Science.gov

Sample records for arctic ecosystem final

  1. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1994-06-01

    The dynamics of carbon fixation and storage in tundra soils has received considerable attention with respect to global carbon cycling. Recent findings by investigators using chamber measurements of fixation/respiration rates in arctic tundra have led to the conclusion that tundra is no longer storing carbon but is instead a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The author has sought to test these conclusions and to determine methods by which the long-term accumulation or loss of carbon in tundra can be determined. Little is known, however, of the processes that control storage and the current rates of carbon fixation and peat formation in arctic Alaska. This project focused on several aspects of carbon dynamics and the roles of decomposition and herbivory at the DOE research site at Imnavait Creek, Alaska. Through the use of natural abundance stable and radioisotope techniques, several conclusions emerged. Peat carbon continues to accumulate in wetter areas of foothill valleys and on the coastal plain of arctic Alaska. Radiocarbon profiles of bomb {sup 14}C were used to date layers of vegetation and litter to obtain decomposition rates and to extrapolate these values to intersection with the permafrost horizon where further decomposition is assumed to cease. Carbon storage in riparian moss at Imnavait Creek was estimated at 3 g C/m{sup 2}-yr. Profiles of {sup 137}Cs closely matched those of {sup 14}C and may provide a more expeditious means of assessing recent carbon accumulation rates in tundra. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios in tundra vegetation vary markedly over hydrologic gradients in apparent response to changing growth rates and sources of nitrogenous nutrients. Within a taxon, {delta}{sup 15}N values varied by several {per_thousand} over a tens of meters distance.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. [Energy flow in arctic aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1985-12-31

    This study is aimed at determining the major pathways of energy flow in freshwater ecosystems of the Alaskan arctic coastal plain. Selected sites for study of the processes supplying energy to streams and lakes to verify the generality of past findings will be surveyed for collection of organisms including the Colville River drainage and the lake region around Teshekpuk Lake. Specific objectives are to collect food web apex organisms (fish and birds) from a variety of sites in the coastal plain to verify descriptive models of ecosystem structure and food web pathways and to compare the utilization rates by insect larvae of fresh litter and in situ primary production relative to more refractory peaty materials through seasonal sampling for isotopic analysis.

  4. [Energy flow in arctic aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1985-01-01

    This study is aimed at determining the major pathways of energy flow in freshwater ecosystems of the Alaskan arctic coastal plain. Selected sites for study of the processes supplying energy to streams and lakes to verify the generality of past findings will be surveyed for collection of organisms including the Colville River drainage and the lake region around Teshekpuk Lake. Specific objectives are to collect food web apex organisms (fish and birds) from a variety of sites in the coastal plain to verify descriptive models of ecosystem structure and food web pathways and to compare the utilization rates by insect larvae of fresh litter and in situ primary production relative to more refractory peaty materials through seasonal sampling for isotopic analysis.

  5. Changing Arctic ecosystems--research to understand and project changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geiselman, Joy; DeGange, Anthony R.; Oakley, Karen; Derksen, Dirk; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems and their wildlife communities are not static; they change and evolve over time due to numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A period of rapid change is occurring in the Arctic for which our current understanding of potential ecosystem and wildlife responses is limited. Changes to the physical environment include warming temperatures, diminishing sea ice, increasing coastal erosion, deteriorating permafrost, and changing water regimes. These changes influence biological communities and the ways in which human communities interact with them. Through the new initiative Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to (1) understand the potential suite of wildlife population responses to these physical changes to inform key resource management decisions such as those related to the Endangered Species Act, and (2) provide unique insights into how Arctic ecosystems are responding under new stressors. Our studies examine how and why changes in the ice-dominated ecosystems of the Arctic are affecting wildlife and will provide a better foundation for understanding the degree and manner in which wildlife species respond and adapt to rapid environmental change. Changes to Arctic ecosystems will be felt broadly because the Arctic is a production zone for hundreds of species that migrate south for the winter. The CAE initiative includes three major research themes that span Arctic ice-dominated ecosystems and that are structured to identify and understand the linkages between physical processes, ecosystems, and wildlife populations. The USGS is applying knowledge-based modeling structures such as Bayesian Networks to integrate the work.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  7. Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    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

  8. Observation Platforms and Data Streams of the Arctic Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinzman, L. D.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.; Hubbard, S. S.; Norby, R. J.; Rogers, A.; Torn, M. S.; Wilson, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    The goal of the Arctic Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic) is to deliver a process-rich ecosystem model, extending from bedrock to the top of the vegetative canopy, in which the evolution of Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate can be modeled at the scale of a high resolution Earth System Model grid cell. Increasing our confidence in climate projections for high-latitude regions of the world requires a coordinated set of observation platforms that target improved process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) seeks to address this challenge by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska. Initial research has focused upon the highly dynamic landscapes of the North Slope (Barrow, Alaska) where thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground offer distinct land units for investigation and modeling. This vision includes mechanistic studies in the field and in the laboratory; modeling of critical and interrelated water, nitrogen, carbon, and energy dynamics; and characterization of important interactions from molecular to landscape scales that drive feedbacks to the climate system. To complete these investigations, an integrated program of field monitoring has been initiated. These include observations of meteorological, hydrological, ecological and geophysical processes. These data streams are intended to supplement and extend existing polar data sets to advance our understanding of the Arctic environment and its response to a rapidly changing climate.

  9. Mercury bioaccumulation and biomagnification in a small Arctic polynya ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Clayden, Meredith G; Arsenault, Lilianne M; Kidd, Karen A; O'Driscoll, Nelson J; Mallory, Mark L

    2015-03-15

    Recurring polynyas are important areas of biological productivity and feeding grounds for seabirds and mammals in the Arctic marine environment. In this study, we examined food web structure (using carbon and nitrogen isotopes, δ(13)C and δ(15)N) and mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation and biomagnification in a small recurring polynya ecosystem near Nasaruvaalik Island (Nunavut, Canada). Methyl Hg (MeHg) concentrations increased by more than 50-fold from copepods (Calanus hyperboreus) to Arctic terns (Sterna paradisaea), the abundant predators at this site. The biomagnification of MeHg through members of the food web - using the slope of log MeHg versus δ(15)N - was 0.157 from copepods (C. hyperboreus) to fish. This slope was higher (0.267) when seabird chicks were included in the analyses. Collectively, our results indicate that MeHg biomagnification is occurring in this small polynya and that its trophic transfer is at the lower end of the range of estimates from other Arctic marine ecosystems. In addition, we measured Hg concentrations in some poorly studied members of Arctic marine food webs [e.g. Arctic alligatorfish (Ulcina olrikii) and jellyfish, Medusozoa], and found that MeHg concentrations in jellyfish were lower than expected given their trophic position. Overall, these findings provide fundamental information about food web structure and mercury contamination in a small Arctic polynya, which will inform future research in such ecosystems and provide a baseline against which to assess changes over time resulting from environmental disturbance. PMID:25149682

  10. Modeling evapotranspiration in Arctic coastal plain ecosystems using a modified BIOME-BGC model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engstrom, Ryan; Hope, Allen; Kwon, Hyojung; Harazono, Yoshinobu; Mano, Masayoshi; Oechel, Walter

    2006-06-01

    Modeling evapotranspiration (ET) in Arctic coastal plain ecosystems is challenging owing to the unique conditions present in this environment, including permafrost, nonvascular vegetation, and a large standing dead vegetation component. In this study the ecosystem process model, BIOME-BGC, was adapted to represent these unique conditions in Arctic ecosystems by including a new water storage and evaporation routine that accounts for nonvascular vegetation and the effects of permafrost, adding ground heat flux as an input, and representing ground shading by dead vegetation. The new Arctic version and the original BIOME-BGC models are compared to observed ET from two eddy flux towers in Barrow, Alaska over four summer seasons (1999-2002). The two towers are located less than 1 km apart, yet represent contrasting moisture conditions. One is located in a drained thaw lake, marsh area, while the other is located in a drier, upland area characterized by mesic tundra. Results indicate that the original BIOME-BGC model substantially underestimated ET, while the Arctic version slightly overestimated ET at both sites. The new Arctic model version worked particularly well at the wet tower because the model was able to capture energy limitations better than water limitations. Errors in the simulation of snowmelt date led to errors in the ET estimates at both sites. Finally, the substantial differences in soil moisture led to substantially different ET rates between the sites that were difficult to simulate and indicates that soil moisture heterogeneity is a strong controller on ET in these ecosystems.

  11. A new way to study the changing Arctic ecosystem

    ScienceCinema

    Hubbard, Susan

    2013-05-29

    Berkeley Lab scientists Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn discuss the proposed Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, which is designed to answer one of the most urgent questions facing researchers today: How will a changing climate impact the Arctic, and how will this in turn impact the planet's climate? More info: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2011/09/14/alaska-climate-change/

  12. A new way to study the changing Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Berkeley Lab scientists Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn discuss the proposed Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, which is designed to answer one of the most urgent questions facing researchers today: How will a changing climate impact the Arctic, and how will this in turn impact the planet's climate? More info: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2011/09/14/alaska-climate-change/

  13. Communicating Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  14. Crossing the final ecological threshold in high Arctic ponds

    PubMed Central

    Smol, John P.; Douglas, Marianne S. V.

    2007-01-01

    A characteristic feature of most Arctic regions is the many shallow ponds that dot the landscape. These surface waters are often hotspots of biodiversity and production for microorganisms, plants, and animals in this otherwise extreme terrestrial environment. However, shallow ponds are also especially susceptible to the effects of climatic changes because of their relatively low water volumes and high surface area to depth ratios. Here, we describe our findings that some high Arctic ponds, which paleolimnological data indicate have been permanent water bodies for millennia, are now completely drying during the polar summer. By comparing recent pond water specific conductance values to similar measurements made in the 1980s, we link the disappearance of the ponds to increased evaporation/precipitation ratios, probably associated with climatic warming. The final ecological threshold for these aquatic ecosystems has now been crossed: complete desiccation. PMID:17606917

  15. Crossing the final ecological threshold in high Arctic ponds.

    PubMed

    Smol, John P; Douglas, Marianne S V

    2007-07-24

    A characteristic feature of most Arctic regions is the many shallow ponds that dot the landscape. These surface waters are often hotspots of biodiversity and production for microorganisms, plants, and animals in this otherwise extreme terrestrial environment. However, shallow ponds are also especially susceptible to the effects of climatic changes because of their relatively low water volumes and high surface area to depth ratios. Here, we describe our findings that some high Arctic ponds, which paleolimnological data indicate have been permanent water bodies for millennia, are now completely drying during the polar summer. By comparing recent pond water specific conductance values to similar measurements made in the 1980s, we link the disappearance of the ponds to increased evaporation/precipitation ratios, probably associated with climatic warming. The final ecological threshold for these aquatic ecosystems has now been crossed: complete desiccation. PMID:17606917

  16. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1988-12-31

    Natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. Our overall goals are to a determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers. Past work on fishes, birds, and the prey species of insects and aquatic crustaceans has shown that peat carbon is very important in the energy supply supporting the food webs over the course of the year. Obligate freshwater fishes from the coastal lakes and Colville River have been shown to contain up to 60 percent peat carbon at the end of the winter season. In contrast, migratory shorebirds and passerines contained much smaller radiocarbon abundances in summer, indicating a major shift to recent in situ primary production in pond and stream ecosystems in summer months. For the past two years, we have narrowed our focus to the processes supplying carbon to the beaded stream system at MS-117 and have concentrated on determining the transfer and accumulation rates of carbon in the watershed.

  17. Using digital photos and models to analyze episodic winter snowmelt events in low-Arctic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, S. H.; Tamstorf, M. P.; Westergaard-Nielsen, A.; Liston, G. E.; Schmidt, N. M.

    2013-12-01

    Terrestrial snow cover is a key parameter controlling both abiotic and biotic ecosystem processes in the Arctic. Yet knowledge and observations of snow cover in Greenland are limited. However, one exception is Kobbefjord (64°07'N, 51°21'W) in West Greenland. Since 2007, Nuuk Ecological Research Operations (NERO), led by Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring, have run an ecosystem baseline monitoring program responsible for collecting extensive snow observation datasets using manual, automated, and remotely-sensed methods. The available snow datasets provide a unique opportunity to describe and analyze the spatial and temporal distribution of snow-cover features and interactions in a low-Arctic setting where snow-dependent ecosystem components and processes are also observed. The aim of this study is to understand the temporal and spatial snow evolution in a low-Arctic ecosystem where a range of validation data is available, with a particular emphasis on infrequent winter snowmelt events. Extreme winter melt events associated with air temperatures rising abruptly to above 0.0 °C and with wind speeds greater than 20 m/s have been observed. We identified these melt events and quantified their effect on the snowpack and water balance to address possible consequences for a range of biological parameters. Finally, we compared the inter-annual air temperature variation during the last five years (2007-2013) with a 119-year climate record to place these recent variations within a long-term climate perspective. We implemented a spatially distributed snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) to provide temporal and spatial descriptions of snow within the study area from 2007 through 2013. SnowModel was driven by climate data collected by NERO. The available snow observations enabled validation of the modeled snow depth through 1) independent manual and automated snow depth measurements, and 2) a spatial validation of the modeled snow cover depletion through snow classification

  18. Improved Climate Prediction through a System Level Understanding of Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems: Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic)*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, S. S.; Graham, D. E.; Hinzman, L. D.; Liang, L.; Liljedahl, A.; Norby, R. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Riley, W. J.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    Characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and a rapidly evolving landscape, the Arctic has emerged as an important focal point for the study of climate change. Although recognized as an ecosystem highly vulnerable to climate change, mechanisms that govern feedbacks between the terrestrial and climate system are not well understood. Increasing our confidence in climate projections for high-latitude regions of the world requires coordinated investigations that target improved process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) seeks to address this challenge by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska. The NGEE-Arctic project is a large, multi-disciplinary activity sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science. Recent NGEE-Arctic research has focused on the highly dynamic landscapes of the North Slope Arctic tundra where thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground offer distinct land units for investigation and modeling. The project is working on the Barrow Environmental Observatory to study interactions that drive critical climate feedbacks within these environments through greenhouse gas fluxes and changes in surface energy balance associated with permafrost degradation and the many other processes that arise as a result of these landscape dynamics. Ongoing are mechanistic studies in the field and in the laboratory; modeling of critical and interrelated water, nitrogen, carbon, and energy dynamics; and characterization of important interactions from molecular to landscape scales that drive feedbacks to the climate system. A suite of climate-, intermediate- and fine-scale models are being used to guide observations and interpret data, while characterization information and process studies serve to initialize state variables in models, provide new algorithms and

  19. Alaska's Arctic Landscapes: Land cover, Monitoring and Assessing Arctic Ecosystems and their Change Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guyer, P. S.

    2013-12-01

    The challenge for agencies who manage the 89,000 square miles constituting Alaska's arctic ecoregion is in understanding what, where and to what extent important ecosystems exist. How do each of these ecosystems function? What are the key components of these ecosystems? How are they affected by the changing climate, fire, permafrost changes and development? Answers to these management questions come not from one specific project or program but from a series of data gathering efforts. Landcover mapping of Alaska's arctic using satellite imagery began in the mid 1990's. Over the past three years the land cover has been updated using additional ground truth data and the most up to date image processing software. In 2012, the updated map was used for the first time to select sites for an inventory and monitoring pilot project. The project established a baseline of information for long-term monitoring of regional ecological components. That same year the Bureau of Land Management began a Rapid Ecoregional Assessment across the North Slope of Alaska. This effort will utilize the known environments established by the land cover map and will model the effects of climate change, fire, permafrost change and development. The assessment and modeling effort will show how the effect of these change agents would shape long term conservation, restoration and development efforts. These interactions together will advance the understanding of the arctic ecoregion its values, processes and functions and how the agents of change will shape the future.

  20. Satellite Monitoring of Disturbances in Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prieto-Blanco, A.; Disney, M.; Lewis, P.

    2008-12-01

    We explored the capability of satellite remote sensing to detect temporal changes in northern Fennoscandian regions through the application of a temporal model of surface bidirectional reflectance. Remote sensing offers the potential to monitor changes over large areas and at hard to access locations. Specifically in remote Arctic locations, where ground surveys and aircraft observations are constrained by weather conditions and logistics, remote sensing provides a unique capability for repetitive and frequent sampling. A major disturbance in mountain birch forests typical of northern Sweden and Finland is caused by outbreaks of defoliating insects such as the autumn moth (Epirrita autumnata) and the winter moth (Operophtera brumata). These outbreaks occur more or less cyclically every 9-10 years and attack mainly birch (Betula spp.) leaving a mosaic of open woodland within the forest. It is expected that global warming will affect the incidence and the intensity of this outbreaks. The ecological and economical consequences can be severe hence the importance of close monitoring of shifts in the distribution of events. Defoliated areas of up to 6000 to 7000 ha of birch forest have been reported. Severely affected areas could potentially be detected by satellite providing valuable data to understand the behavior, estimate the damage and predict the development of forest pests. Quantification of the impact of such outbreaks will also permit far more accurate estimation of the terrestrial carbon budget of such regions. Here we applied a generic algorithm to detect sudden changes on land surface cover to daily 500m MODIS surface reflectance data over the Fennoscandian area. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectraradiometer (MODIS) sensors on board the polar orbiting satellites Terra and Aqua provide an overpass at least once a day over the area of interest. Unfortunately, frequent cloud cover limits the acquisition of satellite imagery and persistent cloud cover may

  1. Changing seasonality of Arctic hydrology disrupts key biotic linkages in Arctic aquatic ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    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

  2. Arctic epishelf lakes as sentinel ecosystems: Past, present and future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veillette, Julie; Mueller, Derek R.; Antoniades, Dermot; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2008-12-01

    Ice shelves are a prominent but diminishing feature of the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic (latitude 82-83°N). By blocking embayments and fiords, this thick coastal ice can create epishelf lakes, which are characterized by a perennially ice-capped water column of freshwater overlying seawater. The goal of this study was to synthesize new, archived, and published data on Arctic epishelf lakes in the context of climate change. Long-term changes along this coastline were evaluated using historical reports, cartographic analysis, RADARSAT imagery, and field measurements. These data, including salinity-temperature profiling records from Disraeli Fiord spanning 54 years, show the rapid decline and near disappearance of this lake type in the Arctic. Salinity-temperature profiling of Milne Fiord, currently blocked by the Milne Ice Shelf, confirmed that it contained an epishelf lake composed of a 16-m thick freshwater layer overlying seawater. A profiling survey along the coast showed that there was a continuum of ice-dammed lakes from shallow systems dammed by multiyear landfast sea ice to deep epishelf lakes behind ice shelves. The climate warming recently observed in this region likely contributed to the decline of epishelf lakes over the last century, and the air temperature trend predicted for the Arctic over the next several decades implies the imminent loss of this ecosystem type. Our results underscore the distinctive properties of coastal ice-dammed lakes and their value as sentinel ecosystems for the monitoring of regional and global climate change.

  3. Mercury in Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Sources, Pathways, and Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Jane L.; Lehnherr, Igor; Andersson, Maria; Braune, Birgit M.; Chan, Laurie; Dastoor, Ashu P.; Durnford, Dorothy; Gleason, Amber L.; Loseto, Lisa L.; Steffen, Alexandra; St. Louis, Vincent L.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury in the Arctic is an important environmental and human health issue. The reliance of Northern Peoples on traditional foods, such as marine mammals, for subsistence means that they are particularly at risk from mercury exposure. The cycling of mercury in Arctic marine systems is reviewed here, with emphasis placed on the key sources, pathways and processes which regulate mercury levels in marine food webs and ultimately the exposure of human populations to this contaminant. While many knowledge gaps exist limiting our ability to make strong conclusions, it appears that the long range transport of mercury from Asian emissions is an important source of atmospheric Hg to the Arctic and that mercury methylation resulting in monomethylmercury production (an organic form of mercury which is both toxic and bioaccumulated) in Arctic marine waters is the principal source of mercury incorporated into food webs. Mercury concentrations in biological organisms have increased since the onset of the industrial age and are controlled by a combination of abiotic factors (e.g., monomethylmercury supply), food web dynamics and structure, and animal behavior (e.g., habitat selection and feeding behavior). Finally, although some Northern Peoples have high mercury concentrations of mercury in their blood and hair, harvesting and consuming traditional foods has many nutritional, social, cultural and physical health benefits which must be considered in risk management and communication. PMID:23102902

  4. Pleistocene graminoid-dominated ecosystems in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blinnikov, Mikhail S.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Walker, Donald A.; Wooller, Matthew J.; Zazula, Grant D.

    2011-10-01

    We review evidence obtained from analyses of multiple proxies (floristics, mammal remains, paleoinsects, pollen, macrofossils, plant cuticles, phytoliths, stable isotopes, and modeling) that elucidate the composition and character of the graminoid-dominated ecosystems of the Pleistocene Arctic. The past thirty years have seen a renewed interest in this now-extinct biome, sometimes referred to as "tundra-steppe" (steppe-tundra in North American sources). While many questions remain, converging evidence from many new terrestrial records and proxies coupled with better understanding of paleoclimate dynamics point to the predominance of xeric and cold adapted grassland as the key former vegetation type in the Arctic confirming earlier conjectures completed in the 1960s-1980s. A variety of still existing species of grasses and forbs played key roles in the species assemblages of the time, but their mixtures were not analogous to the tundras of today. Local mosaics based on topography, proximity to the ice sheets and coasts, soil heterogeneity, animal disturbance, and fire regimes were undoubtedly present. However, inadequate coverage of terrestrial proxies exist to resolve this spatial heterogeneity. These past ecosystems were maintained by a combination of dry and cold climate and grazing pressure/disturbance by large (e.g., mammoth and horse) and small (e.g., ground squirrels) mammals. Some recent studies from Eastern Beringia (Alaska) suggest that more progress will be possible when analyses of many proxies are combined at local scales.

  5. Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gustine, David; Adams, Layne; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John

    2014-01-01

    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.

  6. Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed Arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    This progress report is a funding, extension request to continue the database work for the Hydrological and Geochemical Response and Recovery in Disturbed Arctic Ecosystems Program. Throughout the period from 1985 to 1992 the Department of Energy supported research on the hydrology and geochemistry of the headwater basin of Imnavait Creek has focused on the quantification of the input from atmospheric sources of biologically significant and other related chemical variables; the transport of these variables in surface and subsurface flow and their efflux from the basin; and the development of geochemical budgets. The acquisition of multi-year data sets (the longest and most detailed sets in the Arctic) have made it possible to define seasonal ranges and amplitudes; determine spatial and temporal relationships within the different flow compartments; to begin to model the pathways and rates of movement through and across different landscape units. The length of record has also made it possible to examine the quantity and influence of local and extra-regional additions.

  7. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers. PMID:25394857

  8. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy.

    PubMed

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers. PMID:25394857

  9. Responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernakovich, J. G.; Hopping, K. A.; Berdanier, A.; Simpson, R. T.; Kachergis, E. J.; Steltzer, H.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic and alpine ecosystems are largely structured by strong seasonal patterns in abiotic drivers, including solar radiation and air and soil temperature. Because air temperature and precipitation patterns are changing rapidly, the length of the growing season is increasing due to shifts in snowfall, earlier snowmelt in spring, and delayed snowfall in autumn. Although arctic and alpine environments are both characterized by short growing seasons, they differ in fundamental ways that will affect their responses to changing seasonality. We compare meteorological data from sixteen arctic and alpine sites and biological data from two arctic and two alpine sites. We propose that although alpine and arctic ecosystems appear similar under historical climate conditions, especially during the growing season, winter conditions and climate change will result in divergent responses. Biotic responses to changing seasonality will affect belowground and aboveground community composition, trophic dynamics, and the functioning of these ecosystems, including net carbon balance.

  10. Monitoring ecosystem dynamics in an Arctic tundra ecosystem using hyperspectral reflectance and a robotic tram system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Santonu

    Global change, which includes climate change and the impacts of human disturbance, is altering the provision and sustainability of ecosystem goods and services. These changes have the capacity to initiate cascading affects and complex feedbacks through physical, biological and human subsystems and interactions between them. Understanding the future state of the earth system requires improved knowledge of ecosystem dynamics and long term observations of how these are being impacted by global change. Improving remote sensing methods is essential for such advancement because satellite remote sensing is the only means by which landscape to continental-scale change can be observed. The Arctic appears to be impacted by climate change more than any other region on Earth. Arctic terrestrial ecosystems comprise only 6% of the land surface area on Earth yet contain an estimated 25% of global soil organic carbon, most of which is stored in permafrost. If projected increases in plant productivity do not offset forecast losses of soil carbon to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases, regional to global greenhouse warming could be enhanced. Soil moisture is an important control of land-atmosphere carbon exchange in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. However, few studies to date have examined using remote sensing, or developed remote sensing methods for observing the complex interplay between soil moisture and plant phenology and productivity in arctic landscapes. This study was motivated by this knowledge gap and addressed the following questions as a contribution to a large scale, multi investigator flooding and draining experiment funded by the National Science Foundation near Barrow, Alaska (71°17'01" N, 156°35'48" W): (1) How can optical remote sensing be used to monitor the surface hydrology of arctic landscapes? (2) What are the spatio-temporal dynamics of land-surface phenology (NDVI) in the study area and do hydrological treatment has any effect on inter-annual patterns? (3

  11. Estimating Pan Arctic Net Ecosystem Exchange using Functional Relationships with Air temperature, Leaf Area Index and Photosynthetic Active Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbufong, H.; Kusbach, A.; Lund, M.; Persson, A.; Christensen, T. R.; Tamstorf, M. P.; Connolly, J.

    2015-12-01

    The high variability in Arctic tundra net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon (C) is often attributed to the high spatial heterogeneity of Arctic tundra. Current models of carbon exchange thus handle the Arctic as either a single or few ecosystems, responding to environmental change in the same manner. In this study, we developed and tested a simple NEE model using the Misterlich light response curve (LRC) function with photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as the main driving variable. Model calibration was carried out with eddy covariance carbon dioxide data from 12 Arctic tundra sites. The model input parameters (fcsat, Rd and α) were estimated as a function of air temperature and leaf area index (LAI) and represent specific characteristics of the NEE-PPFD relationship. They describe the saturation flux, dark respiration and initial light use efficiency, respectively. While remotely sensed LAI is readily available as a MODIS Terra product (MCD15A3), air temperature was estimated from a direct relationship with MODIS land surface temperature (MOD11A2, LST). Therefore, no specific knowledge of the vegetation type is required. Preliminary results show the model captures the spatial heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra but so far, overestimates NEE on all 17 test sites which include heaths, bogs, fens, and tussock tundra vegetation. The final updated results and error assessment will be presented at the conference in December.

  12. Exploratory hydrocarbon drilling impacts to Arctic lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thienpont, Joshua R; Kokelj, Steven V; Korosi, Jennifer B; Cheng, Elisa S; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E; Blais, Jules M; Pisaric, Michael F J; Smol, John P

    2013-01-01

    potential for these industrial wastes to impact sensitive Arctic ecosystems. PMID:24223170

  13. Biogeochemistry and nitrogen cycling in an Arctic, volcanic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogel, M. L.; Benning, L.; Conrad, P. G.; Eigenbrode, J.; Starke, V.

    2007-12-01

    As part of a study on Mars Analogue environments, the biogeochemistry of Sverrefjellet Volcano, Bocfjorden, Svalbard, was conducted and compared to surrounding glacial, thermal spring, and sedimentary environments. An understanding of how nitrogen might be distributed in a landscape that had extinct or very cold adapted, slow- growing extant organisms should be useful for detecting unknown life forms. From high elevations (900 m) to the base of the volcano (sea level), soil and rock ammonium concentrations were uniformly low, typically less than 1- 3 micrograms per gm of rock or soil. In weathered volcanic soils, reduced nitrogen concentrations were higher, and oxidized nitrogen concentrations lower. The opposite was found in a weathered Devonian sedimentary soil. Plants and lichens growing on volcanic soils have an unusually wide range in N isotopic compositions from -5 to +12‰, a range rarely measured in temperate ecosystems. Nitrogen contents and isotopic compositions of volcanic soils and rocks were strongly influenced by the presence or absence of terrestrial herbivores or marine avifauna with higher concentrations of N and elevated N isotopic compositions occurring as patches in areas immediately influenced by reindeer, Arctic fox ( Alopex lagopus), and marine birds. Because of the extreme conditions in this area, ephemeral deposition of herbivore feces results in a direct and immediate N pulses into the ecosystem. The lateral extent and distribution of marine- derived nitrogen was measured on a landscape scale surrounding an active fox den. Nitrogen was tracked from the bones of marine birds to soil to vegetation. Because of extreme cold, slow biological rates and nitrogen cycling, a mosaic of N patterns develops on the landscape scale.

  14. Exploratory Hydrocarbon Drilling Impacts to Arctic Lake Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Thienpont, Joshua R.; Kokelj, Steven V.; Korosi, Jennifer B.; Cheng, Elisa S.; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E.; Blais, Jules M.; Pisaric, Michael FJ.; Smol, John P.

    2013-01-01

    potential for these industrial wastes to impact sensitive Arctic ecosystems. PMID:24223170

  15. Changing Arctic ecosystems--the role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal-Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McNew, Lance; Handel, Colleen; Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Whalen, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Arctic and boreal ecosystems provide important breeding habitat for more than half of North America’s migratory birds as well as many resident species. Northern landscapes are projected to experience more pronounced climate-related changes in habitat than most other regions. These changes include increases in shrub growth, conversion of tundra to forest, alteration of wetlands, shifts in species’ composition, and changes in the frequency and scale of fires and insect outbreaks. Changing habitat conditions, in turn, may have significant effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife in these critical northern ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting studies in the Boreal–Arctic transition zone of Alaska, an environment of accelerated change in this sensitive margin between Arctic tundra and boreal forest.

  16. Soil Biota and Litter Decay in High Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, G.; Rivera, F.; Makarova, O.; Gould, W. A.

    2006-12-01

    Frost heave action contributes to the formation of non-sorted circles in the High Arctic. Non-sorted circles tend to heave more than the surrounding tundra due to deeper thaw and the formation of ice lenses. Thus, the geomorphology, soils and vegetation on the centers of the patterned-ground feature (non-sorted circles) as compared to the surrounding soils (inter-circles) can be different. We established a decomposition experiment to look at in situ decay rates of the most dominant graminoid species on non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle soils along a climatic gradient in the Canadian High Arctic as a component of a larger study looking at the biocomplexity of small-featured patterned ground ecosystems. Additionally, we investigated variation in soil chemical properties and biota, including soil microarthropods and microbial composition and biomass, as they relate to climate, topographic position, and litter decay rates. Our three sites locations, from coldest to warmest, are Isachsen, Ellef Ringnes Island (ER), NU (bioclimatic subzone A); Mould Bay (MB), Prince Patrick Island, NT (bioclimatic subzone B), and Green Cabin (GC), Aulavik National Park, Thomsen River, Banks Island, NT (bioclimatic subzone C). Our sample design included the selection of 15 non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle areas within the zonal vegetation at each site (a total of 90 sites), and a second set of 3 non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle areas in dry, mesic and wet tundra at each of the sites. Soil invertebrates were sampled at each site using both pitfall traps, soil microbial biomass was determined using substrate induced respiration and bacterial populations were determined using the most probable number method. Decomposition rates were measured using litterbags and as the percent of mass remaining of Carex misandra, Luzula nivalis and Alopecuris alpinus in GC, MB and ER, respectively. Our findings indicate these graminoid species decayed significantly over

  17. Influence of the Tussock Growth Form on Arctic Ecosystem Carbon Stocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curasi, S.; Rocha, A. V.; Sonnentag, O.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Fetcher, N.; Mack, M. C.; Natali, S.; Loranty, M. M.; Parker, T.

    2015-12-01

    The influence of plant growth forms on ecosystem carbon (C) cycling has been under appreciated. In arctic tundra, environmental factors and plant traits of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum cause the formation of mounds that are dense amalgamations of belowground C called tussocks. Tussocks have important implications for arctic ecosystem biogeochemistry and C stocks, but the environmental and biological factors controlling their size and distribution across the landscape are poorly understood. In order to better understand how landscape variation in tussock size and density impact ecosystem C stocks, we formed the Carbon in Arctic Tussock Tundra (CATT) network and recruited an international team to sample locations across the arctic. The CATT network provided a latitudinal and longitudinal gradient along which to improve our understanding of tussocks' influence on ecosystem structure and function. CATT data revealed important insights into tussock formation across the arctic. Tussock density generally declined with latitude, and tussock size exhibited substantial variation across sites. The relationship between height and diameter was similar across CATT sites indicating that both biological and environmental factors control tussock formation. At some sites, C in tussocks comprised a substantial percentage of ecosystem C stocks that may be vulnerable to climate change. It is concluded that the loss of this growth form would offset C gains from projected plant functional shifts from graminoid to shrub tundra. This work highlights the role of plant growth forms on the magnitude and retention of ecosystem C stocks.

  18. How is climate warming altering the carbon cycle of a tundra ecosystem in the Siberian Arctic?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belelli Marchesini, Luca; (Ko) van Huissteden, Jacobus; van der Molen, Michiel; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Maximov, Trofim; Budishchev, Artem; Gallagher, Angela; (Han) Dolman, Albertus J.

    2015-04-01

    Climate has been warming over the the Arctic region with the strongest anomalies taking place in autumn and winter for the period 2000-2010, particularly in northern Eurasia. The quantification of the impact on climate warming on the degradation of permafrost and the associated potential release to the atmosphere of carbon stocked in the soil under the form of greenhouse gases, thus further increasing the radiative forcing of the atmosphere, is currently a matter of scientific debate. The positive trend in primary productivity in the last decades inferred by vegetation indexes (NDVI) and confirmed by observations on the enhanced growth of shrub vegetation represents indeed a contrasting process that, if prevalent could offset GHG emissions or even strengthen the carbon sink over the Arctic tundra. At the site of Kytalyk, in north-eastern Siberia, net fluxes of CO2 at ecosystem scale (NEE) have been monitored by eddy covariance technique since 2003. While presenting the results of the seasonal (snow free period) and inter-annual variability of NEE, conceived as the interplay between meteorological drivers and ecosystem responses, we test the role of climate as the main source of NEE variability in the last decade using a data oriented statistical approach. The impact of the timing and duration of the snow free period on the seasonal carbon budget is also considered. Finally, by including the results of continuous micrometeorological observations of methane fluxes taken during summer 2012, corroborated with seasonal CH4 budgets from two previous shorter campaigns (2008, 2009), as well as an experimentally determined estimate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux, we provide an assessment of the carbon budget and its stability over time. The examined tundra ecosystem was found to sequester CO2 during the snow free season with relatively small inter-annual variability (-97.9±12.1gC m-2) during the last decade and without any evident trend despite the carbon uptake

  19. Critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the Arctic tundra ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Poissant, Laurier; Zhang, Hong H; Canário, João; Constant, Philippe

    2008-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination in tundra region has raised substantial concerns, especially since the first report of atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs) in the Polar Regions. During the past decade, steady progress has been made in the research of Hg cycling in the Polar Regions. This has generated a unique opportunity to survey the whole Arctic in respect to Hg issue and to find out new discoveries. However, there are still considerable knowledge gaps and debates on the fate of Hg in the Arctic and Antarctica, especially regarding the importance and significance of AMDEs vs. net Hg loadings and other processes that burden Hg in the Arctic. Some studies argued that climate warming since the last century has exerted profound effects on the limnology of High Arctic lakes, including substantial increases in autochthonous primary productivity which increased in sedimentary Hg, whereas some others pointed out the importance of the formation and postdeposition crystallographic history of the snow and ice crystals in determining the fate and concentration of mercury in the cryosphere in addition to AMDEs. Is mercury re-emitted back to the atmosphere after AMDEs? Is Hg methylation effective in the Arctic tundra? Where the sources of MeHg are? What is its fate? Is this stimulated by human made? This paper presents a critical review about the fate of Hg in the Arctic tundra, such as pathways and process of Hg delivery into the Arctic ecosystem; Hg concentrations in freshwater and marine ecosystems; Hg concentrations in terrestrial biota; trophic transfer of Hg and bioaccumulation of Hg through food chain. This critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the Arctic tundra ecosystem is assessing the impacts and potential risks of Hg contamination on the health of Arctic people and the global northern environment by highlighting and "perspectiving" the various mercury processes and concentrations found in the Arctic tundra. PMID:18707754

  20. Ecosystem Metabolism and Air-Water Fluxes of Greenhouse Gases in High Arctic Wetland Ponds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehnherr, I.; Venkiteswaran, J.; St. Louis, V. L.; Emmerton, C.; Schiff, S. L.

    2012-12-01

    Freshwater lakes and wetlands can be very productive systems on the Arctic landscape compared to terrestrial tundra ecosystems and provide valuable resources to many organisms, including waterfowl, fish and humans. Rates of ecosystem productivity dictate how much energy flows through food webs, impacting the abundance of higher-level organisms (e.g., fish), as well as the net carbon balance, which determines whether a particular ecosystem is a source or sink of carbon. Climate change is predicted to result in warmer temperatures, increased precipitation and permafrost melting in the Arctic and is already altering northern ecosystems at unprecedented rates; however, it is not known how freshwater systems are responding to these changes. To predict how freshwater systems will respond to complex environmental changes, it is necessary to understand the key processes, such as primary production and ecosystem respiration, that are driving these systems. We sampled wetland ponds (n=8) and lakes (n=2) on northern Ellesmere Island (81° N, Nunavut, Canada) during the open water season for a suite of biogeochemical parameters, including concentrations of dissolved gases (O2, CO2, CH4, N2O) as well as stable-isotope ratios of dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13C-DIC), dissolved oxygen (δ18O-DO), and water (δ18O-H2O). We will present rates of primary production and ecosystem respiration, modeled from the concentration and stable isotope ratios of DIC and DO, as well as air-water gas exchange of greenhouse gases in these high Arctic ponds and lakes. Preliminary results demonstrate that ecosystem metabolism in these ponds was high enough to result in significant deviations in the isotope ratios of DIC and DO from atmospheric equilibrium conditions. In other words ecosystem rates of primary production and respiration were faster than gas exchange even in these small, shallow, well-mixed ponds. Furthermore, primary production was elevated enough at all sites except Lake Hazen, a

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Simulating net ecosystem productivity and the sensitivity of a sub-arctic boreal forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueyama, M.; Harazono, Y.; Kim, Y.; Tanaka, N.

    2005-12-01

    BIOME-BGC was used to examine how air temperature and precipitation affect NEP in a sub-arctic black spruce forest. The model was tuned using data from the eddy correlation measurement site in UAF black spruce forest during 2003 and 2004. The climate dataset of Fairbanks airport between 1949 and 2004 was used for the model spin-up. The model almost reproduced the observed NEE, in which climate in 2003 was normal and that in 2004 was drought in summer. The model, however, failed to simulate the late winter NEE, during which obvious daytime uptake were observed under extreme low temperature. Annual simulation of GPP and ecosystem respiration was 2.2 and 1.8 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1 in 2003 and 2.4 and 1.9 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1 in 2004. While warm growing season temperature enhanced the photosynthesis and respiration in 2004, significant drought in August 2004 were restricted both the photosynthesis and heterotrophic respiration. Simulated annual NEE was 0.2 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1 in 2003 and 0.3 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1 in 2004. The simulation explored the impact of seasonal warmer (+5oC), wetter (120% of precipitation) and drier (80% of precipitation) spells on net ecosystem productivity, comparing the long term Fairbanks weather between 1980 and 2000. Wetter condition in either season did not significantly affect annual NEP. While drought summer decreased annual NEP by 30% mainly due to reduction in GPP by 9%, low snowfall winter also reduced the annual NEP by 19%, in which low snow water brought drought stress in following summer and then suppressed both GPP to 93% and ecosystem respiration to 96%. Warmer summer and autumn decreased annual NEP to 37% and 65%. In this case, GPP did not increase and maintenance and heterotrophic respiration were enhanced to 120% and 126%, respectively, in warmer summer and 103% and 107%, respectively, in warmer autumn. The simulation unambiguously showed productivity of the sub-arctic boreal forest was significantly sensitive to warmer temperature in summer and

  3. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    PubMed

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A; Kondratyev, Alexander V; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers. PMID:25692786

  4. Rough-Legged Buzzards, Arctic Foxes and Red Foxes in a Tundra Ecosystem without Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A.; Kondratyev, Alexander V.; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species—rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox – perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey – altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period – a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers. PMID:25692786

  5. Active layer dynamics and arctic hydrology and meteorology. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-10-01

    Man`s impact on the environment is increasing with time. To be able to evaluate anthropogenic impacts on an ecosystems, it is necessary first to understand all facets of how the ecosystems works: what the main processes (physical, biological, chemical) are, at what rates they proceed, and how they can be manipulated. Arctic ecosystems are dominated by physical processes of energy exchange. This project has concentrated on a strong program of hydrologic and meteorologic data collection, to better understand dominant physical processes. Field research focused on determining the natural annual and diurnal variability of meteorologic and hydrologic variables, especially those which may indicate trends in climatic change. Comprehensive compute models are being developed to simulate physical processes occurring under the present conditions and to simulate processes under the influence of climatic change.

  6. Pan-Arctic modelling of net ecosystem exchange of CO2

    PubMed Central

    Shaver, G. R.; Rastetter, E. B.; Salmon, V.; Street, L. E.; van de Weg, M. J.; Rocha, A.; van Wijk, M. T.; Williams, M.

    2013-01-01

    Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of C varies greatly among Arctic ecosystems. Here, we show that approximately 75 per cent of this variation can be accounted for in a single regression model that predicts NEE as a function of leaf area index (LAI), air temperature and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The model was developed in concert with a survey of the light response of NEE in Arctic and subarctic tundras in Alaska, Greenland, Svalbard and Sweden. Model parametrizations based on data collected in one part of the Arctic can be used to predict NEE in other parts of the Arctic with accuracy similar to that of predictions based on data collected in the same site where NEE is predicted. The principal requirement for the dataset is that it should contain a sufficiently wide range of measurements of NEE at both high and low values of LAI, air temperature and PAR, to properly constrain the estimates of model parameters. Canopy N content can also be substituted for leaf area in predicting NEE, with equal or greater accuracy, but substitution of soil temperature for air temperature does not improve predictions. Overall, the results suggest a remarkable convergence in regulation of NEE in diverse ecosystem types throughout the Arctic. PMID:23836790

  7. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens

    PubMed Central

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D.; Fafard, Paul M.; Markham, John H.

    2016-01-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ15N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra. PMID:27045973

  8. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens.

    PubMed

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D; Fafard, Paul M; Markham, John H

    2016-01-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ(15)N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra. PMID:27045973

  9. Pan-Arctic modelling of net ecosystem exchange of CO2.

    PubMed

    Shaver, G R; Rastetter, E B; Salmon, V; Street, L E; van de Weg, M J; Rocha, A; van Wijk, M T; Williams, M

    2013-08-19

    Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of C varies greatly among Arctic ecosystems. Here, we show that approximately 75 per cent of this variation can be accounted for in a single regression model that predicts NEE as a function of leaf area index (LAI), air temperature and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The model was developed in concert with a survey of the light response of NEE in Arctic and subarctic tundras in Alaska, Greenland, Svalbard and Sweden. Model parametrizations based on data collected in one part of the Arctic can be used to predict NEE in other parts of the Arctic with accuracy similar to that of predictions based on data collected in the same site where NEE is predicted. The principal requirement for the dataset is that it should contain a sufficiently wide range of measurements of NEE at both high and low values of LAI, air temperature and PAR, to properly constrain the estimates of model parameters. Canopy N content can also be substituted for leaf area in predicting NEE, with equal or greater accuracy, but substitution of soil temperature for air temperature does not improve predictions. Overall, the results suggest a remarkable convergence in regulation of NEE in diverse ecosystem types throughout the Arctic. PMID:23836790

  10. Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Goods and Services in a Melting Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Garra, T.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic region is composed of unique ecosystems that provide a range of goods and services to local and global populations. However, Arctic sea-ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening many of these ecosystems and the services they provide. Yet as the ice melts and certain goods and services are lost, other resources such as oil and minerals will become accessible. The question is: how do the losses compare with the opportunities? And how are the losses and potential gains likely to be distributed? To address these questions, this study provides a preliminary assessment of the quantity, distribution and economic value of the ecosystem services (ES) provided by Arctic ecosystems, both now and in the future given a scenario of sure climate change. Using biophysical and economic data from existing studies (and some primary data), preliminary estimates indicate that the Arctic currently provides 357m/yr (in 2014 US) in subsistence hunting value to local communities, of which reindeer/caribou comprise 83%. Reindeer herding provides 110m/yr to Arctic communities. Interestingly, 'non-use (existence/cultural) values' associated with Arctic species are very high at 11bn/yr to members of Arctic states. The Arctic also provides ES that accrue to the global community: oil resources (North Slope; 5bn profits in 2013), commercial fisheries ( 515mn/yr) and most importantly, climate regulation services. Recent models (Whiteman; Euskirchen) estimate that the loss of climate regulation services provided by Arctic ice will cost 200 - 500bn/yr, a value which dwarfs all others. Assuming no change in atmospheric temperature compared to 2014, the net present value of the Arctic by 2050 (1.4% discount rate) comes to over $9 trillion. However, given Wang and Overland (2009) predictions of ice-free summers by 2037, we expect many of these benefits will be lost. For example, it is fairly well-established that endemic species, such as polar bears, will decline with sea-ice melt

  11. Regional-Scale Vegetation Dynamics in Patterned-Ground Ecosystems of Arctic Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epstein, H. E.; Kelley, A. M.; Walker, D. A.; Jia, G. J.; Raynolds, M. K.

    2006-12-01

    Regional-scale patterns of vegetation have been analyzed along a number of climate gradients throughout the world; these spatial dynamics provide important insights into the controlling factors of vegetation and the potential plant responses to environmental change. Only a few studies to date have collectively examined the vegetation biomass and production of arctic tundra ecosystems and their relationships to broadly ranging climate variables. No prior study has taken a systematic and consistent approach to examining vegetation biomass patterns along the full temperature gradient of the arctic biome. An additional complicating factor for studying vegetation of arctic tundra is the high spatial variability associated with small patterned-ground features (e.g. non-sorted circles and small non-sorted polygons), resulting from intense freeze-thaw processes. In this study, we sampled and analyzed the aboveground plant biomass components of patterned-ground ecosystems in the Arctic of northern Alaska and Canada along an 1800-km north-south gradient that spans approximately 11 degrees C of mean July temperatures. At each of ten locations along the regional temperature gradient, we ran several 50-m transects and harvested the aboveground biomass of three 20 x 50 cm plots for each transect. Vegetation biomass was dried, sorted by plant functional groups and tissue types, weighed, and analyzed as functions of the summer warmth index (SWI sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0). The absolute biomass (g/m2) of shrubs and graminoids increased exponentially with SWI, whereas forb and lichen biomass showed no change along the gradient. Moss biomass increased linearly with SWI, but with greater variabiliy than the other types. Relative aboveground biomass (% of total) of shrubs and graminoids increased with SWI, whereas percent lichen biomass decreased, and forbs again exhibited no significant change. Percentage of moss biomass was a parabolic function of SWI, with high relative

  12. Landscape Characterization of Arctic Ecosystems Using Data Mining Algorithms and Large Geospatial Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langford, Z. L.; Kumar, J.; Hoffman, F. M.

    2015-12-01

    Observations indicate that over the past several decades, landscape processes in the Arctic have been changing or intensifying. A dynamic Arctic landscape has the potential to alter ecosystems across a broad range of scales. Accurate characterization is useful to understand the properties and organization of the landscape, optimal sampling network design, measurement and process upscaling and to establish a landscape-based framework for multi-scale modeling of ecosystem processes. This study seeks to delineate the landscape at Seward Peninsula of Alaska into ecoregions using large volumes (terabytes) of high spatial resolution satellite remote-sensing data. Defining high-resolution ecoregion boundaries is difficult because many ecosystem processes in Arctic ecosystems occur at small local to regional scales, which are often resolved in by coarse resolution satellites (e.g., MODIS). We seek to use data-fusion techniques and data analytics algorithms applied to Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR), Satellite for Observation of Earth (SPOT), WorldView-2, WorldView-3, and QuickBird-2 to develop high-resolution (˜5m) ecoregion maps for multiple time periods. Traditional analysis methods and algorithms are insufficient for analyzing and synthesizing such large geospatial data sets, and those algorithms rarely scale out onto large distributed- memory parallel computer systems. We seek to develop computationally efficient algorithms and techniques using high-performance computing for characterization of Arctic landscapes. We will apply a variety of data analytics algorithms, such as cluster analysis, complex object-based image analysis (COBIA), and neural networks. We also propose to use representativeness analysis within the Seward Peninsula domain to determine optimal sampling locations for fine-scale measurements. This methodology should provide an initial framework for analyzing dynamic landscape

  13. Endoparasites in the feces of arctic foxes in a terrestrial ecosystem in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Elmore, Stacey A.; Lalonde, Laura F.; Samelius, Gustaf; Alisauskas, Ray T.; Gajadhar, Alvin A.; Jenkins, Emily J.

    2013-01-01

    The parasites of arctic foxes in the central Canadian Arctic have not been well described. Canada’s central Arctic is undergoing dramatic environmental change, which is predicted to cause shifts in parasite and wildlife species distributions, and trophic interactions, requiring that baselines be established to monitor future alterations. This study used conventional, immunological, and molecular fecal analysis techniques to survey the current gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna currently present in arctic foxes in central Nunavut, Canada. Ninety-five arctic fox fecal samples were collected from the terrestrial Karrak Lake ecosystem within the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Samples were examined by fecal flotation to detect helminths and protozoa, immunofluorescent assay (IFA) to detect Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and quantitative PCR with melt-curve analysis (qPCR-MCA) to detect coccidia. Positive qPCR-MCA products were sequenced and analyzed phylogenetically. Arctic foxes from Karrak Lake were routinely shedding eggs from Toxascaris leonina (63%). Taeniid (15%), Capillarid (1%), and hookworm eggs (2%), Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts 3%), and Eimeria sp. (6%), and Cystoisospora sp. (5%) oocysts were present at a lower prevalence on fecal flotation. Cryptosporidium sp. (9%) and Giardia sp. (16%) were detected by IFA. PCR analysis detected Sarcocystis (15%), Cystoisospora (5%), Eimeria sp., and either Neospora sp. or Hammondia sp. (1%). Through molecular techniques and phylogenetic analysis, we identified two distinct lineages of Sarcocystis sp. present in arctic foxes, which probably derived from cervid and avian intermediate hosts. Additionally, we detected previously undescribed genotypes of Cystoisospora. Our survey of gastrointestinal endoparasites in arctic foxes from the central Canadian Arctic provides a unique record against which future comparisons can be made. PMID:24533320

  14. Crossing the Threshold - Reviewed Evidence for Regime Shifts in Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mård Karlsson, J.; Destouni, G.; Peterson, G.; Gordon, L.

    2009-12-01

    The Arctic is rapidly changing, and the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may respond to changing conditions in different ways. We review the evidence of regime shifts (ecosystem change from one set of mutually reinforcing feedbacks to another) in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in relation to the hydrological cycle, as part of a larger interdisciplinary research project on Pan-Arctic ice-water-biogeochemical system responses and social-ecological resilience effects in a warming climate, which has in turn been part of the International Polar Year project Arctic-HYDRA. Such regime shifts may have implications for the Earth system as a whole, through changes in water flows and energy balance that yield feedbacks to hydrology and the local and global climate. Because the presence or absence of permafrost is a main control on local hydrological processes in the Arctic, we use the ecological response to permafrost warming to define three types of regime shifts: 1) Conversion of aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems due to draining of lakes and wetlands caused by permafrost degradation and thermokarst processes, which may have a large impact on local people and animals that depend on these ecosystems for food, domestic needs, and habitat, and on climate as the water conditions influence the direction of CO2 exchange. 2) Conversion of terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems as forests are being replaced by wet sedge meadows, bogs, and thermokarst ponds that favor aquatic birds and mammals, as thawing permafrost atop continuous permafrost undermines and destroys the root zone, leading to collapse and death of the trees. 3) Shifts in terrestrial ecosystems due to transition from tundra to shrubland and/or forest, caused by warming of air and soil, resulting in increased surface energy exchanges and albedo, which may in turn feed back to enhanced warming at the local-regional scale. We compare the impact, scale and key processes for each of these regime shifts, and assess the degree to

  15. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extreme summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2014-10-01

    The importance and consequences of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. In the summer of 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, there were unusually high air temperatures (the fifth warmest summer over a 65-year period) and record low precipitation (the lowest over a 65-year period). These abnormal conditions were associated with substantial desiccation of the Sphagnum layer and a reduced net Sphagnum CO2 sink but did not affect net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this wet-sedge arctic tundra ecosystem. Microbial biomass, NH4+ availability, gross primary production (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were generally greater during this extreme summer. The cumulative ecosystem CO2 sink in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, suggesting that vascular plants were able to compensate for Sphagnum CO2 uptake, despite the impact on other functions and structure such as desiccation of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem CO2 sink over a five summer record (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer (~70% lower), directly following the unusually warm and dry summer, rather than during the extreme summer. This sink reduction cannot solely be attributed to the potential damage to mosses, which typically contribute ~40% of the entire ecosystem CO2 sink. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative CO2 sink occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggests a substantial resilience of this tundra ecosystem to at least an isolated extreme event. Overall, these results show a complex response of the CO2 sink and its sub-components to atypically warm and dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events requires further investigation.

  16. Oceanic periglacial in the evolution of the Arctic marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Matishov, G.G.

    1996-12-31

    A study of the Arctic marine and land environment and biota is connected with the analysis of the global climatic changes and the general history of Arctic and subarctic ecological systems. Ancient glaciation not only influenced the geomorphology of landscapes, physical and chemical properties of the ocean and its seas, but also caused the global change of the morphoclimatic zonality in the ocean as a whole. Submarine and subaqual hydrological, geomorphological and biological processes on the shelves of polar and temperate latitudes had intensified especially during the melting of continental glaciers. The study of the periglacial problem consists, as a whole, in the research of the geological and biological phenomena which take place in the pelagial and the benthal outside the ice sheets and are connected with them by causal, spatial and temporal relations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  18. Canopy Spectral Imaging (NDVI) As A Proxy For Shrub Biomass And Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes Across Arctic Tundra Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flower, C. E.; Welker, J. M.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    There is widespread consensus that climate change is contributing to rapid vegetation shifts in the ecologically sensitive Arctic tundra. These tussock grass dominated systems are shifting to tussock/woody shrub communities leading to likely alterations in carbon (C) sequestration and ecosystem productivity, which in turn can manifest in "greening" and changes in normalized difference vegetation index values (NDVI). While the expansion of woody vegetation is well established, our understanding of the ecosystem dynamics associated with this new habitat remain largely unknown. To untangle how the Arctic tundra may be impacted by these vegetation shifts we paired vegetation measurements (i.e. shrub biomass, leaf area, and shrub canopy area) and ecosystem C fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange, NEE, and ecosystem respiration) with ground-level measurements of NDVI. Measurements were conducted at the Toolik Field Station in dry heath and moist acidic tundra habitats which are two primary habitat types on the North Slope of Alaska. We found strong positive relationships between shrub leaf area and biomass as well as shrub canopy area and biomass, relationships that were corroborated with NDVI measurements. This lends support for the use of NDVI as a proxy measurement of leaf area and shrub biomass. Additionally, NDVI was negatively correlated with ecosystem respiration across habitats, with respiratory fluxes consistently higher in the moist acidic relative to the dry heath tundra. Finally, we observed a significant positive nonlinear relationship between NEE and NDVI (R2~0.8; P<0.01). Shrub removal revealed that NEE was strongly controlled by woody shrubs. The positive relationship between NDVI and NEE highlights the potential shifts in the C balance of the Arctic tundra associated with woody encroachment. This increased plant productivity may offset greenhouse gas losses from permafrost degradation contributing some resilience to this system otherwise considered a

  19. Boreal fire influence on Arctic tropospheric ozone, ecosystems and climate forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, S.; Monks, S. A.; Emmons, L. K.; Sitch, S.; Rap, A.; Law, K.; Tilmes, S.; Lamarque, J.

    2013-12-01

    Temperature observations show that the Arctic has warmed rapidly in the past few decades compared to the northern hemisphere as a whole. Model calculations suggest that changes in short-lived pollutants such as ozone and aerosol may have contributed significantly to this warming. Arctic tropospheric budgets of short-lived pollutants are impacted by both local anthropogenic emissions and by long-range transport of gases and aerosols from Europe, Asia and N. America, but also by local Boreal wildfires in summer. Our understanding of how fires impact Arctic budgets of climate-relevant atmospheric constituents is limited, and is reliant on sparse observations and models of tropospheric chemistry. A better understanding of Boreal fire influence on Arctic ozone is essential for improving the reliability of our projections of future Arctic and Northern Hemisphere climate change, especially in light of proposed climate-fire feedbacks which may enhance the intensity and extent of high latitude wildfire under a warming climate. Using the NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM) and a scheme for tagging and tracking NOx emitted by high latitude wildfires and its resultant tropospheric ozone production, we investigate the impacts of fire-sourced ozone on summertime high latitude radiative forcing and on ecosystems. The large fraction of NOy present as PAN in the Arctic suggests there may be a strong sensitivity of NOy and ozone enhancement to the efficiency of vertical transport from source regions, which determines the stability of PAN as air is advected poleward. We use these simulations and aircraft observations to characterise the vertical distributions of sensitivities of Arctic NOy and ozone to remote anthropogenic and local widlfire sources, and use an offline radiative transfer model to quantify impacts on local ozone radiative forcing. We compare these vertical sensitivities with those of a primary-emitted CO-like source tracer, to investigate the role of PAN

  20. Symptoms of change in multi-scale observations of arctic ecosystem carbon cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoy, P. C.; Williams, M. D.; Hartley, I. P.; Street, L.; Hill, T. C.; Prieto-Blanco, A.; Wayolle, A.; Disney, M.; Evans, J.; Fletcher, B.; Poyatos, R.; Wookey, P.; Merbold, L.; Wade, T. J.; Moncrieff, J.

    2009-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are responding rapidly to observed climate change. Quantifying the magnitude of these changes, and their implications for the climate system, requires observations of their current structure and function, as well as extrapolation and modelling (i.e. ‘upscaling’) across time and space. Here, we describe the major results of the International Polar Year (IPY) ABACUS project, a multi-scale investigation across arctic Fennoscandia that couples plant and soil process studies, isotope analyses, flux and micrometeorological measurements, process modelling, and aircraft and satellite observations to improve predictions of the response of the arctic terrestrial biosphere to global change. We begin with a synthesis of eddy covariance observations from the global FLUXNET database. We demonstrate that a simple model parameterized using pan-arctic chamber measurements explains over 80% of the variance of half-hourly CO2 fluxes during the growing season across most arctic and montane tundra ecosystems given accurate measurements of leaf area index (LAI), which agrees with the recently proposed ‘functional convergence’ paradigm for tundra vegetation. The ability of MODIS to deliver accurate LAI estimates is briefly discussed and an adjusted algorithm is presented and validated using direct observations. We argue for an Information Theory-based framework for upscaling in Earth science by conceptualizing multi-scale research as a transfer of information across scales. We then demonstrate how error in upscaled arctic C flux estimates can be reduced to less than 4% from their high-resolution counterpart by formally preserving the information content of high spatial and spectral resolution aircraft and satellite imagery. Jaynes’ classic Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) principle is employed to incorporate logical, biological and physical constraints to reduce error in downscaled flux estimates. Errors are further reduced by assimilating flux, biological and remote

  1. Ecosystem-Vegetation Dynamics in sub-arctic Stordalen Mire, Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugnani, M. P.; Varner, R. K.; Steele, K.; Frey, S. D.; Crill, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Increased global temperatures have contributed to the thaw of permafrost and a subsequent atmospheric release of stored methane (CH4) from sub-arctic ecosystems. Palsas, small frost uplifted mounds that support specialized dry-tolerant vegetation species, degrade when permafrost thaws, allowing other species such a Sphagnum and Eriophorum to encroach on the microhabitats and outcompete other species, altering the carbon feedback into the thin arctic soil. Other climate change-related events including increased precipitation, seasonal temperature abnormalities and changes in humidity and nutrient availability may alter vegetation dynamics in terms of diversity and abundance in sub-arctic regions. During July 2012, measurements of vegetation composition and species abundance estimates were made in Stordalen Mire (68° 21' N, 19° 03' E), Abisko Sweden, two hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The mire is an area of discontinuous permafrost populated by micro-ecosystems that vary in vegetation species and abundance depending on growth conditions. All ecosystems provide beneficial services to support a range of life forms including rodents, birds, insects and reindeer. Five representative ecosystems of the mire were chosen to conduct studies on vegetation diversity and percent cover-based abundance: palsa, Eriophorum-dominated fen, Sphagnum-dominated peatland, lakeshore edge and lakeside heath. In each ecosystem vegetation species were recorded in six transects with quadrats along with a corresponding percent cover estimation and scale number based on the Braun-Blanquet percent cover method. To determine nutrient dynamics between ecosystems, soil peat samples were also taken at random from all ecosystem transects. These were analyzed for carbon and inorganic nitrogen as well as ammonium and nitrate. In the vegetation data analysis, the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index showed that the lakeside heath ecosystem was the most diverse and even in species distribution

  2. Long-Term Release of Carbon Dioxide from Arctic Tundra Ecosystems in Northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Bret-Harte, M. S.; Edgar, C.; Shaver, G. R.

    2014-12-01

    Recent data syntheses and modeling studies of arctic tundra carbon dioxide (CO2) balance have suggested that the tundra is a CO2 sink, a source or neutral. Much of this uncertainty arises from a lack of data pertaining to winter CO2 flux, as well as how these ecosystems have responded to recent warming trends. Due to a harsh, remote environment, long-term, continuous measurements of arctic tundra CO2 fluxes over the full annual cycle have been non-existent. In September 2007, we began eddy covariance measurements of net ecosystem exchange (NEE, where a negative value denotes a sink) of CO2 in northern Alaska at two ecosystems, heath and wet sedge tundra. These measurements continue to the present, and represent the longest continuous record of arctic tundra NEE currently available. From January 2008 - December 2013, the ecosystems were annual sources of CO2, with the wet sedge tundra acting as a greater source (mean ± standard deviation of 50 ± 30 g C m-2 y-1) than the heath tundra (16 ± 6 g C m-2 y-1). During these same years, the ecosystems were sinks of CO2 in the summer (June - August), with less variability between the ecosystems, -77 ± 15 g C m-2 in the wet sedge tundra, and -70 ± 12 g C m-2 in the heath. Environmental controls over NEE differed between ecosystems and seasons, with the wet sedge tundra acting particularly responsive in terms of CO2 release during periods with warm air temperatures from fall to early winter. During cold winter periods, CO2 release from the snowpack in both ecosystems was related to increases in wind speed and drops in atmospheric pressure. Overall, the measured differences in the annual versus summer NEE illustrate how the sink strength of the tundra can be overestimated if data are only collected during the growing season. Furthermore, eddy covariance measurements of methane (CH4) in the wet sedge tundra during late spring to early fall from 2012 to present show that this ecosystem releases 0.34 ± 11 mg CH4 m-2 d-1

  3. Overarching perspectives of contemporary and future ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wassmann, Paul

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic region has a number of specific characteristics that provide the region an exceptional global position. It comprises 5% of the earth surface, 1% of world ocean volume, 3% of world ocean area, 25% of world continental shelf, 35% of world coastline, 11% of global river runoff and 20 of worlds 100 longest rivers. The Arctic region encompasses only 0.05% of the global population, but 22% undiscovered petroleum, 15% of global petroleum production, many metals and non-metals resources and support major global fisheries (60 and 80°N). In times of increasing resource demand and limitation the world focuses increasingly onto the Arctic Ocean (AO) and adjacent regions. This development is emphasised by the recent awareness of rapid climate change in the AO, the most significant on the globe, and has resulted in increased attention to the oceanography of the high north. The loss of Arctic sea ice has emerged as a leading signal of global warming. It is taking place at a rate 2-3 times faster than global rates and sea-ice cover has decreased more than 10% per decade, while sea-ice volume may have been reduced by minimum 40% over the last 30 years (Meier et al., 2014). The reduction of ice cover and thickness makes the region available for commercial interest. The region drives also critical effects on the biophysical, political and economic system of the Northern Hemisphere (e.g., Grambling, 2015). These striking changes in physical forcing have left marine ecological footprints of climate change in the Arctic ecosystem (Wassmann et al., 2011). However, predicting the future of the pan-Arctic ecosystem remains a challenge not only because of the ever-accelerating nature of both physical and biological alterations, but also because of lack of marine ecological knowledge, that is staggering for the majority of regions (except the Barents, Chukchi and Beaufort seas).

  4. Ecosystem model intercomparison of under-ice and total primary production in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Meibing; Popova, Ekaterina E.; Zhang, Jinlun; Ji, Rubao; Pendleton, Daniel; Varpe, Øystein; Yool, Andrew; Lee, Younjoo J.

    2016-01-01

    Previous observational studies have found increasing primary production (PP) in response to declining sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean. In this study, under-ice PP was assessed based on three coupled ice-ocean-ecosystem models participating in the Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) project. All models showed good agreement with under-ice measurements of surface chlorophyll-a concentration and vertically integrated PP rates during the main under-ice production period, from mid-May to September. Further, modeled 30-year (1980-2009) mean values and spatial patterns of sea ice concentration compared well with remote sensing data. Under-ice PP was higher in the Arctic shelf seas than in the Arctic Basin, but ratios of under-ice PP over total PP were spatially correlated with annual mean sea ice concentration, with higher ratios in higher ice concentration regions. Decreases in sea ice from 1980 to 2009 were correlated significantly with increases in total PP and decreases in the under-ice PP/total PP ratio for most of the Arctic, but nonsignificantly related to under-ice PP, especially in marginal ice zones. Total PP within the Arctic Circle increased at an annual rate of between 3.2 and 8.0 Tg C/yr from 1980 to 2009. This increase in total PP was due mainly to a PP increase in open water, including increases in both open water area and PP rate per unit area, and therefore much stronger than the changes in under-ice PP. All models suggested that, on a pan-Arctic scale, the fraction of under-ice PP declined with declining sea ice cover over the last three decades.

  5. Diverging Plant and Ecosystem Strategies in Response to Climate Change in the High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Lett, C.; Seibt, U. H.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing summer precipitation means Arctic growing seasons are becoming wetter as well as warmer, but the effect of these coupled changes on tundra ecosystem functioning remains largely unknown. We have determined how warmer and wetter summers affect coupled carbon-water cycling in a High Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in NW Greenland. Measurements of ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes throughout the growing season and leaf ecophysiological traits (gas exchange, morphology, leaf chemistry) were made at a long-term climate change experiment. After 9 years of exposure to warmer (+ 4°C) and / or wetter (+ 50% precipitation) treatments, we found diverging plant strategies between the responses to warming with or without an increase in summer precipitation. Warming alone resulted in an increase in leaf nitrogen, mesophyll conductance and leaf-mass per area and higher rates of leaf-level photosynthesis, but with warming and wetting combined leaf traits remain largely unchanged. However, total leaf area increased with warming plus wetting but was unchanged with warming alone. The combined effect of these leaf trait and canopy adjustments is a decrease in ecosystem water-use efficiency (the ratio of net productivity to evapotranspiration) with warming only, but a substantial increase with combined warming and wetting. We conclude that increasing summer precipitation will alter tundra ecohydrological responses to warming; that leaf-level changes in ecophysiological traits have an upward cascading consequence for ecosystem and land surface-climate interactions; and the current relative resistance of High Arctic ecosystems to warming may mask biochemical and carbon cycling changes already underway.

  6. Arctic ecosystem functional zones: identification and quantification using an above and below ground monitoring strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, Susan S.; Ajo-Franklin, Jonathan B.; Dafflon, Baptiste; Dou, Shan; Kneafsey, Tim J.; Peterson, John E.; Tas, Neslihan; Torn, Margaret S.; Phuong Tran, Anh; Ulrich, Craig; Wainwright, Haruko; Wu, Yuxin; Wullschleger, Stan

    2015-04-01

    Although accurate prediction of ecosystem feedbacks to climate requires characterization of the properties that influence terrestrial carbon cycling, performing such characterization is challenging due to the disparity of scales involved. This is particularly true in vulnerable Arctic ecosystems, where microbial activities leading to the production of greenhouse gasses are a function of small-scale hydrological, geochemical, and thermal conditions influenced by geomorphology and seasonal dynamics. As part of the DOE Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic), we are advancing two approaches to improve the characterization of complex Arctic ecosystems, with an initial application to an ice-wedge polygon dominated tundra site near Barrow, AK, USA. The first advance focuses on developing a new strategy to jointly monitor above- and below- ground properties critical for carbon cycling in the tundra. The strategy includes co-characterization of properties within the three critical ecosystem compartments: land surface (vegetation, water inundation, snow thickness, and geomorphology); active layer (peat thickness, soil moisture, soil texture, hydraulic conductivity, soil temperature, and geochemistry); and permafrost (mineral soil and ice content, nature, and distribution). Using a nested sampling strategy, a wide range of measurements have been collected at the study site over the past three years, including: above-ground imagery (LiDAR, visible, near infrared, NDVI) from various platforms, surface geophysical datasets (electrical, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar, seismic), and point measurements (such as CO2 and methane fluxes, soil properties, microbial community composition). A subset of the coincident datasets is autonomously collected daily. Laboratory experiments and new inversion approaches are used to improve interpretation of the field geophysical datasets in terms of ecosystem properties. The new strategy has significantly advanced our ability

  7. Modeling Active Layer and Permafrost Dynamics of Ice Wedge Polygon Dominated Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, J.; Bisht, G.; Liljedahl, A.; Mills, R. T.; Karra, S.; Painter, S. L.; Thornton, P. E.

    2013-12-01

    Permafrost soils contains vast stock of frozen organic carbon. As warming climate accelerates the thaw of the permafrost, increasing amount of organic matter is exposed to respiration leading to release of carbon to the atmosphere in the form of CO2 and CH4 . Permafrost thermal dynamics play a key role influencing hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in these ecosystems. Large areas of Arctic landscape are covered by the patterned ground features created by repeated freezing and thawing of soil underlain by aerially continuous permafrost. These microtopographic features in the landscape controls the local surface-subsurface hydrology and thermal regimes through differential transport of heat and water. Study of these interacting thermal-hydrologic-biogeochemical in permafrost soils are further complicated by the complex topography and heterogeneity of subsurface. We have developed and applied a coupled multiscale-multiphase-multicomponent surface-subsurface flow and reactive transport model PFLOTRAN for modeling of thermal-hydrologic-biogeochemical processes in permafrost soils. We study the permafrost thermal dynamics, role of microtopography in local scale hydrology at the Department of Energy's Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) - Arctic field sites near Barrow, Alaska. High resolution LiDAR data is used to represent the microtopography at sub-meter resolution in PFLOTRAN. Long term simulations have been conducted at the field sites informed by the observations from field and laboratory campaigns to study and understand the hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in these Arctic ecosystems.

  8. Changing snow cover in tundra ecosystems tips the Arctic carbon balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Hufkens, K.; Gioli, B.; Kalhori, A. A. M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic environment has witnessed important changes due to global warming, resulting in increased surface air temperatures and rain events which both exacerbate snow cover deterioration (Semmens et al, 2013; Rennert et al, 2009; White et al, 2007; Min et al, 2008; Sharp et al, 2013; Schaeffer et al, 2013). Snow cover duration is declining by almost 20% per decade, a far higher rate than model estimates (Derksen and Brown, 2012). Concomitant with increasing temperatures and decreasing snow cover duration, the length of the arctic growing season is reported to have increased by 1.1 - 4.9 days per decade since 1951 (Menzel et al, 2006), and, plant productivity and CO2 uptake from arctic vegetation are strongly influenced by changes in growing season length (Myneni et al., 1997; Schaefer et al., 2005; Euskirchen et al., 2006). Based on more than a decade of eddy flux measurements in Arctic tundra ecosystems across the North slope of Alaska, and remotely sensed snow cover data, we show that earlier snow melt in the spring increase C uptake while an extended snow free period in autumn is associated with a higher C loss. Here we present the impacts of changes in snow cover dynamics between spring and autumn in arctic tundra ecosystems on the carbon dynamics and net C balance of the Alaskan Arctic. ReferencesDerksen, C., Brown R. (2012) Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL053387 Euskirchen, E.S., et al. (2006) Glob. Change Biol., 12, 731-750. Menzel, A., et al. 2006. Glob. Change Biol., 12, 1969-1976. Min SK, Zhang X, Zweirs F (2008) Science 320: 518-520. Rennert K J, Roe G, Putkonen J and Bitz C M (2009) J. Clim. 22 2302-15. Schaefer, K., Denning A.S., Leonard O. (2005) Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 19, GB3017. Schaeffer, S. M., Sharp, E., Schimel, J. P. & Welker, J. M. (2013). Soil- plant N processes in a High Arctic ecosystem, NW Greenland are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall. Glob. Change Biol., 11, 3529-39. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12318

  9. Measurement-based upscaling of Pan Arctic Net Ecosystem Exchange: the PANEEx project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njuabe Mbufong, Herbert; Kusbach, Antonin; Lund, Magnus; Persson, Andreas; Christensen, Torben R.; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.; Connolly, John

    2016-04-01

    The high variability in Arctic tundra net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon (C) can be attributed to the high spatial heterogeneity of Arctic tundra due to the complex topography. Current models of C exchange handle the Arctic as either a single or few ecosystems, responding to environmental change in the same manner. In this study, we developed and tested a simple pan Arctic NEE (PANEEx) model using the Misterlich light response curve (LRC) function with photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as the main driving variable. Model calibration was carried out with eddy covariance carbon dioxide (CO2) data from 12 Arctic tundra sites. The model input parameters (Fcsat, Rd and α) were estimated as a function of air temperature (AirT) and leaf area index (LAI) and represent specific characteristics of the NEE-PPFD relationship, including the saturation flux, dark respiration and initial light use efficiency, respectively. LAI and air temperature were respectively estimated from empirical relationships with remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST). These are available as MODIS Terra product MOD13Q1 and MOD11A1 respectively. Therefore, no specific knowledge of the vegetation type is required. The PANEEx model captures the spatial heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra and was effective in simulating 77% of the measured fluxes (r2 = 0.72, p < 0.001) at the 12 sites used in the calibration of the model. Further, the model effectively estimates NEE in three disparate Alaskan ecosystems (heath, tussock and fen) with an estimation ranging between 10 - 36% of the measured fluxes. We suggest that the poor agreement between the measured and modeled NEE may result from the disparity between ground-based measured LAI (used in model calibration) and remotely sensed LAI (estimated from NDVI and used in NEE estimation). Moreover, our results suggests that using simple linear regressions may be inadequate as parameters estimated

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  11. An eddy covariance derived annual carbon budget for an arctic terrestrial ecosystem (Disko, Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, Alistair; Lund, Magnus; Friborg, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystems with underlying permafrost cover nearly 25% of the ice-free land area in the northern hemisphere and store almost half of the global soil carbon. Future climate changes are predicted to have the most pronounced effect in northern latitudes. These Arctic ecosystems are therefore subject to dramatic changes following thawing of permafrost, glacial retreat, and coastal erosion. The most dramatic effect of permafrost thawing is the accelerated decomposition and potential mobilization of organic matter stored in the permafrost. This will impact global climate through the mobilization of carbon and nitrogen accompanied by release of greenhouses gases, including carbon dioxide. This study presents the initial findings and first full annual carbon (CO2) budget, derived from eddy covariance measurements, for an Arctic landscape in West Greenland. The study site, a terrestrial Arctic maritime climate, is located at Østerlien, near Qeqertarsuaq, on the southern coast of Disko Island in central West Greenland (69° 15' N, 53° 34' W) within the transition zone from continuous to discontinuous permafrost. The mean annual air temperature is -5 C and the annual precipitation as rain is 150-200 mm. Arctic ecosystem feedback mechanisms and processes interact on micro, local and regional scales. This is further complicated by several potential feedback mechanisms likely to occur in permafrost-affected ecosystems, involving the interactions of microorganisms, vegetation and soil. The eddy covariance method allows us to interrogate the processes and drivers of land-atmosphere carbon exchange at extremely high temporary frequency (10 Hz), providing landscape-scale measurements of CO2, H2O and heat fluxes for the site, which are processed to derive daily, monthly and now, annual carbon fluxes. We discuss the scientific methodology, challenges, and analysis, as well as the practical and logistic challenges of working in the Arctic, and present an annual carbon budget

  12. Seasonal dynamics of bacterial biomass and production in a coastal arctic ecosystem: Franklin Bay, western Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garneau, Marie-Ã. Ve; Roy, SéBastien; Lovejoy, Connie; Gratton, Yves; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2008-07-01

    The Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES) included the overwintering deployment of a research platform in Franklin Bay (70°N, 126°W) and provided a unique seasonal record of bacterial dynamics in a coastal region of the Arctic Ocean. Our objectives were (1) to relate seasonal bacterial abundance (BA) and production (BP) to physico-chemical characteristics and (2) to quantify the annual bacterial carbon flux. BA was estimated by epifluorescence microscopy and BP was estimated from 3H-leucine and 3H-thymidine assays. Mean BA values for the water column ranged from 1.0 (December) to 6.8 × 105 cells mL-1 (July). Integral BP varied from 1 (February) to 80 mg C m-2 d-1 (July). During winter-spring, BP was uncorrelated with chlorophyll a (Chl a), but these variables were significantly correlated during summer-autumn (rs = 0.68, p < 0.001, N = 38), suggesting that BP was subject to bottom-up control by carbon supply. Integrated BP data showed three distinct periods: fall-winter, late winter-late spring, and summer. A baseline level of BB and BP was maintained throughout late winter-late spring despite the persistent cold and darkness, with irregular fluctuations that may be related to hydrodynamic events. During this period, BP rates were correlated with colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) but not Chl a (rs BP.CDOM∣Chl a = 0.20, p < 0.05, N = 176). Annual BP was estimated as 6 g C m-2 a-1, implying a total BP of 4.8 × 1010 g C a-1 for the Franklin Bay region. These results show that bacterial processes continue throughout all seasons and make a large contribution to the total biological carbon flux in this coastal arctic ecosystem.

  13. In the dark: A review of ecosystem processes during the Arctic polar night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berge, Jørgen; Renaud, Paul E.; Darnis, Gerald; Cottier, Finlo; Last, Kim; Gabrielsen, Tove M.; Johnsen, Geir; Seuthe, Lena; Weslawski, Jan Marcin; Leu, Eva; Moline, Mark; Nahrgang, Jasmine; Søreide, Janne E.; Varpe, Øystein; Lønne, Ole Jørgen; Daase, Malin; Falk-Petersen, Stig

    2015-12-01

    Several recent lines of evidence indicate that the polar night is key to understanding Arctic marine ecosystems. First, the polar night is not a period void of biological activity even though primary production is close to zero, but is rather characterized by a number of processes and interactions yet to be fully understood, including unanticipated high levels of feeding and reproduction in a wide range of taxa and habitats. Second, as more knowledge emerges, it is evident that a coupled physical and biological perspective of the ecosystem will redefine seasonality beyond the "calendar perspective". Third, it appears that many organisms may exhibit endogenous rhythms that trigger fitness-maximizing activities in the absence of light-based cues. Indeed a common adaptation appears to be the ability to utilize the dark season for reproduction. This and other processes are most likely adaptations to current environmental conditions and community and trophic structures of the ecosystem, and may have implications for how Arctic ecosystems can change under continued climatic warming.

  14. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-12-31

    This proposal requests funding for the completion of our current ecological studies at the MS-117 research site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We have been using a mix of stable and radioisotope techniques to assess the fluxes of carbon and nitrogen within the ecosystem and the implications for long-term carbon storage or loss from the tundra. Several tentative conclusions have emerged from our study including: Tundra in the foothills is no longer accumulating carbon. Surficial radiocarbon abundances show little or no accumulation since 1000--2500 yrs BP. Coastal plain tundra is still accumulating carbon, but the rate of accumulation has dropped in the last few thousand years. Carbon export from watersheds in the Kuparuk and Imnavait Creek drainages are in excess of that expected from estimated primary productivity; and Nitrogen isotope abundances vary between species of plants and along hydrologic gradients.

  15. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-01-01

    This proposal requests funding for the completion of our current ecological studies at the MS-117 research site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We have been using a mix of stable and radioisotope techniques to assess the fluxes of carbon and nitrogen within the ecosystem and the implications for long-term carbon storage or loss from the tundra. Several tentative conclusions have emerged from our study including: Tundra in the foothills is no longer accumulating carbon. Surficial radiocarbon abundances show little or no accumulation since 1000--2500 yrs BP. Coastal plain tundra is still accumulating carbon, but the rate of accumulation has dropped in the last few thousand years. Carbon export from watersheds in the Kuparuk and Imnavait Creek drainages are in excess of that expected from estimated primary productivity; and Nitrogen isotope abundances vary between species of plants and along hydrologic gradients.

  16. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-01-01

    The Phase II studies of the R4D Program on stream and watershed ecology reflect the accomplishments and accumulation of baseline information obtained during the past studies. Although our rough estimates indicate that nitrogen inputs to the watershed ba lance losses, the carbon fluxes suggest that they are not in equilibrium and that there is a net loss of carbon from the tundra ecosystem through respiration and transport out of the watershed via the stream system. Radiocarbon profiles of soil sections coupled with mass transport calculations revealed that peat accumulation has essentially ceased in the R4D watershed and appears to be in ablative loss. Thus the carbon flux measurements provide validation tests for the PLANTGRO and GAS-HYDRO models of the PHASE II studies. These findings are also important in the context of global CO[sub 2] increases from positive feedback mechanisms in peatlands associated with climatic warming in the subarctic regions.

  17. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-12-31

    The Phase II studies of the R4D Program on stream and watershed ecology reflect the accomplishments and accumulation of baseline information obtained during the past studies. Although our rough estimates indicate that nitrogen inputs to the watershed ba lance losses, the carbon fluxes suggest that they are not in equilibrium and that there is a net loss of carbon from the tundra ecosystem through respiration and transport out of the watershed via the stream system. Radiocarbon profiles of soil sections coupled with mass transport calculations revealed that peat accumulation has essentially ceased in the R4D watershed and appears to be in ablative loss. Thus the carbon flux measurements provide validation tests for the PLANTGRO and GAS-HYDRO models of the PHASE II studies. These findings are also important in the context of global CO{sub 2} increases from positive feedback mechanisms in peatlands associated with climatic warming in the subarctic regions.

  18. ESRP approach to using final ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed the ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) as one of its major research efforts. The goal of this program is to create “A comprehensive theory and practice for quantifying ecosystem services so that their value and their...

  19. Photodemethylation of Methylmercury in Eastern Canadian Arctic Thaw Pond and Lake Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Girard, Catherine; Leclerc, Maxime; Amyot, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Permafrost thaw ponds of the warming Eastern Canadian Arctic are major landscape constituents and often display high levels of methylmercury (MeHg). We examined photodegradation potentials in high-dissolved organic matter (DOC) thaw ponds on Bylot Island (BYL) and a low-DOC oligotrophic lake on Cornwallis Island (Char Lake). In BYL, the ambient MeHg photodemethylation (PD) rate over 48 h of solar exposure was 6.1 × 10(-3) m(2) E(-1), and the rate in MeHg amended samples was 9.3 × 10(-3) m(2) E(-1). In contrast, in low-DOC Char Lake, PD was only observed in the first 12 h, which suggests that PD may not be an important loss process in polar desert lakes. Thioglycolic acid addition slowed PD, while glutathione and chlorides did not impact northern PD rates. During an ecosystem-wide experiment conducted in a covered BYL pond, there was neither net MeHg increase in the dark nor loss attributable to PD following re-exposure to sunlight. We propose that high-DOC Arctic thaw ponds are more prone to MeHg PD than nearby oligotrophic lakes, likely through photoproduction of reactive species rather than via thiol complexation. However, at the ecosystem level, these ponds, which are widespread through the Arctic, remain likely sources of MeHg for neighboring systems. PMID:26938195

  20. Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legagneux, P.; Gauthier, G.; Lecomte, N.; Schmidt, N. M.; Reid, D.; Cadieux, M.-C.; Berteaux, D.; Bêty, J.; Krebs, C. J.; Ims, R. A.; Yoccoz, N. G.; Morrison, R. I. G.; Leroux, S. J.; Loreau, M.; Gravel, D.

    2014-05-01

    Significant progress has been made in our understanding of species-level responses to climate change, but upscaling to entire ecosystems remains a challenge. This task is particularly urgent in the Arctic, where global warming is most pronounced. Here we report the results of an international collaboration on the direct and indirect effects of climate on the functioning of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Our data from seven terrestrial food webs spread along a wide range of latitudes (~1,500 km) and climates (Δ mean July temperature = 8.5 °C) across the circumpolar world show the effects of climate on tundra primary production, food-web structure and species interaction strength. The intensity of predation on lower trophic levels increased significantly with temperature, at approximately 4.5% per °C. Temperature also affected trophic interactions through an indirect effect on food-web structure (that is, diversity and number of interactions). Herbivore body size was a major determinant of predator-prey interactions, as interaction strength was positively related to the predator-prey size ratio, with large herbivores mostly escaping predation. There is potential for climate warming to cause a switch from bottom-up to top-down regulation of herbivores. These results are critical to resolving the debate on the regulation of tundra and other terrestrial ecosystems exposed to global change.

  1. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events.

    PubMed

    Choudhary, Sonal; Blaud, Aimeric; Osborn, A Mark; Press, Malcolm C; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2016-06-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem (15)N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g Nm(-2)yr(-1), applied as (15)NH4(15)NO3 in Svalbard (79(°)N), during the summer. Separate applications of (15)NO3(-) and (15)NH4(+) were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total (15)N applied was recovered after one growing season (~90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants>vascular plants>organic soil>litter>mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of (15)N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater (15)NO3(-) than (15)NH4(+), suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events may represent a major source of eutrophication. PMID:26956177

  2. Effects of disturbance on ecosystem dynamics of tundra and riparian vegetation: A project in the R4D program. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1995-12-31

    Models were proposed as research tools to test the basic understanding of the structure and function of arctic ecosystems, as a means for providing initial management assessments of potential response to energy-related development, and as a vehicle for extrapolation of research results to other arctic sites and landscapes. This final summary report reviews progress made on models at a variety of scales from nutrient uptake by individual roots to nutrient availability within arctic landscapes, and examines potentials and critical limitations of these models for providing insight on patch and landscape level function in tundra regions.

  3. Hydrology modifies ecosystem responses to warming through interactions between soil, leaf and canopy processes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Lett, C.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Seibt, U. H.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are experiencing temperature increases more strongly than the global average, and increases in precipitation are also expected amongst the climate impacts on this region in the future. These changes are expected to strongly influence both plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry, and therefore ecosystem carbon balance, hydrology and nutrient cycling. We have investigated the effects of a long-term (10 years) increase in temperature (T2), soil water (W) and the combination of both (T2W) on leaf-level structure and function and ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes in a tundra ecosystem at a field manipulation experiment in NW Greenland. Leaf-level gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and morphology were measured on Salix arctica plants in treatment and control plots in June-July 2011, and continuous measurements of net ecosystem fluxes of carbon and water were made using automatic chambers coupled to a trace gas analyzer. Contrasting responses to the treatments were observed between leaf-level and net ecosystem fluxes. Plants in the elevated temperature treatment had the highest leaf-level photosynthetic capacity in terms of net CO2 assimilation rates and photosystem II efficiencies, and lowest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation during photosynthesis. The plants in the plots with both elevated temperatures and additional water had the lowest photosystem II efficiencies and the highest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation. However, net photosynthetic rates remained similar to control plants with additional water, due in part to higher stomatal conductance (W) and lower dark respiration rates (T2W). In contrast, net ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes were highest in the T2W plots, due largely to a 35% increase in leaf area. Total growing season C accumulation was 3-5 times greater, water fluxes were 1.5-2 times higher, and water use efficiency was about 3 times higher in the combined treatment than the control

  4. Spatial and temporal trends of contaminants in Canadian Arctic freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems: a review.

    PubMed

    Braune, B; Muir, D; DeMarch, B; Gamberg, M; Poole, K; Currie, R; Dodd, M; Duschenko, W; Eamer, J; Elkin, B; Evans, M; Grundy, S; Hebert, C; Johnstone, R; Kidd, K; Koenig, B; Lockhart, L; Marshall, H; Reimer, K; Sanderson, J; Shutt, L

    1999-06-01

    The state of knowledge of contaminants in Canadian Arctic biota of the freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems has advanced enormously since the publication of the first major reviews by Lockhart et al. and Thomas et al. in The Science of the Total Environment in 1992. The most significant gains are new knowledge of spatial trends of organochlorines and heavy metal contaminants in terrestrial animals, such as caribou and mink, and in waterfowl, where no information was previously available. Spatial trends in freshwater fish have been broadened, especially in the Yukon, where contaminant measurements of, for example, organochlorines were previously non-existent. A review of contaminants data for fish from the Northwest Territories, Yukon and northern Quebec showed mercury as the one contaminant which consistently exceeds guideline limits for subsistence consumption or commercial sale. Lake trout and northern pike in the Canadian Shield lakes of the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec generally had the most elevated levels. Levels of other heavy metals were generally not elevated in fish. Toxaphene was the major organochlorine contaminant in all fish analyzed. The concentrations of organochlorine contaminants in fish appear to be a function not only of trophic level but of other aspects of the lake ecosystem. Among Arctic terrestrial mammals, PCBs and cadmium were the most prominent contaminants in the species analyzed. Relatively high levels (10-60 micrograms g-1) of cadmium were observed in kidney and liver of caribou from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec, with concentrations in western herds being higher than in those from the east. For the organochlorine contaminants, a west to east increase in zigma PCBs, HCB and zigma HCH was found in caribou, probably as a result of the predominant west to east/north-east atmospheric circulation pattern which delivers these contaminants from industrialized regions of central and eastern North

  5. Effects of Conversion from Boreal Forest to Arctic Steppe on Soil Communities and Ecosystem Carbon Pools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, P. D.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked the extinction of a great variety of arctic megafauna, which, in part, led to the conversion of arctic grasslands to modern Siberian larch forest. This shift may have increased the vulnerability of permafrost to thawing because of changes driven by the vegetation shift; the higher albedo of grassland and low insulation of snow trampled by animals may have decreased soil temperatures and reduced ground thaw in the grassland ecosystem, resulting in protection of organic carbon in thawed soil and permafrost. To test these hypothesized impacts of arctic megafauna, we examined an experimental reintroduction of large mammals in northeast Siberia, initiated in 1988. Pleistocene Park now contains 23 horses, three musk ox, one bison, and several moose in addition to the native fauna. The park is 16 square km with a smaller enclosure (< 1 km) where animals spend most of their time and our study was focused. We measured carbon-pools in forested sites (where scat surveys showed low animal use), and grassy sites (which showed higher use), within the park boundaries. We also measured thaw depth and documented the soil invertebrate communities in each ecosystem. There was a substantial difference in number of invertebrates per kg of organic soil between the forest (600 ± 250) and grassland (300 ± 250), though these differences were not statistically significant they suggest faster nutrient turnover in the forest or a greater proportion of decomposition by invertebrates than other decomposers. While thaw depth was deeper in the grassland (60 ± 4 cm) than in the forest (40 ± 6 cm), we did not detect differences in organic layer depth or percent organic matter between grassland and forest. However, soil in the grassland had higher bulk density, and higher carbon stocks in the organic and mineral soil layers. Although deeper thaw depth in the grassland suggests that more carbon is available to microbial decomposers, ongoing temperature monitoring

  6. Conceptual data modeling of wildlife response indicators to ecosystem change in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walworth, Dennis; Pearce, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Large research studies are often challenged to effectively expose and document the types of information being collected and the reasons for data collection across what are often a diverse cadre of investigators of differing disciplines. We applied concepts from the field of information or data modeling to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative to prototype an application of information modeling. The USGS CAE initiative is collecting information from marine and terrestrial environments in Alaska to identify and understand the links between rapid physical changes in the Arctic and response of wildlife populations to these ecosystem changes. An associated need is to understand how data collection strategies are informing the overall science initiative and facilitating communication of those strategies to a wide audience. We explored the use of conceptual data modeling to provide a method by which to document, describe, and visually communicate both enterprise and study level data; provide a simple means to analyze commonalities and differences in data acquisition strategies between studies; and provide a tool for discussing those strategies among researchers and managers.

  7. The relation between productivity and species diversity in temperate-Arctic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Witman, Jon D; Cusson, Mathieu; Archambault, Philippe; Pershing, Andrew J; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2008-11-01

    Energy variables, such as evapotranspiration, temperature, and productivity explain significant variation in the diversity of many groups of terrestrial plants and animals at local to global scales. Although the ocean represents the largest continuous habitat on earth with a vast spectrum of primary productivity and species richness, little is known about how productivity influences species diversity in marine systems. To search for general relationships between productivity and species richness in the ocean, we analyzed data from three different benthic marine ecosystems (epifaunal communities on subtidal rock walls, on navigation buoys in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Canadian Arctic macrobenthos) across local to continental spatial scales (<20 to >1000 km) using a standardized proxy for productivity, satellite-derived chlorophyll a. Theoretically, the form of the function between productivity and species richness is either monotonically increasing or decreasing, or curvilinear (hump- or U-shaped). We found three negative linear and three hump-shaped relationships between chlorophyll a and species richness out of 10 independent comparisons. Scale dependence was suggested by more prevalent diversity-productivity relationships at smaller (local, landscape) than larger (regional, continental) spatial scales. Differences in the form of the functions were more closely allied with community type than with scale, as negative linear functions were restricted to sessile epifauna while hump-shaped functions occurred in Arctic macrobenthos (mixed epifauna, infauna). In two of the data sets, (St. Lawrence epifauna and Arctic macrobenthos) significant effects of chlorophyll a co-varied with the effects of salinity, suggesting that environmental stress as well as productivity influences diversity in these marine systems. The co-varying effect of salinity may commonly arise in broad-scale studies of productivity and diversity in marine ecosystems when attempting to sample the

  8. Spatial and temporal trends and effects of contaminants in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem: a review.

    PubMed

    Muir, D; Braune, B; DeMarch, B; Norstrom, R; Wagemann, R; Lockhart, L; Hargrave, B; Bright, D; Addison, R; Payne, J; Reimer, K

    1999-06-01

    Recent studies have added substantially to our knowledge of spatial and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of contaminants in marine biota in the Canadian Arctic and where possible, discusses biological effects. The geographic coverage of information on contaminants such as persistent organochlorines (OCs) (PCBs, DDT- and chlordane-related compounds, hexachlorocyclohexanes, toxaphene) and heavy metals (mercury, selenium, cadmium, lead) in tissues of marine mammal and sea birds is relatively complete. All major beluga, ringed seal and polar bear stocks along with several major sea bird colonies have been sampled and analysed for OC and heavy metal contaminants. Studies on contaminants in walrus are limited to Foxe Basin and northern Québec stocks, while migratory harp seals have only been studied recently at one location. Contaminant measurements in bearded seal, harbour seal, bowhead whale and killer whale tissues from the Canadian Arctic are very limited or non-existent. Many of the temporal trend data for contaminants in Canadian Arctic biota are confounded by changes in analytical methodology, as well as by variability due to age/size, or to dietary and population shifts. Despite this, studies of OCs in ringed seal blubber at Holman Island and in sea birds at Prince Leopold Island in Lancaster Sound show declining concentrations of PCBs and DDT-related compounds from the 1970s to 1980s then a levelling off during the 1980s and early 1990s. For other OCs, such as chlordane, HCH and toxaphene, limited data for the 1980s to early 1990s suggests few significant declines in concentrations in marine mammals or sea birds. Temporal trend studies of heavy metals in ringed seals and beluga found higher mean concentrations of mercury in more recent (1993/1994) samples than in earlier collections (1981-1984 in eastern Arctic, 1972-1973 in western Arctic

  9. Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment: Quantification and prediction of coupled processes in the terrestrial Arctic system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, S. S.; Hinzman, L. D.; Graham, D. E.; Liang, L.; Norby, R.; Riley, W. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; NGEE Scientific Team

    2011-12-01

    Predicting the evolution of Arctic ecosystems to a changing climate is complicated by the many interactions and feedbacks that occur within and between components of the system. A new DOE Biological and Environmental Research project, called the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) is being initiated to address "how does permafrost degradation in a warming Arctic, and the associated changes in landscape evolution, hydrology, soil biogeochemical processes, and plant community succession, affect feedbacks to the climate system?". A multi-disciplinary team will use observations, experiments, and simulations carried out from the pore to the landscape scales to address these questions. We will combine field research (performed around thermokarst features in Alaska on the North Slope and Seward Peninsula), laboratory research using a variety of approaches and techniques, and remote sensing observations to improve modeling capabilities for high-latitude systems. Our research is organized into four interrelated 'Challenges' to quantify: (1) environmental controls on permafrost degradation and its influence on hydrological state, stocks, fluxes and pathways; (2) mechanisms that drive structural and functional responses of the tundra plant community to changing resource availability; (3) controls, mechanisms and rates driving biodegradation of soil organic matter; and (4) the impact of permafrost degradation on ecosystem albedo, energy partitioning and total climate forcing. Coordinated data acquisition will be performed using a variety of commonly-used terrestrial ecosystem characterization approaches as well as novel molecular microbiological, geophysical, isotopic and synchrotron techniques. These datasets will be used in parallel with models to identify the key controls on coupled geomechanical, hydrological, soil biogeochemical, vegetation and land-surface processes, as well as the manifestation of these coupled processes over a broad range of space and time

  10. Controls over nutrient flow through plants and microbes in Arctic tundra. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schimel, J.

    1994-02-01

    Ecosystem productivity in the Arctic is strongly controlled by N availability to plants. Thus, disturbances to the Arctic system are likely to have their greatest impacts by altering the supply of nutrients to plants. Thus, to understand the dynamics of Arctic tundra, a complete understanding of the controls on N cycling in tundra soils is necessary. This project focused on understanding nutrient dynamics in arctic tussock tundra, specifically evaluating the role of microbial uptake and competition for nutrients as a control on plant N-uptake. The project consisted of several major components: Short- and long-term partitioning of NH{sub 4}{sup +} in tussock tundra (1990--1991); Measurement of NH{sub 4}{sup +} uptake rates by Eriophorum vaginatum and by soil microbes; Determination of microbial NH{sub 4}{sup +} and NO{sub 3}{minus} uptake kinetics; and Determination of the partitioning of NH{sub 4}{sup +} and amino acids between E. vaginatum and soil microbes.

  11. Advanced Ecosystem Mapping Techniques for Large Arctic Study Domains Using Calibrated High-Resolution Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macander, M. J.; Frost, G. V., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Regional-scale mapping of vegetation and other ecosystem properties has traditionally relied on medium-resolution remote sensing such as Landsat (30 m) and MODIS (250 m). Yet, the burgeoning availability of high-resolution (<=2 m) imagery and ongoing advances in computing power and analysis tools raises the prospect of performing ecosystem mapping at fine spatial scales over large study domains. Here we demonstrate cutting-edge mapping approaches over a ~35,000 km² study area on Alaska's North Slope using calibrated and atmospherically-corrected mosaics of high-resolution WorldView-2 and GeoEye-1 imagery: (1) an a priori spectral approach incorporating the Satellite Imagery Automatic Mapper (SIAM) algorithms; (2) image segmentation techniques; and (3) texture metrics. The SIAM spectral approach classifies radiometrically-calibrated imagery to general vegetation density categories and non-vegetated classes. The SIAM classes were developed globally and their applicability in arctic tundra environments has not been previously evaluated. Image segmentation, or object-based image analysis, automatically partitions high-resolution imagery into homogeneous image regions that can then be analyzed based on spectral, textural, and contextual information. We applied eCognition software to delineate waterbodies and vegetation classes, in combination with other techniques. Texture metrics were evaluated to determine the feasibility of using high-resolution imagery to algorithmically characterize periglacial surface forms (e.g., ice-wedge polygons), which are an important physical characteristic of permafrost-dominated regions but which cannot be distinguished by medium-resolution remote sensing. These advanced mapping techniques provide products which can provide essential information supporting a broad range of ecosystem science and land-use planning applications in northern Alaska and elsewhere in the circumpolar Arctic.

  12. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Turetsky, Merritt; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Talbot, Julie; Frolking, Steve; McGuire, A. David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2012-08-24

    Mosses in boreal and arctic ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, represent an important component of plant diversity, and strongly influence the cycling of water, nutrients, energy and carbon. Here we use a literature review and synthesis as well as model simulations to explore the role of moss in ecological stability and resilience. Our literature review of moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories in boreal and arctic regions. Our modeling simulations suggest that loss of moss within northern plant communities will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. While two models (HPM and STM-TEM) showed a significant effect of moss removal, results from the Biome-BGC and DVM-TEM models suggest that northern, moss-rich ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. We highlight a number of issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, phenotypical plasticity in traits, and whether the effects of moss on ecosystem processes scale with local abundance. We also suggest that as more models explore issues related to ecological resilience, issues related to both parameter and conceptual uncertainty should be addressed: are the models more limited by uncertainty in the parameterization of the processes included or by what is not represented in the model at all? It seems clear from our review that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species.

  13. Review: Potential catastrophic reduction of sea ice in the western Arctic Ocean: Its impact on biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, Naomi

    2016-01-01

    The reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, which has progressed more rapidly than previously predicted, has the potential to cause multiple environmental stresses, including warming, acidification, and strengthened stratification of the ocean. Observational studies have been undertaken to detect the impacts on biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystems of these environmental stresses in the Arctic Ocean. Satellite analyses show that the reduction of sea ice has been especially great in the western Arctic Ocean. Observations and model simulations have both helped to clarify the impact of sea-ice reductions on the dynamics of ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycles. In this review, I focus on the western Arctic Ocean, which has experienced the most rapid retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and, very importantly, has a higher rate of primary production than any other area of the Arctic Ocean owing to the supply of nutrient-rich Pacific water. I report the impact of the current reduction of sea ice on marine biogeochemical cycles in the western Arctic Ocean, including lower-trophic-level organisms, and identify the key mechanism of changes in the biogeochemical cycles, based on published observations and model simulations. The retreat of sea ice has enhanced primary production and has increased the frequency of appearance of mesoscale anticyclonic eddies. These eddies enhance the light environment and replenish nutrients, and they also represent a mechanism that can increase the rate of the biological pump in the Arctic Ocean. Various unresolved issues that require further investigation, such as biological responses to environmental stressors such as ocean acidification, are also discussed.

  14. Improved Climate Prediction through a System Level Understanding of Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.; Hinzman, L. D.; Hubbard, S. S.; Liang, L.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Norby, R. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Riley, W. J.; Wilson, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and a rapidly evolving landscape, the Arctic has emerged as an important focal point for the study of climate change. These are sensitive systems, yet the mechanisms responsible for those sensitivities are not well understood and many remain uncertain in terms of their representation in Earth System models. Increasing our confidence in climate projections for high-latitude regions of the world will require a coordinated set of investigations that target improved process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) seeks to address this challenge by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska. Initial research focuses on the highly dynamic landscapes of the North Slope where thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground offer distinct land units for investigation and modeling. Activities in the early stage of the project are focused on the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), where a multi-disciplinary team of scientists will study interactions that drive critical climate feedbacks within these environments through greenhouse gas fluxes and changes in surface energy balance associated with permafrost degradation, and the many processes that arise as a result of these landscape dynamics. Our scaling approach builds on the hypothesis that the transfer of information across spatial scales can be organized around these discrete geomorphological units for which processes are represented explicitly at finer scales, with information passed to coarser scales through sub-grid parameterization of Earth System models. By extending an already well-established framework for fractional sub-grid area representations to allow dynamic sub-grid areas and hydrological and geophysical connections among sub-grid units, we expect to be able to characterize

  15. Ecosystem dynamics of the Pacific-influenced Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas in the Amerasian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Cooper, Lee W.; Feder, Howard M.; Sirenko, Boris I.

    2006-10-01

    The shallow continental shelves and slope of the Amerasian Arctic are strongly influenced by nutrient-rich Pacific waters advected over the shelves from the northern Bering Sea into the Arctic Ocean. These high-latitude shelf systems are highly productive both as the ice melts and during the open-water period. The duration and extent of seasonal sea ice, seawater temperature and water mass structure are critical controls on water column production, organic carbon cycling and pelagic-benthic coupling. Short food chains and shallow depths are characteristic of high productivity areas in this region, so changes in lower trophic levels can impact higher trophic organisms rapidly, including pelagic- and benthic-feeding marine mammals and seabirds. Subsistence harvesting of many of these animals is locally important for human consumption. The vulnerability of the ecosystem to environmental change is thought to be high, particularly as sea ice extent declines and seawater warms. In this review, we focus on ecosystem dynamics in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas, with a more limited discussion of the adjoining Pacific-influenced eastern section of the East Siberian Sea and the western section of the Beaufort Sea. Both primary and secondary production are enhanced in specific regions that we discuss here, with the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas sustaining some of the highest water column production and benthic faunal soft-bottom biomass in the world ocean. In addition, these organic carbon-rich Pacific waters are periodically advected into low productivity regions of the nearshore northern Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska and sometimes into the East Siberian Sea, all of which have lower productivity on an annual basis. Thus, these near shore areas are intimately tied to nutrients and advected particulate organic carbon from the Pacific influenced Bering Shelf-Anadyr water. Given the short food chains and dependence of many apex predators on sea ice, recent

  16. Effects on the structure of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    PubMed

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

    2004-11-01

    Species individualistic responses to warming and increased UV-B radiation are moderated by the responses of neighbors within communities, and trophic interactions within ecosystems. All of these responses lead to changes in ecosystem structure. Experimental manipulation of environmental factors expected to change at high latitudes showed that summer warming of tundra vegetation has generally led to smaller changes than fertilizer addition. Some of the factors manipulated have strong effects on the structure of Arctic ecosystems but the effects vary regionally, with the greatest response of plant and invertebrate communities being observed at the coldest locations. Arctic invertebrate communities are very likely to respond rapidly to warming whereas microbial biomass and nutrient stocks are more stable. Experimentally enhanced UV-B radiation altered the community composition of gram-negative bacteria and fungi, but not that of plants. Increased plant productivity due to warmer summers may dominate food-web dynamics. Trophic interactions of tundra and sub-Arctic forest plant-based food webs are centered on a few dominant animal species which often have cyclic population fluctuations that lead to extremely high peak abundances in some years. Population cycles of small rodents and insect defoliators such as the autumn moth affect the structure and diversity of tundra and forest-tundra vegetation and the viability of a number of specialist predators and parasites. Ice crusting in warmer winters is likely to reduce the accessibility of plant food to lemmings, while deep snow may protect them from snow-surface predators. In Fennoscandia, there is evidence already for a pronounced shift in small rodent community structure and dynamics that have resulted in a decline of predators that specialize in feeding on small rodents. Climate is also likely to alter the role of insect pests in the birch forest system: warmer winters may increase survival of eggs and expand the range

  17. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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. PMID:25967156

  18. Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 with Rapidly Changing High Arctic Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmerton, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest-latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3±13.5 g C m-2). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  20. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic tundra ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Checkstow, D.A.; Hope, A.; McGuire, D.; Verbyla, D.; Gamon, J.; Huemmrich, F.; Houston, S.; Racine, C.; Sturm, M.; Tape, K.; Hinzman, L.; Yoshikawa, K.; Tweedie, C.

    2004-01-01

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

  1. The response of aboveground plant productivity to earlier snowmelt and summer warming in an Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livensperger, C.; Steltzer, H.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2012-12-01

    Plant communities in the Arctic are undergoing changes in structure and function due to shifts in seasonality from changing winters and summer warming. These changes will impact biogeochemical cycling, surface energy balance, and functioning of vertebrate and invertebrate communities. To examine seasonal controls on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in a moist acidic tundra ecosystem in northern Alaska, we shifted the growing season by accelerating snowmelt (using radiation absorbing shadecloth) and warming air and soil temperature (using 1 m2 open-top chambers), individually and in combination. After three years, we measured ANPP by harvesting up to 16 individual ramets, tillers and rhizomes for each of 7 plant species, including two deciduous shrubs, two graminoids, two evergreen shrubs and one forb during peak season. Our results show that ANPP per stem summed across the 7 species increased when snow melt occurred earlier. However, standing biomass, excluding current year growth, was also greater. The ratio of ANPP/standing biomass decreased in all treatments compared to the control. ANPP per unit standing biomass summed for the four shrub species decreases due to summer warming alone or in combination with early snowmelt; however early snowmelt alone did not lead to lower ANPP for the shrubs. ANPP per tiller or rhizome summed for the three herbaceous species increased in response to summer warming. Understanding the differential response of plants to changing seasonality will inform predictions of future Arctic plant community structure and function.

  2. Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed Arctic ecosystems. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-07-01

    This progress report is a funding, extension request to continue the database work for the Hydrological and Geochemical Response and Recovery in Disturbed Arctic Ecosystems Program. Throughout the period from 1985 to 1992 the Department of Energy supported research on the hydrology and geochemistry of the headwater basin of Imnavait Creek has focused on the quantification of the input from atmospheric sources of biologically significant and other related chemical variables; the transport of these variables in surface and subsurface flow and their efflux from the basin; and the development of geochemical budgets. The acquisition of multi-year data sets (the longest and most detailed sets in the Arctic) have made it possible to define seasonal ranges and amplitudes; determine spatial and temporal relationships within the different flow compartments; to begin to model the pathways and rates of movement through and across different landscape units. The length of record has also made it possible to examine the quantity and influence of local and extra-regional additions.

  3. Influences of seasonality, geomorphology, and hydrology on primary production and respiration in Arctic stream ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herstand, M. R.; Bowden, W. B.; Gooseff, M. N.; Whittinghill, K. A.; Wlostowski, A. N.; Wollheim, W. M.

    2011-12-01

    Stream ecosystem processes in the Arctic are poorly understood in the spring and fall 'shoulder' seasons. We hypothesize that seasonal changes in solar radiation, hydrologic conditions, and landscape inputs are all reflected in the seasonal patterns of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and Community Respiration (CR). We continuously monitored the GPP and CR of three streams with different geomorphic characteristics (alluvial lake inlet, alluvial lake outlet, and beaded peat) near Toolik Lake Field Station, Alaska from breakup to freeze-up during 2011. We used open-system whole stream metabolism (WSM) methods, with dissolved oxygen estimates every five minutes. Dissolved and particulate nutrient chemistry, benthic chlorophyll, and nutrient uptake rates from solute injections were also measured across the seasons, and had correlations with GPP and CR. The fall freeze-up season was especially productive, as the well-developed benthic community responded to either lower flows (preventing sloughing) and/or increasing dissolved nutrient loads during landscape plant senescence. Storm events and high flow conditions (observed throughout seasons) decreased the GPP:CR ratio. Average monthly air temperatures have increased on the North Slope, especially during the shoulder seasons, increasing the duration of the ice-free stream season. Increasing the fall shoulder season may increase the annual stream GPP and nutrient uptake, with uncertain impacts on nutrient loading to the Arctic Ocean.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Are Hotspots Always Hotspots? The Relationship between Diversity, Resource and Ecosystem Functions in the Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Link, Heike; Piepenburg, Dieter; Archambault, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The diversity-ecosystem function relationship is an important topic in ecology but has not received much attention in Arctic environments, and has rarely been tested for its stability in time. We studied the temporal variability of benthic ecosystem functioning at hotspots (sites with high benthic boundary fluxes) and coldspots (sites with lower fluxes) across two years in the Canadian Arctic. Benthic remineralisation function was measured as fluxes of oxygen, silicic acid, phosphate, nitrate and nitrite at the sediment-water interface. In addition we determined sediment pigment concentration and taxonomic and functional macrobenthic diversity. To separate temporal from spatial variability, we sampled the same nine sites from the Mackenzie Shelf to Baffin Bay during the same season (summer or fall) in 2008 and 2009. We observed that temporal variability of benthic remineralisation function at hotspots is higher than at coldspots and that taxonomic and functional macrobenthic diversity did not change significantly between years. Temporal variability of food availability (i.e., sediment surface pigment concentration) seemed higher at coldspot than at hotspot areas. Sediment chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration, taxonomic richness, total abundance, water depth and abundance of the largest gallery-burrowing polychaete Lumbrineristetraura together explained 42% of the total variation in fluxes. Food supply proxies (i.e., sediment Chl a and depth) split hot- from coldspot stations and explained variation on the axis of temporal variability, and macrofaunal community parameters explained variation mostly along the axis separating eastern from western sites with hot- or coldspot regimes. We conclude that variability in benthic remineralisation function, food supply and diversity will react to climate change on different time scales, and that their interactive effects may hide the detection of progressive change, particularly at hotspots. Time-series of benthic functions and

  6. Chamber and Diffusive Based Carbon Flux Measurements in an Alaskan Arctic Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkman, E.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.

    2013-12-01

    Eric Wilkman, Walter Oechel, Donatella Zona Comprising an area of more than 7 x 106 km2 and containing over 11% of the world's organic matter pool, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are vitally important components of the global carbon cycle, yet their structure and functioning are sensitive to subtle changes in climate and many of these functional changes can have large effects on the atmosphere and future climate regimes (Callaghan & Maxwell 1995, Chapin et al. 2002). Historically these northern ecosystems have acted as strong C sinks, sequestering large stores of atmospheric C due to photosynthetic dominance in the short summer season and low rates of decomposition throughout the rest of the year as a consequence of cold, nutrient poor, and generally water-logged conditions. Currently, much of this previously stored carbon is at risk of loss to the atmosphere due to accelerated soil organic matter decomposition in warmer future climates (Grogan & Chapin 2000). Although there have been numerous studies on Arctic carbon dynamics, much of the previous soil flux work has been done at limited time intervals, due to both the harshness of the environment and labor and time constraints. Therefore, in June of 2013 an Ultraportable Greenhouse Gas Analyzer (UGGA - Los Gatos Research Inc.) was deployed in concert with the LI-8100A Automated Soil Flux System (LI-COR Biosciences) in Barrow, AK to gather high temporal frequency soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes from a wet sedge tundra ecosystem. An additional UGGA in combination with diffusive probes, installed in the same location, provides year-round soil and snow CO2 and CH4 concentrations. When used in combination with the recently purchased AlphaGUARD portable radon monitor (Saphymo GmbH), continuous soil and snow diffusivities and fluxes of CO2 and CH4 can be calculated (Lehmann & Lehmann 2000). Of particular note, measuring soil gas concentration over a diffusive gradient in this way allows one to separate both net production and

  7. The Role of Remote Sensing in Modeling Landscape Change and Its Associated Carbon Cycle Impacts Across Terrestrial Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, D. J.; Goswami, S.; Jones, B. M.; Grosse, G.; Balser, A.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems across the circumpolar Arctic region are undergoing unprecedented changes in structure and function as a result of rapid climate warming. Such changes have substantially altered energy, water and biogeochemical cycling in these regions, which has important global-scale consequences for climate and society. Recognizing the vulnerability of these ecosystems to change, scientists and decision-makers have identified a critical need for research that employs existing and new remote sensing technologies and methodologies to observe, monitor and understand changes in Arctic ecosystems. The unique capabilities provided by remote sensing imagery and data products have allowed us novel views of ecosystems and their dynamics over multiple scales in time and space across all regions of the globe. Here we offer a synthetic discussion of the recent and emerging science focused on understanding the dynamic landscape processes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems using a variety of remotely-sensed information collected from passive and active sensors on ground-, aircraft- and satellite- based platforms. To consider the evolution of these technologies, methods and applications over recent decades, we look at key examples from the scientific literature that range from the use of radar sensors for local-scale characterization of active layer dynamics to the circumpolar-scale assessment of changes in vegetation productivity using long-term records of optical satellite imagery. This discussion has a particular focus on the use of remotely sensed data and products to parameterize, drive, evaluate and benchmark the modeling of Arctic ecosystem processes. We use these examples to demonstrate the opportunities for model-data integration, as well as to highlight the challenges of remote sensing studies in northern high latitude regions.

  8. Challenges in Modeling Disturbance Regimes and Their Impacts in Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, A. D.; Rupp, T. S.; Kurz, W.

    2013-12-01

    Disturbances in arctic and boreal terrestrial ecosystems influence services provided by these ecosystems to society. In particular, changes in disturbance regimes in northern latitudes have uncertain consequences for the climate system. A major challenge for the scientific community is to develop the capability to predict how the frequency, severity and resultant impacts of disturbance regimes will change in response to future changes in climate projected for northern high latitudes. Here we compare what is known about drivers and impacts of wildfire, phytophagous insect pests, and thermokarst disturbance to illustrate the complexities in predicting future changes in disturbance regimes and their impacts in arctic and boreal regions. Much of the research on predicting fire has relied on the use of drivers related to fire weather. However, changes in vegetation, such as increases in broadleaf species, associated with intensified fire regimes have the potential to influence future fire regimes through negative feedbacks associated with reduced flammability. Phytophagous insect outbreaks have affected substantial portions of the boreal region in the past, but frequently the range of the tree host is larger than the range of the insect. There is evidence that a number of insect species are expanding their range in response to climate change. Major challenges to predicting outbreaks of phytophagous insects include modeling the effects of climate change on insect growth and maturation, winter mortality, plant host health, the synchrony of insect life stages and plant host phenology, and changes in the ranges of insect pests. Moreover, Earth System Models often simplify the representation of vegetation characteristics, e.g. the use of plant functional types, providing insufficient detail to link to insect population models. Thermokarst disturbance occurs when the thawing of ice-rich permafrost results in substantial ground subsidence. In the boreal forest, thermokarst can

  9. FINAL ECOSYSTEM GOODS AND SERVICES CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM (FEGS-CS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document defines and classifies 338 Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS), each defined and uniquely numbered by a combination of environmental class or sub-class and a beneficiary category or sub-category. The introductory section provides the rationale and conceptual ...

  10. Ice Shelf Microbial Ecosystems in the High Arctic and Implications for Life on Snowball Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, W. F.; Gibson, J. A. E.; Pienitz, R.; Villeneuve, V.; Broady, P. A.; Hamilton, P. B.; Howard-Williams, C.

    The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (83°N, 74°W) is the largest remaining section of thick (>10m) landfast sea ice along the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Extensive meltwater lakes and streams occur on the surface of the ice and are colonized by photosynthetic microbial mat communities. This High Arctic cryo-ecosystem is similar in several of its physical, biological and geochemical features to the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The ice-mats in both polar regions are dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria but also contain diatoms, chlorophytes, flagellates, ciliates, nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers. The luxuriant Ward Hunt consortia also contain high concentrations (107-108cm-2) of viruses and heterotrophic bacteria. During periods of extensive ice cover, such as glaciations during the Proterozoic, cryotolerant mats of the type now found in these polar ice shelf ecosystems would have provided refugia for the survival, growth and evolution of a variety of organisms, including multicellular eukaryotes.

  11. Ice shelf microbial ecosystems in the high arctic and implications for life on snowball earth.

    PubMed

    Vincent, W F; Gibson, J A; Pienitz, R; Villeneuve, V; Broady, P A; Hamilton, P B; Howard-Williams, C

    2000-03-01

    The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (83 degrees N, 74 degrees W) is the largest remaining section of thick (> 10 m) land-fast sea ice along the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Extensive meltwater lakes and streams occur on the surface of the ice and are colonized by photosynthetic microbial mat communities. This High Arctic cryo-ecosystem is similar in several of its physical, biological and geochemical features to the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The ice-mats in both polar regions are dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria but also contain diatoms, chlorophytes, flagellates, ciliates, nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers. The luxuriant Ward Hunt consortia also contain high concentrations (10(7)-10(8) cm-2) of viruses and heterotrophic bacteria. During periods of extensive ice cover, such as glaciations during the Proterozoic, cryotolerant mats of the type now found in these polar ice shelf ecosystems would have provided refugia for the survival, growth and evolution of a variety of organisms, including multicellular eukaryotes. PMID:10798200

  12. Coupled ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling in a High Arctic ecosystem are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, S. M.; Schimel, J.; Welker, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    The rapid changes in temperature and precipitation in High Arctic tundra ecosystems are altering the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C), but in ways that are difficult to anticipate. The challenge grows from the complexity of tundra soil organic matter, the uncertainty of N cycle responses and the extent to which shifts in soil N processes are coupled with the C cycle, including leaf-level photosynthesis, gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP-productivity) and net CO2 exchange (NEE-C sequestration). Understanding the processes that are leading to changes in High Arctic biogeochemical processes are especially important today as soil organic C pools in the High Arctic are up to 6 times greater than previously estimated, and are sensitive to being oxidized to the atmosphere through changes in microbial decomposition associated with warmer and wetter conditions. We used a long-term (since 2003) experiment of summer warming and supplemental summer water additions to a High Arctic ecosystem in NW Greenland to determine the impact of interactions between temperature, water availability, and microbial metabolism on the cycling of C and plant-available N in High Arctic tundra soil. We have found that water availability plays a critical role in these cycles in High Arctic tundra, over and above that from temperature increases. On seasonal time scales, we observed greater net N mineralization under both global change scenarios, yet water addition also significantly increased net nitrification rates, loss of NO3--N via leaching from surface soil layers, and lowered rates of labile organic C and N production. We also expected the chronic warming and watering would lead to long-term changes in soil N-cycling that would be reflected in soil δ15N values. However, we found that soil δ15N decreased under the different climate change scenarios. Our findings indicate that warmer, wetter High Arctic tundra will be cycling N and C in ways that may transform these

  13. Reviews and Syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on arctic aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W. B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Anthony, K. M. Walter; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-07-01

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. The thawing of this permafrost creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects lentic and lotic systems, exploring the effects of both thermokarst (thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost) and deepening of the active layer (the surface soil layer that thaws and refreezes each year). Within thermokarst, we further differentiate between the effects of thermokarst in lowland areas, vs. that on hillslopes. For almost all of the processes that we explore, the effects of thaw vary regionally, and between lake and stream systems. Much of this regional variation is caused by differences in ground ice content, topography, soil type, and permafrost coverage. Together, these modifying variables determine the degree to which permafrost thaw manifests as thermokarst, whether thermokarst leads to slumping or the formation of thermokarst lakes, and the manner in which constituent delivery to freshwater systems is altered by thaw. Differences in thaw-enabled constituent delivery can be considerable, with these modifying variables determining, for example, the balance between delivery of particulate vs. dissolved constituents, and inorganic vs. organic materials. Changes in the composition of thaw-impacted waters, coupled with changes in lake morphology, can strongly affect the physical and optical properties of thermokarst lakes. The ecology of thaw-impacted systems is also likely to change, with thaw-impacted lakes and streams having unique microbiological communities, and showing differences in respiration, primary production, and food web structure that are largely driven by differences in sediment, dissolved organic matter and nutrient delivery. The degree to which thaw enables the delivery of

  14. Development of an advanced regional climate-ecosystem model for Arctic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaudhary, Nitin; Smith, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2013-04-01

    Cryospheric processes together with their feedbacks play a crucial role in determining rates and patterns of future warming over high-latitude regions. Cryospheric processes including permafrost as well as peatland and associated vegetation, hydrological and biogeochemical dynamics are not well represented in land surface schemes (LSS) of most climate models. As a step in this direction, we describe a scheme to include the coupled dynamics of vegetation, hydrology and peat accumulation under climate forcing within a detailed vegetation dynamics-biogeochemistry model, LPJ GUESS (Smith et al. 2001; Miller et al., in preparation). In the first step, a one-dimensional (1D) landscape scale peat accumulation and two dimensional (2D) micro-topographical models have been developed. For the parameterisation and validation of these models, good quality datasets are being used which are collected at various locations around the Arctic. Building on these, a three-dimensional (3D) scheme will be incorporated in a version of LPJ-GUESS that already includes patch-scale vegetation dynamics and soil carbon cycling, as well as a one-dimensional hydrology scheme. The patches in the 3D model will be treated as adjacent micro-patches in a grid and depending on underlying micro-topography water will flow from higher to lower patches. The 2D and 3D models will help in simulating hummock and hollow structure which is typical for Northern peatlands based on the cyclic regeneration theory (von Post and Sernander, 1910). The resulting models will be incorporated within the biospheric component of a regional climate-ecosystem model, RCA-GUESS (Smith et al., 2010) and used to investigate feedbacks related to the dynamics of peatlands, permafrost and emissions of the greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 and CH4 across the Arctic region. References- Smith B, Prentice IC, and Skyes MT. 2001. Representation of vegetation dynamics in modelling of European ecosystems: comparison of two contrasting

  15. Reviews and syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W. B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Anthony, K. M. Walter; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering about 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. Permafrost thaw creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects lentic (still) and lotic (moving) systems, exploring the effects of both thermokarst (thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost) and deepening of the active layer (the surface soil layer that thaws and refreezes each year). Within thermokarst, we further differentiate between the effects of thermokarst in lowland areas vs. that on hillslopes. For almost all of the processes that we explore, the effects of thaw vary regionally, and between lake and stream systems. Much of this regional variation is caused by differences in ground ice content, topography, soil type, and permafrost coverage. Together, these modifying factors determine (i) the degree to which permafrost thaw manifests as thermokarst, (ii) whether thermokarst leads to slumping or the formation of thermokarst lakes, and (iii) the manner in which constituent delivery to freshwater systems is altered by thaw. Differences in thaw-enabled constituent delivery can be considerable, with these modifying factors determining, for example, the balance between delivery of particulate vs. dissolved constituents, and inorganic vs. organic materials. Changes in the composition of thaw-impacted waters, coupled with changes in lake morphology, can strongly affect the physical and optical properties of thermokarst lakes. The ecology of thaw-impacted lakes and streams is also likely to change; these systems have unique microbiological communities, and show differences in respiration, primary production, and food web structure that are largely driven by differences in sediment, dissolved organic matter, and nutrient delivery. The degree to which thaw enables the delivery

  16. A case study of high Arctic anthropogenic disturbance to polar desert permafrost and ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, M. S.; Pollard, W. H.

    2013-12-01

    One of the indirect impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems is the expected increase of industrial development in high latitudes. The scale of terrestrial impacts cannot be known ahead of time, particularly due to a lack of long-term impact studies in this region. With one of the slowest community recovery rates of any ecosystem, the high Artic biome will be under a considerable threat that is exacerbated by a high susceptibility to change in the permafrost thermal balance. One such area that provides a suitable location for study is an old airstrip near Eureka, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (80.0175°N, 85.7340°W). While primarily used as an ice-runway for winter transport, the airstrip endured a yearly summer removal of vegetation that continued from 1947 until its abandonment in 1951. Since then, significant vegetative and geomorphic differences between disturbed and undisturbed areas have been noted in the literature throughout the decades (Bruggemann, 1953; Beschel, 1963; Couture and Pollard, 2007), but no system wide assessment of both the ecosystem and near-surface permafrost has been conducted. Key to our study is that the greatest apparent geomorphic and vegetative changes have occurred and persisted in areas where underlying ice-wedges have been disturbed. This suggests that the colonizing communities rapidly filled new available thermokarst niches and have produced an alternative ice-wedge stable state than the surrounding polar desert. We hypothesize that disturbed areas will currently have greater depths of thaw (deeper active layers) and degraded ice-wedges, with decreased vegetation diversity but higher abundance due to a changed hydrological balance. To test this a comprehensive set of near-surface active layer and ecosystem measurements were conducted. Permafrost dynamics were characterized using probing and high-frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (500 MHz) to map the near-surface details of ice-wedges and active layer. Vegetation was measured

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Arctic and boreal ecosystems of western North America as components of the climate system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapin, F. S., III; McGuire, A.D.; Randerson, J.; Pielke, R., Sr.; Baldocchi, D.; Hobbie, S.E.; Roulet, Nigel; Eugster, W.; Kasischke, E.; Rastetter, E.B.; Zimov, S.A.; Running, S.W.

    2000-01-01

    Synthesis of results from several Arctic and boreal research programmes provides evidence for the strong role of high-latitude ecosystems in the climate system. Average surface air temperature has increased 0.3??C per decade during the twentieth century in the western North American Arctic and boreal forest zones. Precipitation has also increased, but changes in soil moisture are uncertain. Disturbance rates have increased in the boreal forest; for example, there has been a doubling of the area burned in North America in the past 20 years. The disturbance regime in tundra may not have changed. Tundra has a 3-6-fold higher winter albedo than boreal forest, but summer albedo and energy partitioning differ more strongly among ecosystems within either tundra or boreal forest than between these two biomes. This indicates a need to improve our understanding of vegetation dynamics within, as well as between, biomes. If regional surface warming were to continue, changes in albedo and energy absorption would likely act as a positive feedback to regional warming due to earlier melting of snow and, over the long term, the northward movement of treeline. Surface drying and a change in dominance from mosses to vascular plants would also enhance sensible heat flux and regional warming in tundra. In the boreal forest of western North America, deciduous forests have twice the albedo of conifer forests in both winter and summer, 50-80% higher evapotranspiration, and therefore only 30-50% of the sensible heat flux of conifers in summer. Therefore, a warming-induced increase in fire frequency that increased the proportion of deciduous forests in the landscape, would act as a negative feedback to regional warming. Changes in thermokarst and the aerial extent of wetlands, lakes, and ponds would alter high-latitude methane flux. There is currently a wide discrepancy among estimates of the size and direction of CO2 flux between high-latitude ecosystems and the atmosphere. These

  19. Ecosystems on ice: the microbial ecology of Markham Ice Shelf in the high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Warwick F; Mueller, Derek R; Bonilla, Sylvia

    2004-04-01

    Microbial communities occur throughout the cryosphere in a diverse range of ice-dominated habitats including snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, and ice clouds. In each of these environments, organisms must be capable of surviving freeze-thaw cycles, persistent low temperatures for growth, extremes of solar radiation, and prolonged dormancy. These constraints may have been especially important during global cooling events in the past, including the Precambrian glaciations. One analogue of these early Earth conditions is the thick, landfast sea ice that occurs today at certain locations in the Arctic and Antarctic. These ice shelves contain liquid water for a brief period each summer, and support luxuriant microbial mat communities. Our recent studies of these mats on the Markham Ice Shelf (Canadian high Arctic) by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) showed that they contain high concentrations of chlorophylls a and b, and several carotenoids notably lutein, echinenone and beta-carotene. The largest peaks in the HPLC chromatograms were two UV-screening compounds known to be produced by cyanobacteria, scytonemin, and its decomposition product scytonemin-red. Microscopic analyses of the mats showed that they were dominated by the chlorophyte genera cf. Chlorosarcinopsis, Pleurastrum, Palmellopsis, and Bracteococcus, and cyanobacteria of the genera Nostoc, Phormidium, Leptolyngbya, and Gloeocapsa. From point transects and localized sampling we estimated a total standing stock on this ice shelf of up to 11,200 tonnes of organic matter. These observations underscore the ability of microbial communities to flourish despite the severe constraints imposed by the cryo-ecosystem environment. PMID:15094087

  20. CONTAMINATION OF U. S. ARCTIC ECOSYSTEMS BY LONG-RANGE TRANSPORT OF ATMOSPHERIC CONTAMINANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Various kinds of atmospheric pollutants are found in Arctic environments, including organic contaminants, radionuclides, and pollutants associated with fossil fuel combustion, smelting, and industrial development. hile some of these contaminants originate in the Arctic itself, ot...

  1. Ecosystem Respiration Rates of Arctic Tundra Mesocosms in Response to Cold-Season Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberbauer, S. F.; Moser, J. G.; Olivas, P. C.; Starr, G.; Mortazavi, B.

    2013-12-01

    The cold season in the Arctic extends over 8 to 9 mo, during which air temperatures often reach as low as -40 °C. However, as a result of the insulating layer created by snow cover, temperatures seldom fall below -15 °C, and are likely warm enough to support some metabolism. Little research has been conducted on arctic plants and tundra during the cold season, despite its length and the fact that warming is predicted to be greatest during this period. The primary focus of cold-season research has been on rates of winter ecosystem respiration (ER) for estimates of annual carbon balance. The majority of these measurements during the winter or at winter temperatures indicate that some respiration is occurring. Although rates are low, they may contribute substantially to the annual carbon balance because of the length of the cold season. However, estimates of respiration at low temperatures differ substantially, have been taken at different temperatures using different methodologies, and importantly almost none provide quantitative relationships across a range of temperatures. We measured respiration rates of intact arctic tundra monoliths from 15 to -15 °C at 5 °C steps to facilitate improved model estimates of tundra respiration. Six tundra monoliths (~900 cm2) taken from Toolik Field Station, Alaska were conditioned for the cold season in growth chambers at shortened photoperiods and low, but above-freezing temperatures. Desired temperatures were obtained with a combination of growth chambers and a modified freezer. The average of five samplings of [CO2] at each temperature step was used to estimate the ER rates. Measurements were conducted with a closed system using incubation periods of 30 to 180 min, depending on the temperature. Carbon dioxide concentrations were measured by syringe samples injected into a N2 gas stream flowing through an infrared gas analyzer. Rates of ER calculated on an area basis were close to zero at -15 °C, but increased steadily with

  2. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990--94 growing season (June--August) to determine the local and regional patterns of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar Arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993--94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993--94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990--91 growing seasons.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Marine ecosystem synthesis: From physics to whales in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheffield Guy, Lisa; Moore, Sue E.; Stabeno, Phyllis

    2012-11-01

    Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) Workshop; Anchorage, Alaska, 14-16 March 2012 The Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) program brings together a multidisciplinary group of Arctic scientists and Alaskan coastal community residents to explore and integrate marine research information in the Pacific Arctic region. The goal of SOAR is to increase scientific understanding of the relationships among oceanographic conditions (physics, chemistry, sea ice), benthic organisms, lower trophic pelagic species (forage fish and zooplankton), and higher trophic species (i.e., seabirds, walrus, whales) in the Pacific Arctic, with particular emphasis on the Chukchi Sea oil and gas lease sale areas.

  5. Changing the seasonality of an Arctic tundra ecosystem: earlier snowmelt and warmer temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steltzer, H.; Weintraub, M. N.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Melle, C.; Segal, A.; Sullivan, P.; Landry, C.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2010-12-01

    In the Arctic and around the world, earlier plant growth is an indication that warmer temperatures or other global changes are changing the seasonality of the Earth’s ecosystems. To determine how changes in seasonality affect plant life histories and biogeochemical cycles in tussock tundra, we established a factorial experiment that includes two approaches to changing the seasonality of this ecosystem. In early May, we placed radiation absorbing fabric on the snow surface to accelerate the timing of snowmelt. We monitored the rate of snowmelt over a 10 day period and removed the fabric on the 10th day when the accelerated plots were 80% snowfree. Instrument arrays placed in the plots collected daily data that characterize an increase in energy absorption in these snowfree areas over the 4 day period prior to when control areas were snowfree. In addition, when the plots became snowfree we placed open-top-chambers in areas with and without accelerated snowmelt. The chambers increased air temperatures especially during mid-day early in the growing season. The instrument arrays included light sensors to monitor the plant community life history by observing surface greenness. Our results suggest that the plant community initiated growth earlier when snowmelt occurred earlier and that warming speeded the development of the plant canopy. However, plant species’ life history responses to these changes in seasonality were variable. Experimental alteration of the timing of plant life history events will provide a useful tool to examine controls on the seasonality of biogeochemical processes, such as nutrient availability to plants and nutrient limitation of decomposition. Accelerated snowmelt and warmer temperatures in tussock tundra, AK.

  6. Timing, Magnitude and Sources of Ecosystem Respiration in High Arctic Tundra of NW Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupascu, M.; Xu, X.; Lett, C.; Maseyk, K. S.; Lindsey, D. S.; Thomas, J. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    High arctic ecosystems with low vegetation density contain significant stocks of organic carbon (C) in the form of soil organic matter that range in age from modern to ancient. How rapidly these C pools can be mineralized and lost to the atmosphere as CO2 (ecosystem respiration, ER) as a consequence of warming and, or changes in precipitation is a major uncertainty in our understanding of current and future arctic biogeochemistry and for predicting future levels of atmospheric CO2. In a 2-year study (2010-2011), we monitored seasonal changes in the magnitude, timing and sources of ER and soil pore space CO2 in the High Arctic of NW Greenland under current and simulated, future climate conditions. Measurements were taken from May to August at a multi-factorial, long-term climate change experiment in prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra on patterned ground with 5 treatments: (T1) +2oC warming, (T2) +4oC warming, (W) +50% summer precipitation, (T2W) +4oC + 50% summer precipitation, and (C) control. ER (using opaque chambers) and soil CO2 concentrations (wells) were monitored daily via infrared spectroscopy (LI-COR 800 & 840). The source of CO2 was inferred from its radiocarbon (14C) content analyzed at the AMS facility in UCI. CO2 was sampled monthly using molecular sieve traps (chambers) or evacuated canisters (wells). Highest rates of ER are observed on vegetated ground with a maximum in mid summer - reflecting a peak in plant productivity and soil temperature. Respiration rates from bare ground remain similar throughout the summer. Additional soil moisture, administered or due to precipitation events, strongly enhances ER from both vegetated and bare ground. Daily ER budget for the sampling period was of 53.1 mmol C m-2 day-1 for the (C) vegetated areas compared to the 60.0 for the (T2), 68.1 for the (T2W) or the 79.9 for the (W) treatment. ER was highly correlated to temperature (eg. C = 0.8; T2W = 0.8) until middle of July, when heavy precipitation started to occur. In

  7. Foliar Expression of Parent Lithologic Composition in the Sub-Arctic: Examples from Heath Ecosystems of Abisko, Sweden.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heim, E. W.; Tomczyk, N.; Remiszewski, K.; Bryce, J. G.; Frey, S. D.; Prado, M. F.; Varner, R. K.

    2014-12-01

    Climatic evolution and its effect on ecosystem stability through macronutrient acquisition is of particular interest in the fringe ecosystems of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic, regions predicted to face the most extreme temperature increases in Earth's changing climate. Accordingly enhanced understanding of climate change impacts on nutrient mobilization in recently glaciated terrains will factor importantly into accurate predictive models for future ecosystem health. Lithologic variation can lead to differences in geomorphic processes and thus influence landscape evolution [1]. Heath ecosystems in the region are developed on thin soils which place them close to parent material bedrock. Given the abundance of thin soils mantling bedrock, we assessed how bedrock geochemical content links with foliar composition of key macronutrients. We focused our studies on four sites near Abisko, Sweden (68°21'N 19°02'E) in metamorphosed sedimentary bedrock. In our sites the average annual air temperature has crossed the 0o threshold and has been linked to many cryospheric and ecological impacts [2]. Sites were chosen at the same elevation (700 m absl) and shared similar vegetation coverage. Three dominant species across our sampling sites include Betula nana, Empetrum nigrum, and Salix lapponum. E. Nigrum had consistent concentrations of foliar magnesium (Mg) and phosphorus (P) across the bedrock compositional gradients. B. nana and S. lapponum had consistently higher foliar Mg and P concentrations than E. nigrum across the gradients. Across a soil calcium (Ca) gradient, dominant species had a weak correlation between soil Ca and foliar Ca contents, R2 = 0.106. Soil Mg and P gradients were similarly poorly correlated with foliar abundances, R2 = -0.0228, and R2= -0.034 respectively. Expansion of our work into other lithologies will contribute towards improved predictive biogeochemical models of macronutrient acquisition and ecological evolution across changing Arctic ecosystems.

  8. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): Biomarker for an arctic ecosystem health sentinel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirk, Cassandra M.; Amstrup, S.; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, T. M.

    2010-01-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ???5, than lactating adult females ages ???5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel. ?? 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  9. Long-term experimentally deepened snow decreases growing-season respiration in a low- and high-arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenchuk, Philipp R.; Christiansen, Casper T.; Grogan, Paul; Elberling, Bo; Cooper, Elisabeth J.

    2016-05-01

    Tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) that could be released through enhanced ecosystem respiration (ER) as the arctic warms. Over time, this may change the quantity and quality of available soil C pools, which in-turn may feedback and regulate ER responses to climate warming. Therefore, short-term increases in ER rates due to experimental warming may not be sustained over longer periods, as observed in other studies. One important aspect, which is often overlooked, is how climatic changes affecting ER in one season may carry-over and determine ER in following seasons. Using snow fences, we increased snow depth and thereby winter soil temperatures in a high-arctic site in Svalbard (78°N) and a low-arctic site in the Northwest Territories, Canada (64°N), for 5 and 9 years, respectively. Deepened snow enhanced winter ER while having negligible effect on growing-season soil temperatures and soil moisture. Growing-season ER at the high-arctic site was not affected by the snow treatment after 2 years. However, surprisingly, the deepened snow treatments significantly reduced growing-season ER rates after 5 years at the high-arctic site and after 8-9 years at the low-arctic site. We speculate that the reduction in ER rates, that became apparent only after several years of experimental manipulation, may, at least in part, be due to prolonged depletion of labile C substrate as a result of warmer soils over multiple cold seasons. Long-term changes in winter climate may therefore significantly influence annual net C balance not just because of increased wintertime C loss but also because of "legacy" effects on ER rates during the following growing seasons.

  10. Importance of particle-associated bacterial heterotrophy in a coastal Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garneau, Marie-Ève; Vincent, Warwick F.; Terrado, Ramon; Lovejoy, Connie

    2009-01-01

    estuarine stations with highest POM content. Particle-associated bacteria are an important functional component of this Arctic ecosystem. Under a warmer climate, they are likely to play an increasing role in coastal biogeochemistry and carbon fluxes as a result of permafrost melting and increased particle transport from the tundra to coastal waters.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However, our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near-zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3 ± 13.5 g C m(-2) ). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over 300 times more carbon (NEE: -79.3 ± 20.0 g C m(-2) ) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southerly latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on-site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote sensing; however, high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases enough to offset poor soil moisture retention, climate-related changes to productivity on polar semideserts may be restricted. PMID:26279166

  12. Possible Cretaceous Arctic terrestrial ecosystem dynamics based on a rich dinosaur record from Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiorillo, A. R.; McCarthy, P. J.; Flaig, P. P.

    2010-12-01

    The widespread occurrence of large-bodied herbivores, specifically hadrosaurian and ceratopsian dinosaurs, in the Cretaceous of Alaska presents a proxy for understanding polar terrestrial ecosystem biological productivity in a warm Arctic world. These dinosaurs lived in Alaska at time when this region was at or near current latitudes. Thus these dinosaurs present a paradox. The warmer Cretaceous high-latitude climate, likely related to higher levels of CO2, may have increased plant productivity but the polar light regime fluctuations must have limited the available food during the winter months. The most detailed sedimentological data available regarding the paleoenvironments supporting these dinosaurs are from the Prince Creek Formation of northern Alaska and to a lesser extent the Cantwell Formation of the Alaska Range. The sediments of the Late Cretaceous Prince Creek Formation represent a continental succession deposited on a high-latitude, low-gradient, alluvial/coastal plain. The Prince Creek Formation records numerous paleosols that are consistent with seasonality and successional vegetative cover. Drab colors in fine-grained sediments, abundant carbonaceous plant material, and common siderite nodules and jarosite suggest widespread reducing conditions on poorly-drained floodplains influenced in more distal areas by marine waters. In addition, these rocks contain high levels of organic carbon and charcoal. Carbonaceous root-traces found ubiquitously within all distributary channels and most floodplain facies, along with common Fe-oxide mottles, indicate that the alluvial system likely experienced flashy, seasonal, or ephemeral flow and a fluctuating water table. The flashy nature of the alluvial system may have been driven by recurring episodes of vigorous seasonal snowmelt in the Brooks Range orogenic belt as a consequence of the high paleolatitude of northern Alaska in the Late Cretaceous. The presence of dinosaurian megaherbivores suggests that water was

  13. Late Pleistocene paleoecology of arctic ground squirrel ( Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests from Interior Alaska's mammoth steppe ecosystem, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Barnes, Brian M.; Zazula, Grant D.; Beaudoin, Alwynne B.; Wooller, Matthew J.

    2011-11-01

    Botanical analyses of fossil and modern arctic ground squirrel ( Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests have been used to reconstruct the past vegetation from some parts of Beringia, but such archives are understudied in Alaska. Five modern and four fossil samples from arctic ground squirrel caches and nests provide information on late Pleistocene vegetation in Eastern Beringia. Modern arctic ground squirrel caches from Alaska's arctic tundra were dominated by willow and grass leaves and grass seeds and bearberries, which were widespread in the local vegetation as confirmed by vegetation surveys. Late Pleistocene caches from Interior Alaska were primarily composed of steppe and dry tundra graminoid and herb seeds. Graminoid cuticle analysis of fossil leaves identified Calamagrostis canadensis, Koeleria sp. and Carex albonigra as being common in the fossil samples. Stable carbon isotopes analysis of these graminoid specimens indicated that plants using the C 3 photosynthetic pathways were present and functioning with medium to high water-use efficiency. Fossil plant taxa and environments from ground squirrel caches in Alaska are similar to other macrofossil assemblages from the Yukon Territory, which supports the existence of a widespread mammoth steppe ecosystem type in Eastern Beringia that persisted throughout much of the late Pleistocene.

  14. Assessing the Utility of Alternate Digital Image Color Space for Deriving Phenological Dynamics in a High-Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas, S. A., Jr.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Ramirez, G.; Ramirez, G. A.; Tweedie, C. E.; Hollister, R. D.; Escarzaga, S. M.; Ochoa, E.

    2015-12-01

    The need to improve the spatial and temporal scaling and extrapolation of plot level ecosystem properties and processes to the landscape level remains a persistent research challenge in the Arctic. Plant and landscape phenology is sensitive to a number of spatiotemporally variable environmental factors such as soil moisture, temperature, and radiation. Seasonal and inter-annual differences in phenology can affect surface energy balance and land-atmosphere carbon flux. Considering the relative importance of the Arctic to global carbon balance, improved scaling and extrapolation of phenological dynamics from the plot level to the landscape level is important for advancing our understanding of the impact of climate and other environmental change in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Seasonal and interannual landscape phenology was observed over the Mobile Instrumented Sensor Platform (MISP) grid (2 x 50 meters) located in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska using imagery acquired from kite aerial photography (KAP), a hyperspectral ground-based spectrometer, and a phenocam. These data were analyzed in RGB and non-traditional HSV and l*a*b*color spaces to determine site, plant community seasonal, and inter annual phenological dynamics. Results were also compared to high spatial resolution satellite imagery to determine optimal indices for scaling vegetation dynamics from plot to landscape level. These results show that greenness indices similar to those acquired from hyperspectral remote sensing platforms can be derived using low-cost and low-tech techniques that could be deployed at multiple sites at low cost.

  15. Estimations of moisture content in the active layer in an Arctic ecosystem by using ground-penetrating radar profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gacitúa, Guisella; Tamstorf, Mikkel Peter; Kristiansen, Søren Munch; Uribe, José Andrés

    2012-04-01

    We applied high-frequency GPR at a study site in the high arctic ecosystem of Northeast Greenland to evaluate its usefulness in assessing depth of, and water content in, the active layer at Zackenberg Valley (74°N; 20°W) to evaluate its usefulness in the high arctic ecosystems. The study site includes different vegetation types, and it well represents of the entire valley, for which we aimed to determine the conditions and characteristics that influence the GPR performance in the active layer. The spatial distribution of moisture content along the transect studied was estimated using GPR data (400 MHz antenna), depth to permafrost, soil samples and vegetation observations. Vertical distribution of the water content in the unfrozen soil bulk was predicted for several points on the transect by combining data that influence the behavior of the radar waves with that of capacitive moisture probes. The statistical models resulted to be highly significant, thus assuming common conditions of the soil to the classified vegetation, we can obtain from the GPR data, truthful estimations of water content, and, moreover, we can predict the distribution to the bottom of the active layer. Hence, we conclude that GPR is a viable option for improving active layer spatial quantification of water contents that can be used to assess changes in the active layer in arctic regions.

  16. ARCTIC BIODIVERSITY: FROM DISCOVERY TO FAUNAL BASELINES-REVEALING THE HISTORY OF A DYNAMIC ECOSYSTEM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Knowledge of parasite biodiversity contributes to new and exciting approaches to understand the structure, history and future of the Arctic fauna. As a discovery- based process the Beringian Coevolution Project and activities under the umbrella of the Research Group for Arctic Parasitology serve as...

  17. Novel wildlife in the Arctic: the influence of changing riparian ecosystems and shrub habitat expansion on snowshoe hares.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Christie, Katie; Carroll, Geoff; O'Donnell, Jonathan A

    2016-01-01

    Warming during the 20th century has changed the arctic landscape, including aspects of the hydrology, vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. The primary aim of this study is to examine the physical and biological processes contributing to the expanded riparian habitat and range of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in northern Alaska. We explore linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1960s, including seasonality of stream flow, air temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and snowshoe hare distributions. Our analyses show that the peak discharge during spring snowmelt has occurred on average 3.4 days per decade earlier over the last 30 years and has contributed to a longer growing season in floodplain ecosystems. We use empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to reconstruct annual changes in shrub height from the 1960s to the present. The effects of longer and warmer growing seasons are estimated to have stimulated a 78% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our browsing measurements show that snowshoe hares require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.24-1.36 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1964 and 1989. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Warming and expanded shrub habitat is the most plausible reason for recent snowshoe hare establishment in Arctic Alaska. The establishment of snowshoe hares and other shrub herbivores in the Arctic in response to increasing shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice. PMID:26527375

  18. Aboveground and belowground responses to nutrient additions and herbivore exclusion in Arctic tundra ecosystems in northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. C.; Gough, L.; Simpson, R.; Johnson, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic has experienced significant increased regional warming over the past 30 years. Warming generally increases tundra soil nutrient availability by creating a more favorable environment for plant growth, decomposition and nutrient mineralization. Aboveground there has been a "greening" of the Arctic with increased net primary productivity (NPP), and an increase in woody vegetation. Concurrent with the changes aboveground has been an increase in root growth at lower depths and a loss of soil organic C (40 -100 g C m-2 yr-1). Given that arctic soils contain 14% of the global soil C pool, understanding the mechanisms behind shifts of this magnitude that are changing arctic soils from a net sink to a net source of atmospheric C is critical. We took an integrated multi-trophic level approach to examine how altering soil nutrients and mammalian herbivore activity affects vegetation, soil fauna, and microbial communities as well as soil physical characteristics in moist acidic (MAT) and dry heath (DH) tundra. Our work was conducted at the Arctic LTER site in northern Alaska. We sampled the nutrient (controls and annual N+P additions) and herbivore (controls and exclosures) manipulations established in 1996 after 10 years of treatment. Models that incorporated the biomass estimates from the field were used to characterize the trophic structure of the belowground food web and to estimate carbon flux among soil organisms and C-mineralization rates. Both MAT and DH exhibited significant increases in NPP and root growth and changes in vegetation structure with transitions from a mixed community to deciduous shrubs in MAT and from lichens to grasses and shrubs in DH, with nutrient additions and herbivore exclosures. Belowground responses to the treatments were dependent on ecosystem type, but exposed alterations in trophic structure that included changes in microbial biomass, the establishment of microbivorous enchytreaids, increases in root-feeding nematodes, and

  19. Characterizing subsurface controls on the Arctic ecosystem carbon cycling across scales using geophysical, in-situ and remote sensing datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wainwright, H. M.; Hubbard, S. S.; Dafflon, B.; Ulrich, C.; Peterson, J. E.; Wu, Y.; Hahn, M. S.; Torn, M. S.; Gangodagamage, C.; Rowland, J. C.; Wilson, C. J.; Liljedahl, A.; Gusmeroli, A.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies suggest that warming climate has significant impacts on the Arctic ecosystems, which could in turn create feedbacks to the climate system. Predicting Arctic ecosystem evolution and feedbacks requires a mechanistic understanding of complex subsurface processes (e.g., permafrost degradation and carbon decomposition) and characterization of key controls on those processes - such as soil moisture, active layer thickness and aqueous geochemistry - from native scales (where the processes occur) to landscape scales considered in climate models. Among others, developing such a predictive understanding requires two advances that we consider in this study: (1) approaches to characterize heterogeneous geocryological and hydrogeochemical properties in high resolution, and their uncertainties, inter-correlations, and correlations to land surface variables; (2) identification of possible zonation that can distinguish between suites of subsurface properties. Our study is carried out at the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic) Site in Barrow, Alaska. Given the importance of quantifying heterogeneous subsurface properties in both high resolution and over large spatial scales, we take advantage of geophysical datasets. We first develop and implement a multiscale Bayesian method to estimate subsurface properties using disparate datasets. We consider in-situ, surface geophysical and remote-sensing datasets along two 500m transects that traverse various ice-wedge polygon features. The method is based on site-specific correlations between geophysical datasets and in-situ measured subsurface properties. The Markov-chain Monte-Carlo sampling is used to compute the posterior distributions. For example, thaw depth and soil moisture are estimated by integrating ground-penetrating radar (GPR), electrical resistivity tomography and in-situ point data. Snow depth coverage is estimated by integrating GPR and point data. The

  20. Microbial Biomass and Population Densities of Non-Sorted Circles in High Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera-Figueroa, F.; González, G.; Gould, W. A.; Cantrell, S.; Pérez, J.

    2006-12-01

    Non-sorted circles are small patterned-ground features that occur in arctic soils as a result of intensive frost heave action. This tundra feature has been extensively described. However, little is known about the ecological relationships between this pattern and above- and belowground organisms. In this study, we compare the biomass and populaton densities of microbes in non-sorted circles and the vegetated surrounding soils (inter-circles) in the High Arctic. We collected soil samples during the summer of 2004 and 2005 on Banks and Prince Patrick and Ellef Ringnes Islands, Canada. Soil samples (0-10 cm) were gathered from non- sorted circles and inter-circles along a topographic sequence: dry (ridge), mesic (mid slope) and wet (valley) and along three transects in zonal (mesic) sites on each island. We estimated total microbial biomass and bacterial population densities using substrate induce respiration (SIR) and the most probable number method (MPN), respectively. We also isolated soil fungi using Rose Bengal and Saboraud Dextrose culture media. We are in the process of analyzing the catena samples using a terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) technique of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA. Based on the SIR trials, the average microbial biomass at the mid slope position in the Banks site (Green Cabin) was 0.49 mg C g-1 dry soil in the non- sorted circles and 0.95 mg C g-1 dry soil in the inter-circles. At Prince Patrick Island (Mould Bay) the microbial biomass was 0.54 mg C g-1 dry soil in the non-sorted circles and 0.74 mg C g-1 dry soil in the inter-circles. In Ellef Ringnes (Isachsen) the microbial biomass was 0.09 mg C g-1 dry soil in the non- sorted circles and 0.14 mg C g-1 dry soil in the inter-circles. At the mesic site at Green Cabin, bacteria vary from 2.92 x 106 cell g-1 dry soil in the non-sorted circles to 6.74 x 106 cell g-1 dry soil in the inter-circles. At Mould Bay the range was 7.67 x 105 cells g-1 dry soil in the non-sorted circles

  1. The Barents and Chukchi Seas: Comparison of two Arctic shelf ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Boveng, Peter; Dalpadado, Padmini; Drinkwater, Kenneth F.; Eisner, Lisa; Hopcroft, Russ R.; Kovacs, Kit M.; Norcross, Brenda L.; Renaud, Paul; Reigstad, Marit; Renner, Martin; Skjoldal, Hein Rune; Whitehouse, Andy; Woodgate, Rebecca A.

    2013-01-01

    This paper compares and contrasts the ecosystems of the Barents and Chukchi Seas. Despite their similarity in a number of features, the Barents Sea supports a vast biomass of commercially important fish, but the Chukchi does not. Here we examine a number of aspects of these two seas to ascertain how they are similar and how they differ. We then indentify processes and mechanisms that may be responsible for their similarities and differences. Both the Barents and Chukchi Seas are high latitude, seasonally ice covered, Arctic shelf-seas. Both have strongly advective regimes, and receive water from the south. Water entering the Barents comes from the deep, ice-free and "warm" Norwegian Sea, and contains not only heat, but also a rich supply of zooplankton that supports larval fish in spring. In contrast, Bering Sea water entering the Chukchi in spring and early summer is cold. In spring, this Bering Sea water is depleted of large, lipid-rich zooplankton, thus likely resulting in a relatively low availability of zooplankton for fish. Although primary production on average is similar in the two seas, fish biomass density is an order of magnitude greater in the Barents than in the Chukchi Sea. The Barents Sea supports immense fisheries, whereas the Chukchi Sea does not. The density of cetaceans in the Barents Sea is about double that in the Chukchi Sea, as is the density of nesting seabirds, whereas, the density of pinnipeds in the Chukchi is about double that in the Barents Sea. In the Chukchi Sea, export of carbon to the benthos and benthic biomass may be greater. We hypothesize that the difference in fish abundance in the two seas is driven by differences in the heat and plankton advected into them, and the amount of primary production consumed in the upper water column. However, we suggest that the critical difference between the Chukchi and Barents Seas is the pre-cooled water entering the Chukchi Sea from the south. This cold water, and the winter mixing of the

  2. Changing Arctic ecosystems--measuring and forecasting the response of Alaska's terrestrial ecosystem to a warming climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Flint, Paul; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Hope, Andrew G.; Hupp, Jerry; Koch, Josh; Schmutz, Joel; Talbot, Sandra; Ward, David; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades, leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at an unprecedented rate. The loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to higher rates of erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Warming temperatures also have advanced the overall phenology of the region, including earlier snowmelt, lake ice thaw, and plant growth. As a result, many migratory species now arrive in the Arctic several days earlier in spring than in the 1970s. Predicted warming trends for the future will continue to alter plant growth, ice thaw, and other basic landscape processes. These changes will undoubtedly result in different responses by wildlife (fish, birds, and mammals) and the food they rely upon (plants, invertebrates, and fish). However, the type of response by different wildlife populations and their habitats-either positively or negatively-remains largely unknown.

  3. The nearshore western Beaufort Sea ecosystem: Circulation and importance of terrestrial carbon in arctic coastal food webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunton, Kenneth H.; Weingartner, Thomas; Carmack, Eddy C.

    2006-10-01

    . Calculations from isotopic mixing equations indicate cod from lagoons may derive 70% of their carbon from terrestrial sources. The δ15N values of lagoon fish were also 4‰ lower than coastal specimens, reflective of the lower δ15N values of terrestrially derived nitrogen (0-1.5‰ compared to 5-7‰ for phytoplankton). The role of terrestrial carbon in arctic estuarine food webs is especially important in view of the current warming trend in the arctic environment and the role of advective processes that transport carbon along the nearshore shelf. Biogeochemical studies of the arctic coastal estuarine environment may provide more insights into the function of these biologically complex ecosystems.

  4. Increases in Growing Season Length and Changes in Precipitation at Six Different Arctic and Subarctic Ecosystems from 1906-Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culler, L. E.; Finger, R.; Plane, E.; Ayres, M.; Virginia, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological dynamics across the Arctic are responding to rapid changes in climate. As a whole, the Arctic has warmed at approximately twice the rate of the rest of the world, but changes in temperature and precipitation experienced at regional and local scales are most important for coupled human-natural systems. In addition, biologically-relevant climate indices are necessary for quantifying ecological responses of terrestrial and aquatic systems to varying climate. We compared climatic changes at six different Arctic and sub-Arctic locations, including two in Greenland (Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut), one in Sweden (Abisko), and three in Alaska (Barrow, Nome, Fairbanks). We amassed weather data (daily temperature and precipitation), dating as far back as 1906, from public-access databases and used these data to calculate indices such as length of growing season, growing season degree days (GDD), and growing season precipitation. Annual GDD increased at all locations (average of 13% increase in GDD since 1980), but especially in western Greenland (16 and 37% in Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut, respectively). Changes in growing season precipitation were more variable, with only Barrow, AK and Abisko, Sweden experiencing increased precipitation. All other sites experienced stable or slightly declining precipitation. Increasing temperatures and relatively stable precipitation translates to increased evapotranspiration potential, which influences soil moisture, lake depth, vegetation, carbon emissions, and fire susceptibility. Understanding local and regional trends in temperature and precipitation can help explain observed phenological changes and other processes at population, community, and ecosystem levels. In addition, identification of locations most susceptible to future change will allow scientists to closely monitor their ecological dynamics, anticipate changes in coupled human-natural systems, and consider adaptation plans for the most rapidly changing systems.

  5. Spatial and temporal variation of an ice-adapted predator's feeding ecology in a changing Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steven H; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Spatial and temporal variation can confound interpretations of relationships within and between species in terms of diet composition, niche size, and trophic position (TP). The cause of dietary variation within species is commonly an ontogenetic niche shift, which is a key dynamic influencing community structure. We quantified spatial and temporal variations in ringed seal (Pusa hispida) diet, niche size, and TP during ontogeny across the Arctic-a rapidly changing ecosystem. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis was performed on 558 liver and 630 muscle samples from ringed seals and on likely prey species from five locations ranging from the High to the Low Arctic. A modest ontogenetic diet shift occurred, with adult ringed seals consuming more forage fish (approximately 80 versus 60 %) and having a higher TP than subadults, which generally decreased with latitude. However, the degree of shift varied spatially, with adults in the High Arctic presenting a more restricted niche size and consuming more Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) than subadults (87 versus 44 %) and adults at the lowest latitude (29 %). The TPs of adult and subadult ringed seals generally decreased with latitude (4.7-3.3), which was mainly driven by greater complexity in trophic structure within the zooplankton communities. Adult isotopic niche size increased over time, likely due to the recent circumpolar increases in subarctic forage fish distribution and abundance. Given the spatial and temporal variability in ringed seal foraging ecology, ringed seals exhibit dietary plasticity as a species, suggesting adaptability in terms of their diet to climate change. PMID:26210748

  6. Final Technical Report for Project "Improving the Simulation of Arctic Clouds in CCSM3"

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen J. Vavrus

    2008-11-15

    the CCSM3 climate model. J. Climate, 21, 5673-5687.). The article also provides a novel synthesis of surface- and satellite-based Arctic cloud observations that show how much the new freezedry parameterization improves the simulated cloud amount in high latitudes (Fig. 3). Freezedry has been incorporated into the CCSM3.5 version, in which it successfully limits the excessive polar clouds, and may be used in CCSM4. Material from this work is also appearing in a synthesis article on future Arctic cloud changes (Vavrus, D. Waliser, J. Francis, and A. Schweiger, 'Simulations of 20th and 21st century Arctic cloud amount in the global climate models assessed in the IPCC AR4', accepted in Climate Dynamics) and was used in a collaborative paper on Arctic cloud-sea ice coupling (Schweiger, A., R. Lindsay, S. Vavrus, and J. Francis, 2008: Relationships between Arctic sea ice and clouds during autumn. J. Climate, 21, 4799-4810.). This research was presented at the 2007 CCSM Annual Workshop, as well as the CCSM's 2007 Atmospheric Model Working Group and Polar Working Group Meetings. The findings were also shown at the 2007 Climate Change Prediction Program's Science Team Meeting. In addition, I served as an instructor at the International Arctic Research Center's (IARC) Summer School on Arctic Climate Modeling in Fairbanks this summer, where I presented on the challenges and techniques used in simulating polar clouds. I also contributed to the development of a new Arctic System Model by attending a workshop in Colorado this summer on this fledgling project. Finally, an outreach activity for the general public has been the development of an interactive web site () that displays Arctic cloud amount in the CMIP3 climate model archive under present and future scenarios. This site allows users to make polar and global maps of a variety of climate variables to investigate the individual and ensemble-mean GCM response to greenhouse

  7. Mercury in freshwater ecosystems of the Canadian Arctic: recent advances on its cycling and fate.

    PubMed

    Chételat, John; Amyot, Marc; Arp, Paul; Blais, Jules M; Depew, David; Emmerton, Craig A; Evans, Marlene; Gamberg, Mary; Gantner, Nikolaus; Girard, Catherine; Graydon, Jennifer; Kirk, Jane; Lean, David; Lehnherr, Igor; Muir, Derek; Nasr, Mina; Poulain, Alexandre J; Power, Michael; Roach, Pat; Stern, Gary; Swanson, Heidi; van der Velden, Shannon

    2015-03-15

    The Canadian Arctic has vast freshwater resources, and fish are important in the diet of many Northerners. Mercury is a contaminant of concern because of its potential toxicity and elevated bioaccumulation in some fish populations. Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in characterizing the cycling and fate of mercury in these freshwater environments. Large amounts of new data on concentrations, speciation and fluxes of Hg are provided and summarized for water and sediment, which were virtually absent for the Canadian Arctic a decade ago. The biogeochemical processes that control the speciation of mercury remain poorly resolved, including the sites and controls of methylmercury production. Food web studies have examined the roles of Hg uptake, trophic transfer, and diet for Hg bioaccumulation in fish, and, in particular, advances have been made in identifying determinants of mercury levels in lake-dwelling and sea-run forms of Arctic char. In a comparison of common freshwater fish species that were sampled across the Canadian Arctic between 2002 and 2009, no geographic patterns or regional hotspots were evident. Over the last two to four decades, Hg concentrations have increased in some monitored populations of fish in the Mackenzie River Basin while other populations from the Yukon and Nunavut showed no change or a slight decline. The different Hg trends indicate that the drivers of temporal change may be regional or habitat-specific. The Canadian Arctic is undergoing profound environmental change, and preliminary evidence suggests that it may be impacting the cycling and bioaccumulation of mercury. Further research is needed to investigate climate change impacts on the Hg cycle as well as biogeochemical controls of methylmercury production and the processes leading to increasing Hg levels in some fish populations in the Canadian Arctic. PMID:24993511

  8. Effects of Disturbances on Vegetation Composition and Permafrost Thaw in Boreal Forests and Tundra Ecosystems of the Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramos, E.; Alexander, H. D.; Natali, S.

    2014-12-01

    In Arctic ecosystems, climate-driven changes to the thermal regime of permafrost soils have the potential to create surface disturbances that influence vegetation dynamics and underlying soil properties. Disturbance-mediated changes in vegetation are important because vegetation and the accumulation of soil organic matter drive ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics and contribute to the insulation of soils and protection of permafrost from thaw. We examined the effect of two disturbance types—thermokarsts and frost boils—to determine disturbance effects on the vegetation community and soil properties in northeast Siberia. In summer 2014, we measured vegetation cover, soil moisture, soil temperature, and thaw depth in two thermokarst sites within boreal forests, two frost boil sites in tundra, and in adjacent undisturbed sites within both ecosystems. Both thermokarst and frost boils resulted in decreased vegetation cover and greater exposure of mineral soils (10-40% bare soils vs. 0% in undisturbed), and consequently, 2-3 times higher soil temperature and deeper thaw depth. Compared to undisturbed areas, soil moisture was 3-4 times higher in thermokarst areas but 1.2-2 times lower in frost boil areas, which reflected differences in microtopography between these two disturbance types. In both thermokarst and frost boil disturbed areas, deciduous and evergreen shrubs covered only 5 and 10%, respectively, compared to approximately 10 and 20%, respectively, in undisturbed areas. In general, graminoids were substantially more abundant (2-20 times) in disturbed areas than in those undisturbed. These results highlight important linkages between disturbances, vegetation communities, and permafrost soils, and contribute to our understanding of how changes in arctic vegetation dynamics as direct and/or indirect consequences of climate change have the potential to impact permafrost C pools.

  9. Interacting effects of elevated temperature and additional water on plant physiology and net ecosystem carbon fluxes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, Kadmiel; Seibt, Ulrike; Lett, Céline; Lupascu, Massimo; Czimczik, Claudia; Sullivan, Patrick; Welker, Jeff

    2013-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are experiencing temperature increases more strongly than the global average, and increases in precipitation are also expected amongst the climate impacts on this region in the future. These changes are expected to strongly influence plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry with subsequent implications for system carbon balance. We have investigated the effects of a long-term (10 years) increase in temperature, soil water and the combination of both on a tundra ecosystem at a field manipulation experiment in NW Greenland. Leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content and leaf isotopic composition, and leaf morphology were measured on Salix arctica plants in treatment and control plots in June-July 2011, and continuous measurements of net plant and soil fluxes of CO2 and water were made using automatic chambers coupled to a trace gas laser analyzer. Plants in the elevated temperature (T2) treatment had the highest photosynthetic capacity in terms of net CO2 assimilation rates and photosystem II efficiencies, and lowest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation during photosynthesis. T2 plants also had the highest leaf N content, specific leaf area (SLA) and saturation light level of photosynthesis. It appears that warming increases soil N availability, which the plants direct towards increasing photosynthetic capacity and producing larger thinner leaves. On the other hand, the plants in the plots with both elevated temperatures and additional water (T2W) had the lowest photosystem II efficiencies and the highest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation, due more to higher levels of constitutive energy dissipation than regulated thermal quenching. Watering, both in combination with higher temperatures and alone (W treatment), also reduced leaf SLA and leaf N relative to control plots. However, net photosynthetic rates remained similar to control plants, due in part to higher stomatal conductance (W) and

  10. Deglacial and Holocene Evolution of Climate and Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Western Arctic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, M. E.

    2006-12-01

    The late- and post-glacial history of the Western Arctic land area is distinguished by the region being largely unglaciated (away from the coastal cordillera), and by a considerable reduction in areal extent due to sea-level rise. Between ca. 15 and 10 cal ka B.P. rising summer temperatures and increasing precipitation related to orbital forcing and adjustments in the hemispheric circulation resulted in widespread replacement of herbaceous vegetation with deciduous woody plants, rising lake levels, reduction of eolian activity, and the onset of thermokarst erosion. These changes had impacts at both global and regional levels, e.g., reduced atmospheric dust loading, increased carbon flux to the atmosphere, and feedbacks to the surface energy balance. The Younger Dryas event (ca. 12.9-11.6 cal ka B.P.) is not strongly expressed in terrestrial records. Some localities near the Pacific coast and in eastern Siberia record a weak to moderate climatic reversal, but central, northern, and eastern areas show no consistent signal. This suggests a muted response of the North Pacific and/or adjacent lands to events in the North Atlantic. However, the nearly coincident flooding and eventual breaching of the Bering land bridge probably reduced continentality in adjacent regions and may be linked to early-Holocene increases in effective moisture in both summer and winter. At ca. 10 cal ka B.P. evergreen conifers expanded to dominance or co-dominance much of the forest zone on both sides of the Bering Strait. This appears to be an example of a moisture-driven vegetation change in a region normally expected to respond largely to temperature. Particularly in Alaska and NW Canada, it likely led to two significant ecosystem changes: a vegetation-driven shift in the fire regime and enhanced paludification. The former could have influenced atmospheric chemistry and the latter nutrient availability, the status of permafrost, and the export of organic carbon and other nutrients to

  11. Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    SciTech Connect

    Wullschleger, Stan

    2012-03-22

    Stan Wullschleger of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on "Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems" on March 22, 2012 at the 7th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in Walnut Creek, California.

  12. Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    ScienceCinema

    Wullschleger, Stan [ORNL

    2013-01-22

    Stan Wullschleger of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on "Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems" on March 22, 2012 at the 7th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in Walnut Creek, California.

  13. USING LAKE SEDIMENT MERCURY FLUX RATIOS TO EVALUATE THE REGIONAL AND CONTINENTAL DIMENSIONS OF MERCURY DEPOSITION IN ARCTIC AND BOREAL ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anthropogenically elevated Hg deposition in arctic and subarctic ecosystems is potentially a serious environmental problem, particularly in northern Europe and North America. To determine the magnitude of this concern, it is necessary to make an evaluation over a broad spatial sc...

  14. Inclusion of Additional Plant Species and Trait Information in Dynamic Vegetation Modeling of Arctic Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Patil, V.; Roach, J.; Griffith, B.; McGuire, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) have been developed to model the ecophysiological characteristics of plant functional types in terrestrial ecosystems. They have frequently been used to answer questions pertaining to processes such as disturbance, plant succession, and community composition under historical and future climate scenarios. While DVMs have proved useful in these types of applications, it has often been questioned if additional detail, such as including plant dynamics at the species-level and/or including species-specific traits would make these models more accurate and/or broadly applicable. A sub-question associated with this issue is, 'How many species, or what degree of functional diversity, should we incorporate to sustain ecosystem function in modeled ecosystems?' Here, we focus on how the inclusion of additional plant species and trait information may strengthen dynamic vegetation modeling in applications pertaining to: (1) forage for caribou in northern Alaska, (2) above- and belowground carbon storage in the boreal forest and lake margin wetlands of interior Alaska, and (3) arctic tundra and boreal forest leaf phenology. While the inclusion of additional information generally proved valuable in these three applications, this additional detail depends on field data that may not always be available and may also result in increased computational complexity. Therefore, it is important to assess these possible limitations against the perceived need for additional plant species and trait information in the development and application of dynamic vegetation models.

  15. Nonlinear responses to nitrogen and strong interactions with nitrogen and phosphorus additions drastically alter the structure and function of a high arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arens, Seth J. T.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Welker, Jeffrey M.

    2008-09-01

    Significant changes in ecosystem CO2 exchange and vegetation characteristics were observed following multiple additions of nitrogen (N) and factorial additions of N and phosphorus (P) to prostrate dwarf-shrub, herb tundra in Northwest Greenland. Ecosystem CO2 exchange and vegetation cover and composition were very sensitive to low rates of N inputs (0.5 g m-2 y-1), indicating that even low rates of atmospheric N deposition may alter high arctic ecosystem structure and function. Increasing N addition from 1 to 5 g N m-2 y-1 did not alter CO2 exchange or vegetation characteristics, suggesting the ecosystem had become N saturated. Factorial additions of both N and P released the ecosystem from N saturation and dramatically increased gross ecosystem photosynthesis (+500%) and ecosystem respiration (+250%), such that the ecosystem switched from a small source of CO2 to a small sink for CO2 at midday during the 2005 growing season. Changes in the component fluxes of CO2 exchange were largely explained by a doubling of the normalized difference vegetation index, a 100% increase in vascular plant cover and dramatic increases in the abundance of several previously rare grass species. Our results clearly demonstrate that high arctic prostrate dwarf-shrub, herb tundra is highly sensitive to low levels of N addition and that future increases in N deposition or N mineralization will likely lead to change in carbon cycling and vegetation characteristics, but the magnitude of the response will be constrained by P availability.

  16. Remote Sensing of Arctic-Boreal Terrestrial and Freshwater Ecosystems - Recent Progress and Current and Future Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Goetz, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    NASA is in the process of starting its next major terrestrial field campaign, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), with field-based research beginning in 2016 at sites in high northern latitude regions of western North America. In this presentation, we will review the research that is being planned for ABoVE that involves the use of remotely-sensed data, including the development of information products required by end users to assess the societal impacts of environmental change. These plans included taking advantage of recent advances in mapping of key surface and atmospheric characteristics using both airborne and spaceborne remote sensing data. We will also identify current and future challenges for the collection and analysis of additional data needed to assess key ecosystem changes, including the need for use of medium resolution optical and SAR data, and fine resolution optical data.

  17. Plankton ecosystem functioning and nitrogen fluxes in the most oligotrophic waters of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean: a modeling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Fouest, V.; Zakardjian, B.; Xie, H.; Raimbault, P.; Joux, F.; Babin, M.

    2012-10-01

    The Arctic Ocean (AO) undergoes profound changes of its physical and biotic environments due to climate change. The greater light exposure and stratification alter its plankton ecosystem structure, functioning and productivity promoting oligotrophy in some areas as the Beaufort Sea. A one-dimension (1-D) physical-biological coupled model based on the large multiparametric database of the Malina project in the Beaufort Sea was used (i) to infer the functioning and nitrogen fluxes within the summer plankton ecosystem and (ii) to assess the model sensitivity to key light-associated processes involved in nutrient recycling and phytoplankton growth. The coupled model suggested that ammonium photochemically produced from photosensitive dissolved organic nitrogen (i.e. photoammonification process) was a necessary nitrogen source to achieve the observed levels of microbial biomass and production. It contributed to ca. two-thirds and one-third of the simulated surface (0-10 m) and depth-integrated primary and bacterial production, respectively. The model also suggested that carbon to chlorophyll ratios for small (< 5 μm) phytoplankton (ca. 15-45 g g-1) lower than those commonly used in biogeochemical models applied to the AO were required to simulate the observed herbivorous versus microbial food web competition and realistic nitrogen fluxes in the Beaufort Sea oligotrophic waters. In face of accelerating Arctic warming, more attention should be paid in the future to the mechanistic processes involved in food webs and functional groups competition, nutrient recycling and primary production in poorly productive waters of the AO as they are expected to expand rapidly.

  18. Effects of increased snow cover on the rates and sources of ecosystem respiration from high arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupascu, M.; Welker, J. M.; Cooper, E.; Xu, X.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2013-12-01

    A key driver of carbon (C) cycling in arctic ecosystems is the amount, onset and duration of snow cover. Arctic tundra is covered in snow for 8-10 months of the year, although spatial and internannual variability of snow cover is high. Anticipated changes in the amount and timing of snow cover as a consequence of climate warming and their implications for regional C budget and biogeochemistry are highly uncertain. Here, we investigated the effects of increased winter snow depth on the rates and sources of ecosystem respiration (Reco) of a polar semi-desert and mesic meadow at two long-term snowpack manipulation experiments in NW Greenland and Svalbard, Norway. We monitored Reco, the concentrations of CO2 in the soil pore space and their radiocarbon (14C) contents (as an age proxy) over the course of three summers in Greenland and one winter in Svalbard. Preliminary results show that wintertime Reco fluxes were 45% higher in areas of deep as compared to ambient snow. Summertime Reco fluxes were positively correlated to total water-year precipitation (summer rain plus winter snow). However, due to the shorter, snow-free vegetation period, cumulative summertime Reco fluxes under increased snow cover were reduced by up to -34.1×5.4% compared to the control. The mean age of soil CO2 was always older during both the winter- and summertime under increased snow cover. Similarly, the mean age of Reco was older under increased snowpack during the wintertime. However, summertime Reco was dominated by decomposition of younger C and plant respiration, and we found no effect of snow cover. Our results demonstrate the vulnerability of permafrost C to increasing snow cover and the strong potential to serve as a positive feedback to global climate change.

  19. Integration of Measurements and Models Across Spatial Scales for Improved Process Understanding in Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Collier, N.; Kumar, J.; Painter, S. L.; Thornton, P. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Characterizing the spatial variability of properties and processes in Arctic and boreal landscapes is critical for gaining an understanding of ecosystem functioning and for parameterizing process-rich models that simulate feedbacks to a changing climate. However, large-scale models are often poorly informed by process studies and new approaches are needed if we are to better link field and laboratory investigations to climate models. A fundamental goal of the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project is to accelerate improvements in climate prediction through close integration of field, laboratory, and modeling activities. Geomorphological units, including thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground provide the organizing framework for our integrated framework for the coastal plains of the North Slope of Alaska. Process studies and observations of hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, vegetation patterns, and energy exchange and their couplings are being conducted across nested scales to populate a modeling framework and to achieve a broader goal of optimally informing process representations in global-scale models. We investigate the soil thermal regimes and their control on local scale hydrology for sites near Barrow, Alaska, through simulations at sub-meter scale resolution for low-centered, high-centered and transition polygons. We use high-resolution LiDAR and high-fidelity simulations using several models to couple surface-subsurface processes. A central focus of this challenge is to advance process understanding and predicting the evolution of permafrost thaw, degradation (i.e., thermokarst), and disturbance, and their impact on topography in a warming world and how these changes control the availability of water for biogeochemical, ecological, and physical feedbacks to the climate system.

  20. Two years with extreme and little snowfall: effects on energy partitioning and surface energy exchange in a high-Arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stiegler, Christian; Lund, Magnus; Røjle Christensen, Torben; Mastepanov, Mikhail; Lindroth, Anders

    2016-07-01

    Snow cover is one of the key factors controlling Arctic ecosystem functioning and productivity. In this study we assess the impact of strong variability in snow accumulation during 2 subsequent years (2013-2014) on the land-atmosphere interactions and surface energy exchange in two high-Arctic tundra ecosystems (wet fen and dry heath) in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. We observed that record-low snow cover during the winter 2012/2013 resulted in a strong response of the heath ecosystem towards low evaporative capacity and substantial surface heat loss by sensible heat fluxes (H) during the subsequent snowmelt period and growing season. Above-average snow accumulation during the winter 2013/2014 promoted summertime ground heat fluxes (G) and latent heat fluxes (LE) at the cost of H. At the fen ecosystem a more muted response of LE, H and G was observed in response to the variability in snow accumulation. Overall, the differences in flux partitioning and in the length of the snowmelt periods and growing seasons during the 2 years had a strong impact on the total accumulation of the surface energy balance components. We suggest that in a changing climate with higher temperature and more precipitation the surface energy balance of this high-Arctic tundra ecosystem may experience a further increase in the variability of energy accumulation, partitioning and redistribution.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    In this report, we describe and make available a set of 61 georectified aerial images of the Arctic Coastal Plain (taken from 1948 to 2010) that were obtained by the USGS to inform research objectives of the USGS CAE Initiative. Here, we describe the origins, metadata, and public availability of these images that were obtained within four main study areas on the Arctic Coastal Plain: Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, Chipp River, the Colville River Delta, and locations along the Dalton Highway Corridor between the Brooks Range and Deadhorse. We also provide general descriptions of observable changes to the geomorphology of landscapes that are apparent by comparing historical and contemporary images. These landscape changes include altered river corridors, lake drying, coastal erosion, and new vegetation communities. All original and georectified images and metadata are available through the USGS Alaska Science Center Portal (search under ‘Project Name’ using title of this report) or by contacting ascweb@usgs.gov.

  2. Using paleolimnology to track the impacts of early Arctic peoples on freshwater ecosystems from southern Baffin Island, Nunavut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michelutti, Neal; McCleary, Kathryn M.; Antoniades, Dermot; Sutherland, Patricia; Blais, Jules M.; Douglas, Marianne S. V.; Smol, John P.

    2013-09-01

    Paleolimnological approaches can be used to determine the ways in which past Arctic peoples have affected the ecosystems in which they live, and simultaneously to reconstruct the climate and other aspects of the environment that may have influenced local populations. Here we analyze sediment cores from seven ponds on the south-western coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut, in order to assess the impacts of early Arctic peoples on freshwater ecosystems. Prior to the historic Inuit occupation, the study area was extensively inhabited by Thule culture Inuit (ca 1200-1600 AD) and by an earlier Arctic group, the Dorset culture Palaeo-Eskimos (ca 500 BC-1500 AD) and their predecessors from as early as 2500 BC. The study ponds were selected to cover a gradient of the intensity of human activity in their catchments. The ecological impacts of early hunting societies can be detected using paleolimnology because the butchering of marine mammals released nutrients that eutrophied nearby ponds and left distinct geochemical signals in the sediments. The degree of eutrophication in the small freshwater ponds depended on the length of the occupation, as well as the amount and type of marine mammals taken as primary prey items (eg, whales, walrus, or seals). All sediment cores were AMS 14C dated to establish their chronologies, and analyzed for diatoms and stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N). Both diatoms and sedimentary δ15N have been previously demonstrated to respond sensitively to nutrient enrichment from Inuit whalers. Our δ15N and diatom data record nutrient enrichment in lakes surrounded by either long-term Thule or Dorset settlements. The Dorset sites that were the locations of periodic seasonal gatherings did not register any evidence of eutrophication in the nearby ponds, reflecting the shorter, less intensive nature of these occupations. Similarly, nearby control ponds with no evidence of significant human activity in their catchments showed little-to-no changes in δ15N

  3. Seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and anaerobic processes in an Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, D.; Mauritz, M.; Bozzolo, F.; Raab, T. K.; Santos, M. J.; Friedman, E. F.; Rosenbaum, M.; Angenent, L.

    2009-12-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) are the dominant landform in the Arctic coastal plain near Barrow, Alaska. Our previous work in a DTLB showed that Fe(III) and humic substances are important electron acceptors in anaerobic respiration, and play a significant role in the C cycle of these organic-rich soils. In the current study, we investigated seasonal and spatial patterns of availability of electron acceptors and labile substrate, redox conditions and microbial activity. Landscapes within DTLB contain complex, fine-scale topography arising from ice wedge polygons, which produce raised and lowered areas. One goal of our study was to determine the effects of microtopographic variation on the potential for Fe(III) reduction and other anaerobic processes. Additionally, the soil in the study site has a complex vertical structure, with an organic peat layer overlying a mineral layer, overlying permafrost. We described variations in soil chemistry across depth profiles into the permafrost. Finally, we installed an integrated electrode/potentiostat system to electrochemically monitor microbial activity in the soil. Topographically low areas differed from high areas in most of the measured variables: low areas had lower oxidation-reduction potential, higher pH and electrical conductivity. Soil pore water from low areas had higher concentrations of Fe(III), Fe(II), dissolved organic C (DOC), and aromaticity (UV absorbance at 260nm, “A260”). Low areas also had higher concentrations of dissolve CO2 and CH4 in soil pore water. Laboratory incubations of soil showed a trend toward higher potentials for Fe(III) reduction in topographically low areas. Clearly, ice wedge-induced microtopography exerts a strong control on microbial processes in this DTLB landscape, with increased anaerobic activity occurring in the wetter, depressed areas. Soil water extracted from 5-15 cm depth had higher concentrations of Fe(III), Fe(II), A260, and DOC compared to soil water sampled from 0-5cm

  4. SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT PROJECT: FINAL TECHNICAL REPORT - PHASE I

    EPA Science Inventory

    The South Florida Ecosystem Assessment Project is an innovative, large-scale monitoring and assessment program designed to measure current and changing conditions of ecological resources in South Florida using an integrated holistic approach. Using the United States Environmenta...

  5. Potential indicators of final ecosystem services in wetlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous and inconsistent lists of wetland ecosystem services exist because services are identified using ambiguous definitions or categorization schemes based around divergent or ambiguous objectives. A consistent and scientific approach would provide clarity and provide greater...

  6. Growing season fluxes and sources of CO2 and CH4 in high arctic ecosystems, NW Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupascu, M.; Seibt, U.; Stills, A. K.; Xu, X.; Lindsey, D. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic tundra soils store vast amounts of organic carbon. Understanding how rapidly this pool can be mineralized as a consequence of warming and changes in the magnitude and timing of precipitation is a major uncertainty in predicting future levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We quantified the magnitudes and patterns of ecosystem-atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from polar semi-desert landscapes in NW Greenland. The measurements were undertaken from May to August 2010 at a multi-factorial, long-term climate change experiment started in 2003. In each treatment, fluxes were monitored from vegetated and barren soils. The experimental treatments consist of +2oC warming (T1), +4oC warming (T2), +50% summer precipitation (W), +4oC × +50% summer precipitation (T2W), and control (C). We used radiocarbon analysis to investigate the sources of carbon contributing to ecosystem carbon respiration under current and future climate conditions. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 and CH4 was measured continuously from four clear, automated chambers using cavity ring-down spectroscopy (Picarro 1301) under ambient and under conditions of high warming and added summer water (T2W). In all treatments, ecosystem respiration (R) from opaque chambers and soil pore space CO2 concentrations from soil wells were monitored daily via infrared spectroscopy (LI-COR 800 & 840) and sampled monthly for radiocarbon analysis. NEE fluxes were higher in vegetated than in bare soils and showed a clear seasonal pattern: both C and T2W treatments were a source of CO2 to the atmosphere in the spring and a net CO2 sink during summer. During the summer, NEE fluxes from vegetated soil were up to 5 times higher in the T2W (-11 µmol m-2 s-1) than ambient conditions (~ - 2 µmol m-2 s-1). Bare soils were a net source of CO2 at all times. All plots were a net sink of CH4 and showed a maximum in mid summer (-3 µmol m-2 s-1) when soil moisture was at a minimum. In the T2W

  7. Methane turnover and methanotrophic communities in arctic aquatic ecosystems of the Lena Delta, Northeast Siberia.

    PubMed

    Osudar, Roman; Liebner, Susanne; Alawi, Mashal; Yang, Sizhong; Bussmann, Ingeborg; Wagner, Dirk

    2016-08-01

    Large amounts of organic carbon are stored in Arctic permafrost environments, and microbial activity can potentially mineralize this carbon into methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In this study, we assessed the methane budget, the bacterial methane oxidation (MOX) and the underlying environmental controls of arctic lake systems, which represent substantial sources of methane. Five lake systems located on Samoylov Island (Lena Delta, Siberia) and the connected river sites were analyzed using radiotracers to estimate the MOX rates, and molecular biology methods to characterize the abundance and the community composition of methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). In contrast to the river, the lake systems had high variation in the methane concentrations, the abundance and composition of the MOB communities, and consequently, the MOX rates. The highest methane concentrations and the highest MOX rates were detected in the lake outlets and in a lake complex in a flood plain area. Though, in all aquatic systems, we detected both, Type I and II MOB, in lake systems, we observed a higher diversity including MOB, typical of the soil environments. The inoculation of soil MOB into the aquatic systems, resulting from permafrost thawing, might be an additional factor controlling the MOB community composition and potentially methanotrophic capacity. PMID:27230921

  8. Lepidoptera Larvae as an Indicator of Multi-trophic Level Responses to Changing Seasonality in an Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, K. M.; Steltzer, H.; Boelman, N.; Weintraub, M. N.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Sullivan, P.; Gough, L.; Rich, M.; Hendrix, C.; Kielland, K.; Philip, K.; Doak, P.; Ferris, C.; Sikes, D.

    2011-12-01

    Earlier snowmelt and warming temperatures in the Arctic will impact multiple trophic levels through the timing and availability of food resources. Lepidoptera are a vital link within the ecosystem; their roles include pollinator, parasitized host for other pollinating insects, and essential food source for migrating birds and their fledglings. Multiple environmental cues including temperature initiate plant growth, and in turn, trigger the emergence of Lepidoptera and the migrations of birds. If snowmelt is accelerated and temperature is increased, it is expected that the Lepidoptera larvae will respond to early plant growth by increasing their abundance within areas that have accelerated snowmelt and warmer conditions. In May of 2011 in a moist acidic tussock tundra system, we accelerated snowmelt by 15 days through the use of radiation-absorbing fabric and warmed air and soil temperatures using open-top chambers, individually and in combination. Every 1-2 days from May 27th to July 8th, 2 minute searches were performed for Lepidoptera larvae in all treatments; when an animal was found, their micro-habitat, surface temperature, behavior, food source, and time of day were noted. The length, body and head width were measured, and the animals were examined for braconid wasp and tachinid fly parasites. Lepidoptera larvae collected in pitfall traps from May 26th to July 7th were also examined and measured. Total density of parasitized larvae accounted for 54% of observed specimens and 50% of pitfall specimens, indicating that Lepidoptera larvae serve an integral role as a host for other pollinators. Total larvae density was highest within the accelerated snowmelt plots compared to the control plots; 66% of observed live specimens and 63% of pitfall specimens were found within the accelerated snowmelt plots. Ninety percent of the total observed animals were found within the open-top warming chambers. Peak density of animals occurred at Solar Noon between 14:00 -15

  9. Ecosystem approach: Healthy ecosystems and sustainable economies. Volume 3. Case studies. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1996-03-01

    The case study report of the Interagency Ecosystem Management Task Force presents findings and recommendations from seven survey teams, details the nature, history, and current status of each ecosystem, and summarizes survey team interviews with many participating parties. The volume targets those interested in how ecosystem partnerships work. Ecosystems include: Anacostia River watershed--state and local agencies are restoring components of this system of marshes, rivers, forests in urban environments: Coastal Louisiana--a federal task force and the state of Louisiana are restoring wetlands to reverse the trend of losses; Great Lakes basin--local communities joined with governmental agencies to reverse pollution and habitat degradation; Pacific Northwest forests--an interagency effort is protecting both forest ecosystems and the region`s economic health; Prince William Sound--a state/federal trustee council is restoring the ecosystem following the Exxon Valdez oil spill: South Florida--a federal task force is restoring habitat in the Everglades; and Southern Appalachians--the Man and Biosphere program is working with communities to restore habitats.

  10. [A data collection program focused on hydrologic and meteorologic parameters in an Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.

    1992-12-31

    The hydrologic cycle of an arctic watershed is dominated by such physical elements as snow, ice, permafrost, seasonally frozen soils, wide fluctuations in surface energy balance and phase change of snow and ice to water. At Imnavait basin, snow accumulation begins in September or early October and maximum snowpack water equivalent is reached just prior to the onset of ablation in mid May. No significant mid winter melt occurs in this basin. Considerable snowfall redistribution by wind to depressions and valley bottom is evident. Spring snowmelt on the North Slope of Alaska is the dominant hydrologic event of the year.This event provides most of the moisture for use by vegetation in the spring and early summer period. The mechanisms and timing of snowmelt are important factors in predicting runoff, the migrations of birds and large mammals and the diversity of plant communities. It is important globally due to the radical and abrupt change in the surface energy balance over vast areas. We were able to explore the trends and differences in the snowmelt process along a transect from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Coastal plain. Snowpack ablation was monitored at three sites. These data were analyzed along with meteorologic data at each site. The initiation of ablation was site specific being largely controlled by the complementary addition of energy from radiation and sensible heat flux. Although the research sites were only 115 km apart, the rates and mechanisms of snowmelt varied greatly. Usually, snowmelt begins at the mid-elevations in the foothills and progresses northerly toward the coast and southerly to the mountains. In the more southerly areas snowmelt progressed much faster and was more influenced by sensible heat advected from areas south of the Brooks Range. In contrast snowmelt in the more northerly areas was slower and the controlled by net radiation.

  11. [A data collection program focused on hydrologic and meteorologic parameters in an Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.

    1992-01-01

    The hydrologic cycle of an arctic watershed is dominated by such physical elements as snow, ice, permafrost, seasonally frozen soils, wide fluctuations in surface energy balance and phase change of snow and ice to water. At Imnavait basin, snow accumulation begins in September or early October and maximum snowpack water equivalent is reached just prior to the onset of ablation in mid May. No significant mid winter melt occurs in this basin. Considerable snowfall redistribution by wind to depressions and valley bottom is evident. Spring snowmelt on the North Slope of Alaska is the dominant hydrologic event of the year.This event provides most of the moisture for use by vegetation in the spring and early summer period. The mechanisms and timing of snowmelt are important factors in predicting runoff, the migrations of birds and large mammals and the diversity of plant communities. It is important globally due to the radical and abrupt change in the surface energy balance over vast areas. We were able to explore the trends and differences in the snowmelt process along a transect from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Coastal plain. Snowpack ablation was monitored at three sites. These data were analyzed along with meteorologic data at each site. The initiation of ablation was site specific being largely controlled by the complementary addition of energy from radiation and sensible heat flux. Although the research sites were only 115 km apart, the rates and mechanisms of snowmelt varied greatly. Usually, snowmelt begins at the mid-elevations in the foothills and progresses northerly toward the coast and southerly to the mountains. In the more southerly areas snowmelt progressed much faster and was more influenced by sensible heat advected from areas south of the Brooks Range. In contrast snowmelt in the more northerly areas was slower and the controlled by net radiation.

  12. The effect of a permafrost disturbance on growing-season carbon-dioxide fluxes in a high Arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, A. E.; Christen, A.; Henry, G. H. R.

    2015-12-01

    Soil carbon stored in high-latitude permafrost landscapes is threatened by warming, and could contribute significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and hydrosphere as permafrost thaws. Permafrost disturbances, especially active layer detachments and retrogressive thaw slumps, have increased in frequency and magnitude across the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Canada. To determine the effects of retrogressive thaw slumps on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in high Arctic tundra, we used two eddy covariance (EC) tower systems to simultaneously and continuously measure CO2 fluxes from a disturbed site and the surrounding undisturbed tundra. During the 32-day measurement period in the 2014 growing season the undisturbed tundra was a small net sink (NEE = -0.12 g C m-2 d-1); however, the disturbed terrain of the retrogressive thaw slump was a net source (NEE = +0.39 g C m-2 d-1). Over the measurement period, the undisturbed tundra sequestered 3.84 g C m-2, while the disturbed tundra released 12.48 g C m-2. Before full leaf out in early July, the undisturbed tundra was a small source of CO2, but shifted to a sink for the remainder of the sampling season (July), whereas the disturbed tundra remained a source of CO2 throughout the season. A static chamber system was also used to measure fluxes in the footprints of the two towers, in both disturbed and undisturbed tundra, and fluxes were partitioned into ecosystem respiration (Re) and gross primary production (GPP). Average GPP and Re found in disturbed tundra were smaller (+0.41 μmol m-2 s-1 and +0.50 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively) than those found in undisturbed tundra (+1.21 μmol m-2 s-1 and +1.00 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Our measurements indicated clearly that the permafrost disturbance changed the high Arctic tundra system from a sink to a source for CO2 during the growing season.

  13. The effect of a permafrost disturbance on growing-season carbon-dioxide fluxes in a high Arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, Alison E.; Christen, Andreas; Henry, Gregory H. R.

    2016-04-01

    Soil carbon stored in high-latitude permafrost landscapes is threatened by warming and could contribute significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and hydrosphere as permafrost thaws. Thermokarst and permafrost disturbances, especially active layer detachments and retrogressive thaw slumps, are present across the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Canada. To determine the effects of retrogressive thaw slumps on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in high Arctic tundra, we used two eddy covariance (EC) tower systems to simultaneously and continuously measure CO2 fluxes from a disturbed site and the surrounding undisturbed tundra. During the 32-day measurement period in the 2014 growing season, the undisturbed tundra was a small net sink (NEE = -0.1 g C m-2 d-1); however, the disturbed terrain of the retrogressive thaw slump was a net source (NEE = +0.4 g C m-2 d-1). Over the measurement period, the undisturbed tundra sequestered 3.8 g C m-2, while the disturbed tundra released 12.5 g C m-2. Before full leaf-out in early July, the undisturbed tundra was a small source of CO2 but shifted to a sink for the remainder of the sampling season (July), whereas the disturbed tundra remained a source of CO2 throughout the season. A static chamber system was also used to measure daytime fluxes in the footprints of the two towers, in both disturbed and undisturbed tundra, and fluxes were partitioned into ecosystem respiration (Re) and gross primary production (GPP). Average GPP and Re found in disturbed tundra were smaller (+0.40 µmol m-2 s-1 and +0.55 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively) than those found in undisturbed tundra (+1.19 µmol m-2 s-1 and +1.04 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Our measurements indicated clearly that the permafrost disturbance changed the high Arctic tundra system from a sink to a source for CO2 during the majority of the growing season (late June and July).

  14. Simulating carbon and water fluxes at Arctic and boreal ecosystems in Alaska by optimizing the modified BIOME-BGC with eddy covariance data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueyama, M.; Kondo, M.; Ichii, K.; Iwata, H.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Zona, D.; Rocha, A. V.; Harazono, Y.; Nakai, T.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    To better predict carbon and water cycles in Arctic ecosystems, we modified a process-based ecosystem model, BIOME-BGC, by introducing new processes: change in active layer depth on permafrost and phenology of tundra vegetation. The modified BIOME-BGC was optimized using an optimization method. The model was constrained using gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at 23 eddy covariance sites in Alaska, and vegetation/soil carbon from a literature survey. The model was used to simulate regional carbon and water fluxes of Alaska from 1900 to 2011. Simulated regional fluxes were validated with upscaled GPP, ecosystem respiration (RE), and NEE based on two methods: (1) a machine learning technique and (2) a top-down model. Our initial simulation suggests that the original BIOME-BGC with default ecophysiological parameters substantially underestimated GPP and RE for tundra and overestimated those fluxes for boreal forests. We will discuss how optimization using the eddy covariance data impacts the historical simulation by comparing the new version of the model with simulated results from the original BIOME-BGC with default ecophysiological parameters. This suggests that the incorporation of the active layer depth and plant phenology processes is important to include when simulating carbon and water fluxes in Arctic ecosystems.

  15. Assessment of Pan-Arctic Soil Moisture, Surface Temperature, and Net Ecosystem Carbon Exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nirala, M. L.; Kimball, J.; Njoku, E.; McDonald, K.; Chan, S.; Jones, L.; Oechel, W.; Running, S.

    2006-05-01

    In this paper, we discuss the application of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Leaf Area Index (LAI), Gross Primary Production (GPP), and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - EOS (AMSR-E) brightness temperature and soil moisture to derived Net Ecosystem Carbon Exchange (NEE). We also compare the satellite-derived results with ground-based tower CO2 eddy flux observations and Biome- BGC ecosystem process model simulations using site meteorology. We found that AMSR-E brightness temperature-derived surface temperatures compare favorably with site-based temperatures and that sensitivity to air and soil temperatures depend on wavelength, snow cover, freeze-thaw conditions, and the sub-grid scale extent of open water. The surface temperature estimations using the emissivity lookup table approach showed good agreement, as compared to observations on most sites. AMSR-E L3 soil moisture data showed large discrepancies relative to site-based ecosystem model simulations and limited site observations. The soil moisture differences were larger in winter than summer. Satellite-derived carbon model results were consistent with site-based CO2 flux tower observations and detailed ecosystem process model (BIOME-BGC) simulations. The carbon model represents NEE seasonal variability and regional patterns, and the NEE is highly sensitive to LAI, which determines the optimal soil decomposition rate. NEE is a residual of two fluxes: GPP and respiration. Small changes in component fluxes yielded large changes in annual NEE and predicted carbon source/sink behavior, especially for relatively low productivity sites, such as tundra. This work was performed at The University of Montana and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  16. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Turetsky, M R; Bond-Lamberty, B; Euskirchen, E; Talbot, J; Frolking, S; McGuire, A D; Tuittila, E-S

    2012-10-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries - permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography - and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes. PMID:22924403

  17. Beyond arctic and alpine: the influence of winter climate on temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ladwig, Laura M; Ratajczak, Zak R; Ocheltree, Troy W; Hafich, Katya A; Churchill, Amber C; Frey, Sarah J K; Fuss, Colin B; Kazanski, Clare E; Muñoz, Juan D; Petrie, Matthew D; Reinmann, Andrew B; Smith, Jane G

    2016-02-01

    Winter climate is expected to change under future climate scenarios, yet the majority of winter ecology research is focused in cold-climate ecosystems. In many temperate systems, it is unclear how winter climate relates to biotic responses during the growing season. The objective of this study was to examine how winter weather relates to plant and animal communities in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems ranging from warm deserts to alpine tundra. Specifically, we examined the association between winter weather and plant phenology, plant species richness, consumer abundance, and consumer richness in 11 terrestrial ecosystems associated with the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. To varying degrees, winter precipitation and temperature were correlated with all biotic response variables. Bud break was tightly aligned with end of winter temperatures. For half the sites, winter weather was a better predictor of plant species richness than growing season weather. Warmer winters were correlated with lower consumer abundances in both temperate and alpine systems. Our findings suggest winter weather may have a strong influence on biotic activity during the growing season and should be considered in future studies investigating the effects of climate change on both alpine and temperate systems. PMID:27145612

  18. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turetsky, M.; Bond-Lamberty, B.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Talbot, J. J.; Frolking, S.; McGuire, A.D.; Tuittila, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries – permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography – and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes.

  19. Present and Future Carbon Balance of Russia's Northern Ecosystems. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F. Stuart III; Zimov, Sergei A.

    2000-08-28

    Recent increases in the seasonal amplitude of atmospheric CO{sub 2} at high latitudes suggest a widespread biospheric response to high-latitude warming. We have shown that the seasonal amplitude of net ecosystem carbon exchange by northern Siberian ecosystems is greater in disturbed than undisturbed sites, due to increased summer influx and increased winter efflux. Net carbon gain in summer and respiration in winter were greater in a cool than in a warm year, especially in disturbed sites and did not differ between high-arctic and treeline sites, suggesting that high-latitude warming, if it occurred, would have little effect or would reduce seasonal amplitude of carbon exchange. We suggest that increased disturbance contributes significantly to the amplified seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO{sub 2} at high latitudes.

  20. Impacts of a recent storm surge on an Arctic delta ecosystem examined in the context of the last millennium.

    PubMed

    Pisaric, Michael F J; Thienpont, Joshua R; Kokelj, Steven V; Nesbitt, Holly; Lantz, Trevor C; Solomon, Steven; Smol, John P

    2011-05-31

    One of the most ominous predictions related to recent climatic warming is that low-lying coastal environments will be inundated by higher sea levels. The threat is especially acute in polar regions because reductions in extent and duration of sea ice cover increase the risk of storm surge occurrence. The Mackenzie Delta of northwest Canada is an ecologically significant ecosystem adapted to freshwater flooding during spring breakup. Marine storm surges during the open-water season, which move saltwater into the delta, can have major impacts on terrestrial and aquatic systems. We examined growth rings of alder shrubs (Alnus viridis subsp. fruticosa) and diatoms preserved in dated lake sediment cores to show that a recent marine storm surge in 1999 caused widespread ecological changes across a broad extent of the outer Mackenzie Delta. For example, diatom assemblages record a striking shift from freshwater to brackish species following the inundation event. What is of particular significance is that the magnitude of this recent ecological impact is unmatched over the > 1,000-year history of this lake ecosystem. We infer that no biological recovery has occurred in this lake, while large areas of terrestrial vegetation remain dramatically altered over a decade later, suggesting that these systems may be on a new ecological trajectory. As climate continues to warm and sea ice declines, similar changes will likely be repeated in other coastal areas of the circumpolar Arctic. Given the magnitude of ecological changes recorded in this study, such impacts may prove to be long lasting or possibly irreversible. PMID:21576496

  1. Experiences in multiyear combined state-parameter estimation with an ecosystem model of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans using the Ensemble Kalman Filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Ehouarn; Samuelsen, Annette; Bertino, Laurent; Mouysset, Sandrine

    2015-12-01

    A sequence of one-year combined state-parameter estimation experiments has been conducted in a North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean configuration of the coupled physical-biogeochemical model HYCOM-NORWECOM over the period 2007-2010. The aim is to evaluate the ability of an ensemble-based data assimilation method to calibrate ecosystem model parameters in a pre-operational setting, namely the production of the MyOcean pilot reanalysis of the Arctic biology. For that purpose, four biological parameters (two phyto- and two zooplankton mortality rates) are estimated by assimilating weekly data such as, satellite-derived Sea Surface Temperature, along-track Sea Level Anomalies, ice concentrations and chlorophyll-a concentrations with an Ensemble Kalman Filter. The set of optimized parameters locally exhibits seasonal variations suggesting that time-dependent parameters should be used in ocean ecosystem models. A clustering analysis of the optimized parameters is performed in order to identify consistent ecosystem regions. In the north part of the domain, where the ecosystem model is the most reliable, most of them can be associated with Longhurst provinces and new provinces emerge in the Arctic Ocean. However, the clusters do not coincide anymore with the Longhurst provinces in the Tropics due to large model errors. Regarding the ecosystem state variables, the assimilation of satellite-derived chlorophyll concentration leads to significant reduction of the RMS errors in the observed variables during the first year, i.e. 2008, compared to a free run simulation. However, local filter divergences of the parameter component occur in 2009 and result in an increase in the RMS error at the time of the spring bloom.

  2. Predicting ecosystem carbon balance in a warming Arctic: the importance of long-term thermal acclimation potential and inhibitory effects of light on respiration.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Blair C; Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Rastetter, Edward B; Griffin, Kevin L

    2014-06-01

    The carbon balance of Arctic ecosystems is particularly sensitive to global environmental change. Leaf respiration (R), a temperature-dependent key process in determining the carbon balance, is not well-understood in Arctic plants. The potential for plants to acclimate to warmer conditions could strongly impact future global carbon balance. Two key unanswered questions are (1) whether short-term temperature responses can predict long-term respiratory responses to growth in elevated temperatures and (2) to what extent the constant daylight conditions of the Arctic growing season inhibit leaf respiration. In two dominant Arctic species Eriophorum vaginatum (tussock grass) and Betula nana (woody shrub), we assessed the extent of respiratory inhibition in the light (RL/RD), respiratory response to short-term temperature change, and respiratory acclimation to long-term warming treatments. We found that R of both species is strongly inhibited by light (averaging 35% across all measurement temperatures). In E. vaginatum both RL and RD acclimated to the long-term warming treatment, reducing the magnitude of respiratory response relative to the short-term response to temperature increase. In B. nana, both RL and RD responded to short-term temperature increase but showed no acclimation to the long-term warming. The ability to predict plant respiratory response to global warming with short-term temperature responses will depend on species-specific acclimation potential and the differential response of RL and RD to temperature. With projected woody shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra and continued warming, changing species dominance between these two functional groups, may impact ecosystem respiratory response and carbon balance. PMID:24677488

  3. Modelling carbon responses of tundra ecosystems to historical and projected climate: Sensitivity of pan-Arctic carbon storage to temporal and spatial variation in climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGuire, A.D.; Clein, J.S.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Meier, R.A.; Vorosmarty, C.J.; Serreze, M.C.

    2000-01-01

    Historical and projected climate trends for high latitudes show substantial temporal and spatial variability. To identify uncertainties in simulating carbon (C) dynamics for pan-Arctic tundra, we compare the historical and projected responses of tundra C storage from 1921 to 2100 between simulations by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) for the pan-Arctic and the Kuparuk River Basin, which was the focus of an integrated study of C dynamics from 1994 to 1996. In the historical period from 1921 to 1994, the responses of net primary production (NPP) and heterotrophic respiration (RH) simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic are correlated with the same factors; NPP is positively correlated with net nitrogen mineralization (NMIN) and RH is negatively correlated with mean annual soil moisture. In comparison to the historical period, the spatially aggregated responses of NPP and RH for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic in our simulations for the projected period have different sensitivities to temperature, soil moisture and NMIN. In addition to being sensitive to soil moisture during the projected period, RH is also sensitive to temperature and there is a significant correlation between RH and NMIN. We interpret the increases in NPP during the projected period as being driven primarily by increases in NMIN, and that the correlation between NPP and temperature in the projected period is a result primarily of the causal linkage between temperature, RH, and NMIN. Although similar factors appear to be controlling simulated regional-and biome-scale C dynamics, simulated C dynamics at the two scales differ in magnitude with higher increases in C storage simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin than for the pan-Arctic at the end of the historical period and throughout the projected period. Also, the results of the simulations indicate that responses of C storage show different climate sensitivities at regional and pan-Arctic spatial scales and that

  4. Vegetation Feedbacks Explain Recent High-latitude Summer Warming in Alaskan Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapin, F. S.; Beringer, J.; Copass, C.; Epstein, H.; Lloyd, A.; Lynch, A.; McGuire, A. D.; Sturm, M.

    2002-12-01

    Although General Circulation Models predict the observed winter and spring warming at high latitudes, there is no obvious physical mechanism in the climate system that can account for the significant increase in summer temperatures that has occurred at high latitudes during the past 30 years. We demonstrate that vegetation-induced feedbacks in snow properties and summer energy exchange with the atmosphere explain this recent summer warming. A combination of stand-age reconstructions, repeat photography, and satellite measures of vegetation greenness demonstrate an expansion of the distribution and an infilling of shrubs in moist tundra and of trees in forest tundra. These vegetation changes increase the depth and thermal resistance of the snow pack, causing a 3oC increase in winter soil temperature and an increase in winter decomposition and nutrient mineralization, which enhance plant growth. These vegetation changes also increase summer heat transport to the atmosphere by increasing radiation absorption (lower albedo) and the proportion of absorbed energy that is transferred to the atmosphere as sensible heat. The resulting increase in atmospheric heating, on a unit-area basis, is similar to effects of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide or a 2% change in solar constant, such as occurred at the last glacial-interglacial boundary. Simulations with the regional climate model ARCSyM indicate that a change from shrubless tundra to shrub-dominated tundra on the North Slope of Alaska would increase July mean temperature by 1.5 to 3.5 degrees C, with the warming effects extending south into the boreal forest of interior Alaska. If these vegetation feedbacks to regional warming are widespread, as suggested by indigenous knowledge and the satellite record, they are of sufficient magnitude to explain the summer warming that has recently been observed in northern Alaska and other regions of the circumpolar Arctic.

  5. Modern to millennium-old greenhouse gases emitted from freshwater ecosystems of the eastern Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouchard, F.; Laurion, I.; Preskienis, V.; Fortier, D.; Xu, X.; Whiticar, M. J.

    2015-07-01

    Ponds and lakes are widespread across the rapidly changing permafrost environments. Aquatic systems play an important role in global biogeochemical cycles, especially in greenhouse gas (GHG) exchanges between terrestrial systems and the atmosphere. The source, speciation and emission of carbon released from permafrost landscapes are strongly influenced by local specific conditions rather than general environmental setting. This study reports on GHG ages and emission rates from aquatic systems on Bylot Island in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Dissolved and ebullition gas samples were collected during the summer season from different types of water bodies located in a highly dynamic periglacial valley: polygonal ponds, collapsed ice-wedge trough ponds, and larger lakes overlying unfrozen soils (talik). The results showed strikingly different ages and fluxes depending on aquatic system types. Polygonal ponds were net sinks of dissolved CO2, but variable sources of dissolved CH4. They presented the highest ebullition fluxes, one or two orders of magnitude higher than from other ponds and lakes. Trough ponds appeared as substantial GHG sources, especially when their edges were actively eroding. Both types of ponds produced modern to hundreds of years old (<550 yr BP) GHG, even if trough ponds could contain much older carbon (>2000 yr BP) derived from freshly eroded peat. Lakes had small dissolved and ebullition fluxes, however they released much older GHG, including millennium-old CH4 (up to 3500 yr BP) sampled from lake central areas. Acetoclastic methanogenesis dominated at all study sites and there was minimal, if any, methane oxidation in gas emitted through ebullition. These findings provide new insights on the variable role of permafrost aquatic systems as a positive feedback mechanism on climate.

  6. Ecosystem characteristics and processes facilitating persistent macrobenthic biomass hotspots and associated benthivory in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Bluhm, Bodil A.; Cooper, Lee W.; Danielson, Seth L.; Arrigo, Kevin R.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Clarke, Janet T.; Day, Robert H.; Frey, Karen E.; Gradinger, Rolf R.; Kędra, Monika; Konar, Brenda; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Lee, Sang H.; Lovvorn, James R.; Norcross, Brenda L.; Okkonen, Stephen R.

    2015-08-01

    The northern Bering and Chukchi Seas are areas in the Pacific Arctic characterized by high northward advection of Pacific Ocean water, with seasonal variability in sea ice cover, water mass characteristics, and benthic processes. In this review, we evaluate the biological and environmental factors that support communities of benthic prey on the continental shelves, with a focus on four macrofaunal biomass "hotspots." For the purpose of this study, we define hotspots as macrofaunal benthic communities with high biomass that support a corresponding ecological guild of benthivorous seabird and marine mammal populations. These four benthic hotspots are regions within the influence of the St. Lawrence Island Polynya (SLIP), the Chirikov Basin between St. Lawrence Island and Bering Strait (Chirikov), north of Bering Strait in the southeast Chukchi Sea (SECS), and in the northeast Chukchi Sea (NECS). Detailed benthic macrofaunal sampling indicates that these hotspot regions have been persistent over four decades of sampling due to annual reoccurrence of seasonally consistent, moderate-to-high water column production with significant export of carbon to the underlying sediments. We also evaluate the usage of the four benthic hotspot regions by benthic prey consumers to illuminate predator-prey connectivity. In the SLIP hotspot, spectacled eiders and walruses are important winter consumers of infaunal bivalves and polychaetes, along with epibenthic gastropods and crabs. In the Chirikov hotspot, gray whales have historically been the largest summer consumers of benthic macrofauna, primarily feeding on ampeliscid amphipods in the summer, but they are also foraging further northward in the SECS and NECS hotspots. Areas of concentrated walrus foraging occur in the SLIP hotspot in winter and early spring, the NECS hotspot in summer, and the SECS hotspot in fall. Bottom up forcing by hydrography and food supply to the benthos influences persistence and composition of benthic prey

  7. Chemosynthetic ecosystems study. Final report. Volume 1. Executive summary

    SciTech Connect

    MacDonald, I.R.; Sager, W.W.; Lee, C.; Schroeder, W.W.; Kennicutt, M.C.

    1995-06-01

    Volume I presents a brief summary of the findings of a three year investigation of the geology, chemistry, and biology of chemosynthetic ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. These dense assemblages of tube worms, mussels and/or clams are primarily dependent upon chemical conditions generated by natural oils and gas seeps. Hydrocarbon seeps produce a variety of distinctive geological features including carbonate rock, mud volcanoes, and hydrate mounds, which tend to be localized to areas less than 1 km. The interaction of the sediment bacteria with the hydrocarbons in the seafloor yields a highly specialized chemical environment featuring high levels of hydrogen sulfide and degraded oils.

  8. The Role of Disturbance in Arctic Ecosystem Response to a Changing Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinzman, L. D.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires in the tundra regions and the boreal forest project an immediate effect upon the surface energy and water budget by drastically altering the surface albedo, roughness, infiltration rates, and moisture absorption capacity in organic soils. Although fires create a sudden and drastic change to the landcover, it is only the beginning of a long process of recovery and perhaps a shift to a different successional pathway. In permafrost regions, these effects become part of a process of long-term (20-50 years) cumulative impacts. Burn severity may largely determine immediate impacts and long-term disturbance trajectories. As transpiration decreases or ceases, soil moisture increases markedly, remaining quite wet throughout the year. Because the insulating quality of the organic layer is removed during fires, permafrost begins to thaw near the surface and warm to greater depths. Within a few years, it may thaw to the point where it can no longer completely refreeze every winter, creating a permanently thawed layer in the soil called a talik. After formation of a talik, soils can drain internally throughout the year. At this point, soils may become quite dry, as the total precipitation received annually in the Arctic is quite low. The local ecological community must continuously adapt to the changing soil thermal and moisture regimes. The wet soils found over shallow permafrost favor black spruce forests. After a fire creates a deeper permafrost table (thicker active layer) the invading tree species tend to be birch or alder. The hydrologic and thermal regime of the soil is the primary factor controlling these vegetation trajectories and the subsequent changes in surface mass and energy fluxes. The complexities of a changing climate accentuate these processes of change and complicate predictions of the resulting vegetation trajectories. Understanding these shifts in vegetative communities and quantifying the consequences of thawing permafrost can only be

  9. Chemosynthetic ecosystems study. Final report. Volume 3. Appendices

    SciTech Connect

    MacDonald, I.R.; Sager, W.W.; Lee, C.; Schroeder, W.W.; Kennicutt, M.C.

    1995-06-01

    Volume III presents ancillary materials from the findings of a three year investigation of the geology, chemistry and biology of chemosynthetic ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. These dense assemblages of tube worms, mussels and/or clams are primarily dependent upon chemical conditions generated by natural oil and gas seeps. Hydrocarbon seeps produce a variety of distinctive geological features including carbonate rock, mud volcanoes and hydrate mounds, which tend to be localized to areas less than 1 km. The interaction of the sediment bacteria with the hydrocarbons in the seafloor yields a highly specialized chemical environment featuring high levels of hydrogen sulfide and degraded oils. The biological community is supported by chemoautotrophic bacteria that live symbiotically with tube worms, mussels and clams.

  10. Chemosynthetic ecosystems study. Final report. Volume 2. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    MacDonald, I.R.; Sager, W.W.; Lee, C.; Schroeder, W.W.; Kennicutt, M.C.

    1995-06-01

    Volume II presents detailed findings of a three year investigation of the geology, chemistry and biology of chemosynthetic ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. These dense assemblages of tube worms, mussels and/or clams are primarly dependent upon chemical conditions generated by natural oil and gas seeps. Hydrocarbon seeps produce a variety of distinctive geological features including carbonate rock, mud volcanoes and hydrate mounds, which tend to be localized to areas less than 1 km. The interaction of the sediment bacteria with the hydrocarbons in the seafloor yields a highly specialized chemical environment featuring high levels of hydrogen sulfide and degraded oils. The biological community is supported by chemoautotrophic bacteria that live symbiotically with tube worms, mussels and clams. The bacteria derive energy for fixing new carbon by oxidizing sulfides or methane.

  11. Extremotrophs, extremophiles and broadband pigmentation strategies in a high arctic ice shelf ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Derek R; Vincent, Warwick F; Bonilla, Sylvia; Laurion, Isabelle

    2005-06-01

    Remnant ice shelves along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada ( approximately 83 degrees N) provide a habitat for cryo-tolerant microbial mat communities. Bioassays of bacterial and primary production were undertaken to quantify the short-term physiological response of the mats to changes in key variables that characterize this cryo-ecosystem (salinity, irradiance and temperature). The heterotrophic versus autotrophic community responses to these stressors differed markedly. The heterotrophic bacteria were extremophilic and specifically adapted to ambient conditions on the ice shelf, whereas the autotrophic community had broader tolerance ranges and optima outside the ambient range. This latter, extremotrophic response may be partly due to a diverse suite of pigments including oligosaccharide mycosporine-like amino acids, scytonemins, carotenoids, phycobiliproteins and chlorophylls that absorb from the near UV-B to red wavelengths. These pigments provide a comprehensive broadband strategy for coping with the multiple stressors of high irradiance, variable salinity and low temperatures in this extreme cryo-environment. PMID:16329931

  12. Staunton 1 reclamation demonstration project. Aquatic ecosystems. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Vinikour, W. S.

    1981-02-01

    To provide long-term indications of the potential water quality improvements following reclamation efforts at the Staunton 1 Reclamation Demonstration Project, macroinvertebrates were collected from three on-site ponds and from the receiving stream (Cahokia Creek) for site drainage. Implications for potential benthic community differences resulting from site runoff were disclosed, but macroinvertebrate diversity throughout Cahokia Creek was limited due to an unstable, sandy substrate. The three ponds sampled were the New Pond, which was created as part of the reclamation activities; the Shed Pond, which and the Old Pond, which, because it was an existing, nonimpacted pond free of site runoff, served as a control. Comparisons of macroinvertebrates from the ponds indicated the potential for the New Pond to develop into a productive ecosystem. Macroinvertebrates in the New Pond were generally species more tolerant of acid mine drainage conditions. However, due to the present limited faunal densities and the undesirable physical and chemical characteristics of the New Pond, the pond should not be stocked with fish at this time.

  13. Mississippi/Alabama Pinnacle Trend Ecosystem Monitoring Final Synthesis Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Continental Shelf Associates Inc.; Texas A&M University, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group

    2001-01-01

    This Final Synthesis Report summarizes a four-year program to characterize and monitor carbonate mounds on the Mississippi/Alabama outer continental shelf (OCS). The study area is shown in Fig.ES.1. The study was conducted by Continental Shelf Associates, Inc. and the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) of Texas A&M University (TAMU), for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Biological Resources Division.

  14. Response of Sea Ice and Marine Ecosystems to the Observed Warming Trends in the Arctic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cota, Glenn F.; Comiso, Joey C.

    2004-01-01

    Our third (final) year activities have focused on two elements: 1) Creating and evaluating panarctic weekly climatologies of ocean color products for 1998 through 2002, 2) Interacting to assess image databases, submit and revise publications. Comiso and his programmer have principal responsibility for assembling and archiving the monthly and weekly image database at GSFC. There are now five year's (1998-2002) of climatologies. In addition to email correspondence, the PIs have met to prepare a series of publications ranging from panarctic physical-biological interactions to more focused regional studies.

  15. Deeper winter snow reduces ecosystem C losses but increases the global warming potential of Arctic tussock tundra over the growing season.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc-Betes, E.; Welker, J. M.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic winter precipitation is projected to increase globally over the next decades, spatial variability encompassing areas with increases and decreases in winter snow. Changes in winter precipitation strongly affect C dynamics in Arctic systems and may lead to major positive climate forcing feedbacks. However, impacts of predicted changes in snowfall and accumulation on the rate and form of C fluxes (CO2 and CH4) and associated forcing feedbacks from Arctic tundra remain uncertain. We investigated how changes in winter precipitation affect net ecosystem CO2 and CH4 fluxes and budgets of moist acidic tundra in an 18-yrs snow fence experiment over a complete growing season at Toolik Lake, AK. Arctic tundra under ambient winter precipitation (CTL) was a net source of CO2 and CH4, yielding net C losses over the growing season. Reduced snow (-15-30% snow depth; RS) switched the system to a net CO2 sink mostly by limiting SOC decomposition within colder soils. Snow additions progressively reduced net ecosystem CO2 losses compared to CTL, switching the system into a weaker net CO2 source with medium additions (+20-45% snow depth; MS) and into a small net CO2 sink with high additions (+70-100% snow depth; HS). Increasingly wetter soils with snow additions constrained the temperature sensitivity of aerobic decomposition and favored the anaerobic metabolism, buffering ecosystem CO2 losses despite substantial soil warming. Accordingly, Arctic tundra switched from a sustained CH4 sink at RS site to an increasingly stronger CH4 source with snow additions. Accounting for both CO2 and CH4, the RS site became a net C sink over the growing season, overall reducing the global warming potential (CO2 equiv.; GWP) of the system relative to CTL. Snow additions progressively reduced net C losses at the MS site compared to CTL and the system transitioned into a net C sink at HS plots, partly due to the slower metabolism of anaerobic decomposition. However, given the greater radiative

  16. Carbon cycling in a high-arctic marine ecosystem - Young Sound, NE Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rysgaard, Søren; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2006-10-01

    Young Sound is a deep-sill fjord in NE Greenland (74°N). Sea ice usually begins to form in late September and gains a thickness of ∼1.5 m topped with 0-40 cm of snow before breaking up in mid-July the following year. Primary production starts in spring when sea ice algae begin to flourish at the ice-water interface. Most biomass accumulation occurs in the lower parts of the sea ice, but sea ice algae are observed throughout the sea ice matrix. However, sea ice algal primary production in the fjord is low and often contributes only a few percent of the annual phytoplankton production. Following the break-up of ice, the immediate increase in light penetration to the water column causes a steep increase in pelagic primary production. Usually, the bloom lasts until August-September when nutrients begin to limit production in surface waters and sea ice starts to form. The grazer community, dominated by copepods, soon takes advantage of the increased phytoplankton production, and on an annual basis their carbon demand (7-11 g C m -2) is similar to phytoplankton production (6-10 g C m -2). Furthermore, the carbon demand of pelagic bacteria amounts to 7-12 g C m -2 yr -1. Thus, the carbon demand of the heterotrophic plankton is approximately twice the estimated pelagic primary production, illustrating the importance of advected carbon from the Greenland Sea and from land in fuelling the ecosystem. In the shallow parts of the fjord (<40 m) benthic primary producers dominate primary production. As a minimum estimate, a total of 41 g C m -2 yr -1 is fixed by primary production, of which phytoplankton contributes 15%, sea ice algae <1%, benthic macrophytes 62% and benthic microphytes 22%. A high and diverse benthic infauna dominated by polychaetes and bivalves exists in these shallow-water sediments (<40 m), which are colonized by benthic primary producers and in direct contact with the pelagic phytoplankton bloom. The annual benthic mineralization is 32 g C m -2 yr -1 of

  17. Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic and Arctic: responses of plants of polar terrestrial ecosystems to enhanced UV-B, an overview.

    PubMed

    Rozema, Jelte; Boelen, Peter; Blokker, Peter

    2005-10-01

    Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic has been re-occurring yearly since 1974, leading to enhanced UV-B radiation. Arctic ozone depletion has been observed since 1990. Ozone recovery has been predicted by 2050, but no signs of recovery occur. Here we review responses of polar plants to experimentally varied UV-B through supplementation or exclusion. In supplementation studies comparing ambient and above ambient UV-B, no effect on growth occurred. UV-B-induced DNA damage, as measured in polar bryophytes, is repaired overnight by photoreactivation. With UV exclusion, growth at near ambient may be less than at below ambient UV-B levels, which relates to the UV response curve of polar plants. UV-B screening foils also alter PAR, humidity, and temperature and interactions of UV with environmental factors may occur. Plant phenolics induced by solar UV-B, as in pollen, spores and lignin, may serve as a climate proxy for past UV. Since the Antarctic and Arctic terrestrial ecosystems differ essentially, (e.g. higher species diversity and more trophic interactions in the Arctic), generalization of polar plant responses to UV-B needs caution. PMID:16005756

  18. Approaches to determining Final Ecosystem Goods and Services: Benefits and Beneficiaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    By nature, the concept of ‘Final’ Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) poses the question; to what or to whom are these goods and services final? We identify two main approaches theoreticians and practitioners are using to define and perceive FEGS (note: we recognize t...

  19. Microbial life in cold, sulfur-rich environments: Investigations of an Arctic ecosystem and implications for life detection at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleeson, Damhnait Fagan

    2009-12-01

    Exobiological investigations require a detailed understanding of life's interactions with its environment here on Earth before we can confidently recognize signs of these interactions at other worlds such as Europa. Using a cold, sulfur-based ecosystem at Borup Fiord pass in the Canadian High Arctic as a study site, I investigated how the supraglacial non-ice materials are represented across different scales in spectral data, how microbiology is influencing the mineralogy of the site, and whether the products of microbial sulfide oxidation preserve indications of their biogenic origin. A systematic scale-integrated approach was applied to query orbital (Hyperion), field, and laboratory spectra to identify sulfur-rich materials precipitated on a glacier. While sulfur, the main constituent of the deposits, is well represented in Hyperion data, minor constituents such as calcite and gypsum are partially or entirely masked. Absorption features of sulfates, where present, are shifted in wavelength due to the effects of mixing or temperature. Autonomous detection methods were successfully applied to monitor the generation and extent of the deposits, which show spectral similarities to Europa's non-ice materials. Geomicrobiological cultivation of sulfide oxidizing bacteria succeeded in demonstrating that the microbiological community present at the site has the potential to catalyze the generation of sulfur deposits. Sulfur generated in culture is present as biomineralized structures comprised of microbial filaments and sheaths along which sulfur globules are deposited. Consortia producing these structures are dominated by gamma-Proteobacteria closely related to Marinobacter, not previously known to oxidize sulfide. The sulfur structures produced by these consortia are not observed in abiotic controls and have the potential to serve as morphological biosignatures. Investigations into the biogenicity of field deposits reveal mineral assemblages with similar morphologies to

  20. Observed and Potential Responses of Upland Tundra Ecosystems to a Changing Climate: Results from the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research Project, North Slope, Alaska, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowden, W. B.

    2014-12-01

    permafrost in the arctic region approaches the 0ºC tipping point, the combination of presses and pulses may radically and rapidly alter upland tundra terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These changes will almost certainly occur more rapidly than would be the case if the region were influenced by the press of warming temperature alone.

  1. Modeling plankton ecosystem functioning and nitrogen fluxes in the oligotrophic waters of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean: a focus on light-driven processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Fouest, V.; Zakardjian, B.; Xie, H.; Raimbault, P.; Joux, F.; Babin, M.

    2013-07-01

    The Arctic Ocean (AO) undergoes profound changes of its physical and biotic environments due to climate change. In some areas of the Beaufort Sea, the stronger haline stratification observed in summer alters the plankton ecosystem structure, functioning and productivity, promoting oligotrophy. A one-dimension (1-D) physical-biological coupled model based on the large multiparametric database of the Malina project in the Beaufort Sea was used (i) to infer the plankton ecosystem functioning and related nitrogen fluxes and (ii) to assess the model sensitivity to key light-driven processes involved in nutrient recycling and phytoplankton growth. The coupled model suggested that ammonium photochemically produced from photosensitive dissolved organic nitrogen (i.e., photoammonification process) was a necessary nitrogen source to achieve the observed levels of microbial biomass and production. Photoammonification directly and indirectly (by stimulating the microbial food web activity) contributed to 70% and 18.5% of the 0-10 m and whole water column, respectively, simulated primary production (respectively 66% and 16% for the bacterial production). The model also suggested that variable carbon to chlorophyll ratios were required to simulate the observed herbivorous versus microbial food web competition and realistic nitrogen fluxes in the Beaufort Sea oligotrophic waters. In face of accelerating Arctic warming, more attention should be paid in the future to the mechanistic processes involved in food webs and functional group competition, nutrient recycling and primary production in poorly productive waters of the AO, as they are expected to expand rapidly.

  2. Soil-plant N processes in a High Arctic ecosystem, NW Greenland are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall.

    PubMed

    Schaeffer, Sean M; Sharp, Elizabeth; Schimel, Joshua P; Welker, Jeffery M

    2013-11-01

    Rapid temperature and precipitation changes in High Arctic tundra ecosystems are altering the biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), but in ways that are difficult to predict. The challenge grows from the uncertainty of N cycle responses and the extent to which shifts in soil N are coupled with the C cycle and productivity of tundra systems. We used a long-term (since 2003) experiment of summer warming and supplemental summer water additions to a High Arctic ecosystem in NW Greenland, and applied a combination of discrete sampling and in situ soil core incubations to measure C and N pools and seasonal microbial processes that might control plant-available N. We hypothesized that elevated temperature and increased precipitation would stimulate microbial activity and net inorganic N mineralization, thereby increasing plant N-availability through the growing season. While we did find increased N mineralization rates under both global change scenarios, water addition also significantly increased net nitrification rates, loss of NO3 (-) -N via leaching, and lowered rates of labile organic N production. We also expected the chronic warming and watering would lead to long-term changes in soil N-cycling that would be reflected in soil δ(15) N values. We found that soil δ(15) N decreased under the different climate change scenarios. Our results suggest that temperature accelerates biological processes and existing C and N transformations, but moisture increases soil hydraulic connectivity and so alters the pathways, and changes the fate of the products of C and N transformations. In addition, our findings indicate that warmer, wetter High Arctic tundra will be cycling N and C in ways that may transform these landscapes in part leading to greater C sequestration, but simultaneously, N losses from the upper soil profile that may be transported to depth dissolved in water and or transported off site in lateral flow. PMID:23843128

  3. Rates and radiocarbon content of summer ecosystem respiration in response to long-term deeper snow in the High Arctic of NW Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupascu, M.; Welker, J. M.; Xu, X.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2014-06-01

    The amount and timing of snow cover control the cycling of carbon (C), water, and energy in arctic ecosystems. The implications of changing snow cover for regional C budgets, biogeochemistry, hydrology, and albedo due to climate change are rudimentary, especially for the High Arctic. In a polar semidesert of NW Greenland, we used a ~10 year old snow manipulation experiment to quantify how deeper snow affects magnitude, seasonality, and 14C content of summer C emissions. We monitored ecosystem respiration (Reco), soil CO2, and their 14C contents over three summers in vegetated and bare areas. Additional snowpack, elevated soil water content (SWC), and temperature throughout the growing season in vegetated, but not in bare, areas. Daily Reco was positively correlated to temperature, but negatively correlated to SWC; consequently, we found no effect of increased snow on daily flux. Cumulative summertime Reco was not related to annual snowfall, but to water year precipitation (winter snow plus summer rain). Experimentally increased snowpack shortened the growing season length and reduced summertime Reco up to 40%. Soil CO2 was older under increased snow. However, we found no effect of snow depth on the Reco age because older C emissions were masked by younger CO2 produced from the litter layer or plant respiration. In the High Arctic, anticipated changes in precipitation regime associated with warming are a key uncertainty for understanding future C cycling. In polar semideserts, water year precipitation is an important driver of summertime Reco. Permafrost C is vulnerable to changes in snowpack, with a deeper snowpack-promoting decomposition of older soil C.

  4. Rich and cold: diversity, distribution and drivers of fungal communities in patterned-ground ecosystems of the North American Arctic.

    PubMed

    Timling, I; Walker, D A; Nusbaum, C; Lennon, N J; Taylor, D L

    2014-07-01

    Fungi are abundant and functionally important in the Arctic, yet comprehensive studies of their diversity in relation to geography and environment are not available. We sampled soils in paired plots along the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT), which spans all five bioclimatic subzones of the Arctic. Each pair of plots contrasted relatively bare, cryoturbated patterned-ground features (PGFs) and adjacent vegetated between patterned-ground features (bPGFs). Fungal communities were analysed via sequencing of 7834 ITS-LSU clones. We recorded 1834 OTUs - nearly half the fungal richness previously reported for the entire Arctic. These OTUs spanned eight phyla, 24 classes, 75 orders and 120 families, but were dominated by Ascomycota, with one-fifth belonging to lichens. Species richness did not decline with increasing latitude, although there was a decline in mycorrhizal taxa that was offset by an increase in lichen taxa. The dominant OTUs were widespread even beyond the Arctic, demonstrating no dispersal limitation. Yet fungal communities were distinct in each subzone and were correlated with soil pH, climate and vegetation. Communities in subzone E were distinct from the other subzones, but similar to those of the boreal forest. Fungal communities on disturbed PGFs differed significantly from those of paired stable areas in bPGFs. Indicator species for PGFs included lichens and saprotrophic fungi, while bPGFs were characterized by ectomycorrhizal and pathogenic fungi. Our results suggest that the Arctic does not host a unique mycoflora, while Arctic fungi are highly sensitive to climate and vegetation, with potential to migrate rapidly as global change unfolds. PMID:24689939

  5. Seasonal snow of arctic Alaska R4D investigations. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, C.S.

    1993-02-01

    Seasonal snow is present on the Arctic Slope of Alaska for nine months each year. Its presence or absence determines whether 80% of the solar radiation is reflected or absorbed, respectively. Although life on the Arctic Slope is adapted to, and in some cases dependent upon seasonal snow, little is known about it from a scientific point of view. Its quantity has been grossly underestimated, and knowledge of its distribution and the extent of wind transport and redistribution is very limited. This research project dealt with the amount, regional distribution and physical properties of wind blown snow and its biological role in the R4D area of the Arctic Slope. Physical processes which operate within the snow that were studied included the flux of heat and vapor and the fractionation of stable isotopes through it during fall and winter, and the complex heat and mass transfer within the snow and between snow, its substrate and the overlying atmosphere during the melt period.

  6. Handbook for nuclear weapons effects under arctic conditions. sanitized. Final report, June 1979-April 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Keith, J.R.; Wallace, W.E.

    1980-04-30

    This report describes the changes to be expected in nuclear weapons effects in arctic conditions as compared with the temperature regions of the works. Previous research in this area was reviewed, and relevant information is presented. The emphasis was placed on low-altitude and underwater bursts and effects. Inadequacies and uncertainties in current prediction techniques are given. The characteristics of the arctic region of importance in nuclear-effect calculations are given. The effects considered include air blast, cratering, thermal radiation, nuclear radiation, EMP, HF communication degradation, water shock, water waves, and acoustic effects.

  7. NASA's Arctic Voyage 2010

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's first oceanographic research expedition left Alaska on June 15, 2010. The ICESCAPE mission will head into the Arctic to study sea ice and the changing ocean ecosystem. Listen to the scientis...

  8. Life in a temperate Polar sea: a unique taphonomic window on the structure of a Late Cretaceous Arctic marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Karen; Bloch, John; Sweet, Arthur; Tweet, Justin; Eberle, Jaelyn; Cumbaa, Stephen; Witkowski, Jakub; Harwood, David

    2008-01-01

    As the earth faces a warming climate, the rock record reminds us that comparable climatic scenarios have occurred before. In the Late Cretaceous, Arctic marine organisms were not subject to frigid temperatures but still contended with seasonal extremes in photoperiod. Here, we describe an unusual fossil assemblage from Devon Island, Arctic Canada, that offers a snapshot of a ca 75 Myr ago marine palaeoecosystem adapted to such conditions. Thick siliceous biogenic sediments and glaucony sands reveal remarkably persistent high primary productivity along a high-latitude Late Cretaceous coastline. Abundant fossil faeces demonstrate that this planktonic bounty supported benthic invertebrates and large, possibly seasonal, vertebrates in short food chains. These ancient organisms filled trophic roles comparable to those of extant Arctic species, but there were fundamental differences in resource dynamics. Whereas most of the modern Arctic is oligotrophic and structured by resources from melting sea ice, we suggest that forested terrestrial landscapes helped support the ancient marine community through high levels of terrigenous organic input. PMID:18713718

  9. Linking Biological Responses of Terrestrial N Eutrophication to the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, M. D.; Clark, C.; Blett, T.

    2015-12-01

    The response of a biological indicator to N deposition can indicate that an ecosystem has surpassed a critical load and is at risk of significant change. The importance of this exceedance is often difficult to digest by policy makers and public audiences if the change is not linked to a familiar ecosystem endpoint. A workshop was held to bring together scientists, resource managers, and policy makers with expertise in ecosystem functioning, critical loads, and economics in an effort to identify the ecosystem services impacted by air pollution. This was completed within the framework of the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) Classification System to produce a product that identified distinct interactions between society and the effects of nitrogen pollution. From each change in a biological indicator, we created multiple ecological production functions to identify the cascading effects of the change to a measureable ecosystem service that a user interacts with either by enjoying, consuming, or appreciating the good or service, or using it as an input in the human economy. This FEGS metric was then linked to a beneficiary group that interacts with the service. Chains detailing the links from the biological indicator to the beneficiary group were created for aquatic and terrestrial acidification and eutrophication at the workshop, and here we present a subset of the workshop results by highlighting for 9 different ecosystems affected by terrestrial eutrophication. A total of 213 chains that linked to 37 unique FEGS metrics and impacted 15 beneficiary groups were identified based on nitrogen deposition mediated changes to biological indicators. The chains within each ecosystem were combined in flow charts to show the complex, overlapping relationships among biological indicators, ecosystem services, and beneficiary groups. Strength of relationship values were calculated for each chain based on support for the link in the scientific literature. We produced the

  10. Aircraft Emissions Deposited in the Stratosphere and Within the Arctic Polar Vortex. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Baughcum, S.L.

    1996-04-01

    This report describes an analysis of the quantity of emissions (water vapor, NO(x)) projected to be deposited directly within the Arctic polar vortex by projected fleets of Mach 2.4 high speed civil transports (HSCT`s). It also evaluates the amount of emissions from subsonic aircraft which are emitted into the lower stratosphere using aircraft emission inventories developed earlier for May 1990 as representative of the annual average.

  11. Final deglaciation of the Barents Sea at 12.9 ka and potential trigger of the Arctic atmospheric dipole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hormes, Anne; Briner, Jason

    2016-04-01

    The specific configuration and history of the marine-based Barents Sea ice sheet has been under dispute for decades. Bjørnøya is situated between northern Fennoscandia and the Svalbard archipelago and therefore lies in a key position for understanding the maximum configuration and final retreat of the ice sheet. Bjørnøya also lies between two important trough systems that contributed to the ice sheet drainage: the Bjørnøya and Storfjorden palaeo-ice streams. We obtained 24 cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages from glacial erratics on southern Bjørnøya to 1) investigate the timing of initial deglaciation of the Barents Sea ice sheet, and 2) determine the timing of complete deglaciation of the island. The 10Be ages are from glacially transported sandstone and conglomerate boulders situated in the southern part of the island, calculated using the Arctic 10Be production rate, and presented with analytical uncertainty. 18 10Be ages exhibit a very strong mode from 11.9 to 14.5 ka, averaging 12.9 ± 0.6 ka, a much smaller mode from 24.6 to 26.2 ka (averaging 25.6 ± 1.2 ka), and three samples were excluded as outliers scattering at different times (3.6 ± 0.2 ka, 16.3 ± 0.7 ka and 19.6 ± 1.0 ka). Boulders between 17 and 293 m a.s.l. and the highest samples from Antarcticafjellet (340-351 m a.s.l.) indicate ages averaging 12.9 ± 0.6 ka. These boulders indicate the final deglaciation of restricted local remnants of ice covering the higher Antarctic and Alfred mountains and leaving well-preserved moraine sequences in the lowlands. We will discuss the ice-free Barents Sea as a potential precondition to build up low pressure in this region needed for a strong Arctic atmospheric dipole. In turn a strong Arctic atmospheric dipole causes increase in Meridional winds succeeding in transport of Arctic sea ice into the North Atlantic with the trans-polar drift.

  12. a New Japanese Project for Arctic Climate Change Research - Grene Arctic - (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enomoto, H.

    2013-12-01

    A new Arctic Climate Change Research Project 'Rapid Change of the Arctic Climate System and its Global Influences' has started in 2011 for a five years project. GRENE-Arctic project is an initiative of Arctic study by more than 30 Japanese universities and institutes as the flame work of GRENE (Green Network of Excellence) of MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan). The GRENE-Arctic project set four strategic research targets: 1. Understanding the mechanism of warming amplification in the Arctic 2. Understanding the Arctic system for global climate and future change 3. Evaluation of the effects of Arctic change on weather in Japan, marine ecosystems and fisheries 4. Prediction of sea Ice distribution and Arctic sea routes This project aims to realize the strategic research targets by executing following studies: -Improvement of coupled general circulation models based on validations of the Arctic climate reproducibility and on mechanism analyses of the Arctic climate change and variability -The role of Arctic cryosphere in the global change -Change in terrestrial ecosystem of pan-Arctic and its effect on climate -Studies on greenhouse gas cycles in the Arctic and their responses to climate change -Atmospheric studies on Arctic change and its global impacts -Ecosystem studies of the Arctic ocean declining Sea ice -Projection of Arctic Sea ice responding to availability of Arctic sea route (* ** ***) *Changes in the Arctic ocean and mechanisms on catastrophic reduction of Arctic sea ice cover **Coordinated observational and modeling studies on the basic structure and variability of the Arctic sea ice-ocean system ***Sea ice prediction and construction of ice navigation support system for the Arctic sea route. Although GRENE Arctic project aims to product scientific contribution in a concentrated program during 2011-2016, Japanese Arctic research community established Japan Consortium for Arctic Environmental Research (JCAR) in May

  13. The contribution of Fe(III) and humic acid reduction to ecosystem respiration in drained thaw lake basins of the Arctic Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Goria, Dominic; Zlamal, Jaime

    2013-04-01

    research showed that anaerobic respiration using iron (Fe) oxides as terminal electron acceptor contributed substantially to ecosystem respiration (ER) in a drained thaw lake basin (DTLB) on the Arctic coastal plain. As DTLBs age, the surface organic layer thickens, progressively burying the Fe-rich mineral layers. We therefore hypothesized that Fe(III) availability and Fe reduction would decline with basin age. We studied four DTLBs across an age gradient, comparing seasonal changes in the oxidation state of dissolved and extractable Fe pools and the estimated contribution of Fe reduction to ER. The organic layer thickness did not strictly increase with age for these four sites, though soil Fe levels decreased with increasing organic layer thickness. However, there were surprisingly high levels of Fe minerals in organic layers, especially in the ancient basin where cryoturbation may have transported Fe upward through the profile. Net reduction of Fe oxides occurred in the latter half of the summer and contributed an estimated 40-45% to ecosystem respiration in the sites with the thickest organic layers and 61-63% in the sites with the thinnest organic layers. All sites had high concentrations of soluble Fe(II) and Fe(III), explained by the presence of siderophores, and this pool became progressively more reduced during the first half of the summer. Redox titrations with humic acid (HA) extracts and chelated Fe support our view that this pattern indicates the reduction of HA during this interval. We conclude that Fe(III) and HA reductions contribute broadly to ER in the Arctic coastal plain.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to the loss of snow and ice, which increases the amount of solar energy absorbed by the region. The most visible consequence has been the rapid decline in sea ice over the last 3 decades-a decline projected to bring long ice-free summers if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not significantly reduced. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice over the biologically productive continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean as a platform for hunting seals. In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the threat posed by sea ice loss. The polar bear was the first species to be listed due to forecasted population declines from climate change.

  15. Decadal Arctic ice simulations: 1986-1995. Final report, September 1993--November 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Piacsek, S.; Preller, R.; Posey, P.

    1997-05-01

    The Arctic ice cover has been simulated for the period 1986-1995 with two coupled ice-ocean models, one with low resolution on a small polar stereographic plane (PIPS1/O), and one with high resolution on a rotated spherical grid (PIPS2), covering all northern hemispheric sea ice. The ice model used was the Hibler ice model, and the ocean models were both z-level types with rigid lid. Atmospheric forcing were derived from surface fluxes computed by the Navy`s NOGAPS global atmospheric prediction model.

  16. Mediation of Fire-Climate Linkages by Vegetation Types in Alaskan Arctic Tundra Ecosystems: Impacts of Model Uncertainty on GCM-Based Forecasts of Future Fire Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, P.; Higuera, P. E.; Young, A. M.; Hu, F.; Dietze, M.

    2014-12-01

    Fire is a powerful landscape scale disturbance agent in tundra ecosystems. Impacts on biophysical properties (e.g. albedo) and biogeochemical function (e.g. carbon flux) underscore the need to better quantify fire-climate linkages in tundra ecosystems as climate change accelerates at northern high latitudes. In this context, a critical question is "How does the functional linkage between climate and fire vary across spatial domains dominated by different vegetation types?" We address this question with BLM-Alaska Fire Service area burned data (http://fire.ak.blm.gov/predsvcs/maps.php) used in conjunction with downscaled historical climate data from the Scenarios Network for Alaska Planning (http://www.snap.uaf.edu/data.php) to develop gradient boosting models of annual area burned in Alaska tundra ecosystems. The sparse historical fire records in the Arctic necessitate explicit quantification of model uncertainty associated with the development of statistical analyses. In this work, model uncertainty is depicted through the construction of separate models depicting fire-climate relationships for regions defined by the graminoid, shrub, and wetland tundra vegetation classes (Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map: http://www.geobotany.uaf.edu/cavm/). Non-linear relationships between annual area burned and climate variables are depicted with partial dependence functions. Our results show that vegetation-specific models result in different non-linear relationships between climate and fire. Precipitation variables generally had higher relative influence scores than temperature; however, differences between the magnitude of the scores were greater when models were built with monthly (versus seasonal) explanatory variables. Key threshold values for climate variables are identified. The impact of model uncertainty on forecasts of future fire activity was quantified using output from five different AR5/CMIP5 General Circulation Models. Model uncertainty corresponding to

  17. Arctic climate tipping points.

    PubMed

    Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-02-01

    There is widespread concern that anthropogenic global warming will trigger Arctic climate tipping points. The Arctic has a long history of natural, abrupt climate changes, which together with current observations and model projections, can help us to identify which parts of the Arctic climate system might pass future tipping points. Here the climate tipping points are defined, noting that not all of them involve bifurcations leading to irreversible change. Past abrupt climate changes in the Arctic are briefly reviewed. Then, the current behaviour of a range of Arctic systems is summarised. Looking ahead, a range of potential tipping phenomena are described. This leads to a revised and expanded list of potential Arctic climate tipping elements, whose likelihood is assessed, in terms of how much warming will be required to tip them. Finally, the available responses are considered, especially the prospects for avoiding Arctic climate tipping points. PMID:22270703

  18. Modeling the Pan-Arctic terrestrial and atmospheric water cycle. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Gutowski, W.J., Jr.

    2001-03-30

    This report describes results of DOE grant DE-FG02-96ER61473 to Iowa State University (ISU). Work on this grant was performed at Iowa State University and at the University of New Hampshire in collaboration with Dr. Charles Vorosmarty and fellow scientists at the University of New Hampshire's (UNH's) Institute for the Study of the Earth, Oceans, and Space, a subcontractor to the project. Research performed for the project included development, calibration and validation of a regional climate model for the pan-Arctic, modeling river networks, extensive hydrologic database development, and analyses of the water cycle, based in part on the assembled databases and models. Details appear in publications produced from the grant.

  19. Modeling permafrost thaw and ecosystem carbon cycle under annual and seasonal warming at an Arctic tundra site in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jianwei; Luo, Yiqi; Natali, Susan; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Xia, Jianyang; Kowalczyk, Eva; Wang, Yingping

    2014-06-01

    Permafrost thaw and its impacts on ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics are critical for predicting global climate change. It remains unclear whether annual and seasonal warming (winter or summer) affect permafrost thaw and ecosystem C balance differently. It is also required to compare the short-term stepwise warming and long-term gradual warming effects. This study validated a land surface model, the Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange model, at an Alaskan tundra site, and then used it to simulate permafrost thaw and ecosystem C flux under annual warming, winter warming, and summer warming. The simulations were conducted under stepwise air warming (2°C yr-1) during 2007-2011, and gradual air warming (0.04°C yr-1) during 2007-2056. We hypothesized that all warming treatments induced greater permafrost thaw, and larger ecosystem respiration than plant growth thus shifting the ecosystem C sink to C source. Results only partially supported our hypothesis. Climate warming further enhanced C sink under stepwise (6-15%) and gradual (1-8%) warming scenarios as followed by annual warming, winter warming, and summer warming. This is attributed to disproportionally low temperature increase in soil (0.1°C) in comparison to air warming (2°C). In a separate simulation, a greater soil warming (1.5°C under winter warming) led to a net ecosystem C source (i.e., 18 g C m-2 yr-1). This suggests that warming tundra can potentially provide positive feedbacks to global climate change. As a key variable, soil temperature and its dynamics, especially during wintertime, need to be carefully studied under global warming using both modeling and experimental approaches.

  20. Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 Exchange in a Mixed Tundra and a Fen Within an Arctic Landscape: Modeled Impacts of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, R. F.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change will have important effects on arctic productivity and greenhouse gas exchange. These changes were projected by the model ecosys under an SRES A2 scenario over the 21st century for a landscape including an upland tundra and a lowland fen at Daring Lake, NWT. Rising temperatures and precipitation caused increases in active layer depths (ALD) and eventual formation of taliks, particularly in the fen, which were attributed to heat advection from warmer and more intense precipitation and downslope flow. These changes raised net primary productivity from more rapid N mineralization and uptake, driven by more rapid heterotrophic respiration and increasing deciduous vs. evergreen plant functional types. Consequently gains in net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of 29 and 10 g C m-2 y-1 were modelled in the tundra and fen after 90 years. However CH4 emissions modelled from the fen rose sharply from direct effects of increasing soil temperatures and greater ALD on fermenter and methanogenic populations, and from indirect effects of increasing sedge growth which hastened transfer of CH4 through porous roots to the atmosphere. After 90 years, landscape CH4 emissions increased from 1.1 to 5.2 g C m-2 y-1 while landscape NEP increased from 34 to 46 g C m-2 y-1. Positive feedback to radiative forcing from increases in CH4 emissions more than offset negative feedback from increases in NEP. This feedback was largely attributed to rises in CH4 emission caused by heat advection from increasing precipitation, the impacts of which require greater attention in arctic climate change studies.

  1. Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 exchange in a mixed tundra and a fen within a hydrologically diverse Arctic landscape: 2. Modeled impacts of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, R. F.

    2015-07-01

    Climate change will have important effects on arctic productivity and greenhouse gas exchange. These changes were projected by the model ecosys under an Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A2 scenario over the 21st century for a landscape including an upland tundra and a lowland fen at Daring Lake, NWT. Rising temperatures and precipitation caused increases in active layer depths (ALD) and eventual formation of taliks, particularly in the fen, which were attributed to heat advection from warmer and more intense precipitation and downslope flow. These changes raised net primary productivity from more rapid N mineralization and uptake, driven by more rapid heterotrophic respiration and increasing deciduous versus evergreen plant functional types. Consequently, gains in net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of 29 and 10 g C m-2 yr-1 were modeled in the tundra and fen after 90 years. However, CH4 emissions modeled from the fen rose sharply from direct effects of increasing soil temperatures and greater ALD on fermenter and methanogenic populations and from indirect effects of increasing sedge growth, which hastened transfer of CH4 through porous roots to the atmosphere. After 90 years, landscape CH4 emissions increased from 1.1 to 5.2 g C m-2 yr-1 while landscape NEP increased from 34 to 46 g C m-2 yr-1. Positive feedback to radiative forcing from increases in CH4 emissions more than offset negative feedback from increases in NEP. This feedback was largely attributed to rises in CH4 emission caused by heat advection from increasing precipitation, the impacts of which require greater attention in arctic climate change studies.

  2. A systematic approach for quantifying final ecosystems services at regional and national scales

    EPA Science Inventory

    Since the development of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005), there have been a myriad of proposals regarding how to apply ecosystem services concepts in routine, systematic ways to support standards, markets and assessments of ecosystems services. The key question being ...

  3. Last Deglacial Arctic to Pacific Transgressions via the Bering Strait: Implications for Climate, Meltwater Source, Ecosystems and Southern Ocean Wind Strength

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nwaodua, Emmanuel C.

    The main goal of this research is to provide physical evidence of reverse flow(s), from the Arctic to the North Pacific Ocean, after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This is primarily essential to studies concerned with understanding how the fluctuations in strength of the Southern Ocean Wind (SOW), in conjunction with an open Bering Strait, alter the direction of water flow through the Bering Strait. Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) derivative spectroscopy; quotient normalization and varimax rotated principal component analysis of diffuse spectral reflectance (DSR) measurements from 234 surface core samples and 2 piston cores, in addition to the USGS spectral library, were used to extract and identify these lithological compositions (in order of importance) within the study location. These compositions are chlorite + muscovite; goethite + phycoerythrin + phycocyanin; smectite; calcite+dolomite; and illite + Chlorophyll a. The Geostatistical tool, kriging, was utilized in creating the sedimentary maps of all the components. These maps were used to determine these components' modern spatial patterns. This aided in the evaluation and downcore interpretation of the component most suited for this study. The illite in illite + Chlorophyll a assemblage was deemed to be the appropriate water mass tracer for a reverse flow from the Arctic into the North Pacific; this is because of its prominence and abundance in the Mackenzie River drainage basin and on the west Arctic Sea shelf. The illite denotes these periods of meltwater pulses (MWP): MWP 1A, ˜14,600 and 13,800 Cal yrs. BP, separated by the Older Dryas; MWP 1B, ˜11,000--9,200 Cal yrs. BP; and MWP 1C, ˜8,000 Cal yrs. BP. The timing of these pulses along with previously published data on the Bering Sea shelf and the North Pacific Ocean enabled these deductions: 1) the initial opening of the Bering Strait and the flow direction after the LGM; 2) the source of these meltwater pulses and the mechanism that might drive

  4. Integrating Research and Education in a Study of Biocomplexity in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems: Costs, Results, and Benefits to the Research Agenda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, W. A.; González, G.; Walker, D. A.

    2006-12-01

    The integration of research and education is one of the fundamental goals of our national science policy. There is strong interest to improve this integration at the graduate and undergraduate levels, with the general public, and with local and indigenous people. Efforts expended in integrating research and education can occur at the expense of research productivity and represent a cost. Results may include number of personnel involved, activities accomplished, research or other products produced. Benefits are difficult to quantify and may be short term and tangible, e.g. education-research projects enhancing research productivity with publications, or long-term and include intangibles such as personal interactions and experiences influencing career choices, the perception of research activities, enhanced communication, and direct or indirect influence on related research and educational projects. We have integrated the University field course Arctic Field Ecology with an interdisciplinary research project investigating the interactions of climate, vegetation, and permafrost in the study Biocomplexity of Arctic Tundra Ecosystems. The integration is designed to give students background in regional ecology; introduce students to the project objectives, methods, and personnel; provide for interaction with participating scientists; conduct research initiated by the class and instructors; and provide the opportunity to interact with indigenous people with interests in traditional ecological knowledge and land management. Our costs included increased logistical complexity and time-demands on the researchers and staff managing the integration. The educational component increased the size of the research group with the addition of 55 participants over the 4 field seasons of the study. Participants came from 7 countries and included 20 enrolled university students, 18 Inuit non student participants, 9 Inuit students, 3 visiting scientists, 3 staff, and 2 scientist

  5. The future of Arctic benthos: Expansion, invasion, and biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renaud, Paul E.; Sejr, Mikael K.; Bluhm, Bodil A.; Sirenko, Boris; Ellingsen, Ingrid H.

    2015-12-01

    One of the logical predictions for a future Arctic characterized by warmer waters and reduced sea-ice is that new taxa will expand or invade Arctic seafloor habitats. Specific predictions regarding where this will occur and which taxa are most likely to become established or excluded are lacking, however. We synthesize recent studies and conduct new analyses in the context of climate forecasts and a paleontological perspective to make concrete predictions as to relevant mechanisms, regions, and functional traits contributing to future biodiversity changes. Historically, a warmer Arctic is more readily invaded or transited by boreal taxa than it is during cold periods. Oceanography of an ice-free Arctic Ocean, combined with life-history traits of invading taxa and availability of suitable habitat, determine expansion success. It is difficult to generalize as to which taxonomic groups or locations are likely to experience expansion, however, since species-specific, and perhaps population-specific autecologies, will determine success or failure. Several examples of expansion into the Arctic have been noted, and along with the results from the relatively few Arctic biological time-series suggest inflow shelves (Barents and Chukchi Seas), as well as West Greenland and the western Kara Sea, are most likely locations for expansion. Apparent temperature thresholds were identified for characteristic Arctic and boreal benthic fauna suggesting strong potential for range constrictions of Arctic, and expansions of boreal, fauna in the near future. Increasing human activities in the region could speed introductions of boreal fauna and reduce the value of a planktonic dispersal stage. Finally, shelf regions are likely to experience a greater impact, and also one with greater potential consequences, than the deep Arctic basin. Future research strategies should focus on monitoring as well as compiling basic physiological and life-history information of Arctic and boreal taxa, and

  6. Effects of short term and long term soil warming on ecosystem phenology of a sub-arctic grassland: an NDVI-based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leblans, Niki; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2014-05-01

    % greening was advanced by 23 days at +5°C and by 32 days at +10°C Ts. However, no difference in the date of maximum greening or in the onset of senescence occurred. In contrast, in the long-term warmed grassland, the start of the growing season was not affected by Ts and the 50% greening point occurred only 10 days earlier at +5°C and 15 days earlier at +10°C Ts. However, the timing of maximum greening was advanced by 19 days at +5°C and even by 32 days at +10°C Ts. Again, the onset of senescence did not change with Ts. Significant Ts effects on ecosystem phenology of subarctic grasslands only occurred at warming of 5°C or higher. This study also demonstrates that short-term Ts effects on ecosystem phenology are not necessarily good predictors for long-term changes in sub-arctic grasslands. In the short-term (5 years warming), soil warming induced an early onset of the growing season, which was later compensated by faster greening on colder soils, so that maximum greenness was reached simultaneously irrespective of Ts. In contrast, the long-term Ts warming did not induce earlier onset of the growing season, but it led to faster greening on warm soils, which again led to an advance in timing of maximum greenness. This difference between short- and long-term responses in phenology might be caused by either phenotypic plasticity (acclimation) or by a genetic selection (evolution) of the grass populations where the warming has been ongoing for centuries. Such processes are at present not included in modelling predictions of climate change responses of natural ecosystems, but may offer important negative feedback mechanisms to warming which will reduce its effects.

  7. Patterns and controls of winter carbon dioxide emissions and microbial biomass C and N, in two arctic ecosystem types under varying snow regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, K. S.

    2003-04-01

    In a manipulative study, snow fences were put up in sub arctic birch forest and dry heath areas near Abisko, Northern Sweden, increasing the natural snow-cover by 5-35 cm. In early March, CO2 fluxes were 77% and 157% higher in the snow-fenced areas (birch and heath, respectively) and in the snowmelt period from April to May there was a tendency to higher effluxes of CO2 in patches with increased snow-cover. This indicates that small increases in winter snowfall have the potential to increase the CO2 loss substantially from these ecosystems during the off-season. CO2 fluxes integrated over 22 days in April-May at the heath site constituted 8% of growing season net primary production at a nearby heath site, showing that a substantial part of annual CO2 loss may take place during the early spring. In a second study, measurements of CO2 emissions from birch and heath ecosystems situated across a natural snow-cover gradient were performed. The results of this study corroborates with the findings in the snow fence study, showing consistently higher fluxes from sites with higher snow depths. The microbial biomass N and P were determined in both studies and were consistently high in the sub nivean soils compared to summer estimates, indicating that microbes provide a significant buffer limiting the export of mineral nutrients in the snowmelt period. A significant decrease in microbial biomass was observed as plots became snow free at the heath site. Although such decreases have been suggested to be caused by freeze-thaw cycles, this cannot fully explain the observation in this study. The first spring thaw and the transition from constant, sub-zero temperatures and a constant water regime to more variable conditions, and possibly increased grazing by nematodes and protozoans, may also play and important role controlling the microbial population during and after snowmelt.

  8. Final ecosystem services for stream ecosystems and the metrics, methods and challenges to apply them in a national monitoring context

    EPA Science Inventory

    The challenge of translating notions of ecosystem services from the theoretical arena to practical application at large scales (e.g. national) requires an interdisciplinary approach. To meet this challenge, we convened a workshop involving a broad suite of natural and social scie...

  9. Flight destinations and foraging behaviour of northern gannets ( Sula bassana) preying on a small forage fish in a low-Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garthe, Stefan; Montevecchi, William A.; Davoren, Gail K.

    2007-02-01

    We applied data loggers (temperature-depth and GPS-temperature-depth) on individual birds in combination with dietary sampling and a vessel survey of prey availability to assess the foraging behaviour of northern gannets ( Sula bassana, Linnaeus 1758) in a low-Arctic ecosystem in the NW Atlantic. We demonstrate that the gannets foraged almost exclusively on inshore and coastal aggregations of capelin. There was a strong correspondence between the distributions of capelin and foraging gannets, and gannets exhibited persistence in successive foraging trips to the same foraging areas. The diving activity of gannets was highest during the early morning and evening, when capelin are known to be primarily available in the upper water column. Most of the gannets dive depths were less than 5 m. Flight speeds recorded by GPS were 9% higher than those estimated by previous methods and were shown to benefit from tail wind. This study shows how a combination of ship-based surveys and individually tagged birds can help understanding predator-prey intersection in a three-dimensional space in the marine environment.

  10. Microsatellite and mtDNA analysis of lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, from Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories: impacts of historical and contemporary evolutionary forces on Arctic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Les N; Howland, Kimberly L; Kowalchuk, Matthew W; Bajno, Robert; Lindsay, Melissa M; Taylor, Eric B

    2013-01-01

    Resolving the genetic population structure of species inhabiting pristine, high latitude ecosystems can provide novel insights into the post-glacial, evolutionary processes shaping the distribution of contemporary genetic variation. In this study, we assayed genetic variation in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from Great Bear Lake (GBL), NT and one population outside of this lake (Sandy Lake, NT) at 11 microsatellite loci and the mtDNA control region (d-loop). Overall, population subdivision was low, but significant (global FST θ = 0.025), and pairwise comparisons indicated that significance was heavily influenced by comparisons between GBL localities and Sandy Lake. Our data indicate that there is no obvious genetic structure among the various basins within GBL (global FST = 0.002) despite the large geographic distances between sampling areas. We found evidence of low levels of contemporary gene flow among arms within GBL, but not between Sandy Lake and GBL. Coalescent analyses suggested that some historical gene flow occurred among arms within GBL and between GBL and Sandy Lake. It appears, therefore, that contemporary (ongoing dispersal and gene flow) and historical (historical gene flow and large founding and present-day effective population sizes) factors contribute to the lack of neutral genetic structure in GBL. Overall, our results illustrate the importance of history (e.g., post-glacial colonization) and contemporary dispersal ecology in shaping genetic population structure of Arctic faunas and provide a better understanding of the evolutionary ecology of long-lived salmonids in pristine, interconnected habitats. PMID:23404390

  11. Importance of soil moisture and N availability to larch growth and distribution in the Arctic taiga-tundra boundary ecosystem, northeastern Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Maochang; Sugimoto, Atsuko; Tei, Shunsuke; Bragin, Ivan V.; Takano, Shinya; Morozumi, Tomoki; Shingubara, Ryo; Maximov, Trofim C.; Kiyashko, Serguei I.; Velivetskaya, Tatiana A.; Ignatiev, Alexander V.

    2014-12-01

    To better understand the factors controlling the growth of larch trees in Arctic taiga-tundra boundary ecosystem, we conducted field measurements of photosynthesis, tree size, nitrogen (N) content, and isotopic ratios in larch needles and soil. In addition, we observed various environmental parameters, including topography and soil moisture at four sites in the Indigirka River Basin, near Chokurdakh, northeastern Siberia. Most living larch trees grow on mounds with relatively high elevations and dry soils, indicating intolerance of high soil moisture. We found that needle δ13C was positively correlated with needle N content and needle mass, and these parameters showed spatial patterns similar to that of tree size. These results indicate that trees with high needle N content achieved higher rates of photosynthesis, which resulted in larger amounts of C assimilation and larger C allocation to needles and led to larger tree size than trees with lower needle N content. A positive correlation was also found between needle N content and soil NH 4 + pool. Thus, soil inorganic N pool may indicate N availability, which is reflected in the needle N content of the larch trees. Microtopography plays a principal role in N availability, through a change in soil moisture. Relatively dryer soil of mounds with higher elevation and larger extent causes higher rates of soil N production, leading to increased N availability for plants, in addition to larger rooting space for trees to uptake more N.

  12. Arctic hydroclimatology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherry, Jessica Ellen

    Arctic air temperature, precipitation, ground temperature, river runoff, clouds, and radiation are all changing quickly in a warming climate. Interactions and feedbacks between these features are not well understood. In particular, the relative role of local climate processes and large-scale ocean-atmosphere dynamics in driving observed Arctic changes is difficult to ascertain because of the sparsity of observations, inaccuracy of those that do exist, biases in global circulation models and analyses, and fundamental physics of the Arctic region. Four studies of Arctic hydroclimatology herein attempt to overcome these challenges. The first study, analysis of the Lena river basin hydroclimatology, shows canonical acceleration of the hydrologic cycle and amplification of global warming. Winter and spring are warming and increased frozen precipitation is contributing to permafrost melting by increasing soil insulation. Increasing runoff and soil moisture is leading to increasing evapotranspiration and changes in clouds. Changes in clouds are cooling summer days but warming summer nights, melting additional permafrost. Model simulations suggests that a deepening active layer will lead to an increasingly wet Arctic. The second two studies describe the development of the Pan-Arctic Snowfall Reconstruction (PASR). This product addresses the problem of cold season precipitation gauge biases for 1940-1999. The NASA Interannual-to-Seasonal Prediction Project Catchment-based Land Surface Model is used to reconstruct solid precipitation from observed snow depth and surface air temperatures. Error estimation is done via controlled simulations at Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, in Idaho. The method is then applied to stations in the pan-Arctic hydrological catchment. Comparison with existing products suggests that the PASR is a better estimate of actual snowfall for hydroclimatological studies. The final chapter is a case study on hydroclimatological variability driven by

  13. Energy and water additions give rise to simple responses in plant canopy and soil microclimates of a high arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Patrick F.; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Steltzer, Heidi; Sletten, Ronald S.; Hagedorn, Birgit; Arens, Seth J. T.; Horwath, Jennifer L.

    2008-09-01

    Energy and water inputs were increased during the snow-free season to test the sensitivity of a cold, dry ecosystem to climate change. Infrared radiators were used to provide two levels of supplemental radiation (T1 and T2) to prostrate dwarf-shrub, herb tundra in northwest Greenland. The higher radiation addition was combined with supplemental water in a factorial design. Radiation additions increased midday canopy temperatures by up to 4.0°C and 6.0°C and growing season mean shallow soil temperatures by 1.3°C and 2.4°C in T1 and T2 plots, respectively. Soil warming was measured at and probably exceeded 10 cm in depth. There was no evidence of soil drying in plots that received additional radiation, in contrast with other studies, nor was there evidence that supplemental water interacted with radiation additions to affect soil temperatures. Water additions were generally undetectable against a background of large seasonal changes in soil water content. We suggest that well-drained soils and strong seasonal controls on soil water contents (e.g., soil thaw and evapotranspiration) limit the system's sensitivity to changes in precipitation during the brief growing season. In general, multifactor changes in climate gave rise to simple changes in the vegetation microclimate of this cold, dry ecosystem.

  14. Ecosystem function and particle flux dynamics across the Mackenzie Shelf (Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean): an integrative analysis of spatial variability and biophysical forcings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, A.; Babin, M.; Stemmann, L.; Picheral, M.; Sampei, M.; Fortier, L.; Gratton, Y.; Bélanger, S.; Devred, E.; Sahlin, J.; Doxaran, D.; Joux, F.; Ortega-Retuerta, E.; Jeffrey, W. H.; Martín, J.; Gasser, B.; Miquel, J. C.

    2012-08-01

    A better understanding of how environmental changes affect organic matter fluxes in Arctic marine ecosystems is sorely needed. Here, we combine mooring times-series, ship-based measurements and remote-sensing to assess the variability and forcing factors of vertical fluxes of particulate organic carbon (POC) across the Mackenzie Shelf in 2009. We developed a geospatial model of these fluxes to proceed to an integrative analysis of their biophysical determinants in summer. Flux data were obtained with sediment traps and via a regional empirical algorithm applied to particle size-distributions (17 classes from 0.08-4.2 mm) measured by an Underwater Vision Profiler 5. Redundancy analyses and forward selection of abiotic/biotic parameters, linear trends, and spatial structures (i.e. principal coordinates of neighbor matrices, PCNM), were conducted to partition the variation of POC flux size-classes. Flux variability was explained at 69.5 % by the addition of a linear temporal trend, 7 significant PCNM and 9 biophysical variables. The interaction of all these factors explained 27.8 % of the variability. The first PCNM canonical axis (44.4 % of spatial variance) reflected a shelf-basin gradient controlled by bottom depth and ice concentration (p < 0.01), but a complex assemblage of fine-to-broad scale patterns was also identified. Among biophysical parameters, bacterial production and northeasterly wind (upwelling-favorable) were the two strongest explanatory variables (r2 cum. = 0.37), suggesting that bacteria were associated with sinking material, which was itself partly linked to upwelling-induced productivity. The second most important spatial structure corresponded actually to the two areas where shelf break upwelling is known to occur under easterlies. Copepod biomass was negatively correlated (p < 0.05) with vertical POC fluxes, implying that metazoans played a significant role in the regulation of export fluxes. The low fractal dimension of settling particles (1

  15. Pacific Northwest Laboratory Alaska (ARCTIC) research program

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, W.C.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1980-03-01

    The current program continues studies of arctic ecosystems begun in 1959 as part of the Cape Thompson Program. Specific ecosystem aspects include studies of the ecology of arctic and red foxes, small mammel and bird population studies, lichen studies, and radiation ecology studies. (ACR)

  16. Modelling regulation of decomposition and related root/mycorrhizal processes in arctic tundra soils. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Linkins, A.E.

    1992-09-01

    Since this was the final year of this project principal activities were directed towards either collecting data needed to complete existing incomplete data sets or writing manuscripts. Data sets on Imnaviat Creek watershed basin are functionally complete and data finialized on the cellulose mineralizaiton and dust impact on soil organic carbon and phsophorus decomposition. Seven manuscripts were prepared, and are briefly outlined.

  17. A Binary Approach to Define and Classify Final Ecosystem Goods and Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecosystem services literature decries the lack of consistency and standards in the application of ecosystem services as well as the inability of current approaches to explicitly link ecosystem services to human well-being. Recently, SEEA and CICES have conceptually identifie...

  18. Coupling of continuous in situ ecosystem water vapor, precipitation, plant and soil water isotope (δ2H, δ18O and d-excess) measurements in Arctic Alaska to understand a changing water cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welker, J. M.; Klein, E. S.; Leffler, J.; Cherry, J. E.; Young, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    A changing Arctic water cycle is focusing our efforts on the patterns and processes governing the exchange of water between the land surface and the atmosphere. We initiated a NSF EAGER study of the changing Arctic water cycle with a cross-scale water isotope (ecosystem-landscape and region) study employing tower, aircraft and satellite measurements in N Alaska. At the land surface, we measured in situ, continuous ecosystem δ2H and δ18O in water vapor isotopes along a vertical profile (0.1 to 3 m) in late winter, spring, and summer of 2013 at the Toolik Lake Field Station in Arctic Alaska. The continuous water vapor measurements are being combined with soil, plant and precipitation water isotope measurements, and species-level transpiration rates. Diurnal patterns of δ2H values in water vapor vary systematically from the soil surface, through the plant canopy and in the near boundary layer ranging between -200 ‰ at the surface to -240 ‰ at 3 m. These vertical patterns were also observed in d-excess ranging from 5 ‰ near the soil surface to -15 ‰ at 3 m. These patterns disappeared at night indicating their link with evapotranspiration. These data will serve as the foundation for a Bayesian model to articulate the sources, species, and processes governing the exchange of H2O with the lower boundary layer; and will also help to calibrate ecosystem, landscape (aircraft) and regional (satellite) measurements of the water vapor isotopes above different vegetation types (tussock tundra, riparian tundra, and recently burned tundra) and regions (Northern Foothills of the Brooks Range and the Arctic Coastal Plain). Continuous water vapor isotope traits in Arctic Tundra from the soil surface (0.02 m) to 3 m above the tundra for a window of time during the 2013 growing season. The diurnal patterns depict the evidence for transpiration and evaporation as the values above the soil (0.02 m) and in the canopy (0.2m) are enriched during the day and become depleted during

  19. Connecting nitrogen deposition and Final Ecosystem Goods and Services for air quality standards review

    EPA Science Inventory

    There has been a great deal of effort to document changes in ecosystem structure and function in response to increasing or decreasing N deposition, yet less work connects the specific effects on the value to people of these changes in the ecosystem. Although there are studies ta...

  20. State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    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

  1. Ecosystem function and particle flux dynamics across the Mackenzie Shelf (Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean): an integrative analysis of spatial variability and biophysical forcings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, A.; Babin, M.; Stemmann, L.; Picheral, M.; Sampei, M.; Fortier, L.; Gratton, Y.; Bélanger, S.; Devred, E.; Sahlin, J.; Doxaran, D.; Joux, F.; Ortega-Retuerta, E.; Martín, J.; Jeffrey, W. H.; Gasser, B.; Miquel, J. Carlos

    2013-05-01

    A better understanding of how environmental changes affect organic matter fluxes in Arctic marine ecosystems is sorely needed. Here we combine mooring times series, ship-based measurements and remote sensing to assess the variability and forcing factors of vertical fluxes of particulate organic carbon (POC) across the Mackenzie Shelf in 2009. We developed a geospatial model of these fluxes to proceed to an integrative analysis of their determinants in summer. Flux data were obtained with sediment traps moored around 125 m and via a regional empirical algorithm applied to particle size distributions (17 classes from 0.08-4.2 mm) measured by an Underwater Vision Profiler 5. The low fractal dimension (i.e., porous, fluffy particles) derived from the algorithm (1.26 ± 0.34) and the dominance (~ 77%) of rapidly sinking small aggregates (< 0.5 mm) in total fluxes suggested that settling material was the product of recent aggregation processes between marine detritus, gel-like substances, and ballast minerals. Modeled settling velocity of small and large aggregates was, respectively, higher and lower than in previous studies within which a high fractal dimension (i.e., more compact particles) was consequential of deep-trap collection (~400-1300 m). Redundancy analyses and forward selection of abiotic/biotic parameters, linear trends, and spatial structures (i.e., principal coordinates of neighbor matrices, PCNM) were conducted to partition the variation of the 17 POC flux size classes. Flux variability was explained at 69.5% by the addition of a temporal trend, 7 significant PCNM, and 9 biophysical variables. The first PCNM canonical axis (44.5% of spatial variance) reflected the total magnitude of POC fluxes through a shelf-basin gradient controlled by bottom depth and sea ice concentration (p < 0.01). The second most important spatial structure (5.0%) corresponded to areas where shelf break upwelling is known to occur under easterlies and where phytoplankton was

  2. Response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1993-12-31

    In recognition of the important role of vegetation in the bio-geosphere carbon cycle, the Carbon Dioxide Research Program of the US Department of Energy established the research program: Direct Effects of increasing Carbon Dioxide on Vegetation. The ultimate goal is to develop a general ecosystem model to investigate, via hypothesis testing, the potential responses of different terrestrial ecosystems to changes in the global environment over the next century. The approach involves the parallel development of models at several hierarchical levels, from the leaf to the ecosystem. At the plant level, mechanism and the direct effects of CO{sub 2} in the development of a general plant growth model, GEPSI - GEneral Plant SImulator has been stressed. At the ecosystem level, we have stressed the translation Of CO{sub 2} effects and other aspects of climate change throughout the ecosystem, including feedbacks and constraints to system response, in the development of a mechanistic, general ecosystem model SERECO - Simulation of Ecosystem Response to Elevated CO{sub 2} and Climate Change has been stressed.

  3. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report, September 1, 1992--August 31, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1998-04-10

    Objectives can be divided into those for plant modeling and those for ecosystem modeling and experimental work in support of both. The author worked in a variety of ecosystem types, including pine, arctic, desert, and grasslands. Plant modeling objectives are: (1) to construct generic models of leaf, canopy, and whole-plant response to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (2) to validate predictions of whole-plant response against various field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use these models to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on individual plants for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to provide information to higher-level models, such as community models and ecosystem models. Ecosystem level modeling objectives are: (1) to incorporate models of plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} into a generic ecosystem model in order to predict the direct and indirect effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems; (2) to validate model predictions of total system-level response (including decomposition) against various ecosystem field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use the ecosystem model to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to use the ecosystem model to study effects of change in CO{sub 2} and climate at regional and global scales. Occasionally the author conducted some experimental work that was deemed important to the development of the models. This work was mainly physiological work that could be performed in the Duke University Phytotron, using existing facilities.

  4. Hydrological Controls on Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 Exchange in a MIXED Tundra and a FEN within an Arctic Landscape UNDER Current and Future Climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, R. F.; Humphreys, E.; Lafleur, P.

    2014-12-01

    Variation in CO2 and CH4 exchange in years with contrasting weather is strongly affected by hydrology in landscapes underlain by permafrost. Hypotheses for this variation were incorporated into the ecosystem model ecosys which simulated CO2 and CH4 fluxes along a topographic gradient within an arctic landscape at Daring Lake, NWT, Canada. Fluxes modelled at mixed tundra and fen sites within the gradient were compared with CO2 fluxes measured at eddy covariance towers from 2006 to 2009, and with CH4 fluxes measured with surface chambers in 2008. Slopes and correlation coefficients from regressions of modelled vs. measured CO2 fluxes were 1.0 ± 0.1 and 0.7 - 0.8 for both sites in all years. At the mixed tundra site, rises in net CO2 uptake in warmer years with earlier snowmelt were constrained by midafternoon declines in CO2 influxes when vapor pressure deficits (D) exceeded 1.5 kPa, and by rises in CO2 effluxes with greater active layer depth (ALD). Consequently annual net CO2 uptake at this site rose little with warming. At the fen site, CO2 influxes declined less with D and CO2 effluxes rose less with warming, so that rises in net CO2 uptake in warmer years were greater than those at the mixed tundra site. The greater declines in CO2 influxes with warming at the mixed tundra site were modelled from greater soil-plant-atmosphere water potential gradients that developed in drier soil, and the smaller rises in CO2 effluxes with warming at the fen site were modelled from O2 constraints to heterotrophic and below-ground autotrophic respiration that limited their responses to greater ALD. Modelled and measured CH4 exchange during July and August indicated very small influxes at the mixed tundra site, and larger emissions at the fen site. Emissions of CH4 modelled during soil freezing in October - November contributed about one-third of the annual total, and so should be included in estimates of annual emissions. These contrasting responses to warming under current

  5. USGS Arctic science strategy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shasby, Mark; Smith, Durelle

    2015-01-01

    The United States is one of eight Arctic nations responsible for the stewardship of a polar region undergoing dramatic environmental, social, and economic changes. Although warming and cooling cycles have occurred over millennia in the Arctic region, the current warming trend is unlike anything recorded previously and is affecting the region faster than any other place on Earth, bringing dramatic reductions in sea ice extent, altered weather, and thawing permafrost. Implications of these changes include rapid coastal erosion threatening villages and critical infrastructure, potentially significant effects on subsistence activities and cultural resources, changes to wildlife habitat, increased greenhouse-gas emissions from thawing permafrost, threat of invasive species, and opening of the Arctic Ocean to oil and gas exploration and increased shipping. The Arctic science portfolio of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its response to climate-related changes focuses on landscapescale ecosystem and natural resource issues and provides scientific underpinning for understanding the physical processes that shape the Arctic. The science conducted by the USGS informs the Nation's resource management policies and improves the stewardship of the Arctic Region.

  6. SCARS operations final report for the NORESS and ARCESS arrays. [System Control And Receiving Station (SCARS), Norwegian Experimental Seismic System (NORESS), Arctic Experimental Seismic System (ARCESS)

    SciTech Connect

    Harrer, S.J.

    1992-05-01

    This SCARS (System Control and Receiving Station) Operations Final Report for the Norwegian Experimental Seismic System (NORESS) and Arctic Experimental Seismic System (ARCESS) Arrays is a history of the operations of these projects. It is intended for those who were directly involved in the NORESS and ARCESS projects, as well as for those who are involved in similar projects. Included is a description of the locations and configuration of each array, the function and performance of the field systems, and a summation of the wide range of tasks performed at SCARS.

  7. FINAL REPORT. ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS OF ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING EFFECTS FROM HYDROCARBON CONTAMINANTS IN THE ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this project was to determine howenvironmental contaminants, namely hydrocarbons, act as hormones or anti- hormones in different species present in aquatic ecosystems. The three major components of the research included:1)a biotechnology based screening system ...

  8. Final Technical Report: Response of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Associated Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, Walter C

    2002-08-15

    This research incorporated an integrated hierarchical approach in space, time, and levels of biological/ecological organization to help understand and predict ecosystem response to elevated CO{sub 2} and concomitant environmental change. The research utilized a number of different approaches, and collaboration of both PER and non-PER investigators to arrive at a comprehensive, integrative understanding. Central to the work were the CO{sub 2}-controlled, ambient Lit, Temperature controlled (CO{sub 2}LT) null-balance chambers originally developed in the arctic tundra, which were re-engineered for the chaparral with treatment CO{sub 2} concentrations of from 250 to 750 ppm CO{sub 2} in 100 ppm increments, replicated twice to allow for a regression analysis. Each chamber was 2 meters on a side and 2 meters tall, which were installed over an individual shrub reprouting after a fire. This manipulation allowed study of the response of native chaparral to varying levels of CO{sub 2}, while regenerating from an experimental burn. Results from these highly-controlled manipulations were compared against Free Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment (FACE) manipulations, in an area adjacent to the CO{sub 2}LT null balance greenhouses. These relatively short-term results (5-7 years) were compared to long-term results from Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) surrounding natural CO{sub 2} springs in northern Italy, near Laiatico, Italy. The springs lack the controlled experimental rigor of our CO{sub 2}LT and FACE manipulation, but provide invaluable validation of our long-term predictions.

  9. A coupled approach to spatially derived parameters necessary for ecosystem modeling on the North Slope of Alaska: Appendix A. Final report, March 1, 1989--February 28, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, G.W.; Day, R.L.; Pollack, J.

    1993-12-01

    This study concerned an investigation of ecosystem dynamics in several small study sites in the North Slope region of Alaska. The scope of the proposed research is to quantitatively determine spatial interrelationships between landform geometry within these study areas and such ecologically important factors as vegetation type, depth-to-permafrost, hydraulic conductivity and incoming solar radiation. Extrapolation techniques developed and terrain-related data generated as a result of this research will augment R4D Phase II goals which relate to running the General Arctic Simulac (GAS) model (and associated ecosystem models) at different locations on the North Slope. In particular, Penn State has contributed significantly to extrapolation efforts by developing techniques which can be used to initialize conditions for model input either through direct measurement (e.g., slope and aspect) and GIS-based simulation models (e.g., drainage basin characterization). As stated in the R4D Phase II Research Plan, the long-term objectives of this program are: (1) to determine effects and to develop models based on ecosystem disturbances commonly created by energy development so that appropriate, cost-effective measures can be utilized to minimize deleterious disturbances; and (2) to extend the results to other arctic and alpine areas which are important because of likely impact from energy development. It is this second long-term objective which relates most directly to Penn State`s work.

  10. Arctic Clouds

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-19

    ...     View Larger Image Stratus clouds are common in the Arctic during the summer months, and are ... formats available at JPL August 23, 2000 - Stratus clouds help modulate the arctic climate. project:  ...

  11. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Stanley D.; Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-11-30

    Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypothesis include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production thorugh an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plan production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plan and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most processes responded slowly or in a lag fashion to N-deposition and with no significant response to crust disturbance. Therefore, the primary objectives of this renewal grant were to: (1) continue ongoing measurements of soil and plant parameters that assess primary treatment responses; (2) address the potential heterogeneity of soil properties and (3) initiate a new suite of measurements that will provide data necessary for scaling/modeling of whole-plot to ecosystem-level responses. Our experimental approach included soil plan-water interactions using TDR, neutron probe, and miniaturized soil matric potential and moisture sensors, plant ecophysiological and productivity responses to water and nitrogen treatments and remote sensing methodologies deployed on a radio control platform.

  12. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Nowak, Robert S; Smith, Stanley D; Evans, Dave; Ogle, Kiona; Fenstermaker, Lynn

    2012-12-13

    Our results from the 10-year elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration study at the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) indicate that the Mojave Desert is a dynamic ecosystem with the capacity to respond quickly to environmental changes. The Mojave Desert ecosystem is accumulating carbon (C), and over the 10-year experiment, C accumulation was significantly greater under elevated [CO{sub 2}] than under ambient, despite great fluctuations in C inputs from year to year and even apparent reversals in which [CO{sub 2}] treatment had greater C accumulations.

  13. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Stanley, D.; Nowak, Robert S.; Fenstermaker, Lynn, F.; Young, Michael,H.

    2007-11-30

    In order to anticipate the effects of global change on ecosystem function, it is essential that predictive relationships be established linking ecosystem function to global change scenarios. The Mojave Desert is of considerable interest with respect to global change. It contains the driest habitats in North America, and thus most closely approximates the world’s great arid deserts. In order to examine the effects of climate and land use changes, in 2001 we established a long-term manipulative global change experiment, called the Mojave Global Change Facility. Manipulations in this study include the potential effects of (1) increased summer rainfall (75 mm over three discrete 25 mm events), (2) increased nitrogen deposition (10 and 40 kg ha-1), and (3) the disturbance of biological N-fixing crusts . Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypotheses include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production through an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plant production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plant and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most

  14. Analysis of Chinook Salmon in the Columbia River from an Ecosystem Perspective. Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Lichatowich, James A.; Mobrand, Lars E.

    1995-01-01

    Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment (EDT) methodology was applied to the analysis of chinook salmon in the mid-Columbia subbasins which flow through the steppe and steppe-shrub vegetation zones. The EDT examines historical changes in life history diversity related to changes in habitat. The emphasis on life history, habitat and historical context is consistent with and ecosystem perspective. This study is based on the working hypothesis that the decline in chinook salmon was at least in part due to a loss of biodiversity defined as the intrapopulation life history diversity. The mid Columbia subbasins included in the study are the Deschutes, John Day, Umatilla, Tucannon and Yakima.

  15. Using USEPA'S Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) Classification With EnviroAtlas As The Basic Framework To Describe Natures Benefits and Beneficiaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem Services have received increasing scientific focus for a decade, yet the natural and social scientists working on mainstreaming these concepts are still struggling with the task. FEGS (Final Ecosystem Goods and Services) are an informative and useful concept as they emb...

  16. Managing pinon-juniper ecosystems for sustainability and social needs. Forest Service general technical report (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Aldon, E.F.; Shaw, D.W.

    1993-10-01

    The purpose of the symposium was to assist the USDA Forest Service, other federal land management agencies, and the New Mexico State Land Office in the future development and management of the pinon-juniper ecosystem in the Southwest. Authors assessed the current state of knowledge about the pinon-juniper resources and helped develop future research and management goals.

  17. Live from the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

    For reasons of geography and geophysics, the poles of our planet, the Arctic and Antarctica, are places where climate change appears first: they are global canaries in the mine shaft. But while Antarctica (its penguins and ozone hole, for example) has been relatively well-documented in recent books, TV programs and journalism, the far North has received somewhat less attention. This project builds on and advances what has been done to date to share the people, places, and stories of the North with all Americans through multiple media, over several years. In a collaborative project between the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) and PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, Live from the Arctic will bring the Arctic environment to the public through a series of primetime broadcasts, live and taped programming, interactive virtual field trips, and webcasts. The five-year project will culminate during the 2007-2008 International Polar Year (IPY). Live from the Arctic will: A. Promote global understanding about the value and world -wide significance of the Arctic, B. Bring cutting-edge research to both non-formal and formal education communities, C. Provide opportunities for collaboration between arctic scientists, arctic communities, and the general public. Content will focus on the following four themes. 1. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts on Land (i.e. snow cover; permafrost; glaciers; hydrology; species composition, distribution, and abundance; subsistence harvesting) 2. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Sea (i.e. salinity, temperature, currents, nutrients, sea ice, marine ecosystems (including people, marine mammals and fisheries) 3. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Atmosphere (i.e. precipitation and evaporation; effects on humans and their communities) 4. Global Perspectives (i.e. effects on humans and communities, impacts to rest of the world) In The Earth is Faster Now, a recent collection of comments by members of indigenous arctic peoples, arctic

  18. NGEE Arctic Webcam Photographs, Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow, Alaska

    DOE Data Explorer

    Bob Busey; Larry Hinzman

    2012-04-01

    The NGEE Arctic Webcam (PTZ Camera) captures two views of seasonal transitions from its generally south-facing position on a tower located at the Barrow Environmental Observatory near Barrow, Alaska. Images are captured every 30 minutes. Historical images are available for download. The camera is operated by the U.S. DOE sponsored Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments - Arctic (NGEE Arctic) project.

  19. Status and trends in Arctic biodiversity - Synthesis: implications for conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arctic biodiversity – the multitude of species and ecosystems in the land north of the tree line together with the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas – is an irreplaceable cultural, aesthetic, scientific, ecological, economic and spiritual asset. For Arctic peoples, biodiversity has been the very basis ...

  20. DOE Final Report on Collaborative Research. Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Zhuang, Qianlai; Schlosser, C. Adam; Melillo, Jerry M.; Anthony, Katey Walter; Kicklighter, David; Gao, Xiang

    2015-11-03

    Our overall goal is to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal is motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite of numerical experiments that encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we intend to test the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming.

  1. Bridging the Divide: Linking Genomics to Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Melinda D.

    2014-03-15

    Over the project period, we have addressed the following objectives: 1) assess the effects of altered precipitation patterns (i.e., increased variability in growing season precipitation) on genetic diversity of the dominant C4 grass species, Andropogon gerardii, and 2) experimentally assess the impacts of extreme climatic events (heat wave, drought) on responses of the dominant C4 grasses, A. gerardii and Sorghastrum nutans, and the consequences of these response for community and ecosystem structure and function. Below is a summary of how we have addressed these objectives. Objective 1 After ten years of altered precipitation, we found the number of genotypes of A. gerardii was significantly reduced compared to the ambient precipitation treatments (Avolio et al., 2013a). Although genotype number was reduced, the remaining genotypes were less related to one another indicating that the altered precipitation treatment was selecting for increasingly dissimilar genomes (based on mean pairwise Dice distance among individuals). For the four key genotypes that displayed differential abundances depending on the precipitation treatment (G1, G4, and G11 in the altered plots and G2 in the ambient plots), we identified phenotypic differences in the field that could account for ecological sorting (Avolio & Smith, 2013a). The three altered rainfall genotypes also have very different phenotypic traits in the greenhouse in response to different soil moisture availabilities (Avolio and Smith, 2013c). Two of the genotypes that increased in abundance in the altered precipitation plots had greater allocation to root biomass (G4 and G11), while G1 allocated more biomass aboveground. These phenotypic differences among genotypes suggests that changes in genotypic structure between the altered and the ambient treatments has likely occurred via niche differentiation, driven by changes in soil moisture dynamics (reduced mean, increased variability and changes in the depth distribution of

  2. Lower Columbia River and Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program Reference Site Study: 2011 Restoration Analysis - FINAL REPORT

    SciTech Connect

    Borde, Amy B.; Cullinan, Valerie I.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Thom, Ronald M.; Kaufmann, Ronald M.; Zimmerman, Shon A.; Sagar, Jina; Buenau, Kate E.; Corbett, C.

    2012-05-31

    The Reference Site (RS) study is part of the research, monitoring, and evaluation (RME) effort developed by the Action Agencies (Bonneville Power Administration [BPA], U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District [USACE], and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation) in response to Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinions (BiOp). While the RS study was initiated in 2007, data have been collected at relatively undisturbed reference wetland sites in the LCRE by PNNL and collaborators since 2005. These data on habitat structural metrics were previously summarized to provide baseline characterization of 51 wetlands throughout the estuarine and tidal freshwater portions of the 235-km LCRE; however, further analysis of these data has been limited. Therefore, in 2011, we conducted additional analyses of existing field data previously collected for the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program (CEERP) - including data collected by PNNL and others - to help inform the multi-agency restoration planning and ecosystem management work underway in the LCRE.

  3. Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: Implementing Integrated Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring, Data Management and Reporting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, M.; Svoboda, M.

    2012-12-01

    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

  4. Corrosion protection of Arctic offshore structures: Final report. [Effects of temperature and salinity on required cathodic protection current

    SciTech Connect

    Sackinger, W.M.; Rogers, J.C.; Feyk, C.; Theuveny, B.

    1985-10-01

    Results are presented for a research program on corrosion prevention for Arctic offshore structures which are in contact with sea ice for a significant portion of the year. The electrical method most adaptable for structure protection involves the injection of impressed current from several remote anodes buried just beneath the sea floor. The electrical resistivity of annual sea ice as a function of temperature and salinity is presented. Details of the interface layers formed between sea ice and steel in the presence of current injection are shown. A computer program was developed to enable the calculation of protective current density into the structure, in the presence of ice rubble and ridges around the structure. The program and the results of an example calculation are given for a caisson- retained island structure. 81 refs., 103 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Carbon cycle uncertainty in the Alaskan Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, J. B.; Sikka, M.; Oechel, W. C.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Melton, J. R.; Koven, C. D.; Ahlström, A.; Arain, M. A.; Baker, I.; Chen, J. M.; Ciais, P.; Davidson, C.; Dietze, M.; El-Masri, B.; Hayes, D.; Huntingford, C.; Jain, A. K.; Levy, P. E.; Lomas, M. R.; Poulter, B.; Price, D.; Sahoo, A. K.; Schaefer, K.; Tian, H.; Tomelleri, E.; Verbeeck, H.; Viovy, N.; Wania, R.; Zeng, N.; Miller, C. E.

    2014-08-01

    Climate change is leading to a disproportionately large warming in the high northern latitudes, but the magnitude and sign of the future carbon balance of the Arctic are highly uncertain. Using 40 terrestrial biosphere models for the Alaskan Arctic from four recent model intercomparison projects - NACP (North American Carbon Program) site and regional syntheses, TRENDY (Trends in net land atmosphere carbon exchanges), and WETCHIMP (Wetland and Wetland CH4 Inter-comparison of Models Project) - we provide a baseline of terrestrial carbon cycle uncertainty, defined as the multi-model standard deviation (σ) for each quantity that follows. Mean annual absolute uncertainty was largest for soil carbon (14.0 ± 9.2 kg C m-2), then gross primary production (GPP) (0.22 ± 0.50 kg C m-2 yr-1), ecosystem respiration (Re) (0.23 ± 0.38 kg C m-2 yr-1), net primary production (NPP) (0.14 ± 0.33 kg C m-2 yr-1), autotrophic respiration (Ra) (0.09 ± 0.20 kg C m-2 yr-1), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) (0.14 ± 0.20 kg C m-2 yr-1), net ecosystem exchange (NEE) (-0.01 ± 0.19 kg C m-2 yr-1), and CH4 flux (2.52 ± 4.02 g CH4 m-2 yr-1). There were no consistent spatial patterns in the larger Alaskan Arctic and boreal regional carbon stocks and fluxes, with some models showing NEE for Alaska as a strong carbon sink, others as a strong carbon source, while still others as carbon neutral. Finally, AmeriFlux data are used at two sites in the Alaskan Arctic to evaluate the regional patterns; observed seasonal NEE was captured within multi-model uncertainty. This assessment of carbon cycle uncertainties may be used as a baseline for the improvement of experimental and modeling activities, as well as a reference for future trajectories in carbon cycling with climate change in the Alaskan Arctic and larger boreal region.

  6. The changing seasonal climate in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Bintanja, R; van der Linden, E C

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23532038

  7. The changing seasonal climate in the Arctic

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23532038

  8. The quickening pace and widening scope of ecosystem transformation under climate change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graumlich, L. J.; Bunn, A. G.

    2013-12-01

    When will we see climate-driven impacts on ecosystems and the associated services they provide to humans? Two large ecosystems stand out as heading towards tipping points: arctic ecosystems, and the forests of western North America. While each ecosystem is structurally distinct (i.e., tundra and sparse boreal forests vs. closed canopy forest) and proximate drivers of change are different (i.e., warming vs. drought), commonalities between them offer insights into what processes lead to the kind of ecosystem changes that have the potential to truly 'tip' into a novel regime. First, scale matters: in both ecosystems the spatial scale of change is unprecedented since the Holocene Climate Optimum more than 5,000 years ago. In the Arctic we see widespread changes in the timing and magnitude of ecosystem productivity, which affects biogeochemical cycling, evapotranspiration, and albedo. In western US forests, large fires have increased in frequency by a factor of 4 over the past few decades, driven in large part by broad-scale, severe droughts. Second, timing is everything: changing phenology is associated with unraveling ecological relationships. In the Arctic we see a reduction of seasonality in temperature and vegetation production equivalent to several degrees of latitudinal shift towards the equator. In western US forests, relatively small advances in the timing of snowmelt are associated with earlier dry down of fine fuels, which, in turn, lengthens the fire season. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ecosystem change can and will accelerate climate change. This can be seen in high latitude systems, as well as in the American West, as changes in microclimate, albedo, and ecosystem function feed back to atmospheric processes. Such large-scale, abrupt and non-linear changes in ecosystems and the associated provision of ecosystem services are one of the greatest challenges society faces in adapting to climate change.

  9. An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cover of volume 1 of the Bristol Bay, Alaska <span class=Final Assessment Report"> The Bristol Bay watershed in southwestern Alaska supports the largest soc...

  10. Warming increases methylmercury production in an Arctic soil

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yang, Ziming; Fang, Wei; Lu, Xia; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Graham, David E.; Liang, Liyuan; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Gu, Baohua

    2016-04-29

    The rapid temperature rise in Arctic permafrost concerns not only the degradation of stored soil organic carbon (SOC) and climate feedback, but also the production and bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) that may endanger humans, as well as wildlife in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems. Decomposition of SOC provides an energy source for microbial methylation, although little is known how rapid permafrost thaw affects Hg methylation and how SOC degradation is coupled to MeHg biosynthesis. We describe rates of MeHg production in Arctic soils from an 8-month warming microcosm experiment under anoxic conditions. MeHg production increased >10 fold in both organic-more » and the mineral-rich soil layers at a warmer temperature (8 C) compared to a sub-zero temperature ( 2 C). MeHg production was positively correlated to methane and ferrous ion concentrations, suggesting that Hg methylation is coupled with methanogenesis and iron reduction. Labile SOC, such as reducing sugars and alcohol, were particularly effective in fueling the initial rapid biosynthesis of MeHg. In freshly amended Hg we found that there was more bioavailable than existing Hg in the mineral soil. Finally, the data indicate that climate warming and permafrost thaw could greatly enhance MeHg production, thereby impacting Arctic aquatic and marine ecosystems through biomagnification in the food web.« less

  11. A methodology for assessing the impact of mutagens on aquatic ecosystems. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Knezovich, J.P.; Martinelli, R.E.

    1995-03-01

    Assessments of impacts of hazardous agents (i.e., chemical and physical mutagens) on human health have focused on defining the effects of chronic exposure on individuals, with cancer being the main effect of concern. In contrast, impacts on ecosystems have traditionally been gauged by the assessment of near-term organism mortality, which is clearly not a useful endpoint for assessing the long-term effects of chronic exposures. Impacts on individual organisms that affect the long-term survival of populations are much more important but are also more difficult to define. Therefore, methods that provide accurate measures of sub-lethal effects that are linked to population survival are required so that accurate assessments of environmental damage can be made and remediation efforts, if required, can be initiated. Radioactive substances have entered aquatic environments as a result of research and production activities, intentional disposal, and accidental discharges. At several DOE sites, surface waters and sediments are contaminated with radioactive and mutagenic materials. The accident at the Chernobyl power station in the former Soviet Union (FSU) has resulted in the contamination of biota present in the Kiev Reservoir. This documents presents a methodology which addresses the effects of a direct-acting mutagen (radiation) on aquantic organisms by applying sensitive techniques for assessing damage to genetic material.

  12. Offshore Texas and Louisiana marine ecosystems data synthesis. Volume 1: Executive Summary. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, N.W.; James, B.M.

    1988-11-01

    This study provided a synthesis of available environmental information for the continental shelf from the shallow sublittoral to a depth of 500 m for the area between Corpus Christi Bay, Texas and the Mississippi River Delta. Results of the study are given in three volumes: Executive Summary (Volume I), Synthesis Report (Volume II), and Annotated Bibliography (Volume III). The Synthesis Report consists of separate chapters devoted to marine geology, physical oceanography and meteorology, marine chemistry, marine biology, socioeconomics, and conceptual modeling of the area's major ecosystems with emphasis on the environmental effects of oil and gas operations. There is a summary of data gaps and information needs and suggestions for future field studies. The annotated bibliography, which contains 1,535 references, was compiled through a combination of computer searches, telephone contacts, library visits, and submissions from chapter authors. The bibliographic data set is presented in hard copy and on IBM-compatible floppy disks that have been indexed with a computer program (FYI 3000 Plus) to allow searching by author, date, topic and geographic keywords, or words in the title, source, or annotation.

  13. Determining Regional Arctic Tundra Carbon Exchange: A Bottom-Up Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huemmrich, Fred

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the carbon atmospheric exchange with Arctic tundra. In the Arctic the ecosystem has been a net carbon sink. The project investigates the question of how might climate warming effect high latitude ecosystems and the Earth ecosystems and how to measure the changes.

  14. Arctic Watch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Ice island creation, drift, recurrences, mechanical properties, and interactions with arctic offshore oil production structures. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Sackinger, W.M.; Jeffries, M.O.; Li, Fucheng; Lu, Mingchi

    1991-03-01

    Research and engineering studies on first-year sea ice for over two decades has resulted in the design, construction, and operation of jacket platforms, of artificial islands, and of massive gravity structures which routinely withstand moving sea ice of thickness up to 2 meters. However, the less-common interactions between such structures and moving multiyear ice ({ge}3 meters thick), and also moving ice islands (10 to 60 meters thick) remain as the unknown and potentially most serious hazard for Arctic offshore structures. In this study, research was addressed across the complete span of remaining questions regarding such features. Ice island components, thickness distributions, scenarios and models for the interactions of massive ice features with offshore structures, all were considered. Ice island morphology and calving studies were directed at the cluster of 19 ice islands produced in a calving from the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf on Ellesmere Island in 1983, and also at a calving from the Milne Ice Shelf in 1988. The statistics of ice island dynamics, on both a short-term small-scale basis and also on a long-term basis, were studied. Typical wind velocities of 5 to 7.5 meters per second led to ice island speeds of about 0.014 of the wind speed, at an angle of 20{degrees} to the right of the wind direction. Ice island samples were tested for their stress/strain characteristics. Compressive strength values ranged from 1.64 MPa at a strain rate of 2 {times} 10{sup {minus}7} s{sup {minus}1} to 6.75 MPa at a strain rate of 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} s{sup {minus}1}. Scenarios for ice island/structure interactions were developed, and protective countermeasures such as spray ice and ice rubble barriers were suggested. Additional computer modeling of structure/ice interactions for massive ice features is recommended.

  16. Final State of Ecosystem Containing Grass, Sheep and Wolves with Aging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Mingfeng; Pan, Qiu-Hui; Wang, Shuang

    This paper describes a cellular automata model containing movable wolves, sheep and reproducible grass. Each wolf or sheep is characterized by Penna bitstrings. In addition, we introduce the energy rule and the predator-prey mechanism for wolf and sheep. With considering age-structured, genetic strings, minimum reproduction age, cycle of the reproduction, number of offspring, we get three possible states of a predator-prey system: the coexisting one with predators and prey, the absorbing one with prey only, and the empty one where no animal survived. In this paper, we mainly discuss the effect of the number of poor genes, the energy supply (food), the minimum reproduction age, the reproductive cycle and the birth rate on the above three possible final states.

  17. What an Arctic terrestrial MIP tells about changes and differences in Arctic subsurface hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, K.

    2015-12-01

    The spatial and temporal characteristics of Arctic hydrology have been investigated in the GTMIP activity (https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/gtmip/gtmip.html), conducted as a part of GRENE Arctic Climate Change Project in Japan. The activity has two stages, one on local and the other on the circum-Arctic scales. Stage 1 is site simulations for the period of 1980-2013 for four Arctic observation sites, i.e., Fairbanks/AK, Kevo/Finland, Yakutsuk and Tiksi in Siberia, focusing on process evaluations with observation. Stage 2 is pan-arctic simulations for 1850-2100 with 0.5x0.5 degree resolution, targeting at the responses of Arctic terrestrial to global climate change. At both stages multiple terrestrial models have been participating (16+ for Stage 1; 10 for Stage 2), ranging from physically-oriented process models to biogeochemical models to ESM-compatible ecosystem models. The results are delineating a) spatial variations and temporal changes in subsurface thermal and hydrological states, and subsequently the ecosystem in different climatic/ecosystem zones (e.g., Kevo is underlain by seasonally frozen ground while others by permafrost; Tiksi is in tundra whole others in taiga; these two sites are Arctic while the other two sub-Arctic), and b) the differences and similarities in the reproducibility among models with respect to the target of the models (e.g., physical, or biogeochemical) and to the complexity of implemented processes.

  18. Freshwater and its role in the Arctic Marine System: Sources, disposition, storage, export, and physical and biogeochemical consequences in the Arctic and global oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmack, E. C.; Yamamoto-Kawai, M.; Haine, T. W. N.; Bacon, S.; Bluhm, B. A.; Lique, C.; Melling, H.; Polyakov, I. V.; Straneo, F.; Timmermans, M.-L.; Williams, W. J.

    2016-03-01

    The Arctic Ocean is a fundamental node in the global hydrological cycle and the ocean's thermohaline circulation. We here assess the system's key functions and processes: (1) the delivery of fresh and low-salinity waters to the Arctic Ocean by river inflow, net precipitation, distillation during the freeze/thaw cycle, and Pacific Ocean inflows; (2) the disposition (e.g., sources, pathways, and storage) of freshwater components within the Arctic Ocean; and (3) the release and export of freshwater components into the bordering convective domains of the North Atlantic. We then examine physical, chemical, or biological processes which are influenced or constrained by the local quantities and geochemical qualities of freshwater; these include stratification and vertical mixing, ocean heat flux, nutrient supply, primary production, ocean acidification, and biogeochemical cycling. Internal to the Arctic the joint effects of sea ice decline and hydrological cycle intensification have strengthened coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere (e.g., wind and ice drift stresses, solar radiation, and heat and moisture exchange), the bordering drainage basins (e.g., river discharge, sediment transport, and erosion), and terrestrial ecosystems (e.g., Arctic greening, dissolved and particulate carbon loading, and altered phenology of biotic components). External to the Arctic freshwater export acts as both a constraint to and a necessary ingredient for deep convection in the bordering subarctic gyres and thus affects the global thermohaline circulation. Geochemical fingerprints attained within the Arctic Ocean are likewise exported into the neighboring subarctic systems and beyond. Finally, we discuss observed and modeled functions and changes in this system on seasonal, annual, and decadal time scales and discuss mechanisms that link the marine system to atmospheric, terrestrial, and cryospheric systems.

  19. The Arctic Circle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Siobhan

    2016-04-01

    My name is Siobhan McDonald. I am a visual artist living and working in Dublin. My studio is based in The School of Science at University College Dublin where I was Artist in Residence 2013-2015. A fascination with time and the changeable nature of landmass has led to ongoing conversations with scientists and research institutions across the interweaving disciplines of botany, biology and geology. I am developing a body of work following a recent research trip to the North Pole where I studied the disappearing landscape of the Arctic. Prompted by my experience of the Arctic shelf receding, this new work addresses issues of the instability of the earth's materiality. The work is grounded in an investigation of material processes, exploring the dynamic forces that transform matter and energy. This project combines art and science in a fascinating exploration of one of the Earth's last relatively untouched wilderness areas - the High Arctic to bring audiences on journeys to both real and artistically re-imagined Arctic spaces. CRYSTALLINE'S pivotal process is collaboration: with The European Space Agency; curator Helen Carey; palaeontologist Prof. Jenny McElwain, UCD; and with composer Irene Buckley. CRYSTALLINE explores our desire to make corporeal contact with geological phenomena in Polar Regions. From January 2016, in my collaboration with Jenny McElwain, I will focus on the study of plants and atmospheres from the Arctic regions as far back as 400 million years ago, to explore the essential 'nature' that, invisible to the eye, acts as imaginary portholes into other times. This work will be informed by my arctic tracings of sounds and images recorded in the glaciers of this disappearing frozen landscape. In doing so, the urgencies around the tipping of natural balances in this fragile region will be revealed. The final work will emerge from my forthcoming residency at the ESA in spring 2016. Here I will conduct a series of workshops in ESA Madrid to work with

  20. Carbon cycle uncertainty in the Alaskan Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, J. B.; Sikka, M.; Oechel, W. C.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Melton, J. R.; Koven, C. D.; Ahlström, A.; Arain, A. M.; Baker, I.; Chen, J. M.; Ciais, P.; Davidson, C.; Dietze, M.; El-Masri, B.; Hayes, D.; Huntingford, C.; Jain, A.; Levy, P. E.; Lomas, M. R.; Poulter, B.; Price, D.; Sahoo, A. K.; Schaefer, K.; Tian, H.; Tomelleri, E.; Verbeeck, H.; Viovy, N.; Wania, R.; Zeng, N.; Miller, C. E.

    2014-02-01

    Climate change is leading to a disproportionately large warming in the high northern latitudes, but the magnitude and sign of the future carbon balance of the Arctic are highly uncertain. Using 40 terrestrial biosphere models for Alaska, we provide a baseline of terrestrial carbon cycle structural and parametric uncertainty, defined as the multi-model standard deviation (σ) against the mean (x\\bar) for each quantity. Mean annual uncertainty (σ/x\\bar) was largest for net ecosystem exchange (NEE) (-0.01± 0.19 kg C m-2 yr-1), then net primary production (NPP) (0.14 ± 0.33 kg C m-2 yr-1), autotrophic respiration (Ra) (0.09 ± 0.20 kg C m-2 yr-1), gross primary production (GPP) (0.22 ± 0.50 kg C m-2 yr-1), ecosystem respiration (Re) (0.23 ± 0.38 kg C m-2 yr-1), CH4 flux (2.52 ± 4.02 g CH4 m-2 yr-1), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) (0.14 ± 0.20 kg C m-2 yr-1), and soil carbon (14.0± 9.2 kg C m-2). The spatial patterns in regional carbon stocks and fluxes varied widely with some models showing NEE for Alaska as a strong carbon sink, others as a strong carbon source, while still others as carbon neutral. Additionally, a feedback (i.e., sensitivity) analysis was conducted of 20th century NEE to CO2 fertilization (β) and climate (γ), which showed that uncertainty in γ was 2x larger than that of β, with neither indicating that the Alaskan Arctic is shifting towards a certain net carbon sink or source. Finally, AmeriFlux data are used at two sites in the Alaskan Arctic to evaluate the regional patterns; observed seasonal NEE was captured within multi-model uncertainty. This assessment of carbon cycle uncertainties may be used as a baseline for the improvement of experimental and modeling activities, as well as a reference for future trajectories in carbon cycling with climate change in the Alaskan Arctic.

  1. Changes in Landscape-level Carbon Balance of an Arctic Coastal Plain Tundra Ecosystem Between 1970-2100, in Response to Projected Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lara, M. J.; McGuire, A. D.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Genet, H.; Sloan, V. L.; Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Zhang, Y.; Yuan, F.

    2014-12-01

    Northern permafrost regions are estimated to cover 16% of the global soil area and account for approximately 50% of the global belowground organic carbon pool. However, there are considerable uncertainties regarding the fate of this soil carbon pool with projected climate warming over the next century. In northern Alaska, nearly 65% of the terrestrial surface is composed of polygonal tundra, where geomorphic land cover types such as high-, flat-, and low-center polygons influence local surface hydrology, plant community composition, nutrient and biogeochemical cycling, over small spatial scales. Due to the lack of representation of these fine-scale geomorphic types and ecosystem processes, in large-scale terrestrial ecosystem models, future uncertainties are large for this tundra region. In this study, we use a new version of the terrestrial ecosystem model (TEM), that couples a dynamic vegetation model (in which plant functional types compete for water, nitrogen, and light) with a dynamic soil organic model (in which temperature, moisture, and associated organic/inorganic carbon and nitrogen pools/fluxes vary together in vertically resolved layers) to simulate ecosystem carbon balance. We parameterized and calibrated this model using data specific to the local climate, vegetation, and soil associated with tundra geomorphic types. We extrapolate model results at a 1km2 resolution across the ~1800 km2 Barrow Peninsula using a tundra geomorphology map, describing ten dominant geomorphic tundra types (Lara et al. submitted), to estimate the likely change in landscape-level carbon balance between 1970 and 2100 in response to projected climate change. Preliminary model runs for this region indicated temporal variability in carbon and active layer dynamics, specific to tundra geomorphic type over time. Overall, results suggest that it is important to consider small-scale discrete polygonal tundra geomorphic types that control local structure and function in regional

  2. High Arctic Hillslope-Wetland Linkages: Types, Patterns and Importance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, K. L.; Abnizova, A.

    2012-12-01

    High Arctic wetlands are lush areas in an otherwise barren landscape. They help to store and replenish water and they serve as significant resting and breeding grounds for migratory birds. In addition, they provide rich grazing grounds for arctic fauna such as muskox and caribou. Arctic wetlands can be small, patchy grounds of wet vegetation or they can encompass large zones characterized by lakes, ponds, wet meadows, and, often times, they are inter-mixed with areas of dry ground. While seasonal snowmelt continues to remain the most critical source of water for recharging ponds, lakes, and meadows in these environments, less is known about the role of lateral inputs of water into low-lying wetlands, namely water flowing into these wetland ecosystems from adjacent hillslopes, which often surround them. This paper will review the different modes of hillslope runoff into both patchy and regional-scale wetlands including late-lying snowbeds, snow-filled creeks, and both small and large (>1st order) streams. It will draw upon field results from four arctic islands (Ellesmere, Cornwallis, Somerset and Bathurst Island) and a research period which spans from the mid'90s until present. Our study will evaluate seasonal and inter-seasonal patterns of snowmelt driven discharge (initiation, duration), timing, and magnitude of peak flows, in addition to stream response to rainfall and dry episodes. The impacts of these lateral water sources for a range of wetlands (ponds, wet meadows) will include an analysis of water level fluctuations (frequency, duration), shrinkage/expansion rates, and water quality. Finally, this study will surmise how these types of lateral hillslope inflows might shift in the future and suggest the impact of these changes on the sustainability of High Arctic wetland terrain.

  3. [PATTERNS IN CIRCULATION AND TRANSMISSION OF MARINE BIRD PARASITES IN HIGH ARCTIC: A CASE OF ACANTHOCEPHALAN POLYMORPHUS PHIPPSI (PALAEACANTHOCEPHALA, POLYMORPHIDAE)].

    PubMed

    Galaktionov, K V; Atrashkevich, G I

    2015-01-01

    This study, based on the materials on parasitic infection of marine birds and invertebrates in Frantz Josef Land (FJL) collected in 1991-1993, focussed on the acanthocephalan Polymorphus phippsi. We identified this parasite, confirmed its species status and analysed its circulation and transmission patterns in high Arctic. The causes of its erroneous identification as P. minutus in several studies were also examined. In contrast to P. minutus, the transmission of P. phippsi is realized in marine coastal ecosystems. Its' main intermediate host in the Arctic is the amphipod Gammarus (Lagunogammarus) setosus, commonin coastal. areas of the shelf zone throughout the Arctic basin. P. phippsi population in FJL and the entire European Arctic is on the whole maintained by a single obligate final host, the common eider Somateria mollissima. Prevalence (P) of P. phippsi in this bird reached 100 %, with the maximal infection intensity (IImax) of 1188 and the mean abundance (MA) of 492.1. Other species of birds found to be infected with P. phippsi (Arctic turn, black guillemot, purple sandpiper and several gulls) are facultative and/or eliminative hosts. The most heavily infected birds were Arctic terns (P = 72.7%, IImax = 227, MA = = 47.1), which contained single mature acanthocephalans. For one of the FJL regions, infections flows of P. phippsi through various host categories were calculated. Involvement of birds unrelated to the common eider into the circulation of P. phippsi is facilitated by their feeding character in the Arctic. While coastal crustaceans are abundant, fish food is relatively scarce (polar cod, snailfishes), and so amphipods make up a considerable part of the diet of marine birds in FJL, if not most of it, as for instance in case of Arctic tern. This promotes an easy entry of the larvae of crustaceans-parasitizing helminthes (cestodes and acanthocephalans, including cystacanths P. phippsi) into non-specific hosts and opens broad colonization possibilities

  4. CARVE: The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Charles E.; Dinardo, Steven J.

    2012-01-01

    The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is a NASA Earth Ventures (EV-1) investigation designed to quantify correlations between atmospheric and surface state variables for the Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems through intensive seasonal aircraft campaigns, ground-based observations, and analysis sustained over a 5-year mission. CARVE bridges critical gaps in our knowledge and understanding of Arctic ecosystems, linkages between the Arctic hydrologic and terrestrial carbon cycles, and the feedbacks from fires and thawing permafrost. CARVE's objectives are to: (1) Directly test hypotheses attributing the mobilization of vulnerable Arctic carbon reservoirs to climate warming; (2) Deliver the first direct measurements and detailed maps of CO2 and CH4 sources on regional scales in the Alaskan Arctic; and (3) Demonstrate new remote sensing and modeling capabilities to quantify feedbacks between carbon fluxes and carbon cycle-climate processes in the Arctic (Figure 1). We describe the investigation design and results from 2011 test flights in Alaska.

  5. Chytrids dominate arctic marine fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Hassett, B T; Gradinger, R

    2016-06-01

    Climate change is altering Arctic ecosystem structure by changing weather patterns and reducing sea ice coverage. These changes are increasing light penetration into the Arctic Ocean that are forecasted to increase primary production; however, increased light can also induce photoinhibition and cause physiological stress in algae and phytoplankton that can favour disease development. Fungi are voracious parasites in many ecosystems that can modulate the flow of carbon through food webs, yet are poorly characterized in the marine environment. We provide the first data from any marine ecosystem in which fungi in the Chytridiomycota dominate fungal communities and are linked in their occurrence to light intensities and algal stress. Increased light penetration stresses ice algae and elevates disease incidence under reduced snow cover. Our results show that chytrids dominate Arctic marine fungal communities and have the potential to rapidly change primary production patterns with increased light penetration. PMID:26754171

  6. The Circumpolar Arctic vegetation map

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Daniels, F.J.A.; Einarsson, E.; Elvebakk, A.; Gould, W.A.; Katenin, A.E.; Kholod, S.S.; Markon, C.J.; Melnikov, E.S.; Moskalenko, N.G.; Talbot, S. S.; Yurtsev, B.A.; Bliss, L.C.; Edlund, S.A.; Zoltai, S.C.; Wilhelm, M.; Bay, C.; Gudjonsson, G.; Ananjeva, G.V.; Drozdov, D.S.; Konchenko, L.A.; Korostelev, Y.V.; Ponomareva, O.E.; Matveyeva, N.V.; Safranova, I.N.; Shelkunova, R.; Polezhaev, A.N.; Johansen, B.E.; Maier, H.A.; Murray, D.F.; Fleming, Michael D.; Trahan, N.G.; Charron, T.M.; Lauritzen, S.M.; Vairin, B.A.

    2005-01-01

    Question: What are the major vegetation units in the Arctic, what is their composition, and how are they distributed among major bioclimate subzones and countries? Location: The Arctic tundra region, north of the tree line. Methods: A photo-interpretive approach was used to delineate the vegetation onto an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) base image. Mapping experts within nine Arctic regions prepared draft maps using geographic information technology (ArcInfo) of their portion of the Arctic, and these were later synthesized to make the final map. Area analysis of the map was done according to bioclimate subzones, and country. The integrated mapping procedures resulted in other maps of vegetation, topography, soils, landscapes, lake cover, substrate pH, and above-ground biomass. Results: The final map was published at 1:7 500 000 scale map. Within the Arctic (total area = 7.11 x 106 km 2), about 5.05 ?? 106 km2 is vegetated. The remainder is ice covered. The map legend generally portrays the zonal vegetation within each map polygon. About 26% of the vegetated area is erect shrublands, 18% peaty graminoid tundras, 13% mountain complexes, 12% barrens, 11% mineral graminoid tundras, 11% prostrate-shrub tundras, and 7% wetlands. Canada has by far the most terrain in the High Arctic mostly associated with abundant barren types and prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra, whereas Russia has the largest area in the Low Arctic, predominantly low-shrub tundra. Conclusions: The CAVM is the first vegetation map of an entire global biome at a comparable resolution. The consistent treatment of the vegetation across the circumpolar Arctic, abundant ancillary material, and digital database should promote the application to numerous land-use, and climate-change applications and will make updating the map relatively easy. ?? IAVS; Opulus Press.

  7. Biodiversity of the Arctic Ocean in the Face of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Węsławski, Jan Marcin

    2011-01-01

    Global climate changes which has been observed over the recent years affects organisms occurring in the Arctic seas and the functioning of the whole maritime ecosystems there. The research note presents and briefly analyses the biological diversity of the Arctic Ocean and the most important factors which change the relations between organisms and the environment in the Arctic.

  8. Biodiversity of the Arctic Ocean in the Face of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Węsławski, Jan Marcin

    2011-01-01

    Global climate changes which has been observed over the recent years affects organisms occurring in the Arctic seas and the functioning of the whole maritime ecosystems there. The research note presents and briefly analyses the biological diversity of the Arctic Ocean and the most important factors which change the relations between organisms and the environment in the Arctic

  9. Early Season Goose Grazing Has a Greater Effect Than Advancement of the Growing Season on Net Ecosystem Exchange in a Sub-Arctic Coastal Wetland of Western Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leffler, A. J.; Choi, R. T.; Beard, K. H.; Schmutz, J. A.; Welker, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    The wetlands of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska are important breeding areas for geese and are experiencing rapid climate change. Growing seasons now begin earlier but geese have not advanced their breeding enough to match the advancement of spring. Consequently, geese enter a greener system that may be less nutritious than in the past because grasses and sedges have highest nutrient density shortly following emergence. One consequence of this changing phenology is that vegetation consumed by geese and returned as feces may have a different carbon to nitrogen ratio than in the past, which may influence net ecosystem exchange (NEE). We examine the effect of the advancement of the growing season and different arrival times by Brant Geese on NEE. Our study consists of six experimental blocks, each with nine plots. Half of the plots are warmed to advance the growing season. Two plots each receive early, mid, and late season grazing; the remaining two plots are not grazed and there is one control plot. In one block, we monitor NEE hourly with an automatic gas exchange system. In the other blocks, survey measurements of NEE and ecosystem respiration (ER) are made periodically with a portable system. Geese remove considerable vegetation from the system and maintain "grazing lawns" <1 cm tall of high quality forage. Plots grazed in the early summer were net sources of C to the atmosphere, releasing ca. 2-4 g m-2 d-1. Non-grazed plots were C sinks of similar magnitude. Grazing had little effect on ER but an advanced growing season enhanced ER in the plots by ca. 0.5 μmol m-2 s-1. We observed a similar advanced growing season effect on NEE that we attribute to enhanced ER. Consequently, the larger influence on NEE in the system is grazing and this influence is through removal of photosynthetic tissue. Grazing by Brant Geese shifts large areas of this coastal wetland to a C source while advanced growing season only reduces the strength of the C sink.

  10. Interactions of aquaculture, marine coastal ecosystems, and near-shore waters: A bibliography. Bibliographies and literature of agriculture (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Hanfman, D.T.; Coleman, D.E.; Tibbitt, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    The bibliography contains selected literature citations on the interactions of aquaculture and marine coastal ecosystems. The focus is on aquaculture effluents and their impact on marine coastal ecosystems and waterways as well as the impact of pollutants on aquaculture development. Factors affecting these issues include domestic and industrial wastes, thermal discharges, acid rain, heavy metals, oil spills, and microbial contamination of marine waters and aquatic species. Coastal zone management, environmenal impact of aquaculture, and water quality issues are also included in the bibliography.

  11. Arctic soil microbial diversity in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Blaud, Aimeric; Lerch, Thomas Z; Phoenix, Gareth K; Osborn, A Mark

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic region is a unique environment, subject to extreme environmental conditions, shaping life therein and contributing to its sensitivity to environmental change. The Arctic is under increasing environmental pressure from anthropogenic activity and global warming. The unique microbial diversity of Arctic regions, that has a critical role in biogeochemical cycling and in the production of greenhouse gases, will be directly affected by and affect, global changes. This article reviews current knowledge and understanding of microbial taxonomic and functional diversity in Arctic soils, the contributions of microbial diversity to ecosystem processes and their responses to environmental change. PMID:26275598

  12. Arctic Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the Earth's four major oceans, covering 14x10(exp 6) sq km located entirely within the Arctic Circle (66 deg 33 min N). It is a major player in the climate of the north polar region and has a variable sea ice cover that tends to increase its sensitivity to climate change. Its temperature, salinity, and ice cover have all undergone changes in the past several decades, although it is uncertain whether these predominantly reflect long-term trends, oscillations within the system, or natural variability. Major changes include a warming and expansion of the Atlantic layer, at depths of 200-900 m, a warming of the upper ocean in the Beaufort Sea, a considerable thinning (perhaps as high as 40%) of the sea ice cover, a lesser and uneven retreat of the ice cover (averaging approximately 3% per decade), and a mixed pattern of salinity increases and decreases.

  13. Camera derived vegetation greenness index as proxy for gross primary production in a low Arctic wetland area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Lund, Magnus; Hansen, Birger Ulf; Tamstorf, Mikkel Peter

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic is experiencing disproportionate warming relative to the global average, and the Arctic ecosystems are as a result undergoing considerable changes. Continued monitoring of ecosystem productivity and phenology across temporal and spatial scales is a central part of assessing the magnitude of these changes. This study investigates the ability to use automatic digital camera images (DCIs) as proxy data for gross primary production (GPP) in a complex low Arctic wetland site. Vegetation greenness computed from DCIs was found to correlate significantly (R2 = 0.62, p < 0.001) with a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) product derived from the WorldView-2 satellite. An object-based classification based on a bi-temporal image composite was used to classify the study area into heath, copse, fen, and bedrock. Temporal evolution of vegetation greenness was evaluated and modeled with double sigmoid functions for each plant community. GPP at light saturation modeled from eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements were found to correlate significantly with vegetation greenness for all plant communities in the studied year (i.e., 2010), and the highest correlation was found between modeled fen greenness and GPP (R2 = 0.85, p < 0.001). Finally, greenness computed within modeled EC footprints were used to evaluate the influence of individual plant communities on the flux measurements. The study concludes that digital cameras may be used as a cost-effective proxy for potential GPP in remote Arctic regions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Arctic contaminants research program: Research plan

    SciTech Connect

    Landers, D.H.; Ford, J.; Allen, S.; Curtis, L.; Omernik, J.M.

    1992-12-01

    The research plan was initially intended to contain the information needed to evaluate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Arctic Contaminant Research Program (ACRP). The scientific aspects of the proposed research form the main body of the document and focus on objectives of the specific research components, current literature, approach, and rationale. The ACRP has three major components: (1) extensive sampling of lichens, mosses, and soils to provide a spatial understanding of the status and extent of contaminants present in arctic ecosystems, (2) lake sediment research to evaluate the source and history of arctic contaminant inputs, and (3) food web research to evaluate the possible effects of atmospherically transported pollutants on arctic food webs. The research plan will be used to provide a framework for the ACRP, based on the preliminary studies done to date and will be implemented over the next five years. The Program will undergo additional peer reviews at two-year intervals in the future.

  16. Scientists detect shift in Arctic Ocean system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean system has shifted to a “new normal” since 2006, and there are now a sufficient number of years of data to indicate this shift, according to a new Arctic Report Card. The report card, issued on 1 December by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, other agencies, and an international team of researchers, indicates that 2011 saw significant changes to the Arctic atmosphere, sea ice and ocean, and hydrology and terrestrial cryosphere, as well as some changes to Arctic marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and this shift has widespread environmental and social implications. The report refers to 2006 because precursors that year led to dramatic sea ice loss in 2007. “The shift is characterized by the persistent decline in the thickness and summer extent of the sea ice cover and a warmer, fresher upper ocean,” according to the report, which also indicates a repeated occurrence of 2010 Arctic winter wind patterns this year that are different from the norm, among other concerns. “The 2011 report card shows that record-setting changes are occurring throughout the Arctic environmental system. Given the projection of continued global warming, it is very likely that major Arctic changes will continue in years to come, with increasing climatic, biological, and social impacts,” the report indicates.

  17. Final Ecosystem Goods and Services in Streams and their Linkages to Human Values: Identification of Metrics and the Gap Between What we Measure and What We Want to Know

    EPA Science Inventory

    We've been examining how to practically link ecosystems to human values. We have found that the concept "Final Ecosystem Goods and Services" (FEGS) is a useful way to make this linkage. FEGS are defined as ecological features people perceive as being directly relevant to their ...

  18. Arctic Social Sciences: Opportunities in Arctic Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, Fairbanks, AK.

    The U.S. Congress passed the Arctic Research and Policy Act in 1984 and designated the National Science Foundation (NSF) the lead agency in implementing arctic research policy. In 1989, the parameters of arctic social science research were outlined, emphasizing three themes: human-environment interactions, community viability, and rapid social…

  19. Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating, and mapping indicators of the relative vulnerability of water quality and aquatic ecosystems, across the United States, to the potential impacts of global change. Using a large set of en...

  20. USEPA'S FINAL ECOSYSTEM AND SERVICES (FEGS) CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM: Concept to Implementation and Links with EnviroAtlas

    EPA Science Inventory

    For the last decade ecosystem services have received increasing focus, yet the natural and social scientists working on mainstreaming these concepts are still struggling with the basic issues. One of such issue is developing a framework that avoids double counting, provides guid...

  1. Carbon Isotopic Studies of Assimilated and Ecosystem Respired CO2 in a Southeastern Pine Forest. Final Report and Conference Proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Conte, Maureen H

    2008-04-10

    Carbon dioxide is the major “greenhouse” gas responsible for global warming. Southeastern pine forests appear to be among the largest terrestrial sinks of carbon dioxide in the US. This collaborative study specifically addressed the isotopic signatures of the large fluxes of carbon taken up by photosynthesis and given off by respiration in this ecosystem. By measuring these isotopic signatures at the ecosystem level, we have provided data that will help to more accurately quantify the magnitude of carbon fluxes on the regional scale and how these fluxes vary in response to climatic parameters such as rainfall and air temperature. The focus of the MBL subcontract was to evaluate how processes operating at the physiological and ecosystem scales affects the resultant isotopic signature of plant waxes that are emitted as aerosols into the convective boundary layer. These wax aerosols provide a large-spatial scale integrative signal of isotopic discrimination of atmospheric carbon dioxide by terrestrial photosynthesis (Conte and Weber 2002). The ecosystem studies have greatly expanded of knowledge of wax biosynthetic controls on their isootpic signature The wax aerosol data products produced under this grant are directly applicable as input for global carbon modeling studies that use variations in the concentration and carbon isotopic composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide to quantify the magnitude and spatial and temporal patterns of carbon uptake on the global scale.

  2. Arctic Languages: An Awakening.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collis, Dermid R. F., Ed.

    This work is a study of Arctic languages written in an interdisciplinary manner. Part of the Unesco Arctic project aimed at safeguarding the linguistic heritage of Arctic peoples, the book is the outcome of three Unesco meetings at which conceptual approaches to and practical plans for the study of Arctic cultures and languages were worked out.…

  3. Role of Siderophores in Dissimilatory Iron Reduction in Arctic Soils : Effect of Direct Amendment of Siderophores to Arctic Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivas, A. J.; Dinsdale, E. A.; Lipson, D.

    2014-12-01

    Dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR), where ferric iron (Fe3+) is reduced to ferrous iron (Fe2+) anaerobically, is an important respiratory pathway used by soil bacteria. DIR contributes to carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux from the wet sedge tundra biome in the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) in Alaska, and could competitively inhibit the production of methane, a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, from arctic soils. The occurrence of DIR as a dominant anaerobic process depends on the availability of substantial levels of Fe3+ in soils. Siderophores are metabolites made by microbes to dissolve Fe3+ from soil minerals in iron deficient systems, making Fe3+ soluble for micronutrient uptake. However, as the ACP is not iron deficient, siderophores in arctic soils may play a vital role in anaerobic respiration by dissolving Fe3+ for DIR. We studied the effects of direct siderophore addition to arctic soils through a field study conducted in Barrow, Alaska, and a laboratory incubation study conducted at San Diego State University. In the field experiment, 50μM deferroxamine mesylate (a siderophore), 50μM trisodium nitrilotriacetate (an organic chelator) or an equal volume of water was added to isolated experimental plots, replicated in clusters across the landscape. Fe2+ concentrations were measured in soil pore water samples collected periodically to measure DIR over time in each. In the laboratory experiment, frozen soil samples obtained from drained thaw lake basins in the ACP, were cut into cores and treated with the above-mentioned compounds to the same final concentrations. Along with measuring Fe2+ concentrations, CO2 output was also measured to monitor DIR over time in each core. Experimental addition of siderophores to soils in both the field and laboratory resulted in increased concentrations of soluble Fe3+ and a sustained increase in Fe2+concentrations over time, along with increased respiration rates in siderophore-amended cores. These results show increased DIR in

  4. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Coastal Plain Resource Assessment: Report and recommendation to the Congress of the United States and final legislative environmental impact statement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    1987-01-01

    The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the northeastern corner of Alaska, was first established as the Arctic National Wildlife Range by Public Land Order 2214 in 1960, for the purpose of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness, and recreational values. The original 8.9-millionacre Range was withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including mining laws but not including mineral leasing laws. This order culminated extensive efforts begun more than a decade earlier to preserve this unique part of Alaska. The following report analyzes the potential environmental consequences of five management alternatives for the coastal plain, ranging from opening for lease of the entire area for oil and gas development, to wilderness designation. A legislative environmental impact statement has been integrated into the report.

  5. Artificial warming of arctic meadow under pollution stress: Experimental design

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Boreal and arctic terrestrial ecosystems are central to the climate change debate, notably because future warming is expected to be disproportionate as compared to world averages. Likewise, greenhouse gas (GHG) release from terrestrial ecosystems exposed to climate warming is expected to be the larg...

  6. Arctic technology and policy

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, I.; Chryssostomidis, C.

    1984-01-01

    Topics covered include: legal regime of the arctic, including national and international legal frameworks that govern arctic resource development; environmental policy and socio-economic issues, focusing on the political and economic considerations of LNG transport in icebound waterways; risk and safety assessment for arctic offshore projects, drilling systems for the arctic; arctic offshore technology, including island, steel, and concrete structures; icebreaking technology, focusing on the current state of the art and indicating future research areas; arctic oceanography, summarizing characteristics of ice from field experiments pertaining to the design of structures, ships, and pipelines; arctic seismic exploration, detailing signal processes for underwater communication in the context of arctic geology and geophysics; ice morphology, providing information about ice shapes, particularly critical to the determination of overall strength of ice masses; remote sensing; modeling of arctic ice fields, including information about the design and construction of offshore facilities in polar areas; and engineering properties of ice, providing theoretical and experimental studies.

  7. Arctic Browning: vegetation damage and implications for carbon balance.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treharne, Rachael; Bjerke, Jarle; Emberson, Lisa; Tømmervik, Hans; Phoenix, Gareth

    2016-04-01

    'Arctic browning' is the loss of biomass and canopy in Arctic ecosystems. This process is often driven by climatic and biological extreme events - notably extreme winter warm periods, winter frost-drought and severe outbreaks of defoliating insects. Evidence suggests that browning is becoming increasingly frequent and severe at the pan-arctic scale, a view supported by observations from more intensely observed regions, with major and unprecedented vegetation damage reported at landscape (>1000km2) and regional (Nordic Arctic Region) scales in recent years. Critically, the damage caused by these extreme events is in direct opposition to 'Arctic greening', the well-established increase in productivity and shrub abundance observed at high latitudes in response to long-term warming. This opposition creates uncertainty as to future anticipated vegetation change in the Arctic, with implications for Arctic carbon balance. As high latitude ecosystems store around twice as much carbon as the atmosphere, and vegetation impacts are key to determining rates of loss or gain of ecosystem carbon stocks, Arctic browning has the potential to influence the role of these ecosystems in global climate. There is therefore a clear need for a quantitative understanding of the impacts of browning events on key ecosystem carbon fluxes. To address this, field sites were chosen in central and northern Norway and in Svalbard, in areas known to have been affected by either climatic extremes or insect outbreak and subsequent browning in the past four years. Sites were chosen along a latitudinal gradient to capture both conditions already causing vegetation browning throughout the Norwegian Arctic, and conditions currently common at lower latitudes which are likely to become more damaging further North as climate change progresses. At each site the response of Net Ecosystem CO2 Exchange to light was measured using a LiCor LI6400 Portable Photosynthesis system and a custom vegetation chamber with

  8. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1983-12-31

    This component of the terrestrial-aquatic interaction group seeks to use the natural stable carbon isotope ratios and radiocarbon abundances to trace the movement of photosynthate from the terrestrial environment to the stream system at MS-117. In addition to estimating the total flux, we will also attempt to describe the relative fractions derived from modern primary production and that derived from delayed inputs of eroded peat. We will also seek to determine the coupling efficiency of these energy sources to the invertebrate faunal populations in the tundra soils and streams.

  9. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1983-01-01

    This component of the terrestrial-aquatic interaction group seeks to use the natural stable carbon isotope ratios and radiocarbon abundances to trace the movement of photosynthate from the terrestrial environment to the stream system at MS-117. In addition to estimating the total flux, we will also attempt to describe the relative fractions derived from modern primary production and that derived from delayed inputs of eroded peat. We will also seek to determine the coupling efficiency of these energy sources to the invertebrate faunal populations in the tundra soils and streams.

  10. Final Report on "Rising CO2 and Long-term Carbon Storage in Terrestrial Ecosystems: An Empirical Carbon Budget Validation"

    SciTech Connect

    J. Patrick Megonigal; Bert G. Drake

    2010-08-27

    The primary goal of this report is to report the results of Grant DE-FG02-97ER62458, which began in 1997 as Grant DOE-98-59-MP-4 funded through the TECO program. However, this project has a longer history because DOE also funded this study from its inception in 1985 through 1997. The original grant was focused on plant responses to elevated CO2 in an intact ecosystem, while the latter grant was focused on belowground responses. Here we summarize the major findings across the 25 years this study has operated, and note that the experiment will continue to run through 2020 with NSF support. The major conclusions of the study to date are: (1 Elevated CO2 stimulated plant productivity in the C3 plant community by ~30% during the 25 year study. The magnitude of the increase in productivity varied interannually and was sometime absent altogether. There is some evidence of down-regulation at the ecosystem level across the 25 year record that may be due to interactions with other factors such as sea-level rise or long-term changes in N supply; (2) Elevated CO2 stimulated C4 productivity by <10%, perhaps due to more efficient water use, but C3 plants at elevated CO2 did not displace C4 plants as predicted; (3) Increased primary production caused a general stimulation of microbial processes, but there were both increases and decreases in activity depending on the specific organisms considered. An increase in methanogenesis and methane emissions implies elevated CO2 may amplify radiative forcing in the case of wetland ecosystems; (4) Elevated CO2 stimulated soil carbon sequestration in the form of an increase in elevation. The increase in elevation is 50-100% of the increase in net ecosystem production caused by elevated CO2 (still under analysis). The increase in soil elevation suggests the elevated CO2 may have a positive outcome for the ability of coastal wetlands to persist despite accelerated sea level rise; (5) Crossing elevated CO2 with elevated N causes the elevated CO

  11. Arctic seabirds transport marine-derived contaminants.

    PubMed

    Blais, Jules M; Kimpe, Lynda E; McMahon, Dominique; Keatley, Bronwyn E; Mallory, Mark L; Douglas, Marianne S V; Smol, John P

    2005-07-15

    Long-range atmospheric transport of pollutants is generally assumed to be the main vector for arctic contamination, because local pollution sources are rare. We show that arctic seabirds, which occupy high trophic levels in marine food webs, are the dominant vectors for the transport of marine-derived contaminants to coastal ponds. The sediments of ponds most affected by seabirds had 60 times higher DDT, 25 times higher mercury, and 10 times higher hexachlorobenzene concentrations than nearby control sites. Bird guano greatly stimulates biological productivity in these extreme environments but also serves as a major source of industrial and agricultural pollutants in these remote ecosystems. PMID:16020729

  12. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO{sub 2} increase. Final report, 1984--1995

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1995-12-31

    This document describes the most recent progress made in several areas of the project. Details of individual experiments in the following areas are provided: (1) the impact of soil volume on the physiological acclimation of temperate deciduous trees in elevated CO{sub 2}; (2) growth under elevated CO{sub 2}: the shape as well as the size of pots is important; (3) a survey of growth responses of temperate deciduous trees to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) a survey of closely related birch species; (5) the response of temperate deciduous tress to CO{sub 2} in variable light and nutrients conditions; (6) elevated CO{sub 2} differentially alters the response of birch and maple seedlings to a moisture gradient; (7) population dynamics; (8) heat shock in elevated CO{sub 2}: is there a change in temperature sensitivity; (9) response of temperate deciduous trees to CO{sub 2} in variable light and nutrient conditions; (10) changes in tree community composition and their consequences to ecosystem productivity; and (11) species diversity and ecosystem response to carbon dioxide fertilization.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Comparison of produced water toxicity to Arctic and temperate species.

    PubMed

    Camus, L; Brooks, S; Geraudie, P; Hjorth, M; Nahrgang, J; Olsen, G H; Smit, M G D

    2015-03-01

    Produced water is the main discharge stream from oil and gas production. For offshore activities this water is usually discharged to the marine environment. Produced water contains traces of hydrocarbons such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as well as alkylphenols, which are relatively resistant to biodegradation and have been reported to cause adverse effects to marine organisms in laboratory studies. For management of produced water, risk-based tools have been developed using toxicity data for mainly non-Arctic species. Reliable risk assessment approaches for Arctic environments are requested to manage potential impacts of produced water associated with increased oil and gas activities in Arctic regions. In order to assess the applicability of existing risk tools for Arctic areas, basic knowledge on the sensitivity of Arctic species has to be developed. In the present study, acute and chronic toxicity of artificial produced water for 6 Arctic and 6 temperate species was experimentally tested and evaluated. The hazardous concentrations affecting 5% and 50% of the species were calculated from species sensitivity distribution curves. Hazardous concentrations were compared to elucidate whether temperate toxicity data used in risk assessment are sufficiently representative for Arctic species. From the study it can be concluded that hazardous concentration derived from individual species' toxicity data of temperate and Arctic species are comparable. However, the manner in which Arctic and non-Arctic populations and communities respond to exposure levels above established thresholds remains to be investigated. Hence, responses at higher levels of biological organization should be studied to reveal potential differences in sensitivities to produced water between Arctic and non-Arctic ecosystems. PMID:25521339

  15. Enhanced role of eddies in the Arctic marine biological pump.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Eiji; Onodera, Jonaotaro; Harada, Naomi; Honda, Makio C; Kimoto, Katsunori; Kikuchi, Takashi; Nishino, Shigeto; Matsuno, Kohei; Yamaguchi, Atsushi; Ishida, Akio; Kishi, Michio J

    2014-01-01

    The future conditions of Arctic sea ice and marine ecosystems are of interest not only to climate scientists, but also to economic and governmental bodies. However, the lack of widespread, year-long biogeochemical observations remains an obstacle to understanding the complicated variability of the Arctic marine biological pump. Here we show an early winter maximum of sinking biogenic flux in the western Arctic Ocean and illustrate the importance of shelf-break eddies to biological pumping from wide shelves to adjacent deep basins using a combination of year-long mooring observations and three-dimensional numerical modelling. The sinking flux trapped in the present study included considerable fresh organic material with soft tissues and was an order of magnitude larger than previous estimates. We predict that further reductions in sea ice will promote the entry of Pacific-origin biological species into the Arctic basin and accelerate biogeochemical cycles connecting the Arctic and subarctic oceans. PMID:24862402

  16. Enhanced role of eddies in the Arctic marine biological pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Eiji; Onodera, Jonaotaro; Harada, Naomi; Honda, Makio C.; Kimoto, Katsunori; Kikuchi, Takashi; Nishino, Shigeto; Matsuno, Kohei; Yamaguchi, Atsushi; Ishida, Akio; Kishi, Michio J.

    2014-05-01

    The future conditions of Arctic sea ice and marine ecosystems are of interest not only to climate scientists, but also to economic and governmental bodies. However, the lack of widespread, year-long biogeochemical observations remains an obstacle to understanding the complicated variability of the Arctic marine biological pump. Here we show an early winter maximum of sinking biogenic flux in the western Arctic Ocean and illustrate the importance of shelf-break eddies to biological pumping from wide shelves to adjacent deep basins using a combination of year-long mooring observations and three-dimensional numerical modelling. The sinking flux trapped in the present study included considerable fresh organic material with soft tissues and was an order of magnitude larger than previous estimates. We predict that further reductions in sea ice will promote the entry of Pacific-origin biological species into the Arctic basin and accelerate biogeochemical cycles connecting the Arctic and subarctic oceans.

  17. Enhanced role of eddies in the Arctic marine biological pump

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Eiji; Onodera, Jonaotaro; Harada, Naomi; Honda, Makio C.; Kimoto, Katsunori; Kikuchi, Takashi; Nishino, Shigeto; Matsuno, Kohei; Yamaguchi, Atsushi; Ishida, Akio; Kishi, Michio J.

    2014-01-01

    The future conditions of Arctic sea ice and marine ecosystems are of interest not only to climate scientists, but also to economic and governmental bodies. However, the lack of widespread, year-long biogeochemical observations remains an obstacle to understanding the complicated variability of the Arctic marine biological pump. Here we show an early winter maximum of sinking biogenic flux in the western Arctic Ocean and illustrate the importance of shelf-break eddies to biological pumping from wide shelves to adjacent deep basins using a combination of year-long mooring observations and three-dimensional numerical modelling. The sinking flux trapped in the present study included considerable fresh organic material with soft tissues and was an order of magnitude larger than previous estimates. We predict that further reductions in sea ice will promote the entry of Pacific-origin biological species into the Arctic basin and accelerate biogeochemical cycles connecting the Arctic and subarctic oceans. PMID:24862402

  18. An Evidence-Based Evaluation of the Cumulative Effects of Tidal Freshwater and Estuarine Ecosystem Restoration on Endangered Juvenile Salmon in the Columbia River: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Johnson, Gary E.; Thom, Ronald M.; Borde, Amy B.; Woodley, Christa M.; Weitkamp, Laurie A.; Buenau, Kate E.; Kropp, Roy K.

    2013-12-01

    measurements, data analyses, modeling, meta-analysis, and reanalysis of previously collected data sets. We identified a set of 12 ancillary hypotheses regarding habitat and salmon response. Each ancillary hypothesis states that the response metric will trend toward conditions at relatively undisturbed reference sites. We synthesized the evidence for and against the two necessary conditions by using eleven causal criteria: strength, consistency, specificity, temporality, biological gradient, plausibility, coherence, experiment, analogy, complete exposure pathway, and predictive performance. Our final evaluation included cumulative effects assessment because restoration is occurring at multiple sites and the collective effect is important to salmon recovery. We concluded that all five lines of evidence from the LCRE indicated positive habitat-based and fish-based responses to the restoration performed under the CEERP, although tide gate replacements on small sloughs were an exception. Our analyses suggested that hydrologic reconnections restore access for fish to move into a site to find prey produced there. Reconnections also restore the potential for the flux of prey from the site to the main stem river, where our data show that they are consumed by salmon. We infer that LCRE ecosystem restoration supports increased juvenile salmon growth and enhanced fitness (condition), thereby potentially improving survival rates during the early ocean stage.

  19. Evolution of the Arctic Calanus complex: an Arctic marine avocado?

    PubMed

    Berge, Jørgen; Gabrielsen, Tove M; Moline, Mark; Renaud, Paul E

    2012-03-01

    Before man hunted the large baleen whales to near extinction by the end of the nineteenth century, Arctic ecosystems were strongly influenced by these large predators. Their main prey were zooplankton, among which the calanoid copepod species of the genus Calanus, long considered key elements of polar marine ecosystems, are particularly abundant. These herbivorous zooplankters display a range of adaptations to the highly seasonal environments of the polar oceans, most notably extensive energy reserves and seasonal migrations to deep waters where the non-feeding season is spent in diapause. Classical work in marine ecology has suggested that slow growth, long lifespan and large body size in zooplankton are specific adaptations to life in cold waters with short and unpredictable feeding seasons. Here, we challenge this understanding and, by using an analogy from the evolutionary and contemporary history of the avocado, argue that predation pressure by the now nearly extinct baleen whales was an important driving force in the evolution of life history diversity in the Arctic Calanus complex. PMID:22312184

  20. Sea ice, erosion, and vulnerability of Arctic coasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnhart, Katherine; Overeem, Irina; Kay, Jennifer; Anderson, Robert

    2015-04-01

    Coasts form the dynamic interface between the terrestrial and oceanic systems. In the Arctic, and in much of the world, the coast is a zone of relatively high population, infrastructure, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. A significant difference between Arctic and temperate coasts is the presence of sea ice. Sea ice influences Arctic coasts in two main ways: (1) the length of the sea ice-free season controls the length of time over which nearshore water can interact with the land, and (2) the location of the sea ice edge controls the fetch over which storm winds can blow over open water, resulting in changes in nearshore water level and wave field. The resulting nearshore hydrodynamic environment impacts all aspects of the coastal system. We first combine satellite records of sea ice with a simple model for wind-driven storm surge and waves to estimate how changes in the length and character of the sea ice-free season have impacted the nearshore hydrodynamic environment along Alaska's Beaufort Sea Coast for the period 1979-2012. This region has experienced some of the greatest changes in both sea ice cover and coastal erosion rates in the Arctic and is anticipated to experience significant change in the future. The median length of the 2012 open-water season along this stretch of coast, in comparison to 1979, expanded by 1.9 x. At the same time, coastal erosion rates increased from 8.7 m yr-1 to 19 m yr-1. At Drew Point, winds from the northwest result in increased water levels at the coast and control the process of submarine notch incision, the rate-limiting step of coastal retreat. When open-water conditions exist, the distance to the sea ice edge exerts control on the water level and wave field through its control on fetch. We find that the extreme values of water-level setup at Drew Point have increased consistently with increasing fetch. We then extend our analysis of the length of the open water season to the entire Arctic using both satellite

  1. The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields (2011 Final)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cover of the Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills Central Appalachian Coalfields <span class=Final Report "> This report assesses the state of the sci...

  2. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils.

    PubMed

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called "priming effect" might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming. PMID:27157964

  3. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils

    PubMed Central

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J. Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L.; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called “priming effect” might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming. PMID:27157964

  4. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J. Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L.; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called “priming effect” might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming.

  5. Future Arctic Research: Integrative Approaches to Scientific and Methodological Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmale, Julia; Lisowska, Maja; Smieszek, Malgorzata

    2013-08-01

    Climate change has significant consequences for both the natural environment and the socioeconomics in the Arctic. The complex interplay between the changing atmosphere, cryosphere, and ocean is responsible for a multitude of feedbacks and cascading effects leading to changes in the marine and terrestrial ecosystems, the sea ice cycle, and atmospheric circulation patterns. The warming Arctic has also become a region of economic interest as shipping, natural resource exploitation, and tourism are becoming achievable and lucrative with declining sea ice. Such climatic and anthropogenic developments are leading to profound changes in the Arctic, its people, and their cultural heritage.

  6. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.

    2000-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave I pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach to determine significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  7. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave 1 pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach for determining significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  8. Airborne remote sensing of photosynthetic light use efficiency and carbon uptake along an Arctic transect in Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atherton, J.; Hill, T. C.; Prieto-Blanco, A.; Wade, T.; Clement, R.; Moncrieff, J.; Williams, M. D.; Disney, M.; Nichol, C. J.

    2009-12-01

    It is critical to understand the dynamics of ecosystem carbon uptake through seasonal changes and in response to environmental drivers. In this study we utilised aircraft based remote sensing and CO2/H2O flux monitoring systems to quantify changes in photosynthesis along an Arctic transect. The University of Edinburgh's (UK) research aircraft (a Diamond HK 36 TTC-ECO Dimona) was deployed in the Arctic during summer 2008 to carry out a series of transect-flights over a birch-mire mosaic site near Kevo, Finland as part of the Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales (ABACUS) project. The aircraft is equipped with automated dual field-of-view (hyperspectral) radiometers and CO2/H2O flux and meteorological instrumentation. Vegetation indices known to be related to photosynthetic light use efficiency (LUE), including the well established Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) and Solar-induced Fluorescence (SiF) as well as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were calculated from the spectral data and matched in space to the CO2 flux measurements. We explored spatial relationships between NDVI and CO2 flux, LUE (CO2 flux / Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation) and PRI and finally SiF (calculated using the Fraunhofer infilling method) and relevant environmental drivers. Our results highlight the unique ability of an airborne platform to quantify ecosystem physiology across a landscape and demonstrate how such measurements can bridge the spatial gap between ground and satellite-based observations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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

  10. Microbial cell retention in a melting High Arctic snowpack, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarsky, Jakub; Björkman, Mats; Kühnel, Rafael; Hell, Katherina; Hodson, Andy; Sattler, Birgit; Psenner, Roland

    2014-05-01

    to the final 38 cm. The major ion composition (IC), pH, conductivity and cell abundances were measured. Results and conlusions The removal of microbial cells from a high arctic snowpack resembles an elution sequence similar to that of hydrophobic compounds a process that helps glaciers retain a microbial biomass upon their surface, even after the demise of the snow cover. The snowpack and the glacier surface therefore act as an accumulator of cells during the melt season. This suggests that wet snowpacks, even on the surface of high arctic glaciers, are likely to be dynamic ecosystems in their own right. In our study, a clear ion elution sequence was observed that resembled earlier reports and caused high concentrations of ions in snowpack runoff at the start of the snow melt, which rapidly decreased as snow melt proceeded. Chloride, sulfate, nitrate, sodium and potassium experienced a 50 % elution before 20 - 25 % of the snowpack water content was lost. By contrast, cell removal only reached the 50 % level after ~70 % snowpack depletion. In contrast to our expectations, the calculated cell budget between the initial and final snowpack (including the cell loss by elution), revealed a significant increase of the total cell numbers, i.e. more than twice the original number. Assuming aeolian deposition processes to be low, this suggests cell proliferation as a contribution to the observed "retention effect". Precipitation was the major cell contributor to the snowpack upon Midtre Lovénbreen. An overall low cell concentration was therefore found within the snowpack stratigraphy, where snow layers frequently showed cell abundances similar to those of cloud water. This was in contrast to the nearby and more wind exposed sites examined in the Kongsfjorden area in 2007. However, layers of higher dust deposition were concomitant with one order of magnitude higher cell abundances, indicating that wind dispersal from locally exposed rocks supplements the atmospheric cell input.

  11. Emissions from International Shipping in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbett, J. J.; Winebrake, J. J.; Gold, M.; Harder, S.

    2008-12-01

    Studies assessing the potential impacts of international shipping on climate and air pollution demonstrate that ships contribute significantly to global climate change and health impacts through emission of GHGs and raised the potential for disproportionate impacts from shipping in the Arctic region. We present an activity- based model inventory of emissions of CO2, BC, NOx, SOx, PM, and CO for shipping in the Arctic. We estimate emissions for a particular "vessel-trip" or "voyage" based on Arctic shipping data collected by the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment for 2004. The detailed voyage data provided for our inventory effort included some 3800 ship trips, represent some 2.6 million km of ship voyages (range 2.0 to 3.9 million km, or 1.1 to 2.1 million nautical miles), and nearly 15,000 voyage days for 2004; this is equivalent to less than 500 transoceanic voyages, compared to many tens of thousands transoceanic voyages per year to major ports around the world. In 2004, the top five vessel types, bulk carrier, general cargo, fishing, government vessels, and containerships, account for nearly 80 percent of total emissions. Preliminary results show CO2 emissions from shipping in the Arctic to be approximately 2.3 Tg CO2 per yr. Given that total CO2 emissions from international shipping globally are about 1000 Tg CO2 per yr, Arctic contributions would amount to less than 0.25 percent of total ship emissions. Relative to total CO2 emissions from all sources, the contributions of Arctic shipping are on the order of one-hundredth of one percent (0.006-0.008 percent). BC emissions from Arctic shipping, on a mass basis alone (estimated here to be ~600 tonnes /year), may have limited independent impact on global climate change compared to other sources, but could have significant regional impacts. More concerning may be micro-scale emissions (e.g., at harbor or in port) which could affect local air pollution or ecosystems, depending on regional conditions. Pollutants

  12. Soot in the Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Rosen, H.; Novakov, T.; Bodhaine, B. A.

    1981-01-01

    In this paper, substantial concentrations of graphitic carbon and its associated large optical absorption coefficient are observed in the Arctic. The graphitic content shows a dramatic increase from late fall to early spring, reaching levels that are comparable to those found in urban environments (i.e., the peak values in February are only about a factor of 10 less than the average levels found in New York City and a factor of three less than those found in Berkeley, California, and Denver, Colorado). Finally, if one ignores the possible contribution of natural burning processes which are expected to be small during this time of the year in the northern hemisphere, this graphitic component can be attributed directly to anthropogenic activity.

  13. An Operational Structure for Clarity in Ecosystem Service Values

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analyses used to value ecosystem services often confuse final ecosystem services with ecological functions that provide only indirect benefit. Extant categorizations of ecosystem services, such as that developed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, do not ameliorate these cha...

  14. 75 FR 30383 - NOAA's Arctic Vision and Strategy; Comment Period Extension

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-01

    ...NOAA wishes to ensure its Arctic Vision and Strategy document reaches the broadest possible audience and allows adequate time for review, and therefore is extending the public comment period by fifteen days. The Arctic has profound significance for climate and functioning of ecosystems around the globe. The region is particularly vulnerable and prone to rapid change. Increasing air and ocean......

  15. How does climate change influence Arctic mercury?

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. ArcticDEM; A Publically Available, High Resolution Elevation Model of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morin, Paul; Porter, Claire; Cloutier, Michael; Howat, Ian; Noh, Myoung-Jong; Willis, Michael; Bates, Brian; Willamson, Cathleen; Peterman, Kennith

    2016-04-01

    A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the Arctic is needed for a large number of reasons, including: measuring and understanding rapid, ongoing changes to the Arctic landscape resulting from climate change and human use and mitigation and adaptation planning for Arctic communities. The topography of the Arctic is more poorly mapped than most other regions of Earth due to logistical costs and the limits of satellite missions with low-latitude inclinations. A convergence of civilian, high-quality sub-meter stereo imagery; petascale computing and open source photogrammetry software has made it possible to produce a complete, very high resolution (2 to 8-meter posting), elevation model of the Arctic. A partnership between the US National Geospatial-intelligence Agency and a team led by the US National Science Foundation funded Polar Geospatial Center is using stereo imagery from DigitalGlobe's Worldview-1, 2 and 3 satellites and the Ohio State University's Surface Extraction with TIN-based Search-space Minimization (SETSM) software running on the University of Illinois's Blue Water supercomputer to address this challenge. The final product will be a seemless, 2-m posting digital surface model mosaic of the entire Arctic above 60 North including all of Alaska, Greenland and Kamchatka. We will also make available the more than 300,000 individual time-stamped DSM strip pairs that were used to assemble the mosaic. The Arctic DEM will have a vertical precision of better than 0.5m and can be used to examine changes in land surfaces such as those caused by permafrost degradation or the evolution of arctic rivers and floodplains. The data set can also be used to highlight changing geomorphology due to Earth surface mass transport processes occurring in active volcanic and glacial environments. When complete the ArcticDEM will catapult the Arctic from the worst to among the best mapped regions on Earth.

  17. Arctic hydrology and meteorology

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.L.

    1988-01-01

    The behavior of arctic ecosystems is directly related to the ongoing physical processes of heat and mass transfer. Furthermore, this system undergoes very large fluctuations in the surface energy balance. The buffering effect of both snow and the surface organic soils can be seen by looking at the surface and 40 cm soil temperatures. The active layer, that surface zone above the permafrost table, is either continually freezing or thawing. A large percentage of energy into and out of a watershed must pass through this thin veneer that we call the active layer. Likewise, most water entering and leaving the watershed does so through the active layer. To date, we have been very successful at monitoring the hydrology of Imnavait Creek with special emphasis on the active layer processes. The major contribution of this study is that year-round hydrologic data are being collected. An original objective of our study was to define how the thermal and moisture regimes within the active layer change during an annual cycle under natural conditions, and then to define how the regime will be impacted by some imposed terrain alteration. Our major analysis of the hydrologic data sets for Imnavait Creek have been water balance evaluations for plots during snowmelt, water balance for the watershed during both rainfall and snowmelt, and the application of a hydrologic model to predict the Imnavait Creek runoff events generated by both snowmelt and rainfall.

  18. Topographic controls on scaling of hydrologic and thermal processes in polygonal ground features of an Arctic ecosystem: A case study using idealized non-isothermal surface-subsurface simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bisht, G.; Riley, W. J.; Collier, N.; Kumar, J.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic and sub-Arctic soils currently contain approximately 1700 billion metric tones of frozen organic carbon, approximately 200 times current annual anthropogenic emissions. This carbon is vulnerable to release to the atmosphere as CO2 and CH4 as high-latitude temperatures warm. Microtopographic features, such as polygonal ground, are characteristic sources of landscape heterogeneity in the Alaskan Arctic coastal plain. In a future warmer climate, the spatial distribution of soil moisture and active layer depth are expected to be key factors controlling the fate of thawed permafrost carbon. Polygonal ground structures, with high or low centers, dominate the local hydrologic environment, thereby impacting the energy balance, biogeochemical dynamics, vegetation communities, and carbon releases from the subsurface. In spite of their importance to local hydrologic and thermal processes, the impact of these microtopographic features at larger spatial scales is not well understood. Our previous work from isothermal surface-subsurface simulations has indicated that statistical moments of soil moisture follow a non-linear scaling relationship. In this study, we perform surface-subsurface non-isothermal flow simulations using PFLOTRAN for four study sites located near Barrow, AK. Simulations are performed on domains at multiple horizontal resolutions for several years. We describe the statistical moments of simulated soil moisture and soil temperature fields across spatial resolutions.

  19. Arctic Ocean outflow shelves in the changing Arctic: A review and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Christine; Hamilton, Jim; Hansen, Edmond; Barber, David; Reigstad, Marit; Iacozza, John; Seuthe, Lena; Niemi, Andrea

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade or so, international research efforts, many of which were part of the International Polar Year, have accrued our understanding of the Arctic outflow shelves. The Arctic outflow shelves, namely the East Greenland Shelf (EGS) and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA), serve as conduits through which Arctic sea ice and waters and their properties are exported to the North Atlantic. These shelves play an important role in thermohaline circulation and global circulation patterns, while being influenced by basin-scale and regional changes taking place in the Arctic. Here, we synthesize the current knowledge on key forcings of primary production and ecosystem processes on the outflow shelves, as they influence their structure and functionalities and, consequently their role in Arctic Ocean productivity and global biogeochemical cycles. For the CAA, a fresh outlook on interannual and decadal physical and biological time-series reveals recent changes in productivity patterns, while an extensive analysis of sea ice conditions over the past 33 years (1980-2012) demonstrates significant declines in multi-year ice and a redistribution of ice types. For the EGS, our analysis shows that sea ice export strongly contributes to structuring spatially diverse productivity regimes. Despite the large heterogeneity in physical and biological processes within and between the outflow shelves, a conceptual model of productivity regimes is proposed, helping identify general productivity patterns and key forcings. The different productivity regimes are expected to respond differently to current and future Arctic change, providing a useful basis upon which to develop predictive scenarios of future productivity states. Current primary production estimates for both outflow shelves very likely underestimate their contribution to total Arctic production.

  20. Stories from the Arctic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cain, Michelle

    2016-04-01

    I will discuss my experience co-ordinating a range of communication activities for a multi-university research programme called Methane in the Arctic: Measurements and Modelling. The project included ground- and aircraft-based fieldwork in the European Arctic, as well as computer modelling. Our communication activities included: our own field blog (www.arcticmethane.wordpress.com), which was syndicated to the Scientific American Expeditions blog; writing articles for other blogs with a wider audience than our own; use of twitter; and podcasting our field work. The grand finale to our communications work was a live event at a science festival, in which we took the audience along with us on a recreated research flight, complete with a life-size mock up of a section of our research aircraft. I will discuss my experiences of these forms of communication, and give an evaluation of their successes and failures.

  1. Shifting patterns of life in the Pacific Arctic and sub-Arctic seas.

    PubMed

    Grebmeier, Jacqueline M

    2012-01-01

    Recent changes in the timing of sea ice formation and retreat, along with increasing seawater temperatures, are driving shifts in marine species composition that may signal marine ecosystem reorganization in the Pacific Arctic sector. Interannual variability in seasonal sea ice retreat in the northern Bering Sea has been observed over the past decade; north of the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea ecosystem has had consistent earlier spring sea ice retreat and later fall sea ice formation. The latitudinal gradient in sea ice persistence, water column chlorophyll, and carbon export to the sediments has a direct impact on ecosystem structure in this Arctic/sub-Arctic complex. Large-scale decadal patterns in the benthic biological system are driven by sea ice extent, hydrographic forcing, and export production that influences benthic processes. Shifts in species composition and northward faunal range expansions indicate a changing system. The shifting patterns of life and change in key biological processes have the potential for a system-wide reorganization of the marine ecosystem. PMID:22457969

  2. SOURCES OF THE ARCTIC FLORA: ORIGINS OF ARCTIC SPECIES IN RANUNCULUS AND RELATED GENERA

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Matthias H.; von Hagen, K. Bernhard; Hörandl, Elvira; Röser, Martin; Tkach, Natalia V.

    2010-01-01

    The arctic biome is a relatively young ecosystem with ~2300 species of vascular plants. We studied the genus Ranunculus as an example of the origin and evolution of the arctic flora. For this purpose we used molecular phylogenetic and clock analyses based on evaluation of nuclear ITS and chloroplast matK-trnK DNA sequences in 194 taxa of Ranunculus and closely related genera. Taxa occurring in the Arctic arose form seven phylogenetic lineages of Ranunculus and also in the genera Coptidium and Halerpestes. Two clades of Ranunculus are species-rich in the Arctic, i.e., Ranunculus sect. Ranunculus and R. sect. Auricomus (both from R. subg. Ranunculus), but this is due to a number of arctic “microtaxa” morphologically barely separate from R. acris in the former clade and the widely agamospermic species complex of R. auricomus in the latter. Lineages with species adapted to wetlands or aquatic habitats are significant groups represented in the arctic flora (R. subg. Ranunculus sectt. Flammula and Hecatonia/Xanthobatrachium, R. subg. Batrachium, genus Coptidium) but show no clear signs of radiation in the Arctic or the northern boreal zone, except for sectt. Hecatonia/Xanthobatrachium, with R. hyperboreus and R. sceleratus subsp. reptabundus. Astonishingly few of the otherwise numerous lineages of Ranunculus with distributions in the higher mountain systems of Eurasia and North America have acted as “founding sources” for the arctic flora. The only clear example is that of the arctic-alpine R. glacialis and the Beringian R. chamissonis from the lineage of subg. R. sectt. Aconitifolii/Crymodes, although there might be others in sect. Auricomus not recovered in the current molecular data. Lineages that gave rise to arctic taxa diverged from each other from the early Miocene (R. glacialis/R. chamissonis, Coptidium, lineages in Halerpestes) and continued at an even rate throughout the Tertiary. There are no signs that the intense climate changes of the late Pliocene

  3. Arctic science input wanted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The Arctic Research and Policy Act (Eos, June 26, 1984, p. 412) was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan this past July. One of its objectives is to develop a 5-year research plan for the Arctic. A request for input to this plan is being issued this week to nearly 500 people in science, engineering, and industry.To promote Arctic research and to recommend research policy in the Arctic, the new law establishes a five-member Arctic Research Commission, to be appointed by the President, and establishes an Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, to be composed of representatives from nearly a dozen agencies having interests in the region. The commission will make policy recommendations, and the interagency committee will implement those recommendations. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been designated as the lead agency of the interagency committee.

  4. Glasnost in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roederer, Juan

    The question of establishing an international body to coordinate research activities in the Arctic is an old one. Proposals have been formulated on several occasions during the last 3 decades, but they have never been implemented.At present, a few adhoc or semiprivate bodies are engaged in cooperative ventures of arctic research, and there are several bilateral programs between Arctic countries. Yet there is no northern equivalent to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) o f the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). The politically and strategically sensitive nature of the Arctic regions has been a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Recently, however, an international initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission led to promising developments regarding international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

  5. Amplified Arctic warming by phytoplankton under greenhouse warming.

    PubMed

    Park, Jong-Yeon; Kug, Jong-Seong; Bader, Jürgen; Rolph, Rebecca; Kwon, Minho

    2015-05-12

    Phytoplankton have attracted increasing attention in climate science due to their impacts on climate systems. A new generation of climate models can now provide estimates of future climate change, considering the biological feedbacks through the development of the coupled physical-ecosystem model. Here we present the geophysical impact of phytoplankton, which is often overlooked in future climate projections. A suite of future warming experiments using a fully coupled ocean-atmosphere model that interacts with a marine ecosystem model reveals that the future phytoplankton change influenced by greenhouse warming can amplify Arctic surface warming considerably. The warming-induced sea ice melting and the corresponding increase in shortwave radiation penetrating into the ocean both result in a longer phytoplankton growing season in the Arctic. In turn, the increase in Arctic phytoplankton warms the ocean surface layer through direct biological heating, triggering additional positive feedbacks in the Arctic, and consequently intensifying the Arctic warming further. Our results establish the presence of marine phytoplankton as an important potential driver of the future Arctic climate changes. PMID:25902494

  6. Total and methylated mercury in Arctic multiyear sea ice.

    PubMed

    Beattie, Sarah A; Armstrong, Debbie; Chaulk, Amanda; Comte, Jérôme; Gosselin, Michel; Wang, Feiyue

    2014-05-20

    Mercury is one of the primary contaminants of concern in the Arctic marine ecosystem. While considerable efforts have been directed toward understanding mercury cycling in the Arctic, little is known about mercury dynamics within Arctic multiyear sea ice, which is being rapidly replaced with first-year ice. Here we report the first study on the distribution and potential methylation of mercury in Arctic multiyear sea ice. Based on three multiyear ice cores taken from the eastern Beaufort Sea and McClure Strait, total mercury concentrations ranged from 0.65 to 60.8 pM in bulk ice, with the highest values occurring in the topmost layer (∼40 cm) which is attributed to the dynamics of particulate matter. Methylated mercury concentrations ranged from below the method detection limit (<0.1 pM) to as high as 2.64 pM. The ratio of methylated to total mercury peaked, up to ∼40%, in the mid to bottom sections of the ice, suggesting the potential occurrence of in situ mercury methylation. The annual fluxes of total and methylated mercury into the Arctic Ocean via melt of multiyear ice are estimated to be 420 and 42 kg yr(-1), respectively, representing an important and changing source of mercury and methylmercury into the Arctic Ocean marine ecosystem. PMID:24766483

  7. Amplified Arctic warming by phytoplankton under greenhouse warming

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jong-Yeon; Kug, Jong-Seong; Bader, Jürgen; Rolph, Rebecca; Kwon, Minho

    2015-01-01

    Phytoplankton have attracted increasing attention in climate science due to their impacts on climate systems. A new generation of climate models can now provide estimates of future climate change, considering the biological feedbacks through the development of the coupled physical–ecosystem model. Here we present the geophysical impact of phytoplankton, which is often overlooked in future climate projections. A suite of future warming experiments using a fully coupled ocean−atmosphere model that interacts with a marine ecosystem model reveals that the future phytoplankton change influenced by greenhouse warming can amplify Arctic surface warming considerably. The warming-induced sea ice melting and the corresponding increase in shortwave radiation penetrating into the ocean both result in a longer phytoplankton growing season in the Arctic. In turn, the increase in Arctic phytoplankton warms the ocean surface layer through direct biological heating, triggering additional positive feedbacks in the Arctic, and consequently intensifying the Arctic warming further. Our results establish the presence of marine phytoplankton as an important potential driver of the future Arctic climate changes. PMID:25902494

  8. Microbial Analysis of Arctic Snow and Frost Flowers: What Next Generation Sequencing Method Can Reveal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortazavi, R.; Attiya, S.; Ariya, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    We herein examined and identified the population of the microbial communities of Arctic snow types and frost flower during the spring 2009 campaign of the Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack (OASIS) program in Barrow, Alaska, USA. In addition to conventional microbial identification techniques (culture-isolation-PCR amplification-sequencing) we deployed a state-of-the-art genomic Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technique to examine the true bacterial communities in Arctic samples. Our results have indicated that diverse community of microbial exists in Arctic with many originating from distinct ecological environment. The alterations observed in the texture of Arctic samples by microbial has further signified their importance in ecosystem.

  9. Parameter Sensitivity of the Arctic BIOME BGC model for Estimating Evapotranspiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engstrom, R. N.; Hope, A.

    2005-12-01

    Modeling evapotranspiration (ET) in Arctic coastal plain ecosystems is challenging due to the unique environmental conditions, including non-vascular vegetation, permafrost, and a large standing dead vegetation component. In a previous study, the commonly used ecosystem process model, BIOME BGC, was modified to include representations of these unique Arctic conditions. The modifications resulted in a new model, Arctic BIOME BGC that significantly reduced the random and systematic errors when compared to eddy flux tower measurements. However, the modifications made in Arctic BIOME BGC added complexity and a number of new parameters. In this study the generalized sensitivity analysis methodology was used to examine the Arctic BIOME BGC model sensitivity to the thirteen parameters in the application of estimating daily ET over a four year time period in the Arctic coastal plain. The thirteen parameters investigated represented those which most directly impact model ET estimates and include all of the new ones added in the development of Arctic BIOME BGC. Results indicate that the model was highly sensitive to eight of the thirteen parameters. This suggests that the new process representations added in Arctic BIOME BGC were important for modeling ET in these ecosystems. Two parameters, standing dead leaf area index and snow absorptivity, had unique, identifiable values that corresponded well to observed data. Overall, there were many physically realistic parameter sets that were able to produce acceptable model predictions indicating that parameter equifinality is present within the model.

  10. Vector-borne pathogens in arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, from Canada.

    PubMed

    Mascarelli, Patricia E; Elmore, Stacey A; Jenkins, Emily J; Alisauskas, Ray T; Walsh, Mary; Breitschwerdt, Edward B; Maggi, Ricardo G

    2015-04-01

    Because of the relatively low biodiversity within arctic ecosystems, arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, could serve as sentinels for the study of changes in the ecology of vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine the molecular prevalence of 5 different genera of vector borne pathogens (Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Hemotropic Mycoplasma spp.) using blood collected from 28 live-trapped arctic foxes from the region of Karrak Lake, Nunavut, Canada. Bartonella henselae (n = 3), Mycoplasma haemocanis (n = 1), Ehrlichia canis (n = 1), and an Anaplasma sp. (n = 1) DNA were PCR amplified and subsequently identified by sequencing. This study provides preliminary evidence that vector borne pathogens, not typically associated with the arctic ecosystem, exist at low levels in this arctic fox population, and that vector exposure, pathogen transmission dynamics, and changes in the geographic distribution of pathogens over time should be investigated in future studies. PMID:25596149

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamanouchi, Takashi

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Long-Term Perspectives of Shrub Expansions and Peat Initiation in Arctic Tundra on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleary, K.; Yu, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The ongoing climate warming in the Arctic has caused rapid terrestrial ecosystem changes, including shrub expansion and permafrost thaw. Here we used results from a peat-accumulating permafrost tundra in upper Imnavait Creek on the Arctic foothills of Alaska (68° 36' N, 149° 18' W) to investigate ecological responses to recent climate warming in the context of the last millennium. Six peat soil cores were collected from Sphagnum mosaics along an elevational gradient from 906 m to 950 m on a hillslope covered by Eriophorum-dominated tussock tundra. Macrofossil analysis documents a consistent development sequence among all cores from a mineral soil to a minerotrophic sedge peat and finally to an ombrotrophic Sphagnum peat. The 14C dating results show the ages of peat initiation range from about 900 to 140 cal BP, but do not follow the elevation gradient, suggesting the dominant control of local factors. The Sphagnum onset begins at 1820 AD near the ridge top, and subsequently propagates downslope to the floodplain at 2008 AD. This transition (ombrotrophication) was likely in response to Arctic warming, and subsequent permafrost thaw and active layer thickening, leading to drying initiating at the ridge top and facilitating Sphagnum colonization. Pollen analysis of the master core UIC13-3 at 916 m elevation (basal age 700 cal BP) shows that the vegetation was dominated by sedges (up to 84%) during the cool Little Ice Age until 1800 AD, followed by increases in shrubs first from dwarf birch (Betula nana) (up to 57%) and then willows (Salix spp.) up to 62% in the 1960s. These results indicate that shrub expansion of willows, due to accelerated warming in recent decades, was preceded by birch expansion over the last two centuries. Our new results provide a long-term perspective on ecological transformations in the Arctic, in particular the history of recent shrub expansions and the process of peatland initiation and expansion across Arctic tundra.

  13. White Arctic vs. Blue Arctic: Making Choices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Influence of Sea Ice on Arctic Marine Sulfur Biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model

    SciTech Connect

    Deal, Clara; Jin, Meibing

    2013-06-30

    Global climate models (GCMs) have not effectively considered how responses of arctic marine ecosystems to a warming climate will influence the global climate system. A key response of arctic marine ecosystems that may substantially influence energy exchange in the Arctic is a change in dimethylsulfide (DMS) emissions, because DMS emissions influence cloud albedo. This response is closely tied to sea ice through its impacts on marine ecosystem carbon and sulfur cycling, and the ice-albedo feedback implicated in accelerated arctic warming. To reduce the uncertainty in predictions from coupled climate simulations, important model components of the climate system, such as feedbacks between arctic marine biogeochemistry and climate, need to be reasonably and realistically modeled. This research first involved model development to improve the representation of marine sulfur biogeochemistry simulations to understand/diagnose the control of sea-ice-related processes on the variability of DMS dynamics. This study will help build GCM predictions that quantify the relative current and possible future influences of arctic marine ecosystems on the global climate system. Our overall research objective was to improve arctic marine biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM, now CESM). Working closely with the Climate Ocean Sea Ice Model (COSIM) team at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), we added 1 sea-ice algae and arctic DMS production and related biogeochemistry to the global Parallel Ocean Program model (POP) coupled to the LANL sea ice model (CICE). Both CICE and POP are core components of CESM. Our specific research objectives were: 1) Develop a state-of-the-art ice-ocean DMS model for application in climate models, using observations to constrain the most crucial parameters; 2) Improve the global marine sulfur model used in CESM by including DMS biogeochemistry in the Arctic; and 3) Assess how sea ice influences DMS dynamics in the arctic marine

  15. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: An Interdisciplinary Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thieman, Gayle; Geil, Mike

    This paper presents a set of interdisciplinary lessons for teaching about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Alaska). Lessons include a petroleum product treasure hunt, an examination of life without petroleum, the development of a wildlife poster, an exploration of the tundra ecosystem and the plants and animals that live there, identification…

  16. Arctic circulation regimes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-13

    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. PMID:26347536

  17. Arctic circulation regimes

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26347536

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    In light of ocean warming and loss of Arctic sea ice, harvested marine fishes of boreal origin (and their fisheries) move poleward into yet unexploited parts of the Arctic seas. Industrial fisheries, already in place on many Arctic shelves, will radically affect the local fish species as they turn up as unprecedented bycatch. Arctic marine fishes are indispensable to ecosystem structuring and functioning, but they are still beyond credible assessment due to lack of basic biological data. The time for conservation actions is now, and precautionary management practices by the Arctic coastal states are needed to mitigate the impact of industrial fisheries in Arctic waters. We outline four possible conservation actions: scientific credibility, ‘green technology’, legitimate management and overarching coordination. PMID:24105993

  19. The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE): Examining the complex Arctic biological-climatologic-hydrologic system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, K. C.; Podest, E.; Miller, C. E.; Dinardo, S. J.

    2012-12-01

    Fundamental aspects of the complex Arctic biological-climatologic-hydrologic system remain poorly quantified. As a result, significant uncertainties exist in the carbon budget of the Arctic ecosystem. NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is a currently-operational Earth Venture 1 (EV-1) mission that is examining correlations between atmospheric and surface state variables for the Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems. CARVE is conducted through a series of intensive seasonal aircraft campaigns, ground-based observations, and analysis sustained over a 5-year mission timeframe. CARVE employs a C-23 Sherpa aircraft to fly an innovative airborne remote sensing payload. This payload includes an L-band radiometer/radar system and a nadir-viewing spectrometer to deliver simultaneous measurements of land surface state variables that control gas emissions (i.e., soil moisture and inundation, freeze/thaw state, surface temperature) and total atmospheric columns of carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide. The aircraft payload also includes a gas analyzer that links greenhouse gas measurements directly to World Meteorological Organization standards and provide vertical profile information. CARVE measurement campaigns are scheduled regularly throughout the growing season each year to capture the seasonal variability in Arctic system carbon fluxes associated with the spring thaw, the summer drawdown, and the fall refreeze. Continuous ground-based measurements provide temporal and regional context as well as calibration for CARVE airborne measurements. CARVE bridges critical gaps in our knowledge and understanding of Arctic ecosystems, linkages between the Arctic hydrologic and terrestrial carbon cycles, and the feedbacks from fires and thawing permafrost. Ultimately, CARVE will provide an integrated set of data that will provide unprecedented experimental insights into Arctic carbon cycling. Portions of this work were carried out at the Jet

  20. Ice-Free Arctic Ocean?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    The current warming trends in the Arctic may shove the Arctic system into a seasonally ice-free state not seen for more than one million years, according to a new report. The melting is accelerating, and researchers were unable to identify any natural processes that might slow the deicing of the Arctic. "What really makes the Arctic different from…

  1. Carbon cycling in high-latitude ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, Alan; Frolking, Stephen; Holland, Elizabeth

    1992-01-01

    The carbon-rich soils and peatlands of high-latitude ecosystems could substantially influence atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 in a changing climate. Currently, cold, often waterlogged conditions retard decomposition, and release of carbon back to the atmosphere may be further slowed by physical protection of organic matter in permafrost. As a result, many northern ecosystems accumulate carbon over time (Billings et al., 1982; Poole and Miller, 1982), and although such rates of accumulation are low, thousands of years of development have left Arctic ecosystems with an extremely high soil carbon content; Schlesinger's (1984) average value of 20.4 kg C/m(sup 2) leads to a global estimate of 163 x 10(exp 15) g C. All GCM simulations of a doubled CO2 climate predict the greatest warming to occur in the polar regions (Dickinson, 1986; Mitchell, 1989). Given the extensive northern carbon pools and the strong sensitivity of decomposition processes to temperature, even a slight warming of the soil could dramatically alter the carbon balance of Arctic ecosystems. If warming accelerates rates of decomposition more than rates of primary production, a sizeable additional accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere could occur. Furthermore, CH4 produced in anaerobic soils and peatlands of the Arctic already composes a good percentage of the global efflux (Cicerone and Oremlund, 1988); if northern soils become warmer and wetter as a whole, CH4 emissions could dramatically rise. A robust understanding of the primary controls of carbon fluxes in Arctic ecosystems is critical. As a framework for a systematic examination of these controls, we discussed a conceptual model of regional-scale Arctic carbon turnover, including CH4 production, and based upon the Century soil organic matter model.

  2. The contiguous domains of Arctic Ocean advection: Trails of life and death

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wassmann, P.; Kosobokova, K. N.; Slagstad, D.; Drinkwater, K. F.; Hopcroft, R. R.; Moore, S. E.; Ellingsen, I.; Nelson, R. J.; Carmack, E.; Popova, E.; Berge, J.

    2015-12-01

    The central Arctic Ocean is not isolated, but tightly connected to the northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Advection of nutrient-, detritus- and plankton-rich waters into the Arctic Ocean forms lengthy contiguous domains that connect subarctic with the arctic biota, supporting both primary production and higher trophic level consumers. In turn, the Arctic influences the physical, chemical and biological oceanography of adjacent subarctic waters through southward fluxes. However, exports of biomass out of the Arctic Ocean into both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are thought to be far smaller than the northward influx. Thus, Arctic Ocean ecosystems are net biomass beneficiaries through advection. The biotic impact of Atlantic- and Pacific-origin taxa in arctic waters depends on the total supply of allochthonously-produced biomass, their ability to survive as adults and their (unsuccessful) reproduction in the new environment. Thus, advective transport can be thought of as trails of life and death in the Arctic Ocean. Through direct and indirect (mammal stomachs, models) observations this overview presents information about the advection and fate of zooplankton in the Arctic Ocean, now and in the future. The main zooplankton organisms subjected to advection into and inside the Arctic Ocean are (a) oceanic expatriates of boreal Atlantic and Pacific origin, (b) oceanic Arctic residents and (c) neritic Arctic expatriates. As compared to the Pacific gateway the advective supply of zooplankton biomass through the Atlantic gateways is 2-3 times higher. Advection characterises how the main planktonic organisms interact along the contiguous domains and shows how the subarctic production regimes fuel life in the Arctic Ocean. The main differences in the advective regimes through the Pacific and Atlantic gateways are presented. The Arctic Ocean is, at least in some regions, a net heterotrophic ocean that - during the foreseeable global warming trend - will more and more rely

  3. Arctic Coastal Dynamics (ACD)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rachold, V.; Boike, J.

    2003-04-01

    Coastal dynamics directly reflecting the complicated land-ocean interactions play an important role in the balance of sediments, organic carbon and nutrients in the Arctic basin. Recent studies indicate that sediment input to the Arctic shelves resulting from erosion of ice-rich, permafrost-dominated coasts may be equal to or greater than input from river discharge. Thus, the understanding and quantification of coastal processes is critical for interpreting the geological history of the Arctic shelves. The predictions of future behavior of these coasts in response to climatic and sea level changes is an important issue because most of the human activity that occurs at high latitudes concentrates on the Arctic coastlines. As an initiative of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) the multi-disciplinary, multi-national forum Arctic Coastal Dynamics (ACD), which was recently accepted as a project of the International Arctic Sciences Committee (IASC), had been developed. The overall objective of ACD is to improve our understanding of circum-Arctic coastal dynamics as a function of environmental forcing, coastal geology and cryology and morphodynamic behavior. In particular, the project aims to: - establish the rates and magnitudes of erosion and accumulation of Arctic coasts; - develop a network of long-term monitoring sites including local community-based observational sites; - identify and undertake focused research on critical processes; - estimate the amount of sediments and organic carbon derived from coastal erosion; - refine and apply an Arctic coastal classification (includes ground-ice, permafrost, geology etc.) in digital form (GIS format); - extract and utilize existing information on relevant environmental forcing parameters (e.g. wind speed, sea level, fetch, sea ice etc.); - produce a series of thematic and derived maps (e.g. coastal classification, ground-ice, sensitivity etc.); - develop empirical models to assess the sensitivity of Arctic

  4. Arctic Economics Model

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1995-03-01

    AEM (Arctic Economics Model) for oil and gas was developed to provide an analytic framework for understanding the arctic area resources. It provides the capacity for integrating the resource and technology information gathered by the arctic research and development (R&D) program, measuring the benefits of alternaive R&D programs, and providing updated estimates of the future oil and gas potential from arctic areas. AEM enables the user to examine field or basin-level oil and gas recovery,more » costs, and economics. It provides a standard set of selected basin-specified input values or allows the user to input their own values. AEM consists of five integrated submodels: geologic/resource submodel, which distributes the arctic resource into 15 master regions, consisting of nine arctic offshore regions, three arctic onshore regions, and three souhtern Alaska (non-arctic) regions; technology submodel, which selects the most appropriate exploration and production structure (platform) for each arctic basin and water depth; oil and gas production submodel, which contains the relationship of per well recovery as a function of field size, production decline curves, and production decline curves by product; engineering costing and field development submodel, which develops the capital and operating costs associated with arctic oil and gas development; and the economics submodel, which captures the engineering costs and development timing and links these to oil and gas prices, corporate taxes and tax credits, depreciation, and timing of investment. AEM provides measures of producible oil and gas, costs, and ecomonic viability under alternative technology or financial conditions.« less

  5. VLF propagation measurements in the Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauber, Wilfred R.; Bertrand, Jean M.

    1993-05-01

    For the past three years, during a period of high sun spot numbers, propagation measurements were made on the reception of VLF signals in the Canadian Arctic. Between Aug. and Dec. 1989, the received signal strengths were measured on the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, John A. MacDonald in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. Between Jul. 1991 and Jun. 1992, the received signal strengths were measured at Nanisivik, Baffin Island. The purposes of this work were to check the accuracy and estimate variances of the Naval Ocean Systems Center's (NOSC) Long Wave Propagation Capability (LWPC) predictions in the Canadian Arctic and to gather ionospheric storm data. In addition, the NOSC data taken at Fort Smith and our data at Nanisivik were used to test the newly developed Longwave Noise Prediction (LNP) program and the CCIR noise predictions, at 21.4 and 24.0 kHz. The results of the work presented and discussed in this paper show that in general the LWPC predicts accurate values of received signal strength in the Canadian Arctic with standard deviations of 1 to 2 dB over several months. Ionospheric storms can gauge the received signal strengths to decrease some 10 dB for a period of several hours or days. However, the effects of these storms are highly dependent on the propagation path. Finally the new LNP atmospheric noise model predicts lower values of noise in the Arctic than the CCIR model and our limited measurements tend to support these lower values.

  6. Ecosystem Jenga!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  7. Ecosystem Journalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Amy; Mahlin, Kathryn

    2005-01-01

    If the organisms in a prairie ecosystem created a newspaper, what would it look like? What important news topics of the ecosystem would the organisms want to discuss? Imaginative and enthusiastic third-grade students were busy pondering these questions as they tried their hands at "ecosystem journalism." The class had recently completed a study of…

  8. Arctic hydrology and meteorology

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.L.

    1989-01-01

    To date, five years of hydrologic and meteorologic data have been collected at Imnavait Creek near Toolik Lake, Alaska. This is the most complete set of field data of this type collected in the Arctic of North America. These data have been used in process-oriented research to increase our understanding of atmosphere/hydrosphere/biosphere/lithosphere interactions. Basically, we are monitoring heat and mass transfer between various spheres to quantify rates. These could be rates of mass movement such as hillslope flow or rates of heat transfer for active layer thawing or combined heat and mass processes such as evapotranspiration. We have utilized a conceptual model to predict hydrologic processes. To test the success of this model, we are comparing our predicted rates of runoff and snowmelt to measured valves. We have also used a surface energy model to simulate active layer temperatures. The final step in this modeling effort to date was to predict what impact climatic warming would have on active layer thicknesses and how this will influence the hydrology of our research watershed by examining several streambeds.

  9. MERCURY IN VEGETATION AND LAKE SEDIMENTS FROM THE U.S. ARCTIC

    EPA Science Inventory

    Global atmospheric concentrations of mercury (Hg) appear to be increasing and with it the potential for ecosystem exposure and ecological effects. rom 1990 to 1993 the authors examined U.S. arctic ecosystems over a broad spatial scale to develop baseline information on current co...

  10. Satellite monitoring of impact Arctic regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bondur, V. G.; Vorobev, V. E.

    2015-12-01

    The results of satellite monitoring of the environmental state of impact Arctic regions subjected to heavy anthropogenic influence are given. We analyze arrays of vegetation indices and complex spectral transformations derived from processed long-term (1973-2013) satellite data for areas around the cities of Arkhangelsk and Zapolyarny (Murmansk oblast). These data have been used to evaluate the changes in the state of the environment and reveal areas of peak anthropogenic impacts causing significant morphologic changes in all kinds of geosystems and strongly affecting the Arctic natural ecosystems. We have identified the impact regions that are subjected to peak anthropogenic impact and found that these areas are associated with specific industrial facilities.

  11. Arctic Climate Systems Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ivey, Mark D.; Robinson, David G.; Boslough, Mark B.; Backus, George A.; Peterson, Kara J.; van Bloemen Waanders, Bart G.; Swiler, Laura Painton; Desilets, Darin Maurice; Reinert, Rhonda Karen

    2015-03-01

    This study began with a challenge from program area managers at Sandia National Laboratories to technical staff in the energy, climate, and infrastructure security areas: apply a systems-level perspective to existing science and technology program areas in order to determine technology gaps, identify new technical capabilities at Sandia that could be applied to these areas, and identify opportunities for innovation. The Arctic was selected as one of these areas for systems level analyses, and this report documents the results. In this study, an emphasis was placed on the arctic atmosphere since Sandia has been active in atmospheric research in the Arctic since 1997. This study begins with a discussion of the challenges and benefits of analyzing the Arctic as a system. It goes on to discuss current and future needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for more comprehensive data products related to the Arctic; assess the current state of atmospheric measurement resources available for the Arctic; and explain how the capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories can be used to address the identified technological, data, and modeling needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for Arctic support.

  12. [Urban ecosystem services: A review].

    PubMed

    Mao, Qi-zheng; Huang, Gan-lin; Wu, Jian-guo

    2015-04-01

    Maintaining and improving ecosystem services in urban areas and human well-being are essential for sustainable development and therefore constitute an important topic in urban ecology. Here we reviewed studies on ecosystem services in urban areas. Based on the concept and classification of urban ecosystem services, we summarized characteristics of urban ecosystem services, including the human domination, high demand of ecosystem services in urban areas, spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics of ecosystem services supply and demand in urban areas, multi-services of urban green infrastructures, the socio-economic dimension of ecosystem services supply and ecosystem disservices in urban areas. Among different urban ecosystem services, the regulating service and cultural service are particularly indispensable to benefit human health. We pointed out that tradeoffs among different types of ecosystem services mostly occur between supportive service and cultural service, as well as regulating service and cultural service. In particular, we emphasized the relationship between landscape design (i.e. green infrastructure) and ecosystem services supply. Finally, we discussed current gaps to link urban ecosystem services studies to landscape design and management and pointed out several directions for future research in urban ecosystem services. PMID:26259442

  13. FRAM - FRontiers in Arctic marine Monitoring: Permanent Observations in a Gateway to the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soltwedel, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Our ability to understand the complex interactions of biological, chemical, physical, and geological processes in the ocean is still limited by the lack of integrative and interdisciplinary observation infrastructures. The main purpose of the open-ocean infrastructure FRAM (FRontiers in Arctic marine Monitoring) is permanent presence at sea, from surface to depth, for the provision of near real-time data on climate variability and ecosystem change in an Arctic marine environment. The Alfred-Wegener-Institut I Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), together with partner institutes in Germany and Europe, aims at providing such infrastructure for the polar ocean as a major contribution to international efforts towards comprehensive Global Earth Observation. The FRAM Ocean Observing System targets the gateway between the North Atlantic and the Central Arctic, representing a highly climate-sensitive and rapidly changing region of the Earth system. It will serve national and international tasks towards a better understanding of the effects of change in ocean circulation, water mass properties and sea-ice retreat on Arctic marine ecosystems and their main functions and services. FRAM integrates and develops already existing observatories, i.e. the oceanographic mooring array HAFOS (Hybrid Arctic/Antarctic Float Observing System) and the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site HAUSGARTEN. It will implement existing and next-generation sensors and observatory platforms, allowing synchronous observation of relevant ocean variables, as well as the study of physical, chemical and biological processes in the water column and at the seafloor. Experimental and event-triggered platforms will complement observational platforms. Products of the infrastructure are continuous long-term data with appropriate resolution in space and time, as well as ground-truthing information for ocean models and remote sensing.

  14. Will Arctic ground squirrels impede or accelerate climate-induced vegetation changes to the Arctic tundra?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, J.; Flower, C. E.; Brown, J.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.; Whelan, C.

    2014-12-01

    Considerable attention has been given to the climate feedbacks associated with predicted vegetation shifts in the Arctic tundra in response to global environmental change. However, little is known regarding the extent to which consumers can facilitate or respond to shrub expansion. Arctic ground squirrels, the largest and most northern ground squirrel, are abundant and widespread throughout the North American tundra. Their broad diet of seeds, flowers, herbage, bird's eggs and meat speaks to the need to breed, feed, and fatten in a span of some 12-16 weeks that separate their 8-9 month bouts of hibernation with the potential consequence to impact ecosystem dynamics. Therefore Arctic ground squirrels are a good candidate to evaluate whether consumers are mere responders (bottom-up effects) or drivers (top-down) of the observed and predicted vegetation changes. As a start towards this question, we measured the foraging intensity (giving-up densities) of Arctic ground squirrels in experimental food patches within which the squirrels experience diminishing returns as they seek the raisins and peanuts that we provided at the Toolik Lake field station in northern Alaska. If the squirrels show their highest feeding intensity in the shrubs, they may impede vegetation shifts by slowing the establishment and expansion of shrubs in the tundra. Conversely, if they show their lowest feeding intensity within shrub dominated areas, they may accelerate vegetation shifts. We found neither. Feeding intensity varied most among transects and times of day, and least along a tundra-to-shrub vegetation gradient. This suggests that the impacts of squirrels will be heterogeneous - in places responders and in others drivers. We should not be surprised then to see patches of accelerated and impeded vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem. Some of these patterns may be predictable from the foraging behavior of Arctic ground squirrels.

  15. Reconstructing the Climate and Ecology of an Arctic Pliocene Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rybczynski, N.; Ballantyne, A.; Csank, A.; Matheus, P.

    2006-12-01

    Instrumental records reveal that the current rate of arctic warming greatly exceeds mean global warming. However, arctic temperatures during the Pliocene were considerably warmer than present, making it an excellent time period for investigating potential consequences of current warming trends. Pliocene-aged (4 to 5 Ma) peat deposits from Ellesmere Island are characterized by a remarkable fossil assemblage including 15 vertebrate taxa, 90 plant taxa and 101 invertebrate taxa. Among the fossils are well-preserved samples of an extinct larch (Larix groenlandii), which have been exploited as an archive of paleoclimatic information. Analysis of annual ring widths and oxygen isotopes suggest that Pliocene temperatures were 14.2 ° C warmer than today (-5.5 \\mp 1.9 ° C). Furthermore, temporal patterns in isotopic variability suggest that modes of variability that dominate modern arctic climates, such as the NAO, were also operating during the Pliocene. Isotopic analysis of fossil bone material may provide insight into the structure of past arctic ecosystems. Preliminary data suggest that carbon and nitrogen isotopes extracted from the collagen of fossil bone may provide a powerful new tool for investigating the response of arctic ecosystems to previously warm intervals in Earth's History.

  16. Oceanographic Aspects of Recent Changes in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morison, J. H.

    2002-12-01

    In the Arctic recent decadal-scale changes have marked the atmosphere, ocean, and land. Connections between the oceanographic changes and large-scale atmospheric circulation changes are emerging. Surface atmospheric pressure has shown a declining trend over the Arctic. In the 1990s, the Arctic Ocean circulation took on a more cyclonic character, and the front separating Atlantic-derived waters of the Eurasian Basin and the Pacific-derived waters of the Canadian Basin shifted counterclockwise. The temperature of Atlantic water in the Arctic Ocean reached record levels. The cold halocline, which isolates the surface from the warm Atlantic water, grew thinner disappearing entirely from the Amundsen Basin at one point [Steele and Boyd, 1998]. Arctic sea ice extent has decreased 3% per decade since the 1970s [Parkinson et al., 1999]. Sea ice thickness over much of the Arctic decreased 43% between 1958-1976 and 1993-1997 [Rothrock et al., 1999]. Arctic ecosystems have responded to these changes. Sea ice studies in the late 1990s indicate that the sea ice algal species composition changed from decades before, with the species recently being characterized by more brackish and freshwater forms. Barents Sea fisheries have shifted north following reductions in ice extent. Pacific salmon species have been found entering rivers in the Arctic. There is evidence that this complex of pan-Arctic changes is connected with the rising trend in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) or Northern Hemisphere atmospheric polar vortex in the 1990s. Theoretical evidence that a positive trend in the AO index might be indicative of greenhouse warming raises the possibility that the recent complex of changes is an Arctic characteristic of global climate change. Also, the changes in ice cover manifest a connection between the complex of change and global climate through ice-albedo feedback, by which reductions in ice cover reduce the amount of sunlight reflected from the earth's surface. Another important

  17. Arctic spring awakening - Steering principles behind the phenology of vernal ice algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leu, E.; Mundy, C. J.; Assmy, P.; Campbell, K.; Gabrielsen, T. M.; Gosselin, M.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Gradinger, R.

    2015-12-01

    Marine ecosystems at high latitudes are characterized by extreme seasonal changes in light conditions, as well as a limited period of high primary production during spring and early summer. As light returns at the end of winter to Arctic ice-covered seas, a first algal bloom takes place in the bottom layer of the sea ice. This bottom ice algae community develops through three distinct phases in the transition from winter to spring, starting with phase I, a predominantly net heterotroph community that has limited interaction with the pelagic or benthic realms. Phase II begins in the spring once light for photosynthesis becomes available at the ice bottom, although interaction with the water column and benthos remains limited. The transition to the final phase III is then mainly driven by a balance of atmospheric and oceanographic forcing that induce structural changes in the sea ice and ultimately the removal of algal biomass from the ice. Due to limited data availability an incomplete understanding exists of all the processes determining ice algal bloom phenology and the considerable geographic differences in sympagic algal standing stocks and primary production. We present here the first pan-Arctic compilation of available time-series data on vernal sea ice algal bloom development and identify the most important factors controlling its development and termination. Using data from the area surrounding Resolute Bay (Nunavut, Canada) as an example, we support previous investigations that snow cover on top of the ice influences sea ice algal phenology, with highest biomass development, but also earliest termination of blooms, under low snow cover. We also provide a pan-Arctic overview of sea ice algae standing stocks and primary production, and discuss the pertinent processes behind the geographic differences we observed. Finally, we assess potential future changes in vernal algal bloom phenology as a consequence of climate change, including their importance to

  18. Rapid disturbances in Arctic permafrost regions (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosse, G.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Arp, C. D.; Jones, B. M.

    2013-12-01

    ponds have been forming indicate a broad range of possible biogeochemical feedbacks that require further study. Finally, thermokarst lake drainage observed in regions of continuous permafrost shows that local permafrost degradation, such as thermo-erosional gully formation, may increase permafrost extent in a region, in particular by new permafrost aggradation in freshly exposed, refreezing lake basin sediments. Thermokarst lake drainage across all types of permafrost extent increases habitat diversity, is important for regional biogeochemical cycling, and results in carbon sequestration. While all three disturbance types differ in spatial scale and current abundance, they also point at specific vulnerabilities of permafrost landscapes that are tied to local factors such as ground ice, highlight critical knowledge gaps for predictive ecosystem and biogeochemical models, and indicate the potential for rapid, substantial, and surprising changes in a future warmer Arctic.

  19. Limnological Responses to Landscape Evolution in the High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hove, P.; Mueller, D. R.; Vincent, W. F.

    2004-05-01

    The present arctic landscape and its coastal ecosystems have been strongly shaped by the last glaciation and subsequent isostatic uplift during the Holocene. These processes have created a diverse range of stratified aquatic ecosystem types on northern Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic. In the present study we examined the limnological properties of 7 of these aquatic ecosystems over the latitudes 80-83 N: Romulus Lake; Lake A; Lakes C1 C2 and C3; Taconite Inlet and Disraeli Fiord. These polar desert environments depend on the presence of an ice cover throughout almost the entire year to maintain a stratified water column. The stability of ice covers and drainage basin characteristics give rise to varied environmental conditions but all systems show a number of common characteristics : all show strong stratification, with mid-water column temperature maxima ranging from 0.75oC to 12oC, and conductivities up to twice that of seawater in the bottom waters, similar to some aquatic ecosystems in the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica. The lakes have anoxic bottom waters and high dissolved organic carbon concentrations, while their surface waters contain dilute concentrations of solutes. Despite their marine origin, water-column ionic ratios implies a certain level of terrigenous influence in these systems. Biologically, these ecosystems are dominated by microbial food webs, and their near-surface phytoplankton communities are dominated by picocyanobacteria, sharply contrasting with the Arctic Ocean from which these waters are derived. From our set of profile data, we propose an evolutionary sequence of limnological conditions, from ice-dammed fiords to either hypersaline meromictic or freshwater monomictic lakes that parallel changes in climate, hydrology and geomorphology during the Holocene. These observations underscore how the present day characteristics of high latitude ecosystems must be placed in the context of long-term processes in the changing Arctic

  20. Mapping the future expansion of Arctic open water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnhart, Katherine R.; Miller, Christopher R.; Overeem, Irina; Kay, Jennifer E.

    2016-03-01

    Sea ice impacts most of the Arctic environment, from ocean circulation and marine ecosystems to animal migration and marine transportation. Sea ice has thinned and decreased in age over the observational record. Ice extent has decreased. Reduced ice cover has warmed the surface ocean, accelerated coastal erosion and impacted biological productivity. Declines in Arctic sea-ice extent cannot be explained by internal climate variability alone and can be attributed to anthropogenic effects. However, extent is a poor measure of ice decline at specific locations as it integrates over the entire Arctic basin and thus contains no spatial information. The open water season, in contrast, is a metric that represents the duration of open water over a year at an individual location. Here we present maps of the open water season over the period 1920-2100 using daily output from a 30-member initial-condition ensemble of business-as-usual climate simulations that characterize the expansion of Arctic open water, determine when the open water season will move away from pre-industrial conditions (`shift’ time) and identify when human forcing will take the Arctic sea-ice system outside its normal bounds (`emergence’ time). The majority of the Arctic nearshore regions began shifting in 1990 and will begin leaving the range of internal variability in 2040. Models suggest that ice will cover coastal regions for only half of the year by 2070.

  1. Riverine source of Arctic Ocean mercury inferred from atmospheric observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Jenny A.; Jacob, Daniel J.; Soerensen, Anne L.; Amos, Helen M.; Steffen, Alexandra; Sunderland, Elsie M.

    2012-07-01

    Methylmercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in aquatic food webs. Human activities, including industry and mining, have increased inorganic mercury inputs to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Methylation of this mercury generates methylmercury, and is thus a public health concern. Marine methylmercury is a particular concern in the Arctic, where indigenous peoples rely heavily on marine-based diets. In the summer, atmospheric inorganic mercury concentrations peak in the Arctic, whereas they reach a minimum in the northern mid-latitudes. Here, we use a global three-dimensional ocean-atmosphere model to examine the cause of this Arctic summertime maximum. According to our simulations, circumpolar rivers deliver large quantities of mercury to the Arctic Ocean during summer; the subsequent evasion of this riverine mercury to the atmosphere can explain the summertime peak in atmospheric mercury levels. We infer that rivers are the dominant source of mercury to the Arctic Ocean on an annual basis. Our simulations suggest that Arctic Ocean mercury concentrations could be highly sensitive to climate-induced changes in river flow, and to increases in the mobility of mercury in soils, for example as a result of permafrost thaw and forest fires.

  2. Temperature and precipitation history of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, G. H.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Alley, R. B.; Anderson, L.; Bauch, H. A.; Douglas, M. S. V.; Edwards, M. E.; Elias, S. A.; Finney, B. P.; Fitzpatrick, J. J.; Funder, S. V.; Herbert, T. D.; Hinzman, L. D.; Kaufman, D. S.; MacDonald, G. M.; Polyak, L.; Robock, A.; Serreze, M. C.; Smol, J. P.; Spielhagen, R.; White, J. W. C.; Wolfe, A. P.; Wolff, E. W.

    2010-07-01

    decreased in the second half of the Holocene, glaciers re-established or advanced, sea ice expanded, and the flow of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean diminished. Late Holocene cooling reached its nadir during the Little Ice Age (about 1250-1850 AD), when sun-blocking volcanic eruptions and perhaps other causes added to the orbital cooling, allowing most Arctic glaciers to reach their maximum Holocene extent. During the warming of the past century, glaciers have receded throughout the Arctic, terrestrial ecosystems have advanced northward, and perennial Arctic Ocean sea ice has diminished. Here we review the proxies that allow reconstruction of Quaternary climates and the feedbacks that amplify climate change across the Arctic. We provide an overview of the evolution of climate from the hot-house of the early Cenozoic through its transition to the ice-house of the Quaternary, with special emphasis on the anomalous warmth of the middle Pliocene, early Quaternary warm times, the Mid Pleistocene transition, warm interglaciations of marine isotope stages 11, 5e, and 1, the stage 3 interstadial, and the peak cold of the last glacial maximum.

  3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) Arctic Climate Change Studies: A Contribution to IPY

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calder, J.; Overland, J.; Uttal, T.; Richter-Menge, J.; Rigor, I.; Crane, K.

    2004-12-01

    NOAA has initiated four activities that respond to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment(ACIA) recommendations and represent contributions toward the IPY: 1) Arctic cloud, radiation and aerosol observatories, 2) documentation and attribution of changes in sea-ice thickness through direct measurement and modeling, 3) deriving added value from existing multivariate and historical data, and 4) following physical and biological changes in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas. Northeast Canada, the central Arctic coast of Russia and the continuing site at Barrow have been chosen as desirable radiation/cloud locations as they exhibit different responses to Arctic Oscillation variability. NOAA is closely collaborating with Canadian groups to establish an observatory at Eureka. NOAA has begun deployment of a network of ice-tethered ice mass balance buoys complemented by several ice profiling sonars. In combination with other sea ice investigators, the Arctic buoy program, and satellites, changes can be monitored more effectively in sea ice throughout the Arctic. Retrospective data analyses includes analysis of Arctic clouds and radiation from surface and satellite measurements, correction of systematic errors in TOVS radiance data sets for the Arctic which began in 1979, addressing the feasibility of an Arctic System Reanalysis, and an Arctic Change Detection project that incorporates historical and recent physical and biological observations and news items at a website, www.arctic.noaa.gov. NOAA has begun a long-term effort to detect change in ecosystem indicators in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas that could provide a model for other northern marine ecosystems. The first efforts were undertaken in summer 2004 during a joint Russian-US cruise that mapped the regions physical, chemical and biological parameters to set the stage for future operations over the longer term. A line of biophysical moorings provide detection of the expected warming of this area. A

  4. Improving the representation of Arctic photosynthesis in Earth system models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, A.; Serbin, S.; Ely, K.; Sloan, V. L.; Wyatt, R. A.; Kubien, D. S.; Ali, A. A.; Xu, C.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    The primary goal of Earth System Models (ESMs) is to improve understanding and projection of future global change. In order to do this they must accurately represent the carbon fluxes associated with the terrestrial carbon cycle. Although Arctic carbon fluxes are small - relative to global carbon fluxes - uncertainty is large. As part of a multidisciplinary project to improve the representation of the Arctic in ESMs (Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments - Arctic) we are examining the photosynthetic parameterization of the Arctic plant functional type (PFT) in ESMs. Photosynthetic CO2 uptake is well described by the Farquhar, von Caemmerer and Berry (FvCB) model of photosynthesis. Most ESMs use a derivation of the FvCB model to calculate gross primary productivity. Two key parameters required by the FvCB model are an estimate of the maximum rate of carboxylation by the enzyme Rubisco (Vc,max) and the maximum rate of electron transport (Jmax). In ESMs the parameter Vc,max is usually fixed for a given PFT. Only four ESMs currently have an explicit Arctic PFT and the data used to derive Vc,max for the Arctic PFT in these models relies on small data sets and unjustified assumptions. We examined the derivation of Vc,max and Jmax in current Arctic PFTs and estimated Vc,max and Jmax for 7 species representing both dominant vegetation and key Arctic PFTs growing on the Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow, AK. The values of Vc,max currently used to represent Arctic PFTs in ESMs are 70% lower than the values we measured in these species. Examination of the derivation of Vc,max in ESMs identified that the cause of the relatively low Vc,max value was the result of underestimating both the leaf N content and the investment of that N in Rubisco. Contemporary temperature response functions for Vc,max also appear to underestimate Vc,max at low temperature. ESMs typically use a single multiplier (JVratio) to convert Vc,max to Jmax for all PFTs. We found that the JVratio of

  5. Biological Chlorine Cycling in Arctic Peat Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlamal, J. E.; Raab, T. K.; Lipson, D.

    2014-12-01

    . Incubations were conducted in the laboratory providing arctic soils with Clorg, and measurements taken to assess rates of organohalide respiration show an increase in chloride production due to microbial activity. Investigating these soils with diverse techniques affirms the importance of Cl-cycling in a pristine arctic tundra ecosystem.

  6. Arctic Gas hydrate, Environment and Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mienert, Jurgen; Andreassen, Karin; Bünz, Stefan; Carroll, JoLynn; Ferre, Benedicte; Knies, Jochen; Panieri, Giuliana; Rasmussen, Tine; Myhre, Cathrine Lund

    2015-04-01

    Arctic methane hydrate exists on land beneath permafrost regions and offshore in shelf and continental margins sediments. Methane or gas hydrate, an ice-like substrate, consists mainly of light hydrocarbons (mostly methane from biogenic sources but also ethane and propane from thermogenic sources) entrapped by a rigid cage of water molecules. The pressure created by the overlying water and sediments offshore stabilizes the CH4 in continental margins at a temperature range well above freezing point; consequently CH4 exists as methane ice beneath the seabed. Though the accurate volume of Arctic methane hydrate and thus the methane stored in hydrates throughout the Quaternary is still unknown it must be enormous if one considers the vast regions of Arctic continental shelves and margins as well as permafrost areas offshore and on land. Today's subseabed methane hydrate reservoirs are the remnants from the last ice age and remain elusive targets for both unconventional energy and as a natural methane emitter influencing ocean environments and ecosystems. It is still contentious at what rate Arctic warming may govern hydrate melting, and whether the methane ascending from the ocean floor through the hydrosphere reaches the atmosphere. As indicated by Greenland ice core records, the atmospheric methane concentration rose rapidly from ca. 500 ppb to ca. 750 ppb over a short time period of just 150 years at the termination of the younger Dryas period ca. 11600 years ago, but the dissociation of large quantities of methane hydrates on the ocean floor have not been documented yet (Brook et al., 2014 and references within). But with the major projected warming and sea ice melting trend (Knies et al., 2014) one may ask, for how long will CH4 stay trapped in methane hydrates if surface and deep-ocean water masses will warm and permafrost continuous to melt (Portnov et al. 2014). How much of the Arctic methane will be consumed by the micro- and macrofauna, how much will

  7. Arctic freshwater synthesis: Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prowse, T.; Bring, A.; Mârd, J.; Carmack, E.

    2015-11-01

    In response to a joint request from the World Climate Research Program's Climate and Cryosphere Project, the International Arctic Science Committee, and the Arctic Council's Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, an updated scientific assessment has been conducted of the Arctic Freshwater System (AFS), entitled the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis (AFSΣ). The major reason for joint request was an increasing concern that changes to the AFS have produced, and could produce even greater, changes to biogeophysical and socioeconomic systems of special importance to northern residents and also produce extra-Arctic climatic effects that will have global consequences. Hence, the key objective of the AFSΣ was to produce an updated, comprehensive, and integrated review of the structure and function of the entire AFS. The AFSΣ was organized around six key thematic areas: atmosphere, oceans, terrestrial hydrology, terrestrial ecology, resources and modeling, and the review of each coauthored by an international group of scientists and published as separate manuscripts in this special issue of Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. This AFSΣ—Introduction reviews the motivations for, and foci of, previous studies of the AFS, discusses criteria used to define the domain of the AFS, and details key characteristics of the definition adopted for the AFSΣ.

  8. Monitoring boreal ecosystem phenology with integrated active/passive microwave remote sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McDonald, K. C.; Njoku, E.; Kimball, J.; Running, S.; Thompson, C.; Lee, J. K.

    2002-01-01

    The important role of the high latitudes in the functioning of global processes is becoming well established. The size and remoteness of arctic and boreal ecosystems, however, pose a challenge to quantification of both terrestrial ecosystem processes and their feedbacks to regional and global climate conditions. Boreal and arctic regions form a complex land cover mosaic where vegetation structure, condition and distribution are strongly regulated by environmental factors such as moisture availability, permafrost, growing season length, disturbance and soil nutrients.

  9. Simulating the effects of climate change and climate variability on carbon dynamics in Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stieglitz, Marc; Giblin, Anne; Hobbie, John; Williams, Matthew; Kling, George

    2000-12-01

    Through a simple modeling exercise, three mechanisms have been identified, each operating at a different timescale, that may govern carbon dynamics in Arctic tundra regions and partially explain observed CO2 flux variability. At short timescales the biosphere reacts to meteorological forcing. Drier conditions are associated with aerobic soil decomposition, a large CO2efflux, and a net ecosystem loss of carbon. Cooler and moister conditions favor slower anaerobic decomposition in soils, good growing conditions, and terrestrial carbon sequestration. At intermediate timescales, periods of terrestrial carbon loss are directly linked to periods of carbon sequestration by the ability of the ecosystem to retain labile nitrogen. Labile nitrogen released to the soil during periods when the tundra is a source of carbon (soil respiration > net primary productivity) is retained within the ecosystem and accessed during periods when carbon sequestration is favored (net primary productivity > soil respiration). Finally, the ability of vegetation to respond to long-term changes in soil nutrient status via changes in leaf nitrogen and leaf area index modulates this dynamic at intermediate to long timescales.

  10. Trajectory of the Arctic as an integrated system.

    PubMed

    Hinzman, Larry D; Deal, Clara J; McGuire, A David; Mernild, Sebastian H; Polyakov, Igor V; Walsh, John E

    2013-12-01

    Although much remains to be learned about the Arctic and its component processes, many of the most urgent scientific, engineering, and social questions can only be approached through a broader system perspective. Here, we address interactions between components of the Arctic system and assess feedbacks and the extent to which feedbacks (1) are now underway in the Arctic and (2) will shape the future trajectory of the Arctic system. We examine interdependent connections among atmospheric processes, oceanic processes, sea-ice dynamics, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, land surface stocks of carbon and water, glaciers and ice caps, and the Greenland ice sheet. Our emphasis on the interactions between components, both historical and anticipated, is targeted on the feedbacks, pathways, and processes that link these different components of the Arctic system. We present evidence that the physical components of the Arctic climate system are currently in extreme states, and that there is no indication that the system will deviate from this anomalous trajectory in the foreseeable future. The feedback for which the evidence of ongoing changes is most compelling is the surface albedo-temperature feedback, which is amplifying temperature changes over land (primarily in spring) and ocean (primarily in autumn-winter). Other feedbacks likely to emerge are those in which key processes include surface fluxes of trace gases, changes in the distribution of vegetation, changes in surface soil moisture, changes in atmospheric water vapor arising from higher temperatures and greater areas of open ocean, impacts of Arctic freshwater fluxes on the meridional overturning circulation of the ocean, and changes in Arctic clouds resulting from changes in water vapor content. PMID:24555312

  11. Trajectory of the arctic as an integrated system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinzman, Larry; Deal, Clara; McGuire, Anthony David; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Polyakov, Igor V.; Walsh, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Although much remains to be learned about the Arctic and its component processes, many of the most urgent scientific, engineering, and social questions can only be approached through a broader system perspective. Here, we address interactions between components of the Arctic System and assess feedbacks and the extent to which feedbacks (1) are now underway in the Arctic; and (2) will shape the future trajectory of the Arctic system. We examine interdependent connections among atmospheric processes, oceanic processes, sea-ice dynamics, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, land surface stocks of carbon and water, glaciers and ice caps, and the Greenland ice sheet. Our emphasis on the interactions between components, both historical and anticipated, is targeted on the feedbacks, pathways, and processes that link these different components of the Arctic system. We present evidence that the physical components of the Arctic climate system are currently in extreme states, and that there is no indication that the system will deviate from this anomalous trajectory in the foreseeable future. The feedback for which the evidence of ongoing changes is most compelling is the surface albedo-temperature feedback, which is amplifying temperature changes over land (primarily in spring) and ocean (primarily in autumn-winter). Other feedbacks likely to emerge are those in which key processes include surface fluxes of trace gases, changes in the distribution of vegetation, changes in surface soil moisture, changes in atmospheric water vapor arising from higher temperatures and greater areas of open ocean, impacts of Arctic freshwater fluxes on the meridional overturning circulation of the ocean, and changes in Arctic clouds resulting from changes in water vapor content.

  12. The Arctic Visiting Speakers Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Fahnestock, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic Visiting Speakers Program (AVS) is a program of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) and funded by the National Science Foundation. AVS provides small grants to researchers and other Arctic experts to travel and share their knowledge in communities where they might not otherwise connect. The program aims to: initiate and encourage arctic science education in communities with little exposure to arctic research; increase collaboration among the arctic research community; nurture communication between arctic researchers and community residents; and foster arctic science education at the local level. Individuals, community organizations, and academic organizations can apply to host a speaker. Speakers cover a wide range of arctic topics and can address a variety of audiences including K-12 students, graduate and undergraduate students, and the general public. Preference is given to tours that reach broad and varied audiences, especially those targeted to underserved populations. Between October 2000 and July 2013, AVS supported 114 tours spanning 9 different countries, including tours in 23 U.S. states. Tours over the past three and a half years have connected Arctic experts with over 6,600 audience members. Post-tour evaluations show that AVS consistently rates high for broadening interest and understanding of arctic issues. AVS provides a case study for how face-to-face interactions between arctic scientists and general audiences can produce high-impact results. Further information can be found at: http://www.arcus.org/arctic-visiting-speakers.

  13. The central role of diminishing sea ice in recent Arctic temperature amplification.

    PubMed

    Screen, James A; Simmonds, Ian

    2010-04-29

    The rise in Arctic near-surface air temperatures has been almost twice as large as the global average in recent decades-a feature known as 'Arctic amplification'. Increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases have driven Arctic and global average warming; however, the underlying causes of Arctic amplification remain uncertain. The roles of reductions in snow and sea ice cover and changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation, cloud cover and water vapour are still matters of debate. A better understanding of the processes responsible for the recent amplified warming is essential for assessing the likelihood, and impacts, of future rapid Arctic warming and sea ice loss. Here we show that the Arctic warming is strongest at the surface during most of the year and is primarily consistent with reductions in sea ice cover. Changes in cloud cover, in contrast, have not contributed strongly to recent warming. Increases in atmospheric water vapour content, partly in response to reduced sea ice cover, may have enhanced warming in the lower part of the atmosphere during summer and early autumn. We conclude that diminishing sea ice has had a leading role in recent Arctic temperature amplification. The findings reinforce suggestions that strong positive ice-temperature feedbacks have emerged in the Arctic, increasing the chances of further rapid warming and sea ice loss, and will probably affect polar ecosystems, ice-sheet mass balance and human activities in the Arctic. PMID:20428168

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Schlosser, P.; Loring, A. J.; Warnick, W. K.; Committee, S. S.

    2008-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is a multi-agency effort to observe, understand, and guide responses to changes in the arctic system. Interrelated environmental changes in the Arctic are affecting ecosystems and living resources and are impacting local and global communities and economic activities. Under the SEARCH program, guided by the Science Steering Committee (SSC), the Interagency Program Management Committee (IPMC), and the Observing, Understanding, and Responding to Change panels, scientists with a variety of expertise--atmosphere, ocean and sea ice, hydrology and cryosphere, terrestrial ecosystems, human dimensions, and paleoclimatology--work together to achieve goals of the program. Over 150 projects and activities contribute to SEARCH implementation. The Observing Change component is underway through National Science Foundation's (NSF) Arctic Observing Network (AON), NOAA-sponsored atmospheric and sea ice observations, and other relevant national and international efforts, including the EU- sponsored Developing Arctic Modelling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies (DAMOCLES) Program. The Understanding Change component of SEARCH consists of modeling and analysis efforts, with strong linkages to relevant programs such as NSF's Arctic System Synthesis (ARCSS) Program. The Responding to Change element is driven by stakeholder research and applications addressing social and economic concerns. As a national program under the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC), SEARCH is also working to expand international connections in an effort to better understand the global arctic system. SEARCH is sponsored by eight (8) U.S. agencies, including: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Smithsonian

  15. The NGEE Arctic Data Archive -- Portal for Archiving and Distributing Data and Documentation

    SciTech Connect

    Boden, Thomas A; Palanisamy, Giri; Devarakonda, Ranjeet; Killeffer, Terri S; Krassovski, Misha B; Hook, Leslie A

    2014-01-01

    The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project is committed to implementing a rigorous and high-quality data management program. The goal is to implement innovative and cost-effective guidelines and tools for collecting, archiving, and sharing data within the project, the larger scientific community, and the public. The NGEE Arctic web site is the framework for implementing these data management and data sharing tools. The open sharing of NGEE Arctic data among project researchers, the broader scientific community, and the public is critical to meeting the scientific goals and objectives of the NGEE Arctic project and critical to advancing the mission of the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Biological and Environmental (BER) Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) program.

  16. Recent Arctic Ocean sea ice loss triggers novel fall phytoplankton blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ardyna, Mathieu; Babin, Marcel; Gosselin, Michel; Devred, Emmanuel; Rainville, Luc; Tremblay, Jean-Éric

    2014-09-01

    Recent receding of the ice pack allows more sunlight to penetrate into the Arctic Ocean, enhancing productivity of a single annual phytoplankton bloom. Increasing river runoff may, however, enhance the yet pronounced upper ocean stratification and prevent any significant wind-driven vertical mixing and upward supply of nutrients, counteracting the additional light available to phytoplankton. Vertical mixing of the upper ocean is the key process that will determine the fate of marine Arctic ecosystems. Here we reveal an unexpected consequence of the Arctic ice loss: regions are now developing a second bloom in the fall, which coincides with delayed freezeup and increased exposure of the sea surface to wind stress. This implies that wind-driven vertical mixing during fall is indeed significant, at least enough to promote further primary production. The Arctic Ocean seems to be experiencing a fundamental shift from a polar to a temperate mode, which is likely to alter the marine ecosystem.

  17. Evaluating the Contribution of Climate Forcing and Forest Dynamics to Accelerating Carbon Sequestration by Forest Ecosystems in the Northeastern U.S.: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Munger, J. William; Foster, David R.; Richardson, Andrew D.

    2014-10-01

    This report summarizes work to improve quantitative understanding of the terrestrial ecosystem processes that control carbon sequestration in unmanaged forests It builds upon the comprehensive long-term observations of CO2 fluxes, climate and forest structure and function at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. This record includes the longest CO2 flux time series in the world. The site is a keystone for the AmeriFlux network. Project Description The project synthesizes observations made at the Harvard Forest HFEMS and Hemlock towers, which represent the dominant mixed deciduous and coniferous forest types in the northeastern United States. The 20+ year record of carbon uptake at Harvard Forest and the associated comprehensive meteorological and biometric data, comprise one of the best data sets to challenge ecosystem models on time scales spanning hourly, daily, monthly, interannual and multi-decadal intervals, as needed to understand ecosystem change and climate feedbacks.

  18. Arctic Sea Ice Maximum 2011

    NASA Video Gallery

    AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice: September 2010 to March 2011: Scientists tracking the annual maximum extent of Arctic sea ice said that 2011 was among the lowest ice extents measured since satellites began ...

  19. Arctic Rabies – A Review

    PubMed Central

    Mørk, Torill; Prestrud, Pål

    2004-01-01

    Rabies seems to persist throughout most arctic regions, and the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, is the only part of the Arctic where rabies has not been diagnosed in recent time. The arctic fox is the main host, and the same arctic virus variant seems to infect the arctic fox throughout the range of this species. The epidemiology of rabies seems to have certain common characteristics in arctic regions, but main questions such as the maintenance and spread of the disease remains largely unknown. The virus has spread and initiated new epidemics also in other species such as the red fox and the racoon dog. Large land areas and cold climate complicate the control of the disease, but experimental oral vaccination of arctic foxes has been successful. This article summarises the current knowledge and the typical characteristics of arctic rabies including its distribution and epidemiology. PMID:15535081

  20. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  1. Extreme anthropogenic loads and the northern ecosystem condition

    SciTech Connect

    Kryuckkov, V.V. )

    1993-11-01

    In the extreme North, the polar region of siberian Russia, the largest mining and processing enterprises for metallic and nonmetallic ores, coal, oil, and gas are situated. The extremely vulnerable boreal and polar ecosystems of the north are responding adversely to the impact of these activities, and are in danger of collapse because of them. The mechanisms of such impacts, their formation, continuous extension, and merger have been studied. The deforested and destroyed areas of former forest-tundra and taiga ecosystems resemble the Arctic zones of a much harsher environment more than the typical Arctic zones where they occur. 5 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases among human and animal populations within the Arctic and subarctic latitudes of North America. Warmer temperatures are expected to increase disease risks from food-borne pathogens, water-borne diseases, and vector-borne zoonoses in human and animal populations of Arctic landscapes. Existing high levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutant chemicals circulating within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Arctic latitudes are a major concern for the reproductive health of humans and other mammals, and climate warming will accelerate the mobilization and biological amplification of toxic environmental contaminants. The adverse health impacts of Arctic warming will be especially important for wildlife populations and indigenous peoples dependent upon subsistence food resources from wild plants and animals. Additional research is needed to identify and monitor changes in the prevalence of zoonotic pathogens in humans, domestic dogs, and wildlife species of critical subsistence, cultural, and economic importance to Arctic peoples. The long-term effects of climate warming in the Arctic cannot be adequately predicted or mitigated without a comprehensive understanding of the interactive and synergistic effects between environmental contaminants and pathogens in the health of wildlife and human communities in Arctic ecosystems. The complexity and magnitude of the documented impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems, and the intimacy of connections between their human and wildlife communities, makes this region an appropriate area for development of One Health approaches to identify and mitigate the effects of climate warming at the community, ecosystem, and landscape scales. PMID:26070525

  3. What are the toxicological effects of mercury in Arctic biota?

    PubMed

    Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Basu, Niladri; Braune, Birgit; O'Hara, Todd; Letcher, Robert J; Scheuhammer, Tony; Andersen, Magnus; Andreasen, Claus; Andriashek, Dennis; Asmund, Gert; Aubail, Aurore; Baagøe, Hans; Born, Erik W; Chan, Hing M; Derocher, Andrew E; Grandjean, Philippe; Knott, Katrina; Kirkegaard, Maja; Krey, Anke; Lunn, Nick; Messier, Francoise; Obbard, Marty; Olsen, Morten T; Ostertag, Sonja; Peacock, Elizabeth; Renzoni, Aristeo; Rigét, Frank F; Skaare, Janneche Utne; Stern, Gary; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitch; Wiig, Øystein; Wilson, Simon; Aars, Jon

    2013-01-15

    This review critically evaluates the available mercury (Hg) data in Arctic marine biota and the Inuit population against toxicity threshold values. In particular marine top predators exhibit concentrations of mercury in their tissues and organs that are believed to exceed thresholds for biological effects. Species whose concentrations exceed threshold values include the polar bears (Ursus maritimus), beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), pilot whale (Globicephala melas), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata), a few seabird species, and landlocked Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). Toothed whales appear to be one of the most vulnerable groups, with high concentrations of mercury recorded in brain tissue with associated signs of neurochemical effects. Evidence of increasing concentrations in mercury in some biota in Arctic Canada and Greenland is therefore a concern with respect to ecosystem health. PMID:23231888

  4. FIRE Arctic Clouds Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curry, J. A.; Hobbs, P. V.; King, M. D.; Randall, D. A.; Minnis, P.; Issac, G. A.; Pinto, J. O.; Uttal, T.; Bucholtz, A.; Cripe, D. G.; Gerber, H.; Fairall, C. W.; Garrett, T. J.; Hudson, J.; Intrieri, J. M.; Jakob, C.; Jensen, T.; Lawson, P.; Marcotte, D.; Nguyen, L.

    1998-01-01

    An overview is given of the First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) Arctic Clouds Experiment that was conducted in the Arctic during April through July, 1998. The principal goal of the field experiment was to gather the data needed to examine the impact of arctic clouds on the radiation exchange between the surface, atmosphere, and space, and to study how the surface influences the evolution of boundary layer clouds. The observations will be used to evaluate and improve climate model parameterizations of cloud and radiation processes, satellite remote sensing of cloud and surface characteristics, and understanding of cloud-radiation feedbacks in the Arctic. The experiment utilized four research aircraft that flew over surface-based observational sites in the Arctic Ocean and Barrow, Alaska. In this paper we describe the programmatic and science objectives of the project, the experimental design (including research platforms and instrumentation), conditions that were encountered during the field experiment, and some highlights of preliminary observations, modelling, and satellite remote sensing studies.

  5. RELATIONSHIPS AMONG EXCEEDENCES OF CHEMICAL CRITERIA OR GUIDELINES, THE RESULTS OF AMBIENT TOXICITY TESTS AND COMMUNITY METRICS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS (FINAL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA document, Relationships Among Exceedances of Chemical Criteria or Guidelines, the Results of Ambient Toxicity Tests, and Community Metrics in Aquatic Ecosystems, presents two studies where the three general approaches for the ecological assessment of contaminant ex...

  6. Distant drivers or local signals: where do mercury trends in western Arctic belugas originate?

    PubMed

    Loseto, L L; Stern, G A; Macdonald, R W

    2015-03-15

    Temporal trends of contaminants are monitored in Arctic higher trophic level species to inform us on the fate, transport and risk of contaminants as well as advise on global emissions. However, monitoring mercury (Hg) trends in species such as belugas challenge us, as their tissue concentrations reflect complex interactions among Hg deposition and methylation, whale physiology, dietary exposure and foraging patterns. The Beaufort Sea beluga population showed significant increases in Hg during the 1990 s; since that time an additional 10 years of data have been collected. During this time of data collection, changes in the Arctic have affected many processes that underlie the Hg cycle. Here, we examine Hg in beluga tissues and investigate factors that could contribute to the observed trends after removing the effect of age and size on Hg concentrations and dietary factors. Finally, we examine available indicators of climate variability (Arctic Oscillation (AO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and sea-ice minimum (SIM) concentration) to evaluate their potential to explain beluga Hg trends. Results reveal a decline in Hg concentrations from 2002 to 2012 in the liver of older whales and the muscle of large whales. The temporal increases in Hg in the 1990 s followed by recent declines do not follow trends in Hg emission, and are not easily explained by diet markers highlighting the complexity of feeding, food web dynamics and Hg uptake. Among the regional-scale climate variables the PDO exhibited the most significant relationship with beluga Hg at an eight year lag time. This distant signal points us to consider beluga winter feeding areas. Given that changes in climate will impact ecosystems; it is plausible that these climate variables are important in explaining beluga Hg trends. Such relationships require further investigation of the multiple connections between climate variables and beluga Hg. PMID:25442642

  7. Potential impacts of the Arctic on interannual and interdecadal summer precipitation over China

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yuefeng; Leung, Lai-Yung R.

    2013-02-01

    After the end of the 1970s, there has been a tendency for enhanced summer precipitation over South China and the Yangtze River valley and drought over North China and Northeastern China. Coincidentally, Arctic ice concentration has decreased since the late 1970s, with larger reduction in summer than spring. However, the Arctic warming is more significant in spring than summer, suggesting that spring Arctic conditions could be more important in their remote impacts. This study investigates the potential impacts of the Arctic on summer precipitation in China. The leading spatial patterns and time coefficients of the unfiltered, interannual, and interdecadal precipitation (1960-2008) modes were analyzed and compared using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis, which shows that the first three EOFs can capture the principal precipitation patterns (northern, central and southern patterns) over eastern China. Regression of the Arctic spring and summer temperature onto the time coefficients of the leading interannual and interdecadal precipitation modes shows that interdecadal summer precipitation in China is related to the Arctic spring warming, but the relationship with Arctic summer temperature is weak. Moreover, no notable relationships were found between the first three modes of interannual precipitation and Arctic spring or summer temperatures. Finally, correlations between summer precipitation and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index from January to August were investigated, which indicate that summer precipitation in China correlates with AO only to some extent. Overall, this study suggests important relationships between the Arctic spring temperature and summer precipitation over China at the interdecadal time scale.

  8. Arctic ozone loss

    SciTech Connect

    Zurer, P.S.

    1989-03-06

    Scientists have returned from the first comprehensive probe of the Arctic stratosphere with unexpectedly dire results: The winter atmosphere in the north polar region is loaded with the same destructive chlorine compounds that cause the Antarctic ozone hole. Atmospheric researchers who only a few weeks ago were comforted by the thought that the warmer Northern Hemisphere is strongly protected from the processes that lead to massive losses of ozone during spring in Antarctica now see very little standing in the way of an Arctic ozone hole.

  9. Fate and bioaccumulation of soil-associated low-level naturally occurring radioactivity following disposal into a marine ecosystem. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Hunt, C.D.

    1986-10-01

    The fate of radium (Ra) and other naturally occurring uranium-series isotopes associated with soils disposed in seawater was examined using the Marine Ecosystem Research Laboratory (MERL) controlled marine ecosystems. Thirty-seven kilograms of a soil containing approximately 400 pCi Ra-226/g from an inactive uranium ore processing plant site in Middlesex, New Jersey, were added to each of two mesocosms over five days in mid-September 1984. Radionuclide activity in these and two control mesocosms was observed for three months after the soil additions. Radioactivity in the soil appeared to be confined to discrete soil particles rather than being distributed equally on the soil particles, suggesting the source of the radioactivity was remnant ore particles.

  10. Frequent sexual reproduction and high intraspecific variation in Salix arctica: Implications for a terrestrial feedback to climate change in the High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steltzer, Heidi; Hufbauer, Ruth A.; Welker, Jeffery M.; Casalis, Maxime; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Chimner, Rodney

    2008-09-01

    Genetic variation at molecular loci may underlie important variation in the phenotypes of arctic plants. Such intraspecific variation may be a neglected but important component of biological diversity in the Arctic that could impact how arctic ecosystems respond to climate change. Here, we characterized genetic and phenotypic variation in Salix arctica and evaluated the effect of S. arctica on ecosystem CO2 exchange, a process by which terrestrial ecosystems in the Arctic feedback to the global climate system. We found high genetic variation at microsatellite loci of S. arctica collected from an inland and a coastal site in Greenland that indicates sexual reproduction has occurred frequently as the ice sheet has retreated. Across the North American range of S. arctica, ten chloroplast DNA haplotypes were identified. Haplotype diversity and allelic richness were high overall and similar across regions with different glacial histories. Phenotypic variation in ecologically important traits varied substantially in a High Arctic population of S. arctica. In a widespread High Arctic ecosystem, a net loss of CO2 to the atmosphere was observed except where S. arctica was present. We suggest that high genetic variation in S. arctica is in part a result of frequent sexual reproduction, and that the phenotypic variation we observed is likely to be at least partially genetic-based. This would enable a productive High Arctic species to adapt and potentially prosper as climate changes, and thus affect the terrestrial feedback of the Arctic to the climate system.

  11. Arctic climate response to geoengineering with stratospheric sulfate aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCusker, K. E.; Battisti, D. S.; Bitz, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    Recent warming and record summer sea-ice area minimums have spurred expressions of concern for arctic ecosystems, permafrost, and polar bear populations, among other things. Geoengineering by stratospheric sulfate aerosol injections to deliberately cancel the anthropogenic temperature rise has been put forth as a possible solution to restoring Arctic (and global) climate to modern conditions. However, climate is particularly sensitive in the northern high latitudes, responding easily to radiative forcing changes. To that end, we explore the extent to which tropical injections of stratospheric sulfate aerosol can accomplish regional cancellation in the Arctic. We use the Community Climate System Model version 3 global climate model to execute simulations with combinations of doubled CO2 and imposed stratospheric sulfate burdens to investigate the effects on high latitude climate. We further explore the sensitivity of the polar climate to ocean dynamics by running a suite of simulations with and without ocean dynamics, transiently and to equilibrium respectively. We find that, although annual, global mean temperature cancellation is accomplished, there is over-cooling on land in Arctic summer, but residual warming in Arctic winter, which is largely due to atmospheric circulation changes. Furthermore, the spatial extent of these features and their concurrent impacts on sea-ice properties are modified by the inclusion of ocean dynamical feedbacks.

  12. The Arctic Ocean and climate: A Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aagaard, K.; Carmack, E. C.

    The most likely effects of the Arctic Ocean on global climate are through the surface heat balance and the thermohaline circulation. The former is intimately related to the stratification of the Arctic Ocean, while the latter may be significantly controlled by outflow from the Arctic Ocean into the major convective regions to the south. Evaluating these issues adequately requires detailed knowledge of the density structure and circulation of the Arctic Ocean and of their variability. New long time series of temperature and salinity (T/S) from the Canadian Basin show a grainy T/S structure, probably on a horizontal scale of a few tens of kilometers. The temperature field is particularly inhomogeneous, since for cold water it is not greatly constrained by buoyancy forces. The simultaneous velocity time series show that the grainy T/S structure results from a complex eddy field, often with vertically or horizontally paired counter-rotating eddies drifting with a slow larger-scale flow. The ocean is therefore not well mixed on these scales. Finally, we note that the ventilation of the interior Arctic Ocean from the adjacent shelves appears to be highly variable on an interannual basis, and indeed may not be robust on longer time scales. In particular we note the absence, or near-absence, of deep ventilation of the Canadian Basin during the last 500 years. Based on the 14C model of Macdonald et al. [1993], however, we hypothesize that these same waters were ventilated prior to that time and that the deep convective shutdown about 500 years ago coincided with the end of the whale-hunting Thule culture. We further suggest that the two events had a common cause, viz., the increase of sea ice over the continental shelves during summer.

  13. 2015 DOE Final UF Report. Effects of Warming the Deep Soil and Permafrost on Ecosystem Carbon Balance in Alaskan Tundra. A Coupled Measurement and Modeling Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Schuur, Edward

    2015-06-11

    The major research goal of this project was to understand and quantify the fate of carbon stored in permafrost ecosystems using a combination of field and laboratory experiments to measure isotope ratios and C fluxes in a tundra ecosystem exposed to experimental warming. Field measurements centered on the establishment of a two-factor experimental warming using a snow fence and open top chambers to increase winter and summer temperatures alone, and in combination, at a tundra field site at the Eight Mile Lake watershed near Healy, Alaska. The objective of this experimental warming was to significantly raise air and deep soil temperatures and increase the depth of thaw beyond that of previous warming experiments. Detecting the loss and fate of the old permafrost C pool remains a major challenge. Because soil C has been accumulating in these ecosystems over the past 10,000 years, there is a strong difference between the radiocarbon isotopic composition of C deep in the soil profile and permafrost compared to that near the soil surface. This large range of isotopic variability is unique to radiocarbon and provides a valuable and sensitive fingerprint for detecting the loss of old soil C as permafrost thaws.

  14. Arctic cyclone water vapor isotopes support past sea ice retreat recorded in Greenland ice.

    PubMed

    Klein, Eric S; Cherry, J E; Young, J; Noone, D; Leffler, A J; Welker, J M

    2015-01-01

    Rapid Arctic warming is associated with important water cycle changes: sea ice loss, increasing atmospheric humidity, permafrost thaw, and water-induced ecosystem changes. Understanding these complex modern processes is critical to interpreting past hydrologic changes preserved in paleoclimate records and predicting future Arctic changes. Cyclones are a prevalent Arctic feature and water vapor isotope ratios during these events provide insights into modern hydrologic processes that help explain past changes to the Arctic water cycle. Here we present continuous measurements of water vapor isotope ratios (δ(18)O, δ(2)H, d-excess) in Arctic Alaska from a 2013 cyclone. This cyclone resulted in a sharp d-excess decrease and disproportional δ(18)O enrichment, indicative of a higher humidity open Arctic Ocean water vapor source. Past transitions to warmer climates inferred from Greenland ice core records also reveal sharp decreases in d-excess, hypothesized to represent reduced sea ice extent and an increase in oceanic moisture source to Greenland Ice Sheet precipitation. Thus, measurements of water vapor isotope ratios during an Arctic cyclone provide a critical processed-based explanation, and the first direct confirmation, of relationships previously assumed to govern water isotope ratios during sea ice retreat and increased input of northern ocean moisture into the Arctic water cycle. PMID:26023728

  15. Summer Arctic Sea Ice Intra-Seasonal Predictability Using a Vector Auto-Regressive Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ting, M.; Wang, L.; Yuan, X.

    2014-12-01

    Recent Arctic sea ice changes have important societal and economic impacts: the accelerated melting of Arctic sea ice in summer provides new fishery opportunities and increases the feasibility of trans-Arctic shipping, yet it may also lead to adverse effects on the Arctic ecosystem, weather and climate. Understanding the predictability of Arctic sea ice melting is thus an important task. A Vector Auto-Regressive (VAR) model is evaluated for predicting the summer time (May through September) daily Arctic sea ice concentrations. The intra-seasonal forecast skill of the Arctic sea ice is assessed using 1979-2012 satellite data provided by the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The cross-validated forecast skill of the VAR model is superior over persistence and climatological seasonal cycle for a lead-time of 15~60 days, especially over marginal seas. In addition to capturing the general seasonal melt of sea ice, the VAR model is also able to capture the interannual variability of the melting, from partial melt of the marginal sea ice in the beginning of the period to almost a complete melt in the later years. While the detailed mechanism leading to the high predictability of intra-seasonal sea ice concentration needs to be further examined, the study reveals for the first time that Arctic sea ice concentration can be predicted statistically with reasonable skills at the intra-seasonal time scales.

  16. Arctic cyclone water vapor isotopes support past sea ice retreat recorded in Greenland ice

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Eric S.; Cherry, J. E.; Young, J.; Noone, D.; Leffler, A. J.; Welker, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid Arctic warming is associated with important water cycle changes: sea ice loss, increasing atmospheric humidity, permafrost thaw, and water-induced ecosystem changes. Understanding these complex modern processes is critical to interpreting past hydrologic changes preserved in paleoclimate records and predicting future Arctic changes. Cyclones are a prevalent Arctic feature and water vapor isotope ratios during these events provide insights into modern hydrologic processes that help explain past changes to the Arctic water cycle. Here we present continuous measurements of water vapor isotope ratios (δ18O, δ2H, d-excess) in Arctic Alaska from a 2013 cyclone. This cyclone resulted in a sharp d-excess decrease and disproportional δ18O enrichment, indicative of a higher humidity open Arctic Ocean water vapor source. Past transitions to warmer climates inferred from Greenland ice core records also reveal sharp decreases in d-excess, hypothesized to represent reduced sea ice extent and an increase in oceanic moisture source to Greenland Ice Sheet precipitation. Thus, measurements of water vapor isotope ratios during an Arctic cyclone provide a critical processed-based explanation, and the first direct confirmation, of relationships previously assumed to govern water isotope ratios during sea ice retreat and increased input of northern ocean moisture into the Arctic water cycle. PMID:26023728

  17. Gender Specific Reproductive Strategies of an Arctic Key Species (Boreogadus saida) and Implications of Climate Change

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. What consequences this may have on the Arctic marine ecosystem depends to a large degree on how its species will respond both directly to elevated temperatures and more indirectly through ecological interactions. But despite an alarming recent warming of the Arctic with accompanying sea ice loss, reports evaluating ecological impacts of climate change in the Arctic remain sparse. Here, based upon a large-scale field study, we present basic new knowledge regarding the life history traits for one of the most important species in the entire Arctic, the polar cod (Boreogadus saida). Furthermore, by comparing regions of contrasting climatic influence (domains), we present evidence as to how its growth and reproductive success is impaired in the warmer of the two domains. As the future Arctic is predicted to resemble today's Atlantic domains, we forecast changes in growth and life history characteristics of polar cod that will lead to alteration of its role as an Arctic keystone species. This will in turn affect community dynamics and energy transfer in the entire Arctic food chain. PMID:24871481

  18. Arctic lithosphere - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pease, V.; Drachev, S.; Stephenson, R.; Zhang, X.

    2014-07-01

    This article reviews the characteristics of Arctic lithosphere and the principal tectonic events which have shaped it. The current state-of-knowledge associated with the crust, crustal-scale discontinuities, and their ages, as well as knowledge of the lithosphere as a whole from geophysical data, permits the division of Arctic lithosphere into discrete domains. Arctic continental lithosphere is diverse in age, composition, and structure. It has been affected by at least two periods of thermal overprinting associated with large volumes of magmatism, once in the Permo-Triassic and again in the Aptian. In addition, it was attenuated as the result of at least five phases of rifting (in the late Devonian-early Carboniferous, Permo-Triassic, Jurassic, Early Cretaceous, and Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic). Older phases of consolidation are associated with continental lithosphere and occurred through a series of continent-continent collisions in the Paleozoic. Jurassic and Cretaceous extensional phases are related to the dismembering of Pangea and Eurasia, and were concentrated in the Norway-Greenland and Canadian-Alaskan Arctic regions. Large areas of submarine, hyperextended continental (?) lithosphere developed in parts of the Amerasia Basin. After continental breakup and the accretion of new oceanic lithosphere, the Eurasia and Canada basins were formed.

  19. Communicating Arctic Change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serreze, M.

    2009-12-01

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

  20. The unseen iceberg: Plant roots in arctic tundra

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Iversen, Colleen M; Sloan, Victoria L; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Euskirchen, Eugenie S; McGuire, A. David; Norby, Richard J; Walker, Anthony P; Warren, Jeffrey; Wullschleger, Stan D

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra is characterized by short-statured plant communities underlain by carbon (C)-rich soils and permafrost. Ecosystem C and nutrient cycles in tundra are driven by complex interactions between plants and their environment. However, root dynamics are one of the least understood aspects of plant growth in the Arctic. We synthesized available literature on tundra roots and discussed their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Belowground biomass in tundra ecosystems can be an order of magnitude larger than aboveground biomass. Data on root production and turnover in tundra is sparse, limiting our understanding of the controls over root dynamics in these systems.more » Roots are shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws each year, and are often found in the organic horizon at the soil surface. Species-specific differences in root distribution, mycorrhizal colonization, and resource partitioning may affect plant species competition under changing climatic conditions. Model representation of belowground processes has increased in complexity over recent years, but data are desperately needed to fill the gaps in model treatment of tundra roots. Future research should focus on estimates of root production and lifespan, and interactions between roots and the surrounding soil across the diversity of tundra ecosystems in the Arctic.« less

  1. The unseen iceberg: Plant roots in arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Iversen, Colleen M; Sloan, Victoria L; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Euskirchen, Eugenie S; McGuire, A. David; Norby, Richard J; Walker, Anthony P; Warren, Jeffrey; Wullschleger, Stan D

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra is characterized by short-statured plant communities underlain by carbon (C)-rich soils and permafrost. Ecosystem C and nutrient cycles in tundra are driven by complex interactions between plants and their environment. However, root dynamics are one of the least understood aspects of plant growth in the Arctic. We synthesized available literature on tundra roots and discussed their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Belowground biomass in tundra ecosystems can be an order of magnitude larger than aboveground biomass. Data on root production and turnover in tundra is sparse, limiting our understanding of the controls over root dynamics in these systems. Roots are shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws each year, and are often found in the organic horizon at the soil surface. Species-specific differences in root distribution, mycorrhizal colonization, and resource partitioning may affect plant species competition under changing climatic conditions. Model representation of belowground processes has increased in complexity over recent years, but data are desperately needed to fill the gaps in model treatment of tundra roots. Future research should focus on estimates of root production and lifespan, and interactions between roots and the surrounding soil across the diversity of tundra ecosystems in the Arctic.

  2. Physiological and ecological effects of increasing temperature on fish production in lakes of Arctic Alaska.

    PubMed

    Carey, Michael P; Zimmerman, Christian E

    2014-05-01

    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

  3. Arctic ice islands

    SciTech Connect

    Sackinger, W.M.; Jeffries, M.O.; Lu, M.C.; Li, F.C.

    1988-01-01

    The development of offshore oil and gas resources in the Arctic waters of Alaska requires offshore structures which successfully resist the lateral forces due to moving, drifting ice. Ice islands are floating, a tabular icebergs, up to 60 meters thick, of solid ice throughout their thickness. The ice islands are thus regarded as the strongest ice features in the Arctic; fixed offshore structures which can directly withstand the impact of ice islands are possible but in some locations may be so expensive as to make oilfield development uneconomic. The resolution of the ice island problem requires two research steps: (1) calculation of the probability of interaction between an ice island and an offshore structure in a given region; and (2) if the probability if sufficiently large, then the study of possible interactions between ice island and structure, to discover mitigative measures to deal with the moving ice island. The ice island research conducted during the 1983-1988 interval, which is summarized in this report, was concerned with the first step. Monte Carlo simulations of ice island generation and movement suggest that ice island lifetimes range from 0 to 70 years, and that 85% of the lifetimes are less then 35 years. The simulation shows a mean value of 18 ice islands present at any time in the Arctic Ocean, with a 90% probability of less than 30 ice islands. At this time, approximately 34 ice islands are known, from observations, to exist in the Arctic Ocean, not including the 10-meter thick class of ice islands. Return interval plots from the simulation show that coastal zones of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, already leased for oil development, have ice island recurrences of 10 to 100 years. This implies that the ice island hazard must be considered thoroughly, and appropriate safety measures adopted, when offshore oil production plans are formulated for the Alaskan Arctic offshore. 132 refs., 161 figs., 17 tabs.

  4. Atmospheric aspects of Arctic change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    Three important features of recent Arctic change are the rather uniform pattern of Arctic temperature amplification in response to greenhouse gas forcing, the modification of atmospheric temperature and wind patterns over newly sea-ice-free regions, and the possible increased linkage between Arctic climate and sub-arctic weather. An important argument for anthropogenic forcing of recent Arctic change is the model predicted rather uniform increases in Arctic temperatures, in contrast to more regional temperature maximums associated with intrinsic climate variability patterns such as those which occurred during the 1930s Arctic warming. Sea-ice-free areas at the end of summer are allowing: added heat and moisture transport into the troposphere as documented during the recent Japanese vessel Mirai cruises, decreased boundary layer stratification, and modification of wind flow through thermal wind processes. Winter 2009-2010 and December 2010 showed a unique connectivity between the Arctic and more southern weather 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. A major challenge of Arctic meteorology is to understand the interaction of forced changes such as loss of sea ice and land impacts with intrinsic climate patterns such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and Pacific North American climate patterns. Could persistent shifts in Arctic climate be triggered by a combination of a gradual upward trend in temperature, an extreme event e.g. fortuitous timing in the natural variability of the atmospheric or ocean general circulation, and Arctic specific feedbacks? Scientific progress on both issues requires sustained decadal observations.

  5. Chasing Nutrients with an Arctic Sedge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, S. L.; Schimel, J.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change has put the Arctic into a state of flux. Understanding the effects an altered climate will have on vegetation and nutrient cycling requires more knowledge of the key plant and soil functions of major arctic ecosystems. One of these ecosystems, moist acidic tussock tundra, is dominated by a single plant species, the tussock-forming sedge Eriophorum vaginatum. This plant has unusual underground biomass: long, fast-growing, non-branching, non-mycorrhizal roots. In contrast to many other plants in nutrient-limiting environments, this sedge is highly successful without maximizing its root surface area to volume ratio. The benefits of this growth strategy to the plants and its effects on the accompanying soil-microbe-plant relationships are not fully understood. One possibility is that the roots may help the plant take advantage of nutrients released into the active layer of soil as it thaws in the spring. The roots may also stimulate microbial activity, increasing nutrient turnover and availability. A study was undertaken to explore the nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) dynamics in these plants, as well as the microbial populations associated with active E. vaginatum roots. Intact tussock microcosms (plant and accompanying soil) were removed from the tundra and cultivated in transparent boxes. Half the plants were kept in light to encourage photosynthesis (and thus greater plant activity), while the other half was kept in the dark to inhibit it. Using a 15N isotopic tracer injected at the extremity of root penetration into the soil, the N uptake capacity of E. vaginatum roots at depth was explored. This uptake capacity is compared to measures of plant activity, microbial activity, and soil solution chemistry in order to paint a clearer picture of the role of E. vaginatum in the soil ecosystem.

  6. Interacting CO2 and O3 effects on litter production, chemistry and decomposition in an aggrading northern forest ecosystem: final report

    SciTech Connect

    Rihard L. Lindroth

    2004-08-03

    The overall purpose of this research was to evaluate the independent and interactive effects of elevated levels of CO{sub 2} and O{sub 3} on tree leaf litter quality and decomposition. This research was conducted at the Aspen FACE (Free Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) facility near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. This research comprised one facet of a larger project assessing how CO{sub 2} and O{sub 3} pollutants will alter carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling in north temperate forest ecosystems.

  7. Final Report for “Simulating the Arctic Winter Longwave Indirect Effects. A New Parameterization for Frost Flower Aerosol Salt Emissions” (DESC0006679) for 9/15/2011 through 9/14/2015

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, Lynn M.; Somerville, Richard C.J.; Burrows, Susannah; Rasch, Phil

    2015-12-12

    Description of the Project: This project has improved the aerosol formulation in a global climate model by using innovative new field and laboratory observations to develop and implement a novel wind-driven sea ice aerosol flux parameterization. This work fills a critical gap in the understanding of clouds, aerosol, and radiation in polar regions by addressing one of the largest missing particle sources in aerosol-climate modeling. Recent measurements of Arctic organic and inorganic aerosol indicate that the largest source of natural aerosol during the Arctic winter is emitted from crystal structures, known as frost flowers, formed on a newly frozen sea ice surface [Shaw et al., 2010]. We have implemented the new parameterization in an updated climate model making it the first capable of investigating how polar natural aerosol-cloud indirect effects relate to this important and previously unrecognized sea ice source. The parameterization is constrained by Arctic ARM in situ cloud and radiation data. The modified climate model has been used to quantify the potential pan-Arctic radiative forcing and aerosol indirect effects due to this missing source. This research supported the work of one postdoc (Li Xu) for two years and contributed to the training and research of an undergraduate student. This research allowed us to establish a collaboration between SIO and PNNL in order to contribute the frost flower parameterization to the new ACME model. One peer-reviewed publications has already resulted from this work, and a manuscript for a second publication has been completed. Additional publications from the PNNL collaboration are expected to follow.

  8. Soil Carbon Distribution along a Hill Slope in the Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ludwig, S.; Bunn, A. G.; Schade, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming at an accelerated rate relative to lower latitudes, and this warming has significant global significance. In particular, the thawing of permafrost soils has the potential to strongly influence global carbon cycling and the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Our overarching scientific goal is to study the impact of thawing permafrost on the transport and processing of carbon and other nutrients as they move with water from terrestrial ecosystems to the Arctic Ocean. Transport of materials from soil to headwater aquatic ecosystems is the first step in this movement. Processes occurring along hill slopes strongly influence the form and concentration of material available for transport. These processes include downhill accumulation of materials due to groundwater movement, or alternatively, local effects of changes in soil and vegetation characteristics. In this project, we studied a hill slope adjacent to a small first order stream in the Kolyma River in Eastern Siberia. We sampled soil at several points along three transects from the top of the hill to the riparian zone by coring and homogenizing the entire active layer at each point. We measured soil organic matter content, soil moisture, water extractable dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), NH4, NO3, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and CDOM absorbance. We also measured soil respiration using a laboratory-based biological oxygen demand protocol conducted on soil-water slurries. Active layer depth decreased down the hillslope, while soil moisture, organic matter, and DOC all increased down the hillslope. CDOM absorbance increased downhill, which indicates a decrease in molecular weight of organic compounds at the bottom of the hill. This suggests either an input of newer carbon or processing of high molecular weight DOM down the slope. Soil respiration also increased downhill and was likely driven in part by increased OM in the shallower

  9. Observing Arctic Ecology using Networked Infomechanical Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Healey, N. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Hollister, R. D.; Tweedie, C. E.; Welker, J. M.; Gould, W. A.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding ecological dynamics is important for investigation into the potential impacts of climate change in the Arctic. Established in the early 1990's, the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) began observational inquiry of plant phenology, plant growth, community composition, and ecosystem properties as part of a greater effort to study changes across the Arctic. Unfortunately, these observations are labor intensive and time consuming, greatly limiting their frequency and spatial coverage. We have expanded the capability of ITEX to analyze ecological phenomenon with improved spatial and temporal resolution through the use of Networked Infomechanical Systems (NIMS) as part of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) program. The systems exhibit customizable infrastructure that supports a high level of versatility in sensor arrays in combination with information technology that allows for adaptable configurations to numerous environmental observation applications. We observe stereo and static time-lapse photography, air and surface temperature, incoming and outgoing long and short wave radiation, net radiation, and hyperspectral reflectance that provides critical information to understanding how vegetation in the Arctic is responding to ambient climate conditions. These measurements are conducted concurrent with ongoing manual measurements using ITEX protocols. Our NIMS travels at a rate of three centimeters per second while suspended on steel cables that are ~1 m from the surface spanning transects ~50 m in length. The transects are located to span soil moisture gradients across a variety of land cover types including dry heath, moist acidic tussock tundra, shrub tundra, wet meadows, dry meadows, and water tracks. We have deployed NIMS at four locations on the North Slope of Alaska, USA associated with 1 km2 ARCSS vegetation study grids including Barrow, Atqasuk, Toolik Lake, and Imnavait Creek. A fifth system has been deployed in Thule, Greenland beginning in

  10. Was the Eocene Arctic a Source Area for Exotic Plants and Mammals? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberle, J. J.; Harrington, G. J.; Fricke, H. C.; Humphrey, J.; Hackett, L.; Newbrey, M.; Hutchison, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    Today’s High Arctic is undergoing rapid warming, but the impact on its animal and plant communities is not clear. As a deep time analog to better understand and predict the impacts of global warming on the Arctic biota, early Eocene (52-53 Ma) rocks on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut in Canada’s High Arctic (~79°N latitude) preserve evidence of diverse terrestrial ecosystems that supported dense forests inhabited by turtles, alligators, snakes, primates, tapirs, brontotheres, and hippo-like Coryphodon. The fossil localities were just a few degrees further south and still well above the Arctic Circle during the early Eocene; consequently, the biota experienced months of continuous sunlight as well as darkness, the Arctic summer and winter, respectively. The flora and fauna of the early Eocene Arctic imply warmer, wetter conditions than at present, and recently published analyses of biogenic phosphate from fossil fish, turtle, and mammal estimate warm summers (19 - 20 C) and mild, above-freezing winters. In general, temperature estimates for the early Eocene Arctic can be compared to those found today in temperate rainforests in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The early Eocene Arctic mammalian fauna shares most genera with coeval mid-latitude faunas thousands of kilometers to the south in the US Western Interior, and several genera also are shared with Europe and Asia. Recent analyses suggest that the large herbivores such as hippo-like Coryphodon were year-round inhabitants in the Eocene Arctic forests. Although several of the Eocene Arctic mammalian taxa are hypothesized to have originated in either mid-latitude North America or Asia, the earlier occurrence of certain clades (e.g., tapirs) in the Arctic raises the possibility of a northern high-latitude origin. Analysis of the early Eocene Arctic palynoflora indicates comparable richness to early Eocene plant communities in the US Western Interior, but nearly 50% of its species (mostly angiosperms) are

  11. Annual arctic wolf pack size related to arctic hare numbers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2007-01-01

    During the summers of 2000 through 2006, I counted arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos) pups and adults in a pack, arctic hares (Lepus arcticus) along a 9 km index route in the area, and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) in a 250 km2 part of the area near Eureka (80?? N, 86?? W), Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Adult wolf numbers did not correlate with muskox numbers, but they were positively related (r2 = 0.89; p < 0.01) to an arctic hare index. This is the first report relating wolf numbers to non-ungulate prey. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

  12. Environmental Analysis of Endocrine Disrupting Effects from Hydrocarbon Contaminants in the Ecosystem - Final Report - 09/15/1996 - 09/14/2000

    SciTech Connect

    McLachlan, John A.

    2000-09-14

    The three major components of the research included: (a) a biotechnology based screening system to identify potential hormone mimics and antagonists (b) an animal screening system to identify biomarkers of endocrine effects and (c) a literature review to identify compounds at various DOE sites that are potential endocrine disruptors. Species of particular interest in this study were those that can serve as sentinel species (e.g., amphibians) and thus provide early warning signals for more widespread impacts on an ecosystem and its wildlife and human inhabitants. The objective of this basic research is to characterize the potential of common hydrocarbon contaminants in ecosystems to act as endocrine disruptors. Although the endocrine disrupting effects of contaminants such as dioxin and PCBs have been well characterized in both animals and humans, little is known about the capacities of other hydrocarbon contaminants to act as endocrine disruptors. Results obtained from this research project have provided information on endocrine disrupting contaminants for consideration in DOE's risk analyses for determining clean-up levels and priorities at contaminated DOE sites.

  13. Response of Yellowstone grizzly bears to changes in food resources: A synthesis. Final report to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team; van Manen, Frank T.; Cecily M, Costello; Haroldson, Mark A.; Daniel D, Bjornlie; Michael R, Ebinger; Kerry A, Gunther; Mary Frances, Mahalovich; Daniel J, Thompson; Megan D, Higgs; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Kristin, Legg; Daniel, Tyers; Landenburger, Lisa; Steven L, Cain; Frey, Kevin L.; Aber, Bryan C.; Schwartz, Charles C.

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) was listed as a threatened species in 1975 (Federal Register 40 FR:31734-31736). Since listing, recovery efforts have focused on increasing population size, improving habitat security, managing bear mortalities, and reducing bear-human conflicts. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC; partnership of federal and state agencies responsible for grizzly bear recovery in the lower 48 states) and its Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommitte (YES; federal, state, county, and tribal partners charged with recovery of grizzly bears in the Greater Yelowston Ecosystem [GYE]) tasked the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team to provide information and further research relevant to three concerns arising from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals November 2011 decision: 1) the ability of grizzly bears as omnivores to find alternative foods to whitebark pine seeds; 2) literature to support their conclusions; and 3) the non-intuitive biological reality that impacts can occur to individuals without causing the overall population to decline. Specifically, the IGBC and YES requested a comprehensive synthesis of the current state of knowledge regarding whitebark pinbe decline and individual and population-level responses of grizzly bears to changing food resources in the GYE. This research was particularly relevant to grizzly bear conservation given changes in the population trajectory observed during the last decade.

  14. Final Technical Report: The Effects of Iron Complexing Ligands on the Long Term Ecosystem Response to Iron Enrichment of HNLC waters

    SciTech Connect

    Cochlan, William P.

    2008-06-13

    Substantial increases in the concentrations of the stronger of two Fe(III) complexing organic ligand classes measured during the mesoscale Fe enrichment studies IronEx II and SOIREE appeared to sharply curtailed Fe availability to diatoms and thus limited the efficiency of carbon sequestration to the deep. Detailed observations during IronEx II (equatorial Pacific Ocean) and SOIREE (Southern Ocean –Pacific sector) indicate that the diatoms began re-experiencing Fe stress even though dissolved Fe concentrations remained elevated in the patch. This surprising outcome likely is related to the observed increased concentrations of strong Fe(III)-complexing ligands in seawater. Preliminary findings from other studies indicate that diatoms may not readily obtain Fe from these chemical species whereas Fe bound by strong ligands appears to support growth of cyanobacteria and nanoflagellates. The difficulty in assessing the likelihood of these changes with in-situ mesoscale experiments is the extended monitoring period needed to capture the long-term trajectory of the carbon cycle. A more detailed understanding of Fe complexing ligand effects on long-term ecosystem structure and carbon cycling is essential to ascertain not only the effect of Fe enrichment on short-term carbon sequestration in the oceans, but also the potential effect of Fe enrichment in modifying ecosystem structure and trajectory.

  15. Final Activity Report: The Effects of Iron Complexing Ligands on the Long Term Ecosystem Response to Iron Enrichment of HNLC waters

    SciTech Connect

    Trick, Charles Gordon

    2013-07-30

    Substantial increases in the concentrations of the stronger of two Fe(III) complexing organic ligand classes measured during the mesoscale Fe enrichment studies IronEx II and SOIREE appeared to sharply curtailed Fe availability to diatoms and thus limited the efficiency of carbon sequestration to the deep. Detailed observations during IronEx II (equatorial Pacific Ocean) and SOIREE (Southern Ocean –Pacific sector) indicate that the diatoms began re-experiencing Fe stress even though dissolved Fe concentrations remained elevated in the patch. This surprising outcome likely is related to the observed increased concentrations of strong Fe(III)-complexing ligands in seawater. Preliminary findings from other studies indicate that diatoms may not readily obtain Fe from these chemical species whereas Fe bound by strong ligands appears to support growth of cyanobacteria and nanoflagellates. The difficulty in assessing the likelihood of these changes with in-situ mesoscale experiments is the extended monitoring period needed to capture the long-term trajectory of the carbon cycle. A more detailed understanding of Fe complexing ligand effects on long-term ecosystem structure and carbon cycling is essential to ascertain not only the effect of Fe enrichment on short-term carbon sequestration in the oceans, but also the potential effect of Fe enrichment in modifying ecosystem structure and trajectory.

  16. Warming increases isoprene emissions from an arctic fen.

    PubMed

    Lindwall, Frida; Svendsen, Sophie Sylvest; Nielsen, Cecilie Skov; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-05-15

    Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from dry ecosystems at high latitudes respond strongly to small increases in temperature, and warm canopy surface temperatures drive emissions to higher levels than expected. However, it is not known whether emissions from wetlands, cooled by through-flowing water and higher evapotranspiration show similar response to warming as in drier ecosystems. Climate change will cause parts of the Arctic to experience increased snow fall, which delays the start of the growing season, insulates soil from low temperatures in winter, and increases soil moisture and possibly nutrient availability. Currently the effects of increasing snow depth on BVOC emissions are unknown. BVOC emissions were measured in situ across the growing season in a climate experiment, which used open top chambers to increase temperature and snow fences to increase winter snow depth. The treatments were arranged in a full factorial design. Measurements took place during two growing seasons in a fen ecosystem in west Greenland. BVOC samples collected by an enclosure technique in adsorbent cartridges were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Gross ecosystem production (GEP) was measured with a closed chamber technique, to reveal any immediate effect of treatments on photosynthesis, which could further influence BVOC emissions. Isoprene made up 84-92% of the emitted BVOCs. Isoprene emission increased 240 and 340% due to an increase in temperature of 1.3 and 1.6°C in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Isoprene emissions were 25 times higher in 2015 than in 2014 most likely due to a 2.4°C higher canopy air temperature during sampling in 2015. Snow addition had no significant effect on isoprene emissions even though GEP was increased by 24%. Arctic BVOC emissions respond strongly to rising temperatures in wet ecosystems, suggesting a large increase in arctic emissions in a future warmer climate. PMID:26933965

  17. Arctic River organic matter transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, Peter; Gustafsson, Orjan; Vonk, Jorien; Spencer, Robert; McClelland, Jim

    2016-04-01

    Arctic Rivers have unique hydrology and biogeochemistry. They also have a large impact on the Arctic Ocean due to the large amount of riverine inflow and small ocean volume. With respect to organic matter, their influence is magnified by the large stores of soil carbon and distinct soil hydrology. Here we present a recap of what is known of Arctic River organic matter transport. We will present a summary of what is known of the ages and sources of Arctic River dissolved and particulate organic matter. We will also discuss the current status of what is known about changes in riverine organic matter export due to global change.

  18. Range Ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    After more than two hundred years, grazing remains California’s most extensive land use. The ‘Range Ecosystems’ chapter in the ‘Ecosystems of California’ sourcebook provides an integrated picture of the biophysical, social, and economic aspects of lands grazed by livestock in the state. Grazing mana...

  19. Climate Effects on Methylmercury Bioaccumulation Along a Latitudinal Gradient in the Eastern Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chetelat, J.; Richardson, M.; MacMillan, G. A.; Amyot, M.; Hintelmann, H.; Crump, D.

    2014-12-01

    Recent evidence indicates that inorganic mercury (Hg) loadings to Arctic lakes decline with latitude. However, monomethylmercury (MMHg) concentrations in fish and their prey do not decline in a similar fashion, suggesting that higher latitude lakes are more vulnerable to Hg inputs. Preliminary results will be presented from a three-year study (2012-2015) of climate effects on MMHg bioaccumulation in lakes of the eastern Canadian Arctic. We have investigated mercury transport and accumulation processes in lakes and ponds from three study regions along a latitudinal gradient in climate-controlled ecosystem types in the Canadian Arctic, specifically sub-Arctic taiga, Arctic tundra and polar desert. In each water body, we measured key aspects of MMHg bioaccumulation—MMHg bioavailability to benthic food webs and organism growth rates—as well as how watershed characteristics affect the transport of Hg and organic carbon to lakes. Novel approaches were incorporated including the use of passive samplers (Diffusive Gradient in Thin Film samplers or DGTs) to estimate sediment bioavailable MMHg concentrations and tissue RNA content to compare organism short-term growth rates. A comparison of Arctic tundra and sub-Arctic taiga lakes showed that surface water concentrations of MMHg were strongly and positively correlated to total Hg concentrations both within and among study regions, implying strong control of inorganic Hg supply. Sediment concentrations of bioavailable MMHg were highly variable among lakes, although average concentrations were similar between study regions. Local environmental conditions appear to have a strong influence on sediment potential for MMHg supply. Lake-dwelling Arctic char from tundra lakes had similar or higher total Hg concentrations compared with brook trout from sub-Arctic lakes that were exposed to higher water MMHg concentrations. Potential environmental drivers of these patterns will be discussed. This latitudinal study will provide new

  20. Arctic thermal design

    SciTech Connect

    Lunardini, V.J.

    1985-05-01

    Arctic engineering theories and techniques are discussed. The problems associated with ameliorating cold-climate effects is examined. External accumulation of ice on solid surfaces, floating ice sheets, icebergs, multiyear ice, and ice ridges are discussed, and the problems associated with these hazards are analyzed. The author believes that it is possible to deal rationally with these problems if the engineer is aware of them, and that ignorance can cause spectacular failures in the cold regions.

  1. Arctic offshore platform

    SciTech Connect

    Bhula, D.N.

    1984-01-24

    An offshore structure is disclosed for use in drilling and producing wells in arctic regions having a conical shaped lower portion that extends above the surface of the water and a cylindrical upper section. The conical portion is provided with a controlled stiffness outer surface for withstanding the loads produced by ice striking the structure. The stiffness properties of the outer shell and flexible members are designed to distribute the load and avoid high local loads on the inner parts of the structure.

  2. High Methylmercury in Arctic and Subarctic Ponds is Related to Nutrient Levels in the Warming Eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Gwyneth A; Girard, Catherine; Chételat, John; Laurion, Isabelle; Amyot, Marc

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost thaw ponds are ubiquitous in the eastern Canadian Arctic, yet little information exists on their potential as sources of methylmercury (MeHg) to freshwaters. They are microbially active and conducive to methylation of inorganic mercury, and are also affected by Arctic warming. This multiyear study investigated thaw ponds in a discontinuous permafrost region in the Subarctic taiga (Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui, QC) and a continuous permafrost region in the Arctic tundra (Bylot Island, NU). MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were well above levels measured in most freshwater ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic (>0.1 ng L(-1)). On Bylot, ice-wedge trough ponds showed significantly higher MeHg (0.3-2.2 ng L(-1)) than polygonal ponds (0.1-0.3 ng L(-1)) or lakes (<0.1 ng L(-1)). High MeHg was measured in the bottom waters of Subarctic thaw ponds near Kuujjuarapik (0.1-3.1 ng L(-1)). High water MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were strongly correlated with variables associated with high inputs of organic matter (DOC, a320, Fe), nutrients (TP, TN), and microbial activity (dissolved CO2 and CH4). Thawing permafrost due to Arctic warming will continue to release nutrients and organic carbon into these systems and increase ponding in some regions, likely stimulating higher water concentrations of MeHg. Greater hydrological connectivity from permafrost thawing may potentially increase transport of MeHg from thaw ponds to neighboring aquatic ecosystems. PMID:26030209

  3. Volatile organic compound emission profiles of four common arctic plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vedel-Petersen, Ida; Schollert, Michelle; Nymand, Josephine; Rinnan, Riikka

    2015-11-01

    The biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions from plants impact atmosphere and climate. The species-specific emissions, and thereby the atmospheric impact, of many plant species are still unknown. Knowledge of BVOC emission from arctic plants is particularly limited. The vast area and relatively high leaf temperature give the Arctic potential for emissions that cannot be neglected. This field study aimed to elucidate the BVOC emission profiles for four common arctic plant species in their natural environment during the growing season. BVOCs were sampled from aboveground parts of Empetrum hermaphroditum, Salix glauca, Salix arctophila and Betula nana using the dynamic enclosure technique and collection of volatiles in adsorbent cartridges, analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Sampling occurred three times: in late June/early July, in mid-July and in early August. E. hermaphroditum emitted the least BVOCs, dominated by sesquiterpenes (SQTs) and non-isoprenoid BVOCs. The Salix spp. emitted the most, dominated by isoprene. The emissions of B. nana were composed of about two-thirds non-isoprenoid BVOCs, with moderate amounts of monoterpenes (MTs) and SQTs. The total B. nana emissions and the MT and SQT emissions standardized to 30 °C were highest in the first measurement in early July, while the other species had the highest emissions in the last measurement in early August. As climate change is expected to increase plant biomass and change vegetation composition in the Arctic, the BVOC emissions from arctic ecosystems will also change. Our results suggest that if the abundance of deciduous shrubs like Betula and Salix spp. increases at the expense of slower growing evergreens like E. hermaphroditum, there is the potential for increased emissions of isoprene, MTs and non-isoprenoid BVOCs in the Arctic.

  4. Dynamics in the methane hydrate system of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mienert, Jurgen; Andreassen, Karin; Knies, Jochen; Carroll, JoLynn; Bünz, Stephan; Ferre, Benedicte; Rasmussen, Tine; Panieri, Giuliana; Myhre, Catherine Lund

    2014-05-01

    Methane hydrate formed in abundance in deep permafrost regions but little documentation exists about resource accumulation in shallow Arctic subsea areas and its evolution in time and space. Today's sub-seabed methane hydrate reservoirs remain elusive targets as a natural methane emitter that influences ocean environments and ecosystems. Rising Arctic Ocean temperatures are causing a destabilization of these reservoirs which in turn releases methane leading to geo-hazards, ocean acidification, and marine benthic reaction at unknown rates and response times. CAGE - Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment, and Climate initiates a ten year interdisciplinary research and education program aimed at achieving a quantitative understanding of feedbacks between methane sub-seabed reservoirs, the seabed and the ocean. The Centre addresses how the coupled (reservoirs-seabed-ocean) system in the Arctic reacts and affects the future ocean, its environment and possibly the climate with focus on high resolution geophysics; seabed gas-emissions; environmental reactions; and benthic-response times. The project MOCA (Methane emissions from the Arctic Ocean to the Atmosphere) concentrates on the atmospheric component and present as well as future climate effects. Details on the CAGE research plan and organization will be presented to foster opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Based in Tromsø, at the world's northernmost University, CAGE establishes the intellectual and infrastructure resources for studying the amount of methane hydrate and magnitude of methane release in Arctic Ocean environments on time scales from the Neogene to the present (www.cage.uit.no). The Centre of Excellence is funded by the Norwegian Research Council ((grant No. 223259) over a period of ten years.

  5. Hydrology and biogeochemistry of zero-order channels draining arctic hillslopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, T.; Godsey, S.; Longano, E.; Ludwig, S.; Risser, R. R.; Rushlow, C. R.

    2014-12-01

    Hydrologic flowpaths couple terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and are responsive to changing climate in the arctic. However, significant uncertainty remains regarding the character and strength of links between terrestrial ecosystems and downstream aquatic ecosystems. We investigated spatial and temporal patterns in solute concentrations and stream discharge of zero-order channels, termed water tracks, draining hillslopes underlain by permafrost within the Kuparuk Basin of northern Alaska. Water tracks are ubiquitous features in this region, and may serve as a key regulator of elemental fluxes between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Flow in water tracks was highly responsive to precipitation. Snowmelt dominated the annual hydrograph and in summer, rapid drying occurred between rain events. Despite widespread drying after snowmelt, isotopes of water indicated that snow-derived water contributed to flow in water tracks and the receiving river for several weeks beyond the snowmelt period, indicating capacity for storage of water in catchments even when thaw depth is shallow. In contrast, the snowmelt-derived flush of dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus subsided with discharge, indicating limited supplies of these elements, or rapid uptake within catchments. After snowmelt, concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, the elements limiting primary production of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, respectively, remained low or undetectable in inorganic forms, except during large storms. Thus we expect that changes to the intensity or magnitude of precipitation will alter the availability and distribution of limiting nutrients within tundra catchments. Our observations of zero-order arctic channels indicate that changes in precipitation patterns and thaw dynamics may alter nutrient regimes of arctic ecosystems due to the key functions of nutrient delivery and distribution performed by water tracks. Strong nutrient limitation in terrestrial and aquatic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Eicken, H.; Fox, S. E.; Search Science Steering Committee

    2010-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is a multi-agency effort to understand system-scale arctic change. Interrelated environmental changes in the Arctic are affecting ecosystems and living resources and are impacting local and global communities. The SEARCH program is guided by the Science Steering Committee (SSC), the Interagency Program Management Committee (IPMC), and focused panels. Over 150 projects and activities contribute to SEARCH implementation. The Observing Change component is underway through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Arctic Observing Network (AON), NOAA-sponsored atmospheric and sea ice observations, and other relevant national and international efforts. The Understanding Change component of SEARCH consists of modeling and analysis efforts, with strong linkages to relevant programs such as NSF’s Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program. The SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook (http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/index.php) is an "Understanding Change" synthesis effort that aims to advance our understanding of the arctic sea ice system. The Responding to Change element currently includes initial planning efforts by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) program as well as a newly-launched "Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook," which is a weekly report of sea ice conditions geared to Alaska Native walrus subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus (http://www.arcus.org/search/siwo). SEARCH is sponsored by eight U.S. agencies, including: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The U.S. Arctic Research Commission participates as an IPMC observer. For further information, please visit the website: http

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Snow is a critically important and rapidly changing feature of the Arctic. However, snow-cover and snowpack conditions change through time pose challenges for measuring and prediction of snow. Plausible scenarios of how Arctic snow cover will respond to changing Arctic climate are important for impact assessments and adaptation strategies. Although much progress has been made in understanding and predicting snow-cover changes and their multiple consequences, many uncertainties remain. In this paper, we review advances in snow monitoring and modelling, and the impact of snow changes on ecosystems and society in Arctic regions. Interdisciplinary activities are required to resolve the current limitations on measuring and modelling snow characteristics through the cold season and at different spatial scales to assure human well-being, economic stability, and improve the ability to predict manage and adapt to natural hazards in the Arctic region. PMID:26984258

  9. Airborne trace metals and organochlorine compounds in arctic Alaska and Siberia: How important?

    SciTech Connect

    Landers, D.H.; Allen-Gil, S.; Gubala, C.P.; Ford, J.

    1995-12-31

    Metal contaminants of anthropogenic origin identified in the arctic atmosphere and the presence of organochlorines in arctic marine mammal tissues has raised the question of the importance of long-range transport of contaminants to the Arctic. Research focused on arctic regions in Alaska and the Taimyr peninsula of north central Russia. Inland watersheds were examined for evidence of increases in trace metal flux during the past 150 years and the presence of organochlorine compounds. Fish and ground squirrels were examined for body burdens of organic contaminants and plasma biomarkers were examined to evaluate biological effects. Sediment data from several lakes suggest that over broad regions, trace metal fluxes have increased only slightly (< 10%), if at all, since the pre-industrial era. The highest metal concentrations in lake sediments are associated with known elevated geologic sources of metals within the respective watersheds. Organochlorines are present in remote inland arctic ecosystems and are most concentrated in the tissues (e.g. liver) of organisms representing higher trophic levels. Arctic Siberia and Alaska (Taimyr peninsula) are similar with regard to contaminant concentrations. However, lichen and moss data suggest that Pb from Eurasian sources does not reach arctic Alaska. The results indicate that long range, transpolar transport and deposition of trace metals is not a large scale current phenomena in the two study regions. The transport and deposition of organochlorine compounds, however, is occurring but at relatively low levels.

  10. Amplification of Arctic warming by past air pollution reductions in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acosta Navarro, J. C.; Varma, V.; Riipinen, I.; Seland, Ø.; Kirkevåg, A.; Struthers, H.; Iversen, T.; Hansson, H.-C.; Ekman, A. M. L.

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic region is warming considerably faster than the rest of the globe, with important consequences for the ecosystems and human exploration of the region. However, the reasons behind this Arctic amplification are not entirely clear. As a result of measures to enhance air quality, anthropogenic emissions of particulate matter and its precursors have drastically decreased in parts of the Northern Hemisphere over the past three decades. Here we present simulations with an Earth system model with comprehensive aerosol physics and chemistry that show that the sulfate aerosol reductions in Europe since 1980 can potentially explain a significant fraction of Arctic warming over that period. Specifically, the Arctic region receives an additional 0.3 W m-2 of energy, and warms by 0.5 °C on annual average in simulations with declining European sulfur emissions in line with historical observations, compared with a model simulation with fixed European emissions at 1980 levels. Arctic warming is amplified mainly in fall and winter, but the warming is initiated in summer by an increase in incoming solar radiation as well as an enhanced poleward oceanic and atmospheric heat transport. The simulated summertime energy surplus reduces sea-ice cover, which leads to a transfer of heat from the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere. We conclude that air quality regulations in the Northern Hemisphere, the ocean and atmospheric circulation, and Arctic climate are inherently linked.

  11. The impact of lower sea-ice extent on Arctic greenhouse-gas exchange

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Christensen, Torben R.; Sørensen, Lise Lotte; Rysgaard, Søren; McGuire, A. David; Miller, Paul A.; Walker, Donald A.

    2013-01-01

    In September 2012, Arctic sea-ice extent plummeted to a new record low: two times lower than the 1979–2000 average. Often, record lows in sea-ice cover are hailed as an example of climate change impacts in the Arctic. Less apparent, however, are the implications of reduced sea-ice cover in the Arctic Ocean for marine–atmosphere CO2 exchange. Sea-ice decline has been connected to increasing air temperatures at high latitudes. Temperature is a key controlling factor in the terrestrial exchange of CO2 and methane, and therefore the greenhouse-gas balance of the Arctic. Despite the large potential for feedbacks, many studies do not connect the diminishing sea-ice extent with changes in the interaction of the marine and terrestrial Arctic with the atmosphere. In this Review, we assess how current understanding of the Arctic Ocean and high-latitude ecosystems can be used to predict the impact of a lower sea-ice cover on Arctic greenhouse-gas exchange.

  12. Using Domestic and Free-Ranging Arctic Canid Models for Environmental Molecular Toxicology Research.

    PubMed

    Harley, John R; Bammler, Theo K; Farin, Federico M; Beyer, Richard P; Kavanagh, Terrance J; Dunlap, Kriya L; Knott, Katrina K; Ylitalo, Gina M; O'Hara, Todd M

    2016-02-16

    The use of sentinel species for population and ecosystem health assessments has been advocated as part of a One Health perspective. The Arctic is experiencing rapid change, including climate and environmental shifts, as well as increased resource development, which will alter exposure of biota to environmental agents of disease. Arctic canid species have wide geographic ranges and feeding ecologies and are often exposed to high concentrations of both terrestrial and marine-based contaminants. The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) has been used in biomedical research for a number of years and has been advocated as a sentinel for human health due to its proximity to humans and, in some instances, similar diet. Exploiting the potential of molecular tools for describing the toxicogenomics of Arctic canids is critical for their development as biomedical models as well as environmental sentinels. Here, we present three approaches analyzing toxicogenomics of Arctic contaminants in both domestic and free-ranging canids (Arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus). We describe a number of confounding variables that must be addressed when conducting toxicogenomics studies in canid and other mammalian models. The ability for canids to act as models for Arctic molecular toxicology research is unique and significant for advancing our understanding and expanding the tool box for assessing the changing landscape of environmental agents of disease in the Arctic. PMID:26730740

  13. Arctic terrestrial hydrology: A synthesis of processes, regional effects, and research challenges