95 could be responsible for the decrease of total winter sea ice export during the same time period.

  16. Factors affecting projected Arctic surface shortwave heating and albedo change in coupled climate models. (United States)

    Holland, Marika M; Landrum, Laura


    We use a large ensemble of simulations from the Community Earth System Model to quantify simulated changes in the twentieth and twenty-first century Arctic surface shortwave heating associated with changing incoming solar radiation and changing ice conditions. For increases in shortwave absorption associated with albedo reductions, the relative influence of changing sea ice surface properties and changing sea ice areal coverage is assessed. Changes in the surface sea ice properties are associated with an earlier melt season onset, a longer snow-free season and enhanced surface ponding. Because many of these changes occur during peak solar insolation, they have a considerable influence on Arctic surface shortwave heating that is comparable to the influence of ice area loss in the early twenty-first century. As ice area loss continues through the twenty-first century, it overwhelms the influence of changes in the sea ice surface state, and is responsible for a majority of the net shortwave increases by the mid-twenty-first century. A comparison with the Arctic surface albedo and shortwave heating in CMIP5 models indicates a large spread in projected twenty-first century change. This is in part related to different ice loss rates among the models and different representations of the late twentieth century ice albedo and associated sea ice surface state. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  17. Arctic Research Plan: FY2017-2021 (United States)

    Starkweather, Sandy; Jeffries, Martin O; Stephenson, Simon; Anderson, Rebecca D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Loehman, Rachel A.; von Biela, Vanessa R.


    The United States is an Arctic nation—Americans depend on the Arctic for biodiversity and climate regulation and for natural resources. America’s Arctic—Alaska—is at the forefront of rapid climate, environmental, and socio-economic changes that are testing the resilience and sustainability of communities and ecosystems. Research to increase fundamental understanding of these changes is needed to inform sound, science-based decision- and policy-making and to develop appropriate solutions for Alaska and the Arctic region as a whole. Created by an Act of Congress in 1984, and since 2010 a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in the Executive Office of the President, the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) plays a critical role in advancing scientific knowledge and understanding of the changing Arctic and its impacts far beyond the boundaries of the Arctic. Comprising 14 Federal agencies, offices, and departments, IARPC is responsible for the implementation of a 5-year Arctic Research Plan in consultation with the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, the Governor of the State of Alaska, residents of the Arctic, the private sector, and public interest groups.

  18. Human-polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Simac, Kristin; Breck, Stewart; York, Geoff; Wilder, James


    The behavior and sociality of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been shaped by evolved preferences for sea ice habitat and preying on marine mammals. However, human behavior is causing changes to the Arctic marine ecosystem through the influence of greenhouse gas emissions that drive long-term change in ecosystem processes and via the presence of in situ stressors associated with increasing human activities. These changes are making it more difficult for polar bears to reliably use their traditional habitats and maintain fitness. Here, we provide an overview of how human activities in the Arctic are likely to change a polar bear’s behavior and to influence their resilience to environmental change. Developing a more thorough understanding of polar bear behavior and their capacity for flexibility in response to anthropogenic disturbances and subsequent mitigations may lead to successful near-term management interventions.

  19. 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)


    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

  20. Climate change, future Arctic Sea ice, and the competitiveness of European Arctic offshore oil and gas production on world markets. (United States)

    Petrick, Sebastian; Riemann-Campe, Kathrin; Hoog, Sven; Growitsch, Christian; Schwind, Hannah; Gerdes, Rüdiger; Rehdanz, Katrin


    A significant share of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas resources are assumed to lie under the seabed of the Arctic Ocean. Up until now, the exploitation of the resources especially under the European Arctic has largely been prevented by the challenges posed by sea ice coverage, harsh weather conditions, darkness, remoteness of the fields, and lack of infrastructure. Gradual warming has, however, improved the accessibility of the Arctic Ocean. We show for the most resource-abundant European Arctic Seas whether and how a climate induced reduction in sea ice might impact future accessibility of offshore natural gas and crude oil resources. Based on this analysis we show for a number of illustrative but representative locations which technology options exist based on a cost-minimization assessment. We find that under current hydrocarbon prices, oil and gas from the European offshore Arctic is not competitive on world markets.

  1. 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.


    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...... 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...... and new estimates of large scale sea level changes based on satellite data and perform an estimation of the fresh waterstorage increase over the last decade using temporal gravity changes from the GRACE satellite....

  2. Radiative Transfer Modeling to Estimate the Impact of CDOM on Light Absorption within Changing Arctic Sea Ice (United States)

    Carns, R.; Light, B.; Frey, K. E.


    First-year sea ice differs from multi-year sea ice in several ways that can influence its optical properties. It is thinner than multi-year ice, which tends to increase light transmission. Also, first-year ice retains higher brine volumes in comparison to more heavily drained multi-year ice, in isolated pockets and channels. During melt season, patterns of pond formation on first-year sea ice differ from those on multi-year ice. As first-year sea ice comprises an increasingly large fraction of Arctic sea ice, it becomes more important to understand how much sunlight reaches the ecosystems within the ice, and how those changing ecosystems can feed back into the transmission of light. Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and chlorophyll within the ice can absorb light, heating the ice and reducing transmission to the ocean below. Light also encourages algal growth within the ice while degrading CDOM, creating complex feedbacks. We use radiative transfer models to determine the overall effect of colored dissolved organic matter on the light regime within sea ice, both on the overall amount of energy transmitted and on the spectral distribution of energy. Using models allows us to estimate the impact of varying CDOM levels on a wide range of sea ice types, improving our ability to respond to conditions in a rapidly changing Arctic and predict important phenomena such as algal blooms.

  3. The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra (United States)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica


    The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra. Ludovica D'Imperio1, Anders Michelsen1, Christian J. Jørgensen1, Bo Elberling1 1Center for Permafrost (CENPERM), Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark At Northern latitudes climatic changes are predicted to be most pronounced resulting in increasing active layer depth and changes in growing season length, vegetation cover and nutrient cycling. As a consequence of increased temperature, large stocks of carbon stored in the permafrost-affected soils could become available for microbial transformations and under anoxic conditions result in increasing methane production affecting net methane (CH4) budget. Arctic tundra soils also serves as an important sink of atmospheric CH4 by microbial oxidation under aerobic conditions. While several process studies have documented the mechanisms behind both production and emissions of CH4 in arctic ecosystems, an important knowledge gap exists with respect to the in situ dynamics of microbial-driven uptake of CH4 in arctic dry lands which may be enhanced as a consequence of global warming and thereby counterbalancing CH4 emissions from Arctic wetlands. In-situ methane measurements were made in a dry Arctic tundra in Disko Island, Western Greenland, during the summer 2013 to assess the role of seasonal and inter-annual variations in temperatures and snow cover. The experimental set-up included snow fences installed in 2012, allowed investigations of the emissions of GHGs from soil under increased winter snow deposition and ambient field conditions. The soil fluxes of CH4 and CO2 were measured using closed chambers in manipulated plots with increased summer temperatures and shrub removal with or without increased winter precipitation. At the control plots, the averaged seasonal CH4 oxidation rates ranged between -0.05 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of August) and -0.32 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of June). In the

  4. Understanding Pan-Arctic Tundra Vegetation Change Through Long-term Remotely Sensed Data (United States)

    Bhatt, U.; Walker, D. A.; Bieniek, P.; Raynolds, M. K.; Epstein, H. E.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.


    The goal of this paper is to present an analysis of the seasonality of tundra vegetation variability and change using long-term remotely sensed data as well as ground based measurements and reanalyses. An increase of Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation greenness has been documented using the remotely sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Coherent variability between NDVI, springtime coastal sea ice (passive microwave) and land surface temperatures (AVHRR) has also been established. Satellite based snow and cloud cover data sets are being incorporated into this analysis. The Arctic tundra is divided into domains based on Treshnikov divisions that are modified based on floristic provinces. There is notable heterogeneity in Pan-Arctic vegetation and climate trends, which necessitates a regional analysis. This study uses remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2010. The GIMMS NDVI3g data has been corrected for biases during the spring and fall, with special focus on the Arctic. Trends of Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), and open water area are calculated for the Pan Arctic. Remotely sensed snow data trends suggest varying patterns throughout the Arctic and may in part explain the heterogeneous MaxNDVI trends. Standard climate data (station, reanalysis, and model data) and ground observations are used in the analysis to provide additional support for hypothesized mechanisms. Overall, we find that trends over the 30-year record are changing as evidenced by the following examples from recent years. The sea ice decline has increased in Eurasia and slowed in North America. The weekly AVHRR landsurface temperatures reveal that there has been summer cooling over Eurasia and that the warming over North America has slowed. The MaxNDVI rates of change have diverged between N. America and Eurasia

  5. Climate Change and Arctic Issues in the Marine and Environmental Science Curriculum at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (United States)

    Vlietstra, L.; McConnell, M. C.; Bergondo, D. L.; Mrakovcich, K. L.; Futch, V.; Stutzman, B. S.; Fleischmann, C. M.


    As global climate change becomes more evident, demand will likely increase for experts with a detailed understanding of the scientific basis of climate change, the ocean's role in the earth-atmosphere system, and forecasted impacts, especially in Arctic regions where effects may be most pronounced. As a result, programs in marine and environmental sciences are uniquely poised to prepare graduates for the formidable challenges posed by changing climates. Here we present research evaluating the prevalence and themes of courses focusing on anthropogenic climate change in 125 Marine Science and Environmental Science undergraduate programs at 86 institutions in the United States. These results, in addition to the increasing role of the Coast Guard in the Arctic, led to the development of two new courses in the curriculum. Climate Change Science, a one-credit seminar, includes several student-centered activities supporting key learning objectives. Polar Oceanography, a three-credit course, incorporates a major outreach component to Coast Guard units and members of the scientific community. Given the importance of climate change in Arctic regions in particular, we also propose six essential "Arctic Literacy Principles" around which courses or individual lesson plans may be organized. We show how these principles are incorporated into an additional new three-credit course, Model Arctic Council, which prepares students to participate in a week-long simulation exercise of Arctic Council meetings, held in Fairbanks, Alaska. Students examine the history and mission of the Arctic Council and explore some of the issues on which the council has deliberated. Special attention is paid to priorities of the current U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council which include climate change impacts on, and stewardship of, the Arctic Ocean.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Kåre


    Globalization and climate change challenges the Arctic communities adaptability and increases vulnerability Kåre Hendriksen, PhD student, Aalborg University, Denmark The previous isolation of the Arctic will change as a wide range of areas increasingly are integrated into the globalized world....... Coinciding climate changes cause an easier access for worldwide market as well as for the extraction of coastal oil and mineral resources. In an attempt to optimize the fishing fleet by economic measures it is centralized to larger units, and the exports of unprocessed fish and shellfish to low wage...... 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....

  7. Changes in Arctic vegetation amplify high-latitude warming through the greenhouse effect. (United States)

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


    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.

  8. Survival of rapidly fluctuating natural low winter temperatures by High Arctic soil invertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Convey, Peter; Abbandonato, Holly; Bergan, Frode


    The extreme polar environment creates challenges for its resident invertebrate communities and the stress tolerance of some of these animals has been examined over many years. However, although it is well appreciated that standard air temperature records often fail to describe accurately conditions...... microhabitats. To assess survival of natural High Arctic soil invertebrate communities contained in soil and vegetation cores to natural winter temperature variations, the overwintering temperatures they experienced were manipulated by deploying cores in locations with varying snow accumulation: No Snow...... and did not decrease below -12. °C. Those under deep snow were even more stable and did not decline below -2. °C. Despite these striking differences in winter thermal regimes, there were no clear differences in survival of the invertebrate fauna between treatments, including oribatid, prostigmatid...

  9. Repeat synoptic sampling reveals drivers of change in carbon and nutrient chemistry of Arctic catchments (United States)

    Zarnetske, J. P.; Abbott, B. W.; Bowden, W. B.; Iannucci, F.; Griffin, N.; Parker, S.; Pinay, G.; Aanderud, Z.


    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nutrients, and other solute concentrations are increasing in rivers across the Arctic. Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain these trends: 1. distributed, top-down permafrost degradation, and 2. discrete, point-source delivery of DOC and nutrients from permafrost collapse features (thermokarst). While long-term monitoring at a single station cannot discriminate between these mechanisms, synoptic sampling of multiple points in the stream network could reveal the spatial structure of solute sources. In this context, we sampled carbon and nutrient chemistry three times over two years in 119 subcatchments of three distinct Arctic catchments (North Slope, Alaska). Subcatchments ranged from 0.1 to 80 km2, and included three distinct types of Arctic landscapes - mountainous, tundra, and glacial-lake catchments. We quantified the stability of spatial patterns in synoptic water chemistry and analyzed high-frequency time series from the catchment outlets across the thaw season to identify source areas for DOC, nutrients, and major ions. We found that variance in solute concentrations between subcatchments collapsed at spatial scales between 1 to 20 km2, indicating a continuum of diffuse- and point-source dynamics, depending on solute and catchment characteristics (e.g. reactivity, topography, vegetation, surficial geology). Spatially-distributed mass balance revealed conservative transport of DOC and nitrogen, and indicates there may be strong in-stream retention of phosphorus, providing a network-scale confirmation of previous reach-scale studies in these Arctic catchments. Overall, we present new approaches to analyzing synoptic data for change detection and quantification of ecohydrological mechanisms in ecosystems in the Arctic and beyond.

  10. Marine Mammals and Climate Change in the Pacific Arctic: Impacts & Resilience (United States)

    Moore, S. E.


    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.

  11. Does Reality Matter? Social and Science Bases of Public Beliefs about Arctic Change (United States)

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


    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.

  12. Climate change alters the structure of arctic marine food webs due to poleward shifts of boreal generalists. (United States)

    Kortsch, Susanne; Primicerio, Raul; Fossheim, Maria; Dolgov, Andrey V; Aschan, Michaela


    Climate-driven poleward shifts, leading to changes in species composition and relative abundances, have been recently documented in the Arctic. Among the fastest moving species are boreal generalist fish which are expected to affect arctic marine food web structure and ecosystem functioning substantially. Here, we address structural changes at the food web level induced by poleward shifts via topological network analysis of highly resolved boreal and arctic food webs of the Barents Sea. We detected considerable differences in structural properties and link configuration between the boreal and the arctic food webs, the latter being more modular and less connected. We found that a main characteristic of the boreal fish moving poleward into the arctic region of the Barents Sea is high generalism, a property that increases connectance and reduces modularity in the arctic marine food web. Our results reveal that habitats form natural boundaries for food web modules, and that generalists play an important functional role in coupling pelagic and benthic modules. We posit that these habitat couplers have the potential to promote the transfer of energy and matter between habitats, but also the spread of pertubations, thereby changing arctic marine food web structure considerably with implications for ecosystem dynamics and functioning. © 2015 The Authors.

  13. The Impact of Climate Change on an Archaeological Site in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Matthiesen, H.; Elberling, Bo


    Climate change may accelerate the degradation of archaeological sites in the Arctic and lead to a loss of important historical information. This study assesses the current preservation conditions and the processes controlling the physical and chemical stability of the Qajaa kitchen midden......, thermal and hydrological erosion and oxygen exposure may lead to substantial loss of archaeological evidence before the end of the 21st century....

  14. Scenarios use to engage scientists and decision-makers in a changing Arctic (United States)

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


    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.

  15. Public health in a rapidly changing world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana I. Andreeva


    Full Text Available Several months in 2013 and 2014 have been a hardly predictable time in Ukraine, and the situation is still far from being stable. This made the editorial team of TCPHEE based in Ukraine postpone publishing consecutive issues. However, while the situation still requires practical steps, many aspects including those related to public health require analysis and debate. Thus we invite opinion pieces and studies addressing all different spheres of how public health should function under changing social circumstances. There might be a wide range of such related topics. The most obvious ones are those linked to changing living conditions. Many studies have been undertaken and published with regard to health threats to refugees, people involved in natural or technical disasters (Noji, 2005. Along with environmental health threats, there might be mental health disturbances (World Health Organization, 1992 resulting from long-term strain, losses et cetera. Another important focus is related to changes in health services provision. Crimea, which is a former Ukrainian territory now occupied by the Russian Federation, was among those in Ukraine highly affected with HIV (Dehne, Khodakevich, Hamers, & Schwartlander, 1999. This was responded by several NGOs actively providing harm reduction services to high-risk groups along with methadone substitution therapy to opiate users and antiretroviral medicines to those HIV-infected (Curtis, 2010. However, there are news reports that Russia is going to stop provision of methadone (, 2014. As opiate substitution programs have been shown an effective approach towards preventing HIV transmission among people who inject drugs (MacArthur et al., 2012, such change in public health policies might affect not only most at risk populations but their partners and population as a whole as well resulting in a rapid spread of HIV. Yet another related topic is that of how health services can be organized at times of

  16. Wildlife health in a rapidly changing North: focus on avian disease (United States)

    Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Pearce, John M.; Handel, Colleen M.


    Climate-related environmental changes have increasingly been linked to emerging infectious diseases in wildlife. The Arctic is facing a major ecological transition that is expected to substantially affect animal and human health. Changes in phenology or environmental conditions that result from climate warming may promote novel species assemblages as host and pathogen ranges expand to previously unoccupied areas. Recent evidence from the Arctic and subarctic suggests an increase in the spread and prevalence of some wildlife diseases, but baseline data necessary to detect and verify such changes are still lacking. Wild birds are undergoing rapid shifts in distribution and have been implicated in the spread of wildlife and zoonotic diseases. Here, we review evidence of current and projected changes in the abundance and distribution of avian diseases and outline strategies for future research. We discuss relevant climatic and environmental factors, emerging host–pathogen contact zones, the relationship between host condition and immune function, and potential wildlife and human health outcomes in northern regions.

  17. Rapid responses of permafrost and vegetation to experimentally increased snow cover in sub-arctic Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johansson, Margareta; Bosiö, Julia; Akerman, H Jonas; Jackowicz-Korczynski, Marcin; Christensen, Torben R; Callaghan, Terry V


    Increased snow depth already observed, and that predicted for the future are of critical importance to many geophysical and biological processes as well as human activities. The future characteristics of sub-arctic landscapes where permafrost is particularly vulnerable will depend on complex interactions between snow cover, vegetation and permafrost. An experimental manipulation was, therefore, set up on a lowland peat plateau with permafrost, in northernmost Sweden, to simulate projected future increases in winter precipitation and to study their effects on permafrost and vegetation. After seven years of treatment, statistically significant differences between manipulated and control plots were found in mean winter ground temperatures, which were 1.5 ° C higher in manipulated plots. During the winter, a difference in minimum temperatures of up to 9 ° C higher could be found in individual manipulated plots compared with control plots. Active layer thicknesses increased at the manipulated plots by almost 20% compared with the control plots and a mean surface subsidence of 24 cm was recorded in the manipulated plots compared to 5 cm in the control plots. The graminoid Eriophorum vaginatum has expanded in the manipulated plots and the vegetation remained green longer in the season. (letter)

  18. 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


    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...... was significantly related to the timing of snowmelt and differed significantly between the sexes and habitats with the spiders in the mesic habitat showing a stronger temporal response to later snowmelt. Juvenile/ female ratios also differed significantly between habitats; as did the overall abundance...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torkjel M. Sandanger


    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

  20. The Arctic Vegetation Type Change retrieved from Spaceborne Observations and its Influence on the Simulation of Permafrost Thawing (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Wang, Z.


    The vegetation types change in Arctic has been studied using 10 years of MODIS land cover product (MCD12Q1). The shrub expansion is observed in Alaska and Northeast Asia, while shrub fraction decreases in North Canada and Southwest Arctic Eurasia. The total Arctic shrub fraction increases 3% in 10 years. The tundra decreases where the shrub expands, and thrives where the shrub retreats. In order to isolate the influence of the vegetation dynamic on the permafrost thawing, the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem in recent decades will be simulated using the Community Land Model (CLM) with and without the vegetation type changes. The energy and carbon exchange on the land surface will also be simulated and compared. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI, PN17081) and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2015R1C1A2A01054800).

  1. Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: Implementing Integrated Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring, Data Management and Reporting (United States)

    Gill, M.; Svoboda, M.


    Arctic ecosystems and the biodiversity they support are experiencing growing pressure from various stressors (e.g. development, climate change, contaminants, etc.) while established research and monitoring programs remain largely uncoordinated, lacking the ability to effectively monitor, understand and report on biodiversity trends at the circumpolar scale. The maintenance of healthy arctic ecosystems is a global imperative as the Arctic plays a critical role in the Earth's physical, chemical and biological balance. A coordinated and comprehensive effort for monitoring arctic ecosystems is needed to facilitate effective and timely conservation and adaptation actions. The Arctic's size and complexity represents a significant challenge towards detecting and attributing important biodiversity trends. This demands a scaled, pan-arctic, ecosystem-based approach that not only identifies trends in biodiversity, but also identifies underlying causes. It is critical that this information be made available to generate effective strategies for adapting to changes now taking place in the Arctic—a process that ultimately depends on rigorous, integrated, and efficient monitoring programs that have the power to detect change within a "management" time frame. To meet these challenges and in response to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment's recommendation to expand and enhance arctic biodiversity monitoring, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council launched the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). The CBMP is led by Environment Canada on behalf of Canada and the Arctic Council. The CBMP is working with over 60 global partners to expand, integrate and enhance existing arctic biodiversity research and monitoring efforts to facilitate more rapid detection, communication and response to significant trends and pressures. Towards this end, the CBMP has established three Expert Monitoring Groups representing major Arctic

  2. Regional shoreline change and coastal erosion hazards in Arctic Alaska (United States)

    Gibbs, Ann E.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Erikson, Li H.; Harden, E. Lynne; Wallendorf, Louise


    Historical shoreline positions along the mainland Beaufort Sea coast of Alaska were digitized and analyzed to determine the long-term rate of change. Average shoreline change rates and ranges from 1947 to the mid-2000s were determined every 50 meters between Barrow and Demarcation Point, at the U.S.-Canadian border. Results show that shoreline change rates are highly variable along the coast, with an average regional shoreline change rate of-2.0 m/yr and localized rates of up to -19 m/yr. The highest erosion rates were observed at headlands, points, and associated with breached thermokarst lakes. Areas of accretion were limited, and generally associated with spit extension and minor beach accretion. In general, erosion rates increase from east to west, with overall higher rates east of Harrison Bay.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutowski, William J.


    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.

  4. Circumpolar arctic tundra biomass and productivity dynamics in response to projected climate change and herbivory. (United States)

    Yu, Qin; Epstein, Howard; Engstrom, Ryan; Walker, Donald


    Satellite remote sensing data have indicated a general 'greening' trend in the arctic tundra biome. However, the observed changes based on remote sensing are the result of multiple environmental drivers, and the effects of individual controls such as warming, herbivory, and other disturbances on changes in vegetation biomass, community structure, and ecosystem function remain unclear. We apply ArcVeg, an arctic tundra vegetation dynamics model, to estimate potential changes in vegetation biomass and net primary production (NPP) at the plant community and functional type levels. ArcVeg is driven by soil nitrogen output from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, existing densities of Rangifer populations, and projected summer temperature changes by the NCAR CCSM4.0 general circulation model across the Arctic. We quantified the changes in aboveground biomass and NPP resulting from (i) observed herbivory only; (ii) projected climate change only; and (iii) coupled effects of projected climate change and herbivory. We evaluated model outputs of the absolute and relative differences in biomass and NPP by country, bioclimate subzone, and floristic province. Estimated potential biomass increases resulting from temperature increase only are approximately 5% greater than the biomass modeled due to coupled warming and herbivory. Such potential increases are greater in areas currently occupied by large or dense Rangifer herds such as the Nenets-occupied regions in Russia (27% greater vegetation increase without herbivores). In addition, herbivory modulates shifts in plant community structure caused by warming. Plant functional types such as shrubs and mosses were affected to a greater degree than other functional types by either warming or herbivory or coupled effects of the two. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Signs of the Land: Reaching Arctic Communities Facing Climate Change (United States)

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


    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. The Arctic Coastal Erosion Problem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frederick, Jennifer M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Thomas, Matthew Anthony [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Bull, Diana L. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Jones, Craig A. [Integral Consulting Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Roberts, Jesse D. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    Permafrost-dominated coastlines in the Arctic are rapidly disappearing. Arctic coastal erosion rates in the United States have doubled since the middle of the twentieth century and appear to be accelerating. Positive erosion trends have been observed for highly-variable geomorphic conditions across the entire Arctic, suggesting a major (human-timescale) shift in coastal landscape evolution. Unfortunately, irreversible coastal land loss in this region poses a threat to native, industrial, scientific, and military communities. The Arctic coastline is vast, spanning more than 100,000 km across eight nations, ten percent of which is overseen by the United States. Much of area is inaccessible by all-season roads. People and infrastructure, therefore, are commonly located near the coast. The impact of the Arctic coastal erosion problem is widespread. Homes are being lost. Residents are being dispersed and their villages relocated. Shoreline fuel storage and delivery systems are at greater risk. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) operate research facilities along some of the most rapidly eroding sections of coast in the world. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is struggling to fortify coastal radar sites, operated to ensure national sovereignty in the air, against the erosion problem. Rapid alterations to the Arctic coastline are facilitated by oceanographic and geomorphic perturbations associated with climate change. Sea ice extent is declining, sea level is rising, sea water temperature is increasing, and permafrost state is changing. The polar orientation of the Arctic exacerbates the magnitude and rate of the environmental forcings that facilitate coastal land area loss. The fundamental mechanics of these processes are understood; their non-linear combination poses an extreme hazard. Tools to accurately predict Arctic coastal erosion do not exist. To obtain an accurate predictive model, a coupling of the influences of

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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 this region that are potentially highly susceptible to climatic effects. Using an integrative study of their behaviour, physiology and fitness at three study sites, we evaluated the impact of ocean warming on little auks across the Greenland Sea in 2005-2007. Contrary to our hypothesis, the birds responded...... to a wide range of sea surface temperatures via plasticity of their foraging behaviour, allowing them to maintain their fitness levels unchanged. Predicted effects of climate change are significantly attenuated by such plasticity, confounding attempts to forecast future impacts of climate change by envelope...

  8. The Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petersen, H.; Meltofte, H.; Rysgaard, S.; Rasch, M.; Jonasson, S.; Christensen, T.R.; Friborg, T.; Soegaard, H.; Pedersen, S.A.


    Global climate change in the Arctic is a growing concern. Research has already documented pronounced changes, and models predict that increases in temperature from anthropogenic influences could be considerably higher than the global average. The impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems are complex and difficult to predict because of the many interactions within ecosystem, and between many concurrently changing environmental variables. Despite the global consequences of change in the Arctic climate the monitoring of basic abiotic as well as biotic parameters are not adequate to assess the impact of global climate change. The uneven geographical location of present monitoring stations in the Arctic limits the ability to understand the climate system. The impact of previous variations and potential future changes to ecosystems is not well understood and need to be addressed. At this point, there is no consensus of scientific opinion on how much of the current changes that are due to anthropogenic influences or to natural variation. Regardless of the cause, there is a need to investigate and assess current observations and their effects to the Arctic. In this chapter examples from both terrestrial and marine ecosystems from ongoing monitoring and research projects are given. (LN)

  9. Adolescence and changing family relations in the Central Canadian Arctic. (United States)

    Condon, R G


    This paper reports on a ten-year longitudinal study of adolescent development and socialization conducted in the Copper Inuit community of Holman. This research has documented how demographic, social, and economic changes have dramatically altered the patterning and sequencing of traditional Inuit life stages, thus giving rise to a prolonged adolescent life stage which was non-existent in the precontact period. At the same time, Inuit family relations have undergone drastic changes as a result of population increase, population concentration, access to government housing, introduction of formal schooling, and the availability of social subsides. Today, the Copper Inuit family has lost its focus as the primary agent of socialization and learning, and many young Inuit now spend most of their time within the context of a greatly expanded peer group which has gradually acquired the values and aspirations of the southern adolescent sub-culture. This paper will discuss the impact of these changing attitudes upon parent-child relations as well as the social adjustment problems experienced by young Inuit as they strive to find a place in the North's changing social landscape.

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

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


    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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). Dept. of Oceanography; Cassano, John J. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Gutowski, Jr., William J. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States); Lipscomb, William H. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Nijssen, Bart [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Roberts, Andrew [Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (United States). Dept. of Oceanography; Robertson, William [Univ. of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States); Tulaczyk, Slawek [Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States); Zeng, Xubin [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)


    The primary outcome of the project was the development of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) and evaluation of its individual model components, coupling among them and fully coupled model results. Overall, we have demonstrated that RASM produces realistic mean and seasonal surface climate as well as its interannual and decadal variability and trends.

  12. Space-for-time substitution in predicting the state of picoplankton and nanoplankton in a changing Arctic Ocean (United States)

    Li, William K. W.; Carmack, Eddy C.; McLaughlin, Fiona A.; Nelson, R. John; Williams, William J.


    The Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly but there are no long-term time series observations on the state of the phytoplankton community that could allow a link to be made from physical/chemical pressures to the impact on marine ecosystems. Here, we test the idea that space-for-time (SFT) substitution might predict temporal change in the Canada Basin premised on differences in the present state of phytoplankton in other geographic zones, specifically the ratio in the abundance of picophytoplankton to nanophytoplankton (Pico:Nano). We compared the change in Pico:Nano observed in the Canada Basin from 2004 to 2012 to the different average states of this ratio in 26 other ocean ecological regions. Our results show that as upper ocean nitrate concentration changed in the Canada Basin from year to year, the concomitant change in Pico:Nano was statistically commensurate with the difference that this ratio exhibits between Longhurst ecological provinces in relation to nitrate concentration. Lower average concentration of nitrate in the upper water column is associated with a higher value of Pico:Nano, a result consistent with resource control of phytoplankton size structure in the ocean. We suggest that SFT substitution allows an explanation of temporal progression from spatial pattern as a test of mechanism, but such statistical prediction is not necessarily a projection of future states.

  13. Changing Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions Impact Stream Chemistry and Ecology at the Arctic-Boreal Transition in Western Alaska (United States)

    Koch, J. C.; Carey, M.; O'Donnell, J.; Sjoberg, Y.; Zimmerman, C. E.


    The arctic-boreal transition zone of Alaska is experiencing rapid change related to unprecedented warming and subsequent loss of permafrost. These changes in turn may affect groundwater-surface water (GW-SW) interactions, biogeochemical cycling, and ecosystem processes. While recent field and modeling studies have improved our understanding of hydrology in watersheds underlain by thawing permafrost, little is known about how these hydrologic shifts will impact bottom-up controls on stream food webs. To address this uncertainty, we are using an integrative experimental design to link GW-SW interactions to stream biogeochemistry and biota in 10 first-order streams in northwest Alaska. These study streams drain watersheds that span several gradients, including elevation, aspect, and vegetation (tundra vs. forest). We have developed a robust, multi-disciplinary data set to characterize GW-SW interactions and to mechanistically link GW-SW dynamics to water quality and the stream ecosystem. Data includes soil hydrology and chemistry; stream discharge, temperature, and inflow rates; water chemistry (including water isotopes, major ions, carbon concentration and isotopes, nutrients and chlorophyll-a), and invertebrate and fish communities. Stream recession curves indicate a decreasing rate later in the summer in some streams, consistent with seasonal thaw in lower elevation and south-facing catchments. Base cation and water isotope chemistry display similar impacts of seasonal thaw and also suggest the dominance of groundwater in many streams. Coupled with estimates of GW-SW exchange at point, reach, and catchment scales, these results will be used to predict how hydrology and water quality are likely to impact fish habitat and growth given continued warming at the arctic-boreal transition.

  14. A multiple-proxy approach to understanding rapid Holocene climate change in Southeast Greenland (United States)

    Davin, S. H.; Bradley, R. S.; Balascio, N. L.; de Wet, G.


    The susceptibility of the Arctic to climate change has made it an excellent workshop for paleoclimatological research. Although there have been previous studies concerning climate variability carried out in the Arctic, there remains a critical dearth of knowledge due the limited number of high-resolution Holocene climate-proxy records available from this region. This gap skews our understanding of observed and predicted climate change, and fuels uncertainty both in the realms of science and policy. This study takes a comprehensive approach to tracking Holocene climate variability in the vicinity of Tasiilaq, Southeast Greenland using a ~5.6 m sediment core from Lower Sermilik Lake. An age-depth model for the core has been established using 8 radiocarbon dates, the oldest of which was taken at 4 m down core and has been been dated to approximately 6.2 kyr BP. The bottom meter of the core below the final radiocarbon date contains a transition from cobbles and coarse sand to organic-rich laminations, indicating the termination of direct glacial influence and therefore likely marking the end of the last glacial period in this region. The remainder of the core is similarly organic-rich, with light-to-dark brown laminations ranging from 0.5 -1 cm in thickness and riddled with turbidites. Using this core in tandem with findings from an on-site assessment of the geomorphic history of the locale we attempt to assess and infer the rapid climatic shifts associated with the Holocene on a sub-centennial scale. Such changes include the termination of the last glacial period, the Mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum, the Neoglacial Period, the Medieval Climatic Optimum, and the Little Ice Age. A multiple proxy approach including magnetic susceptibility, bulk organic geochemistry, elemental profiles acquired by XRF scanning, grain-size, and spectral data will be used to characterize the sediment and infer paleoclimate conditions. Additionally, percent biogenic silica by weight has been

  15. Vital arctic graphics. People and global heritage on our last wild shores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahlenius, H.; Johnsen, K; Nellemann, C.


    Vital Arctic Graphics is a compilation of illustrations and case studies intended to describe the Arctic, the livelihoods of Arctic indigenous peoples and the future well-being of this region. It summarizes some of the key threats to the future sustainability of the Arctic including the rapid pace of climate change, worrying levels of persistent organic and heavy metal pollutants, and increasing natural resource exploration. The coastal regions are particularly important to the peoples of the Arctic and their current protection status is therefore given particular focus

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


    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).

  17. Arctic Vortex changes alter the sources and isotopic values of precipitation in northeastern US (United States)

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


    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.

  18. Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Stoker, Jason M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Kinsman, Nichole E.M.; Richmond, Bruce M.


    Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100 km2 study area on the Beaufort Sea coastal plain of northern Alaska. We detected statistically significant change (99% confidence interval), defined as contiguous areas (>10 m2) that had changed in height by at least 0.55 m, in 0.3% of the study region. Erosional features indicative of ice-rich permafrost degradation were associated with ice-bonded coastal, river, and lake bluffs, frost mounds, ice wedges, and thermo-erosional gullies. These features accounted for about half of the area where vertical change was detected. Inferred thermo-denudation and thermo-abrasion of coastal and river bluffs likely accounted for the dominant permafrost-related degradational processes with respect to area (42%) and volume (51%). More than 300 thermokarst pits significantly subsided during the study period, likely as a result of storm surge flooding of low-lying tundra (impact of warm summers in the late-1980s and mid-1990s. Our results indicate that repeat airborne LiDAR can be used to detect landscape change in arctic coastal lowland regions at large spatial scales over sub-decadal time periods.

  19. Rapid response for invasive waterweeds at the arctic invasion front: Assessment of collateral impacts from herbicide treatments (United States)

    Sethi, Suresh; Carey, Michael P.; Morton, John M.; Guerron-Orejuela, Edgar; Decino, Robert; Willette, Mark; Boersma, James; Jablonski, Jillian; Anderson, Cheryl


    The remoteness of subarctic and arctic ecosystems no longer protects against invasive species introductions. Rather, the mix of urban hubs surrounded by undeveloped expanses creates a ratchet process whereby anthropogenic activity is sufficient to introduce and spread invaders, but for which the costs of monitoring and managing remote ecosystems is prohibitive. Elodea spp. is the first aquatic invasive plant to become established in Alaska and has potential for widespread deleterious ecological and economic impacts. A rapid eradication response with herbicides has been identified as a priority invasion control strategy. We conducted a multi-lake monitoring effort to assess collateral impacts from herbicide treatment for Elodea in high latitude systems. Variability in data was driven by seasonal dynamics and natural lake-to-lake differences typical of high latitude waterbodies, indicating lack of evidence for systematic impacts to water quality or plankton communities associated with herbicide treatment of Elodea. Impacts on native macrophytes were benign with the exception of some evidence for earlier onset of leaf senescence for lily pads(Nuphar spp.) in treated lakes. We observed a substantial increase in detected native flora richness after Elodea was eradicated from the most heavily infested lake, indicating potential for retention of native macrophyte communities if infestations are addressed quickly. While avoiding introductions through prevention may be the most desirable outcome, these applications indicated low risks of non-target impacts associated with herbicide treatment as a rapid response option for Elodea in high latitude systems.

  20. Improving the Characterization of Arctic Coastline Ecosystem Change near Utqiagvik, Alaska Utilizing Multiyear Terrestrial Laser Scanning (United States)

    Escarzaga, S. M.; Cody, R. P.; Vargas, S. A., Jr.; Fuson, T.; Hodge, B. E.; Tweedie, C. E.


    The Arctic Ocean comprises the largest coastline on Earth and is undergoing environmental change on a level disproportionate to those in lower-latitudes. In the US Arctic, coastal erosion rates along the North Slope of Alaska show that they are among highest in the nation at an average rate of 1.4 meters per year. Despite their importance to biogeochemical cycling, Native village infrastructure and providing pristine species habitat, Arctic coastlines and near shore environments are relatively understudied due to logistical challenges of conducting fieldwork in these locations. This study expands on past efforts which showed dGPS foot surveys work well at describing planar erosion on less complex permafrost bluff types like those seen on the higher-energy coasts east of Utqiagvik, Alaska along the Beaufort Sea where the main mechanism of erosion happens by block failure caused by wave action. However, coastal bluffs along the Chukchi Sea to the west are more complex and variable in terms of form and mechanisms of erosion. Here, where wide beaches tend to buffer wave action, thermal erosion and permafrost slumping produce slower erosion rates. Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) has been applied across a multitude of terrain types, including coastlines spanning various ecosystems. Additionally, this approach allows 3D modeling of fine scale geomorphological features which can facilitate modeling of erosion rates in these areas. This study utilizes a six year time series of TLS on a section of coastal permafrost bluff along the Chukchi Sea south of Utqiagvik. The aim of the work presented is to better understand spatio-temporal trends of coastal bluff face erosion, bluff top subsidence and how these landscape microtopographic changes are coupled to ecosystem changes and land cover types. Preliminary analysis suggests a high rate of stability of the bluff face over the TLS record with most of the detectable permafrost subsidence happening closer to the coastal bluff edge.

  1. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Rapid Land Cover Change (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Rapid Land Cover Change provides data and information on global and regional land cover change in raster format for...

  2. Can regional climate engineering save the summer Arctic sea ice? (United States)

    Tilmes, S.; Jahn, Alexandra; Kay, Jennifer E.; Holland, Marika; Lamarque, Jean-Francois


    Rapid declines in summer Arctic sea ice extent are projected under high-forcing future climate scenarios. Regional Arctic climate engineering has been suggested as an emergency strategy to save the sea ice. Model simulations of idealized regional dimming experiments compared to a business-as-usual greenhouse gas emission simulation demonstrate the importance of both local and remote feedback mechanisms to the surface energy budget in high latitudes. With increasing artificial reduction in incoming shortwave radiation, the positive surface albedo feedback from Arctic sea ice loss is reduced. However, changes in Arctic clouds and the strongly increasing northward heat transport both counteract the direct dimming effects. A 4 times stronger local reduction in solar radiation compared to a global experiment is required to preserve summer Arctic sea ice area. Even with regional Arctic dimming, a reduction in the strength of the oceanic meridional overturning circulation and a shut down of Labrador Sea deep convection are possible.

  3. Are rapid changes in brain elasticity possible? (United States)

    Parker, K. J.


    Elastography of the brain is a topic of clinical and preclinical research, motivated by the potential for viscoelastic measures of the brain to provide sensitive indicators of pathological processes, and to assist in early diagnosis. To date, studies of the normal brain and of those with confirmed neurological disorders have reported a wide range of shear stiffness and shear wave speeds, even within similar categories. A range of factors including the shear wave frequency, and the age of the individual are thought to have a possible influence. However, it may be that short term dynamics within the brain may have an influence on the measured stiffness. This hypothesis is addressed quantitatively using the framework of the microchannel flow model, which derives the tissue stiffness, complex modulus, and shear wave speed as a function of the vascular and fluid network in combination with the elastic matrix that comprise the brain. Transformation rules are applied so that any changes in the fluid channels or the elastic matrix can be mapped to changes in observed elastic properties on a macroscopic scale. The results are preliminary but demonstrate that measureable, time varying changes in brain stiffness are possible simply by accounting for vasodynamic or electrochemical changes in the state of any region of the brain. The value of this preliminary exploration is to identify possible mechanisms and order-of-magnitude changes that may be testable in vivo by specialized protocols.

  4. An atmosphere-ocean GCM modelling study of the climate response to changing Arctic seaways in the early Cenozoic. (United States)

    Roberts, C. D.; Legrande, A. N.; Tripati, A. K.


    previous findings on the potential influence of Arctic gateways on ocean overturning and also suggests that Northern Hemisphere climate, particularly in the North Atlantic, was very sensitive to changes in Arctic seaways. This result is of particular significance when considered in the context of the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Volcanic activity prior to the PETM may have been responsible for the formation of a sub-aerial barrier in the North Atlantic, and consequently may have driven warming of intermediate waters sufficient to destabilize methane clathrates. Evidence for freshening of Arctic ocean waters prior to the PETM would support this hypothesis.

  5. Climate change and infectious diseases in the Arctic: establishment of a circumpolar working group (United States)

    Parkinson, Alan J.; Evengard, Birgitta; Semenza, Jan C.; Ogden, Nicholas; Børresen, Malene L.; Berner, Jim; Brubaker, Michael; Sjöstedt, Anders; Evander, Magnus; Hondula, David M.; Menne, Bettina; Pshenichnaya, Natalia; Gounder, Prabhu; Larose, Tricia; Revich, Boris; Hueffer, Karsten; Albihn, Ann


    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. PMID:25317383

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgitta Evengard


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan J. Parkinson


    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.

  8. Arctic ecosystem responses to a warming climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Lars O.

    sheet, loss of multiannual sea-ice and significant advances in snowmelt days. The biotic components of the arctic ecosystem have also been affected by the rapid changes in climate, for instance resulting in the collapse of the collared lemming cycle, advances in spring flowering and changes in the intra...... biotic interactions. Hence, through the use of up-to-date multivariate statistical tools, this Ph.D. study has been concerned with analyzing how the observed rapid climate changes are affecting the arctic ecosystems. The primary tool has been the implementation of structural equation modeling (SEM) which....... Additionally, the study demonstrated that climate effects had distinct direct and indirect effects on different trophic levels, indicating cascading effects of climate through the trophic system. Results suggest that the Arctic is being significantly affected by the observed climate changes and depending...

  9. Social psychiatry in a rapidly changing world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas K. J. Craig


    Full Text Available Many societies around the world are experiencing a period of unprecedented change in traditional social roles and customs. Globalisation has contributed to materialism and a me-first individualism that heightens awareness of income inequality that itself is one of the most robust markers of unhappiness in society. Ever increasing urbanisation has driven an erosion of large ‘joint’ family arrangements to be replaced by smaller and relatively isolated nuclear families and single parent living. Mass migration has unmasked deep seated fear and prejudice towards the outsider in society. These global changes are fertile ground for the social conditions that have long been known to be risks for mental illness – poverty, poor quality child care, social isolation and the active discrimination and exclusion of the alien, the physically disabled and mentally ill. While there is little we can do to reverse global change, there is much a social psychiatrist can do to mitigate the effect, ensuring his/her voice is added to other calls for reducing discriminatory practice, promoting evidence-based social interventions such as parenting advice and peer support and ensuring that the success of a treatment is measured not just in terms of symptomatic improvement but in whether it results in an outcome that is valued by the patient.

  10. The Siberian High and Arctic Sea Ice: Long-term Climate Change and Impacts on Air Pollution during Wintertime in China (United States)

    Long, X.; Zhao, S.; Feng, T.; Tie, X.; Li, G.


    China has undergone severe air pollution during wintertime as national industrialization and urbanization have been increasingly developed in the past three decades. It has been suggested that high emission and adverse weather patterns contribute to wintertime air pollution. Recent studies propose that climate change and Arctic sea ice loss likely lead to extreme haze events in winter. Here we use two reanalysis and observational datasets to present the trends of Siberian High (SH) intensity over Eurasia, and Arctic temperature and sea ice. The results show the Arctic region of Asia is becoming warming accompanied by a rapid decline of sea ice while Eurasia is cooling and SH intensity is gradually enhancing. Wind patterns induced by these changes cause straight westerly prevailing over Eurasia at the year of weak SH while strengthened northerly winds at the year of strong SH. Therefore, we utilize regional dynamical and chemical WRF-Chem model to determine the impact of SH intensity difference on wintertime air pollution in China. As a result, enhancing northerly winds at the year of strong SH rapidly dilute and transport air pollution, causing a decline of 50 - 400 µg m-3 PM2.5 concentrations relative to that at the year of weak SH. We also assess the impact of emission reduction to half the current level on air pollution. The results show that emission reduction by 50% has an equivalent impact as the variability of SH intensity. This suggests that climate change over Eurasia has largely offset the negative impact of emission on air pollution and it is urgently needed to take measures to mitigate air pollution. In view of current high emission scenario in China, it will be a long way to effectively mitigate, or ultimately prevent wintertime air pollution.

  11. Forty years of change: a northern Alaskan seabird's response to a warming Arctic (United States)

    Divoky, G.; Suydam, R.


    While recent decadal-scale decreases in the snow and ice habitats of the Arctic are well documented, there are few concurrent long-term biological data sets, especially for species dependent on the cryopelagic ecosystem associated with arctic sea ice. The Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle mandti), a marine apex predator specializing on prey associated with arctic pack ice has been studied annually since 1975 at a colony on Cooper Island, 35 km east of Point Barrow, Alaska. Over the last four decades critical components of the species' life history have been found to be sensitive to a number of physical and biological effects associated with the region's increasing atmospheric temperatures. Black Guillemots first colonized northern Alaska in the late 1960s and early 1970s as the annual snow-free period increased sufficiently to allow access to nesting cavities for the 80 days required to successfully raise young. At the Cooper Island colony abundance increased during the 1970s and 1980s as summer length continued to increase and wooden nest cavities were provided to increase sample size for monitoring. During this time breeding success was high as summer sea ice remained in the 30-km foraging range of guillemot parents, providing Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida), the principal forage fish associated with sea ice and the preferred prey of Black Guillemots. Decreasing summer sea ice extent in the 1990s that accelerated in the last decade reduced the guillemots' access to cryopelagic prey during the critical period when parents are provisioning nestlings. Distance from the colony to the pack ice on 15 August averaged 100 km from 2003-2011. This ice retreat had a major affect on Arctic Cod availability, causing parent guillemots to shift to lower quality benthic fish resulting in decreases in nestling quality and breeding success when sea ice had retreated and SST was > 4o C. Increasing loss of summer ice in the last decade also facilitated changes in the distribution of a

  12. Rapidly changing flows in the Earth's core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Nils; Mandea, M.


    A large part of the Earth's magnetic field is generated by fluid motion in the molten outer core(1). As a result of continuous satellite measurements since 1999, the core magnetic field and its recent variations can now be described with a high resolution in space and time(2). These data have...... field occurring over only a few months, indicative of fluid flow at the top of the core, can in fact be resolved. Using nine years of magnetic field data obtained by satellites as well as Earth-based observatories, we determine the temporal changes in the core magnetic field and flow in the core. We...

  13. Projected changes in atmospheric heating due to changes in fire disturbance and the snow season in the western Arctic, 2003-2100 (United States)

    E.S. Euskirchen; A.D. McGuire; T.S. Rupp; F.S. Chapin; J.E. Walsh


    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)...

  14. The role of surface energy fluxes in pan-Arctic snow cover changes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi Xiaogang; Lettenmaier, Dennis P; Groisman, Pavel Ya; Dery, Stephen J


    We analyze snow cover extent (SCE) trends in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) northern hemisphere weekly satellite SCE data using the Mann-Kendall trend test and find that North American and Eurasian snow cover in the pan-Arctic have declined significantly in spring and summer over the period of satellite record beginning in the early 1970s. These trends are reproduced, both in trend direction and statistical significance, in reconstructions using the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrological model. We find that spring and summer surface radiative and turbulent fluxes generated in VIC have strong correlations with satellite observations of SCE. We identify the role of surface energy fluxes and determine which is most responsible for the observed spring and summer SCE recession. We find that positive trends in surface net radiation (SNR) accompany most of the SCE trends, whereas modeled latent heat (LH) and sensible heat (SH) trends associated with warming on SCE mostly cancel each other, except for North America in spring, and to a lesser extent for Eurasia in summer. In spring over North America and summer in Eurasia, the SH contribution to the observed snow cover trends is substantial. The results indicate that ΔSNR is the primary energy source and ΔSH plays a secondary role in changes of SCE. Compared with ΔSNR and ΔSH, ΔLH has a minor influence on pan-Arctic snow cover changes.

  15. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziming Yang


    Full Text Available Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at −2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to determine microbial community structure and the functional genes associated with SOC degradation, methanogenesis, and Fe(III reduction. Results show that soil incubation after 122 days at 8°C significantly decreased functional gene abundance (P < 0.05 associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling, particularly in organic-rich soil. These observations correspond well with decreases in labile SOC content (e.g., reducing sugar and ethanol, methane and CO2 production, and Fe(III reduction. In contrast, the community functional structure was largely unchanged in the −2°C incubation. Soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant factors impacting microbial community structure. These results demonstrate the important roles of microbial community in SOC degradation and support previous findings that SOC in organic-rich Arctic tundra is highly vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming.

  16. Pan-Arctic TV Series on Inuit wellness: a northern model of communication for social change? (United States)

    Johnson, Rhonda; Morales, Robin; Leavitt, Doreen; Carry, Catherine; Kinnon, Dianne; Rideout, Denise; Clarida, Kath


    This paper provides highlights of a utilization-focused evaluation of a collaborative Pan-Arctic Inuit Wellness TV Series that was broadcast live in Alaska and Canada in May 2009. This International Polar Year (IPY) communication and outreach project intended to (1) share information on International Polar Year research progress, disseminate findings and explore questions with Inuit in Alaska, Canada and Greenland; (2) provide a forum for Inuit in Alaska, Canada and Greenland to showcase innovative health and wellness projects; (3) ensure Inuit youth and adult engagement throughout; and (4) document and reflect on the overall experience for the purposes of developing and "testing" a participatory communication model. Utilization-focused formative evaluation of the project, with a focus on overall objectives, key messages and lessons learned to facilitate program improvement. Participant observation, surveys, key informant interviews, document review and website tracking. Promising community programs related to 3 themes - men's wellness, maternity care and youth resilience - in diverse circumpolar regions were highlighted, as were current and stillevolving findings from ongoing Arctic research. Multiple media methods were used to effectively deliver and receive key messages determined by both community and academic experts. Local capacity and new regional networks were strengthened. Evidence-based resources for health education and community action were archived in digital formats (websites and DVDs), increasing accessibility to otherwise isolated individuals and remote communities. The Pan-Arctic Inuit Wellness TV Series was an innovative, multi-dimensional communication project that raised both interest and awareness about complex health conditions in the North and stimulated community dialogue and potential for increased collaborative action. Consistent with a communication for social change approach, the project created new networks, increased motivation to act

  17. Recent Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Melt Onset, Freeze-Up, and Melt Season Length (United States)

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


    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.

  18. 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.


    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

  19. 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.


    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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

  1. Integrating Access to Arctic Environmental Change and Human Health Research for the International Polar Year and Beyond (United States)

    Garrett, C. L.


    Each day, people in the communities of the Arctic face challenges to their health and well-being from changing climatic and environmental conditions and increasing levels of pollution to emerging infectious diseases. For this reason, it is critical that Arctic researchers and residents have access to timely, accurate, and relevant information addressing their unique concerns. To meet this need, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) have developed the Arctic Health website, The website provides an easy-to-use one-stop shop for information on the diverse health-related aspects of the Arctic region. It is organized around relevant topics, including climate change and environmental health, traditional healing and telehealth/telemedicine. The Arctic Health website provides links to the most reliable resources available from local, state, and international agencies, universities, and professional organizations. Two major goals of the site are to create a comprehensive, accessible repository for various media and a listing of research projects, past and present that relate to climate change and human health in the Arctic. To increase the site's relevance, the project has established and continues to create collaborations with researchers, communities, and other organizations to supply publications not available elsewhere, including gray literature, streaming video of traditional healers, and oral histories. These collaborations will also help ensure a database with a comprehensive list of research projects being done in the Arctic, from the international to the local level. Finding ways to negotiate the legal, cultural and national concerns of data sharing are a continuing job for the management team. All of this helps to create a system that will eventually track and ensure that data and reports from the research database translate to the publications database. As part of these efforts, the site is

  2. Towards a tipping point in responding to change: rising costs, fewer options for Arctic and global societies. (United States)

    Huntington, Henry P; Goodstein, Eban; Euskirchen, Eugénie


    Climate change incurs costs, but government adaptation budgets are limited. Beyond a certain point, individuals must bear the costs or adapt to new circumstances, creating political-economic tipping points that we explore in three examples. First, many Alaska Native villages are threatened by erosion, but relocation is expensive. To date, critically threatened villages have not yet been relocated, suggesting that we may already have reached a political-economic tipping point. Second, forest fires shape landscape and ecological characteristics in interior Alaska. Climate-driven changes in fire regime require increased fire-fighting resources to maintain current patterns of vegetation and land use, but these resources appear to be less and less available, indicating an approaching tipping point. Third, rapid sea level rise, for example from accelerated melting of the Greenland ice sheet, will create a choice between protection and abandonment for coastal regions throughout the world, a potential global tipping point comparable to those now faced by Arctic communities. The examples illustrate the basic idea that if costs of response increase more quickly than available resources, then society has fewer and fewer options as time passes.

  3. ARCTOX: a pan-Arctic sampling network to track mercury contamination across Arctic marine food webs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fort, Jerome; Helgason, Halfdan; Amelineau, Francoise

    and is still a source of major environmental concerns. In that context, providing a large-scale and comprehensive understanding of the Arctic marine food-web contamination is essential to better apprehend impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on the exposure of Arctic species and humans to Hg....... In 2015, an international sampling network (ARCTOX) has been established, allowing the collection seabird samples all around the Arctic. Seabirds are indeed good indicators of Hg contamination of marine food webs at large spatial scale. Gathering researchers from 10 countries, ARCTOX allowed......Arctic marine ecosystems are threatened by new risks of Hg contamination under the combined effects of climate change and human activities. Rapid change of the cryosphere might for instance release large amounts of Hg trapped in sea-ice, permafrost and terrestrial glaciers over the last decades...

  4. Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, Benjamin M; Stoker, Jason M; Gibbs, Ann E; Richmond, Bruce M; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E; Douglas, Thomas A; Kinsman, Nicole E M


    Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100 km 2 study area on the Beaufort Sea coastal plain of northern Alaska. We detected statistically significant change (99% confidence interval), defined as contiguous areas (>10 m 2 ) that had changed in height by at least 0.55 m, in 0.3% of the study region. Erosional features indicative of ice-rich permafrost degradation were associated with ice-bonded coastal, river, and lake bluffs, frost mounds, ice wedges, and thermo-erosional gullies. These features accounted for about half of the area where vertical change was detected. Inferred thermo-denudation and thermo-abrasion of coastal and river bluffs likely accounted for the dominant permafrost-related degradational processes with respect to area (42%) and volume (51%). More than 300 thermokarst pits significantly subsided during the study period, likely as a result of storm surge flooding of low-lying tundra (<1.4 m asl) as well as the lasting impact of warm summers in the late-1980s and mid-1990s. Our results indicate that repeat airborne LiDAR can be used to detect landscape change in arctic coastal lowland regions at large spatial scales over sub-decadal time periods. (letter)

  5. Rapid Communication: seniority changing transitions in yrast states ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bhoomika Maheshwari


    Oct 26, 2017 ... Rapid Communication: v = 2 seniority changing ... has been extensively used to understand various system- .... states. This understanding supports the previous inter- ..... Financial support from the Ministry of Human Resource.

  6. Paleolimnologic and modeling perspectives on the physical and ecological sensitivity of Arctic tundra lakes to temperature changes (United States)

    Daniels, W.; Russel, J.; Giblin, A. E.; Longo, W. M.; Morrill, C.; Holland-Stergar, P.; Rose, R.; Huang, Y.


    Temperatures are warming rapidly across the Arctic, with the potential to substantially alter freshwater ecosystem structure and functioning. Some important processes, such as allochthonous loading or carbon burial, may respond too slowly to observe in modern monitoring efforts, and therefore require alternative approaches to accurately assess. Here we analyze the physical and ecological sensitivity of Alaska tundra lakes to climate change through the lenses of paleolimnology and lake thermal modeling. We compare a 10,000 year long record of biomarker-inferred temperature change (leaf wax hydrogen isotopes) to independent indicators of lake primary production (chlorophyll a), algal community structure (diatom assemblages), and allochthonous inputs (XRF chemistry) from Lake E5 and Upper Capsule Lake near the Toolik Field Station in Alaska (69 °N, 150 °W). Temperatures varied on the order of 2-5 °C over the last 10,000 years, and warmed 1-2 °C during the post-industrial period. Shifts in diatom communities in both lakes reflect increased lake stratification and lake pH during warmer intervals of the Holocene. While lake stratification is a direct response to temperature, we propose that the pH response is due to a combination of two factors. First, an increase in the length of the ice-free season promotes ventilation of respired CO2 out of the lakes. Thermal modeling suggests that lake ice coverage changes by approximately 6-8 days/°C, and so we expect that ice-cover changed by as much as 3-4 weeks throughout the Holocene. Secondarily, sediment core calcium concentrations suggest increased base cation and alkalinity inputs during warmer periods, most likely due to the thermal-induced deepening of the soil active layer and enhanced carbonate rock weathering. Carbon and chlorophyll concentrations appear negatively correlated with temperature over most the Holocene, attributable to the temperature effect on organic matter respiration, although periods of enhanced

  7. 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


    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

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


    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.

  9. Methane turnover and environmental change from Holocene biomarker records in a thermokarst lake in Arctic Alaska (United States)

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


    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.

  10. Projected Impact of Climate Change on the Water and Salt Budgets of the Arctic Ocean by a Global Climate Model (United States)

    Miller, James R.; Russell, Gary L.


    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.

  11. Soil Carbon Residence Time in the Arctic - Potential Drivers of Past and Future Change (United States)

    Huntzinger, D. N.; Fisher, J.; Schwalm, C. R.; Hayes, D. J.; Stofferahn, E.; Hantson, W.; Schaefer, K. M.; Fang, Y.; Michalak, A. M.; Wei, Y.


    Carbon residence time is one of the most important factors controlling carbon cycling in ecosystems. Residence time depends on carbon allocation and conversion among various carbon pools and the rate of organic matter decomposition; all of which rely on environmental conditions, primarily temperature and soil moisture. As a result, residence time is an emergent property of models and a strong determinant of terrestrial carbon storage capacity. However, residence time is poorly constrained in process-based models due, in part, to the lack of data with which to benchmark global-scale models in order to guide model improvements and, ultimately, reduce uncertainty in model projections. Here we focus on improving the understanding of the drivers to observed and simulated carbon residence time in the Arctic-Boreal region (ABR). Carbon-cycling in the ABR represents one of the largest sources of uncertainty in historical and future projections of land-atmosphere carbon dynamics. This uncertainty is depicted in the large spread of terrestrial biospheric model (TBM) estimates of carbon flux and ecosystem carbon pool size in this region. Recent efforts, such as the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), have increased the availability of spatially explicit in-situ and remotely sensed carbon and ecosystem focused data products in the ABR. Together with simulations from Multi-scale Synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project (MsTMIP), we use these observations to evaluate the ability of models to capture soil carbon stocks and changes in the ABR. Specifically, we compare simulated versus observed soil carbon residence times in order to evaluate the functional response and sensitivity of modeled soil carbon stocks to changes in key environmental drivers. Understanding how simulated carbon residence time compares with observations and what drives these differences is critical for improving projections of changing carbon dynamics in the ABR and globally.

  12. Sub-arctic hydrology and climate change : a case study of the Tana River Basin in Northern Fennoscandia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dankers, Rutger


    The most significant changes in climate, due to the well-known enhanced greenhouse effect, are generally expected to occur at northern high latitudes. Sub-arctic environments, that are dominated by the presence of a seasonal snow cover, may therefore be particularly sensitive to global warming. The

  13. A study of Arctic sea ice freeboard heights, gravity anomalies and dynamic topography from ICESat measurementes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skourup, Henriette

    The Arctic sea ice cover has a great influence on the climate and is believed to respond rapidly to climate changes. Since 2003 the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry mission has provided satellite altimetry over the ice covered Arctic Ocean up to 86 N. In this thesis...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    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)

  15. Changes in the marine carbonate system of the western Arctic: patterns in a rescued data set

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A. Miller


    Full Text Available A recently recovered and compiled set of inorganic carbon data collected in the Canadian Arctic since the 1970s has revealed substantial change, as well as variability, in the carbonate system of the Beaufort Sea and Canada Basin. Whereas the role of this area as a net atmospheric carbon sink has been confirmed, high pCO2 values in the upper halocline underscore the potential for CO2 outgassing as sea ice retreats and upwelling increases. In addition, increasing total inorganic carbon and decreasing alkalinity are increasing pCO2 and decreasing CaCO3 saturation states, such that undersaturation with respect to aragonite now occurs regularly in both deep waters and the upper halocline.

  16. Arctic sea ice decline: Projected changes in timing and extent of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas (United States)

    Douglas, David C.


    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

  17. 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.


    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

  18. Ecosystem stewardship: sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet (United States)

    F. Stuart Chapin; Stephen R. Carpenter; Gary P. Kofinas; Carl Folke; Nick Abel; William C. Clark; Per Olsson; D. Mark Stafford Smith; Brian Walker; Oran R. Young; Fikret Berkes; Reinette Biggs; J. Morgan Grove; Rosamond L. Naylor; Evelyn Pinkerton; Will Steffen; Frederick J. Swanson


    Ecosystem stewardship is an action-oriented framework intended to foster the social-ecological sustainability of a rapidly changing planet. Recent developments identify three strategies that make optimal use of current understanding in an environment of inevitable uncertainty and abrupt change: reducing the magnitude of, and exposure and sensitivity to, known stresses...

  19. Arctic-COLORS (Coastal Land Ocean Interactions in the Arctic) - a NASA field campaign scoping study to examine land-ocean interactions in the Arctic (United States)

    Hernes, P.; Tzortziou, M.; Salisbury, J.; Mannino, A.; Matrai, P.; Friedrichs, M. A.; Del Castillo, C. E.


    The Arctic region is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet, triggering rapid social and economic changes and impacting both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Yet our understanding of critical processes and interactions along the Arctic land-ocean interface is limited. Arctic-COLORS is a Field Campaign Scoping Study funded by NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program that aims to improve understanding and prediction of land-ocean interactions in a rapidly changing Arctic coastal zone, and assess vulnerability, response, feedbacks and resilience of coastal ecosystems, communities and natural resources to current and future pressures. Specific science objectives include: - Quantify lateral fluxes to the arctic inner shelf from (i) rivers and (ii) the outer shelf/basin that affect biology, biodiversity, biogeochemistry (i.e. organic matter, nutrients, suspended sediment), and the processing rates of these constituents in coastal waters. - Evaluate the impact of the thawing of Arctic permafrost within the river basins on coastal biology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry, including various rates of community production and the role these may play in the health of regional economies. - Assess the impact of changing Arctic landfast ice and coastal sea ice dynamics. - Establish a baseline for comparison to future change, and use state-of-the-art models to assess impacts of environmental change on coastal biology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry. A key component of Arctic-COLORS will be the integration of satellite and field observations with coupled physical-biogeochemical models for predicting impacts of future pressures on Arctic, coastal ocean, biological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Through interagency and international collaborations, and through the organization of dedicated workshops, town hall meetings and presentations at international conferences, the scoping study engages the broader scientific community and invites participation of

  20. Potential changes in arctic seasonality and plant communities may impact tundra soil chemistry and carbon dynamics (United States)

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


    On the Svalbard archipelago, as in other high Arctic regions, tundra soil organic matter (SOM) is primarily plant detritus that is largely stabilized by cold, moist conditions and low nitrogen availability. However, the resistance of SOM to decomposition is also influenced by the quality of organic matter inputs to soil. Different plant communities are likely to give different qualities to SOM, especially where lignin-rich woody species encroach into otherwise graminoid and bryophyte-dominated regions. Arctic woody plant species are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature, snow cover, and growing season length. In a changing environment, litter chemistry may emerge as an important control on tundra SOM stabilization. In summer 2007, we collected plant material and soil from the highly-organic upper horizon (appx. 0-5 cm) and the mineral-dominated lower horizon (appx. 5-10cm) from four locations in the southwest facing valleys of Svalbard, Norway. The central goal of the ongoing experiment is to determine whether a greater abundance of woody plants could provide a negative feedback to warming impacts on the carbon (C) balance of Arctic soils. Towards this, we used a combination of plant biopolymer analyses (cupric oxide oxidation and quantification of lignin-derived phenols and cutin/suberin-derived aliphatics) and radiocarbon-based estimates of C longevity and mean residence time (MRT) to characterize potential links between plant type and soil C pools. We found that graminoid species regenerate above- and belowground tissue each year, whereas woody species (Cassiope tetragona and Dryas octopetala) regenerated only leaves yearly. In contrast, C within live branches and roots persisted for 15-18 yr on average. Leaves from woody species remained nearly intact in surface litter for up to 20 yr without being incorporated into the upper soil horizon. Leaves from both graminoid and woody species were concentrated in lignin-derived phenols relative to roots, but

  1. Rethinking species’ ability to cope with rapid climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Levinsky, Irina; Bastos Araujo, Miguel


    Ongoing climate change is assumed to be exceptional because of its unprecedented velocity. However, new geophysical research suggests that dramatic climatic changes during the Late Pleistocene occurred extremely rapid, over just a few years. These abrupt climatic changes may have been even faster...... than contemporary ones, but relatively few continent-wide extinctions of species have been documented for these periods. This raises questions about the ability of extant species to adapt to ongoing climate change. We propose that the advances in geophysical research challenge current views about...... species' ability to cope with climate change, and that lessons must be learned for modelling future impacts of climate change on species....

  2. Rapid meridional transport of tropical airmasses to the Arctic during the major stratospheric warming in January 2003

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Kleinböhl


    Full Text Available We present observations of unusually high values of ozone and N2O in the middle stratosphere that were observed by the airborne submillimeter radiometer ASUR in the Arctic. The observations took place in the meteorological situation of a major stratospheric warming that occurred in mid-January 2003 and was dominated by a wave 2 event. On 23 January 2003 the observed N2O and O3 mixing ratios around 69° N in the middle stratosphere reached maximum values of ~190 ppb and ~10 ppm, respectively. The similarities of these N2O profiles in a potential temperature range between 800 and 1200 K with N2O observations around 20° N on 1 March 2003 by the same instrument suggest that the observed Arctic airmasses were transported from the tropics quasi-isentropically. This is confirmed by 5-day back trajectory calculations which indicate that the airmasses between about 800 and 1000 K had been located around 20° N 3–5 days prior to the measurement in the Arctic. Calculations with a linearized ozone chemistry model along calculated as well as idealized trajectories, initialized with the low-latitude ASUR ozone measurements, give reasonable agreement with the Arctic ozone measurement by ASUR. PV distributions suggest that these airmasses did not stay confined in the Arctic region which makes it unlikely that this dynamical situation lead to the formation of dynamically caused pockets of low ozone.


    Surface air temperature in arctic regions has increased since pre-industrial times, raising concerns that warmer and possibly drier conditions have increased soil decomposition rates, thereby stimulating the release to the atmosphere of the large stores of carbon (C) in arctic so...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eCharvet


    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.

  5. A FIRE-ACE/SHEBA Case Study of Mixed-Phase Arctic Boundary Layer Clouds: Entrainment Rate Limitations on Rapid Primary Ice Nucleation Processes (United States)

    Fridlin, Ann; vanDiedenhoven, Bastiaan; Ackerman, Andrew S.; Avramov, Alexander; Mrowiec, Agnieszka; Morrison, Hugh; Zuidema, Paquita; Shupe, Matthew D.


    Observations of long-lived mixed-phase Arctic boundary layer clouds on 7 May 1998 during the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE)Arctic Cloud Experiment (ACE)Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) campaign provide a unique opportunity to test understanding of cloud ice formation. Under the microphysically simple conditions observed (apparently negligible ice aggregation, sublimation, and multiplication), the only expected source of new ice crystals is activation of heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN) and the only sink is sedimentation. Large-eddy simulations with size-resolved microphysics are initialized with IN number concentration N(sub IN) measured above cloud top, but details of IN activation behavior are unknown. If activated rapidly (in deposition, condensation, or immersion modes), as commonly assumed, IN are depleted from the well-mixed boundary layer within minutes. Quasi-equilibrium ice number concentration N(sub i) is then limited to a small fraction of overlying N(sub IN) that is determined by the cloud-top entrainment rate w(sub e) divided by the number-weighted ice fall speed at the surface v(sub f). Because w(sub c) 10 cm/s, N(sub i)/N(sub IN)<< 1. Such conditions may be common for this cloud type, which has implications for modeling IN diagnostically, interpreting measurements, and quantifying sensitivity to increasing N(sub IN) (when w(sub e)/v(sub f)< 1, entrainment rate limitations serve to buffer cloud system response). To reproduce observed ice crystal size distributions and cloud radar reflectivities with rapidly consumed IN in this case, the measured above-cloud N(sub IN) must be multiplied by approximately 30. However, results are sensitive to assumed ice crystal properties not constrained by measurements. In addition, simulations do not reproduce the pronounced mesoscale heterogeneity in radar reflectivity that is observed.

  6. Backyard of the Rich North: The Climate Change-related Vicious Circle of the Arctic Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varis, Olli


    The Arctic zone is full of controversies, unknowns, contrasts, and challenges. The following example is enlightening. Saudi Arabia is a country that has been considered to have almost unlimited possibilities because of its enormous oil earnings. The country has US$60 thousand million purchasing power parity oil income each year for its mere 22 million inhabitants. Astonishingly, the Arctic zone's income from oil, gas, and minerals is at least as large as that of Saudi Arabia, modestly estimated, but the Arctic has less than 4 million people. Most money, however, flows away from the tundra, yet social and environmental problems remain there. A part of the side effect of consuming these resources - largely fossil fuels - returns to the Arctic in the form of greenhouse warming and all its consequences. The Arctic zone now warms at approximately double the rate of the world average

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

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


    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

  8. Polar cloud observatory at Ny-Ålesund in GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project (United States)

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


    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

  9. Rapid Holocene glacier fluctuations in arctic Norway in concert with the strength and spatial pattern of the westerlies (United States)

    Bakke, J.; Dahl, S.


    Alpine glaciers are often located in remote regions of the world, areas that only rarely are covered by instrumental records or biological proxy data. Reconstructions of glaciers have therefore proven useful for understanding past climate dynamics on both shorter and longer time-scales. Because of selective preservation of moraine ridges, such records do not exclude the possibility of multiple Holocene glacier advances. This problem is true regardless whether cosmogenic isotopes or lichenometry have been used to date the moraines, or based on radiocarbon dating of mega-fossils buried in till or underneath the moraines themselves. To overcome this problem Karlén (1976) initially suggested that glacial erosion and the associated production of rock-flour deposited in downstream distal glacier-fed lakes could provide continuous records of glacial fluctuations, hence overcoming the problem of selective moraine preservation. In recent years, new collaborative research efforts have developed the methods used to reconstruct past glacier activity based on sediments deposited in distal glacier-fed lakes. Records of glacier fluctuations as preserved in lake sediments now includes the application of various methods such as measuring the amount of minerogenic versus biologic matter (typically inferred from Loss-on-ignition (LOI)), grain size analysis (GSA), magnetic properties (MP), geochemical elements (GE), Rare-Earth Elements (REE), Bulk Sediment Density (BSD), but also other techniques such as XRF analyses. Several glaciers along the coast of Arctic Norway have been reconstructed based on multi-proxy approaches. Here we present data on Holocene glacier fluctuations from three geographical areas; the ice cap Folgefonna, the Okstindan glacier massif and from a small alpine glacier in Lyngen. In Scandinavia, the overall pattern of glacier growth and the onset of the Neoglacial previously have been attributed to the gradual weakening of summer insolation at high northern

  10. Tracking Biological and Ecosystem Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions in the Pacific Arctic (United States)

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


    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

  11. Groundwater storage changes in arctic permafrost watersheds from GRACE and in situ measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muskett, Reginald R; Romanovsky, Vladimir E


    The Arctic permafrost regions make up the largest area component of the cryosphere. Observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission offer to provide a greater understanding of changes in water mass within permafrost regions. We investigate a GRACE monthly time series, snow water equivalent from the special scanning microwave imager (SSM/I), vegetation water content and soil moisture from the advanced microwave scanning radiometer for the Earth observation system (AMSR-E) and in situ discharge of the Lena, Yenisei, Ob', and Mackenzie watersheds. The GRACE water equivalent mass change responded to mass loading by snow accumulation in winter and mass unloading by runoff in spring-summer. Comparison of secular trends from GRACE to runoff suggests groundwater storage increased in the Lena and Yenisei watersheds, decreased in the Mackenzie watershed, and was unchanged in the Ob' watershed. We hypothesize that the groundwater storage changes are linked to the development of closed- and open-talik in the continuous permafrost zone and the decrease of permafrost lateral extent in the discontinuous permafrost zone of the watersheds.

  12. Varying boreal forest response to Arctic environmental change at the Firth River, Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreu-Hayles, Laia; D'Arrigo, Rosanne; Anchukaitis, Kevin J; Beck, Pieter S A; Goetz, Scott; Frank, David


    The response of boreal forests to anthropogenic climate change remains uncertain, with potentially significant impacts for the global carbon cycle, albedo, canopy evapotranspiration and feedbacks into further climate change. Here, we focus on tree-ring data from the Firth River site at treeline in northeastern Alaska, in a tundra–forest transition region where pronounced warming has already occurred. Both tree-ring width (TRW) and maximum latewood density (MXD) chronologies were developed to identify the nature of tree growth and density responses to climatic and environmental changes in white spruce (Picea glauca), a dominant Arctic treeline species. Good agreement was found between the interannual fluctuations in the TRW chronology and summer temperatures from 1901 to 1950, whereas no significant relationships were found from 1951 to 2001, supporting evidence of significant divergence between TRW and summer temperature in the second half of the 20th century. In contrast to this unstable climatic response in the TRW record, the high frequency July–August temperature signal in the MXD series seems reasonably stable through the 20th century. Wider and denser rings were more frequent during the 20th century, particularly after 1950, than in previous centuries. Finally, comparison between the tree-ring proxies and a satellite-derived vegetation index suggests that TRW and MXD correlate with vegetation productivity at the landscape level at different times of the growing season.

  13. Climate change and consequences in the Arctic: perception of climate change by the Nenets people of Vaigach Island. (United States)

    Davydov, Alexander N; Mikhailova, Galina V


    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.

  14. Cumulative effects of rapid climate and land-use changes on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia (United States)

    Walker, D. A.; Leibman, M. O.; Forbes, B. C.; Epstein, H. E.


    Our principal goal is to develop better, more far-looking tools to predict the cumulative effects of resource development, climate-change, and traditional land use. Here we use remote sensing, climate-change analyses, socio-economic analyses, and vegetation-change models to examine the cumulative effects of climate change, gas development, and reindeer herding on the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia as part of the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI). We find: 1. Direct (planned) impacts of industrial activities on the Yamal Peninsula are currently local and limited in extent, but this is changing rapidly as extensive gas fields are developed and land and sea transportation corridors are developed to get the gas to market. Indirect impacts of the development at Bovanenkovo, the largest gas field, exceed the direct impacts by a factor of three, and the total area of influence of the development on the reindeer pasturelands (e.g., area where migration routes and access to pasturelands is affected) exceeds the direct impacts by a factor of about 40. 2. The trend in land-surface temperatures has co-varied with the trend in sea-ice. Low sea ice in the preceding December-March period is correlated to warmer land temperature the following summer. The sea- ice trends in the Kara Sea-Yamal region are tied to variation in the North Atlantic Oscillation index. 4. Only a small greening response to warming has been detected on the Yamal in comparison with some other areas in the Arctic (e.g. Northern Alaska). The actual effects of climate-change on vegetation are currently hard to document at the ground level because of lack of baseline and long-term ground observations and difficulty of excluding reindeer in these studies. 5. There is high potential for extensive landscape effects due to unstable sandy soils, and extremely ice-rich permafrost near the surface on slopes. 6. Two different vegetation modeling approaches are being used to predict

  15. Method for producing rapid pH changes (United States)

    Clark, J.H.; Campillo, A.J.; Shapiro, S.L.; Winn, K.R.

    A method of initiating a rapid pH change in a solution comprises irradiating the solution with an intense flux of electromagnetic radiation of a frequency which produces a substantial pK change to a compound in solution. To optimize the resulting pH change, the compound being irradiated in solution should have an excited state lifetime substantially longer than the time required to establish an excited state acid-base equilibrium in the solution. Desired pH changes can be accomplished in nanoseconds or less by means of picosecond pulses of laser radiation.

  16. Rapid Communication: v= 2 seniority changing transitions in yrast 3 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Pramana – Journal of Physics; Volume 89; Issue 5. Rapid Communication: Δ υ = 2 seniority changing transitions in yrast 3 − states and B ( E 3 ) systematics of Sn isotopes. BHOOMIKA MAHESHWARI SWATI GARG ASHOK KUMAR JAIN. Research Article Volume 89 Issue 5 November 2017 Article ID 75 ...

  17. Offshore hydrocarbon resources in the Arctic: from cooperation to confrontation in an era of geopolitical and economic turbulence?


    Morgunova, Maria; Westphal, Kirsten


    The Arctic region has been an area of low tension since the end of the Cold War. This observation is important because the run on hydrocarbons in the Arctic has not resulted in increased rivalries as expected. The outcomes have been international joint ventures in oil and gas project on the economic side and a strengthening of Arctic governance in the political realm. Since 2014, the situation has changed rapidly. Economic interests in hydrocarbon development are increasingly diverging betwee...

  18. Changes in Arctic and Boreal ecosystems of North America: Integrating Recent Results from the Field, Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Models (United States)

    Goetz, S. J.; Rogers, B. M.; Mack, M. C.; Goulden, M.; Pastick, N. J.; Berner, L. T.; Fisher, J.


    The Arctic and boreal forest biomes have global significance in terms of climate feedbacks associated with land surface interactions with the atmosphere. Changes in Arctic tundra and boreal forest ecosystem productivity and fire disturbance feedbacks have been well documented in recent years, but findings are often only locally relevant and are sometimes inconsistent among research teams. Part of these inconsistencies lie in utilization of different data sets and time periods considered. Integrated approaches are thus needed to adequately address changes in these ecosystems in order to assess consistency and variability of change, as well as ecosystem vulnerability and resiliency across spatial and temporal scales. Ultimately this can best be accomplished via multiple lines of evidence including remote sensing, field measurements and various types of data-constrained models. We will discuss some recent results integrating multiple lines of evidence for directional ecosystem change in the Arctic and boreal forest biomes of North America. There is increasing evidence for widespread spatial and temporal variability in Arctic and boreal ecosystem productivity changes that are strongly influenced by cycles of changing fire disturbance severity and its longer-term implications (i.e legacy effects). Integrated, multi-approach research, like that currently underway as part of the NASA-led Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (, is an effective way to capture the complex mechanisms that drive patterns and directionality of ecosystem structure and function, and ultimately determine feedbacks to environmental change, particularly in the context of global climate change. Additional ongoing ABoVE research will improve our understanding of the consequences of environmental changes underway, as well as increase our confidence in making projections of the ecosystem responses, vulnerability and resilience to change. ABoVE will also build a lasting legacy of

  19. Major rapid weight loss induces changes in cardiac repolarization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vedel-Larsen, Esben; Iepsen, Eva Winning; Lundgren, Julie


    INTRODUCTION: Obesity is associated with increased all-cause mortality, but weight loss may not decrease cardiovascular events. In fact, very low calorie diets have been linked to arrhythmias and sudden death. The QT interval is the standard marker for cardiac repolarization, but T-wave morphology...... analysis has been suggested as a more sensitive method to identify changes in cardiac repolarization. We examined the effect of a major and rapid weight loss on T-wave morphology. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-six individuals had electrocardiograms (ECG) taken before and after eight weeks of weight loss......A1c (pweight loss induces changes in cardiac repolarization. Monitoring of MCS during calorie restriction makes it possible to detect repolarization changes with higher discriminative power than the QT-interval during major rapid weight...

  20. Warm Arctic—cold continents: climate impacts of the newly open Arctic Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James E. Overland


    Full Text Available Recent Arctic changes are likely due to coupled Arctic amplification mechanisms with increased linkage between Arctic climate and sub-Arctic weather. Historically, sea ice grew rapidly in autumn, a strong negative radiative feedback. But increased sea-ice mobility, loss of multi-year sea ice, enhanced heat storage in newly sea ice-free ocean areas, and modified wind fields form connected positive feedback processes. One-way shifts in the Arctic system are sensitive to the combination of episodic intrinsic atmospheric and ocean variability and persistent increasing greenhouse gases. Winter 2009/10 and December 2010 showed a unique connectivity between the Arctic and more southern weather patterns when the typical polar vortex was replaced by high geopotential heights over the central Arctic and low heights over mid-latitudes that resulted in record snow and low temperatures, a warm Arctic—cold continents pattern. The negative value of the winter (DJF 2009/10 North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO index associated with enhanced meridional winds was the lowest observed value since the beginning of the record in 1865. Wind patterns in December 2007 and 2008 also show an impact of warmer Arctic temperatures. A tendency for higher geopotential heights over the Arctic and enhanced meridional winds are physically consistent with continued loss of sea ice over the next 40 years. A major challenge is to understand the interaction of Arctic changes with climate patterns such as the NAO, Pacific North American and El Niño–Southern Oscillation.

  1. The Arctic Turn

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek-Clemmensen, Jon


    In October 2006, representatives of the Arctic governments met in Salekhard in northern Siberia for the biennial Arctic Council ministerial meeting to discuss how the council could combat regional climate change, among other issues. While most capitals were represented by their foreign minister......, a few states – Canada, Denmark, and the United States – sent other representatives. There was nothing unusual about the absence of Per Stig Møller, the Danish foreign minister – a Danish foreign minister had only once attended an Arctic Council ministerial meeting (Arctic Council 2016). Møller......’s nonappearance did, however, betray the low status that Arctic affairs had in the halls of government in Copenhagen. Since the end of the Cold War, where Greenland had helped tie Denmark and the US closer together due to its geostrategically important position between North America and the Soviet Union, Arctic...

  2. Arctic Sea Level Change over the altimetry era and reconstructed over the last 60 years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Ole Baltazar; Svendsen, Peter Limkilde; Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg

    The Arctic Ocean process severe limitations on the use of altimetry and tide gauge data for sea level studies and prediction due to the presence of seasonal or permanent sea ice. In order to overcome this issue we reprocessed all altimetry data with editing tailored to Arctic conditions, hereby m...... by Church and White (2004). We also find significant higher trend in the Beaufort Gyre region showing an increase in sea level over the last decade up to 2011....

  3. The Response of Tundra to Biophysical Changes Ten Years Following the Anaktuvuk River Fire, Arctic Foothills, Alaska. (United States)

    Jones, B. M.; Miller, E. A.; Jandt, R.; Baughman, C. A.


    Ten years following a large and severe wildfire in the arctic foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska, tundra is experiencing rapid biophysical changes. Plant communities are responding to primary disturbance by fire but also to ground-ice melt, terrain subsidence, and apparent increase in soil drainage or evapotranspiration.The Anaktuvuk River Fire burned about 104,000 ha in 2007, spreading over broad ranges in soils, topography, hydrography, and permafrost features. Fourteen marked transects were measured between 2008-2011 and again in 2017 for cover of ground-layer vegetation, tall shrub abundance, thaw depth, and soil properties. A complementary set of 11 reference transects surrounding the burn was also sampled.We observed much higher rates of thermokarst inside the burn than out. Even low severity burn areas experienced noticeable thaw subsidence. Mean annual ground temperature at 1 m depth has warmed 1.5°C relative to unburned tundra. In cases ice wedge troughs have deepened by more than 1 m in areas underlain by yedoma soils. Troughs were characterized by cracking soil and slumping tussocks, often into ponded water. Troughs and degraded ice features appear to be draining adjacent polygon centers leading to a general drying of the tundra. Tussockgrasses inside the burn continue to grow and flower vigorously, suggesting a continued flush of soil nutrients. Post-fire accumulation of organic material is generally fire greatly accelerates this succession. Records and observations suggest that lightning and ignitions are becoming more frequent north of the Brooks Range.Our monitoring of this burn over the last ten years reveals a story much more complicated than our team can tell, inviting involvement of other disciplines, particularly hydrology, soil and landform science, remote sensing, and wildlife and subsistence resource management.

  4. Integrating STEM Place-Based, Culturally Responsive and Citizen Science Learning in Exploring the Impacts and Feedbacks of a Changing Arctic (United States)

    Sparrow, E. B.; Spellman, K. V.; Fabbri, C.; Comiso, J. C.; Chase, M.; Fochesatto, G. J.; Butcher, C. E.; Jones, D.; Bacsujlaky, M.; Yoshikawa, K.; Gho, C. L.; Wegner, K.


    To build capacity in navigating challenges associated with a changing climate, learning in Arctic communities must not only increase STEM and climate change literacy, but also generate new knowledge as the rapid changes occur. Among the new NASA Science Mission Directorate Science Education projects, Arctic and Earth SIGNs (STEM Integrating GLOBE and NASA assets) is providing opportunities for K-12 pre-service and in-service teachers, their students, and lifelong learners to engage in citizen science using the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) methods and culturally responsive learning to help address climate change challenges within their unique community, and contribute to hypothesis driven research. This project will weave traditional knowledge and western science, and use ground observations and satellite data and best teaching practices in STEM learning, supported through a NASA cooperative agreement and collaborative partnerships. Implementation will begin in rural Alaska and grow within Alaska and throughout the United States to reach underserved and STEM underrepresented populations, through face-to-face and on-line teaching and learning as well as building partnerships among educators, scientists, local and indigenous experts, institutions, agencies, and learning communities. Partners include research and teaching institutions at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Association of Interior Native Educators, the North Slope Borough School District and other school districts, the Kenaitze Tribe Environmental Education program, NASA science education and research programs as well as those of NOAA and NSF, the GLOBE Implementation Office, the 4-H program and others. The program resources and model will be shared and disseminated within the United States and globally through partners for local, national and worldwide use in STEM climate change education and citizen empowerment.

  5. Identifying polar bear resource selection patterns to inform offshore development in a dynamic and changing Arctic (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R.; Horne, Jon S.; Rode, Karyn D.; Regehr, Eric V.; Durner, George M.


    Although sea ice loss is the primary threat to polar bears (Ursus maritimus), little can be done to mitigate its effects without global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other factors, however, could exacerbate the impacts of sea ice loss on polar bears, such as exposure to increased industrial activity. The Arctic Ocean has enormous oil and gas potential, and its development is expected to increase in the coming decades. Estimates of polar bear resource selection will inform managers how bears use areas slated for oil development and to help guide conservation planning. We estimated temporally-varying resource selection patterns for non-denning adult female polar bears in the Chukchi Sea population (2008–2012) at two scales (i.e., home range and weekly steps) to identify factors predictive of polar bear use throughout the year, before any offshore development. From the best models at each scale, we estimated scale-integrated resource selection functions to predict polar bear space use across the population's range and determined when bears were most likely to use the region where offshore oil and gas development in the United States is slated to occur. Polar bears exhibited significant intra-annual variation in selection patterns at both scales but the strength and annual patterns of selection differed between scales for most variables. Bears were most likely to use the offshore oil and gas planning area during ice retreat and growth with the highest predicted use occurring in the southern portion of the planning area. The average proportion of predicted high-value habitat in the planning area was >15% of the total high-value habitat for the population during sea ice retreat and growth and reached a high of 50% during November 2010. Our results provide a baseline on which to judge future changes to non-denning adult female polar bear resource selection in the Chukchi Sea and help guide offshore development in the region. Lastly, our study provides a

  6. Changing sources and environmental factors reduce the rates of decline of organochlorine pesticides in the Arctic atmosphere (United States)

    Becker, S.; Halsall, C. J.; Tych, W.; Kallenborn, R.; Schlabach, M.; Manø, S.


    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.

  7. 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


    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.

  8. Leptin and ghrelin in anadromous Arctic charr: cloning and change in expressions during a seasonal feeding cycle. (United States)

    Frøiland, Eirik; Murashita, Koji; Jørgensen, Even Hjalmar; Kurokawa, Tadahide


    Anadromous (sea-migrating) Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) display pronounced seasonal variations in food intake and growth and is an interesting model for studying mechanisms of appetite regulation. In this study cDNAs encoding for ghrelin (GHRL) and leptin (LEP) in Arctic charr were cloned, after which stomach GHRL and liver LEP mRNA expressions were examined by qPCR during a seasonal feeding cycle of semi-wild anadromous Arctic charr. The fish were captured as they returned from summer feeding in seawater and transferred to an indoor tank where they were fed in excess until October the year after. Growth rate was low in late winter, increased in late spring and reached a peak during summer, and then declined during autumn, when the fish became sexually mature. The changes in growth rate were associated with corresponding changes in the proportion of fish that had been eating at each sampling date, and whole body lipid status. Stomach GHRL mRNA expression was high in late winter, decreased to a nadir in mid-summer and increased again to a high level in early autumn. Liver LEP mRNA remained low during winter, spring and early summer, after which there was a gradual, 7-fold increase until October. The seasonal changes in ghrelin and leptin support a role of these hormones in the long-term regulation of energy homeostasis in the anadromous Arctic charr. It cannot be excluded, however, that the increase in liver leptin expression during autumn is related to sexual maturation.

  9. Research Experience for Undergraduates: Understanding the Arctic as a System (United States)

    Alexeev, V. A.; Walsh, J. E.; Arp, C. D.; Hock, R.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Kaden, U.; Polyakov, I.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Trainor, S.


    Today, more than ever, an integrated cross-disciplinary approach is necessary to understand and explain changes in the Arctic and the implications of those changes. Responding to needs in innovative research and education for understanding high-latitude rapid climate change, scientists at the International Arctic research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) established a new REU (=Research Experience for Undergraduates) NSF-funded site, aiming to attract more undergraduates to arctic sciences. The science focus of this program, building upon the research strengths of UAF, is on understanding the Arctic as a system with emphasis on its physical component. The goals, which were to disseminate new knowledge at the frontiers of polar science and to ignite the enthusiasm of the undergraduates about the Arctic, are pursued by involving undergraduate students in research and educational projects with their mentors using the available diverse on-campus capabilities. IARC hosted the first group of eight students this past summer, focusing on a variety of different disciplines of the Arctic System Science. Students visited research sites around Fairbanks and in remote parts of Alaska (Toolik Lake Field Station, Gulkana glacier, Bonanza Creek, Poker Flats, the CRREL Permafrost Tunnel and others) to see and experience first-hand how the arctic science is done. Each student worked on a research project guided by an experienced instructor. The summer program culminated with a workshop that consisted of reports from the students about their experiences and the results of their projects.

  10. Perceptual classification in a rapidly-changing environment


    Summerfield, Christopher; Behrens, Timothy E.; Koechlin, Etienne


    Humans and monkeys can learn to classify perceptual information in a statistically optimal fashion if the functional groupings remain stable over many hundreds of trials, but little is known about categorisation when the environment changes rapidly. Here, we used a combination of computational modelling and functional neuroimaging to understand how humans classify visual stimuli drawn from categories whose mean and variance jumped unpredictably. Models based on optimal learning (Bayesian mode...

  11. The Chinese experience of rapid modernization: sociocultural changes, psychological consequences?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiahong eSun


    Full Text Available Mainland China has undergone profound changes dating back to the nineteenth century, including a contemporary period of rapid modernization that began in the 1980s. The result has been dramatic social, cultural, and economic shifts impacting the daily lives of Chinese people. In this paper, we explore the psychological implications of sociocultural transformation in China, emphasizing two central themes. First, rising individualism: findings from social and developmental psychology suggest that China’s rapid development has been accompanied by ever-increasing adherence to individualistic values. Second, rising rates of depression: findings from psychiatric epidemiology point to increasing prevalence of depression over this same time period, particularly in rural settings. We argue that links between sociocultural and psychological shifts in China can be usefully studied through a cultural psychology lens, emphasizing the mutual constitution of culture, mind, and brain. In particular, we note that the link between social change, individualism, and rising mental illness deserves careful attention. Our review suggests that shifting values and socialization practices shape emotion norms of concealment and display, with implications for depressive symptom presentation. The challenge comes with interpretation. Increasing prevalence rates of depression may indeed be a general response to the rapidity of sociocultural change, or a specific consequence of rising individualism—but may also result from increasingly ‘Western’ patterns of symptom presentation, or improvements in diagnostic practice. We conclude by considering the challenges posed to standard universal models of psychological phenomena.

  12. The Chinese Experience of Rapid Modernization: Sociocultural Changes, Psychological Consequences? (United States)

    Sun, Jiahong; Ryder, Andrew G.


    Mainland China has undergone profound changes dating back to the nineteenth century, including a contemporary period of rapid modernization that began in the 1980s. The result has been dramatic social, cultural, and economic shifts impacting the daily lives of Chinese people. In this paper, we explore the psychological implications of sociocultural transformation in China, emphasizing two central themes. First, rising individualism: findings from social and developmental psychology suggest that China’s rapid development has been accompanied by ever-increasing adherence to individualistic values. Second, rising rates of depression: findings from psychiatric epidemiology point to increasing prevalence of depression over this same time period, particularly in rural settings. We argue that links between sociocultural and psychological shifts in China can be usefully studied through a cultural psychology lens, emphasizing the mutual constitution of culture, mind, and brain. In particular, we note that the link between social change, individualism, and rising mental illness deserves careful attention. Our review suggests that shifting values and socialization practices shape emotion norms of concealment and display, with implications for depressive symptom presentation. The challenge comes with interpretation. Increasing prevalence rates of depression may indeed be a general response to the rapidity of sociocultural change, or a specific consequence of rising individualism—but may also result from increasingly ‘Western’ patterns of symptom presentation, or improvements in diagnostic practice. We conclude by considering the challenges posed to standard universal models of psychological phenomena. PMID:27092093

  13. The Potential and Challenges of Using Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP Sea Surface Salinity to Monitor Arctic Ocean Freshwater Changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenqing Tang


    Full Text Available Sea surface salinity (SSS links various components of the Arctic freshwater system. SSS responds to freshwater inputs from river discharge, sea ice change, precipitation and evaporation, and oceanic transport through the open straits of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. However, in situ SSS data in the Arctic Ocean are very sparse and insufficient to depict the large-scale variability to address the critical question of how climate variability and change affect the Arctic Ocean freshwater. The L-band microwave radiometer on board the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP mission has been providing SSS measurements since April 2015, at approximately 60 km resolution with Arctic Ocean coverage in 1–2 days. With improved land/ice correction, the SMAP SSS algorithm that was developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL is able to retrieve SSS in ice-free regions 35 km of the coast. SMAP observes a large-scale contrast in salinity between the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Arctic Ocean, while retrievals within the Arctic Circle vary over time, depending on the sea ice coverage and river runoff. We assess the accuracy of SMAP SSS through comparative analysis with in situ salinity data collected by Argo floats, ships, gliders, and in field campaigns. Results derived from nearly 20,000 pairs of SMAP and in situ data North of 50°N collocated within a 12.5-km radius and daily time window indicate a Root Mean Square Difference (RMSD less than ~1 psu with a correlation coefficient of 0.82 and a near unity regression slope over the entire range of salinity. In contrast, the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM has a smaller RMSD with Argo. However, there are clear systematic biases in the HYCOM for salinity in the range of 25–30 psu, leading to a regression slope of about 0.5. In the region North of 65°N, the number of collocated samples drops more than 70%, resulting in an RMSD of about 1.2 psu. SMAP SSS in the Kara Sea shows a consistent

  14. Managing health care organizations in an age of rapid change. (United States)

    Benjamin, S; al-Alaiwat, S


    Health care managers find their work increasingly difficult, due in part to rapid environmental change that plagues organizational life. Management practices and attitudes that may have been appropriate in previous eras are ineffective today. A study was conducted among managers in the Ministry of Health, State of Bahrain, seeking information about current trends in the macro or external environment that affect the Ministry of Health, as well as internal environmental pressures that may be similar or different. This article provides a clear picture of the context in which managers perform their work and offers recommendations for coping with change in dynamic, complex organizations.

  15. Specificities of Spatial System Transformation and Strategies of the Russian Arctic Redevelopment under the Conditions of Climate Changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Nikolaevich Leksin


    Full Text Available A bunch of papers has been published by foreign and Russian researchers on climate change impact on the environment and regional socioeconomic development. The bulk of them is focused on analyzing drivers and impact assessments for the Arctic region characterized by the most intensive climate change worldwide. The paper puts to the fore a nontrivial issue of considering the climate change impact factor within the methodology and practice of the strategic process of the Russian Arctic redevelopment. The issue above is complicated by the imperative of ranking of the salience of the climate change socioeconomic implications as priorities of the governance and public administration of the comprehensive development of the macro-region under consideration. The lack of the effective tools for consolidation of the needed resources further exacerbates it. The summary of the findings of the national and international researchers in the area of climate change impact on environment, settlements and economic activity in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (AZRF is introduced to substantiate the policy decisions made. We have specified the methodological issues related to peculiarities and role of the climate change factor plays in policy decisions within the context of contemporary knowledge on patterns of spatial systems transformation, their capabilities of selforganization and adaptation to externalities. The authors have revealed the general regularities and specificity of the AZRF transformation as a spatial system and the impact of climate change produced on this process. We have particularly emphasized the issues of adaptation to climate change of the AZRF indigenous population whose health and economic activities experience increased risks associated with high intensiveness of the climatic fluctuations. Recommendations for using scenario (variation approach to redesigning strategies and programs of AZRF development are substantiated

  16. Sensitivity Analysis of Arctic Sea Ice Extent Trends and Statistical Projections Using Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ge Peng


    Full Text Available An ice-free Arctic summer would have pronounced impacts on global climate, coastal habitats, national security, and the shipping industry. Rapid and accelerated Arctic sea ice loss has placed the reality of an ice-free Arctic summer even closer to the present day. Accurate projection of the first Arctic ice-free summer year is extremely important for business planning and climate change mitigation, but the projection can be affected by many factors. Using an inter-calibrated satellite sea ice product, this article examines the sensitivity of decadal trends of Arctic sea ice extent and statistical projections of the first occurrence of an ice-free Arctic summer. The projection based on the linear trend of the last 20 years of data places the first Arctic ice-free summer year at 2036, 12 years earlier compared to that of the trend over the last 30 years. The results from a sensitivity analysis of six commonly used curve-fitting models show that the projected timings of the first Arctic ice-free summer year tend to be earlier for exponential, Gompertz, quadratic, and linear with lag fittings, and later for linear and log fittings. Projections of the first Arctic ice-free summer year by all six statistical models appear to converge to the 2037 ± 6 timeframe, with a spread of 17 years, and the earliest first ice-free Arctic summer year at 2031.

  17. Middle Holocene rapid environmental changes and human adaptation in Greece (United States)

    Lespez, Laurent; Glais, Arthur; Lopez-Saez, José-Antonio; Le Drezen, Yann; Tsirtsoni, Zoï; Davidson, Robert; Biree, Laetitia; Malamidou, Dimitra


    Numerous researchers discuss of the collapse of civilizations in response to abrupt climate change in the Mediterranean region. The period between 6500 and 5000 cal yr BP is one of the least studied episodes of rapid climate change at the end of the Late Neolithic. This period is characterized by a dramatic decline in settlement and a cultural break in the Balkans. High-resolution paleoenvironmental proxy data obtained in the Lower Angitis Valley enables an examination of the societal responses to rapid climatic change in Greece. Development of a lasting fluvio-lacustrine environment followed by enhanced fluvial activity is evident from 6000 cal yr BP. Paleoecological data show a succession of dry events at 5800-5700, 5450 and 5000-4900 cal yr BP. These events correspond to incursion of cold air masses to the eastern Mediterranean, confirming the climatic instability of the middle Holocene climate transition. Two periods with farming and pastural activities (6300-5600 and 5100-4700 cal BP) are evident. The intervening period is marked by environmental changes, but the continuous occurrence of anthropogenic taxa suggests the persistence of human activities despite the absence of archaeological evidence. The environmental factors alone were not sufficient to trigger the observed societal changes.

  18. The Svalbard REU Program: Undergraduates Pursuing Arctic Climate Change Research on Svalbard, Norway (United States)

    Roof, S.; Werner, A.


    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

  19. On being a scientist in a rapidly changing world. (United States)

    Mandel, I D


    The practice of biological science has changed dramatically since mid-century, reshaped not only by a rapid series of landmark discoveries, but also by governmental directives, institutional policies, and public attitudes. Until 1964, the major influences were the mentor, who provided direction and indoctrination into the culture of science, and in dentistry, the newly established NIDR, which fueled the research engine with an expanding research and training program. The 1965-74 period witnessed the advent of the Institutional Review Board, an increased social involvement of biological scientists, and a recognition of the need for biological and physical safeguards in the conduct of research. The most turbulent years were 1975-89, when there was a confluence of animal rights activism and regulation, growing concerns with scientific fraud and publication malpractice, and the stresses and strains (and opportunities) resulting from the rapid expansion of the academic-industrial complex. The current period is characterized by rapid pace, high volume, and an increased depth and breadth of knowledge-a major change in scale in the conduct of science. It is an exciting time but one in which ethical issues are multiplying. Attention must be paid.

  20. Rapid Structural Design Change Evaluation with AN Experiment Based FEM (United States)

    Chu, C.-H.; Trethewey, M. W.


    The work in this paper proposes a dynamic structural design model that can be developed in a rapid fashion. The approach endeavours to produce a simplified FEM developed in conjunction with an experimental modal database. The FEM is formulated directly from the geometry and connectivity used in an experimental modal test using beam/frame elements. The model sacrifices fine detail for a rapid development time. The FEM is updated at the element level so the dynamic response replicates the experimental results closely. The physical attributes of the model are retained, making it well suited to evaluate the effect of potential design changes. The capabilities are evaluated in a series of computational and laboratory tests. First, a study is performed with a simulated cantilever beam with a variable mass and stiffness distribution. The modal characteristics serve as the updating target with random noise added to simulate experimental uncertainty. A uniformly distributed FEM is developed and updated. The results show excellent results, all natural frequencies are within 0·001% with MAC values above 0·99. Next, the method is applied to predict the dynamic changes of a hardware portal frame structure for a radical design change. Natural frequency predictions from the original FEM differ by as much as almost 18% with reasonable MAC values. The results predicted from the updated model produce excellent results when compared to the actual hardware changes, the first five modal natural frequency difference is around 5% and the corresponding mode shapes producing MAC values above 0·98.

  1. Arctic Submarine Slope Stability (United States)

    Winkelmann, D.; Geissler, W.


    Submarine landsliding represents aside submarine earthquakes major natural hazard to coastal and sea-floor infrastructure as well as to coastal communities due to their ability to generate large-scale tsunamis with their socio-economic consequences. The investigation of submarine landslides, their conditions and trigger mechanisms, recurrence rates and potential impact remains an important task for the evaluation of risks in coastal management and offshore industrial activities. In the light of a changing globe with warming oceans and rising sea-level accompanied by increasing human population along coasts and enhanced near- and offshore activities, slope stability issues gain more importance than ever before. The Arctic exhibits the most rapid and drastic changes and is predicted to change even faster. Aside rising air temperatures, enhanced inflow of less cooled Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean reduces sea-ice cover and warms the surroundings. Slope stability is challenged considering large areas of permafrost and hydrates. The Hinlopen/Yermak Megaslide (HYM) north of Svalbard is the first and so far only reported large-scale submarine landslide in the Arctic Ocean. The HYM exhibits the highest headwalls that have been found on siliciclastic margins. With more than 10.000 square kilometer areal extent and app. 2.400 cubic kilometer of involved sedimentary material, it is one of the largest exposed submarine slides worldwide. Geometry and age put this slide in a special position in discussing submarine slope stability on glaciated continental margins. The HYM occurred 30 ka ago, when the global sea-level dropped by app. 50 m within less than one millennium due to rapid onset of global glaciation. It probably caused a tsunami with circum-Arctic impact and wave heights exceeding 130 meters. The HYM affected the slope stability field in its neighbourhood by removal of support. Post-megaslide slope instability as expressed in creeping and smaller-scaled slides are

  2. Amplified North Atlantic Warming in the Late Pliocene by Changes in Arctic Gateways (United States)

    Otto-Bliesner, B. L.; Jahn, A.; Feng, R.; Brady, E. C.; Hu, A.; Lofverstrom, M.


    Reconstructions of the late Pliocene (mid-Piacenzian, 3.3 - 3.0 million years ago) sea surface temperature (SST) find much warmer conditions in the North Atlantic than modern. The much warmer SSTs, up to 8.8°C from sites with good dating and replicates from several different types of proxies, have been difficult for climate models to reproduce. Even with the slow feedbacks of a reduced Greenland ice sheet and expansion of boreal forests to the Arctic Ocean over Canada and Eurasia, models cannot warm the North Atlantic sufficiently to match the reconstructed SSTs. An enhancement of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) during the late Pliocene, proposed as a possible mechanism based on ocean core records of δ13C, also is not present in the model simulations. Here, we present CESM simulations using a new reconstruction of late Pliocene paleogeography that has the Bering Strait (BS) and Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) Straits closed. We find that the closure of these small Arctic gateways strengthens the AMOC, by inhibiting freshwater (FW) 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. The cutoff of the short export route through the CAA results in a more saline Labrador and south Greenland Sea with increased deep convection. At the same time, as all FW now leaves the Arctic east of Greenland, there is a freshening of and decreased deepwater formation in the Norwegian Sea. Overall, the AMOC strengthens. This past time period has implications for a future Earth under more responsible scenarios of emissions. Late Pliocene atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are estimated to have ranged between 350 and 450 ppmv and the paleogeography is relatively similar to modern. Our study 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

  3. Human-induced Arctic moistening. (United States)

    Min, Seung-Ki; Zhang, Xuebin; Zwiers, Francis


    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.

  4. The ocean's role in polar climate change: asymmetric Arctic and Antarctic responses to greenhouse gas and ozone forcing. (United States)

    Marshall, John; Armour, Kyle C; Scott, Jeffery R; Kostov, Yavor; Hausmann, Ute; Ferreira, David; Shepherd, Theodore G; Bitz, Cecilia M


    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. The role of climate change in regulating Arctic permafrost peatland hydrological and vegetation change over the last millennium (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Piilo, Sanna R.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Charman, Dan J.; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.; Väliranta, Minna M.


    Climate warming has inevitable impacts on the vegetation and hydrological dynamics of high-latitude permafrost peatlands. These impacts in turn determine the role of these peatlands in the global biogeochemical cycle. Here, we used six active layer peat cores from four permafrost peatlands in Northeast European Russia and Finnish Lapland to investigate permafrost peatland dynamics over the last millennium. Testate amoeba and plant macrofossils were used as proxies for hydrological and vegetation changes. Our results show that during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), Russian sites experienced short-term permafrost thawing and this induced alternating dry-wet habitat changes eventually followed by desiccation. During the Little Ice Age (LIA) both sites generally supported dry-hummock habitats, at least partly driven by permafrost aggradation. However, proxy data suggest that occasionally, MCA habitat conditions were drier than during the LIA, implying that evapotranspiration may create important additional eco-hydrological feedback mechanisms under warm conditions. All sites showed a tendency towards dry conditions as inferred from both proxies starting either from ca. 100 years ago or in the past few decades after slight permafrost thawing, suggesting that recent warming has stimulated surface desiccation rather than deeper permafrost thawing. This study shows links between two important controls over hydrology and vegetation changes in high-latitude peatlands: direct temperature-induced surface layer response and deeper permafrost layer-related dynamics. These data provide important backgrounds for predictions of Arctic permafrost peatlands and related feedback mechanisms. Our results highlight the importance of increased evapotranspiration and thus provide an additional perspective to understanding of peatland-climate feedback mechanisms.

  6. Evolution of anomalies of salinity of surface waters of Arctic Ocean and their possible influence on climate changes (United States)

    Popov, A.; Rubchenia, A.


    Numerous of model simulations of ice extent in Arctic Ocean predict almost full disappearance of sea ice in Arctic regions by 2050. However, the nature, as against models, does not suffer the unidirectional processes. By means of various feedback responses system aspires to come in an equilibrium condition. In Arctic regions one of the most powerful generators of a negative feedback is the fresh-water stream to Greenland Sea and Northern Atlantic. Increasing or decreasing of a fresh-water volume from the Arctic basin to Greenland Sea and Northern Atlantic results in significant changes in climatic system. At the Oceanology department of Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) (St-Petersburg, Russia) in 2007, on the basis of the incorporated Russian-American database of the oceanographic data, reconstruction of long-term time series of average salinity of ocean surface was executed. The received time series describes the period from 1950 to 1993. For allocation of the processes determining formation of changes of average salinity of surface waters in Arctic basin the correlation analysis of interrelation of the received time series and several physical parameters which could affect formation of changes of salinity was executed. We found counter-intuitive result: formation of long-term changes of average salinity of surface waters of Arctic basin in the winter period does not depend on changes of a Siberian rivers runoff. Factors of correlation do not exceed -0,31. At the same time, clear inverse relationship of salinity of surface waters from volumes of the ice formed in flaw lead polynyas of the Siberian shelf seas is revealed. In this case factors of correlation change from -0,56 to -0,7. The maximum factor of correlation is -0,7. It characterizes interrelation of total volume of the ice formed in flaw lead polynyas of all seas of the Siberian shelf and average salinity of surface waters of Arctic basin. Thus, at increase of volumes of the ice formed in

  7. Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. A. Laken


    Full Text Available The effect of the Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR flux on Earth's climate is highly uncertain. Using a novel sampling approach based around observing periods of significant cloud changes, a statistically robust relationship is identified between short-term GCR flux changes and the most rapid mid-latitude (60°–30° N/S cloud decreases operating over daily timescales; this signal is verified in surface level air temperature (SLAT reanalysis data. A General Circulation Model (GCM experiment is used to test the causal relationship of the observed cloud changes to the detected SLAT anomalies. Results indicate that the anomalous cloud changes were responsible for producing the observed SLAT changes, implying that if there is a causal relationship between significant decreases in the rate of GCR flux (~0.79 GU, where GU denotes a change of 1% of the 11-year solar cycle amplitude in four days and decreases in cloud cover (~1.9 CU, where CU denotes a change of 1% cloud cover in four days, an increase in SLAT (~0.05 KU, where KU denotes a temperature change of 1 K in four days can be expected. The influence of GCRs is clearly distinguishable from changes in solar irradiance and the interplanetary magnetic field. However, the results of the GCM experiment are found to be somewhat limited by the ability of the model to successfully reproduce observed cloud cover. These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship. From this analysis we conclude that a GCR-climate relationship is governed by both short-term GCR changes and internal atmospheric precursor conditions.

  8. A lake-centric geospatial database to guide research and inform management decisions in an Arctic watershed in northern Alaska experiencing climate and land-use changes (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Arp, Christopher D.; Whitman, Matthew S.; Nigro, Debora A.; Nitze, Ingmar; Beaver, John; Gadeke, Anne; Zuck, Callie; Liljedahl, Anna K.; Daanen, Ronald; Torvinen, Eric; Fritz, Stacey; Grosse, Guido


    Lakes are dominant and diverse landscape features in the Arctic, but conventional land cover classification schemes typically map them as a single uniform class. Here, we present a detailed lake-centric geospatial database for an Arctic watershed in northern Alaska. We developed a GIS dataset consisting of 4362 lakes that provides information on lake morphometry, hydrologic connectivity, surface area dynamics, surrounding terrestrial ecotypes, and other important conditions describing Arctic lakes. Analyzing the geospatial database relative to fish and bird survey data shows relations to lake depth and hydrologic connectivity, which are being used to guide research and aid in the management of aquatic resources in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Further development of similar geospatial databases is needed to better understand and plan for the impacts of ongoing climate and land-use changes occurring across lake-rich landscapes in the Arctic.

  9. Changing Arctic: A Strategic Analysis of United States Arctic Policy and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (United States)


    is below the constellation Ursa Minor, or the Great Bear . Hence, the word Arctic comes from the Greek word arktos or “ bear .” 7 The generally...13 David Curtis Wright , Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute., and Canadian Electronic Library (Firm), "The Panda ... Bear Readies to Meet the Polar Bear China and Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty Challenge," Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, p. 4 67

  10. Climate engineering and the risk of rapid climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, Andrew; Damon Matthews, H


    Recent research has highlighted risks associated with the use of climate engineering as a method of stabilizing global temperatures, including the possibility of rapid climate warming in the case of abrupt removal of engineered radiative forcing. In this study, we have used a simple climate model to estimate the likely range of temperature changes associated with implementation and removal of climate engineering. In the absence of climate engineering, maximum annual rates of warming ranged from 0.015 to 0.07 deg. C/year, depending on the model's climate sensitivity. Climate engineering resulted in much higher rates of warming, with the temperature change in the year following the removal of climate engineering ranging from 0.13 to 0.76 deg. C. High rates of temperature change were sustained for two decades following the removal of climate engineering; rates of change of 0.5 (0.3,0.1) deg. C/decade were exceeded over a 20 year period with 15% (75%, 100%) likelihood. Many ecosystems could be negatively affected by these rates of temperature change; our results suggest that climate engineering in the absence of deep emissions cuts could arguably constitute increased risk of dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system under the criteria laid out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  11. Mathematical Modelling of Arctic Polygonal Tundra with Ecosys: 1. Microtopography Determines How Active Layer Depths Respond to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation (United States)

    Grant, R. F.; Mekonnen, Z. A.; Riley, W. J.; Wainwright, H. M.; Graham, D.; Torn, M. S.


    Microtopographic variation that develops among features (troughs, rims, and centers) within polygonal landforms of coastal arctic tundra strongly affects movement of surface water and snow and thereby affects soil water contents (θ) and active layer depth (ALD). Spatial variation in ALD among these features may exceed interannual variation in ALD caused by changes in climate and so needs to be represented in projections of changes in arctic ALD. In this study, increases in near-surface θ with decreasing surface elevation among polygon features at the Barrow Experimental Observatory (BEO) were modeled from topographic effects on redistribution of surface water and snow and from lateral water exchange with a subsurface water table during a model run from 1981 to 2015. These increases in θ caused increases in thermal conductivity that in turn caused increases in soil heat fluxes and hence in ALD of up to 15 cm with lower versus higher surface elevation which were consistent with increases measured at BEO. The modeled effects of θ caused interannual variation in maximum ALD that compared well with measurements from 1985 to 2015 at the Barrow Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) site (R2 = 0.61, RMSE = 0.03 m). For higher polygon features, interannual variation in ALD was more closely associated with annual precipitation than mean annual temperature, indicating that soil wetting from increases in precipitation may hasten permafrost degradation beyond that caused by soil warming from increases in air temperature. This degradation may be more rapid if increases in precipitation cause sustained wetting in higher features.

  12. Impacts of Arctic precipitation changes on the downwelling limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Katsman, C.A.; van der Sleen, N.; Bintanja, Richard; Selten, F.; Wijnberg, Kathelijne Mariken; Hulscher, Suzanne J.M.H.


    According to the latest IPCC report, under the RCP 8.5 scenario precipitation in the Arctic region may increase by as much as 50%. The projected 21stcentury decline of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is attributed in part to this increase in precipitation and the associated

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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...

  14. Engaging Students in Science Courses: Lessons of Change from the Arctic (United States)

    Duffy, Lawrence K.; Godduhn, Anna; Fabbri, Cindy E.; van Muelken, Mary; Nicholas-Figueroa, Linda; Middlecamp, Catherine Hurt


    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…

  15. Nitrogen fixation and diurnal changes of photosynthetic activity in Arctic soil crusts at different development stage

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pushkareva, E.; Kvíderová, Jana; Šimek, Miloslav; Elster, Josef


    Roč. 79, 1 March 2017 (2017), s. 21-30 ISSN 1164-5563 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : Soil crust * Arctic * Photosynthetic activity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (BC-A) OBOR OECD: Ecology; Ecology (BC-A) Impact factor: 2.445, year: 2016

  16. AMAP Assessment 2013: Arctic Ocean acidification (United States)


    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;

  17. Arctic circulation regimes. (United States)

    Proshutinsky, Andrey; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Krishfield, Richard; Bamber, Jonathan L


    Between 1948 and 1996, mean annual environmental parameters in the Arctic experienced a well-pronounced decadal variability with two basic circulation patterns: cyclonic and anticyclonic alternating at 5 to 7 year intervals. During cyclonic regimes, low sea-level atmospheric pressure (SLP) dominated over the Arctic Ocean driving sea ice and the upper ocean counterclockwise; the Arctic atmosphere was relatively warm and humid, and freshwater flux from the Arctic Ocean towards the subarctic seas was intensified. By contrast, during anticylonic circulation regimes, high SLP dominated driving sea ice and the upper ocean clockwise. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was cold and dry and the freshwater flux from the Arctic to the subarctic seas was reduced. Since 1997, however, the Arctic system has been under the influence of an anticyclonic circulation regime (17 years) with a set of environmental parameters that are atypical for this regime. We discuss a hypothesis explaining the causes and mechanisms regulating the intensity and duration of Arctic circulation regimes, and speculate how changes in freshwater fluxes from the Arctic Ocean and Greenland impact environmental conditions and interrupt their decadal variability. © 2015 The Authors.

  18. State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook (United States)

    Rachold, V.; Forbes, D. L.; Kremer, H.; Lantuit, H.


    The coast is a key interface in the Arctic environment. It is a locus of human activity, a rich band of biodiversity, critical habitat, and high productivity, and among the most dynamic components of the circumpolar landscape. The Arctic coastal interface is a sensitive and important zone of interaction between land and sea, a region that provides essential ecosystem services and supports indigenous human lifestyles; a zone of expanding infrastructure investment and growing security concerns; and an area in which climate warming is expected to trigger landscape instability, rapid responses to change, and increased hazard exposure. Starting with a collaborative workshop in October 2007, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) Project and the International Permafrost Association (IPA) decided to jointly initiate an assessment of the state of the Arctic coast. The goal of this report is to draw on initial findings regarding climate change and human dimensions for the Arctic as a whole provided by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR) to develop a comprehensive picture of status and current and anticipated change in the most sensitive Arctic coastal areas. Underlying is the concept of a social ecological system perspective that explores the implications of change for the interaction of humans with nature. The report is aimed to be a first step towards a continuously updated coastal assessment and to identify key issues seeking future scientific concern in an international Earth system research agenda. The report titled “State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook” is the outcome of this collaborative effort. It is organized in three parts: the first provides an assessment of the state of Arctic coastal systems under three broad disciplinary themes - physical systems, ecological systems, and human concerns in the coastal zone; the

  19. 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 (United States)

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


    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.

  20. Causes and impacts of changes in the Arctic freshwater budget during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in an AOGCM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arzel, Olivier [University of New South Wales, Climate and Environmental Dynamics Laboratory, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Sydney, NSW (Australia); Fichefet, Thierry; Goosse, Hugues [Universite Catholique de Louvain, Institut d' Astronomie et de Geophysique G. Lemaitre, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Dufresne, Jean-Louis [Institut Pierre Simon Laplace UPMC/CNRS, Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique, Paris (France)


    The fourth version of the atmosphere-ocean general circulation (AOGCM) model developed at the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL-CM4) is used to investigate the mechanisms influencing the Arctic freshwater balance in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing. The freshwater influence on the interannual variability of deep winter oceanic convection in the Nordic Seas is also studied on the basis of correlation and regression analyses of detrended variables. The model shows that the Fram Strait outflow, which is an important source of freshwater for the northern North Atlantic, experiences a rapid and strong transition from a weak state toward a relatively strong state during 1990-2010. The authors propose that this climate shift is triggered by the retreat of sea ice in the Barents Sea during the late twentieth century. This sea ice reduction initiates a positive feedback in the atmosphere-sea ice-ocean system that alters both the atmospheric and oceanic circulations in the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian (GIN)-Barents Seas sector. Around year 2080, the model predicts a second transition threshold beyond which the Fram Strait outflow is restored toward its original weak value. The long-term freshening of the GIN Seas is invoked to explain this rapid transition. It is further found that the mechanism of interannual changes in deep mixing differ fundamentally between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This difference is caused by the dominant influence of freshwater over the twenty-first century. In the GIN Seas, the interannual changes in the liquid freshwater export out of the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait combined with the interannual changes in the liquid freshwater import from the North Atlantic are shown to have a major influence in driving the interannual variability of the deep convection during the twenty-first century. South of Iceland, the other region of deep water renewal in the model, changes in freshwater import from the North Atlantic

  1. Implications of rapid environmental change for polar bear behavior and sociality (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.


    Historically, the Arctic sea ice has functioned as a structural barrier that has limited the nature and extent of interactions between humans and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). However, declining sea ice extent, brought about by global climate change, is increasing the potential for human-polar bear interactions. Loss of sea ice habitat is driving changes to both human and polar bear behavior—it is facilitating increases in human activities (e.g., offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction, trans-Arctic shipping, recreation), while also causing the displacement of bears from preferred foraging habitat (i.e., sea ice over biologically productive shallow) to land in some portions of their range. The end result of these changes is that polar bears are spending greater amounts of time in close proximity to people. Coexistence between humans and polar bears will require imposing mechanisms to manage further development, as well as mitigation strategies that reduce the burden to local communities.

  2. Wildfires in northern Eurasia affect the budget of black carbon in the Arctic - a 12-year retrospective synopsis (2002-2013) (United States)

    N. Evangeliou; Y. Balkanski; WeiMin Hao; A. Petkov; R. P. Silverstein; R. Corley; B. L. Nordgren; Shawn Urbanski; S. Eckhardt; A. Stohl; P. Tunved; S. Crepinsek; A. Jefferson; S. Sharma; J. K. Nojgaard; H. Skov


    In recent decades much attention has been given to the Arctic environment, where climate change is happening rapidly. Black carbon (BC) has been shown to be a major component of Arctic pollution that also affects the radiative balance. In the present study, we focused on how vegetation fires that occurred in northern Eurasia during the period of 2002–2013 influenced...

  3. Impact of North Atlantic Current changes on the Nordic Seas and the Arctic Ocean


    Kauker, Frank; Gerdes, Rüdiger; Karcher, Michael; Köberle, Cornelia


    The impact of North Atlantic Current (NAC) volume, heat, and salt transport variability onto the NordicSeas and the Arctic Ocean is investigated using numerical hindcast and sensitivity experiments. Theocean-sea ice model reproduces observed propagation pathways and speeds of SST anomalies.Part of the signal reaching the entrance to the Nordic Seas between Iceland and Scotland originatesin the lower latitude North Atlantic. Response experiments with different prescribed conditionsat 50N show ...

  4. Extreme nitrogen deposition can change methane oxidation rate in moist acidic tundra soil in Arctic regions (United States)

    Lee, J.; Kim, J.; Kang, H.


    Recently, extreme nitrogen(N) deposition events are observed in Arctic regions where over 90% of the annual N deposition occurred in just a few days. Since Arctic ecosystems are typically N-limited, input of extremely high amount of N could substantially affect ecosystem processes. CH4 is a potent greenhouse gas that has 25 times greater global warming potential than CO2 over a 100-year time frame. Ammonium is known as an inhibitor of methane oxidation and nitrate also shows inhibitory effect on it in temperate ecosystems. However, effects of N addition on Arctic ecosystems are still elusive. We conducted a lab-scale incubation experiment with moist acidic tundra (MAT) soil from Council, Alaska to investigate the effect of extreme N deposition events on methane oxidation. Zero point five % methane was added to the head space to determine the potential methane oxidation rate of MAT soil. Three treatments (NH4NO3-AN, (NH4)2SO4-AS, KNO3-PN) were used to compare effects of ammonium, nitrate and salts. All treatments were added in 3 levels: 10μg N gd.w-1(10), 50μg N gd.w-1(50) and 100μg N gd.w-1(100). AN10 and AN50 increased methane oxidation rate 1.7, 6% respectively. However, AN100 shows -8.5% of inhibitory effect. In AS added samples, all 3 concentrations (AN10, AN50, AN100) stimulated methane oxidation rate with 4.7, 8.9, 4%, respectively. On the contrary, PN50 (-9%) and PN100 (-59.5%) exhibited a significant inhibitory effect. We also analyzed the microbial gene abundance and community structures of methane oxidizing bacteria using a DNA-based fingerprinting method (T-RFLP) Our study results suggest that NH4+ can stimulate methane oxidation in Arctic MAT soil, while NO3- can inhibit methane oxidation significantly.

  5. High resolution modelling of the decreasing Arctic sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, K. S.; Rasmussen, T. A. S.; Blüthgen, Jonas


    The Arctic sea ice cover has been rapidly decreasing and thinning over the last decade, with minimum ice extent in 2007 and almost as low extent in 2011. This study investigates two aspects of the decreasing ice cover; first the large scale thinning and changing dynamics of the polar sea ice, and...

  6. Marine Invasive Species Management: Adapting in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaiser, Brooks


    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...

  7. Rapid treatment-induced brain changes in pediatric CRPS. (United States)

    Erpelding, Nathalie; Simons, Laura; Lebel, Alyssa; Serrano, Paul; Pielech, Melissa; Prabhu, Sanjay; Becerra, Lino; Borsook, David


    To date, brain structure and function changes in children with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) as a result of disease and treatment remain unknown. Here, we investigated (a) gray matter (GM) differences between patients with CRPS and healthy controls and (b) GM and functional connectivity (FC) changes in patients following intensive interdisciplinary psychophysical pain treatment. Twenty-three patients (13 females, 9 males; average age ± SD = 13.3 ± 2.5 years) and 21 healthy sex- and age-matched controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Compared to controls, patients had reduced GM in the primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, supplementary motor area, midcingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus, basal ganglia, thalamus, and hippocampus. Following treatment, patients had increased GM in the dlPFC, thalamus, basal ganglia, amygdala, and hippocampus, and enhanced FC between the dlPFC and the periaqueductal gray, two regions involved in descending pain modulation. Accordingly, our results provide novel evidence for GM abnormalities in sensory, motor, emotional, cognitive, and pain modulatory regions in children with CRPS. Furthermore, this is the first study to demonstrate rapid treatment-induced GM and FC changes in areas implicated in sensation, emotion, cognition, and pain modulation.

  8. Mobile work: Ergonomics in a rapidly changing work environment. (United States)

    Honan, Meg


    Places of work have been completely transformed by innovations in mobile work tools and ever-present access to internet data. This article characterizes use patterns and provides preliminary considerations for productive and comfortable use of common mobile devices. Two surveys described trends in mobile work. In the first, ergonomics professionals who oversee programs reported common mobile devices, their users and what data is accessed. The second, an end user survey, explored common activities performed on mobile devices, duration of use and locations where mobile work is common. The survey results provide a baseline data point for the status of mobile work in early 2014. Research indicates that additional risks have been introduced to the neck, thumbs and hands when using mobile devices. Possible trends regarding device use and work locations emerge. Intervention studies provide some direction for the practitioner. Practical strategies are outlined to reduce exposure intensity and duration. Contemporary mobile work presents tremendous change and opportunity for ergonomists and researchers to keep pace with fitting the changing models of work to the person. Continued research is needed on current mobile device use patterns to better understand ergonomic risk exposure in this rapidly changing realm.

  9. SEARCH: Study of Environmental Arctic Change—A System-scale, Cross-disciplinary Arctic Research Program (United States)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Eicken, H.; Fox, S. E.


    SEARCH is an interdisciplinary and interagency program that works with academic and government agency scientists to plan, conduct, and synthesize studies of arctic change. The vision of SEARCH is to provide scientific understanding of arctic environmental change to help society understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic. Towards this end, SEARCH: 1. Generates and synthesizes research findings and promotes arctic science and scientific discovery across disciplines and among agencies. 2. Identifies emerging issues in arctic environmental change. 3. Provides information resources to arctic stakeholders, policy-makers, and the public to help them respond to arctic environmental change. 4. Coordinates with national arctic science programs integral to SEARCH goals. 5. Facilitates research activities across local-to-global scales with stakeholder concerns incorporated from the start of the planning process. 6. Represents the U.S. arctic environmental change science community in international and global change research initiatives. Specific 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. Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook - a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others that provides weekly reports with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in Alaska waters. In April, the SEARCH Science Steering Committee (SSC) released a set of draft 5-year goals and objectives for review by the broader arctic science community. The goals and objectives will direct the SEARCH program in the next five years. The draft SEARCH goals focus on four areas: ice-diminished Arctic Ocean, warming

  10. Possible changes in the dose of biologically active ultraviolet radiation received by the biosphere in the summertime Arctic due to total ozone interannual variability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gruzdev, Aleksandr N. (Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation))


    Data for total ozone measurements since 1972 from the world ozone measuring network have been analyzed to study ozone interannual variability and estimate its possible effect on the UV-B dose received by the arctic biosphere. Possible interannual changes in the UV-B dose received by DNA associated with overall interannual ozone variability, as well as with the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in total ozone were computed for different summer months. In general, the largest interannual variations in UV-B dose may occur in the Russian Arctic, whereas the possible variations in the Canadian Arctic are the smallest. Overall variations in the UV-B dose received by DNA can exceed 25% (2[sigma] criterion) in the Taimyr and Severnaya Zemlya for June and July, and 30% in the Laptev Sea for August. In the European sector of the Arctic, the possible variations are greater than 10%, and can exceed 15% in the north Norwegian Sea for July and 20% in Spitsbergen for August. Possible overall variations in the Canadian Arctic and Alaska are [<=]10%, reaching 15% in Alaska for August, however. The total ozone QBO can also cause essential and (statistically) predicted changes in UV-B radiation. In general, the UV-B dose received by DNA is found to be greater in the Arctic during the westerly phase of the QBO of the equatorial stratospheric wind at 50 mb level than during the easterly phase. The difference can reach or exceed 15% (relative to the mean value) in Taimyr for June and in Severnaya Zemlya for July and August. In northern Europe and Iceland, the difference can reach 10% for August. In the Canadian Arctic, the QBO-related effect is small. In Alaska, the appropriate difference in UV-B dose has an opposite sign for August, exceeding 5% in magnitude

  11. Research for annual travel-route changes of reindeer living around the Arctic Circle using satellite remote sensing (United States)

    Suzuki, G.; Sakka, T.; Tashiro, T.; Kawamata, H.; Tatsuzawa, S.; Naruse, N.; Takahashi, Y.


    For a long time, nomads living in the Arctic Circle around Siberia have been making a living by hunting reindeer traditionally. Wild reindeer have a recurrent migration every year, however, the travel-route of reindeer has been changing recently, so the nomads cannot expect the route in their traditional experience. To support them, one of authors (Tatsuzawa) investigated the route by installing GPS transmitter to some reindeer. The reason of the changing route, however, remain unclear. Previous works indicated that the reason of changing the route must be a global warming, forest fires, thunders, and floods, but they only discuss only on the basis of measurements in specific area. The purpose of this study is to research why the arctic reindeer alter the travel route annually through 1) the annual change of vegetation (NDVI: normalized difference vegetation index) in reindeer ground, and through 2) the annual change of soil water content (mNDWI: modified normalized difference water index) which can be reflected precipitation near Lena river. First, we analyzed NDVI using MODIS images that can be observed over a wide area, filmed in July and August; the reindeer started to travel. We have compared the seasonal changes of the NDVI images with the trace obtained by GPS data from 2010 to 2012. Although NDVI images in July showed similar numerical values in every year, the satellite images taken at August 29 is annually different; NDVI values become lower (0.5 or less) when the reindeer travel to the north area in winter. This suggests that reindeer move to secure enough food in the end of summer. In contrast, mNDWI becomes high when the reindeer travel to the north area. The annual changes of the route may be related to the amount of rainfall.

  12. Climatic and biotic extreme events moderate long-term responses of above- and belowground sub-Arctic heathland communities to climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokhorst, S.F.; Phoenix, G.K.; Berg, M.P.; Callaghan, T.V.; Kirby-Lambert, C.; Bjerke, J.W.


    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

  13. Pävi Naskali, Marjaana Seppänen & Shahnaj Begum (eds., Ageing, Wellbeing and Climate Change in the Arctic. An interdisciplinary analysis (London: Routledge, 2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hermann Óskarsson


    Full Text Available Book review of: Pävi Naskali, Marjaana Seppänen and Shahnaj Begum (eds., Ageing, Wellbeing and Climate Change in the Arctic. An interdisciplinary analysis (London: Routledge’s series on advances in climate change research, 2015

  14. Numerical responses of saproxylic beetles to rapid increases in dead wood availability following geometrid moth outbreaks in sub-arctic mountain birch forest. (United States)

    Vindstad, Ole Petter Laksforsmo; Schultze, Sabrina; Jepsen, Jane Uhd; Biuw, Martin; Kapari, Lauri; Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne; Ims, Rolf Anker


    Saproxylic insects play an important part in decomposing dead wood in healthy forest ecosystems, but little is known about their role in the aftermath of large-scale forest mortality caused by pest insect outbreaks. We used window traps to study short-term changes in the abundance and community structure of saproxylic beetles following extensive mortality of mountain birch in sub-arctic northern Norway caused by an outbreak of geometrid moths. Three to five years after the outbreak, the proportion of obligate saproxylic individuals in the beetle community was roughly 10% higher in forest damaged by the outbreak than in undamaged forest. This was mainly due to two early-successional saproxylic beetle species. Facultative saproxylic beetles showed no consistent differences between damaged and undamaged forest. These findings would suggest a weak numerical response of the saproxylic beetle community to the dead wood left by the outbreak. We suggest that species-specific preferences for certain wood decay stages may limit the number of saproxylic species that respond numerically to an outbreak at a particular time, and that increases in responding species may be constrained by limitations to the amount of dead wood that can be exploited within a given timeframe (i.e. satiation effects). Low diversity of beetle species or slow development of larvae in our cold sub-arctic study region may also limit numerical responses. Our study suggests that saproxylic beetles, owing to weak numerical responses, may so far have played a minor role in decomposing the vast quantities of dead wood left by the moth outbreak.

  15. Numerical responses of saproxylic beetles to rapid increases in dead wood availability following geometrid moth outbreaks in sub-arctic mountain birch forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ole Petter Laksforsmo Vindstad

    Full Text Available Saproxylic insects play an important part in decomposing dead wood in healthy forest ecosystems, but little is known about their role in the aftermath of large-scale forest mortality caused by pest insect outbreaks. We used window traps to study short-term changes in the abundance and community structure of saproxylic beetles following extensive mortality of mountain birch in sub-arctic northern Norway caused by an outbreak of geometrid moths. Three to five years after the outbreak, the proportion of obligate saproxylic individuals in the beetle community was roughly 10% higher in forest damaged by the outbreak than in undamaged forest. This was mainly due to two early-successional saproxylic beetle species. Facultative saproxylic beetles showed no consistent differences between damaged and undamaged forest. These findings would suggest a weak numerical response of the saproxylic beetle community to the dead wood left by the outbreak. We suggest that species-specific preferences for certain wood decay stages may limit the number of saproxylic species that respond numerically to an outbreak at a particular time, and that increases in responding species may be constrained by limitations to the amount of dead wood that can be exploited within a given timeframe (i.e. satiation effects. Low diversity of beetle species or slow development of larvae in our cold sub-arctic study region may also limit numerical responses. Our study suggests that saproxylic beetles, owing to weak numerical responses, may so far have played a minor role in decomposing the vast quantities of dead wood left by the moth outbreak.

  16. Arctic air pollution: New insights from POLARCAT-IPY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Law, Katharine S.; Ancellet, Gerard; Pelon, Jacques; Thomas, Jennie L.; Stohl, Andreas; Quinn, Patricia K.; Brock, Charles A.; Burkhart, John F.


    Given the rapid nature of climate change occurring in the Arctic and the difficulty climate models have in quantitatively reproducing observed changes such as sea ice loss, it is important to improve understanding of the processes leading to climate change in this region, including the role of short-lived climate pollutants such as aerosols and ozone. It has long been known that pollution produced from emissions at mid latitudes can be transported to the Arctic, resulting in a winter/spring aerosol maximum known as Arctic haze. However, many uncertainties remain about the composition and origin of Arctic pollution throughout the troposphere; for example, many climate-chemistry models fail to reproduce the strong seasonality of aerosol abundance observed at Arctic surface sites, the origin and deposition mechanisms of black carbon (soot) particles that darken the snow and ice surface in the Arctic is poorly understood, and chemical processes controlling the abundance of tropospheric ozone are not well quantified. The International Polar Year (IPY) Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and Models, Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols and Transport (POLARCAT) core project had the goal to improve understanding about the origins of pollutants transported to the Arctic; to detail the chemical composition, optical properties, and climate forcing potential of Arctic aerosols; to evaluate the processes governing tropospheric ozone; and to quantify the role of boreal forest fires. This article provides a review of the many results now available based on analysis of data collected during the POLARCAT aircraft-, ship-, and ground-based field campaigns in spring and summer 2008. Major findings are highlighted and areas requiring further investigation are discussed. (authors)

  17. Advancing High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Remote Sensing for Observing Plant Community Response to Environmental Variability and Change in the Alaskan Arctic (United States)

    Vargas Zesati, Sergio A.

    The Arctic is being impacted by climate change more than any other region on Earth. Impacts to terrestrial ecosystems have the potential to manifest through feedbacks with other components of the Earth System. Of particular concern is the potential for the massive store of soil organic carbon to be released from arctic permafrost to the atmosphere where it could exacerbate greenhouse warming and impact global climate and biogeochemical cycles. Even though substantial gains to our understanding of the changing Arctic have been made, especially over the past decade, linking research results from plot to regional scales remains a challenge due to the lack of adequate low/mid-altitude sampling platforms, logistic constraints, and the lack of cross-scale validation of research methodologies. The prime motivation of this study is to advance observational capacities suitable for documenting multi-scale environmental change in arctic terrestrial landscapes through the development and testing of novel ground-based and low altitude remote sensing methods. Specifically this study addressed the following questions: • How well can low-cost kite aerial photography and advanced computer vision techniques model the microtopographic heterogeneity of changing tundra surfaces? • How does imagery from kite aerial photography and fixed time-lapse digital cameras (pheno-cams) compare in their capacity to monitor plot-level phenological dynamics of arctic vegetation communities? • Can the use of multi-scale digital imaging systems be scaled to improve measurements of ecosystem properties and processes at the landscape level? • How do results from ground-based and low altitude digital remote sensing of the spatiotemporal variability in ecosystem processes compare with those from satellite remote sensing platforms? Key findings from this study suggest that cost-effective alternative digital imaging and remote sensing methods are suitable for monitoring and quantifying plot to

  18. Altering plasma sodium concentration rapidly changes blood pressure during haemodialysis. (United States)

    Suckling, Rebecca J; Swift, Pauline A; He, Feng J; Markandu, Nirmala D; MacGregor, Graham A


    Plasma sodium is increased following each meal containing salt. There is an increasing interest in the effects of plasma sodium concentration, and it has been suggested that it may have direct effects on blood pressure (BP) and possibly influences endothelial function. Experimental increases of plasma sodium concentration rapidly raise BP even when extracellular volume falls. Ten patients with end-stage renal failure established on haemodialysis were studied during the first 2 h of dialysis without fluid removal during this period. They were randomized to receive haemodialysis with (i) dialysate sodium concentration prescribed to 135 mmol/L and (ii) 145 mmol/L in random order in a prospective, single-blinded crossover study. BP measurements and blood samples were taken every 30 min. Pre-dialysis sitting BP was 137/76 ± 7/3 mmHg. Lower dialysate sodium concentration (135 mmol/L) reduced plasma sodium concentration [139.49 ± 0.67 to 135.94 ± 0.52 mmol/L (P area under the curve (AUC) 15823.50 ± 777.15 (mmHg)min] compared with 145 mmol/L [AUC 17018.20 ± 1102.17 (mmHg)min], mean difference 1194.70 ± 488.41 (mmHg)min, P < 0.05. There was a significant positive relationship between change in plasma sodium concentration and change in systolic BP. This direct relationship suggests that a fall of 1 mmol/L in plasma sodium concentration would be associated with a 1.7 mmHg reduction in systolic BP (P < 0.05). The potential mechanism for the increase in BP seen with salt intake may be through small but significant changes in plasma sodium concentration.

  19. Potential for an Arctic-breeding migratory bird to adjust spring migration phenology to Arctic amplification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lameris, T.K.; Scholten, Ilse; Bauer, S.; Cobben, M.M.P.; Ens, B.J.; Nolet, B.A.


    Arctic amplification, the accelerated climate warming in the polar regions, is causing a more rapid advancement of the onset of spring in the Arctic than in temperate regions. Consequently, the arrival of many migratory birds in the Arctic is thought to become increasingly mismatched with the onset

  20. Shifts in identity and activity of methanotrophs in arctic lake sediments in response to temperature changes (United States)

    He, Ruo; Wooller, Matthew J.; Pohlman, John W.; Quensen, John; Tiedje, James M.; Leigh, Mary Beth


    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.

  1. The Arctic Marine Pulses Model: Linking Contiguous Domains in the Pacific Arctic Region (United States)

    Moore, S. E.; Stabeno, P. J.


    The Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem extends from the northern Bering Sea, across the Chukchi and into the East Siberian and Beaufort seas. Food webs in this domain are short, a simplicity that belies the biophysical complexity underlying trophic linkages from primary production to humans. Existing biophysical models, such as pelagic-benthic coupling and advective processes, provide frameworks for connecting certain aspects of the marine food web, but do not offer a full accounting of events that occur seasonally across the Pacific Arctic. In the course of the Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) project, a holistic Arctic Marine Pulses (AMP) model was developed that depicts seasonal biophysical `pulses' across a latitudinal gradient, and linking four previously-described contiguous domains, including the: (i) Pacific-Arctic domain = the focal region; (ii) seasonal ice zone domain; (iii) Pacific marginal domain; and (iv) riverine coastal domain. The AMP model provides a spatial-temporal framework to guide research on dynamic ecosystem processes during this period of rapid biophysical changes in the Pacific Arctic. Some of the processes included in the model, such as pelagic-benthic coupling in the Northern Bering and Chukchi seas, and advection and upwelling along the Beaufort shelf, are already the focus of sampling via the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) and other research programs. Other aspects such as biological processes associated with the seasonal ice zone and trophic responses to riverine outflow have received less attention. The AMP model could be enhanced by the application of visualization tools to provide a means to watch a season unfold in space and time. The capability to track sea ice dynamics and water masses and to move nutrients, prey and upper-trophic predators in space and time would provide a strong foundation for the development of predictive human-inclusive ecosystem models for the Pacific Arctic.

  2. Arctic sea-ice syntheses: Charting across scope, scale, and knowledge systems (United States)

    Druckenmiller, M. L.; Perovich, D. K.; Francis, J. A.


    Arctic sea ice supports and intersects a multitude of societal benefit areas, including regulating regional and global climates, structuring marine food webs, providing for traditional food provisioning by indigenous peoples, and constraining marine shipping and access. At the same time, sea ice is one of the most rapidly changing elements of the Arctic environment and serves as a source of key physical indicators for monitoring Arctic change. Before the present scientific interest in Arctic sea ice for climate research, it has long been, and remains, a focus of applied research for industry and national security. For generations, the icy coastal seas of the North have also provided a basis for the sharing of local and indigenous knowledge between Arctic residents and researchers, including anthropologists, biologists, and geoscientists. This presentation will summarize an ongoing review of existing synthesis studies of Arctic sea ice. We will chart efforts to achieve system-level understanding across geography, temporal scales, and the ecosystem services that Arctic sea ice supports. In doing so, we aim to illuminate the role of interdisciplinary science, together with local and indigenous experts, in advancing knowledge of the roles of sea ice in the Arctic system and beyond, reveal the historical and scientific evolution of sea-ice research, and assess current gaps in system-scale understanding.

  3. Species interactions and response time to climate change: ice-cover and terrestrial run-off shaping Arctic char and brown trout competitive asymmetries (United States)

    Finstad, A. G.; Palm Helland, I.; Jonsson, B.; Forseth, T.; Foldvik, A.; Hessen, D. O.; Hendrichsen, D. K.; Berg, O. K.; Ulvan, E.; Ugedal, O.


    There has been a growing recognition that single species responses to climate change often mainly are driven by interaction with other organisms and single species studies therefore not are sufficient to recognize and project ecological climate change impacts. Here, we study how performance, relative abundance and the distribution of two common Arctic and sub-Arctic freshwater fishes (brown trout and Arctic char) are driven by competitive interactions. The interactions are modified both by direct climatic effects on temperature and ice-cover, and indirectly through climate forcing of terrestrial vegetation pattern and associated carbon and nutrient run-off. We first use laboratory studies to show that Arctic char, which is the world's most northernmost distributed freshwater fish, outperform trout under low light levels and also have comparable higher growth efficiency. Corresponding to this, a combination of time series and time-for-space analyses show that ice-cover duration and carbon and nutrient load mediated by catchment vegetation properties strongly affected the outcome of the competition and likely drive the species distribution pattern through competitive exclusion. In brief, while shorter ice-cover period and decreased carbon load favored brown trout, increased ice-cover period and increased carbon load favored Arctic char. Length of ice-covered period and export of allochthonous material from catchments are major, but contrasting, climatic drivers of competitive interaction between these two freshwater lake top-predators. While projected climate change lead to decreased ice-cover, corresponding increase in forest and shrub cover amplify carbon and nutrient run-off. Although a likely outcome of future Arctic and sub-arctic climate scenarios are retractions of the Arctic char distribution area caused by competitive exclusion, the main drivers will act on different time scales. While ice-cover will change instantaneously with increasing temperature

  4. 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 (United States)

    Vlasova, Tatiana


    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

  5. Planetary Habitability and Rapid Environmental Change: The Biological Perspective (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Fairen, A.; Irwin, L.


    Environmental conditions can change drastically and rapidly during the natural history of a planetary body. We have detailed evidence of these dramatic events from Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan. Most of these occurrences seem to be triggered by astronomical events such as asteroid impacts or supernova explosions; others are triggered by the planet or moon itself (e.g., supervolcano eruptions). The associated question is always how these events affect the habitability of a planet, particularly the origin and presence of life. Under what conditions would such a drastic event be so catastrophic that it would prohibit the origin of life or be so devastating to existing organisms, that life would not be able to recover and be all but extinguished from a planet? Under what conditions would such an event be positive for the evolution of life, for example spurring life via mass extinctions and associated vacant habitats to the invention of new body plans and higher complexity? Here, we provide insights of what we can learn from the natural history of our own planet, which experienced many environmental disasters and abrupt climate changes, from the impact event that created the Moon to the extinction of the dinosaurs. We apply these insights to other planetary bodies and the question about the presence of life. One example is Mars, which underwent drastic environmental changes at the end of the Noachian period. Assuming that microbial life became established on Mars, could it have survived, perhaps by retreating to environmental niches? Life just starting out would have certainly been more vulnerable to extinction. But how far would it have to have evolved to be more resistant to potential extinction events? Would it have to be global in distribution to survive? Another example is Venus. Should Venus be seen as an example where life, which possibly arose in the first few hundred million years when the planet was still in the habitable zone, would have had no chance to

  6. History of sea ice in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polyak, Leonid; Alley, Richard B.; Andrews, John T.


    Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past. This inf......Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past...... Optimum, and consistently covered at least part of the Arctic Ocean for no less than the last 13–14 million years. Ice was apparently most widespread during the last 2–3 million years, in accordance with Earth’s overall cooler climate. Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even...

  7. The Sinuosity of Atmospheric Circulation over North America and its Relationship to Arctic Climate Change and Extreme Events (United States)

    Vavrus, S. J.; Wang, F.; Martin, J. E.; Francis, J. A.


    Recent research has suggested a relationship between mid-latitude weather and Arctic amplification (AA) of global climate change via a slower and wavier extratropical circulation inducing more extreme events. To test this hypothesis and to quantify the waviness of the extratropical flow, we apply a novel application of the geomorphological concept of sinuosity (SIN) over greater North America. SIN is defined as the ratio of the curvilinear length of a geopotential height contour to the perimeter of its equivalent latitude, where the contour and the equivalent latitude enclose the same area. We use 500 hPa daily heights from reanalysis and model simulations to calculate past and future SIN. The circulation exhibits a distinct annual cycle of maximum SIN (waviness) in summer and a minimum in winter, inversely related to the annual cycle of zonal wind speed. Positive trends in SIN have emerged in recent decades during winter and summer at several latitude bands, generally collocated with negative trends in zonal wind speeds. High values of SIN coincide with many prominent extreme-weather events, including Superstorm Sandy. RCP8.5 simulations (2006-2100) project a dipole pattern of zonal wind changes that varies seasonally. In winter, AA causes inflated heights over the Arctic relative to mid-latitudes and an associated weakening (strengthening) of the westerlies north (south) of 40N. The AA signal in summer is strongest over upper-latitude land, promoting localized atmospheric ridging aloft with lighter westerlies to the south and stronger zonal winds to the north. The changes in wind speeds in both seasons are inversely correlated with SIN, indicating a wavier circulation where the flow weakens. In summer the lighter winds over much of the U. S. resemble circulation anomalies observed during extreme summer heat and drought. Such changes may be linked to enhanced heating of upper-latitude land surfaces caused by earlier snow melt during spring-summer.

  8. White Arctic vs. Blue Arctic: Making Choices (United States)

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


    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.

  9. Nitrate and Moisture Content of Broad Permafrost Landscape Features in the Barrow Peninsula: Predicting Evolving NO3 Concentrations in a Changing Arctic (United States)

    Arendt, C. A.; Heikoop, J. M.; Newman, B. D.; Wales, N. A.; McCaully, R. E.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S.


    The geochemical evolution of Arctic regions as permafrost degrades, significantly impacts nutrient availability. The release of nitrogen compounds from permafrost degradation fertilizes both microbial decomposition and plant productivity. Arctic warming promotes permafrost degradation, causing geomorphic and hydrologic transitions that have the potential to convert saturated zones to unsaturated zones and subsequently alter the nitrate production capacity of permafrost regions. Changes in Nitrate (NO3-) content associated with shifting moisture regimes are a primary factor determining Arctic fertilization and subsequent primary productivity, and have direct feedbacks to carbon cycling. We have documented a broad survey of co-located soil moisture and nitrate concentration measurements in shallow active layer regions across a variety of topographic features in the expansive continuous permafrost region encompassing the Barrow Peninsula of Alaska. Topographic features of interest are slightly higher relative to surrounding landscapes with drier soils and elevated nitrate, including the rims of low centered polygons, the centers of flat and high centered polygons, the rims of young, old and ancient drain thaw lake basins and drainage slopes that exist across the landscape. With this information, we model the nitrate inventory of the Barrow Peninsula using multiple geospatial approaches to estimate total area cover by unsaturated features of interest and further predict how various drying scenarios increase the magnitude of nitrate produced in degrading permafrost regions across the Arctic. This work is supported by the US Department of Energy Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, NGEE-Arctic.

  10. Adapting to the impacts of climate change on food security among Inuit in the Western Canadian Arctic. (United States)

    Wesche, Sonia D; Chan, Hing Man


    This study examined critical impacts of climate change on Inuit diet and nutritional health in four Inuit communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Western Arctic, Canada. The first objective was to combine data from community observation studies and dietary interview studies to determine potential climate change impacts on nutritional quality. The second objective was to address the scale of data collection and/or availability to compare local versus regional trends, and identify implications for adaptation planning. Information was compiled from 5 reports (4 community reports and 1 synthesis report) of climate change observations, impacts and adaptations in 12 Inuit communities (2005-2006), and from a dietary report of food use from 18 Inuit communities (1997-2000). Changing access to, availability of, quality of, and ability to use traditional food resources has implications for quality of diet. Nutritional implications of lower traditional food use include likely reductions in iron, zinc, protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, among others. The vulnerability of each community to changing food security is differentially influenced by a range of factors, including current harvesting trends, levels of reliance on individual species, opportunities for access to other traditional food species, and exposure to climate change hazards. Understanding linkages between climate change and traditional food security provides a basis for strengthening adaptive capacity and determining effective adaptation options to respond to future change.

  11. Arctic Aerosols and Sources

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Ingeborg Elbæk


    Since the Industrial Revolution, the anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases has been increasing, leading to a rise in the global temperature. Particularly in the Arctic, climate change is having serious impact where the average temperature has increased almost twice as much as the global during......, ammonium, black carbon, and trace metals. This PhD dissertation studies Arctic aerosols and their sources, with special focus on black carbon, attempting to increase the knowledge about aerosols’ effect on the climate in an Arctic content. The first part of the dissertation examines the diversity...... of aerosol emissions from an important anthropogenic aerosol source: residential wood combustion. The second part, characterizes the chemical and physical composition of aerosols while investigating sources of aerosols in the Arctic. The main instrument used in this research has been the state...

  12. Arctic warming, moisture increase and circulation changes observed in the Ny-Ålesund homogenized radiosonde record (United States)

    Maturilli, Marion; Kayser, Markus


    Radiosonde measurements obtained at the Arctic site Ny-Ålesund (78.9°N, 11.9°E), Svalbard, from 1993 to 2014 have been homogenized accounting for instrumentation discontinuities by correcting known errors in the manufacturer provided profiles. The resulting homogenized radiosonde record is provided as supplementary material at From the homogenized data record, the first Ny-Ålesund upper-air climatology of wind, temperature and humidity is presented, forming the background for the analysis of changes during the 22-year period. Particularly during the winter season, a strong increase in atmospheric temperature and humidity is observed, with a significant warming of the free troposphere in January and February up to 3 K per decade. This winter warming is even more pronounced in the boundary layer below 1 km, presumably amplified by mesoscale processes including e.g. orographic effects or the boundary layer capping inversion. Though the largest contribution to the increasing atmospheric water vapour column in winter originates from the lowermost 2 km, no increase in the contribution by specific humidity inversions is detected. Instead, we find an increase in the humidity content of the large-scale background humidity profiles. At the same time, the tropospheric flow in winter is found to occur less frequent from northerly directions and to the same amount more frequent from the South. We conclude that changes in the atmospheric circulation lead to an enhanced advection of warm and moist air from lower latitudes to the Svalbard region in the winter season, causing the warming and moistening of the atmospheric column above Ny-Ålesund, and link the observations to changes in the Arctic Oscillation.

  13. 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


    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.

  14. Characteristics of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in the Arctic outflow in Fram Strait: assessing the changes and fate of terrigenous CDOM in the Arctic Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Granskog, M.A.; Stedmon, Colin; Dodd, P.A.


    Absorption coefficients of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) were measured together with salinity, δ18O, and inorganic nutrients across the Fram Strait. A pronounced CDOM absorption maximum between 30 and 120 m depth was associated with river and sea ice brine enriched water, characteristic...... of the Arctic mixed layer and upper halocline waters in the East Greenland Current (EGC). The lowest CDOM concentrations were found in the Atlantic inflow. We show that the salinity-CDOM relationship is not suitable for evaluating conservative mixing of CDOM. The strong correlation between meteoric water...... and CDOM is indicative of the riverine/terrigenous origin of CDOM in the EGC. Based on CDOM absorption in Polar Water and comparison with an Arctic river discharge weighted mean, we estimate that a 49–59% integrated loss of CDOM absorption across 250–600 nm has occurred. A preferential removal...

  15. Innovation in regulation of rapidly changing health markets. (United States)

    Bloom, Gerald; Henson, Spencer; Peters, David H


    The rapid evolution and spread of health markets across low and middle-income countries (LMICs) has contributed to a significant increase in the availability of health-related goods and services around the world. The support institutions needed to regulate these markets have lagged behind, with regulatory systems that are weak and under-resourced. This paper explores the key issues associated with regulation of health markets in LMICs, and the different goals of regulation, namely quality and safety of care, value for money, social agreement over fair access and financing, and accountability. Licensing, price controls, and other traditional approaches to the regulation of markets for health products and services have played an important role, but they have been of questionable effectiveness in ensuring safety and efficacy at the point of the user in LMICs. The paper proposes a health market systems conceptual framework, using the value chain for the production, distribution and retail of health goods and services, to examine regulation of health markets in the LMIC context. We conclude by exploring the changing context going forwards, laying out implications for future heath market regulation. We argue that the case for new approaches to the regulation of markets for health products and services in LMICs is compelling. Although traditional "command and control" approaches will have a place in the toolkit of regulators, a broader bundle of approaches is needed that is adapted to the national and market-level context of particular LMICs. The implication is that it is not possible to apply standard or single interventions across countries, as approaches proven to work well in one context will not necessarily work well elsewhere.

  16. Characteristics of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in the Arctic outflow in the Fram Strait: Assessing the changes and fate of terrigenous CDOM in the Arctic Ocean


    Granskog, M.A.; Stedmon, C.A.; Dodd, P.A.; Amon, R.M.W.; Pavlov, A.K.; de Steur, L.; Hansen, E.


    Absorption coefficients of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) were measured together with salinity, delta O-18, and inorganic nutrients across the Fram Strait. A pronounced CDOM absorption maximum between 30 and 120 m depth was associated with river and sea ice brine enriched water, characteristic of the Arctic mixed layer and upper halocline waters in the East Greenland Current (EGC). The lowest CDOM concentrations were found in the Atlantic inflow. We show that the salinity-CDOM relati...

  17. Arctic Climate Variability and Trends from Satellite Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuanji Wang


    Full Text Available Arctic climate has been changing rapidly since the 1980s. This work shows distinctly different patterns of change in winter, spring, and summer for cloud fraction and surface temperature. Satellite observations over 1982–2004 have shown that the Arctic has warmed up and become cloudier in spring and summer, but cooled down and become less cloudy in winter. The annual mean surface temperature has increased at a rate of 0.34°C per decade. The decadal rates of cloud fraction trends are −3.4%, 2.3%, and 0.5% in winter, spring, and summer, respectively. Correspondingly, annually averaged surface albedo has decreased at a decadal rate of −3.2%. On the annual average, the trend of cloud forcing at the surface is −2.11 W/m2 per decade, indicating a damping effect on the surface warming by clouds. The decreasing sea ice albedo and surface warming tend to modulate cloud radiative cooling effect in spring and summer. Arctic sea ice has also declined substantially with decadal rates of −8%, −5%, and −15% in sea ice extent, thickness, and volume, respectively. Significant correlations between surface temperature anomalies and climate indices, especially the Arctic Oscillation (AO index, exist over some areas, implying linkages between global climate change and Arctic climate change.

  18. The changing Arctic and its effects on the development of Norway and Russia's offshore oil-spill prevention policies (United States)

    Bouffard, T. J.


    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.

  19. Projected Impact of Climate Change on the Energy Budget of the Arctic Ocean by a Global Climate Model (United States)

    Miller, James R.; Russell, Gary L.; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)


    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

  20. Geospatial Analysis of Climate-Related Changes in North American Arctic Ecosystems and Implications for Terrestrial Flora and Fauna (United States)

    Amirazodi, S.; Griffin, R.


    Climate change induces range shifts among many terrestrial species in Arctic regions. At best, warming often forces poleward migration if a stable environment is to be maintained. At worst, marginal ecosystems may disappear entirely without a contiguous shift allowing migratory escape to similar environs. These changing migration patterns and poleward range expansion push species into higher latitudes where ecosystems are less stable and more sensitive to change. This project focuses on ecosystem geography and interspecies relationships and interactions by analyzing seasonality and changes over time in variables including the following: temperature, precipitation, vegetation, physical boundaries, population demographics, permafrost, sea ice, and food and water availability. Publicly available data from remote sensing platforms are used throughout, and processed with both commercially available and open sourced GIS tools. This analysis describes observed range changes for selected North American species, and attempts to provide insight into the causes and effects of these phenomena. As the responses to climate change are complex and varied, the goal is to produce the aforementioned results in an easily understood set of geospatial representations to better support decision making regarding conservation prioritization and enable adaptive responses and mitigation strategies.

  1. Evidence of recent changes in the ice regime of lakes in the Canadian High Arctic from spaceborne satellite observations (United States)

    Surdu, Cristina M.; Duguay, Claude R.; Fernández Prieto, Diego


    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. Sex- and habitat-specific responses of a high arctic willow, Salix arctica, to experimental climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, M.H.; Macdonald, S.E. [Univ. of Alberta, Dept. of Renewable Resources, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Henry, G.H.R. [Univ. of British Columbia, Dept. of Geography, Vancouver, BC (Canada)


    Dioecious plant species and those occupying diverse habitats may present special analytical problems to researchers examining effects of climate change. Here we report the results from two complementary studies designed to determine the importance of sex and habitat on gas exchange and growth of male and female individuals of a dioecious, circumpolar willow, Salix arctica, in the Canadian High Arctic. In field studies, male and female willows from dry and wet habitats were subjected to passively enhanced summer temperature ({approx} to 1.3 deg C) using small open-top chambers over three years. Peak season gas exchange varied significantly by willow sex and habitat. Overall net assimilation was higher in the dry habitat than in the wet, and higher in females than in males. In the dry habitat, net assimilation of females was enhanced by experimental warming, but decreased in males. In the wet habitat, net assimilation of females was substantially depressed by experimental warming, while males showed an inconsistent response. Development and growth of male and female catkins were enhanced by elevated temperature more than leaf fascicles, but leaf fascicle development and growth varied more between the two habitats, particularly in males. In a controlled environment study, male and female willows from these same wet and dry habitats were grown in a 2x2 factorial experiment including 1 x or 2 x ambient [CO{sub 2}] and 5 or 12 deg. C. The sexes responded very differently to the experimental treatments, but we found no effect of original habitat. Net assimilation in males was affected by the interaction of temperature and CO{sub 2}, but in females by CO{sub 2} only. Our results demonstrate (a) significant intraspecific and intersexual differences in arctic willow physiology and growth, (b) that these differences are affected by environmental conditions expected to accompany global climate change, and (c) that sex- and habitat-specific responses should be explicitly

  3. Assessment of climate and land use change impacts on surface water runoff and connectivity in a continuous permafrost catchment on the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska (United States)

    Gaedeke, A.; Arp, C. D.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Daanen, R. P.; Whitman, M. S.


    A changing climate is leading to rapid transformations of hydrological processes in low-gradient Arctic terrestrial ecosystems which are dominated by lakes and ponds, wetlands, polygonised tundra, and connecting stream and river networks. The aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of climate and land use change on surface water availability and connectivity by utilizing the process-based, spatially distributed hydrological model WaSiM. Crea Creek Watershed (30 km2), which is located in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) was chosen as study area because of its permafrost landforms (bedfast and floating ice lakes, high and low centered polygons), existing observational data (discharge, snow depth, and meteorological variables since 2009), and resource management issues related to permafrost degradation and aquatic habitat dynamics. Foremost of concern is oil development scheduled to begin starting in 2017 with the construction of a permanent road and drilling pad directly within the Crea Watershed. An interdisciplinary team consisting of scientists and regional stakeholders defined the following scenarios to be simulated using WaSiM: (1) industrial development (impact of water removal from lakes (winter) for ice road construction on downstream (summer) runoff), (2) permanent road construction to allow oil companies access to develop and extract petroleum, and (3) potential modes of climate change including warmer, snowier winters and prolonged drought during summers. Downscaled meteorological output from the Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF) will be used as the forcing for analysis of climate scenarios alone and for assessment of land-use responses under varying climate scenarios. Our results will provide regional stakeholders with information on the impacts of climate and land use change on surface water connectivity that affects aquatic habitat, as well as lake hydrologic interactions with permafrost. These finding

  4. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Peacock

    Full Text Available We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1-3 generations directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation

  5. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic. (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonsthagen, Sarah A; Obbard, Martyn E; Boltunov, Andrei; Regehr, Eric V; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N; Sage, George K; Hope, Andrew G; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T; Amstrup, Steven C; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W; Derocher, Andrew E; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L


    We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1-3 generations) directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos) uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation connectivity will allow

  6. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Sage, George K.; Hope, Andrew G.; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L.


    We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1–3 generations) directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos) uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation connectivity will

  7. The role of the Asian winter monsoon in the rapid propagation of abrupt climate changes during the last deglaciation (United States)

    Chu, Guoqiang; Sun, Qing; Zhu, Qingzeng; Shan, Yabing; Shang, Wenyu; Ling, Yuan; Su, Youliang; Xie, Manman; Wang, Xishen; Liu, Jiaqi


    High-resolution temperature records spanning the last deglaciation from low latitudes are scarce; however, they are important for understanding the rapid propagation of abrupt climate events throughout the Northern Hemisphere and the tropics. Here, we present a branched GDGTs-based temperature reconstruction from the sediments of Maar Lake Huguangyan in tropical China. The record reveals that the mean temperature during the Oldest Dryas was 17.8 °C, which was followed by a two-step increase of 2-3 °C to the Bølling-Allerød, a decrease to 19.8 °C during the Younger Dryas, and a rapid warming at the onset of the Holocene. The Oldest Dryas was about 2 °C warmer than the Younger Dryas. The reconstructed temperature was weighted towards the wintertime since the lake is monomictic and the mixing process in winter supplies nutrients from the lake bottom to the entire water column, greatly promoting biological productivity. In addition, the winter-biased temperature changes observed in the study are more distinctive than the summer-biased temperature records from extra-tropical regions of East Asia. This implies that the temperature decreases during abrupt climatic events were mainly a winter phenomenon. Within the limits of the dating uncertainties, the broadly similar pattern of winter-weighted temperature change observed in both tropical Lake Huguangyan and in Greenland ice cores indicates the occurrence of tightly-coupled interactions between high latitude ice sheets and land areas in the tropics. We suggest that the winter monsoon (especially cold surges) could play an important role in the rapid transmission of the temperature signal from the Arctic to the tropics.

  8. Women in Physics in a Rapidly Changing China (United States)

    Wu, Ling-An


    Despite the upheavals of the 20th century, physics managed to survive quite well in China, where the first woman president of the American Physical Society was born and bred. During the 1950s as a result of policies that emphasized science and engineering, declared equal rights and equal pay for men and women, and assigned jobs to college graduates irrespective of sex, the number of women in physics increased rapidly, many of whom made notable achievements. Since China's opening up over the last thirty years tremendous changes have taken place, and women now face new opportunities as well as challenges in all aspects of society. Whereas physics used to be regarded as the most elite of the sciences, new fields such as computer science, biotechnology and business are now competing for the best students. Compared with other countries the statistics are not bad; in schools and many physics departments the ratio of women teachers may be 30% or higher, but the numbers drop drastically with rank. Moreover, in some research institutions the ratio of female physicists is actually declining, due to retirement of the older generation and fewer successors. Compulsory retirement for women at an earlier age than for men is also a new factor. Conversely, in recent years the ratio of female graduate students enrolling in physics has increased, even reaching 40% in some universities. However, the reasons for this do not bode well: men are not performing so well as women in entrance exams, while the latter are facing increasing discrimination in employment so they have to seek higher degree qualifications. With the further development of China's economy there will be abundant demand for qualified personnel including women with a physics background. It is imperative to actively support the upcoming generation of women physicists and not lose them in the leaky pipeline. The Chinese Physical Society has taken certain positive steps, such as the recent establishment of the Xie Xi

  9. The sea ice mass budget of the Arctic and its future change as simulated by coupled climate models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holland, Marika M. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Serreze, Mark C.; Stroeve, Julienne [University of Colorado, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO (United States)


    Arctic sea ice mass budgets for the twentieth century and projected changes through the twenty-first century are assessed from 14 coupled global climate models. Large inter-model scatter in contemporary mass budgets is strongly related to variations in absorbed solar radiation, due in large part to differences in the surface albedo simulation. Over the twenty-first century, all models simulate a decrease in ice volume resulting from increased annual net melt (melt minus growth), partially compensated by reduced transport to lower latitudes. Despite this general agreement, the models vary considerably regarding the magnitude of ice volume loss and the relative roles of changing melt and growth in driving it. Projected changes in sea ice mass budgets depend in part on the initial (mid twentieth century) ice conditions; models with thicker initial ice generally exhibit larger volume losses. Pointing to the importance of evolving surface albedo and cloud properties, inter-model scatter in changing net ice melt is significantly related to changes in downwelling longwave and absorbed shortwave radiation. These factors, along with the simulated mean and spatial distribution of ice thickness, contribute to a large inter-model scatter in the projected onset of seasonally ice-free conditions. (orig.)

  10. Arctic Security

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Nils


    The inclusion of China, India, Japan, Singapore and Italy as permanent observers in the Arctic Council has increased the international status of this forum significantly. This chapter aims to explain the background for the increased international interest in the Arctic region through an analysis...

  11. Atmospheric HCH concentrations over the Marine Boundary Layer from Shanghai, China to the Arctic Ocean: role of human activity and climate change. (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoguo; Lam, James C W; Xia, Chonghuan; Kang, Hui; Sun, Liguang; Xie, Zhouqing; Lam, Paul K S


    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.

  12. A big data management platform for rapidly changing environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zahedi, P.


    Big data is now a reality. Storing, managing, and analyzing very large amount of data is a common challenge in the world of technology where digital content is rapidly growing. In recent years, FEI advanced electron microscopes, with their unsurpassed magnification and resolving power brought an

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Young


    Full Text Available 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

  14. Abrupt Climate Change and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation: sensitivity and non-linear response to Arctic/sub-Arctic freshwater pulses. Collaborative research. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, Christopher [MIT (Massachusetts Inst. of Technology), Cambridge, MA (United States)


    This project investigated possible mechanisms by which melt-water pulses can induce abrupt change in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) magnitude. AMOC magnitude is an important ingredient in present day climate. Previous studies have hypothesized abrupt reduction in AMOC magnitude in response to influxes of glacial melt water into the North Atlantic. Notable fresh-water influxes are associated with the terminus of the last ice age. During this period large volumes of melt water accumulated behind retreating ice sheets and subsequently drained rapidly when the ice weakened sufficiently. Rapid draining of glacial lakes into the North Atlantic is a possible origin of a number of paleo-record abrupt climate shifts. These include the Younger-Dryas cooling event and the 8,200 year cooling event. The studies undertaken focused on whether the mechanistic sequence by which glacial melt-water impacts AMOC, which then impacts Northern Hemisphere global mean surface temperature, is dynamically plausible. The work has implications for better understanding past climate stability. The work also has relevance for today’s environment, in which high-latitude ice melting in Greenland appears to be driving fresh water outflows at an accelerating pace.

  15. Projected changes in atmospheric heating due to changes in fire disturbance and the snow season in the western Arctic, 2003–2100 (United States)

    Euskirchen, E.S.; McGuire, A. David; Rupp, T.S.; Chapin, F. S.; Walsh, J.E.


    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.

  16. Contemporary Arctic Sea Level (United States)

    Cazenave, A. A.


    During recent decades, the Arctic region has warmed at a rate about twice the rest of the globe. Sea ice melting is increasing and the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerated rate. Arctic warming, decrease in the sea ice cover and fresh water input to the Arctic ocean may eventually impact the Arctic sea level. In this presentation, we review our current knowledge of contemporary Arctic sea level changes. Until the beginning of the 1990s, Arctic sea level variations were essentially deduced from tide gauges located along the Russian and Norwegian coastlines. Since then, high inclination satellite altimetry missions have allowed measuring sea level over a large portion of the Arctic Ocean (up to 80 degree north). Measuring sea level in the Arctic by satellite altimetry is challenging because the presence of sea ice cover limits the full capacity of this technique. However adapted processing of raw altimetric measurements significantly increases the number of valid data, hence the data coverage, from which regional sea level variations can be extracted. Over the altimetry era, positive trend patterns are observed over the Beaufort Gyre and along the east coast of Greenland, while negative trends are reported along the Siberian shelf. On average over the Arctic region covered by satellite altimetry, the rate of sea level rise since 1992 is slightly less than the global mea sea level rate (of about 3 mm per year). On the other hand, the interannual variability is quite significant. Space gravimetry data from the GRACE mission and ocean reanalyses provide information on the mass and steric contributions to sea level, hence on the sea level budget. Budget studies show that regional sea level trends over the Beaufort Gyre and along the eastern coast of Greenland, are essentially due to salinity changes. However, in terms of regional average, the net steric component contributes little to the observed sea level trend. The sea level budget in the Arctic

  17. Threshold sensitivity of shallow Arctic lakes and sublake permafrost to changing winter climate (United States)

    Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, Guido; Bondurant, Allen C.; Romanovksy, Vladimir E.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Parsekian, Andrew D.


    Interactions and feedbacks between abundant surface waters and permafrost fundamentally shape lowland Arctic landscapes. Sublake permafrost is maintained when the maximum ice thickness (MIT) exceeds lake depth and mean annual bed temperatures (MABTs) remain below freezing. However, declining MIT since the 1970s is likely causing talik development below shallow lakes. Here we show high-temperature sensitivity to winter ice growth at the water-sediment interface of shallow lakes based on year-round lake sensor data. Empirical model experiments suggest that shallow (1 m depth) lakes have warmed substantially over the last 30 years (2.4°C), with MABT above freezing 5 of the last 7 years. This is in comparison to slower rates of warming in deeper (3 m) lakes (0.9°C), with already well-developed taliks. Our findings indicate that permafrost below shallow lakes has already begun crossing a critical thawing threshold approximately 70 years prior to predicted terrestrial permafrost thaw in northern Alaska.

  18. Arctic Ice Management: an integrated approach to climate engineering (United States)

    Desch, S. J.; Hartnett, H. E.; Groppi, C. E.; Romaniello, S. J.


    The warming climate is having the most rapid and pronounced effects in the high Arctic. The loss of Arctic sea ice is not only changing the physical oceanography of the Arctic Ocean and its coastlines; it is also promoting new conversations about the dangers and benefits for trade, transportation, and industry in the Arctic. The rate of decrease of summer sea ice in the Arctic is currently -300 km3 yr-1, a rate that will lead to complete loss of end-summer sea ice as soon as 2030. Preventing the strong positive feedbacks and increased warming due to sea ice albedo loss must be an important component of climate mitigation strategies. Here, we explore a direct engineering approach we call Arctic Ice Management (AIM) to reduce the loss of Arctic sea ice. We predict that pumping seawater onto the ice surface during the Arctic winter using wind-powered pumps can thicken sea ice by up to 1 m per year, reversing the current loss rates and prolonging the time until the Arctic Ocean is ice-free. Thickening sea ice would not change CO2 levels, which are the underlying cause of ice loss, but it would prevent some of the strongest feedbacks and would buy time to develop the tools and governance systems necessary to achieve carbon-neutrality. We advocate exploration of AIM as a mitigation strategy employed in parallel with CO2 reduction efforts. The opportunity and risk profiles of AIM differ from other geoengineering proposals. While similar in principle to solar radiation management, AIM may present fewer large-scale environmental risks. AIM is separate from greenhouse gas emission reduction or sequestration, but might help prevent accelerated release of methane from thawing permafrost. Further, AIM might be usefully employed at regional and local scales to preserve Arctic ecosystems and possibly reduce the effects of ice-loss induced coastal erosion. Through presentation of the AIM concept, we hope to spark new conversations between scientists, stakeholders, and decision

  19. Long-term structural canopy changes sustain net photosynthesis per ground area in high arctic Vaccinium uliginosum exposed to changes in near-ambient UV-B levels. (United States)

    Boesgaard, Kristine S; Albert, Kristian R; Ro-Poulsen, Helge; Michelsen, Anders; Mikkelsen, Teis N; Schmidt, Niels M


    Full recovery of the ozone layer is not expected for several decades and consequently, the incoming level of solar ultraviolet-B (UV-B) will only slowly be reduced. Therefore to investigate the structural and photosynthetic responses to changes in solar UV-B we conducted a 5-year UV-B exclusion study in high arctic Greenland. During the growing season, the gas exchange (H₂O and CO₂) and chlorophyll-a fluorescence were measured in Vaccinium uliginosum. The leaf dry weight, carbon, nitrogen, stable carbon isotope ratio, chlorophyll and carotenoid content were determined from a late season harvest. The net photosynthesis per leaf area was on average 22% higher in 61% reduced UV-B treatment across the season, but per ground area photosynthesis was unchanged. The leaf level increase in photosynthesis was accompanied by increased leaf nitrogen, higher stomatal conductance and F(v)/F(m). There was no change in total leaf biomass, but reduction in total leaf area caused a pronounced reduction of specific leaf area and leaf area index in reduced UV-B. This demonstrates the structural changes to counterbalance the reduced plant carbon uptake seen per leaf area in ambient UV-B as the resulting plant carbon uptake per ground area was not affected. Thus, our understanding of long-term responses to UV-B reduction must take into account both leaf level processes as well as structural changes to understand the apparent robustness of plant carbon uptake per ground area. In this perspective, V. uliginosum seems able to adjust plant carbon uptake to the present amount of solar UV-B radiation in the High Arctic. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2011.

  20. Arctic species resilience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Lars O.; Forchhammer, Mads C.; Jeppesen, Erik

    The peak of biological activities in Arctic ecosystems is characterized by a relative short and intense period between the start of snowmelt until the onset of frost. Recent climate changes have induced larger seasonal variation in both timing of snowmelt as well as changes mean temperatures......, an extensive monitoring program has been conducted in the North Eastern Greenland National Park, the Zackenberg Basic. The objective of the program is to provide long time series of data on the natural innate oscillations and plasticity of a High Arctic ecosystem. With offset in the data provided through...

  1. Increase in acidifying water in the western Arctic Ocean (United States)

    Qi, Di; Chen, Liqi; Chen, Baoshan; Gao, Zhongyong; Zhong, Wenli; Feely, Richard A.; Anderson, Leif G.; Sun, Heng; Chen, Jianfang; Chen, Min; Zhan, Liyang; Zhang, Yuanhui; Cai, Wei-Jun


    The uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the ocean decreases seawater pH and carbonate mineral aragonite saturation state (Ωarag), a process known as Ocean Acidification (OA). This can be detrimental to marine organisms and ecosystems. The Arctic Ocean is particularly sensitive to climate change and aragonite is expected to become undersaturated (Ωarag Pacific Winter Water transport, driven by an anomalous circulation pattern and sea-ice retreat, is primarily responsible for the expansion, although local carbon recycling and anthropogenic CO2 uptake have also contributed. These results indicate more rapid acidification is occurring in the Arctic Ocean than the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, with the western Arctic Ocean the first open-ocean region with large-scale expansion of `acidified’ water directly observed in the upper water column.

  2. The Bering Strait Region: A Window into Changing Benthic Populations in Response to Varying Subarctic-Arctic Connectivity and Ecosystem Dynamics (United States)

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


    A key ecological organizing principle for the northern Bering Sea and the adjoining southern Chukchi Sea just north of Bering Strait is that the shallow, seasonally productive waters lead to strong pelagic-benthic coupling to the sea floor, with deposition of fresh chlorophyll coinciding with the spring bloom as sea ice retreats. Both in situ production and advection of upstream phytodetritus to these regions support persistent biological hotspots that connect benthic prey to upper trophic benthivores. This northern marine ecosystem is dominated by marine macroinvertebrates (e.g. clams, polychaetes, sipunculids, and amphipods) that feed on the high production deposited rapidly to the seafloor, which in turn serve as food resources for diving mammals and seabirds, such as gray whales, bearded seals, eiders, and walruses. Between St. Lawrence Island and Bering Strait and northwards into the Chukchi Sea, the persistence of seasonal sea ice has significantly declined over the past two decades, and along with warming seawater temperatures, these changes have potential ramifications to ecosystem structure. Times-series data over the last 25 years indicate that these regions have experienced a northward shift in macrofaunal composition and a decline in core benthic biomass that matches patterns of reduced sea ice, warming seawater, and changing sediment grain size that relates to varying current patterns. This presentation will discuss these data in the context of both process studies from the region and results from the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO), an international network of time series transects that is providing a framework to evaluate status and trends on a latitudinal bases in the Pacific Arctic region.

  3. Relating Radiative Fluxes on Arctic Sea Ice Area Using Arctic Observation and Reanalysis Integrated System (ArORIS) (United States)

    Sledd, A.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.


    With Arctic sea ice declining rapidly and Arctic temperatures rising faster than the rest of the globe, a better understanding of the Arctic climate, and ice cover-radiation feedbacks in particular, is needed. Here we present the Arctic Observation and Reanalysis Integrated System (ArORIS), a dataset of integrated products to facilitate studying the Arctic using satellite, reanalysis, and in-situ datasets. The data include cloud properties, radiative fluxes, aerosols, meteorology, precipitation, and surface properties, to name just a few. Each dataset has uniform grid-spacing, time-averaging and naming conventions for ease of use between products. One intended use of ArORIS is to assess Arctic radiation and moisture budgets. Following that goal, we use observations from ArORIS - CERES-EBAF radiative fluxes and NSIDC sea ice fraction and area to quantify relationships between the Arctic energy balance and surface properties. We find a discernable difference between energy budgets for years with high and low September sea ice areas. Surface fluxes are especially responsive to the September sea ice minimum in months both leading up to September and the months following. In particular, longwave fluxes at the surface show increased sensitivity in the months preceding September. Using a single-layer model of solar radiation we also investigate the individual responses of surface and planetary albedos to changes in sea ice area. By partitioning the planetary albedo into surface and atmospheric contributions, we find that the atmospheric contribution to planetary albedo is less sensitive to changes in sea ice area than the surface contribution. Further comparisons between observations and reanalyses can be made using the available datasets in ArORIS.

  4. Rapid deuterium exchange-in time for probing conformational change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dharmasiri, K.; Smith, D.L.


    Isotopic exchange of protein backbone amide hydrogens has been used extensively as a sensitive probe of protein structure. One of the salient features of hydrogen exchange is the vast range of exchange rates in one protein. Isotopic exchange methods have been used to study the structural features including protein folding and unfolding (1), functionally different forms of proteins (2), protein-protein complexation (3), and protein stability parameter. Many backbone amide protons that are surface accessible and are not involved in hydrogen bonding undergo rapid deuterium exchange. In order to study, fast exchanging amide protons, fast exchange-in times are necessary

  5. Policy options to respond to rapid climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swart, R.J.; Marinova, N.A.; Bakker, S.; Tilburg, van X.


    Ongoing research on climate change indicates that we cannot rule out the possibility of extreme climatic changes, beyond current IPCC scenarios. The thinking about policy responses to address these risks is still in its infancy. This study explores the possibilities for responding to extreme

  6. Impact of Arctic sea-ice retreat on the recent change in cloud-base height during autumn (United States)

    Sato, K.; Inoue, J.; Kodama, Y.; Overland, J. E.


    Cloud-base observations over the ice-free Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in autumn were conducted using a shipboard ceilometer and radiosondes during the 1999-2010 cruises of the Japanese R/V Mirai. To understand the recent change in cloud base height over the Arctic Ocean, these cloud-base height data were compared with the observation data under ice-covered situation during SHEBA (the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean project in 1998). Our ice-free results showed a 30 % decrease (increase) in the frequency of low clouds with a ceiling below (above) 500 m. Temperature profiles revealed that the boundary layer was well developed over the ice-free ocean in the 2000s, whereas a stable layer dominated during the ice-covered period in 1998. The change in surface boundary conditions likely resulted in the difference in cloud-base height, although it had little impact on air temperatures in the mid- and upper troposphere. Data from the 2010 R/V Mirai cruise were investigated in detail in terms of air-sea temperature difference. This suggests that stratus cloud over the sea ice has been replaced as stratocumulus clouds with low cloud fraction due to the decrease in static stability induced by the sea-ice retreat. The relationship between cloud-base height and air-sea temperature difference (SST-Ts) was analyzed in detail using special section data during 2010 cruise data. Stratus clouds near the sea surface were predominant under a warm advection situation, whereas stratocumulus clouds with a cloud-free layer were significant under a cold advection situation. The threshold temperature difference between sea surface and air temperatures for distinguishing the dominant cloud types was 3 K. Anomalous upward turbulent heat fluxes associated with the sea-ice retreat have likely contributed to warming of the lower troposphere. Frequency distribution of the cloud-base height (km) detected by a ceilometer/lidar (black bars) and radiosondes (gray bars), and profiles of potential

  7. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) climate change adaptation assessment pilot. (United States)


    The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the impacts of climate change on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District : (BART) infrastructure and to develop and implement adaptation strategies against those impacts. Climate change haza...

  8. Arctic System Science: Meeting Earth System and Social Impact Challenges through Integrative Approaches and Synthesis (United States)

    Vorosmarty, C. J.; Hinzman, L. D.; Rawlins, M. A.; Serreze, M. C.; Francis, J. A.; Liljedahl, A. K.; McDonald, K. C.; Piasecki, M.; Rich, R. H.; Holland, M. M.


    The Arctic is an integral part of the Earth system where multiple interactions unite its natural and human elements. Recent observations show the Arctic to be experiencing rapid and amplified signatures of global climate change. At the same time, the Arctic system's response to this broader forcing has itself become a central research topic, given its potential role as a critical throttle on future planetary dynamics. Changes are already impacting life systems and economic prosperity and continued change is expected to bear major implications far outside the region. We also have entered an era when environmental management, traditionally local in scope, must confront regional, whole biome, and pan-Arctic biogeophysical challenges. While challenges may appear to operate in isolation, they emerge within the context of an evolving, integrated Arctic system defined by interactions among natural and social sub-systems. Clearly, new efforts aimed at community planning, industrial development, and infrastructure construction must consider this multiplicity of interacting processes. We recently organized an "Arctic System Synthesis Workshop Series" supported by the Arctic Systems Science Program of NSF and devoted to exploring approaches capable of uncovering the systems-level behavior in both the natural and social sciences domains. The series featured two topical meetings. The first identified the sources responsible for extreme climate events in the Arctic. The second focused on multiple "currencies" within the system (i.e., water, energy, carbon, nutrients) and how they interact to produce systems-level behaviors. More than 40 experts participated, drawn from the ranks of Arctic natural and social sciences. We report here on the workshop series consensus report, which identifies a broad array of topics. Principal among these are a consideration of why study the Arctic as a system, as well as an articulation of the major systems-level approaches to support basic as well

  9. Evidence-based medicine in rapidly changing technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schroeder, Torben Veith


    Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is not a randomised controlled trial (RCT), but EBM seeks to apply evidence gained from scientific methods - which could be RCT - to daily medical practice. Any surgical treatment reflects a certain development technically as well as skills based. The procedure may....... Special considerations should be given in rapidly developing fields. If started too early the resulting comparison will likely turn out to be irrelevant because the new technology is not fully developed, not mastered or the device may have undergone major modifications rendering the results obsolete....... On the other hand, if started too late there is a chance that data may be lost because the technology has already been introduced into the daily clinics and physicians may be unwilling to recruit patients. Or the opposite, that the technique may have been rejected without a proper trial. In this situation...

  10. Sensitivity of the Arctic Ocean gas hydrate to climate changes in the period of 1948-2015 (United States)

    Malakhova, Valentina V.; Golubeva, Elena N.; Iakshina, Dina F.


    The objective of the present study is to analyze the interactions between a methane hydrates stability zone and the ocean temperature variations and to define the hydrate sensitivity to the contemporary warming in the Arctic Ocean. To obtain the spatial-temporary variability of the ocean bottom temperature we employ the ICMMG regional Arctic-North Atlantic ocean model that has been developed in the Institute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics. With the ice-ocean model the Arctic bottom water temperatures were analyzed. The resulting warming ocean bottom water is spatially inhomogeneous, with a strong impact by the Atlantic inflow on shallow regions of 200-500 m depth. Results of the mathematical modeling of the dynamics of methane hydrate stability zone in the Arctic Ocean sediment are reported. We find that the reduction of the methane hydrate stability zone occurs in the Arctic Ocean between 250 and 400 m water depths within the upper 100 m of sediment in the area influenced by the Atlantic inflow. We have identified the areas of the Arctic Ocean where an increase in methane release is probable to occur at the present time.

  11. Winter temperature affects the prevalence of ticks in an Arctic seabird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Descamps

    Full Text Available The Arctic is rapidly warming and host-parasite relationships may be modified by such environmental changes. Here, I showed that the average winter temperature in Svalbard, Arctic Norway, explained almost 90% of the average prevalence of ticks in an Arctic seabird, the Brünnich's guillemot Uria lomvia. An increase of 1°C in the average winter temperature at the nesting colony site was associated with a 5% increase in the number of birds infected by these ectoparasites in the subsequent breeding season. Guillemots were generally infested by only a few ticks (≤5 and I found no direct effect of tick presence on their body condition and breeding success. However, the strong effect of average winter temperature described here clearly indicates that tick-seabird relationships in the Arctic may be strongly affected by ongoing climate warming.

  12. Pan-Arctic Distribution of Bioavailable Dissolved Organic Matter and Linkages With Productivity in Ocean Margins (United States)

    Shen, Yuan; Benner, Ronald; Kaiser, Karl; Fichot, Cédric G.; Whitledge, Terry E.


    Rapid environmental changes in the Arctic Ocean affect plankton productivity and the bioavailability of dissolved organic matter (DOM) that supports microbial food webs. We report concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and yields of amino acids (indicators of labile DOM) in surface waters across major Arctic margins. Concentrations of DOC and bioavailability of DOM showed large pan-Arctic variability that corresponded to varying hydrological conditions and ecosystem productivity, respectively. Widespread hot spots of labile DOM were observed over productive inflow shelves (Chukchi and Barents Seas), in contrast to oligotrophic interior margins (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Beaufort Seas). Amino acid yields in outflow gateways (Canadian Archipelago and Baffin Bay) indicated the prevalence of semilabile DOM in sea ice covered regions and sporadic production of labile DOM in ice-free waters. Comparing these observations with surface circulation patterns indicated varying shelf subsidies of bioavailable DOM to Arctic deep basins.

  13. Influence of sea ice on Arctic coasts (United States)

    Barnhart, K. R.; Kay, J. E.; Overeem, I.; Anderson, R. S.


    identify locations of both observed and expected rapid sea ice change. Based on satellite observations, the median length of the 2012 open-water season expanded by between 1.5 and 3-fold relative to 1979 over the Arctic Sea region. This results in open water during the stormy Arctic fall, with implications for not only coastal processes but for amplification of warming on land.

  14. Changes in summer sea ice, albedo, and portioning of surface solar radiation in the Pacific sector of Arctic Ocean during 1982-2009 (United States)

    Lei, Ruibo; Tian-Kunze, Xiangshan; Leppäranta, Matti; Wang, Jia; Kaleschke, Lars; Zhang, Zhanhai


    SSM/I sea ice concentration and CLARA black-sky composite albedo were used to estimate sea ice albedo in the region 70°N-82°N, 130°W-180°W. The long-term trends and seasonal evolutions of ice concentration, composite albedo, and ice albedo were then obtained. In July-August 1982-2009, the linear trend of the composite albedo and the ice albedo was -0.069 and -0.046 units per decade, respectively. During 1 June to 19 August, melting of sea ice resulted in an increase of solar heat input to the ice-ocean system by 282 MJ·m-2 from 1982 to 2009. However, because of the counter-balancing effects of the loss of sea ice area and the enhanced ice surface melting, the trend of solar heat input to the ice was insignificant. The summer evolution of ice albedo matched the ice surface melting and ponding well at basin scale. The ice albedo showed a large difference between the multiyear and first-year ice because the latter melted completely by the end of a melt season. At the SHEBA geolocations, a distinct change in the ice albedo has occurred since 2007, because most of the multiyear ice has been replaced by first-year ice. A positive polarity in the Arctic Dipole Anomaly could be partly responsible for the rapid loss of summer ice within the study region in the recent years by bringing warmer air masses from the south and advecting more ice toward the north. Both these effects would enhance ice-albedo feedback.

  15. Models of Plankton Community Changes during a Warm Water Anomaly in Arctic Waters Show Altered Trophic Pathways with Minimal Changes in Carbon Export

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Vernet


    Full Text Available Carbon flow through pelagic food webs is an expression of the composition, biomass and activity of phytoplankton as primary producers. In the near future, severe environmental changes in the Arctic Ocean are expected to lead to modifications of phytoplankton communities. Here, we used a combination of linear inverse modeling and ecological network analysis to study changes in food webs before, during, and after an anomalous warm water event in the eastern Fram Strait of the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC that resulted in a shift from diatoms to flagellates during the summer (June–July. The model predicts substantial differences in the pathways of carbon flow in diatom- vs. Phaeocystis/nanoflagellate-dominated phytoplankton communities, but relatively small differences in carbon export. The model suggests a change in the zooplankton community and activity through increasing microzooplankton abundance and the switching of meso- and macrozooplankton feeding from strict herbivory to omnivory, detritivory and coprophagy. When small cells and flagellates dominated, the phytoplankton carbon pathway through the food web was longer and the microbial loop more active. Furthermore, one step was added in the flow from phytoplankton to mesozooplankton, and phytoplankton carbon to higher trophic levels is available via detritus or microzooplankton. Model results highlight how specific changes in phytoplankton community composition, as expected in a climate change scenario, do not necessarily lead to a reduction in carbon export.

  16. Calcareous microfossil-based orbital cyclostratigraphy in the Arctic Ocean (United States)

    Marzen, Rachel; DeNinno, Lauren H.; Cronin, Thomas M.


    Microfaunal and geochemical proxies from marine sediment records from central Arctic Ocean (CAO) submarine ridges suggest a close relationship over the last 550 thousand years (kyr) between orbital-scale climatic oscillations, sea-ice cover, marine biological productivity and other parameters. Multiple paleoclimate proxies record glacial to interglacial cycles. To understand the climate-cryosphere-productivity relationship, we examined the cyclostratigraphy of calcareous microfossils and constructed a composite Arctic Paleoclimate Index (API) "stack" from benthic foraminiferal and ostracode density from 14 sediment cores. Following the hypothesis that API is driven mainly by changes in sea-ice related productivity, the API stack shows the Arctic experienced a series of highly productive interglacials and interstadials every ∼20 kyr. These periods signify minimal ice shelf and sea-ice cover and maximum marine productivity. Rapid transitions in productivity are seen during shifts from interglacial to glacial climate states. Discrepancies between the Arctic API curves and various global climatic, sea-level and ice-volume curves suggest abrupt growth and decay of Arctic ice shelves related to climatic and sea level oscillations.

  17. Emission Changes Dwarf the Influence of Feeding Habits on Temporal Trends of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Two Arctic Top Predators. (United States)

    Routti, Heli; Aars, Jon; Fuglei, Eva; Hanssen, Linda; Lone, Karen; Polder, Anuschka; Pedersen, Åshild Ø; Tartu, Sabrina; Welker, Jeffrey M; Yoccoz, Nigel G


    We monitored concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in relation to climate-associated changes in feeding habits and food availability in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) (192 plasma and 113 liver samples, respectively) sampled from Svalbard, Norway, during 1997-2014. PFASs concentrations became greater with increasing dietary trophic level, as bears and foxes consumed more marine as opposed to terrestrial food, and as the availability of sea ice habitat increased. Long-chained perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) in arctic foxes decreased with availability of reindeer carcasses. The ∼9-14% yearly decline of C 6-8 perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs) following the cease in C 6-8 PFSA precursor production in 2001 indicates that the peak exposure was mainly a result of atmospheric transport of the volatile precursors. However, the stable PFSA concentrations since 2009-2010 suggest that Svalbard biota is still exposed to ocean-transported PFSAs. Long-chain ocean-transported PFCAs increased 2-4% per year and the increase in C 12-14 PFCAs in polar bears tended to level off since ∼2009. Emerging short-chain PFASs showed no temporal changes. Climate-related changes in feeding habits and food availability moderately affected PFAS trends. Our results indicate that PFAS concentrations in polar bears and arctic foxes are mainly affected by emissions.

  18. A quantitative assessment of Arctic shipping in 2010–2014

    KAUST Repository

    Eguíluz, Victor M.


    Rapid loss of sea ice is opening up the Arctic Ocean to shipping, a practice that is forecasted to increase rapidly by 2050 when many models predict that the Arctic Ocean will largely be free of ice toward the end of summer. These forecasts carry considerable uncertainty because Arctic shipping was previously considered too sparse to allow for adequate validation. Here, we provide quantitative evidence that the extent of Arctic shipping in the period 2011–2014 is already significant and that it is concentrated (i) in the Norwegian and Barents Seas, and (ii) predominantly accessed via the Northeast and Northwest Passages. Thick ice along the forecasted direct trans-Arctic route was still present in 2014, preventing transit. Although Arctic shipping remains constrained by the extent of ice coverage, during every September, this coverage is at a minimum, allowing the highest levels of shipping activity. Access to Arctic resources, particularly fisheries, is the most important driver of Arctic shipping thus far.

  19. Managing in the rapidly changing context of higher education: a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Besides the rate of change in the sector there are also, as seen from the continuous media coverage, a number of universities and technikons in some form of financial or leadership crisis. Over the past years one of the main reasons given for these crises was outstanding student fees. However, the reasons now alluded to ...

  20. Alveolar bone changes after asymmetric rapid maxillary expansion. (United States)

    Akin, Mehmet; Baka, Zeliha Muge; Ileri, Zehra; Basciftci, Faruk Ayhan


    To quantitatively evaluate the effects of asymmetric rapid maxillary expansion (ARME) on cortical bone thickness and buccal alveolar bone height (BABH), and to determine the formation of dehiscence and fenestration in the alveolar bone surrounding the posterior teeth, using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). The CBCT records of 23 patients with true unilateral posterior skeletal crossbite (10 boys, 14.06 ± 1.08 years old, and 13 girls, 13.64 ± 1.32 years old) who had undergone ARME were selected from our clinic archives. The bonded acrylic ARME appliance, including an occlusal stopper, was used on all patients. CBCT records had been taken before ARME (T1) and after the 3-month retention period (T2). Axial slices of the CBCT images at 3 vertical levels were used to evaluate the buccal and palatal aspects of the canines, first and second premolars, and first molars. Paired samples and independent sample t-tests were used for statistical comparison. The results suggest that buccal cortical bone thickness of the affected side was significantly more affected by the expansion than was the unaffected side (P ARME significantly reduced the BABH of the canines (P ARME also increased the incidence of dehiscence and fenestration on the affected side. ARME may quantitatively decrease buccal cortical bone thickness and height on the affected side.

  1. Planetary health: protecting human health on a rapidly changing planet. (United States)

    Myers, Samuel S


    The impact of human activities on our planet's natural systems has been intensifying rapidly in the past several decades, leading to disruption and transformation of most natural systems. These disruptions in the atmosphere, oceans, and across the terrestrial land surface are not only driving species to extinction, they pose serious threats to human health and wellbeing. Characterising and addressing these threats requires a paradigm shift. In a lecture delivered to the Academy of Medical Sciences on Nov 13, 2017, I describe the scale of human impacts on natural systems and the extensive associated health effects across nearly every dimension of human health. I highlight several overarching themes that emerge from planetary health and suggest advances in the way we train, reward, promote, and fund the generation of health scientists who will be tasked with breaking out of their disciplinary silos to address this urgent constellation of health threats. I propose that protecting the health of future generations requires taking better care of Earth's natural systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Environmental and behavioral changes may influence the exposure of an Arctic apex predator to pathogens and contaminants (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Patyk, Kelly A.; Nol, Pauline; Rhyan, Jack; McCollum, Matthew; McKinney, Melissa A.; Ramey, Andy M.; Cerqueira-Cezar, Camila; Kwok, Oliver C H; Dubey, Jitender P; Hennager, S.G.


    Recent decline of sea ice habitat has coincided with increased use of land by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea (SB), which may alter the risks of exposure to pathogens and contaminants. We assayed blood samples from SB polar bears to assess prior exposure to the pathogens Brucella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, and Neospora caninum, estimate concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and evaluate risk factors associated with exposure to pathogens and POPs. We found that seroprevalence of Brucella spp. and T. gondii antibodies likely increased through time, and provide the first evidence of exposure of polar bears to C. burnetii, N. caninum, and F. tularensis. Additionally, the odds of exposure to T. gondii were greater for bears that used land than for bears that remained on the sea ice during summer and fall, while mean concentrations of the POP chlordane (ΣCHL) were lower for land-based bears. Changes in polar bear behavior brought about by climate-induced modifications to the Arctic marine ecosystem may increase exposure risk to certain pathogens and alter contaminant exposure pathways.

  3. Physiological and ecological effects of increasing temperature on fish production in lakes of Arctic Alaska (United States)

    Carey, Michael P.; Zimmerman, Christian E.


    Lake ecosystems in the Arctic are changing rapidly due to climate warming. Lakes are sensitive integrators of climate-induced changes and prominent features across the Arctic landscape, especially in lowland permafrost regions such as the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Despite many studies on the implications of climate warming, how fish populations will respond to lake changes is uncertain for Arctic ecosystems. Least Cisco (Coregonus sardinella) is a bellwether for Arctic lakes as an important consumer and prey resource. To explore the consequences of climate warming, we used a bioenergetics model to simulate changes in Least Cisco production under future climate scenarios for lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain. First, we used current temperatures to fit Least Cisco consumption to observed annual growth. We then estimated growth, holding food availability, and then feeding rate constant, for future projections of temperature. Projected warmer water temperatures resulted in reduced Least Cisco production, especially for larger size classes, when food availability was held constant. While holding feeding rate constant, production of Least Cisco increased under all future scenarios with progressively more growth in warmer temperatures. Higher variability occurred with longer projections of time mirroring the expanding uncertainty in climate predictions further into the future. In addition to direct temperature effects on Least Cisco growth, we also considered changes in lake ice phenology and prey resources for Least Cisco. A shorter period of ice cover resulted in increased production, similar to warming temperatures. Altering prey quality had a larger effect on fish production in summer than winter and increased relative growth of younger rather than older age classes of Least Cisco. Overall, we predicted increased production of Least Cisco due to climate warming in lakes of Arctic Alaska. Understanding the implications of increased production of Least Cisco to

  4. Rapid changes in gene expression direct rapid shifts in intestinal form and function in the Burmese python after feeding. (United States)

    Andrew, Audra L; Card, Daren C; Ruggiero, Robert P; Schield, Drew R; Adams, Richard H; Pollock, David D; Secor, Stephen M; Castoe, Todd A


    Snakes provide a unique and valuable model system for studying the extremes of physiological remodeling because of the ability of some species to rapidly upregulate organ form and function upon feeding. The predominant model species used to study such extreme responses has been the Burmese python because of the extreme nature of postfeeding response in this species. We analyzed the Burmese python intestine across a time series, before, during, and after feeding to understand the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression and their relationship to changes in intestinal form and function upon feeding. Our results indicate that >2,000 genes show significant changes in expression in the small intestine following feeding, including genes involved in intestinal morphology and function (e.g., hydrolases, microvillus proteins, trafficking and transport proteins), as well as genes involved in cell division and apoptosis. Extensive changes in gene expression occur surprisingly rapidly, within the first 6 h of feeding, coincide with changes in intestinal morphology, and effectively return to prefeeding levels within 10 days. Collectively, our results provide an unprecedented portrait of parallel changes in gene expression and intestinal morphology and physiology on a scale that is extreme both in the magnitude of changes, as well as in the incredibly short time frame of these changes, with up- and downregulation of expression and function occurring in the span of 10 days. Our results also identify conserved vertebrate signaling pathways that modulate these responses, which may suggest pathways for therapeutic modulation of intestinal function in humans. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels Martin; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier


    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....

  6. Climate Change and International Competition: the US Army in the Arctic Environment (United States)


    climate change and its potential environmental and socio -economic impacts .”4 Three working groups provide...additional energy commodities and commercial ventures, including oil and gas exploration, mineral extraction, commercial shipping, tourism , and fishing...scientific data on the impact , nature, and rate of climate change and the resulting environmental and geopolitical consequences. The IPCC’s principal

  7. Spatial isses in Arctic marine resource governance workshop summary and comment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaiser, Brooks; Bakanev, Sergey; Bertelsen, Rasmus


    The rapidly changing Arctic marine ecosystems face new challenges and opportunities that are increasing and shifting governance needs in the region. A group of economists, ecologists, biologists, political scientists and resource managers met in Stockholm, SE, Sept 4–6, 2014 to discuss the govern...

  8. Toward understanding the role of the atmosphere in pan Arctic change and sea ice loss; an update on the status of focused campaigns under POLARCAT. (United States)

    Burkhart, J. F.; Bates, T.; Brock, C. A.; Clerbaux, C.; Crawford, J. H.; Dibb, J. E.; Elansky, N.; Ghan, S.; Hirdman, D.; Honrath, R. E.; Jacob, D. J.; Law, K.; Paris, J.; Quinn, P.; Schlager, H.; Singh, H. B.; Sodemann, H.; Stohl, A.


    Sea ice loss reached an extraordinary extent in 2007, decreasing in area more than 2.5 million square kilometres below the 1979 extent. Sea ice loss is one of many Arctic processes resulting from a warming climate. The dynamics of a changing Arctic system are particularly sensitive to climate change and filled with uncertainties and complex feedback mechanisms - most being simply unknown. During the International Polar Year (IPY) a number of international partnerships were formed to establish the Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and Models, of Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols, and Transport (POLARCAT). Under the umbrella of POLARCAT projects cooperated with national funding to undertake the most comprehensive assessment of air pollution impacts on the Arctic to date. In the spring and summer of 2008 more than 20 institutes from ten nations participated in intensive aircraft, ship, and station-based campaigns with accompanying efforts from the satellite and modelling communities to provide near real time products for mission planning and analysis. The campaigns provided an assessment of the role that tropospheric chemistry, aerosols, and transport play in the Arctic. The spring campaigns focused on anthropogenic pollution, while the summer campaigns targeted biomass burning. During the spring of 2008, over 80 flights were flown by five different aircraft as part of the ARCTAS, ISDAC, ARCPAC, and French POLARCAT campaigns, the ICEALOT campaign commissioned the R/V Knorr to travel over 12,000 km, and numerous specialty satellite and modelling products were developed with near real time distribution. These same products were again used for flight planning and forecasting in the summer when an additional 50+ flights were flown by the ARCTAS, French POLARCAT, Siberian YAK, and GRACE campaigns. Several ground based stations and the Siberian TROICA campaign also conducted intensive operating periods (IOPs). We present an overview of the

  9. Rapid adaptive responses to climate change in corals

    KAUST Repository

    Torda, Gergely; Donelson, Jennifer M.; Aranda, Manuel; Barshis, Daniel J.; Bay, Line; Berumen, Michael L.; Bourne, David G.; Cantin, Neal; Foret, Sylvain; Matz, Mikhail; Miller, David J.; Moya, Aurelie; Putnam, Hollie M.; Ravasi, Timothy; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.; Thurber, Rebecca Vega; Vidal-Dupiol, Jeremie; Voolstra, Christian R.; Watson, Sue-Ann; Whitelaw, Emma; Willis, Bette L.; Munday, Philip L.


    Pivotal to projecting the fate of coral reefs is the capacity of reef-building corals to acclimatize and adapt to climate change. Transgenerational plasticity may enable some marine organisms to acclimatize over several generations and it has been hypothesized that epigenetic processes and microbial associations might facilitate adaptive responses. However, current evidence is equivocal and understanding of the underlying processes is limited. Here, we discuss prospects for observing transgenerational plasticity in corals and the mechanisms that could enable adaptive plasticity in the coral holobiont, including the potential role of epigenetics and coral-associated microbes. Well-designed and strictly controlled experiments are needed to distinguish transgenerational plasticity from other forms of plasticity, and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and their relative importance compared with genetic adaptation.

  10. Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution. (United States)

    Moeller, Andrew H; Li, Yingying; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V; Pusey, Anne E; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H; Ochman, Howard


    Humans are ecosystems containing trillions of microorganisms, but the evolutionary history of this microbiome is obscured by a lack of knowledge about microbiomes of African apes. We sequenced the gut communities of hundreds of chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas and developed a phylogenetic approach to reconstruct how present-day human microbiomes have diverged from those of ancestral populations. Compositional change in the microbiome was slow and clock-like during African ape diversification, but human microbiomes have deviated from the ancestral state at an accelerated rate. Relative to the microbiomes of wild apes, human microbiomes have lost ancestral microbial diversity while becoming specialized for animal-based diets. Individual wild apes cultivate more phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species of bacteria than do individual humans across a range of societies. These results indicate that humanity has experienced a depletion of the gut flora since diverging from Pan.

  11. Rapid adaptive responses to climate change in corals

    KAUST Repository

    Torda, Gergely


    Pivotal to projecting the fate of coral reefs is the capacity of reef-building corals to acclimatize and adapt to climate change. Transgenerational plasticity may enable some marine organisms to acclimatize over several generations and it has been hypothesized that epigenetic processes and microbial associations might facilitate adaptive responses. However, current evidence is equivocal and understanding of the underlying processes is limited. Here, we discuss prospects for observing transgenerational plasticity in corals and the mechanisms that could enable adaptive plasticity in the coral holobiont, including the potential role of epigenetics and coral-associated microbes. Well-designed and strictly controlled experiments are needed to distinguish transgenerational plasticity from other forms of plasticity, and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and their relative importance compared with genetic adaptation.

  12. Climate change consequences for terrestrial ecosystem processes in NW Greeland: Results from the High Arctic Biocomplexity project (United States)

    Welker, J. M.; Sullivan, P.; Rogers, M.; Sharp, E. D.; Sletten, R.; Burnham, J. L.; Hallet, B.; Hagedorn, B.; Czimiczk, C.


    Greenland is experiencing some of the fastest rates of climate warming across the Arctic including warmer summers and increases in snow fall. The effects of these new states of Greenland are however, uncertain especially for carbon, nitrogen and water biogeochemical processes, soil traits, vegetation growth patterns, mineral nutrition and plant ecophysiological processes. Since 2003 we have conducted a suite of observational and experimental measurements that have been designed to understand the fundamental nature of polar desert, polar semi-desert and fen landscapes in NW Greenland. In addition, we have established a suite of experiments to ascertain ecosystem responses to warming at multiple levels (~2030 and 2050), in conjunction with added summer rain; the consequences of added snow fall (ambient, intermediate and deep) and the effects of increases in nutrient additions (added N, P and N+P), which represent extreme warming conditions. We find that: a) the soil C pools are 6-fold larger than previously measured, b) extremely old C (up to ~30k bp) which has been buried by frost cracking and frost heaving is reaching the modern atmosphere, but in only trace amounts as measured by respired 14CO2, c) warming that simulates 2030, has only a small effect on net C sequestration but warming that simulates 2050 when combined with added summer rain, increases C sequestration by 300%, d) increases in N deposition almost immediately and completely changes the vegetation composition of polar semi-deserts shifting the NDVI values from 0.2 to 0.5 within 2 years. Our findings depict a system that is poised to contribute stronger feedbacks than previously expected as climates in NW Greenland change.

  13. The Arctic in the Twenty-First Century: Changing Biogeochemical Linkages across a Paraglacial Landscape of Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anderson, N. John; Saros, Jasmine E.; Bullard, Joanna E.


    their associated herbivores) to freshwater and oligosaline lakes. These ecosystems are linked by a dynamic glacio-fluvial-aeolian geomorphic system that transports water, geological material, organic carbon and nutrients from the glacier surface to adjacent terrestrial and aquatic systems. This paraglacial system......The Kangerlussuaq area of southwest Greenland encompasses diverse ecological, geomorphic, and climate gradients that function over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Ecosystems range from the microbial communities on the ice sheet and moisture-stressed terrestrial vegetation (and...... is now subject to substantial change because of rapid regional warming since 2000. Here, we describe changes in the eco- and geomorphic systems at a range of timescales and explore rapid future change in the links that integrate these systems. We highlight the importance of cross-system subsidies...

  14. Evidence of Climate Change (Global Warming) and Temperature Increases in Arctic Areas


    Eric Kojo Wu Aikins


    This paper contributes to the debate on the proximate causes of climate change. Also, it discusses the impact of the global temperature increases since the beginning of the twentieth century and the effectiveness of climate change models in isolating the primary cause (anthropogenic influences or natural variability in temperature) of the observed temperature increases that occurred within this period. The paper argues that if climate scientist and policymakers ignore the...

  15. Ethnobiology 5: Interdisciplinarity in an Era of Rapid Environmental Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Wolverton


    Full Text Available Ethnobiology 5 stems from Eugene Hunn’s four phases of the history of ethnobiology and focuses on the relevance of ethnobiological research in the context of environmental and cultural change.  It refers to a contemporary phase of the field’s historical development.  In this paper, I argue that ethnobiology is preadapted to be a scholarly umbrella for a number of disciplines that concern human-environment interactions, suggesting that one goal of Ethnobiology 5 is to bridge traditional academic boundaries in order to broaden the community of ethnobiologists. Another goal of Ethnobiology 5 is to capitalize on and communicate the relevance of ethnobiological scholarship for solving problems related to contemporary environmental and cultural crises.  Indeed, ethnobiology is not a subfield of any traditional discipline and by the nature of its name bridges humanities, social science, and science.  Ethnobiology has always been interdisciplinary in terms of its subject matter, yet its community of scholars is relatively small compared to mission-driven disciplines, such as conservation biology.  Venues for publication and presentation of ethnobiological research, as well as how ethnobiologists portray their research, are critical to growing ethnobiology.

  16. Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification (United States)

    Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; Mumby, P. J.; Hooten, A. J.; Steneck, R. S.; Greenfield, P.; Gomez, E.; Harvell, C. D.; Sale, P. F.; Edwards, A. J.; Caldeira, K.; Knowlton, N.; Eakin, C. M.; Iglesias-Prieto, R.; Muthiga, N.; Bradbury, R. H.; Dubi, A.; Hatziolos, M. E.


    Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global temperatures to rise by at least 2°C by 2050 to 2100, values that significantly exceed those of at least the past 420,000 years during which most extant marine organisms evolved. Under conditions expected in the 21st century, global warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change also exacerbates local stresses from declining water quality and overexploitation of key species, driving reefs increasingly toward the tipping point for functional collapse. This review presents future scenarios for coral reefs that predict increasingly serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, and people. As the International Year of the Reef 2008 begins, scaled-up management intervention and decisive action on global emissions are required if the loss of coral-dominated ecosystems is to be avoided.

  17. Squaring the Arctic Circle: connecting Arctic knowledge with societal needs (United States)

    Wilkinson, J.


    Over the coming years the landscape of the Arctic will change substantially- environmentally, politically, and economically. Furthermore, Arctic change has the potential to significantly impact Arctic and non-Arctic countries alike. Thus, our science is in-demand by local communities, politicians, industry leaders and the public. During these times of transition it is essential that the links between science and society be strengthened further. Strong links between science and society is exactly what is needed for the development of better decision-making tools to support sustainable development, enable adaptation to climate change, provide the information necessary for improved management of assets and operations in the Arctic region, and and to inform scientific, economic, environmental and societal policies. By doing so tangible benefits will flow to Arctic societies, as well as for non-Arctic countries that will be significantly affected by climate change. Past experience has shown that the engagement with a broad range of stakeholders is not always an easy process. Consequently, we need to improve collaborative opportunities between scientists, indigenous/local communities, private sector, policy makers, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders. The development of best practices in this area must build on the collective experiences of successful cross-sectorial programmes. Within this session we present some of the outreach work we have performed within the EU programme ICE-ARC, from community meetings in NW Greenland through to sessions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP Conferences, industry round tables, and an Arctic side event at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

  18. Arctic bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lidell, B.V.; Smallbeck, D.R.; Ramert, P.C.


    Cleanup of oil and diesel spills on gravel pads in the Arctic has typically been accomplished by utilizing a water flushing technique to remove the gross contamination or excavating the spill area and placing the material into a lined pit, or a combination of both. Enhancing the biological degradation of hydrocarbon (bioremediation) by adding nutrients to the spill area has been demonstrated to be an effective cleanup tool in more temperate locations. However, this technique has never been considered for restoration in the Arctic because the process of microbial degradation of hydrocarbon in this area is very slow. The short growing season and apparent lack of nutrients in the gravel pads were thought to be detrimental to using bioremediation to cleanup Arctic oil spills. This paper discusses the potential to utilize bioremediation as an effective method to clean up hydrocarbon spills in the northern latitudes

  19. Health impacts of rapid economic changes in Thailand. (United States)

    Tangcharoensathien, V; Harnvoravongchai, P; Pitayarangsarit, S; Kasemsup, V


    The economic crisis in Thailand in July 1997 had major social implications for unemployment, under employment, household income contraction, changing expenditure patterns, and child abandonment. The crisis increased poverty incidence by 1 million, of whom 54% were the ultra-poor. This paper explores and explains the short-term health impact of the crisis, using existing data and some special surveys and interviews for 2 years during 1998-99. The health impacts of the crisis are mixed, some being negative and some being positive. Household health expenditure reduced by 24% in real terms; among the poorer households, institutional care was replaced by self-medication. The pre-crisis rising trend in expenditure on alcohol and tobacco consumption was reversed. Immunization spending and coverage were sustained at a very high level after the crisis, but reports of increases in diphtheria and pertussis indicate declining programme quality. An increase in malaria, despite budget increases, had many causes but was mainly due to reduced programme effectiveness. STD incidence continued the pre-crisis downward trend. Rates of HIV risky sexual behaviour were higher among conscripts than other male workers, but in both groups there was lower condom use with casual partners. HIV serosurveillance showed a continuation of the pre-crisis downward trend among commercial sex workers (CSW, both brothel and non-brothel based), pregnant women and donated blood; this trend was slightly reversed among male STD patients and more among intravenous drug users. Condom coverage among brothel based CSW continued to increase to 97.5%, despite a 72% budget cut in free condom distribution. Poverty and lack of insurance coverage are two major determinants of absence of or inadequate antenatal care, and low birthweight. The Low Income Scheme could not adequately cover the poor but the voluntary Health Card Scheme played a health safety net role for maternal and child health. Low birthweight and

  20. Nest-site selection and nest success of an Arctic-breeding passerine, Smith's Longspur, in a changing climate (United States)

    McFarland, Heather R.; Kendall, Steve J.; Powell, Abby


    Despite changes in shrub cover and weather patterns associated with climate change in the Arctic, little is known about the breeding requirements of most passerines tied to northern regions. We investigated the nesting biology and nest habitat characteristics of Smith's Longspurs (Calcarius pictus) in 2 study areas in the Brooks Range of Alaska, USA. First, we examined variation in nesting phenology in relation to local temperatures. We then characterized nesting habitat and analyzed nest-site selection for a subset of nests (n = 86) in comparison with paired random points. Finally, we estimated the daily survival rate of 257 nests found in 2007–2013 with respect to both habitat characteristics and weather variables. Nest initiation was delayed in years with snow events, heavy rain, and freezing temperatures early in the breeding season. Nests were typically found in open, low-shrub tundra, and never among tall shrubs (mean shrub height at nests = 26.8 ± 6.7 cm). We observed weak nest-site selection patterns. Considering the similarity between nest sites and paired random points, coupled with the unique social mating system of Smith's Longspurs, we suggest that habitat selection may occur at the neighborhood scale and not at the nest-site scale. The best approximating model explaining nest survival suggested a positive relationship with the numbers of days above 21°C that an individual nest experienced; there was little support for models containing habitat variables. The daily nest survival rate was high (0.972–0.982) compared with that of most passerines in forested or grassland habitats, but similar to that of passerines nesting on tundra. Considering their high nesting success and ability to delay nest initiation during inclement weather, Smith's Longspurs may be resilient to predicted changes in weather regimes on the breeding grounds. Thus, the greatest threat to breeding Smith's Longspurs associated with climate change may be the loss of low

  1. Functional traits drive plant community and ecosystem response to global change across arctic and alpine environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chisholm, Chelsea Lee

    hierarchical Bayesian modelling. Here I found that competition is generally stronger in warmer climates, and that functional traits do not consistently predict growth across climate space. I also demonstrated that the inclusion of functional trait information as stabilizing niche differences in competition...... delayed in ice-rich areas. Finally, colleagues and I used an observational approach to assess changes in nutrient dynamics across replicated treeline transects in temperate regions around the globe, where we found consistent temperature-mediated changes in both ground-layer plant and soil nutrients across...

  2. Arctic bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liddell, B.V.; Smallbeck, D.R.; Ramert, P.C.


    Cleanup of oil and diesel spills on gravel pads in the Arctic has typically been accomplished by utilizing a water flushing technique to remove the gross contamination or excavating the spill area and placing the material into a lined pit, or a combination of both. This paper discusses the potential to utilize bioremediation as an effective method to clean up hydrocarbon spills in the northern latitudes. Discussed are the results of a laboratory bioremediation study which simulated microbial degradation of hydrocarbon under arctic conditions

  3. High Arctic summer warming tracked by increased Cassiope tetragona growth in the world's northernmost polar desert. (United States)

    Weijers, Stef; Buchwal, Agata; Blok, Daan; Löffler, Jörg; Elberling, Bo


    Rapid climate warming has resulted in shrub expansion, mainly of erect deciduous shrubs in the Low Arctic, but the more extreme, sparsely vegetated, cold and dry High Arctic is generally considered to remain resistant to such shrub expansion in the next decades. Dwarf shrub dendrochronology may reveal climatological causes of past changes in growth, but is hindered at many High Arctic sites by short and fragmented instrumental climate records. Moreover, only few High Arctic shrub chronologies cover the recent decade of substantial warming. This study investigated the climatic causes of growth variability of the evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona between 1927 and 2012 in the northernmost polar desert at 83°N in North Greenland. We analysed climate-growth relationships over the period with available instrumental data (1950-2012) between a 102-year-long C. tetragona shoot length chronology and instrumental climate records from the three nearest meteorological stations, gridded climate data, and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO) indices. July extreme maximum temperatures (JulT emx ), as measured at Alert, Canada, June NAO, and previous October AO, together explained 41% of the observed variance in annual C. tetragona growth and likely represent in situ summer temperatures. JulT emx explained 27% and was reconstructed back to 1927. The reconstruction showed relatively high growing season temperatures in the early to mid-twentieth century, as well as warming in recent decades. The rapid growth increase in C. tetragona shrubs in response to recent High Arctic summer warming shows that recent and future warming might promote an expansion of this evergreen dwarf shrub, mainly through densification of existing shrub patches, at High Arctic sites with sufficient winter snow cover and ample water supply during summer from melting snow and ice as well as thawing permafrost, contrasting earlier notions of limited shrub growth sensitivity to

  4. Developing an Arctic Observing Network: Looking Beyond Scientific Research as a Driver to Broader Societal Benefits as Drivers (United States)

    Jeffries, M. O.


    This presentation will address the first ever application of the Societal Benefit Areas approach to continuing efforts to develop an integrated pan-Arctic Observing Network. The scientific research community has been calling for an Arctic Observing Network since the early years of this century, at least. There is no question of the importance of research-driven observations at a time when rapid changes occurring throughout the Arctic environmental system are affecting people and communities in the Arctic and in regions far from the Arctic. Observations are need for continued environmental monitoring and change detection; improving understanding of how the system and its components function, and how they are connected to lower latitude regions; advancing numerical modeling capabilities for forecasting and projection; and developing value-added products and services for people and communities, and for decision- and policymaking. Scientific research is, without question, a benefit to society, but the benefits of Earth observations extend beyond scientific research. Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs) were first described by the international Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and have since been used by USGEO as the basis for its National Earth Observation Assessments. The most recent application of SBAs to Earth observing realized a framework of SBAs, SBA Sub-areas, and Key Objectives required for the completion of a full Earth observing assessment for the Arctic. This framework, described in a report released in June 2017, and a brief history of international efforts to develop an integrated pan-Arctic Observing Network, are the subjects of this presentation.

  5. Bridging the Scientific and Indigenous Communities to Study Sea Ice Change in Arctic Alaska (United States)

    Mahoney, A. R.; Zappa, C. J.; Betcher, S. R.; Hauser, D.; Whiting, A.; Goodwin, J.; Harris, C.; Schaefer, B.; Schaefer, R.


    Ikaavik Sikukuun (Ice Bridges) is a newly-launched research partnership in Kotzebue, Alaska, that adopts an end-to-end community-based approach to study fundamental processes underlying the mechanisms and impacts of the changing sea ice in coastal Alaska. Under guidance from a local advisory council, we will use state-of-the-art observing techniques including long-range unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to study under-observed sea ice regions during critical periods of marine mammal migration, molting and reproduction. Here, we describe what, to the best of our knowledge, is a precedent-setting approach to co-creating research questions and hypotheses that integrate indigenous knowledge (IK) and interdisciplinary scientific methods. A key element of this approach is that we established an advisory committee of local IK holders before defining specific research questions. This has enabled us to iteratively develop hypotheses that incorporate IK and respond to the research needs of the local community while also addressing key geophysical and ecological questions related to changes in the seasonal ice zone. The advisory committee will be key participants in the project team, ensuring that IK is incorporated into the design of the observing plan and the synthesis and dissemination of findings. In addition to building bridges between the scientific community and indigenous residents of Kotzebue, the legacy of our project will include a video documentary that will allow us to share the story of this partnership and our findings with a broad audience.

  6. Western Arctic Temperature Sensitivity Varies under Different Mean States (United States)

    Daniels, W.; Russell, J. M.; Morrill, C.; Longo, W. M.; Giblin, A. E.; Holland-Stergar, P.; Hu, A.; Huang, Y.


    The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere on earth. Predictions of future change, however, are hindered by uncertainty in the mechanisms that underpin Arctic amplification. Data from Beringia (Alaska and Eastern Siberia) are particularly inconclusive with regards to both glacial-interglacial climate change as well as the presence or absence of abrupt climate change events such as the Younger Dryas. Here we investigate temperature change in Beringia from the last glacial maximum (LGM) to present using a unique 30 kyr lacustrine record of leaf wax hydrogen isotope ratios (δDwax) from Northern Alaska. We evaluate our results in the context of PMIP3 climate simulations as well as sensitivity tests of the effects of sea level and Bering Strait closure on Arctic Alaskan climate. The amplitude of LGM cooling in Alaska (-3.2 °C relative to pre-industrial) is smaller than other parts of North America and areas proximal to LGM ice sheets, but similar to Arctic Asia and Europe. This suggests that the local feedbacks (vegetation, etc.) had limited impacts on regional temperatures during the last ice-age, and suggests most of the Arctic exhibited similar responses to global climate boundary conditions. Deglacial warming was superimposed by a series of rapid warming events that encompass most of the temperature increase. These events are largely synchronous with abrupt events in the North Atlantic, but are amplified, muted, or even reversed in comparison depending on the mean climate state. For example, we observe warming during Heinrich 1 and during the submergence of the Bering Land Bridge, which are associated with cooling in the North Atlantic. Climate modeling suggests that opening of the Bering Strait controlled the amplitude and sign of millennial-scale temperature changes across the glacial termination.

  7. 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


    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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    , 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...... Cassiope tetragona, and mountain avens Dryas octopetala are the primary species represented in the pollen present on pollinating insects at Zackenberg. The effects of climate warming that may enhance environmental conditions for plant growth in Northeast Greenland and accelerate invasion of new species...

  9. Patterned-ground facilitates shrub expansion in Low Arctic tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A; Matyshak, Georgiy; Ermokhina, Ksenia


    Recent expansion of tall shrubs in Low Arctic tundra is widely seen as a response to climate warming, but shrubification is not occurring as a simple function of regional climate trends. We show that establishment of tall alder (Alnus) is strongly facilitated by small, widely distributed cryogenic disturbances associated with patterned-ground landscapes. We identified expanding and newly established shrub stands at two northwest Siberian sites and observed that virtually all new shrubs occurred on bare microsites (‘circles’) that were disturbed by frost-heave. Frost-heave associated with circles is a widespread, annual phenomenon that maintains mosaics of mineral seedbeds with warm soils and few competitors that are immediately available to shrubs during favorable climatic periods. Circle facilitation of alder recruitment also plausibly explains the development of shrublands in which alders are regularly spaced. We conclude that alder abundance and extent have increased rapidly in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic since at least the mid-20th century, despite a lack of summer warming in recent decades. Our results are consistent with findings in the North American Arctic which emphasize that the responsiveness of Low Arctic landscapes to climate change is largely determined by the frequency and extent of disturbance processes that create mineral-rich seedbeds favorable for tall shrub recruitment. Northwest Siberia has high potential for continued expansion of tall shrubs and concomitant changes to ecosystem function, due to the widespread distribution of patterned-ground landscapes. (letter)

  10. McCall Glacier record of Arctic climate change: Interpreting a northern Alaska ice core with regional water isotopes (United States)

    Klein, E. S.; Nolan, M.; McConnell, J.; Sigl, M.; Cherry, J.; Young, J.; Welker, J. M.


    We explored modern precipitation and ice core isotope ratios to better understand both modern and paleo climate in the Arctic. Paleoclimate reconstructions require an understanding of how modern synoptic climate influences proxies used in those reconstructions, such as water isotopes. Therefore we measured periodic precipitation samples at Toolik Lake Field Station (Toolik) in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range in the Alaskan Arctic to determine δ18O and δ2H. We applied this multi-decadal local precipitation δ18O/temperature regression to ∼65 years of McCall Glacier (also in the Brooks Range) ice core isotope measurements and found an increase in reconstructed temperatures over the late-20th and early-21st centuries. We also show that the McCall Glacier δ18O isotope record is negatively correlated with the winter bidecadal North Pacific Index (NPI) climate oscillation. McCall Glacier deuterium excess (d-excess, δ2H - 8*δ18O) values display a bidecadal periodicity coherent with the NPI and suggest shifts from more southwestern Bering Sea moisture sources with less sea ice (lower d-excess values) to more northern Arctic Ocean moisture sources with more sea ice (higher d-excess values). Northern ice covered Arctic Ocean McCall Glacier moisture sources are associated with weak Aleutian Low (AL) circulation patterns and the southern moisture sources with strong AL patterns. Ice core d-excess values significantly decrease over the record, coincident with warmer temperatures and a significant reduction in Alaska sea ice concentration, which suggests that ice free northern ocean waters are increasingly serving as terrestrial precipitation moisture sources; a concept recently proposed by modeling studies and also present in Greenland ice core d-excess values during previous transitions to warm periods. This study also shows the efficacy and importance of using ice cores from Arctic valley glaciers in paleoclimate reconstructions.

  11. Relationships between declining summer sea ice, increasing temperatures and changing vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra from MODIS time series (2000–11)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dutrieux, L P; Bartholomeus, H; Herold, M; Verbesselt, J


    The concern about Arctic greening has grown recently as the phenomenon is thought to have significant influence on global climate via atmospheric carbon emissions. Earlier work on Arctic vegetation highlighted the role of summer sea ice decline in the enhanced warming and greening phenomena observed in the region, but did not contain enough details for spatially characterizing the interactions between sea ice, temperature and vegetation photosynthetic absorption. By using 1 km resolution data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) as a primary data source, this study presents detailed maps of vegetation and temperature trends for the Siberian Arctic region, using the time integrated normalized difference vegetation index (TI-NDVI) and summer warmth index (SWI) calculated for the period 2000–11 to represent vegetation greenness and temperature respectively. Spatio-temporal relationships between the two indices and summer sea ice conditions were investigated with transects at eight locations using sea ice concentration data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). In addition, the derived vegetation and temperature trends were compared among major Arctic vegetation types and bioclimate subzones. The fine resolution trend map produced confirms the overall greening (+1% yr −1 ) and warming (+0.27% yr −1 ) of the region, reported in previous studies, but also reveals browning areas. The causes of such local decreases in vegetation, while surrounding areas are experiencing the opposite reaction to changing conditions, are still unclear. Overall correlations between sea ice concentration and SWI as well as TI-NDVI decreased in strength with increasing distance from the coast, with a particularly pronounced pattern in the case of SWI. SWI appears to be driving TI-NDVI in many cases, but not systematically, highlighting the presence of limiting factors other than temperature for plant growth in the region. Further unravelling those limiting

  12. Spring Arctic Oscillation-East Asian summer monsoon connection through circulation changes over the western North Pacific

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gong, Dao-Yi; Yang, Jing; Hu, Miao [Beijing Normal University, State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing (China); Kim, Seong-Joong [Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon (Korea, Republic of); Gao, Yongqi [Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, IAP/CAS, Beijing (China); Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center/Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Bergen (Norway); Guo, Dong [Beijing Normal University, State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing (China); Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, IAP/CAS, Beijing (China); Zhou, Tianjun [State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), IAP/CAS, Beijing (China)


    In the present study the links between spring Arctic Oscillation (AO) and East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) was investigated with focus on the importance of the North Pacific atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature (SST). To reduce the statistical uncertainty, we analyzed high-pass filtered data with the inter-annual time scales, and excluded the El Nino/Southern Oscillation signals in the climate fields using a linear fitting method. The significant relationship between spring AO and EASM are supported by the changes of multi-monsoon components, including monsoon indices, precipitation, and three-dimensional atmospheric circulations. Following a stronger positive spring AO, an anomalous cyclonic circulation at 850 hPa appears in southeastern Asia and the western North Pacific in summer, with the easterly anomalies spanning from the Pacific to Asian continent along 25 N-30 N and the westerly anomalies south of 15 N. At the same time, the summer western North Pacific subtropical high becomes weaker. Consistently, the positive precipitation anomalies are developed over a broad region south of 30 N stretching from southern China to the western Pacific and the negative precipitation anomalies appear in the lower valley of the Yangtze River and southern Japan. The anomalous cyclone in the western North Pacific persisting from spring to summer plays a key role in modulating EASM and monsoon precipitation by a positive air-sea feedback mechanism. During spring the AO-associated atmospheric circulation change produces warmer SSTs between 150 E-180 near the equator. The anomalous sensible and latent heating, in turn, intensifies the cyclone through a Gill-type response of the atmosphere. Through this positive feedback, the tropical atmosphere and SST patterns sustain their strength from spring to summer, that consequently modifies the monsoon trough and the western North Pacific subtropical high and eventually the EASM precipitation. Moreover, the SST response to

  13. Determining hydrological changes in a small Arctic treeline basin using cold regions hydrological modelling and a pseudo-global warming approach (United States)

    Krogh, S. A.; Pomeroy, J. W.


    Increasing temperatures are producing higher rainfall ratios, shorter snow-covered periods, permafrost thaw, more shrub coverage, more northerly treelines and greater interaction between groundwater and surface flow in Arctic basins. How these changes will impact the hydrology of the Arctic treeline environment represents a great challenge. To diagnose the future hydrology along the current Arctic treeline, a physically based cold regions model was used to simulate the hydrology of a small basin near Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. The hydrological model includes hydrological processes such as snow redistribution and sublimation by wind, canopy interception of snow/rain and sublimation/evaporation, snowmelt energy balance, active layer freeze/thaw, infiltration into frozen and unfrozen soils, evapotranspiration, horizontal flow through organic terrain and snowpack, subsurface flow and streamflow routing. The model was driven with weather simulated by a high-resolution (4 km) numerical weather prediction model under two scenarios: (1) control run, using ERA-Interim boundary conditions (2001-2013) and (2) future, using a Pseudo-Global Warming (PGW) approach based on the RCP8.5 projections perturbing the control run. Transient changes in vegetation based on recent observations and ecological expectations were then used to re-parameterise the model. Historical hydrological simulations were validated against daily streamflow, snow water equivalent and active layer thickness records, showing the model's suitability in this environment. Strong annual warming ( 6 °C) and more precipitation ( 20%) were simulated by the PGW scenario, with winter precipitation and fall temperature showing the largest seasonal increase. The joint impact of climate and transient vegetation changes on snow accumulation and redistribution, evapotranspiration, active layer development, runoff generation and hydrograph characteristics are analyzed and discussed.

  14. Long-term culture change related to rapid response system implementation. (United States)

    Stevens, Jennifer; Johansson, Anna; Lennes, Inga; Hsu, Douglas; Tess, Anjala; Howell, Michael


    Increasing attention to patient safety in training hospitals may come at the expense of trainee autonomy and professional growth. This study sought to examine changes in medical trainees' self-reported behaviour after the institution-wide implementation of a rapid response system. We conducted a two-point cross-sectional survey of medical trainees in 2006, during the implementation of a rapid response system, and in 2010, in a single academic medical centre. A novel instrument was used to measure trainee likelihood of calling for supervisory assistance, perception of autonomy, and comfort in managing decompensating patients. Non-parametric tests to assess for change were used and year of training was evaluated as an effect modifier. Response rates were 38% in 2006 and 70% in 2010. After 5 years of the full implementation of the rapid response system, residents were significantly more likely to report calling their attending physicians for assistance (rising from 40% to 65% of relevant situations; p autonomy at 5 years after the implementation of the rapid response system. These changes were mirrored in the actual use of the rapid response system, which increased by 41% during the 5-year period after adjustment for patient volume (p < 0.0001). A primary team-focused implementation of a rapid response system was associated with durable changes in resident physicians' reported behaviour, including increased comfort with involving more experienced physicians and managing unstable patients. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Rapid changes in the range limits of Scots pine 4000 years ago

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gear, A.J.; Huntley, B.


    Paleoecological data provide estimates of response rates to past climate changes. Fossil Pinus sylvestris stumps in far northern Scotland demonstrate former presence of pine trees where conventional pollen evidence of pine forests is lacking. Radiocarbon, dendrochronological, and fine temporal-resolution palynological data show that pine forest were present for about four centuries some 4,000 years ago; the forests expanded and then retreated rapidly some 70 to 80 kilometers. Despite the rapidity of this response to climate change, it occurred at rates slower by an order of magnitude than those necessary to maintain equilibrium with forecast climate changes attributed to the greenhouse effect

  16. Understanding rapid theoretical change in particle physics: a month-by-month co-citation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sullivan, D.; Koester, D.; White, D.H.; Kern, R.


    While co-citation analysis has proved a powerful tool in the study of changes in intellectual foci in science, no one has ever used the technique to study very rapid changes in the theoretical structure of a scientific field. This paper presents month-by-month co-citation analyses of key phases in the weak-electromagnetic unification research program within particle physics, and shows that these analyses capture and illuminate very rapid intellectual changes. These data provide yet another illustration of the utility of co-citation analysis for understanding the history of science. 8 figures

  17. Curioser and Curioser: New Concepts in the Rapidly Changing Landscape of Educational Administration. (United States)

    Fowler, Frances C.


    The new "Handbook" assumes that society is changing rapidly and educational administration must change with it. This article critiques chapters on four concepts: ideology, the new consumerism, social capital, and the new institutionalism. Consumerism is pure 19th-century liberalism/individualism; social capital theory and…

  18. Rapid climate change did not cause population collapse at the end of the European Bronze Age. (United States)

    Armit, Ian; Swindles, Graeme T; Becker, Katharina; Plunkett, Gill; Blaauw, Maarten


    The impact of rapid climate change on contemporary human populations is of global concern. To contextualize our understanding of human responses to rapid climate change it is necessary to examine the archeological record during past climate transitions. One episode of abrupt climate change has been correlated with societal collapse at the end of the northwestern European Bronze Age. We apply new methods to interrogate archeological and paleoclimate data for this transition in Ireland at a higher level of precision than has previously been possible. We analyze archeological (14)C dates to demonstrate dramatic population collapse and present high-precision proxy climate data, analyzed through Bayesian methods, to provide evidence for a rapid climatic transition at ca. 750 calibrated years B.C. Our results demonstrate that this climatic downturn did not initiate population collapse and highlight the nondeterministic nature of human responses to past climate change.

  19. Estimation of Melt Ponds over Arctic Sea Ice using MODIS Surface Reflectance Data (United States)

    Ding, Y.; Cheng, X.; Liu, J.


    Melt ponds over Arctic sea ice is one of the main factors affecting variability of surface albedo, increasing absorption of solar radiation and further melting of snow and ice. In recent years, a large number of melt ponds have been observed during the melt season in Arctic. Moreover, some studies have suggested that late spring to mid summer melt ponds information promises to improve the prediction skill of seasonal Arctic sea ice minimum. In the study, we extract the melt pond fraction over Arctic sea ice since 2000 using three bands MODIS weekly surface reflectance data by considering the difference of spectral reflectance in ponds, ice and open water. The preliminary comparison shows our derived Arctic-wide melt ponds are in good agreement with that derived by the University of Hamburg, especially at the pond distribution. We analyze seasonal evolution, interannual variability and trend of the melt ponds, as well as the changes of onset and re-freezing. The melt pond fraction shows an asymmetrical growth and decay pattern. The observed melt ponds fraction is almost within 25% in early May and increases rapidly in June and July with a high fraction of more than 40% in the east of Greenland and Beaufort Sea. A significant increasing trend in the melt pond fraction is observed for the period of 2000-2017. The relationship between melt pond fraction and sea ice extent will be also discussed. Key Words: melt ponds, sea ice, Arctic

  20. Scaling Laws in Arctic Permafrost River Basins: Statistical Signature in Transition (United States)

    Rowland, J. C.; Gangodagamage, C.; Wilson, C. J.; Prancevic, J. P.; Brumby, S. P.; Marsh, P.; Crosby, B. T.


    The Arctic landscape has been shown to be fundamentally different from the temperate landscape in many ways. Long winters and cold temperatures have led to the development of permafrost, perennially frozen ground, that controls geomorphic processes and the structure of the Arctic landscape. Climate warming is causing changes in permafrost and the active layer (the seasonally thawed surface layer) that is driving an increase in thermal erosion including thermokarst (collapsed soil), retrogressive thaw slumps, and gullies. These geomorphic anomalies in the arctic landscapes have not been well quantified, even though some of the landscape geomorphic and hydrologic characteristics and changes are detectable by our existing sensor networks. We currently lack understanding of the fundamental fluvio-thermal-erosional processes that underpin Arctic landscape structure and form, which limits our ability to develop models to predict the landscape response to current and future climate change. In this work, we seek a unified framework that can explain why permafrost landscapes are different from temperate landscapes. We use high resolution LIDAR data to analyze arctic geomorphic processes at a scale of less than a 1 m and demonstrate our ability to quantify the fundamental difference in the arctic landscape. We first simulate the arctic hillslopes from a stochastic space-filling network and demonstrate that the flow-path convergent properties of arctic landscape can be effectively captured from this simple model, where the simple model represents a landscape flowpath arrangement on a relatively impervious frozen soil layer. Further, we use a novel data processing algorithm to analyze landscape attributes such as slope, curvature, flow-accumulation, elevation-drops and other geomorphic properties, and show that the pattern of diffusion and advection dominated soil transport processes (diffusion/advection regime transition) in the arctic landscape is substantially different

  1. Collaborations for Arctic Sea Ice Information and Tools (United States)

    Sheffield Guy, L.; Wiggins, H. V.; Turner-Bogren, E. J.; Rich, R. H.


    The dramatic and rapid changes in Arctic sea ice require collaboration across boundaries, including between disciplines, sectors, institutions, and between scientists and decision-makers. This poster will highlight several projects that provide knowledge to advance the development and use of sea ice knowledge. Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO: - SIWO is a resource for Alaskan Native subsistence hunters and other interested stakeholders. SIWO provides weekly reports, during April-June, of sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the northern Bering and southern Chukchi seas. Collaboration among scientists, Alaskan Native sea-ice experts, and the Eskimo Walrus Commission is fundamental to this project's success. Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN: - A collaborative, multi-agency-funded project focused on seasonal Arctic sea ice predictions. The goals of SIPN include: coordinate and evaluate Arctic sea ice predictions; integrate, assess, and guide observations; synthesize predictions and observations; and disseminate predictions and engage key stakeholders. The Sea Ice Outlook—a key activity of SIPN—is an open process to share and synthesize predictions of the September minimum Arctic sea ice extent and other variables. Other SIPN activities include workshops, webinars, and communications across the network. Directory of Sea Ice Experts ( - ARCUS has undertaken a pilot project to develop a web-based directory of sea ice experts across institutions, countries, and sectors. The goal of the project is to catalyze networking between individual investigators, institutions, funding agencies, and other stakeholders interested in Arctic sea ice. Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH: - SEARCH is a collaborative program that advances research, synthesizes research findings, and broadly communicates the results to support

  2. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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 vary in time, and how they are changing with current environmental change: firstly, the high arctic interaction webs are much more complex than previously envisaged, and with a structure mainly dictated by its arthropod component. Secondly, the dynamics of species within these webs reflect changes...... 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....

  3. Genomics of Arctic cod (United States)

    Wilson, Robert E.; Sage, George K.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Gravley, Megan C.; Menning, Damian; Talbot, Sandra L.


    identified species-specific markers and in conjunction with mitogenome data, identified an Arctic cod x Polar cod hybrid in western Canadian Beaufort Sea. Overall, the lack of genetic structure among Arctic cod within the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas of Alaska is concordant with the absence of geographic barriers to dispersal and typical among marine fishes. Arctic cod may exhibit a genetic pattern of isolation-by-distance, whereby populations in closer geographic proximity are more genetically similar than more distant populations. As this signal is only found between our two fartherest localities, data from populations elsewhere in the species’ global range are needed to determine if this is a general characteristic. Further, tests for selection suggested a limited role for natural selection acting on the mitochondrial genome of Arctic cod, but do not exclude the possibility of selection on genes involved in nuclear-mitogenome interactions. Unlike previous genetic assessment of Arctic cod sampled from the Chukchi Sea, the high levels of genetic diversity found in Arctic cod assayed in this study, across regions, suggests that the species in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas does not suffer from low levels of genetic variation, at least at neutral genetic markers. The large census size of Arctic cod may allow this species to retain high levels of genetic diversity. In addition, we discovered the presence of hybridization between Arctic and Polar cod (although low in frequency). Hybridization is expected to occur when environmental changes modify species distributions that result in contact between species that were previously separated. In such cases, hybridization may be an evolutionary mechanism that promotes an increase in genetic diversity that may provide species occupying changing environments with locally-adapted genotypes and, therefore, phenotypes. Natural selection can only act on the standing genetic variation present within a population. Therefore, given its

  4. Linking tree demography to climate change feedbacks: fire, larch forests, and carbon pools of the Siberian Arctic (United States)

    Alexander, H. D.; Loranty, M. M.; Natali, S.; Pena, H., III; Ludwig, S.; Spektor, V.; Davydov, S. P.; Zimov, N.; Mack, M. C.


    Fire severity is increasing in larch forests of the Siberian Arctic as climate warms, and initial fire impacts on tree demographic processes could be an especially important determinant of long-term forest structure and carbon (C) dynamics. We hypothesized that (1) larch forest regrowth post-fire is largely determined by residual soil organic layer (SOL) depth because of the SOL's role as a seedbed and thermal regulator, and (2) changes in post-fire larch recruitment impact C accumulation through stand density impacts on understory microclimate and permafrost thaw. We tested these hypotheses by (1) experimentally creating a soil burn severity gradient in a Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi Mayr.) forest near Cherskiy, Russia and (2) quantifying C pools across a stand density gradient within a 75-year old fire scar. From 2012-2015, we added larch seeds to plots burned at different severities and monitored recruitment along with permafrost and active layer (i.e., subject to annual freeze-thaw) conditions (SOL depth, temperature, moisture, and thaw depth). Across the density gradient, we inventoried larch trees and harvested ground-layer vegetation to estimate aboveground contribution to C pools. We quantified woody debris C pools and sampled belowground C pools (soil, fine roots, and coarse roots) in the organic + upper (0-10 cm) mineral soil. Larch recruits were rare in unburned and low severity plots, but a total of 6 new germinants m-2 were tallied in moderate and high severity plots during the study. Seedling survival for > 1 year was only 40 and 25% on moderate and high severity treatments, respectively, but yielded net larch recruitment of 2 seedlings m-2, compared to 0.3 seedlings m-2 on low severity plots. Density of both total and established recruits increased with decreasing residual SOL depth, which correlated with increased soil temperature, moisture, and thaw depth. At 75-year post-fire, total C pools increased with increased larch density, largely due to

  5. A Recommended Set of Key Arctic Indicators (United States)

    Stanitski, D.; Druckenmiller, M.; Fetterer, F. M.; Gerst, M.; Intrieri, J. M.; Kenney, M. A.; Meier, W.; Overland, J. E.; Stroeve, J.; Trainor, S.


    The Arctic is an interconnected and environmentally sensitive system of ice, ocean, land, atmosphere, ecosystems, and people. From local to pan-Arctic scales, the area has already undergone major changes in physical and societal systems and will continue at a pace that is greater than twice the global average. Key Arctic indicators can quantify these changes. Indicators serve as the bridge between complex information and policy makers, stakeholders, and the general public, revealing trends and information people need to make important socioeconomic decisions. This presentation evaluates and compiles more than 70 physical, biological, societal and economic indicators into an approachable summary that defines the changing Arctic. We divided indicators into "existing," "in development," "possible," and "aspirational". In preparing a paper on Arctic Indicators for a special issue of the journal Climatic Change, our group established a set of selection criteria to identify indicators to specifically guide decision-makers in their responses to climate change. A goal of the analysis is to select a manageable composite list of recommended indicators based on sustained, reliable data sources with known user communities. The selected list is also based on the development of a conceptual model that identifies components and processes critical to our understanding of the Arctic region. This list of key indicators is designed to inform the plans and priorities of multiple groups such as the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), and the Arctic Council.

  6. The sensitivity of the Arctic sea ice to orbitally induced insolation changes: a study of the mid-Holocene Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project 2 and 3 simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Berger


    Full Text Available In the present work the Arctic sea ice in the mid-Holocene and the pre-industrial climates are analysed and compared on the basis of climate-model results from the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project phase 2 (PMIP2 and phase 3 (PMIP3. The PMIP3 models generally simulate smaller and thinner sea-ice extents than the PMIP2 models both for the pre-industrial and the mid-Holocene climate. Further, the PMIP2 and PMIP3 models all simulate a smaller and thinner Arctic summer sea-ice cover in the mid-Holocene than in the pre-industrial control climate. The PMIP3 models also simulate thinner winter sea ice than the PMIP2 models. The winter sea-ice extent response, i.e. the difference between the mid-Holocene and the pre-industrial climate, varies among both PMIP2 and PMIP3 models. Approximately one half of the models simulate a decrease in winter sea-ice extent and one half simulates an increase. The model-mean summer sea-ice extent is 11 % (21 % smaller in the mid-Holocene than in the pre-industrial climate simulations in the PMIP2 (PMIP3. In accordance with the simple model of Thorndike (1992, the sea-ice thickness response to the insolation change from the pre-industrial to the mid-Holocene is stronger in models with thicker ice in the pre-industrial climate simulation. Further, the analyses show that climate models for which the Arctic sea-ice responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations are similar may simulate rather different sea-ice responses to the change in solar forcing between the mid-Holocene and the pre-industrial. For two specific models, which are analysed in detail, this difference is found to be associated with differences in the simulated cloud fractions in the summer Arctic; in the model with a larger cloud fraction the effect of insolation change is muted. A sub-set of the mid-Holocene simulations in the PMIP ensemble exhibit open water off the north-eastern coast of Greenland in summer, which can provide a fetch

  7. Assessment of extreme flood events in a changing climate for a long-term planning of socio-economic infrastructure in the Russian Arctic (United States)

    Shevnina, Elena; Kourzeneva, Ekaterina; Kovalenko, Viktor; Vihma, Timo


    Climate warming has been more acute in the Arctic than at lower latitudes and this tendency is expected to continue. This generates major challenges for economic activity in the region. Among other issues is the long-term planning and development of socio-economic infrastructure (dams, bridges, roads, etc.), which require climate-based forecasts of the frequency and magnitude of detrimental flood events. To estimate the cost of the infrastructure and operational risk, a probabilistic form of long-term forecasting is preferable. In this study, a probabilistic model to simulate the parameters of the probability density function (PDF) for multi-year runoff based on a projected climatology is applied to evaluate changes in extreme floods for the territory of the Russian Arctic. The model is validated by cross-comparison of the modelled and empirical PDFs using observations from 23 sites located in northern Russia. The mean values and coefficients of variation (CVs) of the spring flood depth of runoff are evaluated under four climate scenarios, using simulations of six climate models for the period 2010-2039. Regions with substantial expected changes in the means and CVs of spring flood depth of runoff are outlined. For the sites located within such regions, it is suggested to account for the future climate change in calculating the maximal discharges of rare occurrence. An example of engineering calculations for maximal discharges with 1 % exceedance probability is provided for the Nadym River at Nadym.

  8. Arctic Ocean surface geostrophic circulation 2003–2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. W. K. Armitage


    Full Text Available Monitoring the surface circulation of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean is generally limited in space, time or both. We present a new 12-year record of geostrophic currents at monthly resolution in the ice-covered and ice-free Arctic Ocean derived from satellite radar altimetry and characterise their seasonal to decadal variability from 2003 to 2014, a period of rapid environmental change in the Arctic. Geostrophic currents around the Arctic basin increased in the late 2000s, with the largest increases observed in summer. Currents in the southeastern Beaufort Gyre accelerated in late 2007 with higher current speeds sustained until 2011, after which they decreased to speeds representative of the period 2003–2006. The strength of the northwestward current in the southwest Beaufort Gyre more than doubled between 2003 and 2014. This pattern of changing currents is linked to shifting of the gyre circulation to the northwest during the time period. The Beaufort Gyre circulation and Fram Strait current are strongest in winter, modulated by the seasonal strength of the atmospheric circulation. We find high eddy kinetic energy (EKE congruent with features of the seafloor bathymetry that are greater in winter than summer, and estimates of EKE and eddy diffusivity in the Beaufort Sea are consistent with those predicted from theoretical considerations. The variability of Arctic Ocean geostrophic circulation highlights the interplay between seasonally variable atmospheric forcing and ice conditions, on a backdrop of long-term changes to the Arctic sea ice–ocean system. Studies point to various mechanisms influencing the observed increase in Arctic Ocean surface stress, and hence geostrophic currents, in the 2000s – e.g. decreased ice concentration/thickness, changing atmospheric forcing, changing ice pack morphology; however, more work is needed to refine the representation of atmosphere–ice–ocean coupling in models before we can fully

  9. Emission of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindwall, Frida

    , emitted in order to communicate within and between trophic levels and as protection against biotic and abiotic stresses, or as byproducts. Some BVOCs are very reactive, and when entering the atmosphere they rapidly react with for example hydroxyl radicals and ozone, affecting the oxidative capacity......Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from arctic ecosystems are scarcely studied and the effect of climate change on BVOC emissions even less so. BVOCs are emitted from all living organisms and play a role for atmospheric chemistry. The major part of BVOCs derives from plants...... in the atmosphere. This may warm the climate due to a prolonged lifetime of the potent greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere. However, oxidized BVOCs may participate in formation or growth of aerosols, which in turn may mitigate climate warming. Climate change in the Arctic, an area characterized by short...

  10. Demographic change, economic conditions, and subsistence salmon harvests in Alaska’s Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region


    Howe, E. Lance; Martin, Stephanie


    This paper addresses broad demographic and economic characteristics of the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region (AYK) of Alaska. AYK human population growth has generally been moderate over time. Because out-migration regularly exceeds in-migration, especially in the villages, population growth is mainly a product of natality. We anticipate future population growth patterns will be similar. In terms of regional characteristics, the linguistically and geographically distinct populations of the AYK re...

  11. Late Holocene climate and chemical change at high latitudes: case studies from contaminated sites in subarctic and arctic Canada (United States)

    Galloway, Jennifer M.; Cooney, Darryl; Crann, Carley; Falck, Hendrik; Howell, Dana; Jamieson, Heather; Macumber, Andrew; Nasser, Nawaf; Palmer, Michael; Patterson, R. Timothy; Parsons, Michael; Roe, Helen M.; Sanei, Hamed; Spence, Christopher; Stavinga, Drew; Swindles, Graeme T.


    Climate variability is occurring at unprecedented rates in northern regions of the Earth, yet little is known about the nature of this variability or its influence on chemical cycling in the environment, particularly in areas with a legacy of contamination from past resource development. We use a paleolimnological approach to reconstruct climate and chemical change over centuries and millennia at two sites in the mineral-rich Slave Geologic Province in Northern Canada heavily impacted by gold mining. Such an approach is necessary to define the cumulative effects of climate change on metal loading and can be used to define anthropogenic release of contaminants to support policy and regulation due to a paucity of long-term monitoring data. The Seabridge Gold Inc. Courageous Lake project is a gold exploration project 240 km north of Yellowknife in the central Northwest Territories, Arctic Canada. Mining operations took place within the claim area at the Tundra (1964-1968) and Salmita (1983-1987) mines. Giant Mine is located in the subarctic near the City of Yellowknife and mining at this site represents the longest continuous gold mining operation in Canada (1938 to 2002). Due to the refractory mineralogy of ore, gold was extracted from arsenopyrite by roasting, which resulted in release of substantial quantities of highly toxic arsenic trioxide to the environment. Arsenic (As) is also naturally elevated at these sites due its occurrence in Yellowknife Supergroup greenstone belts and surficial geologic deposits. To attempt to distinguish between geogenic and anthropogenic sources of As and characterize the role of climate change on metalloid mobility we used a freeze coring technology to capture lake sediments from the properties. Sediments were analyzed for sedimentary grain size and bulk geochemistry using ICP-MS to reconstruct climate and chemical change. Micropaleontological analyses are on-going. Interpretations of the physical, chemical, and biological archive

  12. Graduate training in Earth science across borders and disciplines: ArcTrain -"Processes and impacts of climate change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic" (United States)

    Stein, Rüdiger; Kucera, Michal; Walter, Maren; de Vernal, Anne


    Due to a complex set of feedback processes collectively known as "polar amplification", the Arctic realm is expected to experience a greater-than-average response to global climate forcing. The cascades of feedback processes that connect the Arctic cryosphere, ocean and atmosphere remain incompletely constrained by observations and theory and are difficult to simulate in climate models. Our capacity to predict the future of the region and assess the impacts of Arctic change processes on global and regional environments hinges on the availability of interdisciplinary experts with strong international experience and understanding of the science/society interface. This is the basis of the International Research Training Group "Processes and impacts of climate change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic - ArcTrain", which was initiated in 2013. ArcTrain aims to educate PhD students in an interdisciplinary environment that combines paleoclimatology, physical oceanography, remote sensing and glaciology with comprehensive Earth system modelling, including sea-ice and ice-sheet components. The qualification program for the PhD students includes joint supervision, mandatory research residences at partner institutions, field courses on land and on sea (Floating University), annual meetings and training workshops and a challenging structured training in expert skills and transferrable skills. Its aim is to enhance the career prospects and employability of the graduates in a challenging international job market across academic and applied sectors. ArcTrain is a collaborative project at the University of Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven. The German part of the project is designed to continue for nine years and educate three cohorts of twelve PhD students each. The Canadian partners comprise a consortium of eight universities led by the GEOTOP cluster at the Université du Québec à Montréal and including

  13. Collaboration in Arctic Research: Best Practices to Build and Sustain Successful Cross- and Trans-disciplinary Efforts (United States)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Rich, R. H.


    The rapid physical and social changes currently underway in the Arctic - and changes in the way in which we study and manage the region -- require coordinated research efforts to improve our understanding of the Arctic's physical, biological, and social systems and the implications of change at many scales. At the same time, policy-makers and Arctic communities need decision-support tools and synthesized information to respond and adapt to the "new Arctic". There are enormous challenges, however, in collaboration among the disparate groups of people needed for such efforts. A carefully planned strategic approach is required to bridge the scientific disciplinary and organizational boundaries, foster cooperation between local communities and science programs, and effectively communicate between scientists and policy-makers. Efforts must draw on bodies of knowledge from project management, strategic planning, organizational development, and group dynamics. This poster presentation will discuss best practices of building and sustaining networks of people to catalyze successful cross-disciplinary activities. Specific examples and case studies - both successes and failures -- will be presented that draw on several projects at the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS;, a nonprofit membership organization composed of universities and institutions that have a substantial commitment to research in the Arctic.

  14. Atmospheric Sb in the Arctic during the past 16,000 years: Responses to climate change and human impacts (United States)

    Krachler, Michael; Zheng, Jiancheng; Fisher, David; Shotyk, William


    Applying strict clean room procedures and sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) methods, concentrations of Sb and Sc were determined in 57 sections of a 170.6-m-long ice core drilled on Devon Island, Arctic Canada, in 1999, providing a record of atmospheric Sb extending back 15,800 years. Natural background concentrations of Sb and Sc established during the period between 1300 years BP and 10,590 years BP averaged 0.08 ± 0.03 pg/g (N = 18) and 0.44 ± 0.20 pg/g (N = 17), respectively. Scandium, a conservative reference element, was used as a surrogate for mineral dust inputs. The Sb/Sc ratio of 0.13 ± 0.07 in these ancient ice samples is comparable to the corresponding ratio of 0.09 ± 0.03 in peat samples from Switzerland from circa 6000 to 9000 years BP, indicating that this natural background ratio might have a much broader validity. The natural background flux of Sb (0.7 ± 0.5 ng/m2/a) in the Arctic was approximately 500 times lower than that established in central Europe using peat cores. For comparison with background values, modern Sb fluxes calculated using 45 samples from a 5-m snow pit dug on Devon Island in 2004, reflecting 10 years of snow accumulation, yielded an average deposition rate of 340 ± 270 ng/m2/a (range: 20-1240 ng/m2/a) with pronounced accumulation of Sb during winter periods when air masses reaching the Arctic predominantly come from Eurasia. These data reveal that approximately 99.8% of the Sb deposited in the Arctic today originates from anthropogenic activities. Modern Sb enrichment factors averaged 25 (range: 8-121). The ice core provides evidence of Sb contamination dating from Phoenician/Greek, Roman, and medieval lead mining and smelting in Europe. Moreover, the ice core data indicate that anthropogenic sources of Sb have continuously dominated the atmospheric inputs to the Arctic for at least 700 years.

  15. Advancing NOAA NWS Arctic Program Development (United States)

    Timofeyeva-Livezey, M. M.; Horsfall, F. M. C.; Meyers, J. C.; Churma, M.; Thoman, R.


    Environmental changes in the Arctic require changes in the way the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) delivers hydrological and meteorological information to prepare the region's societies and indigenous population for emerging challenges. These challenges include changing weather patterns, changes in the timing and extent of sea ice, accelerated soil erosion due to permafrost decline, increasing coastal vulnerably, and changes in the traditional food supply. The decline in Arctic sea ice is opening new opportunities for exploitation of natural resources, commerce, tourism, and military interest. These societal challenges and economic opportunities call for a NOAA integrated approach for delivery of environmental information including climate, water, and weather data, forecasts, and warnings. Presently the NOAA Arctic Task Force provides leadership in programmatic coordination across NOAA line offices. National Weather Service (NWS) Alaska Region and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) provide the foundational operational hydro-meteorological products and services in the Arctic. Starting in 2016, NOAA's NWS will work toward improving its role in programmatic coordination and development through assembling an NWS Arctic Task Team. The team will foster ties in the Arctic between the 11 NWS national service programs in climate, water, and weather information, as well as between Arctic programs in NWS and other NOAA line offices and external partners. One of the team outcomes is improving decision support tools for the Arctic. The Local Climate Analysis Tool (LCAT) currently has more than 1100 registered users, including NOAA staff and technical partners. The tool has been available online since 2013 ( ). The tool links trusted, recommended NOAA data and analytical capabilities to assess impacts of climate variability and climate change at local levels. A new capability currently being developed will

  16. Deciphering the impact of change on the driftwood cycle: contribution to the study of human use of wood in the Arctic (United States)

    Alix, Claire


    Driftwood that originates in the Siberian and North American boreal forest is the major source of wood to people in the treeless Arctic. It archives various kinds of data about climate, river flow, ocean and ice circulation, and other critical environmental and cultural characteristics in the north. Unlike wood in most other regions, it is often well preserved in arctic archaeological sites. The existence and renewal of driftwood are closely linked to specific climatic and ecological conditions that have changed through time (e.g., floods, river banks, storms, prevailing currents and winds, sea-ice circulation, etc.). These conditions differently affect the fall, circulation and delivery of driftwood to the coast, resulting in changes in abundance, distribution and intrinsic properties of the wood. Based on a review of existing literature supplemented by new data from Alaska, this paper details factors underlying the "dynamic of driftwood production" in terms of driftwood abundance and quality, and indigenous people's use of the resource. Oral history interviews in coastal and river communities of Alaska recorded knowledge on driftwood use and ecology. Driftwood samples were collected from accumulations along the northwest coast of Alaska and the south of the Chukotka Peninsula. Results show that the timing of treefall and river transport are crucial to the subsequent ocean circulation and may determine the size and quality of the wood. Ultimately, it conditions what coastal people could build or manufacture.

  17. International Regulation of Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molenaar, E.J.

    Due in particular to the impacts of climate change, the adequacy of the international regulation of Central Arctic Ocean fisheries has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. As shown in this article, however, international regulation of Central Arctic Ocean fisheries is by no means entirely

  18. Monitoring changes in seismic velocity related to an ongoing rapid inflation event at Okmok volcano, Alaska (United States)

    Bennington, Ninfa; Haney, Matt; De Angelis, Silvio; Thurber, Clifford; Freymueller, Jeff


    Okmok is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian Arc. In an effort to improve our ability to detect precursory activity leading to eruption at Okmok, we monitor a recent, and possibly ongoing, GPS-inferred rapid inflation event at the volcano using ambient noise interferometry (ANI). Applying this method, we identify changes in seismic velocity outside of Okmok’s caldera, which are related to the hydrologic cycle. Within the caldera, we observe decreases in seismic velocity that are associated with the GPS-inferred rapid inflation event. We also determine temporal changes in waveform decorrelation and show a continual increase in decorrelation rate over the time associated with the rapid inflation event. Themagnitude of relative velocity decreases and decorrelation rate increases are comparable to previous studies at Piton de la Fournaise that associate such changes with increased production of volatiles and/ormagmatic intrusion within the magma reservoir and associated opening of fractures and/or fissures. Notably, the largest decrease in relative velocity occurs along the intrastation path passing nearest to the center of the caldera. This observation, along with equal amplitude relative velocity decreases revealed via analysis of intracaldera autocorrelations, suggests that the inflation sourcemay be located approximately within the center of the caldera and represent recharge of shallow magma storage in this location. Importantly, there is a relative absence of seismicity associated with this and previous rapid inflation events at Okmok. Thus, these ANI results are the first seismic evidence of such rapid inflation at the volcano.

  19. Rapid ecosystem change challenges the adaptive capacity of Local Environmental Knowledge. (United States)

    Fernández-Llamazares, Álvaro; Díaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Luz, Ana C; Cabeza, Mar; Pyhälä, Aili; Reyes-García, Victoria


    The use of Local Environmental Knowledge has been considered as an important strategy for adaptive management in the face of Global Environmental Change. However, the unprecedented rates at which global change occurs may pose a challenge to the adaptive capacity of local knowledge systems. In this paper, we use the concept of the shifting baseline syndrome to examine the limits in the adaptive capacity of the local knowledge of an indigenous society facing rapid ecosystem change. We conducted semi-structured interviews regarding perceptions of change in wildlife populations and in intergenerational transmission of knowledge amongst the Tsimane', a group of hunter-gatherers of Bolivian Amazonia ( n = 300 adults in 13 villages). We found that the natural baseline against which the Tsimane' measure ecosystem changes might be shifting with every generation as a result of (a) age-related differences in the perception of change and (b) a decrease in the intergenerational sharing of environmental knowledge. Such findings suggest that local knowledge systems might not change at a rate quick enough to adapt to conditions of rapid ecosystem change, hence potentially compromising the adaptive success of the entire social-ecological system. With the current pace of Global Environmental Change, widening the gap between the temporal rates of on-going ecosystem change and the timescale needed for local knowledge systems to adjust to change, efforts to tackle the shifting baseline syndrome are urgent and critical for those who aim to use Local Environmental Knowledge as a tool for adaptive management.

  20. Understanding how lake populations of arctic char are structured and function with special consideration of the potential effects of climate change: A multi-faceted approach. (United States)

    Budy, Phaedra; Luecke, Chris


    Size dimorphism in fish populations, both its causes and consequences, has been an area of considerable focus; however, uncertainty remains whether size dimorphism is dynamic or stabilizing and about the role of exogenous factors. Here, we explored patterns among empirical vital rates, population structure, abundance and trend, and predicted the effects of climate change on populations of arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) in two lakes. Both populations cycle dramatically between dominance by small (≤300 mm) and large (>300 mm) char. Apparent survival (Φ) and specific growth rates (SGR) were relatively high (40–96 %; SGR range 0.03–1.5 %) and comparable to those of conspecifics at lower latitudes. Climate change scenarios mimicked observed patterns of warming and resulted in temperatures closer to optimal for char growth (15.15 °C) and a longer growing season. An increase in consumption rates (28–34 %) under climate change scenarios led to much greater growth rates (23–34 %). Higher growth rates predicted under climate change resulted in an even greater predicted amplitude of cycles in population structure as well as an increase in reproductive output (Ro) and decrease in generation time (Go). Collectively, these results indicate arctic char populations (not just individuals) are extremely sensitive to small changes in the number of ice-free days. We hypothesize years with a longer growing season, predicted to occur more often under climate change, produce elevated growth rates of small char and act in a manner similar to a “resource pulse,” allowing a sub-set of small char to “break through,” thus setting the cycle in population structure.

  1. Understanding how lake populations of arctic char are structured and function with special consideration of the potential effects of climate change: a multi-faceted approach. (United States)

    Budy, Phaedra; Luecke, Chris


    Size dimorphism in fish populations, both its causes and consequences, has been an area of considerable focus; however, uncertainty remains whether size dimorphism is dynamic or stabilizing and about the role of exogenous factors. Here, we explored patterns among empirical vital rates, population structure, abundance and trend, and predicted the effects of climate change on populations of arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) in two lakes. Both populations cycle dramatically between dominance by small (≤300 mm) and large (>300 mm) char. Apparent survival (Φ) and specific growth rates (SGR) were relatively high (40-96%; SGR range 0.03-1.5%) and comparable to those of conspecifics at lower latitudes. Climate change scenarios mimicked observed patterns of warming and resulted in temperatures closer to optimal for char growth (15.15 °C) and a longer growing season. An increase in consumption rates (28-34%) under climate change scenarios led to much greater growth rates (23-34%). Higher growth rates predicted under climate change resulted in an even greater predicted amplitude of cycles in population structure as well as an increase in reproductive output (Ro) and decrease in generation time (Go). Collectively, these results indicate arctic char populations (not just individuals) are extremely sensitive to small changes in the number of ice-free days. We hypothesize years with a longer growing season, predicted to occur more often under climate change, produce elevated growth rates of small char and act in a manner similar to a "resource pulse," allowing a sub-set of small char to "break through," thus setting the cycle in population structure.

  2. U.S. Arctic research in a technological age

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, P.L.


    The United States Arctic Research Commission was established in 1984 primarily as an advisory agency. An Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee is one of the main recipients of the Commission's recommendations. The Committee formulated an Arctic research policy calling for research focused on national security concerns, regional development with minimal environmental or adverse social impact, and scientific research on Arctic phenomena and processes. In basic science, emphasis is placed on the need to understand Arctic processes as part of the global earth system. These processes include those that affect and are affected by climatic change. A new research program in Arctic systems science has three components: paleoenvironmental studies on ice core from Greenland; ocean-atmosphere interactions; and land-atmosphere interactions. The Commission also recognizes a need to focus on issues relevant to the Arctic as an integral component of the world economic system, since the Arctic is a significant source of petroleum and minerals. The Commission recommended that the Committee develop an Arctic engineering research plan with emphasis on such topics as oil spill prevention, waste disposal, small-scale power generation, and Arctic construction techniques. The USA is also cooperating in international Arctic research through the International Arctic Science Committee, the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy, and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization

  3. Engaging Chicago residents in climate change action: Results from Rapid Ethnographic Inquiry (United States)

    Lynne M. Westphal; Jennifer. Hirsch


    Addressing climate change requires action at all levels of society, from neighborhood to international levels. Using Rapid Ethnography rooted in Asset Based Community Development theory, we investigated climate-friendly attitudes and behaviors in two Chicago neighborhoods in order to assist the City with implementation of its Climate Action Plan. Our research suggests...

  4. Computed tomographic demonstration of rapid changes in fatty infiltration of the liver

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bashist, B.; Hecht, H.L.; Harely, W.D.


    Two alcoholic patients in whom computed tomography (CT) demonstrated reversal of fatty infiltration of the liver are described. The rapid reversibility of fatty infiltration can be useful in monitoring alcoholics with fatty livers. Focal fatty infiltration can mimic focal hepatic lesions and repeat scans can be utilized to assess changes in CT attenuation values when this condition is suspected

  5. Arctic Shipping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Carsten Ørts; Grønsedt, Peter; Lindstrøm Graversen, Christian

    This report forms part of the ambitious CBS Maritime research initiative entitled “Competitive Challenges and Strategic Development Potential in Global Maritime Industries” which was launched with the generous support of the Danish Maritime Fund. The competitiveness initiative targets specific ma......, the latter aiming at developing key concepts and building up a basic industry knowledge base for further development of CBS Maritime research and teaching. This report attempts to map the opportunities and challenges for the maritime industry in an increasingly accessible Arctic Ocean...

  6. Rapid stress-induced transcriptomic changes in the brain depend on beta-adrenergic signaling. (United States)

    Roszkowski, Martin; Manuella, Francesca; von Ziegler, Lukas; Durán-Pacheco, Gonzalo; Moreau, Jean-Luc; Mansuy, Isabelle M; Bohacek, Johannes


    Acute exposure to stressful experiences can rapidly increase anxiety and cause neuropsychiatric disorders. The effects of stress result in part from the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, which regulate gene expression in different brain regions. The fast neuroendocrine response to stress is largely mediated by norepinephrine (NE) and corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), followed by a slower and more sustained release of corticosterone. While corticosterone is an important regulator of gene expression, it is not clear which stress-signals contribute to the rapid regulation of gene expression observed immediately after stress exposure. Here, we demonstrate in mice that 45 min after an acute swim stress challenge, large changes in gene expression occur across the transcriptome in the hippocampus, a region sensitive to the effects of stress. We identify multiple candidate genes that are rapidly and transiently altered in both males and females. Using a pharmacological approach, we show that most of these rapidly induced genes are regulated by NE through β-adrenergic receptor signaling. We find that CRH and corticosterone can also contribute to rapid changes in gene expression, although these effects appear to be restricted to fewer genes. These results newly reveal a widespread impact of NE on the transcriptome and identify novel genes associated with stress and adrenergic signaling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The effects of land cover and land use change on the contemporary carbon balance of the arctic and boreal terrestrial ecosystems of northern Eurasia (United States)

    Hayes, Daniel J.; McGuire, A. David; Kicklighter, David W.; Burnside , Todd J.; Melillo, Jerry M.


    Recent changes in climate, disturbance regimes and land use and management systems in Northern Eurasia have the potential to disrupt the terrestrial sink of atmospheric CO2 in a way that accelerates global climate change. To determine the recent trends in the carbon balance of the arctic and boreal ecosystems of this region, we performed a retrospective analysis of terrestrial carbon dynamics across northern Eurasia over a recent 10-year period using a terrestrial biogeochemical process model. The results of the simulations suggest a shift in direction of the net flux from the terrestrial sink of earlier decades to a net source on the order of 45 Tg C year−1between 1997 and 2006. The simulation framework and subsequent analyses presented in this study attribute this shift to a large loss of carbon from boreal forest ecosystems, which experienced a trend of decreasing precipitation and a large area burned during this time period.

  8. Integrated ocean management as a strategy to meet rapid climate change: the Norwegian case. (United States)

    Hoel, Alf Håkon; Olsen, Erik


    The prospects of rapid climate change and the potential existence of tipping points in marine ecosystems where nonlinear change may result from them being overstepped, raises the question of strategies for coping with ecosystem change. There is broad agreement that the combined forces of climate change, pollution and increasing economic activities necessitates more comprehensive approaches to oceans management, centering on the concept of ecosystem-based oceans management. This article addresses the Norwegian experience in introducing integrated, ecosystem-based oceans management, emphasizing how climate change, seen as a major long-term driver of change in ecosystems, is addressed in management plans. Understanding the direct effects of climate variability and change on ecosystems and indirect effects on human activities is essential for adaptive planning to be useful in the long-term management of the marine environment.

  9. Using an Environmental Intelligence Framework to Evaluate the Impacts of Ocean Acidification in the Arctic (United States)

    Mathis, J. T.; Baskin, M.; Cross, J.


    The highly productive coastal seas of the Arctic Ocean are located in areas that are projected to experience strong global change, including rapid transitions in temperature and ocean acidification-driven changes in pH and other chemical parameters. Many of the marine organisms that may be most intensely affected by ocean acidification (OA) and other environmental stressors contribute substantially to the commercial fisheries of the Bering Sea and traditional subsistence food supplies across the Arctic. This could represent a looming challenge in many communities as the average prevalence of household food insecurity and very low food security in Alaska are already 12 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively. Here, we evaluate the patterns of dependence on marine resources within Alaska's Arctic that could be negatively impacted by OA and current community characteristics to assess the potential risk to the fishery sector from OA. We used a risk assessment framework to analyze an earth-system global model of ocean chemistry, fisheries harvest data, and demographic information. The analysis showed that regions around Alaska vary in their vulnerability to OA, but that each one will have to deal with possible impacts. Therefore, OA merits consideration in policy planning, as it may represent another challenge to Alaskan communities, some of which are already under acute socio-economic strains. With this in mind, we will present a number of adaptation strategies for communities living throughout Alaska's Arctic that could be applicable to other Arctic regions.

  10. What we know, do not know, and need to know about climate change vulnerability in the western Canadian Arctic: a systematic literature review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, James D; Pearce, Tristan


    This letter systematically reviews and synthesizes scientific and gray literature publications (n = 420) to identify and characterize the nature of climate change vulnerability in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the western Canadian Arctic and identify gaps in understanding. The literature documents widespread evidence of climate change, with implications for human and biophysical systems. Adaptations are being employed to manage changing conditions and are indicative of a high adaptive capacity. However, barriers to adaptation are evident and are expected to constrain adaptive capacity to future climate change. Continued climate change is predicted for the region, with differential exposure sensitivity for communities, groups and sectors: a function of social-economic-biophysical characteristics and projected future climatic conditions. Existing climate risks are expected to increase in magnitude and frequency, although the interaction between projected changes and socio-economic-demographic trends has not been assessed. The capacity for adapting to future climate change has also not been studied. The review identifies the importance of targeted vulnerability research that works closely with community members and other stakeholders to address research needs. Importantly, the fully categorized list of reviewed references accompanying this letter will be a valuable resource for those working or planning to work in the region, capturing climate change research published since 1990. At a broader level, the systematic review methodology offers a promising tool for climate/environmental change studies in general where there is a large and emerging body of research but limited understanding of research gaps and needs.

  11. Climate change influence on the internal structure of talus slopes in the Arctic - A case study from the southern Spitsbergen, Norway (United States)

    Senderak, K.; Kondracka, M.; Gądek, B.


    Talus slopes are present in all geographical altitudes, but the most active and dynamic slopes occur in high-mountain and polar areas. Spitsbergen, Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic, combines these two environments, therefore, the talus slopes develop in specific environmental conditions that have changed since the beginning of deglaciation. On Spitsbergen, which is 60% glaciated, talus slope evolution depends frequently on the interaction with glaciers, as well as the size of sediment supply area, the lithology, and the intensive of rock weathering. The warming of climate in the Arctic cause the identifiable changes in the internal structures of talus slopes associated with i.e. the melting of glaciers and the high activity of many morphogenetic processes on slope surface. The identification of these changes is a key to understanding of climate change influence (direct and indirect influence) on talus slope evolution. Our work presents the results of research, mainly based on the measurements using electrical resistivity tomography method (ERT) and ground-penetrating radar method (GPR), which were made on the talus slopes of southern Spitsbergen in the vicinity of Polish Polar Station in Hornsund. The geophysical surveys and geomorphological observations show that the climatic factor plays the significant role in the development of slopes, what is clearly visible when analyzing the whole slope systems in the selected glacial valleys (partly glaciated). The differences in the internal structure can depend on distance from the glacier and age of form. This mainly concerns the volume of buried glacial ice in slope material, the thickness of talus slopes, the depth of permafrost and active layer, the stored sedimentological structures including e.g. the traces