Science.gov

Sample records for arctic environmental change

  1. Atmospheric Aspects of Recent Arctic Environmental Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serreze, M. C.

    2002-12-01

    Evidence assembled over the past several decades shows the Arctic system as in the midst of significant environmental change. This includes pronounced warming over most land areas, reductions in sea ice extent, alterations in precipitation, river discharge and sea ice circulation, and warming and increased areal extent of the Arctic Ocean's Atlantic layer. The accepted paradigm is that these changes relate to general dominance of the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The AO is defined as the leading mode of Northern Hemisphere sea level pressure variability. It can be considered as an index of the strength of the circumpolar vortex. Circulation variability associated with the AO is most pronounced over the Atlantic sector, such that its index is strongly correlated with that of the NAO, which describes mutual strengthening and weakening of the Icelandic Low and Azores High. Whether the AO is a more fundamental mode than the NAO is acontinuing issue of debate. In the broadest sense, environmental changes associated with the dominant positive phase of the AO/NAO are responses to alterations in surface wind regimes and transports of heat and moisture. However, linkages with some variables, such as winter discharge from the Siberian rivers, appear to be indirect. Furthermore, while the AO/NAO is best expressed in winter, many Arctic changes, such as reduced sea ice extent, are most apparent during summer. Variability in other key variables, such as precipitation over the Eurasian Arctic watersheds, exhibit only weak links. The AO/NAO are natural modes of variability which operate on a spectrum of time scales. There is ample evidence that multidecadal variability in the AO/NAO relates to variability in sea surface temperatures. However, growing evidence suggests that the recent positive tendency may contain an anthropogenic component. A leading contender is stratospheric ozone loss. In this framework, the atmospheric

  2. Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH): Scientific Understanding of Arctic Environmental Change to Help Society Understand and Respond to a Rapidly Changing Arctic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Myers, B.

    2015-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is a U.S. program with a mission to provide a foundation of Arctic change science through collaboration with the research community, funding agencies, and other stakeholders. To achieve this mission, SEARCH: Generates and synthesizes research findings and promotes Arctic science and scientific discovery across disciplines and among agencies. Identifies emerging issues in Arctic environmental change. Provides scientific information to Arctic stakeholders, policy-makers, and the public to help them understand and respond to arctic environmental change. Facilitates research activities across local-to-global scales, with an emphasis on addressing needs of decision-makers. Collaborates with national and international science programs integral to SEARCH goals. This poster presentation will present SEARCH activities and plans, highlighting those focused on providing information for decision-makers. http://www.arcus.org/search

  3. Inuit Perspectives on Arctic Environmental Change': A Traveling Exhibition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  4. 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

    2011-12-01

    SEARCH is an interdisciplinary and interagency program that works with academic and government agency scientists to plan, conduct, and synthesize studies of arctic change. The vision of SEARCH is to provide scientific understanding of arctic environmental change to help society understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic. Towards this end, SEARCH: (1) Generates and synthesizes research findings and promotes arctic science and scientific discovery across disciplines and among agencies. (2) Identifies emerging issues in arctic environmental change. (3) Provides information resources to arctic stakeholders, policy-makers, and the public to help them respond to arctic environmental change. (4) Coordinates with national arctic science programs integral to SEARCH goals. (5) Facilitates research activities across local-to-global scales with stakeholder concerns incorporated from the start of the planning process. (6) Represents the U.S. arctic environmental change science community in international and global change research initiatives. Examples of specific SEARCH activities include: (1) Arctic Observing Network (AON) - a system of atmospheric, land- and ocean-based environmental monitoring capabilities that will significantly advance our observations of arctic environmental conditions. (2) Arctic Sea Ice Outlook - an international effort that provides monthly summer reports synthesizing community estimates of the expected sea ice minimum. (3) Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook - a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others that provides weekly reports with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in Alaska waters. (4) Developing recommendations for an interagency "Understanding Arctic Change" program. In addition to the above activities, SEARCH is also currently undertaking a strategic planning process to define priority goals and objectives for the next 3-5 years. SEARCH is guided by a Science Steering Committee and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. A decade of environmental change in the Pacific Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Kevin R.; Bond, Nicholas A.; Danielson, Seth L.; Overland, James E.; Salo, Sigrid A.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Whitefield, Jonathan

    2015-08-01

    Over the decade 2004-2013 environmental changes in the Pacific sector of the Arctic have been dramatic enough to suggest that a 'new normal' climate is emerging. The clearest indicator of this change is the dramatic loss of sea ice during the summer, which in some years has already resulted in essentially ice-free conditions in this region. For example, between 7 August and 11 October 2012, sea ice concentration in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas between 70 and 80°N fell below 20% (with a record minimum concentration of only 5% on 2 September). Thick multiyear sea ice (older than 2 years) has almost entirely disappeared, replaced by thin and more mobile first-year ice. Year-to-year variability in ice concentration is associated with anomalous wind forcing linked to larger-scale atmospheric circulation patterns, which also affect ocean currents, including transport through Bering Strait. With reduced sea ice extent the area of ice-free ocean susceptible to rapid solar heating has increased. More heat is stored in the upper ocean early in the summer melt season and persists later into the autumn freeze-up. Monthly surface air temperature anomalies greater than 6 °C have occurred frequently in the autumn in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Environmental variations in the Bering Sea over the last decade have been subtle by comparison, and include an increase in winter sea-ice extent between 2007 and 2013.

  7. Arctic Observing Network (AON): Enhancing Observing, Data Archiving and Data Discovery Capabilities as Arctic Environmental System Change Continues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeffries, M. O.

    2008-12-01

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the auspices of the U.S. Inter-Agency Arctic Research Policy Committee, are leading the development of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) as part of the implementation of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) and as a legacy of International Polar Year (IPY). As the Observing Change component of SEARCH, AON complements the Understanding Change and Responding to Change components. AON addresses the need to enhance observing capabilities in a data-sparse region where environmental system changes are among the most rapid on Earth. AON data will contribute to research into understanding the causes and consequences of Arctic environmental system change and its global connections, and to improving predictive skill. AON is also a contribution to the development of a multi-nation, pan-Arctic observing network that is being discussed at the IPY 'Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks' (SAON) workshops. Enhancing Arctic observing capabilities faces many challenges, including coordination and integration of disparate observing elements and data systems that operate according to diverse policies and practices. There is wide agreement that data systems that provide archiving and discovery services are essential and integral to AON. In recognition of this, NSF is supporting the development of CADIS (Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service) as an AON portal for data discovery, a repository for data storage, and a platform for data analysis. NSF is also supporting ELOKA (Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge in the Arctic), a pilot project for a data management and networking service for community- based observing that keeps control of data in the hands of data providers while still allowing for broad searches and sharing of information. CADIS and ELOKA represent the application of cyberinfrastructure to meet AON data system needs that might also

  8. 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

  9. 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.; Fox, S. E.

    2009-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is a multi-agency effort to observe, understand, and guide responses to changes in the changing arctic system. Under the SEARCH program, guided by the Science Steering Committee (SSC), the Observing, Understanding, and Responding to Change panels, and the Interagency Program Management Committee (IPMC), scientists with a variety of expertise work together to achieve goals of the program. Over 150 projects and activities contribute to SEARCH implementation. The Observing Change component is underway through the NSF’s Arctic Observing Network (AON), NOAA-sponsored atmospheric and sea ice observations, and other relevant national and international efforts, including the EU-sponsored Developing Arctic Modeling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies (DAMOCLES) Program. The Understanding Change component of SEARCH consists of modeling and analysis efforts, including the Sea Ice Outlook project, an international effort to provide a community-wide summary of the expected September arctic sea ice minimum. The Understanding Change component also has strong linkages to programs such as the NSF Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program. The Responding to Change element will be launched through stakeholder-focused research and applications addressing social and economic concerns. As a national program under the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC), SEARCH is working to expand international connections. The State of the Arctic Conference (soa.arcus.org), to be held 16-19 March 2010 in Miami, will be a milestone activity of SEARCH and will provide an international forum for discussion of future research directions aimed toward a better understanding of the arctic system and its trajectory. SEARCH is sponsored by eight U.S. agencies that comprise the IPMC, including: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space

  10. The Earth Is Faster Now: Indigenous Observations of Arctic Environmental Change. Frontiers in Polar Social Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krupnik, Igor, Ed.; Jolly, Dyanna, Ed.

    This book focuses on documenting and understanding the nature of environmental changes observed by indigenous residents of the Arctic. Common themes include increasing variability and unpredictability of the weather and seasonal climatic patterns, as well as changes in the sea ice and the health of wildlife. Nine papers focus on these changes,…

  11. Supporting decisions through the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) Program: A History and Way Forward

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druckenmiller, M. L.; Wiggins, H. V.; Eicken, H.; Francis, J. A.; Huntington, H.; Scambos, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), ongoing since the early-2000s, aims to develop scientific knowledge to help society understand and respond to the rapidly changing Arctic. Through collaboration with the research community, funding agencies, national and international science programs, and other stakeholders, SEARCH facilitates research activities across local-to-global scales, with increasing emphasis on addressing the information needs of policy and decision-makers. This talk will explore the program's history, spanning its earliest efforts to understand interrelated atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial changes in the Arctic to more recent objectives of providing stakeholder-relevant information, such as community-wide summaries of the expected arctic summer sea ice minimum or up-to-date information on sea ice conditions to Alaska Native walrus hunters in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We will discuss SEARCH's recent shift toward a "Knowledge to Action" vision and implementation of focused Action Teams to: (1) improve understanding, advance prediction, and explore consequences of changing arctic sea ice; (2) document and understand how degradation of near-surface permafrost will affect arctic and global systems; and (3) improve predictions of future land-ice loss and impacts on sea level. Tracking and evaluating how scientific information from such research reaches stakeholders and informs decisions are critical for interactions that allow the research community to keep pace with an evolving landscape of arctic decision-makers. Examples will be given for the new directions these Action Teams are taking regarding science communication and approaches for research community collaboration to synthesize research findings and promote arctic science and interdisciplinary scientific discovery.

  12. Biodiversity, distributions and adaptations of Arctic species in the context of environmental change.

    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; Elster, Josef; Henttonen, Heikki; Laine, Kari; Taulavuori, Kari; Taulavuori, Erja; Zöckler, Christoph

    2004-11-01

    adapted to the Arctic's climate: some can metabolize at temperatures down to -39 degrees C. Cyanobacteria and algae have a wide range of adaptive strategies that allow them to avoid, or at least minimize UV injury. Microorganisms can tolerate most environmental conditions and they have short generation times which can facilitate rapid adaptation to new environments. In contrast, Arctic plant and animal species are very likely to change their distributions rather than evolve significantly in response to warming. PMID:15573569

  13. Climate change impacts on environmental and human exposure to mercury in the arctic.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Climate Change Impacts on Environmental and Human Exposure to Mercury in the Arctic

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Recent Progress Towards Establishing an Arctic Ocean Observing System - A NOAA Contribution to the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rigor, I. G.; Richter-Menge, J.; Calder, J.

    2004-12-01

    SEARCH is a coordinated, interagency program focused on understanding the full scope of changes taking place in the Arctic and to determine if the changes indicate the start of a major climate shift in this region. NOAA has initiated its contribution to the SEARCH program with seed activities that address high priority issues relating to the atmosphere and the cryosphere. One element of the NOAA SEARCH program is an Arctic Ocean Observing System. This presentation describes the recent progress made in establishing components of this observing system, specifically the deployment of drifting ice mass balance mass (IMB) and ocean buoys and a seafloor mooring equipped with ice profiling sonar (IPS). We present examples of data collected from the drifting buoys, show the location of equipment deployed in 2003, the planned deployments for 2004, and describe other historic observations of changes in the thickness of the sea ice cover. Combined, these data are being used to monitor changes in the thickness of the Arctic sea ice cover and in near surface ocean characteristics.

  16. 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

  17. Integrating Access to Arctic Environmental Change and Human Health Research for the International Polar Year and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrett, C. L.

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Studying long-term trends of contaminants in Arctic biota is essential to better understand impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on the exposure of sensitive species and marine ecosystems. We concurrently measured temporal changes (2006-2014) in mercury (Hg) contamination of little auks (Alle alle; the most abundant Arctic seabird) and in their major zooplankton prey species (Calanoid copepods, Themisto libellula, Gammarus spp.). We found an increasing contamination of the food-chain in East Greenland during summer over the last decade. More specifically, bird contamination (determined by body feather analyses) has increased at a rate of 3.4% per year. Conversely, bird exposure to Hg during winter in the northwest Atlantic (determined by head feather analyses) decreased over the study period (at a rate of 1.5% per year), although winter concentrations remained consistently higher than during summer. By combining mercury levels measured in birds and zooplankton to isotopic analyses, our results demonstrate that inter-annual variations of Hg levels in little auks reflect changes in food-chain contamination, rather than a reorganization of the food web and a modification of seabird trophic ecology. They therefore underline the value of little auks, and Arctic seabirds in general, as bio-indicators of long-term changes in environmental contamination. PMID:26798998

  19. Variations in the Sensitivity of Shrub Growth to Climate Change along Arctic Environmental and Biotic Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Atwood, Todd C; Peacock, Elizabeth; McKinney, Melissa A; Lillie, Kate; Wilson, Ryan; Douglas, David C; Miller, Susanne; Terletzky, Pat

    2016-01-01

    In the Arctic Ocean's southern Beaufort Sea (SB), the length of the sea ice melt season (i.e., period between the onset of sea ice break-up in summer and freeze-up in fall) has increased substantially since the late 1990s. Historically, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the SB have mostly remained on the sea ice year-round (except for those that came ashore to den), but recent changes in the extent and phenology of sea ice habitat have coincided with evidence that use of terrestrial habitat is increasing. We characterized the spatial behavior of polar bears spending summer and fall on land along Alaska's north coast to better understand the nexus between rapid environmental change and increased use of terrestrial habitat. We found that the percentage of radiocollared adult females from the SB subpopulation coming ashore has tripled over 15 years. Moreover, we detected trends of earlier arrival on shore, increased length of stay, and later departure back to sea ice, all of which were related to declines in the availability of sea ice habitat over the continental shelf and changes to sea ice phenology. Since the late 1990s, the mean duration of the open-water season in the SB increased by 36 days, and the mean length of stay on shore increased by 31 days. While on shore, the distribution of polar bears was influenced by the availability of scavenge subsidies in the form of subsistence-harvested bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) remains aggregated at sites along the coast. The declining spatio-temporal availability of sea ice habitat and increased availability of human-provisioned resources are likely to result in increased use of land. Increased residency on land is cause for concern given that, while there, bears may be exposed to a greater array of risk factors including those associated with increased human activities. PMID:27249673

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

    PubMed Central

    Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth; McKinney, Melissa A.; Lillie, Kate; Wilson, Ryan; Douglas, David C.; Miller, Susanne; Terletzky, Pat

    2016-01-01

    In the Arctic Ocean’s southern Beaufort Sea (SB), the length of the sea ice melt season (i.e., period between the onset of sea ice break-up in summer and freeze-up in fall) has increased substantially since the late 1990s. Historically, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the SB have mostly remained on the sea ice year-round (except for those that came ashore to den), but recent changes in the extent and phenology of sea ice habitat have coincided with evidence that use of terrestrial habitat is increasing. We characterized the spatial behavior of polar bears spending summer and fall on land along Alaska’s north coast to better understand the nexus between rapid environmental change and increased use of terrestrial habitat. We found that the percentage of radiocollared adult females from the SB subpopulation coming ashore has tripled over 15 years. Moreover, we detected trends of earlier arrival on shore, increased length of stay, and later departure back to sea ice, all of which were related to declines in the availability of sea ice habitat over the continental shelf and changes to sea ice phenology. Since the late 1990s, the mean duration of the open-water season in the SB increased by 36 days, and the mean length of stay on shore increased by 31 days. While on shore, the distribution of polar bears was influenced by the availability of scavenge subsidies in the form of subsistence-harvested bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) remains aggregated at sites along the coast. The declining spatio-temporal availability of sea ice habitat and increased availability of human-provisioned resources are likely to result in increased use of land. Increased residency on land is cause for concern given that, while there, bears may be exposed to a greater array of risk factors including those associated with increased human activities. PMID:27249673

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  4. Sea ice as a nexus of Arctic environmental and socio-economic change through the IPY and beyond (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicken, H.

    2010-12-01

    The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-08 witnessed a major decline in Arctic sea-ice summer minimum extent and total coverage of multiyear ice, the result of long-term preconditioning of the ice cover and summer weather patterns. At the same time, geopolitical and socio-economic change at high latitudes are closely intertwined with a sea-ice cover undergoing major transformations. Remote sensing data and observations that are part of the Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONet) indicate that Alaska’s Arctic seas experienced some of the most pronounced changes in the characteristics and seasonality of sea ice, including its use by humans. As a nexus of environmental and socio-economic transformations, sea ice may help scientists, ice users and broader society track and explore different responses to such rapid change. This idea is illustrated through research findings on changes in ice-dependent subsistence hunting in the context of larger-scale sea-ice variability derived from the satellite record. Shorter and less stable ice regimes, reduced ice extent and other environmental factors can lead to increasing overlap or competition between different ice uses, including those relevant for natural resource extraction or sustenance of marine ecosystems. Addressing these challenges will require the development of integrated research programs and observing networks, as well as the development of new partnerships between those benefitting from services delivered by sea ice. Drawing on an example from coastal Alaska, it is argued that Communities of Practice can enhance the value of scientific information and other forms of expertise in meeting the challenges posed by a rapidly changing Arctic.

  5. Frequent fires in ancient shrub tundra: implications of paleorecords for arctic environmental change.

    PubMed

    Higuera, Philip E; Brubaker, Linda B; Anderson, Patricia M; Brown, Thomas A; Kennedy, Alison T; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2008-01-01

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birch-dominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleofires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21(st) century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as on land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere. PMID:18320025

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Public Perceptions of Arctic Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, L.

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Climate change and Arctic parasites.

    PubMed

    Dobson, Andy; Molnár, Péter K; Kutz, Susan

    2015-05-01

    Climate is changing rapidly in the Arctic. This has important implications for parasites of Arctic ungulates, and hence for the welfare of Arctic peoples who depend on caribou, reindeer, and muskoxen for food, income, and a focus for cultural activities. In this Opinion article we briefly review recent work on the development of predictive models for the impacts of climate change on helminth parasites and other pathogens of Arctic wildlife, in the hope that such models may eventually allow proactive mitigation and conservation strategies. We describe models that have been developed using the metabolic theory of ecology. The main strength of these models is that they can be easily parameterized using basic information about the physical size of the parasite. Initial results suggest they provide important new insights that are likely to generalize to a range of host-parasite systems. PMID:25900882

  12. Climate Change, Globalization and Geopolitics in the New Maritime Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigham, L. W.

    2011-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. The Effects of Environmental Change on an Arctic Native Community: Evaluation Using Local Cultural Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McBeath, Jerry; Shepro, Carl E.

    2007-01-01

    This article presents the research conducted by the authors in an Inupiat Eskimo village on the Alaska North Slope and describes the research in two substantive parts. In the first section, the authors present what subsistence hunters and fishers observed concerning changes to seas, lands, and inland lakes and rivers. Then, they mention changes of…

  15. Arctic Sea Ice Changes 2011-2012

    NASA Video Gallery

    Animation showing changes in monthly Arctic sea ice volume using data from ESA's CryoSat-2 (red dots) and estimates from the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) (solid li...

  16. Time varying arctic climate change amplification

    SciTech Connect

    Chylek, Petr; Dubey, Manvendra K; Lesins, Glen; Wang, Muyin

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope analyses of bowhead whale baleen as biochemical recorders of migration and arctic environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    deHart, Pieter A. P.; Picco, Candace M.

    2015-06-01

    An analysis of the stable isotopes of oxygen (δ18O) and hydrogen (δD) was used to examine the linkage between sea ice concentration and the migration of western arctic bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus; WABW). We compared δ18O and δD variability along the length of WABW baleen with isotopic values of zooplankton prey from different WABW habitat, with published δ13C and δ15N data, and with historical sea ice records. Zooplankton signatures varied widely (δ18O = -13‰-56‰; δD = -220‰ to -75‰), with regional separation between winter (Bering Sea) and summer (eastern Beaufort Sea) habitats of WABW observable in δD. The δ18O and δD of WABW varied significantly along the length of baleen (δ18O = 8-18‰; δD = -180 to -80‰), confirming seasonal migration and reflecting distinct regional dietary variation in isotopes. WABW migration appears to have varied concomitant with temporal sea ice concentration (SIC) changes; in years with high SIC, the difference in δD of WABW baleen between seasonal habitats was significantly greater than low SIC periods. This work shows that SIC is not only a determinant of habitat accessibility for WABW, but baleen may also be a record of historical SIC and Arctic climate.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Climate Change: Science and Policy in the Arctic Climate Change: Science and Policy in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bigras, S. C.

    2009-12-01

    participation of indigenous peoples in the development and management process. The effective application of accumulated climate change knowledge requires development of a policy framework that can address cumulative effects and take into account various stakeholders, multi-jurisdictional regulations and interests, environmental impacts and other concerns specific to the Arctic. Fundamental to such a framework are responsible economic development, sustainable communities, the commitment to achieving consensus between parties, and the use of traditional knowledge. One way to facilitate collaborative policy making is to increase international co-operation between Northerners, indigenous peoples, scientists, politicians and policy makers. The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 proved a solid stepping-stone for multinational collaborations. Clear communication with politicians and policy-makers is challenging but essential, despite the lingering uncertainties in climate-change science. Public awareness helps considerably in getting messages to politicians, and it is therefore important that scientists and researchers share their results not only with colleagues but also with the general public.

  2. Identifying uncertainties in Arctic climate change projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodson, Daniel L. R.; Keeley, Sarah P. E.; West, Alex; Ridley, Jeff; Hawkins, Ed; Hewitt, Helene T.

    2013-06-01

    Wide ranging climate changes are expected in the Arctic by the end of the 21st century, but projections of the size of these changes vary widely across current global climate models. This variation represents a large source of uncertainty in our understanding of the evolution of Arctic climate. Here we systematically quantify and assess the model uncertainty in Arctic climate changes in two CO2 doubling experiments: a multimodel ensemble (CMIP3) and an ensemble constructed using a single model (HadCM3) with multiple parameter perturbations (THC-QUMP). These two ensembles allow us to assess the contribution that both structural and parameter variations across models make to the total uncertainty and to begin to attribute sources of uncertainty in projected changes. We find that parameter uncertainty is an major source of uncertainty in certain aspects of Arctic climate. But also that uncertainties in the mean climate state in the 20th century, most notably in the northward Atlantic ocean heat transport and Arctic sea ice volume, are a significant source of uncertainty for projections of future Arctic change. We suggest that better observational constraints on these quantities will lead to significant improvements in the precision of projections of future Arctic climate change.

  3. 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

  4. Satellite Observed Changes in the Arctic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.; Parkinson, Claire L.

    2004-01-01

    The Arctic is currently considered an area in transformation. Glaciers have been retreating, permafrost has been diminishing, snow covered areas have been decreasing, and sea ice and ice sheets have been thinning. This paper provides an overview of the unique role that satellite sensors have contributed in the detection of changes in the Arctic and demonstrates that many of the changes are not just local but a pan-Arctic phenomenon. Changes from the upper atmosphere to the surface are discussed and it is apparent that the magnitude of the trends tends to vary from region to region and from season to season. Previous reports of a warming Arctic and a retreating perennial ice cover have also been updated, and results show that changes are ongoing. Feedback effects that can lead to amplification of the signals and the role of satellite data in enhancing global circulation models are also discussed.

  5. A multi-proxy reconstruction of environmental change spanning the last 37,000 years from Burial Lake, Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finkenbinder, M. S.; Abbott, M. B.; Finney, B. P.; Stoner, J. S.; Dorfman, J. M.

    2015-10-01

    Sediment cores from Burial Lake located in the western Brooks Range in Arctic Alaska record paleoenvironmental changes that span the last 37,000 calendar years before present (cal yr BP). We identified four distinct lithologic subunits based on physical properties (dry bulk density, magnetic susceptibility), sediment composition, and geochemical proxies (organic matter, biogenic silica, C/N, organic matter δ13C and δ15N, and elemental data from scanning X-ray fluorescence). The multi-proxy approach and relatively high temporal resolution (at multi-decadal to centennial time scales) of our proxy analysis, compared with previous studies of intermediate water depth cores from Burial Lake, provide new insights into the paleoenvironmental history of the region spanning the period prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. Relatively high lake-levels and gradually decreasing in-lake and terrestrial productivity occur during the mid-Wisconsin interstadial from 37,200 to 29,600 cal yr BP. The subsequent period is defined by falling and lower lake-levels with decreasing effective-moisture, windier conditions, and sustained low aquatic productivity throughout the LGM between 29,600 and 19,600 cal yr BP. The last deglaciation that commenced by 19,600 cal yr BP is characterized by gradual changes in several sediment physical and geochemical proxies, including increasing C/N ratios and terrestrial productivity, decreasing magnetic susceptibility and clastic sediment flux, along with rising and relatively higher lake-levels. A decrease in aeolian activity after 16,500 cal yr BP is inferred from the appearance of fine (very fine sandy silt) sediment, compared to coarse sediments through the LGM and last deglaciation. The highest levels of terrestrial inputs along with increasing and variable aquatic productivity occur during the Lateglacial to early Holocene interval between 16,500 and 8800 cal yr BP. The absence of multi-proxy evidence for a strong climatic reversal during the Younger

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. 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.

    2012-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. The Arctic Grand Challenge: Abrupt Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkniss, P. E.

    2003-12-01

    Trouble in polar paradise (Science, 08/30/02), significant changes in the Arctic environment are scientifically documented (R.E. Moritz et al. ibid.). More trouble, lots more, "abrupt climate change," (R. B. Alley, et al. Science 03/28/03). R. Corell, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment team (ACIA), "If you want to see what will happen in the rest of the world 25 years from now just look what's happening in the Arctic," (Arctic Council meeting, Iceland, 08/03). What to do? Make abrupt Arctic climate change a grand challenge for the IPY-4 and beyond! Scientifically:Describe the "state" of the Arctic climate system as succinctly as possible and accept it as the point of departure.Develop a hypothesis and criteria what constitutes "abrupt climate change," in the Arctic that can be tested with observations. Observations: Bring to bear existing observations and coordinate new investments in observations through an IPY-4 scientific management committee. Make the new Barrow, Alaska, Global Climate Change Research Facility a major U.S. contribution and focal point for the IPY-4 in the U.S Arctic. Arctic populations, Native peoples: The people of the North are living already, daily, with wrenching change, encroaching on their habitats and cultures. For them "the earth is faster now," (I. Krupnik and D. Jolly, ARCUS, 2002). From a political, economic, social and entirely realistic perspective, an Arctic grand challenge without the total integration of the Native peoples in this effort cannot succeed. Therefore: Communications must be established, and the respective Native entities must be approached with the determination to create well founded, well functioning, enduring partnerships. In the U.S. Arctic, Barrow with its long history of involvement and active support of science and with the new global climate change research facility should be the focal point of choice Private industry: Resource extraction in the Arctic followed by oil and gas consumption, return the combustion

  11. Observational Constraints on Changing Arctic Methane Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dlugokencky, E. J.; Bruhwiler, L.; Lang, P. M.; Masarie, K.; Crotwell, A. M.; Crotwell, M.; Lowry, D.; Fisher, R. E.; Nisbet, E. G.

    2012-12-01

    Methane (CH4) is the second-most important greenhouse gas influenced by human activities. Its chemistry results in additional indirect climate effects from production of tropospheric O3, which also affects air quality, and stratospheric H2O. Because methane's atmospheric lifetime is relatively short (~9 yr) and ~70% of its emissions are anthropogenic, reductions in its emissions provide a potential cost-effective opportunity to slow the rate of increase of radiative forcing. Some fraction of decreased anthropogenic emissions may be canceled by potentially strong feed-backs to natural emissions. Because natural emissions of CH4 are diffuse, relatively weak, and highly-variable in space and time, quantifying changes for large spatial regions is difficult from small-scale field studies alone. Atmosphere observations at well-chosen sites integrate these emissions over large zonal regions and can be particularly useful for detecting changes in emissions. Paleo-climate studies indicate that CH4 emissions from Arctic wetlands are sensitive to climate and may provide a strong positive feedback as the Arctic warms. Measurements of atmospheric CH4 from the NOAA Global Monitoring Division's, Global Cooperative Air Sampling Network began in 1983. These high-precision observations offer key constraints on changes in Arctic CH4 emissions. During 2007, the CH4 growth rate increased in the Arctic, but was nearly zero during 2008. Use of the data in a chemical transport model suggest anomalous emissions of about 2 Tg CH4 during 2007, but returning to long-term average emissions after that. Another potential source affected by climate is emissions from methane clathrates. Measurements of methane's isotopic composition in the Arctic have been useful in showing that CH4 enhancements in Arctic air result from wetlands, not clathrates. Both potential sources are also constrained by spatial patterns in observed CH4, which indicate that, so far, changes in emissions of Arctic CH4 over the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlasova, Tatiana

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, D. G.; Barber, L.

    2008-12-01

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

  14. Environmental accounting for Arctic shipping - a framework building on ship tracking data from satellites.

    PubMed

    Mjelde, A; Martinsen, K; Eide, M; Endresen, O

    2014-10-15

    Arctic shipping is on the rise, leading to increased concern over the potential environmental impacts. To better understand the magnitude of influence to the Arctic environment, detailed modelling of emissions and environmental risks are essential. This paper describes a framework for environmental accounting. A cornerstone in the framework is the use of Automatic Identification System (AIS) ship tracking data from satellites. When merged with ship registers and other data sources, it enables unprecedented accuracy in modelling and geographical allocation of emissions and discharges. This paper presents results using two of the models in the framework; emissions of black carbon (BC) in the Arctic, which is of particular concern for climate change, and; bunker fuels and wet bulk carriage in the Arctic, of particular concern for oil spill to the environment. Using the framework, a detailed footprint from Arctic shipping with regards to operational emissions and potential discharges is established. PMID:25168183

  15. Flux variations and vertical distributions of siliceous Rhizaria (Radiolaria and Phaeodaria) in the western Arctic Ocean: indices of environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikenoue, T.; Bjørklund, K. R.; Kruglikova, S. B.; Onodera, J.; Kimoto, K.; Harada, N.

    2015-03-01

    The vertical distribution of radiolarians was investigated using a vertical multiple plankton sampler (100-0, 250-100, 500-250, and 1000-500 m water depths, 62 μm mesh size) at the Northwind Abyssal Plain and southwestern Canada Basin in September 2013. To investigate seasonal variations in the flux of radiolarians in relation to sea ice and water masses, a time-series sediment trap system was moored at Station NAP (75°00´ N, 162°00´ W; bottom depth 1975 m) in the western Arctic Ocean during October 2010-September 2012. The radiolarian flux was comparable to that in the North Pacific Ocean. Amphimelissa setosa was dominant during the season with open water as well as at the beginning and end of the seasons with sea-ice cover. During the sea-ice-cover season, however, oligotrophic and cold-water-tolerant actinommids were dominant, productivity of Radiolaria was lower, and species diversity was greater. These suggest that the dynamics of sea ice are a major factor affecting the productivity, distribution, and composition of the radiolarian fauna.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. The Arctic Ocean's seasonal cycle must change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carton, James; Ding, Yanni

    2015-04-01

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

  20. New views on changing Arctic vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Robert E.

    2012-03-01

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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  3. Role of Greenland meltwater in the changing Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Research Applications of Data from Arctic Ocean Drifting Platforms: The Arctic Buoy Program and the Environmental Working Group CD's.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moritz, R. E.; Rigor, I.

    2006-12-01

    ABSTRACT: The Arctic Buoy Program was initiated in 1978 to measure surface air pressure, surface temperature and sea-ice motion in the Arctic Ocean, on the space and time scales of synoptic weather systems, and to make the data available for research, forecasting and operations. The program, subsequently renamed the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP), has endured and expanded over the past 28 years. A hallmark of the IABP is the production, dissemination and archival of research-quality datasets and analyses. These datasets have been used by the authors of over 500 papers on meteorolgy, sea-ice physics, oceanography, air-sea interactions, climate, remote sensing and other topics. Elements of the IABP are described briefly, including measurements, analysis, data dissemination and data archival. Selected highlights of the research applications are reviewed, including ice dynamics, ocean-ice modeling, low-frequency variability of Arctic air-sea-ice circulation, and recent changes in the age, thickness and extent of Arctic Sea-ice. The extended temporal coverage of the data disseminated on the Environmental Working Group CD's is important for interpreting results in the context of climate.

  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. 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.

  7. Changing characteristics of arctic pressure ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wadhams, Peter; Toberg, Nick

    2012-04-01

    the continuity and linearity of the ridge crest. Many such episodes over a number of years can cause the ridge to become simply a series of blocks. This has implications for ridge strength and for permeability to spilled oil. As the percentage of MY ice in the Arctic diminishes, Arctic ridging will be more and more dominated by FY ridges, and we discuss the implications of this change of character of the ice underside in the light of the statistics that we have generated for the two types of ridge.

  8. The Arctic data buoy. A system for environmental monitoring in the Arctic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haugen, D. P.; Kerut, E. G.

    1973-01-01

    An automated data buoy system for environmental monitoring in the Arctic was developed. The buoy is designed to operate for a minimum of 1 year providing position and environmental data through polar-orbiting satellite telecommunications. It can be deployed by a two or three man crew using a small aircraft. It is capable of operating in both free-floating and frozen-in situations. An experimental unit successfully completed a 5-month test at Fletcher's Ice Island (T-3) during the winter of 1971-72 and six units were deployed in the Arctic during the spring of 1972. Results to data have demonstrated the utility of the basic design, the effectiveness of the satellite communications, and the feasibility of deploying and operating a large array of such buoy systems in the Arctic Ocean.

  9. Changing Export of Dissolved Black Carbon from Arctic Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Impacts of projected sea ice changes on trans-Arctic navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  13. Implications of Arctic Sea Ice Reduction on Arctic Tropospheric Chemical Change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nghiem, S. V.

    2009-12-01

    We examine the drastic reduction of Arctic sea ice in this decade and discuss the potential implications on bromine, ozone, and mercury change in the Arctic troposphere. We are witnessing extraordinary change in the Arctic sea ice cover. In the context of a half century change, perennial sea ice, the class of thicker and older ice important to the stability of Arctic sea ice, has been declining precipitously in this decade. Perennial ice extent declines at rate of 0.5 million km2 per decade in the 1970s-1990s while there is no discernable trend in the 1950s-1960s. Abruptly, the rate of decrease has tripled to 1.5 million km2 per decade in the 2000s. A record was set in the reduction of Arctic perennial ice extent in winter 2008. By 1 March 2008, perennial ice extent was reduced by one million km2 compared to that at the same time in 2007, which continued the precipitous declining trend observed in this decade. While the record low of total ice extent in summer 2007 is a historical mark of sea ice loss, the distribution and extent of different sea ice classes in spring (March-May) are critical information to understand the implications of sea ice reduction on photochemical processes, such as bromine explosions, ozone depletion episodes (ODEs), gaseous elementary mercury depletion episodes (MDEs), which occur at the time of polar sunrise. In this regard, the drastic reduction of perennial ice means that the Arctic becomes dominated by seasonal ice consisting of thinner ice, more leads, polynyas, frost flowers, and salty snow (due to seawater spray from open water), representing the overall saltier condition of the Arctic sea ice cover conducive to ice-mediated chemical processes leading to Arctic tropospheric ODEs and MDEs. To date (2009), the extent of perennial sea ice remains low and the extent of the thinner and saltier seasonal ice continues to dominate the Arctic sea ice cover. The shift of the state of Arctic sea ice cover to the dominance domain of seasonal

  14. Revolatilization of persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic induced by climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Jianmin; Hung, Hayley; Tian, Chongguo; Kallenborn, Roland

    2011-08-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are organic compounds produced by human activities that are resistant to environmental degradation. They include industrial chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, and pesticides, such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Owing to their persistence in the environment, POPs are transported long distances in the atmosphere, accumulating in regions such as the Arctic, where low temperatures induce their deposition. Here the compounds accumulate in wildlife and humans, putting their health at risk. The concentrations of many POPs have decreased in Arctic air over the past few decades owing to restrictions on their production and use. As the climate warms, however, POPs deposited in sinks such as water and ice are expected to revolatilize into the atmosphere, and there is evidence that this process may have already begun for volatile compounds. Here we show that many POPs, including those with lower volatilities, are being remobilized into the air from repositories in the Arctic region as a result of sea-ice retreat and rising temperatures. We analysed records of the concentrations of POPs in Arctic air since the early 1990s and compared the results with model simulations of the effect of climate change on their atmospheric abundances. Our results indicate that a wide range of POPs have been remobilized into the Arctic atmosphere over the past two decades as a result of climate change, confirming that Arctic warming could undermine global efforts to reduce environmental and human exposure to these toxic chemicals.

  15. Synthesizing International Understanding of Changes in the Arctic Hydrological System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Climate change and zoonotic infections in the Russian Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Revich, Boris; Tokarevich, Nikolai; Parkinson, Alan J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change in the Russian Arctic is more pronounced than in any other part of the country. Between 1955 and 2000, the annual average air temperature in the Russian North increased by 1.2°C. During the same period, the mean temperature of upper layer of permafrost increased by 3°C. Climate change in Russian Arctic increases the risks of the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases. This review presents data on morbidity rates among people, domestic animals and wildlife in the Russian Arctic, focusing on the potential climate related emergence of such diseases as tick-borne encephalitis, tularemia, brucellosis, leptospirosis, rabies, and anthrax. PMID:22868189

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    There is growing evidence that root-associated fungi have important roles in Arctic ecosystems. Here, we assess the diversity of fungal communities associated with roots of the ectomycorrhizal perennial herb Bistorta vivipara on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and investigate whether spatial separation and bioclimatic variation are important structuring factors of fungal community composition. We sampled 160 plants of B. vivipara from 32 localities across Svalbard. DNA was extracted from entire root systems, and 454 pyrosequencing of ITS1 amplicons was used to profile the fungal communities. The fungal communities were predominantly composed of Basidiomycota (55% of reads) and Ascomycota (35%), with the orders Thelephorales (24%), Agaricales (13.8%), Pezizales (12.6%) and Sebacinales (11.3%) accounting for most of the reads. Plants from the same site or region had more similar fungal communities to one another than plants from other sites or regions, and sites clustered together along a weak latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, a decrease in per-plant OTU richness with increasing latitude was observed. However, no statistically significant spatial autocorrelation between sites was detected, suggesting that environmental filtering, not dispersal limitation, causes the observed patterns. Our analyses suggest that while latitudinal patterns in community composition and richness might reflect bioclimatic influences at global spatial scales, at the smaller spatial scale of the Svalbard archipelago, these changes more likely reflect varied bedrock composition and associated edaphic factors. The need for further studies focusing on identifying those specific bioclimatic and edaphic factors structuring root-associated fungal community composition at both global and local scales is emphasized. PMID:24320873

  20. Arctic climate change: Greenhouse warming unleashed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritsen, Thorsten

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Global Change Education in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, John; Kinnunen, Heli; Boone, Richard

    2007-04-01

    Bird species new to the Arctic call across ancient forests where the buzz is from the super sawmills, not the sound of elk hooves. Oil and gas wells plumb the tundra depths, and the pipelines scarify the surface, pumping fossil wealth south with a return flow measured in dollars and rubles. The eternal ice is going and tourist ships are coming, ironically to see the icy landscape that is disappearing. This is the Arctic today.

  2. Recent Changes in the Arctic Melt Season

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Fifty years of meteo-glaciological change in Toll Glacier, Bennett Island, De Long Islands, Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konya, Keiko; Kadota, Tsutomu; Yabuki, Hironori; Ohata, Tetsuo

    2014-06-01

    Rapid environmental change has been observed in the De Long Islands, Siberian Arctic, where warming has extensively occurred over the area. To quantitatively evaluate glaciological changes since the 1980s, the climate, mass balance, and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of Toll Glacier on Bennett Island were analyzed. Air temperature has increased and solid precipitation has decreased since the 1960s, especially after 2000. The cumulative mass balance of Toll Glacier has had a negative trend since the 1960s and reached approximately -20 m water equivalent (w.e.) in 2000, which is one of the largest changes in the Arctic. These changes are much larger than those in the west Russian Arctic. The warming trend is also correlated with the sea ice distribution in the Siberian Arctic and may lead to feedback effects that cause further Arctic warming.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Stauffer, Barbara W.

    2006-04-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Changes to freshwater systems affecting Arctic infrastructure and natural resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Instanes, Arne; Kokorev, Vasily; Janowicz, Richard; Bruland, Oddbjørn; Sand, Knut; Prowse, Terry

    2016-03-01

    The resources component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis focuses on the potential impact of future climate and change on water resources in the Arctic and how Arctic infrastructure and exploration and production of natural resources are affected. Freshwater availability may increase in the Arctic in the future in response to an increase in middle- and high-latitude annual precipitation. Changes in type of precipitation, its seasonal distribution, timing, and rate of snowmelt represent a challenge to municipalities and transportation networks subjected to flooding and droughts and to current industries and future industrial development. A reliable well-distributed water source is essential for all infrastructures, industrial development, and other sectorial uses in the Arctic. Fluctuations in water supply and seasonal precipitation and temperature may represent not only opportunities but also threats to water quantity and quality for Arctic communities and industrial use. The impact of future climate change is varying depending on the geographical area and the current state of infrastructure and industrial development. This paper provides a summary of our current knowledge related to the system function and key physical processes affecting northern water resources, industry, and other sectorial infrastructure.

  8. CEON: A Circum-Arctic Environmental Observatories Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tweedie, C. E.; Webber, P. J.

    2003-12-01

    The concept of a terrestrial Circum-arctic Environmental Observatories Network (CEON) was introduced at Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) in 2000 at a meeting of the Forum of Arctic Research Operators (FARO: www.faro-arctic.org). CEON is conditioned by the need for increased international integration of research effort and the loss and/or danger of loss of continuous northern high latitude environmental observations. FARO has endorsed the CEON concept advocating that CEON be developed to promote environmental measurements and dissemination of these to Arctic researchers whilst encompassing and building on the strengths of existing arctic stations and environmental observatory networks. Since 2000, the CEON concept has increasingly received enthusiastic support from a variety of existing networks, disciplinary collaborations and research stations as well as endorsement from the the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) (www.iasc.no). At ASSW 2002, a working group was formed to scope and develop the concept of CEON. Since then, presentations of the CEON concept have been made at meetings of various networks, research collaborations and polar research boards in Europe, Russia and the United States in order to make contact and collect feedback from potential CEON stakeholder and user groups. Presentations have focused on the necessity for the CEON initiative to meet and promote the needs of the participating research community, science administrators, policy makers, industry, education and indigenous communities. In doing so, it has been stressed that CEON should be seen as a network that facilitates and encourages environmental monitoring, which provides linkages between disciplines and existing networks and connectivity spanning regional to circumarctic and global scales. Following CEON presentations audiences have been asked to introduce their own bias in the development of CEON by providing feedback to the following question: "What would you do if you had

  9. Environmental Drivers of the Canadian Arctic Megabenthic Communities

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Virginie; Iken, Katrin; Archambault, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Environmental gradients and their influence on benthic community structure vary over different spatial scales; yet, few studies in the Arctic have attempted to study the influence of environmental gradients of differing spatial scales on megabenthic communities across continental-scales. The current project studied for the first time how megabenthic community structure is related to several environmental factors over 2000 km of the Canadian Arctic, from the Beaufort Sea to northern Baffin Bay. Faunal trawl samples were collected between 2007 and 2011 at 78 stations from 30 to 1000 m depth and patterns in biomass, density, richness, diversity, and taxonomic composition were examined in relation to indirect/spatial gradients (e.g., depth), direct gradients (e.g., bottom oceanographic variables), and resource gradients (e.g., food supply proxies). Six benthic community types were defined based on their biomass-based taxonomic composition. Their distribution was significantly, but moderately, associated with large-scale (100–1000 km) environmental gradients defined by depth, physical water properties (e.g., bottom salinity), and meso-scale (10–100 km) environmental gradients defined by substrate type (hard vs. soft) and sediment organic carbon content. We did not observe a strong decline of bulk biomass, density and richness with depth or a strong increase of those community characteristics with food supply proxies, contrary to our hypothesis. We discuss how local- to meso-scale environmental conditions, such as bottom current regimes and polynyas, sustain biomass-rich communities at specific locations in oligotrophic and in deep regions of the Canadian Arctic. This study demonstrates the value of considering the scales of variability of environmental gradients when interpreting their relevance in structuring of communities. PMID:25019385

  10. Expanded record of Quaternary oceanographic change: Amerasian Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ishman, S.E.; Polyak, L.V.; Poore, R.Z.

    1996-01-01

    Four sediment cores collected from the Northwind and Mendeleyev ridges, Arctic Ocean, from 1089 m to 1909 m water depth, provide an oceanographic record extending back into the Matuyama reversed polarity chron. Benthic foraminiferal analyses show four prominent assemblage zones: Bolivina arctica, Cassidulina teretis, Bulimina aculeata, and Oridorsalis tener from the upper Matuyama reversed polarity chronozone through the Brunhes normal polarity chronozone. These assemblage zones represent depth-dependent benthic foraminiferal biofacies changes associated with oceanographic events that occurred in the Amerasian basin at ??? 780 and 300 ka, and indicate oceanographic influence from the North Atlantic. Recognition of these benthic assemblage zones in Arctic cores from the Alpha Ridge indicates that the benthic foraminiferal zonations in intermediate to deep water (>1000 m) Arctic cores may be more useful than preexisting lithostratigraphic zonations and should provide important information pertaining to the Quaternary paleoceanographic evolution of the Arctic Ocean.

  11. Glacier Changes in the Russian High Arctic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchard, M. E.; Willis, M. J.; Melkonian, A. K.; Golos, E. M.; Stewart, A.; Ornelas, G.; Ramage, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    We provide new surveys of ice speeds and surface elevation changes for ~40,000 km2 of glaciers and ice caps at the Novaya Zemlya (NovZ) and Severnaya Zemlya (SevZ) Archipelagoes in the Russian High Arctic. The contribution to sea level rise from this ice is expected to increase as the region continues to warm at above average rates. We derive ice speeds using pixel-tracking on radar and optical imagery, with additional information from InSAR. Ice speeds have generally increased at outlet glaciers compared to those measured using interferometry from the mid-1990s'. The most pronounced acceleration is at Inostrantseva Glacier, one of the northernmost glaciers draining into the Barents Sea on NovZ. Thinning rates over the last few decades are derived by regressing stacked elevations from multiple Digital Elevations Models (DEMs) sourced from ASTER and Worldview stereo-imagery and cartographically derived DEMs. DEMs are calibrated and co-registered using ICESat returns over bedrock. On NovZ thinning of between 60 and 100 meters since the 1950s' is common. Similar rates between the late 1980s' and the present are seen at SevZ. We examine in detail the response of the outlet glaciers of the Karpinsky and Russanov Ice Caps on SevZ to the rapid collapse of the Matusevich Ice Shelf in the late summer of 2012. We do not see a dynamic thinning response at the largest feeder glaciers. This may be due to the slow response of the cold polar glaciers to changing boundary conditions, or the glaciers may be grounded well above sea level. Speed increases in the interior are difficult to assess with optical imagery as there are few trackable features. We therefore use pixel tracking on Terra SARX acquisitions before and after the collapse of the ice shelf to compute rates of flow inland, at slow moving ice. Interior ice flow has not accelerated in response to the collapse of the ice shelf but interior rates at the Karpinsky Ice Cap have increased by about 50% on the largest outlet

  12. Changing Seasonality in the Arctic and its Influences on Biogeochemical Processing in Tundra River Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    One of the primary expressions of climate change in the arctic is a change in "seasonality"; i.e., changes in the timing, duration, and characteristics of the traditional arctic seasons. These changes are most likely to affect temperature and precipitation patterns but will have relatively little effect on the annual light regime. Temperature, precipitation, and light are crucial drivers in any ecosystem and so the potential that the relationships between these three master environmental variables will change in the future has important consequences. Our research addresses how river networks process critical nutrients (C, N, and P) delivered from land as they are transported to coastal zones. We are currently focusing on land-water interactions in headwater streams. As in any ecosystem, temperature strongly influences microbial processing in soils and thus net mineralization of organic nutrients. Nutrients made available by microbial processing in the soil will be used by vegetation as long as the vegetation actively grows. However, active growth by vegetation is highly dependent on the annual light regime, which is not changing substantially. Thus, as arctic seasonality changes there is a growing asynchrony developing between production of nutrients by soil microbes and the demand for nutrients by vegetation, with greater production of nutrients by temperature-dependent microbes than demand by light-dependent vegetation. It is reasonable to expect that the "excess" nutrients produced in this way will migrate to streams and we hypothesize that this seasonal subsidy may strongly influence the structure and function of arctic stream ecosystems. Previous stream research in the arctic largely ignored the spring and fall tail seasons. Preliminary findings indicate that the seasonal asynchrony has profound influences on nutrient concentrations and autotrophic biomass in arctic streams. We expect this to have important influences on key processes such as primary

  13. How Do We Know that the Arctic is Changing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, J. E.

    2009-12-01

    In these times of drowning polar bears and talk of trans-Arctic shipping , it may seem strange to discuss the reality of Arctic change, yet attribution is formidable task for the Arctic because of the difficult in separating persistent trends from the background of large multi-year natural climate variability. I address this issue through application of four scientific standards: Methodology (induction, deduction, and falsification), Evidence (reliability, peer review, consistency of multiple sources), Performance (predictive, consistent over time, useful) and Community (best explanation among competing hypotheses) (Oreskes 2007). These standards address three questions: is change occurring, which is the most consistent among a range of possible causes, and are these causes predictive? At the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century the Arctic-wide pattern of warming is distinct from the regional, natural variability patterns of temperature anomalies that were seen earlier in the 20th century. Many of today’s Arctic changes were predicted in the 1980 modeling paper by Manabe and Stouffer based on deduction from theoretical principles. The recent sea ice reduction of summer 2007 and 2008 Arctic, arctic-wide temperature amplification, and consilient evidence from permafrost, biological impacts, and other indicators support the conclusion that recent changes are likely caused by a combination of an emerging greenhouse gas contribution, fortuitous timing in the natural variability of the atmospheric general circulation, and positive feedbacks associated with a reduction in sea ice and increases in ocean heat storage, in contrast to competing hypotheses of natural variability alone or solar variability. Future uncertainty remains regarding cloud forcing, the timing of natural variability, and non-linear surprises.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, T.; MacCracken, M. C.

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Step changes in persistent organic pollutants over the Arctic and their implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Y.; Huang, T.; Wang, L.; Gao, H.; Ma, J.

    2015-01-01

    While some persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been declining globally due to their worldwide ban since the 1980s, the declining trends of many of these toxic chemicals become less significant and in some cases their ambient air concentrations, e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), showed observable increase since 2000, disagreeing with their declining global emissions and environmental degradation. As part of the efforts to assess the influences of environmental factors on long-term trend of POPs in the Arctic, step change points in the time series of ambient POPs atmospheric concentrations collected from four arctic monitoring sites were examined using various statistical techniques. Results showed that the step change points of these POPs data varied in different years and at different sites. Most step change points were found in 2001-2002 and 2007-2008, respectively. In particular, the step change points of many PCBs for 2007-2008 were coincident with the lowest arctic sea ice concentration occurring in this period of time during the 2000s. The perturbations of air concentration and water-air exchange fluxes of several selected POPs averaged over the Arctic, simulated by a POPs mass balance perturbation model, switched from negative to positive from the early 2000s, indicating a tendency for reversal of POPs from deposition to volatilization which coincides with a positive to negative reversal of arctic sea ice extent anomalies from 2001. Perturbed ice-air exchange flux of PCB-28 and 153 showed an increasing trend and the negative to positive reversal in 2007, the year with the lowest arctic sea ice concentration. On the other hand, perturbed ice-air exchange flux of α-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) decreased over the period of 1995 through 2012, likely owing to its lower Henry's law constant which indicates its relatively lower tendency for volatilization from ice to air.

  17. Step changes in persistent organic pollutants over the Arctic and their implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Y.; Huang, T.; Wang, L.; Gao, H.; Ma, J.

    2015-03-01

    While some persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been declining globally due to their worldwide ban since the 1980s, the declining trends of many of these toxic chemicals become less significant and in some cases their ambient air concentrations, e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), showed observable increase during the 2000s, disagreeing with their declining global emissions and environmental degradation. As part of the efforts to assess the influences of environmental factors on the long-term trend of POPs in the Arctic, step change points in the time series of ambient POP atmospheric concentrations collected from four arctic monitoring sites were examined using various statistical techniques. Results showed that the step change points of these POP data varied in different years and at different sites. Most step change points were found in 2001-2002 and 2007-2008. In particular, the step change points of many PCBs for 2007-2008 were coincident with the lowest arctic sea ice concentration occurring during the 2000s. The perturbations of air concentration and water-air exchange fluxes of several selected POPs averaged over the Arctic, simulated by a POP mass balance perturbation model, switched from negative to positive during the early 2000s, indicating a tendency for reversal of POPs from deposition to volatilization which coincides with a positive to negative reversal of arctic sea ice extent anomalies from 2001. Perturbed ice-air exchange flux of PCB 28 and 153 showed an increasing trend and a negative to positive reversal in 2007, the year with the lowest arctic sea ice concentration. On the other hand, perturbed ice-air exchange flux of α-hexachlorocyclohexane decreased over the period of 1995 to 2012, likely owing to its lower Henry's law constant which indicates its relatively lower tendency for volatilization from ice to air.

  18. The seasonal cycle of the Arctic Ocean under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carton, James A.; Ding, Yanni; Arrigo, Kevin R.

    2015-09-01

    The seasonal cycle of Arctic Ocean temperature is weak due to the insulating and light-scattering effects of sea ice cover and the moderating influence of the seasonal storage and release of heat through ice melting and freezing. The retreat of sea ice and other changes in recent decades is already warming surface air temperatures in winter. These meteorological changes raise the question of how the seasonal cycle of the ocean may change. Here we present results from coupled climate model simulations showing that the loss of sea ice will dramatically increase the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of sea surface temperature in the Arctic Ocean. Depending on the rate of growth of atmospheric greenhouse gases, the seasonal range in Arctic sea surface temperature may exceed 10°C by year 2300, greatly increasing the stratification of the summer mixed layer.

  19. 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/

  20. 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/

  1. Is climate change affecting wolf populations in the high Arctic?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Is climate change affecting wolf populations in the high Arctic?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The circumpolar north is uniquely vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change. While international Arctic collaboration on health has enhanced partnerships and advanced the health of inhabitants, significant challenges lie ahead. One Health is an approach that considers the connections between the environment, plant, animal and human health. Understanding this is increasingly critical in assessing the impact of global climate change on the health of Arctic inhabitants. The effects of climate change are complex and difficult to predict with certainty. Health risks include changes in the distribution of infectious disease, expansion of zoonotic diseases and vectors, changing migration patterns, impacts on food security and changes in water availability and quality, among others. A regional network of diverse stakeholder and transdisciplinary specialists from circumpolar nations and Indigenous groups can advance the understanding of complex climate-driven health risks and provide community-based strategies for early identification, prevention and adaption of health risks in human, animals and environment. We propose a regional One Health approach for assessing interactions at the Arctic human-animal-environment interface to enhance the understanding of, and response to, the complexities of climate change on the health of the Arctic inhabitants. PMID:26333722

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. The Hydrologic Cycle Response to Rapid Arctic Vegetation Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, P. K.

    2008-12-01

    Over the last fifty years, the Northern Hemisphere high latitude land areas have warmed at rates well in excess of what can be explained by the atmospheric rise in greenhouse gases alone. Changes in the albedo of the ocean and land, whether from the loss of Arctic Ocean sea ice, changes in land cover, or changes in winter precipitation patterns account for much of the amplified warming. Although the loss of sea ice is directly related to greenhouse gas warming and low-level winds, changes in the discharge of freshwater from Arctic river basins are also responsible. While changes in river discharge can be related to precipitation, snow and ice melt, and human modification of the landscape, natural vegetation changes due to warming may also be altering the land surface hydrologic cycle and contributing to changes in the flux of freshwater to the Arctic Ocean. Satellite imagery has shown that the Arctic is becoming greener, which not only affects the surface and lower-tropospheric energy budget, but also modifies the hydrologic cycle through altering the partitioning of transpiration and plant-soil evaporation. This leads to changes in precipitation recycling and runoff, which can ultimately affect the discharge of freshwater. To illustrate this mechanism, results of a land cover change and precipitation-recycling analysis using North American Regional Reanalysis data will be presented for the Mackenzie Basin in North America. Additionally, results from a dynamic global vegetation model will be presented to evaluate the potential consequences of continued extreme warming and land cover changes to the discharge of freshwater to the Arctic Ocean.

  6. Introduction to the eastern Arctic Marine Environmental Studies Program

    SciTech Connect

    Sutterlin, N.; Snow, N.

    1982-01-01

    Main problems are formulated and a study technique is characterized for the environmental protection program (EPP) of the eastern marine area of the Canadian Arctic in the area of physical-geographical (oceanography, meteorology, geomorphology) and biological sciences (microbiology, phytoand zooplankton, benthos, fish, birds and mammals, including white bear) which will be implemented in relation to realization of the extensive plans examined by the Canadian government back in 1977 for development of the large oil and gas resources of this part of the country. With regard for the severity of the ice and climate situation, it is planned to conduct studies of the EPP in the Canadian Arctic with the use of the entire modern scientific and technical potential, from ships and radar units to Earth satellites. Financing and supervision of the research on the EPP come from the government of the country, academic organizations and private firms. The research results will be published by the company Petro-Canada under the title ''Arctic.''

  7. Change in streamflow across Eurasian pan-Arctic, contemporary trajectories and possible causes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiklomanov, A. I.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Groisman, P. Y.; Lammers, R. B.

    2014-12-01

    River flow is an integrated characteristic reflecting numerous environmental processes and their changes aggregated over the watershed areas. River discharge plays a significant role in the fresh-water budget of the Arctic Ocean and ocean salinity and sea ice formation are critically affected by river input. Changes in the fresh water flux to the ocean can exert significant control over global ocean circulation via the North Atlantic deepwater formation with consequences for north hemisphere climate. Thus, it is important to understand ongoing changes in streamflow across Eurasian pan-Arctic, which contributes 75% of the total terrestrial runoff to the Arctic Ocean. We analyzed variability of the annual and monthly river discharge across the Eurasian pan-Arctic drainage basin based observational records until 2012. To analyze the monthly trends in river discharge we cannot use river monitoring stations located along many large rivers due to impoundments and other human impacts within the drainage basins. An analysis of monthly discharge records longer than 50 years for rivers with no significant human impacts has been applied to identify seasonal variations and changes in the hydrological regime. The results showed significant changes in winter and summer-autumn runoff across many regions of Eurasian pan-Arctic. We hypothesize that the possible cause of increased winter river runoff is the reduction of barriers between subsurface water reservoirs and surface runoff due to improved drainage pathways as the result of increasing winter air temperature and decreasing river ice. Using new data for river ice and discharge for small and medium size rivers in Russian pan-Arctic we have checked this hypothesis using integrated analysis of data for streamflow, river ice thickness and air temperature. Preliminary results have shown significant correlation between these parameters in many basins confirming the hypothesis.

  8. 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.

  9. Environmental Factors Influencing Arctic Halogen Chemistry During Late Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Environmental controls on Pan-Arctic wetland methane emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xiaodong; Bohn, Theodore; Lettenmaier, Dennis

    2015-04-01

    Environmental conditions such as soil temperature and moisture, incident solar radiation, and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration are important environmental controls on methane emissions from northern wetlands. We investigated the spatio-temporal distributions of influence of these factors over northern wetland methane emissions via the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model. We simulated methane emissions from wetlands across the Pan-Arctic domain over the period 1948-2006, with annual average emissions of 35.1±6.7 TgCH4/year. From control simulations that each held one environmental factor constant, we characterized sensitivities to air temperature, precipitation, incident long- and short-wave radiation, and atmospheric [CO2] as a function of average summer air temperature and precipitation. Trade-offs between air temperature and precipitation caused maximal emissions to occur along a line in precipitation-temperature space with a slope of approximately 13 mm month-1 / K, leading to separation of wetlands into various combinations of water-limited and temperature-limited regimes. Emissions from relatively warm and dry wetlands in the southern (permafrost-free) portion of the domain tended to be positively correlated with precipitation and negatively correlated with air temperature, while emissions from wetter and colder wetlands further north (permafrost) tended to be positively correlated with air temperature. Over the period 1960-2006, emissions increased by 20%, over 90% of which can be attributed to climate change, with summer air temperatures explaining the majority of the variance. We estimated future emissions in response to CMIP5 model projections under the RCP4.5 scenario via two methods: (1) the VIC model and (2) the temperature- and precipitation-dependent sensitivities computed from the historical simulation. The two methods yielded similar projections of emissions, with end-of-century emissions at 142% of present-day levels, accompanied by

  11. Arctic Sea Ice Changes, Interactions, and Feedbacks on the Arctic Climate during the Satellite Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Key, J. R.; Liu, Y.

    2011-12-01

    Of all the components of the Earth climate system, the cryosphere is arguably the least understood even though it is a very important indicator and an effective modulator of regional and global climate change. Changes in sea ice will significantly affect exchanges of momentum, heat, and mass between the ocean and the atmosphere, and have profound socio-economic impacts on transportation, fisheries, hunting, polar animal habitat and more. In the last three decades, the Arctic underwent significant changes in sea ice as part of the accelerated global climate change. With the recently developed One-dimensional Thermodynamic Ice Model (OTIM), sea and lake ice thickness and trends can be reasonably estimated. The OTIM has been extensively validated against submarine and moored upward-looking sonar measurements, meteorological station measurements, and comprehensive numerical model simulations. The Extended AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP-x) dataset has 25 climate parameters covering surface, cloud, and sea ice properties as well as surface and top-of-atmosphere radiative fluxes for the period 1982 - 2004 over the Arctic and Antarctic at 25 km resolution. The OTIM has been used with APP-x dataset for Arctic sea ice thickness and volume estimation. Statistical analysis of spatial and temporal distributions and trends in sea ice extent, thickness, and volume over the satellite period has been performed, along with the temporal analysis of first year and multiple year sea ice extent changes. Preliminary results show clear evidence that Arctic sea ice has been experiencing significant changes over the last two decades of the 20th century. The Arctic sea ice has been shrinking unexpectedly fast with the declines in sea ice extent, thickness, and volume, most apparent in the fall season. Moreover, satellites provide an unprecedented opportunity to observe Arctic sea ice and its changes with high spatial and temporal coverage that is making it an ideal data source for mitigating

  12. Food and water security in a changing arctic climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  13. Reconstruction of environmental chanees in Holocen in Siberian Arctic, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazarova, Larisa; Diekmann, Bernhard; Frolova, Larisa; Palagushkina, Olga; Tumanov, Oleg; Nourgaliev, Danis

    2013-04-01

    The study of Arctic palaeoenvironmental records enables qualitative and quantitative estimations of past climate changes and provides basis for prediction of future changes in the region. The timing of Holocene climate events in North Atlantic region is relatively good studied. In contrast to it, at present there are very few quantitative palaeoclimatic data for eastern Siberia and proxy records from northern Eurasia mostly document environmental changes at low temporal resolution, and are derived from pollen studies. Due to relatively small magnitude of temperature changes throughout the Holocene, reconstructions based on a single proxy must be interpreted with caution. More reliable estimate of the Holocene climate changes can be obtained only by averaging results inferred from several proxies. The basis, however, of all quantitative reconstruction approaches are regional calibration datasets from which the empirical reconstruction model (i.e. the transfer function) will be established. A 380 cm long sediment core from Lake Temje (Central Yakutia, North-Eastern Russia) was studied to infer Holocene palaeoenvironmental change in the extreme periglacial setting of eastern Siberia during the last 10,000 yrs. Data on sediment composition were used to characterize changes in the depositional environment during the ontogenetic development of the Lake Temje. The analysis of fossil chironomid remains and statistical treatment of chironomid data by the application of a newly developed transfer functions provided inferences of mean July air temperatures (TJuly) and water depths (WD). We obtained a qualitative and quantitative reconstruction of Holocene climate in Central Yakutia and recognized three stages of palaeoenvironmental changes: The early Holocene between 10 and 8 kyr BP was characterized by colder-than-today and moist summer conditions. Cryotextures in the lake sediments document full freezing of the lake water during the winter time. A general warming trend

  14. Arctic Sea Ice and Its Changes during the Satellite Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Liu, Y.; Key, J. R.

    2009-12-01

    Sea ice is a very important indicator and an effective modulator of regional and global climate change. Changes in sea ice will significantly affect the complex exchanges of momentum, heat, and mass between sea and the atmosphere, along with profound socio-economic influences due to its role in transportation, fisheries, hunting, polar animal habitat. Over the last two decades of the 20th century, the Arctic underwent significant changes in sea ice as part of the accelerated global warming of that period. More accurate, consistent, and detailed ice thickness, extent, and volume data are critical for a wide range of applications including climate change detection, climate modeling, and operational applications such as shipping and hazard mitigation. Satellite data provide an unprecedented opportunity to estimate and monitor Arctic sea ice routinely with relatively high spatial and temporal resolutions. In this study, a One-dimensional Thermodynamic Ice Model (OTIM) has been developed to estimate sea ice thickness based on the surface energy balance at a thermo-equilibrium state, containing all components of the surface energy balance. The OTIM has been extensively validated against submarine Upward-Looking Sonar (ULS) measurements, meteorological station measurements, and comprehensive numerical model simulations. Overall, OTIM-estimated sea ice thickness is accurate to within about 20% error when compared to submarine ULS ice thickness measurements and Canadian meteorological station measurements for ice less than 3 m. Along with sea ice extent information from the SSM/I, the Arctic sea ice volume can be estimated for the satellite period from 1984 to 2004. The OTIM has been used with satellite data from the extended Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Polar Pathfinder (APP-x) products for the Arctic sea ice thickness, and sequentially sea ice volume estimations, and following statistical analysis of spatial and temporal distribution and trends in sea

  15. 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

  16. Interdisciplinary cooperation on impacts of climate change in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wardell, Lois; Chen, Linling; Strey, Sara

    2012-09-01

    Impact of Climate Change on Resources, Maritime Transport and Geopolitics in the Arctic and the Svalbard Area; Svalbard, Norway, 21-28 August 2011 Drastic changes in the Arctic climate directly relate to resource and transport development and complex geopolitical challenges in the Arctic. To encourage future interdisciplinary cooperation among political, social, and climate scientists, 30 early-career researchers from varied backgrounds—including climate change, resources, polar maritime transport, and geopolitics—assembled in Svalbard, Norway. Ola Johannessen, president of the Norwegian Scientific Academy of Polar Research, led this diverse group to highlight the importance of collaboration across disciplines for broadening the terms in which assessments are defined, thus collapsing distinctions between the physical and the human Arctic. He also highlighted the feasibility of conducting effective assessment exercises within short time frames. The group was also mentored by Willy Østreng, author of Science Without Boundaries: Interdisciplinarity in Research, Society, and Politics, who aided participants in understanding the process of interdisciplinary collaboration rather than creating an assemblage of discrete findings.

  17. Enhancing NASA's Contribution to Arctic Terrestrial Hydrology and the Study of Polar Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, J. E.; Elfring, C.; Vorosmarty, C. J.; McGuire, A. D.

    2001-12-01

    In a recent report by the National Academies, an interdisciplinary committee assessed NASA's polar geophysical datasets in the context of the science questions driving the Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) and other avenues of polar research. The report examines data sets in terms of the major ESE themes: ongoing changes in polar climate and the biosphere, forcings of the polar climate system, responses and feedbacks to the forcing, consequences of change in the polar regions, and prediction of such changes. It includes a matrix of science needs and available data sets and, from that, identifies high-priority measurement needs, many of which are directly relevant to Arctic hydrology. The greatest needs are improved measurements of polar precipitation, surface albedo, freshwater discharge from terrestrial regions, surface temperatures and turbulent fluxes, permafrost extent and dynamics, ocean salinity, ice sheet mass flux, land surface (especially vegetative) characteristics, and sea ice thickness. For Arctic hydrological studies, key needs include surface radiation parameters (albedo, roughness), especially with regard to the timing of ice-out in rivers and lakes, the associated pulse of freshwater discharge, biogeochemical fluxes, and aquatic biology. There is a particular need for pan-Arctic datasets of vegetative characteristics such as leaf area index, structural composition, canopy density, albedo, disturbance characteristics, wetland extent, and nitrogen deposition. Pan-Arctic information of this type will require novel efforts in the synthesis of different products, often from different sensors. Such information, as well as high-resolution surface elevation and topography, is needed for Arctic land system models that include hydrology and ecosystem dynamics. Key changes to be anticipated or predicted by these models include changes in water supplies from snow and snow-fed rivers, effects of physical environmental change on terrestrial productivity and

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  1. Arctic Ocean freshwater as a trigger for abrupt climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, Raymond; Condron, Alan; Coletti, Anthony

    2016-04-01

    The cause of the Younger Dryas cooling remains unresolved despite decades of debate. Current arguments focus on either freshwater from Glacial Lake Agassiz drainage through the St Lawrence or the MacKenzie river systems. High resolution ocean modeling suggests that freshwater delivered to the North Atlantic from the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait would have had more of an impact on Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) than freshwater from the St Lawrence. This has been interpreted as an argument for a MacKenzie River /Lake Agassiz freshwater source. However, it is important to note that although the modeling identifies Fram Strait as the optimum location for delivery of freshwater to disrupt the AMOC, this does not mean the freshwater source came from Lake Agassiz. Another potential source of freshwater is the Arctic Ocean ice cover itself. During the LGM, ice cover was extremely thick - many tens of meters in the Canada Basin (at least), resulting in a hiatus in sediment deposition there. Extreme ice thickness was related to a stagnant circulation, very low temperatures and continuous accumulation of snow on top of a base of sea-ice. This resulted in a large accumulation of freshwater in the Arctic Basin. As sea-level rose and a more modern circulation regime became established in the Arctic, this freshwater was released from the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait, leading to extensive sea-ice formation in the North Atlantic (Greenland Sea) and a major reduction in the AMOC. Here we present new model results and a review of the paleoceanographic evidence to support this hypothesis. The bottom line is that the Arctic Ocean was likely a major player in causing abrupt climate change in the past, via its influence on the AMOC. Although we focus here on the Younger Dryas, the Arctic Ocean has been repeatedly isolated from the world ocean during glacial periods of the past. When these periods of isolation ended, it is probable that there were significant

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nghiem, S. V.

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Interdecadal changes in snow depth on Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  4. Making Data Visible: Satellite Observations of Arctic Change (SOAC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beitler, J.; Tanner, S.; Barrett, A. P.; Savoie, M. H.; Wilcox, H.; Hoyer, T.; Beam, K.

    2014-12-01

    A new Web site, Satellite Observations of Arctic Change (SOAC, http://nsidc.org/soac), was developed to open up NASA Earth science data that show changes taking place in the Arctic over time to a broader range of users. The site was designed to be used by decision makers, teachers, non-specialist scientists, and the motivated public without the need for technical tools or expertise in manipulating data. The data are displayed on interactive maps, allowing users to explore how and where conditions in the Arctic have changed from the 1970s to the present. Users may animate a time series, zoom in or out, and view a bar graph of anomalies over time. Supporting pages provide brief scientific discussion and background to help users understand the data and the significance of the changes. Links to the source data and documentation are also included. Initial data products for SOAC include anomalies associated with near-surface air temperature; water vapor; sea ice concentration; snow cover; and several others. The potential for use and for inclusion of more data will be discussed.

  5. Examining Differences in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Rigor, I. G.; Clemente-Colon, P.; Neumann, G.; Li, P.

    2015-12-01

    The paradox of the rapid reduction of Arctic sea ice versus the stability (or slight increase) of Antarctic sea ice remains a challenge in the cryospheric science research community. Here we start by reviewing a number of explanations that have been suggested by different researchers and authors. One suggestion is that stratospheric ozone depletion may affect atmospheric circulation and wind patterns such as the Southern Annular Mode, and thereby sustaining the Antarctic sea ice cover. The reduction of salinity and density in the near-surface layer may weaken the convective mixing of cold and warmer waters, and thus maintaining regions of no warming around the Antarctic. A decrease in sea ice growth may reduce salt rejection and upper-ocean density to enhance thermohalocline stratification, and thus supporting Antarctic sea ice production. Melt water from Antarctic ice shelves collects in a cool and fresh surface layer to shield the surface ocean from the warmer deeper waters, and thus leading to an expansion of Antarctic sea ice. Also, wind effects may positively contribute to Antarctic sea ice growth. Moreover, Antarctica lacks of additional heat sources such as warm river discharge to melt sea ice as opposed to the case in the Arctic. Despite of these suggested explanations, factors that can consistently and persistently maintains the stability of sea ice still need to be identified for the Antarctic, which are opposed to factors that help accelerate sea ice loss in the Arctic. In this respect, using decadal observations from multiple satellite datasets, we examine differences in sea ice properties and distributions, together with dynamic and thermodynamic processes and interactions with land, ocean, and atmosphere, causing differences in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice change to contribute to resolving the Arctic-Antarctic sea ice paradox.

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

    PubMed

    Moore, Sue E; Huntington, Henry P

    2008-03-01

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

  7. Climate change and sexual size dimorphism in an Arctic spider.

    PubMed

    Høye, Toke Thomas; Hammel, Jörg U; Fuchs, Thomas; Toft, Søren

    2009-08-23

    Climate change is advancing the onset of the growing season and this is happening at a particularly fast rate in the High Arctic. However, in most species the relative fitness implications for males and females remain elusive. Here, we present data on 10 successive cohorts of the wolf spider Pardosa glacialis from Zackenberg in High-Arctic, northeast Greenland. We found marked inter-annual variation in adult body size (carapace width) and this variation was greater in females than in males. Earlier snowmelt during both years of its biennial maturation resulted in larger adult body sizes and a skew towards positive sexual size dimorphism (females bigger than males). These results illustrate the pervasive influence of climate on key life-history traits and indicate that male and female responses to climate should be investigated separately whenever possible. PMID:19435831

  8. Role of land-surface changes in arctic summer warming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapin, F. S., III; Sturm, M.; Serreze, M.C.; McFadden, J.P.; Key, J.R.; Lloyd, A.H.; McGuire, A.D.; Rupp, T.S.; Lynch, A.H.; Schimel, J.P.; Beringer, J.; Chapman, W.L.; Epstein, H.E.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Hinzman, L.D.; Jia, G.; Ping, C.-L.; Tape, K.D.; Thompson, C.D.C.; Walker, D. A.; Welker, J.M.

    2005-01-01

    A major challenge in predicting Earth's future climate state is to understand feedbacks that alter greenhouse-gas forcing. Here we synthesize field data from arctic Alaska, showing that terrestrial changes in summer albedo contribute substantially to recent high-latitude warming trends. Pronounced terrestrial summer warming in arctic Alaska correlates with a lengthening of the snow-free season that has increased atmospheric heating locally by about 3 watts per square meter per decade (similar in magnitude to the regional heating expected over multiple decades from a doubling of atmospheric CO2). The continuation of current trends in shrub and tree expansion could further amplify this atmospheric heating by two to seven times.

  9. Climate change and sexual size dimorphism in an Arctic spider

    PubMed Central

    Høye, Toke Thomas; Hammel, Jörg U.; Fuchs, Thomas; Toft, Søren

    2009-01-01

    Climate change is advancing the onset of the growing season and this is happening at a particularly fast rate in the High Arctic. However, in most species the relative fitness implications for males and females remain elusive. Here, we present data on 10 successive cohorts of the wolf spider Pardosa glacialis from Zackenberg in High-Arctic, northeast Greenland. We found marked inter-annual variation in adult body size (carapace width) and this variation was greater in females than in males. Earlier snowmelt during both years of its biennial maturation resulted in larger adult body sizes and a skew towards positive sexual size dimorphism (females bigger than males). These results illustrate the pervasive influence of climate on key life-history traits and indicate that male and female responses to climate should be investigated separately whenever possible. PMID:19435831

  10. The state of climate change adaptation in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. The changing seasonal cycle of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carton, J.; Ding, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal cycle of Arctic Ocean temperature is weak due to the insulating and light scattering effects of sea ice cover and the moderating influence of the seasonal storage and release of heat through ice melting and freezing. The retreat of sea ice and other changes in recent decades is already warming surface air temperatures in winter. We our analysis of future change with an examination of the dominant processes in the seasonal response of the Arctic Ocean and sea ice to surface forcing as they appear in historical simulations of 14 CMIP5 climate models. In both models and observations the seasonal heat budget is dominated by a local balance between net surface heating and storage in the heat content of the ocean and in melting/freezing of sea ice. Observations suggest ocean heat storage is more important than sea ice melt, while in most models sea ice melt dominates. The dominant balance in the seasonal freshwater budget is the exchange of freshwater between the liquid ocean and sea ice. At its peak this rate of exchange exceeds 2Sv. The appearance of sea ice and also ocean stratification in both the heat and freshwater budgets provides two links between the budgets and two mechanisms for feedback. Our analysis of the seasonal cycle in the coming centuries suggests that the loss of sea ice will dramatically increase the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of sea surface temperature in the Arctic Ocean. Depending on the rate of growth of atmospheric greenhouse gases the seasonal range in Arctic sea surface temperature may exceed 10°C by year 2300, greatly increasing the stratification of the summer mixed layer.

  12. Chemical Clues of a Changing Upper Arctic Ocean Circulation: A tribute to John M. Edmond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falkner, K. K.

    2001-12-01

    Chemical Clues of a Changing Upper Arctic Ocean Circulation: A tribute to John M. Edmond In April 2000, an international research team, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), embarked on a five-year program to undertake atmosphere-ice-ocean observations at distributed locations in the high Arctic Ocean. The first temporary camp at the North Pole that year laid the groundwork for taking the pulse of the Arctic Ocean and learning how the world's northernmost sea helps regulate global climate. The Arctic Ocean has been affected in recent years by dramatic thinning of sea ice and shifts in ocean circulation which seem to be related to a pattern of change in the atmospheric circulation of the Northern Hemisphere. The objective of the "North Pole Environmental Observatory" or NPEO is to document further change and to understand what is controlling the Arctic system. Among other things, the NPEO includes a hydrographic component in which Twin Otter aircraft are landed on the ice at targeted stations in order to record ocean properties and take water samples through holes drilled in the ice. I am responsible for contributing chemical measurements to deciphering upper ocean circulation patterns under the ice. Properties analyzed thus far include salinity, nutrients, oxygen, oxygen isotopic composition of water and barium. Results are posted at http://chemoc.oce.orst.edu/users/kfalkner/index.html this web-site by year. This site is linked to the main project web-site where additional information about NPEO can be found. In my AGU presentation, I will describe the challenging field program and summarize implications of the chemical data to date. The news of John Edmond's untimely death reached me while I was en route to the North Pole camp this past April. Seemingly endless hours on a Canadian Hercules allowed me to reflect on the many influences John had on me as his graduate student and beyond. One thing is certain; there was no way in hell I'd have been

  13. Changes in winter warming events in the Nordic Arctic Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vikhamar-Schuler, Dagrun; Isaksen, Ketil; Haugen, Jan Erik; Bjerke, Jarle Werner; Tømmervik, Hans

    2015-04-01

    In recent years winter warming events are frequently reported from Arctic areas. Extraordinarily warm weather episodes, occasionally combined with intense rainfall, cause severe ecological disturbance and great challenges for Arctic infrastructure. For example, the formation of ground ice due to winter rain or melting prevents reindeer from grazing, leads to vegetation browning, and impacts soil temperatures. The infrastructure may be affected by avalanches and floods resulting from intense snowmelt. The aim of our analysis is to study changes in warm spells during winter in the Nordic Arctic Region, here defined as the regions in Norway, Sweden and Finland north of the Arctic circle (66.5°N), including the Arctic islands Svalbard and Jan Mayen. Within this study area we have selected the longest available high quality observation series with daily temperature and precipitation. For studying future climate we use available regionally downscaled scenarios. We analyse three time periods: 1) the past 50-100 years, 2) the present (last 15 years, 2000-2014) and 3) the future (next 50-100 years). We define an extended winter season (October-April) and further divide it into three subseasons: 1) Early winter (October and November), 2) Mid-winter (December, January and February) and 3) Late-winter (March and April). We identify warm spells using two different classification criteria: a) days with temperature above 0°C (the melting temperature); and b) days with temperature in excess of the 90th percentile of the 1985-2014 temperature for each subseason. Both wet and dry warm spells are analysed. We compare the results for the mainland stations (maritime and inland stations) with the Arctic islands. All stations have very high frequency of warm weather events in the period 1930-1940s and for the last 15 years (2000-2014). For the most recent period the largest increase in number of warm spells are observed at the northernmost stations. We also find a continuation of this

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-31

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

  15. Changing climate increases biological productivity in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2011-11-01

    Climate change is leading to increased biological productivity in the coastal Arctic. As ice melts and recedes far from land, winds interact with open waters to increase the upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water and stimulate biological productivity. Tremblay et al. quantified these changes using remote sensing and in situ observations in the coastal Beaufort Sea. They found that ice ablation and the combination of increased upwelling and greater light penetration into the water column during fall 2007 and summer 2008 increased the production of ice algae, phytoplankton, and zooplankton by 2-6 times. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL048825, 2011)

  16. Respiratory changes due to extreme cold in the Arctic environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandopadhyay, P.; Selvamurthy, W.

    1993-03-01

    Effects of acute exposure and acclimatisation to cold stress on respiratory functions were investigated in healthy tropical Indian men ( n=10). Initial baseline recordings were carried out at Delhi and thereafter serially thrice at the arctic region and once on return to Delhi. For comparison the respiratory functions were also evaluated on Russian migrants (RM; n=7) and Russian natives (RN; n=6). The respiratory functions were evaluated using standard methodology on a Vitalograph: In Indians, there was an initial decrease in lung vital capacity (VC), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume 1st s (FEV1), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) and maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV) on acute exposure to cold stress, followed by gradual recovery during acclimatisation for 4 weeks and a further significant improvement after 9 weeks of stay at the arctic region. On return to India all the parameters reached near baseline values except for MVV which remained slightly elevated. RM and RN showed similar respiratory functions at the beginning of acute cold exposure at the arctic zone. RN showed an improvement after 10 weeks of stay whereas RM did not show much change. The respiratory responses during acute cold exposure are similar to those of initial altitude responses.

  17. Integrated regional changes in arctic climate feedbacks: Implications for the global climate system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

    The Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM) was applied to investigate how projected climate changes will affect the atmospheric transport of 13 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to the Arctic and their environmental fate within the Arctic. Three sets of simulations were performed, one with present day emissions and initial environmental concentrations from a 20-year spin-up simulation, one with present day emissions and with initial environmental concentrations set to zero and one without emissions but with initial environmental concentrations from the 20-year spin-up simulation. Each set of simulations consisted of two 10-year time slices representing the present (1990-2000) and future (2090-2100) climate conditions. DEHM was driven using meteorological input from the global circulation model, ECHAM/MPI-OM, simulating the SRES (Special Report on Emissions Scenarios) A1B climate scenario. Under the applied climate and emission scenarios, the total mass of all compounds was predicted to be up to 55 % lower across the Northern Hemisphere at the end of the 2090s than in the 1990s. The mass of HCHs within the Arctic was predicted to be up to 38 % higher, whereas the change in mass of the PCBs was predicted to range from 38 % lower to 17 % higher depending on the congener and the applied initial environmental concentrations. The results of this study also indicate that contaminants with no or a short emission history will be more rapidly transported to and build up in the arctic environment in a future warmer climate. The process that dominates the environmental behaviour of POPs in the Arctic under a future warmer climate scenario is the shift in mass of POPs from the surface media to the atmosphere induced by the higher mean temperature. This is to some degree counteracted by higher degradation rates also following the higher mean temperature. The more dominant of these two processes depends on the physical-chemical properties of the compounds. Previous model

  20. Reconstruction of Centennial and Millennial-scale Climate and Environmental Variability during the Holocene in the Central Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolland, N.; Porinchu, D.; MacDonald, G.; Moser, K.

    2007-12-01

    The Arctic and sub-Arctic regions are experiencing dramatic changes in surface temperature, sea-ice extent, glacial melt, river discharge, soil carbon storage and snow cover. According to the IPCC high latitude regions are expected to warm between 4°C and 7°C over the next 100 years. The magnitude of warming and the rate at which it occurs will dwarf any previous warming episodes experienced by latitude regions over the last 11,000 years. It is critical that we improve our understanding of how the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions responded to past periods of warming, especially in light of the changes these regions will be experiencing over the next 100 years. One of the lines of evidence increasingly utilized in multi-proxy paleolimnological research is the Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera). Also known as non-biting midge flies, chironomids are ubiquitous, frequently the most abundant insects found in freshwater ecosystems and very sensitive to environmental conditions. This research uses Chironomidae to quantitatively characterize climate and environmental conditions of the continental interior of Arctic Canada during the Holocene. Spanning four major vegetation zones (boreal forest, forest-tundra, birch tundra and herb tundra), the surface samples of 80 lakes recovered from the central Canadian Arctic were used to assess the relationship of 22 environmental variables with the chironomid distribution. Redundancy analysis (RDA) identified four variables, total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), pH, summer surface water temperature (SSWT) and depth, which best explain the variance in the distribution of chironomids within these ecoregions. In order to provide new quantitative estimates of SSWT, a 1-component weighted average partial least square (WA-PLS) model was developed (r2jack = 0.76, RMSEP = 1.42°C) and applied downcore in two low arctic continental Nunavut lakes located approximately 50 km and 200 km north of modern treeline. This robust midge-inferred temperature

  1. Changes in permafrost hydrology at the arctic treeline in the Western Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsh, P.; Yang, D.; Shi, X.

    2013-12-01

    The climate of the Western Canadian Arctic has undergone dramatic changes, with warming air temperature and decreasing winter and summer precipitation, over the last 50 years. This has resulted in changes to permafrost in this region, including a deepening of the active layer as well as melting of massive ice layers that result in changes in ice wedge polygons and lake drainage, with obvious changes in surface drainage patterns. In addition, north of the treeline there is an ongoing change from tundra to shrub tundra, with impacts on snow cover, soil moisture and surface energy balance and permafrost. These changes would be expected to have a significant impact on hydrology. This paper will outline past changes in climate and permafrost in this region of continuous permafrost, and discuss the observed impacts of these changes on hydrology, including earlier snowmelt runoff, earlier rainfall runoff during the later stages of melt, and decreases in summer runoff. In addition, we will outline a new research project that is using detailed observations along with high resolution modelling to consider the complex interactions between climate, snow, vegetation, permafrost and hydrology.

  2. Evidence and Implications of Recent Climate Change in Terrestrial Regions of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

    Are changes occurring in the polar terrestrial regime? Is the distribution of permafrost and Arctic region freeze and thaw changing? Is the hydrology of Arctic terrestrial regions changing? Are significant changes occurring in the distribution and productivity of high-latitude vegetation? If one examines any individual scientific discipline, evidence of climate change in arctic regions offers only pieces of the puzzle. Here we present a broad array of evidence to provide a convincing case of change in the arctic climate and a system-wide response of terrestrial processes. The thermal regime of the Arctic holds unique characteristics and consequently will display marked changes in response to climate warming. In many cases, threshold changes will occur in physical systems proceeding from permanently frozen to periodically thawed. Dramatic changes also accompany biological systems adapting to an evolving environment. In the last 25 to 400 years a wide range of changes in the Arctic have been detected. In many cases, these changes started, or accelerated, in the mid-1970s. Some of the changes, like later freeze-up and earlier break-up of arctic rivers and lakes, mirror arctic-wide and even global increases in air temperature. Others document more subtle or complex responses of the arctic system as it adapts to current and longer-term trends in climate. Since the arctic system is particularly sensitive to changes in rain- and snowfall, timing of freeze-up and break-up, and the intensity of storm activity, it is likely that much of what has been documented to date, and will be observed in the future, arises from changes in these forcing fields. Unfortunately, compared with temperature, they are poorly known. Regardless of the driving forces, however, the combined observations and documentation offer diffuse but substantial evidence that the arctic system may be entering a state not seen before in recent history.

  3. Arctic Vegetation Change and Feedbacks under Future Climate (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goetz, S. J.; Loranty, M. M.; Beck, P.; Phillips, S.; Damoulas, T.; Pearson, R. G.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic surface air temperatures have risen at approximately twice the global rate, produce multiple climate feedbacks, e.g. via expansion of woody shrubs and trees into the tundra biome increasing surface net shortwave radiation due to reductions in albedo. To explore the feedbacks of future Arctic vegetation change on climate, we modeled vegetation type distribution across the circumpolar domain using machine-learning ecological niche models at moderately fine (4.5 x 4.5 km) spatial resolution. Vegetation was resolved into four classes of graminoids, four classes of shrubs, and two classes of tree cover. Comparison of observed and modeled classes under present climate revealed strong predictive performance. When simulating into the 2050s under scenarios of restricted tree dispersal and climate change, we found vegetation in 48-69% of our study area would shift to a different physiognomic class. Under an equilibrium scenario with unrestricted dispersal 57-84% of the area is predicted to shift to a different class. This latter scenario is supported by evidence of rapid shifts to larger growth-forms due to rapid colonization due to long-distance dispersal, expansion from refugia, and favorable conditions for establishment following disturbance like tundra fires and thermal erosion related to permafrost thaw. Distributions of lower-lying vegetation classes with sparse plant cover are predicted to contract in some places as larger shrubs and trees expand their ranges, but this outcome is mostly restricted to regions that do not have more northerly land masses to which vegetation could shift as trees and larger shrubs migrate from the south. We also estimated future changes in albedo, evapotranspiration and above-ground biomass, each of which would change substantially with our predicted widespread redistribution of Arctic vegetation. In terms of climate feedbacks, the predicted increases in ET were relatively small, and predicted maximum total increases in biomass (1

  4. Identifying climate change threats to the arctic archaeological record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Maribeth; Jensen, Anne; Friesen, Max

    2011-05-01

    Global Climate Change and the Polar Archaeological Record; Tromsø, Norway, 15-16 February 2011 ; A workshop was held at the Institute of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Tromsø, in Norway, to catalyze growing concern among polar archaeologists about global climate change and attendant threats to the polar archaeological and paleoecological records. Arctic archaeological sites contain an irreplaceable record of the histories of the many societies that have lived in the region over past millennia. Associated paleoecological deposits provide powerful proxy evidence for paleoclimate and ecosystem structure and function and direct evidence of species diversity, distributions, and genetic variability. Archaeological records can span most of the Holocene (the past ∼12,000 years), depending upon location, and paleoecological records extend even further. Most are largely unstudied, and, although extremely vulnerable to destruction, they are poorly monitored and not well protected. Yet these records are key to understanding how the Arctic has functioned as a system, how humans were integrated into it, and how humans may have shaped it. Such records provide a wide range of data that are not obtainable from sources such as ice and ocean cores; these data are needed for understanding the past, assessing current and projecting future conditions, and adapting to ongoing change.

  5. Spring Snow Melt Timing and Changes over Arctic Lands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J. L.; Robinson, D. A.; Hall, D. K.; Estilow, T. W.

    2006-01-01

    Spring snow cover over Arctic lands has, on average, melted approximately 4-7 days earlier since the late 1980s compared to the previous 20 years. The earlier disappearance of snow has been identified in non-mountainous regions at the 60 deg and 70 deg N parallels over Eurasia and North America using visible satellite observations of continental snow cover extent (SCE) mapped by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The change was greater in the farthest north continental locations. Northern hemisphere SCE declined by almost 10% (May) to 20% (June) between the two intervals. At latitude 70 deg N, eight segments of longitude (each 10 deg in width) show significant (negative) trends. However, only two longitudinal segments at 60 deg N show significant trends, (one positive and one negative). SCE changes coincide with increasing spring warmth and the earlier diminution of sea ice in the last several decades. However, while sea ice has continued to decrease during this recent interval, snowmelt dates in the Arctic changed in a step-like fashion during the mid to late 1980s and have remained much the same since that time.

  6. Decadal variability of the Arctic Ocean in a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic climate is characterized by strong interannual to interannual/decadal variability involving interactions with the overlying atmosphere as well as exchanges with the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. By increasing the geographic area of contact as well as by changing the mean stratification and overturning circulation future reductions of sea ice cover offers the potential to enhance and alter these interactions. This study begins with a comparison of simulated and historical interannual/decadal variability in the Arctic Ocean, and the relative importance of local atmospheric heating and ocean heat convergence, as they appear in a collection of CMIP5 model simulations. This analysis reveals that the models can be classified into two groups depending on their responses. Then we examine the changes in this variability over the coming centuries as simulated by the models, which reveal dramatic changes to the strength and frequency of the variability as the sea ice retreats. The connections to interannual/decadal variations of the overturning circulation and to atmospheric weather patterns will be discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitzell, K.; Meier, W.

    2010-12-01

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

  8. A Pan-Arctic Assessment of High-Latitude Lake Change ~25 Years Apart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheng, Y.; Smith, L. C.; Li, J.; Lyons, E. A.; Wang, J.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions are the home to the world's largest quantity of terrestrial lakes. These lakes play a preeminent role in the global water cycle and balance, are sensitive to global warming, and are vital for human and animal water supply. However, they are poorly observed, and a uniform lake inventory is unavailable at the pan-Arctic scale. Though there have been studies of Arctic lake dynamics at local scales, the general picture of Arctic lake change stays unclear. A systematic regional-scale assessment of Arctic lake change in the past ~30 years is crucial for us to address "How have Arctic lakes responded to global warming?" The presentation reports a systematic effort of high-latitude (45N and north) lake inventory using recently available high-resolution satellite imagery. Since Arctic lakes are abundant in small-size classes and their seasonality varies from region to region, pan-Arctic lake mapping requires the use of thousands of cloud-free Landsat images acquired in lake-stable seasons. Nearly eight million lakes have been mapped in various landscapes of the pan-Arctic using automated lake identification algorithms with high replicability. Lake-abundant regions are selected using a systematic sampling strategy to detect decadal lake change using the mid-1970s and circa-2000 Landsat imagery. Spatial patterns of the observed lake dynamics are analyzed at regional scales and the relationship between lake abundance and size distribution is investigated.

  9. Environmental Controls over Peat Accumulation in Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baughman, C. A.; Mann, D. H.; Heiser, P. A.; Kunz, M. L.

    2012-12-01

    Wide spread accumulation of peat (paludification) began on Alaska's North Slope during the Pleistocene/Holocene transition starting ca. 12,000 14C years ago and established this region as a carbon sink. Its status as a C sink is in question today because of rapid climate change. Our project's focus is on the relationship between peat, microclimate, and topography in a portion of the Arctic Foothills 300-350 km south of Point Barrow on the northern flank of the Brooks Range. Our objectives are 1) Quantify how varying microclimate factors found along a climosequence determine the thickness of the thin surface peats (<50 cm) that have developed during the Holocene; 2) Estimate peat accumulation rates on level, initially well-drained geomorphic surfaces using a 3,000 year old chronosequence on river point bars; 3) Quantify how peat accumulation affects soil temperature regimes; 4) Develop a GIS-based peat-prediction model for a 50 km2 study area and estimate this area's pool of standing carbon. We used a combination of remotely sensed data, field measurements, and a GIS to gather data regarding slope, aspect, elevation, near-ground temperature, soil moisture, temperature at the organic/mineral horizon interface, solar radiation, upslope drainage area, and lastly, peat thickness. Peat is defined here as any near-surface soil horizon containing >25% organic carbon by volume. We employ statistical analyses to examine how each factor independently influences peat thickness and what suite of factors best explains peat distribution and thickness across the landscape. Results show a significant inverse relationship (R2 = 0.27, p-value <<.001) between slope and peat thickness, with an increase in steepness accompanying a decrease in peat thickness. There is a less significant relationship (R2 = 0.03, p-value = .02) between aspect and peat thickness. There is a significant positive relationship (R2 = 0.81, P-value <<.001) between peat thickness and July active layer thickness

  10. Climate change and natural hazards in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Arctic hillslope hydrologic response to changing water storage conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rushlow, C. R.; Godsey, S.

    2013-12-01

    Solute transport from terrestrial to aquatic environments depends on dynamics of water storage and flux. In the arctic, these dynamics are related to changes in permafrost and hydrological conditions that vary with climate across multiple scales. In order to predict the continued trajectory of arctic landscape and ecosystem evolution, observed changes to the hydrologic regime and riverine nutrient fluxes require properly scaled, mechanistic explanations. We address this issue at the hillslope scale by quantifying hydrologic response to changing storage as part of a collaborative effort to understand the coupled hydrology and biogeochemistry of arctic hillslopes. Hillslopes underlain by continuous permafrost experience gradual, summer-season increases in potential water storage through active layer thaw, as well as stochastic changes in available water storage as soil moisture conditions change due to storm events, evapotranspiration, and subsurface flow. Preferential flowpaths called water tracks are ubiquitous features draining arctic hillslopes and are the focus of our study. We predict that water track hydrologic response to precipitation is a function of snowmelt or storm characteristics and available storage. We hypothesize that ¬the ratio of runoff to precipitation will decrease as available storage increases, whether due to the seasonal increase in active layer thaw, or an extended dry period. Intensive snow and thaw depth surveys on a water track on the hillslopes of the Upper Kuparuk River watershed in northern Alaska during May to June 2013 reveal that snow persisted one week longer in a water track than the adjacent hillslope, and thus active layer thaw initiated earlier on the adjacent hillslope. Despite this earlier thaw timing, thaw depth in the water track exceeded that on the non-track hillslope within five days of being uncovered. Thaw, and thus subsurface storage, in water tracks remained greater than the rest of the hillslope for at least the

  12. Arctic climate change in 21st century CMIP5 simulations with EC-Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenigk, Torben; Brodeau, Laurent; Graversen, Rune Grand; Karlsson, Johannes; Svensson, Gunilla; Tjernström, Michael; Willén, Ulrika; Wyser, Klaus

    2013-06-01

    The Arctic climate change is analyzed in an ensemble of future projection simulations performed with the global coupled climate model EC-Earth2.3. EC-Earth simulates the twentieth century Arctic climate relatively well but the Arctic is about 2 K too cold and the sea ice thickness and extent are overestimated. In the twenty-first century, the results show a continuation and strengthening of the Arctic trends observed over the recent decades, which leads to a dramatically changed Arctic climate, especially in the high emission scenario RCP8.5. The annually averaged Arctic mean near-surface temperature increases by 12 K in RCP8.5, with largest warming in the Barents Sea region. The warming is most pronounced in winter and autumn and in the lower atmosphere. The Arctic winter temperature inversion is reduced in all scenarios and disappears in RCP8.5. The Arctic becomes ice free in September in all RCP8.5 simulations after a rapid reduction event without recovery around year 2060. Taking into account the overestimation of ice in the twentieth century, our model results indicate a likely ice-free Arctic in September around 2040. Sea ice reductions are most pronounced in the Barents Sea in all RCPs, which lead to the most dramatic changes in this region. Here, surface heat fluxes are strongly enhanced and the cloudiness is substantially decreased. The meridional heat flux into the Arctic is reduced in the atmosphere but increases in the ocean. This oceanic increase is dominated by an enhanced heat flux into the Barents Sea, which strongly contributes to the large sea ice reduction and surface-air warming in this region. Increased precipitation and river runoff lead to more freshwater input into the Arctic Ocean. However, most of the additional freshwater is stored in the Arctic Ocean while the total Arctic freshwater export only slightly increases.

  13. Changing climate: Geothermal evidence from permafrost in the Alaskan Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lachenbruch, A.H.; Marshall, B.V.

    1986-01-01

    Temperature profiles measured in permafrost in northernmost Alaska usually have anomalous curvature in the upper 100 meters or so. When analyzed by heat-conduction theory, the profiles indicate a variable but widespread secular warming of the permafrost surface, generally in the range of 2 to 4 Celsius degrees during the last few decades to a century. Although details of the climatic change cannot be resolved with existing data, there is little doubt of its general magnitude and timing; alternative explanations are limited by the fact that heat transfer in cold permafrost is exclusively by conduction. Since models of greenhouse warming predict climatic change will be greatest in the Arctic and might already be in progress, it is prudent to attempt to understand the rapidly changing thermal regime in this region.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. Shifting mirrors: adaptive changes in retinal reflections to winter darkness in Arctic reindeer

    PubMed Central

    Stokkan, Karl-Arne; Folkow, Lars; Dukes, Juliet; Neveu, Magella; Hogg, Chris; Siefken, Sandra; Dakin, Steven C.; Jeffery, Glen

    2013-01-01

    Arctic reindeer experience extreme changes in environmental light from continuous summer daylight to continuous winter darkness. Here, we show that they may have a unique mechanism to cope with winter darkness by changing the wavelength reflection from their tapetum lucidum (TL). In summer, it is golden with most light reflected back directly through the retina, whereas in winter it is deep blue with less light reflected out of the eye. The blue reflection in winter is associated with significantly increased retinal sensitivity compared with summer animals. The wavelength of reflection depends on TL collagen spacing, with reduced spacing resulting in shorter wavelengths, which we confirmed in summer and winter animals. Winter animals have significantly increased intra-ocular pressure, probably produced by permanent pupil dilation blocking ocular drainage. This may explain the collagen compression. The resulting shift to a blue reflection may scatter light through photoreceptors rather than directly reflecting it, resulting in elevated retinal sensitivity via increased photon capture. This is, to our knowledge, the first description of a retinal structural adaptation to seasonal changes in environmental light. Increased sensitivity occurs at the cost of reduced acuity, but may be an important adaptation in reindeer to detect moving predators in the dark Arctic winter. PMID:24174115

  17. Recent changes in the exchange of sea ice between the Arctic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Stephen E. L.; Wohlleben, Trudy; Dabboor, Mohammed; Derksen, Chris; Komarov, Alexander; Pizzolato, Larissa

    2013-07-01

    Sea ice is exchanged between the Arctic Ocean and Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) but has not been quantified over long time periods. The corresponding mechanisms responsible for recent variability and change also remain unidentified. To address this, we estimated the sea ice area flux between the Arctic Ocean and the M'Clure Strait and Queen Elizabeth Islands (QEI) from 1997 to 2012 for the months of May to November. Over the period, there was a mean flux of -1 × 103 km2 (±21 × 103 km2) at the M'Clure Strait and mean flux of +8 × 103 km2 (±8 × 103 km2) at the QEI (positive and negative flux signs correspond to Arctic Ocean ice inflow and outflow, respectively). The M'Clure Strait had a mean flux of +5 × 103 km2 from May to September and a mean flux of -7 × 103 km2 from October to November. The QEI gates had a mean flux of +4 × 103 km2 from August to September with negligible ice exchange from May to July and October to November. More frequent high sea level pressure anomalies over the Beaufort Sea and Canadian Basin since 2007 have reduced Arctic Ocean multiyear ice (MYI) inflow into the M'Clure Strait. The presence of MYI in the CAA originating from the Arctic Ocean has been maintained by inflow at the QEI, which has increased since 2005. These recent increases in Arctic Ocean MYI inflow into the QEI can be attributed to increased open water area within the CAA that have provided more leeway for inflow to occur.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Holocene Climate Change in Arctic Canada and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briner, J. P.; McKay, N.; Axford, Y.; Bennike, O.; Bradley, R. S.; de Vernal, A.; Fisher, D. A.; Francus, P.; Fréchette, B.; Gajewski, K. J.; Jennings, A. E.; Kaufman, D. S.; Miller, G. H.; Rouston, C.; Wagner, B.

    2015-12-01

    We summarize the spatial and temporal pattern of climate change through the Holocene in Arctic Canada and Greenland. Our synthesis includes 47 records from a recent database of highly resolved, quantitative Holocene climate records from the Arctic (Sundqvist et al., 2014). We plot the temperature histories represented by the records in the database and compare them with paleoclimate information based on 53 additional records. Combined, the records include a variety of climate proxy types that range from ice (ice cores), land (lake and peat sequences) and marine (ocean sediment cores and coastal sediments) environments. The temperature-sensitive records indicate more consistent and earlier Holocene warmth in the north and east, and a more diffuse and later Holocene thermal maximum in the south and west. Principal components analysis reveals two dominant Holocene trends, one with early Holocene warmth followed by cooling in the middle Holocene, the other with a broader period of warmth in the middle Holocene followed by cooling in the late Holocene. The temperature decrease from the warmest to the coolest portions of the Holocene is 3.0±1.0°C on average (n=11 records). The Greenland Ice Sheet retracted to its minimum extent between 5 and 3 ka, consistent with many sites from around Greenland depicting a switch from warm to cool conditions around that time. The spatial pattern of temperature change through the Holocene was likely driven by the decrease in northern latitude summer insolation through the Holocene, the varied influence of waning ice sheets in the early Holocene, and the variable influx of Atlantic Water into the study region.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Annotated bibliography of the Northwest Territories action on water component of the Arctic environmental strategy

    SciTech Connect

    Goodwin, R.

    1998-01-01

    Water-related research conducted under the 1991--97 Arctic Environmental Strategy resulted in the production of 215 publications listed in this bibliography. The main section sorts citations by author and then by title. All citations are annotated and are keyed to the database of the Arctic Science and Technology Information System (ASTIS). The bibliography has three indexes that refer back to the main section: Subject, geographic area, and title. Topics covered include Northwest Territories hydrology, environmental fate of contaminants, water quality, snow, the water cycle, modelling, and limnology.

  8. Annotated bibliography of the Northwest Territories action on water component of the Arctic environmental strategy

    SciTech Connect

    Goodwin, R.

    1998-12-31

    Water-related research conducted under the 1991--97 Arctic Environmental Strategy resulted in the production of 215 publications listed in this bibliography. The main section sorts citations by author and then by title. All citations are annotated and are keyed to the database of the Arctic Science and Technology Information System (ASTIS). The bibliography has three indexes that refer back to the main section: Subject, geographic area, and title. Topics covered include Northwest Territories hydrology, environmental fate of contaminants, water quality, snow, the water cycle, modelling, and limnology.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Holocene paleoclimate data from the Arctic: testing models of global climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    CAPE Project Members

    2001-06-01

    To evaluate the spatial variability of Arctic climate change during the present interglacial, CAPE Project Members compiled well-dated terrestrial, marine, and ice-core paleoenvironmental records spanning the past 10-12 thousand years (ka). Six tundra biomes of increasing summer temperature requirements were defined based on regionally coherent pollen assemblages. Using a rule-based approach, pollen spectra were converted to tundra, forest/tundra, or forest biomes ranked by their average growing season requirements. Marine sea-surface reconstructions were based on proxy data following a similar rule-based approach. From these data-based reconstructions, departures in summer temperatures from modern normals were calculated in 1 ka time slices through the Holocene. To test predictive models, data-based summer temperature reconstructions were compared with general circulation model (GCM) simulations for 10 ka and 6 ka ago. Paleodata and model results both show that warming occurred earlier across Beringia and Asia relative to lands adjacent to the North Atlantic, and that Late Holocene cooling was most apparent in the North Atlantic region. However, the GCM over-predicts the magnitude of Mid-Holocene warming over northern Asia and underestimates the intensification of the North Atlantic drift in the early Holocene. Strong spatial variability in environmental response during the Holocene, despite symmetric (insolation) forcing, suggests that any future changes, whether caused by anthropogenic or natural factors, are unlikely to result in a uniform change across the Arctic, adding additional complexity to forecasts of global impacts.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Future Arctic temperature change resulting from a range of aerosol emissions scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wobus, Cameron; Flanner, Mark; Sarofim, Marcus C.; Moura, Maria Cecilia P.; Smith, Steven J.

    2016-06-01

    The Arctic temperature response to emissions of aerosols -- specifically black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC), and sulfate -- depends on both the sector and the region where these emissions originate. Thus, the net Arctic temperature response to global aerosol emissions reductions will depend strongly on the blend of emissions sources being targeted. We use recently published equilibrium Arctic temperature response factors for BC, OC, and sulfate to estimate the range of present-day and future Arctic temperature changes from seven different aerosol emissions scenarios. Globally, Arctic temperature changes calculated from all of these emissions scenarios indicate that present-day emissions from the domestic and transportation sectors generate the majority of present-day Arctic warming from BC. However, in all of these scenarios, this warming is more than offset by cooling resulting from SO2 emissions from the energy sector. Thus, long-term climate mitigation strategies that are focused on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the energy sector could generate short-term, aerosol-induced Arctic warming. A properly phased approach that targets BC-rich emissions from the transportation sector as well as the domestic sectors in key regions -- while simultaneously working toward longer-term goals of CO2 mitigation -- could potentially avoid some amount of short-term Arctic warming.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  19. Rapid Arctic Change: Mapping the Extent of Change on Human Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, M. S.; Atkinson, D.; Gerlach, C.; Loring, P.

    2008-12-01

    Human system changes tied to the loss of sea ice and other arctic changes are have been observed across the entire range of human activities both in the arctic and elsewhere. The specific nature of a particular impact may be understood within a framework organizing human systems along three dimensions: time, space, and category. Three temporal scales may be recognized: short-term or "reactive" - covering immediate threats to life, mid-term or "proactive" - covering seasonal level concerns, and the planning - covering long-term threats to viability. Similarly, four spatial scales may be recognized: local, regional, national, and international. Among many others, five main categories of response are considered: individual, cultural, regulatory, food systems, political, and scientific. This framework allows us to structure discussion of changes and impacts. From the myriad we have identified three examples that provide snapshots of this spectrum: 1) The Bering Sea fisheries of Unalaska. This is a commercial/subsistence mixed culture/food system strongly impacted by national regulations on a short and mid-term time frame. 2) Impacts on food systems, infrastructure, transportation and economy from the loss of sea ice to in the Alaska Native subsistence community of Shishmaref, and 3) National and international scale changes resulting from increased scientific understanding and media coverage of a changing arctic.

  20. Global and regional drivers of nutrient supply, primary production and CO2 drawdown in the changing Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, Jean-Éric; Anderson, Leif G.; Matrai, Patricia; Coupel, Pierre; Bélanger, Simon; Michel, Christine; Reigstad, Marit

    2015-12-01

    The main environmental factors driving spatial patterns, variability and change in primary production (PP) in the Arctic Ocean are reviewed. While instantaneous PP rates are predominantly influenced by the local factors affecting light penetration through clouds, sea ice and water, net PP (NPP) at the annual scale is conditioned by a hierarchy of remote and local processes that affect nutrient supply and light availability in general. Nutrient supply sets spatial differences in realized or potential trophic status (i.e. oligotrophic or eutrophic), whereas light availability modulates PP within each regime. Horizontal nutrient supply through Atlantic and Pacific ocean gateways differ markedly, which is explained by their position at opposite ends of the global meridional overturning circulation and imbalanced nitrogen (N) cycling in the Pacific sector. Nutrient supply by rivers is locally important, but does not appear to sustain a major portion of overall pan-Arctic NPP so far. Horizontal nutrient inputs to the surface Arctic Ocean are eventually transferred to the halocline through winter convection and the decomposition of settling organic matter. The subsequent re-injection of these nutrients to the euphotic zone varies by two orders of magnitude across sectors, depending on the strength and persistence of the vertical stratification. Such differences in nutrient delivery are commensurate with those of PP and NPP rates. Widespread N deficiency in surface waters fosters the occurrence and seasonal persistence of subsurface layers of maximum chlorophyll a (SCM) and phytoplankton carbon biomass in several sectors. The contribution of these layers to NPP is possibly higher in the Arctic than in thermally-stratified waters of the subtropical gyres due to a combination of extreme acclimation to low light and a shallow nitracline in the former. The overall impacts of SCM layers on biogeochemical fluxes remain to be quantified directly, both regionally and at the pan-Arctic

  1. Response of Arctic sea level and hydrography to hydrological regime change over boreal catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tourian, Mohammad J.; Sneeuw, Nico; Losch, Martin; Rabe, Benjamin

    2016-04-01

    Changes in freshwater influx into the Arctic Ocean are a key driver of regional dynamics and sea level change in the Arctic waters. Low-salinity surface waters maintain a strong stratification in the Arctic. This halocline largely shields the cool polar surface water and sea ice from the warmer waters of Atlantic origin below and, hence, inhibits vertical heat fluxes of heat, salt and nutrients. Recently observed changes in the freshwater content of the upper Arctic Ocean raise the question of the effect of these changes on the region. Changes in the freshwater budget affect regional steric sea level, but also the modified ocean dynamics may change sea level through mass transports within the Arctic. One component of the freshwater budget is continental runoff. The hydrological regime of river runoff appears to be non-stationary. There is both interannual variability and a significantly positive trend since the 1970s. The decreasing Arctic sea-ice cover may be a possible reason for the non-stationary behavior of runoff, especially in coastal and marginal seas. The decrease of sea ice due to global warming would lead to cloud formation and, indeed, increased precipitation. During the warmer season, increased precipitation would lead to more discharge of freshwater to the Arctic shelves and basins. The observational record of discharge into the Arctic Ocean, however, is still too sparse to address important science questions about the long-term behavior and development of Arctic sea level and climate. Given the insufficient monitoring from in situ gauge networks, and without any outlook of improvement, spaceborne approaches are currently being investigated. In this contribution we assess the long-term behavior of monthly runoff time series obtained from hydro-geodetic approaches and explore the effects of interannual runoff variability and long term trends on ocean model simulations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiklomanov, Nikolay; Streletskiy, Dmitry; Swales, Timothy

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Global environmental change

    SciTech Connect

    Corell, R.W.; Anderson, P.A.

    1990-01-01

    Fifty years ago the buzz words in science were [open quotes]atomic energy,[close quotes] and the general mood of the public, in those more naive days, was that the earth is so large that it could take any kind of human abuse. The advance of science and technology since then has proved that this is not the case. It is now common sense, even to the layperson, that the earth's environment is delicate and needs careful protection if future generations are to enjoy it. The buzz words now are [open quotes]global change.[close quotes] This book is the outcome of the Workshop on the Science of Global Environmental Change sponsored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and is one of the NATO's Advanced Science Institute Series books. It is essentially a collection of the lectures given in the workshop. The workshop was apparently not intended for in-depth scientific discussions but to review the overall current research situation and to identify future research needs. Accordingly, the papers collected in this volume are basically of this nature.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  6. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lettenmaier, Dennis P

    2013-04-08

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  9. Evidence and implications of recent climate change in Northern Alaska and other Arctic regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Evidence and Implications of Recent Climate Change in Northern Alaska and Other Arctic Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  11. Elevation changes of ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    Precise repeat airborne laser surveys were conducted over the major ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the spring of 1995 and 2000 in order to measure elevation changes in the region. Our measurements reveal thinning at lower elevations (below 1600 m) on most of the ice caps and glaciers but either very little change or thickening at higher elevations in the ice cap accumulation zones. Recent increases in precipitation in the area can account for the slight thickening where it was observed but not for the thinning at lower elevations. For the northern ice caps on the Queen Elizabeth Islands, thinning was generally <0.5 m yr-1, which is consistent with what would be expected from the warm temperature anomalies in the region for the 5 year period between surveys, and appears to be a continuation of a trend that began in the mid-1980s. Farther south, however, on the Barnes and Penny ice caps on Baffin Island, this thinning was much more pronounced at over 1 m yr-1 in the lower elevations. Here temperature anomalies were very small, and the thinning at low elevations far exceeds any associated enhanced ablation. The observations on Barnes, and perhaps Penny, are consistent with the idea that the observed thinning is part of a much longer term deglaciation, as has been previously suggested for Barnes ice cap. On the basis of the regional relationships between elevation and elevation change in our data, the 1995-2000 mass balance for the archipelago is estimated to be -25 km3 yr-1 of ice, which corresponds to a sea level increase of 0.064 mm yr-1. This places it among the more significant sources of eustatic sea level rise, though not as substantial as the Greenland ice sheet, Alaskan glaciers, or the Patagonian ice fields.

  12. Elevation Changes of Ice Caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Are Recent Arctic Sea Ice Changes a Fingerprint of Greenhouse Warming?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vavrus, S. J.

    2002-12-01

    Arctic sea ice has undergone significant reductions in thickness and extent in recent decades, leading to speculation that the ice pack is already showing signs of greenhouse warming. The decline in ice cover is not uniform across the Arctic Ocean, but instead shows a distinct spatial pattern of maximum reductions in the eastern (European) sector and minimum decreases in the western (North American) sector. This dipole spatial pattern has been dubbed the "East-West Arctic Anomaly Pattern" (EWAAP) and is consistent with recent trends in high-latitude atmospheric circulation, which in turn are driven by the well-known decrease in Arctic sea level pressure. Climate simulations using an AGCM coupled to a mixed-layer ocean (GENESIS) are presented to show that enhanced greenhouse forcing causes the model to produce the EWAAP and its associated anomalous cyclonic circulation pattern. Paleoclimate simulations of orbitally forced warm periods in the Arctic (mid-Holocene and last interglacial) show similar changes of sea ice cover and surface winds, suggesting that the recent anomalies may be a signature of warmer Arctic climates. The consistent EWAAP response to warm external forcings is caused by two dynamical mechanisms. First, the flow of Arctic sea ice in the modern climate produces ice divergence (convergence) and more (less) open water in the eastern (western) Arctic Ocean, thus favoring (hindering) melting in the eastern (western) sector under warmer conditions. Second, because warmer climates promote a decrease in Arctic sea level pressure, anomalous surface winds blow across the Arctic Ocean from Eurasia toward North America and thus enhance the spatial dipole pattern of ice coverage.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Implications of a Changing Arctic on Summertime Surface Seawater pCO2 Variations in the Eastern Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgers, T.; Miller, L. A.; Thomas, H.; Else, B. G. T.; Gosselin, M.; Papakyriakou, T. N.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic marine carbonate chemistry and rates of air-sea CO2 exchange are anticipated to be affected by current changes in sea-ice structure and extent, freshwater inputs, ocean circulation patterns, and the seasonality of phytoplankton blooms. This study examines how such changes will impact rates of air-sea CO2 exchange in northern Baffin Bay, Nares Strait, and the eastern Canadian Arctic Archipelago. This complex oceanographic region includes the North Water polynya; one of the most biologically productive areas in the Arctic Ocean, and the convergence site of the warm West Greenland Current with cold exported Arctic waters. Continuous measurements of atmospheric and surface seawater CO2 (pCO2) were collected onboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen during its 2013 and 2014 summer cruises. Surface seawater pCO2 displayed considerable variability (145 - 389 ppm), but never exceeded atmospheric concentrations. Calculated CO2 fluxes ranged from 0 to -45 mmol m-2 day-1 (oceanic uptake), and were estimated using the Sweeney et al. (2007) parameterization with in-situ wind speed measurements. Ancillary measurements of chlorophyll a reveal low productivity in surface waters during mid-summer with isolated sub-surface blooms. This is likely the result of nutrient limitation within the highly stratified polar mixed layer (PML). Measurements of stable oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O) and total alkalinity were used to estimate freshwater inputs (sea-ice melt vs. meteoric water) to the PML. These and in-situ observations of sea ice cover were used to interpret seawater pCO2 variations. Surface waters influenced by sea-ice melt exhibit lower pCO2 than those influenced by meteoric water. The results of this investigation shed light on the future role of this region as a summertime sink of atmospheric CO2.

  16. Macroevolutionary perspectives to environmental change.

    PubMed

    Condamine, Fabien L; Rolland, Jonathan; Morlon, Hélène

    2013-05-01

    Predicting how biodiversity will be affected and will respond to human-induced environmental changes is one of the most critical challenges facing ecologists today. Here, we put current environmental changes and their effects on biodiversity in a macroevolutionary perspective. We build on research in palaeontology and recent developments in phylogenetic approaches to ask how macroevolution can help us understand how environmental changes have affected biodiversity in the past, and how they will affect biodiversity in the future. More and more paleontological and phylogenetic data are accumulated, and we argue that much of the potential these data have for understanding environmental changes remains to be explored. PMID:23331627

  17. Are Increasing Freshwater Inputs To The Arctic Ocean Linked To Climate Change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, B. J.; Holmes, R. M.; McClelland, J. W.; Curry, R. G.

    2004-12-01

    The global hydrological cycle has shown evidence of acceleration over the past 40 years. Evidence includes increasing evaporation from low latitude oceans and increasing precipitation, especially at high latitudes. Net melting of arctic glaciers plus runoff from Eurasian arctic rivers alone have added about 4000 km3 of extra (anomaly from baseline conditions) freshwater to the Arctic Ocean since about 1960. Glacier melt is primarily driven by arctic warming. The Eurasian discharge monitoring includes 2/3 of total Eurasian runoff which comprises 60% of pan-arctic runoff. An investigation of mechanisms driving changes in Eurasian runoff showed that dams, fires and permafrost melt were probably not the major factors causing increased discharge. The discharge changes appear to be driven by the acceleration of the hemispheric hydrologic cycle driven by warming and possibly by shifts in wind directions. Over the same 40 years the high latitude oceans have freshened. A coordinated effort to reconcile the changes in freshwater inputs with changes in freshwater inventory of the Arctic Ocean, Nordic Seas and North Atlantic over the past 40-50 years would be a valuable contribution.

  18. The influence of changing seasonality and snow cover on arctic ground squirrel phenology.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, B.; Sheriff, M.; Kenagy, J.; Buck, L.; Team Squirrel

    2011-12-01

    A warming climate in the Arctic may have asymmetrical effects on seasonality, depending on the timing and extent of snow cover. Warm autumns that delay the onset of persistent snow cover will lengthen growing seasons of some plants and, combined with continuing access to fallen seeds, berries, and leaves, extend feeding opportunities for ground foragers. Warming in spring should advance when the ground becomes snow free and the onset of plant productivity, leading overall to a longer growing season. However, if winter and spring precipitation increase, as is predicted in climate models, the amount and seasonal extent of snow pack will increase, which will delay melt and lead to delayed springs. Either of these scenarios may develop regionally, depending on local weather, snow, and wind. Since 1996, we have been investigating the timing of annual events in natural populations of arctic ground squirrels, Urocitellus parryii, living at two nearby sites (Toolik and Atigun, 68o38'N) in arctic Alaska that greatly differ in timing and duration of snow cover. Since arctic ground squirrels are highly dependent on snow free ground for foraging, we predicted that these environmental differences will have had major impacts on life histories and timing of annual events on the local populations. Precision in dates of the beginning and end of hibernation, use of heterothermy, and birth of young were determined by temperature-sensitive data loggers implanted into juvenile and adult animals of both sexes. Weather stations, snow cameras, and transects for plant phenology are in place at both locations, although record lengths differ. While across the past 15 years annual timing of hibernation and breeding has not shown significant trends at either site, the two populations have differed consistently in hibernation timing and length of active season, and they show a 13 day difference in average timing of reproduction. These results reveal a substantial flexibility of timing of the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Adaptation strategies to climate change in the Arctic: a global patchwork of reactive community-scale initiatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loboda, Tatiana V.

    2014-11-01

    Arctic regions have experienced and will continue to experience the greatest rates of warming compared to any other region of the world. The people living in the Arctic are considered among most vulnerable to the impacts of environmental change ranging from decline in natural resources to increasing mental health concerns (IPCC 2014 Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)). A meta-analysis study by Ford et al (2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 104005) has assessed the volume, scope and geographic distribution of reported in the English language peer-reviewed literature initiatives for adaptation to climate change in the Arctic. Their analysis highlights the reactive nature of the adopted policies with a strong emphasis on local and community-level policies mostly targeting indigenous population in Canada and Alaska. The study raises concerns about the lack of monitoring and evaluation mechanism to track the success rate of the existing policies and the need for long-term strategic planning in adaption policies spanning international boundaries and including all groups of population.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Sensitivity of the carbon cycle in the Arctic to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigham, L. W.

    2010-12-01

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

  4. Changes in Arctic black carbon concentrations, deposition, transport, and sources during recent centuries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, J. R.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Flanner, M. G.; Fritzsche, D.; Kreutz, K. J.; Lamarque, J.; Lawrence, R.; Maselli, O.; Nolan, M.; Opel, T.; Pasteris, D.; Sigl, M.; Steffensen, J.

    2011-12-01

    Rates of climate change in the Arctic are among the highest on Earth. Warming from increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas concentrations is the long-term driver of Arctic climate change, but reductions in short-lived aerosols such as black carbon (BC) that contribute to climate warming offer the possibility of slowing Arctic climate change in the near-term. BC in snow and water is especially important to climate forcing in the Arctic because of its impact on albedo. Detailed understanding of past and present concentrations, deposition rates, sources, and transport pathways of BC to and within the Arctic is critical, however, to the design of effective mitigation policies. With their short lifetimes in the atmosphere, aerosol concentrations and deposition in the Arctic are dominated by regional, rather than global, sources, transport processes, and pathways. Such aerosols consist of continental dust, sea spray, particulates including BC and organic matter from combustion processes, sulfur and trace metals from volcanic emissions, and, during recent centuries, industrial activities. Further, intra- and inter-annual variability of aerosol deposition is large. As a result, spatially distributed measurements of historical, high-time-resolution records with a broad range of analytes are required to understand aerosol concentrations, sources, and variability while providing adequate information for evaluating global circulation, snowpack radiation, and other modeling results. Arrays of ice cores from polar and alpine glaciers and ice sheets offer the potential to provide spatially distributed historical records with very high time resolution and a broad spectrum of aerosols and source tracers, particularly when using a continuous flow analytical system. Here we present and discuss recent findings from measurements of BC and related source tracers in a developing array of ice cores from around the Arctic. We use 1850 to 2000 general circulation modeling to

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, James D.

    2009-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Detection and Monitoring of Changing Natural Methane Emissions in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruhwiler, L.; Sweeney, C.; Dlugokencky, E. J.; Miller, J. B.; Karion, A.; Miller, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate models suggest that the future Arctic climate will continue to warm and become wetter as well. This implies increased emissions of CH4 from wetlands, however, the future of Arctic hydrology is uncertain given expected melting of permafrost. In addition, vast stores of organic carbon are thought to be frozen in Arctic soils; as much as 1,700 billion tonnes of carbon, several times the amount emitted by fossil fuel use to date and about equal to known coal reserves. If mobilized to the atmosphere, this carbon would have significant impacts on global climate, especially if emitted as CH4. NOAA ESRL, Environment Canada, and other agencies have collected observations of greenhouse gases in the Arctic and the rest of the world for at least several decades. Analysis of this data does not currently support increased Arctic emissions of CO2 or CH4. However, it is difficult to detect changes in Arctic emissions because of transport from lower latitudes and high inter-annual variability. Arctic surface emissions are also especially difficult to detect from space, and current satellite platforms do not provide useful information about greenhouse gas budgets in the lower Arctic troposphere. Modeling/assimilation systems, such as NOAA's CarbonTracker-CH4 system can help untangle the Arctic budget and trends of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, the CarbonTracker is dependent on assumptions about prior fluxes and wetland distributions and source estimates are highly uncertain. We address the plausibility of monitoring the Arctic greenhouse gas emission trends. How large would Arctic emission trends have to be before they could be identified in network observations? What spatial information could be recovered? How would the spatial density of observations affect our ability to perceive and attribute trends in Arctic emissions? Could emission have already been increasing during the close of the 20th century? Trends in emissions need to be large before they can be

  8. Environmentalism and Social Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tiemann, Adrian R.

    A high level of individual concern with environmental issues characterizes the ecological crisis of the 1970s. In spite of this increased public involvement, however, many basic problems facing humans as they interact with the environment have remained constant throughout history. For example, the sometimes conflicting concepts of scarcity,…

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

    PubMed

    Stoddart, Mark C J; Smith, Jillian

    2016-08-01

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

  10. Arctic sea ice and climate change--will the ice disappear in this century?

    PubMed

    Johannessen, O M; Miles, M W

    2000-01-01

    A consensus among climate change prediction scenarios using coupled ocean-climate general circulation models (GCMs) is enhanced warming in the Arctic. This suggests that changes in the Arctic sea ice cover may provide early indications of global warming. Observational evidence of substantial changes in the ice cover has been found recently using data from satellites and submarines. Satellite-borne microwave sensor data analyses have established a 3% per decade decrease in the spatial extent of the Arctic ice cover in the past 20 years. Moreover, a 7% per decade decrease in thicker, multi-year (perennial) ice pack has been revealed. This apparent transformation is corroborated by independent data that indicate substantial decreases in the average ice thickness from 3.1 to 1.8 m from the 1950s/1970s to the mid 1990s, averaging about 4 cm per year. It remains uncertain whether these observed changes are manifestations of global warming or are the result of anomalous atmospheric circulation--or both. However, if the recent trends continue, the Arctic sea ice cover could disappear this century, at least in summer, with important consequences for the regional and global ocean-climate system. This article synthesizes recent variability and trends in Arctic sea ice in the perspective of global climate change, and discusses their potential ramifications. PMID:11077477

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    This synthesis study assesses recent changes of Arctic Ocean physical parameters using a unique collection of observations from the 2000s and places them in the context of long-term climate trends and variability. Our analysis demonstrates that the 2000s were an exceptional decade with extraordinary upper Arctic Ocean freshening and intermediate Atlantic water warming. We note that the Arctic Ocean is characterized by large amplitude multi-decadal variability in addition to a long-term trend, making the link of observed changes to climate drivers problematic. However, the exceptional magnitude of recent high-latitude changes (not only oceanic, but also ice and atmospheric) strongly suggests that these recent changes signify a potentially irreversible shift of the Arctic Ocean to a new climate state. These changes have important implications for the Arctic Ocean's marine ecosystem, especially those components that are dependent on sea ice or that have temperature-dependent sensitivities or thresholds. Addressing these and other questions requires a carefully orchestrated combination of sustained multidisciplinary observations and advanced modeling. PMID:24555307

  12. Epigenetic variation and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Peter

    2015-06-01

    Environmental conditions can change the activity of plant genes via epigenetic effects that alter the competence of genetic information to be expressed. This may provide a powerful strategy for plants to adapt to environmental change. However, as epigenetic changes do not modify DNA sequences and are therefore reversible, only those epi-mutations that are transmitted through the germline can be expected to contribute to a long-term adaptive response. The major challenge for the investigation of epigenetic adaptation theories is therefore to identify genomic loci that undergo epigenetic changes in response to environmental conditions, which alter their expression in a heritable way and which improve the plant's ability to adapt to the inducing conditions. This review focuses on the role of DNA methylation as a prominent epigenetic mark that controls chromatin conformation, and on its potential in mediating expression changes in response to environmental signals. PMID:25694547

  13. Response of Arctic temperature to changes in emissions of short-lived climate forcers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    There is growing scientific and political interest in the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic emissions on the Arctic. Over recent decades temperatures in the Arctic have increased at twice the global rate, largely as a result of ice-albedo and temperature feedbacks. Although deep cuts in global CO2 emissions are required to slow this warming, there is also growing interest in the potential for reducing short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs; refs ,). Politically, action on SLCFs may be particularly promising because the benefits of mitigation are seen more quickly than for mitigation of CO2 and there are large co-benefits in terms of improved air quality. This Letter is one of the first to systematically quantify the Arctic climate impact of regional SLCFs emissions, taking into account black carbon (BC), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), organic carbon (OC) and tropospheric ozone (O3), and their transport processes and transformations in the atmosphere. This study extends the scope of previous works by including more detailed calculations of Arctic radiative forcing and quantifying the Arctic temperature response. We find that the largest Arctic warming source is from emissions within the Asian nations owing to the large absolute amount of emissions. However, the Arctic is most sensitive, per unit mass emitted, to SLCFs emissions from a small number of activities within the Arctic nations themselves. A stringent, but technically feasible mitigation scenario for SLCFs, phased in from 2015 to 2030, could cut warming by 0.2 (+/-0.17) K in 2050.

  14. Holocene environmental change in Kamchatka: A synopsis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Mapping Arctic Ocean Coastline Change With Landsat Archive Data And Object-Based Image Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hulslander, D.

    2010-12-01

    The melting of arctic permafrost is a significant effect of climate change. The combination of rising sea level, longer periods of ice-free conditions in the Arctic Ocean and melting permafrost can greatly accelerate coastline changes in general and arctic coastal erosion in particular. Anderson et al. (2009; Geology News) have measured erosion rates of 15 m per year at sites along the Alaskan Arctic Ocean coastline dominated by ice-cemented peats and silt-rich permafrost. With over 45,000 km of Arctic Ocean coastline, it is important that coastline movement and transgressive oceanic regimes be mapped and tracked with accurate data. Determining historic coastal erosion rates for this region is as important as mapping the current extent of the phenomenon to create as complete a picture as possible and locate where rapid erosion is an emergent process. The extent of the area involved combined with its inaccessibility and inhospitable conditions makes geologic remote sensing an appropriate tool for characterizing Arctic Ocean coastal erosion. Traditional weaknesses associated with using remote sensing in the geosciences have included a lack of historical data or baseline information as well as difficulties in systematization of feature mapping. Using object-based image analysis on Landsat archive data can overcome these issues and may allow for a potential multi-decadal map of Arctic Ocean coastline changes. The Landsat family of sensors (MSS 1-3 and TM/ETM 4, 5, and 7) have been providing imagery as frequently as every 16 days since July 1972. The frequent revisits maximize the chance of getting cloud-free imagery at least once per year in most study areas. Also, Landsat data are well characterized, extensively studied, and freely available from the USGS EROS Data Center Archive, making it an ideal and stable source of data for mapping the Arctic Ocean coastline. Delineating large sections of coastline from imagery by hand digitization would be impractical due to the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. A new climate era in the sub-Arctic: Accelerating climate changes and multiple impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callaghan, Terry V.; Bergholm, Fredrik; Christensen, Torben R.; Jonasson, Christer; Kokfelt, Ulla; Johansson, Margareta

    2010-07-01

    Climate warming in the Swedish sub-Arctic since 2000 has reached a level at which statistical analysis shows for the first time that current warming has exceeded that in the late 1930's and early 1940's, and has significantly crossed the 0°C mean annual temperature threshold which causes many cryospheric and ecological impacts. The accelerating temperature increase trend has driven similar trends in the century-long increase in snow thickness, loss of lake ice, increases in active layer thickness, lake water TOC (total organic carbon) concentrations and the assemblages of diatoms, and changes in tree-line location and plant community structure. Some of these impacts were not evident in the first warm period of the 20th Century. Changes in climate are associated with reduced temperature variability, particularly loss of cold winters and cool summers, and an increase in extreme precipitation events that cause mountain slope instability and infrastructure failure. The long term records of multiple, local environmental factors compiled here for the first time provide detailed information for adaptation strategy development while dramatic changes in an environment particularly vulnerable to climate change highlight the need to adopt global mitigation strategies.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Bring, Arvid; Destouni, Georgia

    2011-06-01

    Rapid changes to the Arctic hydrological cycle challenge both our process understanding and our ability to find appropriate adaptation strategies. We have investigated the relevance and accuracy development of climate change projections for assessment of water cycle changes in major Arctic drainage basins. Results show relatively good agreement of climate model projections with observed temperature changes, but high model inaccuracy relative to available observation data for precipitation changes. Direct observations further show systematically larger (smaller) runoff than precipitation increases (decreases). This result is partly attributable to uncertainties and systematic bias in precipitation observations, but still indicates that some of the observed increase in Arctic river runoff is due to water storage changes, for example melting permafrost and/or groundwater storage changes, within the drainage basins. Such causes of runoff change affect sea level, in addition to ocean salinity, and inland water resources, ecosystems, and infrastructure. Process-based hydrological modeling and observations, which can resolve changes in evapotranspiration, and groundwater and permafrost storage at and below river basin scales, are needed in order to accurately interpret and translate climate-driven precipitation changes to changes in freshwater cycling and runoff. In contrast to this need, our results show that the density of Arctic runoff monitoring has become increasingly biased and less relevant by decreasing most and being lowest in river basins with the largest expected climatic changes. PMID:21809779

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Arctic Warmth Becomes a Mid-Latitude Chill: Using Online Data To Teach Climate Change Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eichorn, David N.

    Climate change education is a growing sub-discipline of science education. This research reports on the use of the fundamental principles of atmospheric science to explain the potential impact of regional climate change across global latitudes. Since the Arctic is responding to climate change faster than any other place on earth, it offers us a real-time opportunity to teach the larger scale impacts of abrupt regional scale change. In this research I merged elements of both the atmospheric and climate sciences into an online course. The course uses principles of meteorology to teach climate change science and demonstrate cause and effect relationships within the atmosphere. Students learn how climate change in one part of the world impacts weather elsewhere through the use of animated and descriptive video lectures that explain basic atmospheric thermodynamics processes. This paper includes a lesson plan that shows how climatic warming in the Arctic causes colder US winter weather. Formative and summative evaluations taken from course evaluations and exams suggest using meteorology to teach climate change is an effective way to educate students in high school and undergraduate college level courses about cross latitudinal influences of climate change. Keywords: Climate Change, Global Warming, Arctic, Climate Literacy, Lesson Plan, Arctic Oscillation, Education

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

    PubMed

    Perovich, Donald K; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A

    2015-07-13

    In recent years, the Arctic sea ice cover has undergone a precipitous decline in summer extent. The sea ice mass balance integrates heat and provides insight on atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The amount of surface melt and bottom melt that occurs during the summer melt season was measured at 41 sites over the time period 1957 to 2014. There are large regional and temporal variations in both surface and bottom melting. Combined surface and bottom melt ranged from 16 to 294 cm, with a mean of 101 cm. The mean ice equivalent surface melt was 48 cm and the mean bottom melt was 53 cm. On average, surface melting decreases moving northward from the Beaufort Sea towards the North Pole; however interannual differences in atmospheric forcing can overwhelm the influence of latitude. Substantial increases in bottom melting are a major contributor to ice losses in the Beaufort Sea, due to decreases in ice concentration. In the central Arctic, surface and bottom melting demonstrate interannual variability, but show no strong temporal trends from 2000 to 2014. This suggests that under current conditions, summer melting in the central Arctic is not large enough to completely remove the sea ice cover. PMID:26032323

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, the Arctic sea ice cover has undergone a precipitous decline in summer extent. The sea ice mass balance integrates heat and provides insight on atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The amount of surface melt and bottom melt that occurs during the summer melt season was measured at 41 sites over the time period 1957 to 2014. There are large regional and temporal variations in both surface and bottom melting. Combined surface and bottom melt ranged from 16 to 294 cm, with a mean of 101 cm. The mean ice equivalent surface melt was 48 cm and the mean bottom melt was 53 cm. On average, surface melting decreases moving northward from the Beaufort Sea towards the North Pole; however interannual differences in atmospheric forcing can overwhelm the influence of latitude. Substantial increases in bottom melting are a major contributor to ice losses in the Beaufort Sea, due to decreases in ice concentration. In the central Arctic, surface and bottom melting demonstrate interannual variability, but show no strong temporal trends from 2000 to 2014. This suggests that under current conditions, summer melting in the central Arctic is not large enough to completely remove the sea ice cover. PMID:26032323

  4. Changing arctic ecosystems—What is causing the rapid increase of snow geese in northern Alaska?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Whalen, Mary E.; Pearce, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Through the Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) informs key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. The Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of northern Alaska is a key study area within the USGS CAE initiative. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past decades, leading to decreased sea ice, permafrost thaw, and an advancement of spring phenology. The number of birds on the ACP also is changing, marked by increased populations of the four species of geese that nest in the region. The Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) is the most rapidly increasing of these species. USGS CAE research is quantifying these changes and their implications for management agencies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Rising temperatures are predicted to melt all perennial ice cover in the Arctic by the end of this century, thus opening up suitable habitat for temperate and subarctic species. Canopy-forming seaweeds provide an ideal system to predict the potential impact of climate-change on rocky-shore ecosystems, given their direct dependence on temperature and their key role in the ecological system. Our primary objective was to predict the climate-change induced range-shift of Fucus distichus, the dominant canopy-forming macroalga in the Arctic and subarctic rocky intertidal. More specifically, we asked: which Arctic/subarctic and cold-temperate shores of the northern hemisphere will display the greatest distributional change of F. distichus and how will this affect niche overlap with seaweeds from temperate regions? We used the program MAXENT to develop correlative ecological niche models with dominant range-limiting factors and 169 occurrence records. Using three climate-change scenarios, we projected habitat suitability of F. distichus - and its niche overlap with three dominant temperate macroalgae - until year 2200. Maximum sea surface temperature was identified as the most important factor in limiting the fundamental niche of F. distichus. Rising temperatures were predicted to have low impact on the species' southern distribution limits, but to shift its northern distribution limits poleward into the high Arctic. In cold-temperate to subarctic regions, new areas of niche overlap were predicted between F. distichus and intertidal macroalgae immigrating from the south. While climate-change threatens intertidal seaweeds in warm-temperate regions, seaweed meadows will likely flourish in the Arctic intertidal. Although this enriches biodiversity and opens up new seaweed-harvesting grounds, it will also trigger unpredictable changes in the structure and functioning of the Arctic intertidal ecosystem. PMID:27087933

  6. The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS): Connecting Arctic Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rich, R. H.; Wiggins, H. V.; Creek, K. R.; Sheffield Guy, L.

    2015-12-01

    This presentation will highlight the recent activities of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) to connect Arctic research. ARCUS is a nonprofit membership organization of universities and institutions that have a substantial commitment to research in the Arctic. ARCUS was formed in 1988 to serve as a forum for planning, facilitating, coordinating, and implementing interdisciplinary studies of the Arctic; to act as a synthesizer and disseminator of scientific information on arctic research; and to educate scientists and the general public about the needs and opportunities for research in the Arctic. ARCUS, in collaboration with the broader science community, relevant agencies and organizations, and other stakeholders, coordinates science planning and educational activities across disciplinary and organizational boundaries. Examples of ARCUS projects include: Arctic Sea Ice Outlook - an international effort that provides monthly summer reports synthesizing community estimates of the expected sea ice minimum. Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook - a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others that provides weekly reports with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in Alaska waters. PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) - a program whereby K-12 educators and researchers work together in hands-on field experiences in the Arctic and Antarctic to advance polar science education. ArcticInfo mailing list, Witness the Arctic newsletter, and the Arctic Calendar - communication tools for the arctic science community to keep apprised of relevant news, meetings, and announcements. Coordination for the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program, which aims to provide scientific understanding of arctic environmental change to help society understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic. More information about these and other ARCUS activities can be found at the ARCUS website at

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The circumpolar north is uniquely vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change. While international Arctic collaboration on health has enhanced partnerships and advanced the health of inhabitants, significant challenges lie ahead. One Health is an approach that considers the connections between the environment, plant, animal and human health. Understanding this is increasingly critical in assessing the impact of global climate change on the health of Arctic inhabitants. The effects of climate change are complex and difficult to predict with certainty. Health risks include changes in the distribution of infectious disease, expansion of zoonotic diseases and vectors, changing migration patterns, impacts on food security and changes in water availability and quality, among others. A regional network of diverse stakeholder and transdisciplinary specialists from circumpolar nations and Indigenous groups can advance the understanding of complex climate-driven health risks and provide community-based strategies for early identification, prevention and adaption of health risks in human, animals and environment. We propose a regional One Health approach for assessing interactions at the Arctic human–animal–environment interface to enhance the understanding of, and response to, the complexities of climate change on the health of the Arctic inhabitants. PMID:26333722

  8. Future change in ocean productivity: Is the Arctic the new Atlantic?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yool, A.; Popova, E. E.; Coward, A. C.

    2015-12-01

    One of the most characteristic features in ocean productivity is the North Atlantic spring bloom. Responding to seasonal increases in irradiance and stratification, surface phytopopulations rise significantly, a pattern that visibly tracks poleward into summer. While blooms also occur in the Arctic Ocean, they are constrained by the sea-ice and strong vertical stratification that characterize this region. However, Arctic sea-ice is currently declining, and forecasts suggest this may lead to completely ice-free summers by the mid-21st century. Such change may open the Arctic up to Atlantic-style spring blooms, and do so at the same time as Atlantic productivity is threatened by climate change-driven ocean stratification. Here we use low and high-resolution instances of a coupled ocean-biogeochemistry model, NEMO-MEDUSA, to investigate productivity. Drivers of present-day patterns are identified, and changes in these across a climate change scenario (IPCC RCP 8.5) are analyzed. We find a globally significant decline in North Atlantic productivity (> -20%) by 2100, and a correspondingly significant rise in the Arctic (> +50%). However, rather than the future Arctic coming to resemble the current Atlantic, both regions are instead transitioning to a common, low nutrient regime. The North Pacific provides a counterexample where nutrients remain high and productivity increases with elevated temperature. These responses to climate change in the Atlantic and Arctic are common between model resolutions, suggesting an independence from resolution for key impacts. However, some responses, such as those in the North Pacific, differ between the simulations, suggesting the reverse and supporting the drive to more fine-scale resolutions. This article was corrected on 5 JAN 2016. See the end of the full text for details.

  9. Wind waves as the environmental forcing factor for Arctic Coastal Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogorodov, S.

    2009-04-01

    Waves are an important force of the environment, which determines the state of arctic coasts. In the Arctic, where substantial part of coastline extension is made up by frozen ground, waves play significant role along with temperature conditions and precipitation. The investigations showed that in general their role is the more important the lower ice content in permafrost is, and it becomes less essential with ice content increasing in the ground. In arctic seas the wind-induces waves are predominate. Ocean swell is important only in Barents and less in the Chuckchee Seas. The evolution of arctic coasts over the coming decades will be governed by changes in the natural environment caused by the effects of climate warming. Rising temperatures are altering the arctic coastline by reducing sea ice and larger changes are projected to occur as this trend continues. Less extensive sea ice creates more open water, allowing stronger wave generation by winds. The wave-energy factor acts via the direct mechanical impact of sea waves on the shore, thus increasing wave- induced erosion along arctic coasts. Correspondingly, the effectiveness of this factor is determined by storm-driven sea surge intensity as well as by the length of the stormiest period. Conversely, surge intensity substantially depends on the fetch, which is intrinsically linked to sea-ice extent since less extensive sea ice creates more open water, allowing stronger wave generation by wind. To understand how wind waves development would change in conditions of decreasing ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean we should turn to conditions of 2007 year, when the lowest ice coverage during all the history of instrumental observations from satellites since 1978 has been fixed. In 2007 anomalously wide clearance of arctic seas' water area from ice caused forming of unique conditions for wind waves' development due to remarkable increasing of wave fetch. In its turn the duration of dynamically active ice-free period

  10. Social and Economic Research in the U.S. Arctic. The Man in the Arctic Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morehouse, Thomas A.

    The next 25 years will see dramatic changes in the U.S. Arctic and sub-Arctic. Some major forces generating these changes are national energy demands, Alaska oil and gas development, environmental conservation pressures, and the reallocation of over 200 million acres of U.S. public land among Federal, State, and private interests. To provide…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, J.; Sandberg Sørensen, L.; Barletta, V. R.; Forsberg, R.

    2015-01-01

    The mass balance of glaciers and ice caps is sensitive to changing climate conditions. The mass changes derived in this study are determined from elevation changes derived measured by the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) for the time period 2003-2009. Four methods, based on interpolation and extrapolation, are used to regionalize these elevation changes to areas without satellite coverage. A constant density assumption is then applied to estimate the mass change by integrating over the entire glaciated region. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the sensitivity of the regional mass balance of Arctic ice caps and glaciers to different regionalization schemes. The sensitivity analysis is based on studying the spread of mass changes and their associated errors, and the suitability of the different regionalization techniques is assessed through cross-validation. The cross-validation results shows comparable accuracies for all regionalization methods, but the inferred mass change in individual regions, such as Svalbard and Iceland, can vary up to 4 Gt a-1, which exceeds the estimated errors by roughly 50% for these regions. This study further finds that this spread in mass balance is connected to the magnitude of the elevation change variability. This indicates that care should be taken when choosing a regionalization method, especially for areas which exhibit large variability in elevation change.

  12. Climate Change, Permafrost and Infrastructure: Task Force Report of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigham, L. W.; Nelson, F. E.

    2003-12-01

    During 2002 the U.S. Arctic Research Commission chartered a task force on climate change, permafrost and infrastructure impacts. The task force was asked to identify key issues and research needs to foster a greater understanding of global change impacts on permafrost in the Arctic and their importance to natural and human systems. Permafrost was found to play three key roles in the context of climatic change: as a record keeper by functioning as a temperature archive; as a translator of climate change through subsidence and related impacts; and, as a facilitator of further change through its impacts on the global carbon cycle. Evidence of widespread warming of permafrost and observations of thawing have serious implications for Alaska's transportation network, for the trans-Alaska pipeline, and for nearly 100,000 Alaskans living in areas of permafrost. These impacts resulting from changing permafrost must be met by a timely, well-informed, and coordinated response by a host of federal and state organizations. Key task force findings include: requirements for a dedicated U.S. federal permafrost research program; data management needs; baseline permafrost mapping in Alaska; basic permafrost research focusing on process studies and modeling; and, applied permafrost research on design criteria and contaminants in permafrost environments. This report to the Commissioners makes specific recommendations to seven federal agencies, the State of Alaska, and the National Research Council. These recommendations will be incorporated in future Arctic research planning documents of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  14. High Arctic paleoenvironmental and Paleoclimatic changes in the Mid-Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrle, Jens; Schröder-Adams, Claudia; Selby, David; Du Vivier, Alice; Flögel, Sascha; McAnena, Alison; Davis, William; Pugh, Adam; Galloway, Jennifer; Hofmann, Peter; Wagner, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Although major progress in Cretaceous (145-66 Ma) paleoclimate and paleoceanography has been made during the last decades (e.g., Hay, 2008, 2011; Föllmi, 2012 and references therein), our knowledge of high latitudinal environmental change remains largely unknown compared to low- and mid-latitude marine and terrestrial environments. Drilling the Arctic Ocean remains challenging and expensive, whereas the Sverdrup Basin provides excellent exposures on land. To fully understand the climate and paleoceanographic dynamics of the warm, equable greenhouse world of the Cretaceous Period it is important to determine polar paleotemperatures and to study paleoceanographic changes in a well-established and continuous bio- and chemostratigraphic context. Exceptional exposures of Cretaceous sediments on the central to southern part of Axel Heiberg Island at a Cretaceous paleolatitude of about 71°N (Tarduno et al., 1998) provide a unique window on the Cretaceous Arctic paleoenvironment and climate history (Schröder-Adams et al., 2014). Here we present high-resolution records combining sedimentological studies, U-Pb zircon geochronology, marine organic carbon isotopes and initial 187Os/188Os data, TEX86-derived sea-surface temperatures (SST) and climate modelling, that constrain the timing and magnitude of major Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs) and climate events constructed from a ~1.8 km sedimentary succession exposed on Axel Heiberg and Ellef Ringnens islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The first high latitude application of initial 187Os/188Os data are agreeable with global profiles (Du Vivier et al., 2014) indicating the widespread magmatic pulse of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (LIP) at the onset of OAE2 but also record the emplacement of local High Arctic LIP prior to the OAE2 in the Sverdrup Basin. Initial SST data suggest a slightly lower meridional temperature gradient during the Middle/Late Albian compared to present and a similar to the present one during

  15. Influence of climate change on the Arctic Contamination Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Severity of climate change dictates the direction of biophysical feedbacks of vegetation change to Arctic climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wenxin; Jansson, Christer; Miller, Paul; Smith, Ben; Samuelsson, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    Vegetation-climate feedbacks induced by vegetation dynamics under climate change alter biophysical properties of the land surface that regulate energy and water exchange with the atmosphere. Simulations with Earth System Models applied at global scale suggest that the current warming in the Arctic has been amplified, with large contributions from positive feedbacks, dominated by the effect of reduced surface albedo as an increased distribution, cover and taller stature of trees and shrubs mask underlying snow, darkening the surface. However, these models generally employ simplified representation of vegetation dynamics and structure and a coarse grid resolution, overlooking local or regional scale details determined by diverse vegetation composition and landscape heterogeneity. In this study, we perform simulations using an advanced regional coupled vegetation-climate model (RCA-GUESS) applied at high resolution (0.44×0.44° ) over the Arctic Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX-Arctic) domain. The climate component (RCA4) is forced with lateral boundary conditions from EC-EARTH CMIP5 simulations for three representative concentration pathways (RCP 2.6, 4.5, 8.5). Vegetation-climate response is simulated by the individual-based dynamic vegetation model (LPJ-GUESS), accounting for phenology, physiology, demography and resource competition of individual-based vegetation, and feeding variations of leaf area index and vegetative cover fraction back to the climate component, thereby adjusting surface properties and surface energy fluxes. The simulated 2m air temperature, precipitation, vegetation distribution and carbon budget for the present period has been evaluated in another paper. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the spatial and temporal characteristics of the biophysical feedbacks arising from vegetation shifts in response to different CO2 concentration pathways and their associated climate change. Our results indicate that the

  3. Environmental influences of oil and gas development in the Arctic Slope and Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, J.W.; Bartonek, J.C.; Klein, D.R.; Spencer, D.

    1971-01-01

    This report describes the environmental characteristics and renewable resources of the Arctic Slope and the Beaufort Sea in relation to oil and gas development. Problems associated with industrial activities are identified, and recommendations for avoiding or minimizing environmental and resource damage are advanced. It is noted that the simplicity of the ecosystems, the slow rate of organic processes, and the presence of permafrost create unique problems in connection with pollution, waste disposal, restoration of vegetation, and all activities which disturb the vegetated surface. In the Beaufort Sea, the shallowness of the continental shelf and the presence of pack ice represent serious physical obstacles to oil development and transportation and heighten the probability of potentially harmful accidents. The risk of serious environmental and resource damage in the Arctic will be greatly lessened by the imposition of high operational and safety standards. There is need for strengthening legal authority to promulgate essential regulations. As an interim substitute, close and effective cooperation between Government and industry must be developed. Both Government and industry have an obligation to support research aimed at providing an adequate understanding of numerous environmental and technical questions.

  4. Impacts of Arctic Climate Change on Tundra Fire Regimes at Interannual to Millennial Timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Tundra burning is emerging as a key process in the rapidly changing Arctic, and knowledge of tundra fire-regime responses to climate change is essential for projecting Earth system dynamics. This presentation will focus on climate-fire relationships in the Arctic, spatiotemporal patterns of Holocene tundra burning, and the effects of tundra burning on carbon cycling. Analysis of historical records reveals that across the Arctic, tundra burning occurred primarily in areas where mean summer temperature exceeded 9 °C and total summer precipitation was below 115 mm. In Alaska, summer temperature and precipitation explain >90% of the interannual variability in tundra area burned from AD 1950-2009, with thresholds of 10.5 °C and 140 mm. These patterns imply tipping points in tundra fire-regime responses to climate change. The frequency of tundra fires has varied greatly across space and through time. Approximately 1.0% of the circum-Arctic tundra burned from AD 2002-2013, and 4.5% of the Alaskan tundra burned from AD 1950-2009. The latter encompassed ecoregions with fire rotation periods ranging from ~400 to 13,640 years. Charcoal analysis of lake sediments also shows that Arctic tundra can sustain a wide range of fire regimes. Fires were rare on the Alaskan North Slope throughout the Holocene, implying that the climate thresholds evident in the historical records have seldom been crossed. In contrast, in areas of NW Alaska, tundra has burned regularly at 100-250 year intervals during the late Holocene. Tundra burning may cause sudden releases of the enormous amount of Arctic soil C. Charcoal particles from recent burns yielded 14C ages of AD 1952-2006. Thus the C consumed in recent fires may recover through vegetation succession. However, our results suggest that in areas that have burned multiple times in recent decades, old soil C is vulnerable to future fires.

  5. Arctic Sea Level Change From a Reprocessed 2 Decade Altimetric Sea Level Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, O. B.; Knudsen, P.; Cheng, Y.

    2014-12-01

    For ocean and climate research it is essential to get as accurate long-term altimetric sea level data as possible. However, the accuracy of the altimetric data is frequently degraded in the interior of the Arctic Ocean due to the presence of seasonal or permanent sea ice. We have reprocessed ERS-1/2/Envisat satellite altimetry to develop an improved 20-year sea level dataset for the Arctic Ocean adding in recent retracked Cryosat-2 to bring the record up to 2014 . We have developed both an along-track dataset and 3-day gridded sea level anomaly (SLA) maps from September 1992 to April 2014. A major improvement in data coverage was gained by tailoring the standard altimetric editing criteria to Arctic conditions. The new reprocessed data has significant increased data coverage with between 4 and 10 times the amount of data in regions like the Beaufort Gyre region compared with AVISO and RADS datasets. This allows for a more accurate estimation of sea level changes from satellite altimetry in the Arctic Ocean. The reprocessed dataset exhibit a mean sea level trend of 2.1±1.3 mm/year (without Glacial Isostatic Adjustment correction) covering the Arctic Ocean between 66°N and 82°N with significant higher trend in the Beaufort Gyre region showing an increase in sea level trend at the cm level up to 2011.

  6. Is the oceanic heat transport with Atlantic water towards the Arctic changing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Østerhus, Svein

    2013-04-01

    The flow of Atlantic water (Atlantic inflow) across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge (GSR) is critical for conditions in the Nordic Seas and Arctic Ocean by importing heat and salt. All three branches crossing the GSR have been monitored since the mid-1990ies and the transports of water and heat have been estimated. The Atlantic inflow, that forms the surface part of the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic, is affected by wind forcing and freshwater input but the most important driving appears to be the cooling of the ocean by the atmosphere in the subarctic seas and increasing of salinity in the Arctic Ocean through freezing of seawater. This results in the sinking of the surface waters that subsequently flow out of the area close to the bottom over the GSR. This removal of water from the Arctic region by the overflow generates sea level slopes that drive a northward transport of water and heat. With global climate change, the Arctic atmosphere is expected to warm and freshwater input to the Arctic to increase, both of which may act to slow the mechanism that drives these flows, and climate models predict a weakening of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation. This presentation addresses the question, whether the weakening has already been initiated and what regions may have been affected. Based on observations and model results, we conclude that the volume transport of the Atlantic inflow has not weakened consistently whereas the temperature has increased.

  7. Influence of Arctic sea-ice and greenhouse gas concentration change on the West African Monsoon.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monerie, Paul-Arthur; Oudar, Thomas; Sanchez-Gomez, Emilia; Terray, Laurent

    2016-04-01

    The Sahelian precipitation are projected to increase in the CNRM-CM5 coupled climate model due to a strengthening of the land-Sea temperature gradient, the increase in the North Atlantic temperature and the deepening of the Heat Low. Arctic Sea-Ice loss impacts the low-level atmospheric circulation through a decrease in the northward heat transport. Some authors have linked the sea-ice loss to a poleward shift of the InterTropical Convergence Zone. Within the CMIP5 models the effect of these mechanisms are not distinguishable and it is difficult to understand the effect of the Arctic sea-ice loss on the West African Monsoon so far. We performed several sensitivity experiments with the CNRM-CM5 coupled climate models by modifying the arctic sea-ice extent and/or the greenhouse gas concentration. We then investigated separately the impact of Arctic sea-ice loss and greenhouse gas concentration increases on the West African Monsoon. The increase in greenhouse gas explains the northward shift and the strengthening of the monsoon. Its effect is stronger with a sea-ice free Arctic that leads to an increase in North Atlantic temperature and in Sahelian precipitation at the end of the rainy season (September-October). We argue that the decrease in sea-ice extent, in the context of the global warming, may moistens the Sahel during the rainy season by changing the pressure, winds and moisture fluxes at low-level.

  8. Population limitation in a non-cyclic arctic fox population in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Pálsson, Snæbjörn; Hersteinsson, Páll; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester R; Nielsen, Ólafur K

    2016-04-01

    Arctic foxes Vulpes lagopus (L.) display a sharp 3- to 5-year fluctuation in population size where lemmings are their main prey. In areas devoid of lemmings, such as Iceland, they do not experience short-term fluctuations. This study focusses on the population dynamics of the arctic fox in Iceland and how it is shaped by its main prey populations. Hunting statistics from 1958-2003 show that the population size of the arctic fox was at a maximum in the 1950s, declined to a minimum in the 1970s, and increased steadily until 2003. Analysis of the arctic fox population size and their prey populations suggests that fox numbers were limited by rock ptarmigan numbers during the decline period. The recovery of the arctic fox population was traced mostly to an increase in goose populations, and favourable climatic conditions as reflected by the Subpolar Gyre. These results underscore the flexibility of a generalist predator and its responses to shifting food resources and climate changes. PMID:26714829

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

    PubMed

    Swanson, David K

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicken, H.; Lovecraft, A. L.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grand Graversen, Rune

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Recent and Predicted Changes in Pan-Arctic Vegetation Properties and Their Climate Feedback Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goetz, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic surface air temperatures have risen at approximately twice the global rate, generating a range of ecosystem responses and associated climate feedbacks. Well-documented examples include changes in vegetation productivity, fire disturbance, the expansion of woody shrubs into tundra, and associated changes in surface albedo and net surface shortwave radiative forcing. I will briefly review these and other changes across the pan-Arctic domain using a combination of field measurements and satellite remote sensing observations. I will examine the evidence for change that has already occurred and also discuss predictions of likely future ecosystem responses under different climate change scenarios. I will identify research and data needs that would help to resolve discrepancies and disparities that have been reported. In particular I will address the current potential and limitations of vegetation distribution models and the data sets that inform them. Notably, model predictions indicate rapid shifts to larger woody growth-forms, rapid colonization due to long-distance dispersal, and favorable conditions for recruitment following disturbances like tundra fire and permafrost degradation. Future albedo, evapotranspiration and aboveground biomass will change with the redistribution of Arctic vegetation, and the climate feedbacks of these ecosystem changes can be significant. Albedo and net surface shortwave radiation changes will dominate the influence on climate, largely due to the snow masking effects of taller vegetation. The carbon implications of ecosystem change will likely be dominated by processes that influence permafrost thaw vulnerability, but predictions also indicate that vegetation in the Arctic will affect climate primarily as a biophysical medium (i.e. via albedo change). As with thawing permafrost, predicted vegetation changes would exacerbate currently amplified rates of warming. New research efforts focused on the Arctic will address the research

  14. Pan-Svalbard growth rate variability and environmental regulation in the Arctic bivalve Serripes groenlandicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Michael L.; Ambrose, William G.; Levin, Benjamin S.; Locke V, William L.; Henkes, Gregory A.; Hop, Haakon; Renaud, Paul E.

    2011-11-01

    Growth histories contained in the shells of bivalves provide continuous records of environmental and biological information over lifetimes spanning decades to centuries, thereby linking ecosystem responses to both natural and anthropogenic climatic variations over a range of scales. We examined growth rates and temporal growth patterns of 260 individuals of the circumpolar Greenland Smooth Cockle ( Serripes groenlandicus) collected between 1997 and 2009 from 11 sites around the Svalbard Archipelago. These sites encompass a range of oceanographic and environmental conditions, from strongly Atlantic-influenced conditions on the west coast to high-Arctic conditions in northeast Svalbard. Absolute growth was up to three times greater at the most strongly Atlantic-influenced locations compared to the most Arctic-influenced areas, and growth performance was highest at sites closest to the West Spitsbergen Current. We also developed growth chronologies up to 34 years in length extending back to 1974. Standardized growth indices (SGI) exhibited substantial inter-site variability, but there were also common temporal features including steadily increasing growth from the late 1980's to the mid-1990's followed by a marked shift from relatively greater to poorer growth in the mid-1990's and from 2004 to 2008. This pattern was consistent with phase-shifts in large-scale climatic drivers. Interannual variability in SGI was also related to local manifestations of the large-scale drivers, including sea temperature and sea ice extent. The temporal growth pattern at Rijpfjorden, on northeast Svalbard, was broadly representative (R = 0.81) of the entire dataset. While there were site-related differences in the specific relationships between growth and environmental parameters, the aggregated dataset indicated an overriding regional driver of bivalve growth: the Arctic Climate Regime Index (ACRI). These results demonstrate that sclerochronological proxies can be useful retrospective

  15. Arctic tipping points: governance in turbulent times.

    PubMed

    Young, Oran R

    2012-02-01

    Interacting forces of climate change and globalization are transforming the Arctic. Triggered by a non-linear shift in sea ice, this transformation has unleashed mounting interest in opportunities to exploit the region's natural resources as well as growing concern about environmental, economic, and political issues associated with such efforts. This article addresses the implications of this transformation for governance, identifies limitations of existing arrangements, and explores changes needed to meet new demands. It advocates the development of an Arctic regime complex featuring flexibility across issues and adaptability over time along with an enhanced role for the Arctic Council both in conducting policy-relevant assessments and in promoting synergy in interactions among the elements of the emerging Arctic regime complex. The emphasis throughout is on maximizing the fit between the socioecological features of the Arctic and the character of the governance arrangements needed to steer the Arctic toward a sustainable future. PMID:22270707

  16. Chemical change in the arctic vortex during AASE 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Traub, Wesley A.; Jucks, Kenneth W.; Johnson, David G.; Chance, Kelly V.

    1994-01-01

    We measured column abundances of HF, HCl, O3, HNO3, and H2O on the NASA DC-8 during the AASE II campaign, using thermal emission spectroscopy. We made multiple traversals of the Arctic vortex and surroundings. Using HF as a tracer, we remove the effects of subsidence from the measured column abundances; perturbations in the resulting column abundances are attributed to chemical processing. We find that by January 1992 the stratospheric column in the vortex had been chemically depleted by about (55+/-10)% in HCl and (35+/-10)% in O3, and enhanced by about (15+/-10)% in HNO3 and (0+/-10)% in H2O.

  17. Tracking and responding to a changing Arctic sea-ice cover: How ice users can help the scientific community design better observing systems (Louis Agassiz Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicken, Hajo

    2010-05-01

    The Arctic sea-ice cover is undergoing a major transformation, with substantial reductions in summer ice extent reflecting changes in ice thickness, age, and circulation. These changes are impacting Arctic ecosystems and a range of human activities. Anticipating and responding to such impacts, exacerbated by increasing economic activity in parts of the Arctic, requires a foundation of environmental observations and model predictions. Recent increases in industrial activities such as shipping and resource development in parts of the Arctic have further highlighted the need for an integrated observing system. In the case of a changing sea-ice cover, how would one best design and optimize such a system? One of the challenges is to meet the information needs of the scientific community in furthering fundamental understanding of the Arctic system, as well as those of key stakeholders and society, helping them to prepare for and respond to Arctic change. This presentation focuses on how the concept of sea-ice system services, i.e., the uses and benefits (or harm) derived from sea ice, may help guide the implementation of an effective observing system. Principal service categories are (1) sea ice as climate regulator, marine hazard, and coastal buffer; (2) transportation and use of ice as a platform; (3) cultural services obtained from the "icescape"; and (4) support of food webs and biological diversity by sea ice. An analysis of the different ice services provided to different user groups can help prioritize different types of observations and determine optimal measurement strategies. Moreover, the focus on different uses of the ice cover may also help synthesize fundamental and applied research to help Arctic communities adapt in a changing environment. Alaska has experienced some of the most substantial changes in sea-ice conditions throughout the Arctic over the past three decades and is used to illustrate the concepts discussed above. Specifically, we have examined

  18. Changes in forcing factors affecting coastal and shallow water erosion in the future Arctic climate change projections.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrynin, Mikhail; Razumov, Sergey; Brovkin, Victor; Ilyina, Tatiana; Grigoriev, Mikhail

    2016-04-01

    Driving factors of seabed and coastal erosion in the Arctic can be classified as thermal and mechanical. Thermal factors such as air and ocean temperatures affect the seabed and coastal ground temperatures. Mechanical factors such as ocean currents and surface gravity waves contribute to the seabed and costal erosion due to shear stress. Due to polar amplification, the Arctic experiences strong increase in air and water temperature, sea-ice loss and changes in the ocean and atmospheric circulation, temperature and wind distribution. These climatic changes lead to changes in factors driving seabed and coastal erosion, which is expected to accelerate in the shallow Arctic regions such as the Laptev sea and East Siberian sea. In these regions, the coastal line to a large extent consists of frozen rocks, sediments and organic soils including ground ice. The increase of erosion rate of the coastal line will increase the release of organic and inorganic matter from thawed permafrost. Dynamics of thermal and mechanical drivers of seabed and coastal erosion in the present and future climate change (RCP8.5 scenario) simulated by the CMIP5 version of the MPI Earth system model and wave model WAM will be presented. Special attention will be given to changes in the air temperature, wind dynamics and development of new waves system in the ``ice-free'' Arctic and its role in the seabed and coastal erosion.

  19. Monitoring Sea Ice Conditions and Use in Arctic Alaska to Enhance Community Adaptation to Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druckenmiller, M. L.; Eicken, H.

    2010-12-01

    Sea ice changes in the coastal zone, while less conspicuous in relation to the dramatic thinning and retreat of perennial Arctic sea ice, can be more readily linked to local impacts. Shorefast ice is a unique area for interdisciplinary research aimed at improving community adaptation to climate through local-scale environmental observations. Here, geophysical monitoring, local Iñupiat knowledge, and the documented use of ice by the Native hunting community of Barrow, Alaska are combined to relate coastal ice processes and morphologies in the Chukchi Sea to ice stability and community adaption strategies for travel, hunting, and risk assessment. A multi-year effort to map and survey the community’s seasonal ice trails, alongside a detailed record of shorefast ice conditions, provides insight into how hunters evaluate the evolution of ice throughout winter and spring. Various data sets are integrated to relate the annual accretion history of the local ice cover to both measurements of ice thickness and topography and hunter observations of ice types and hazards. By relating changes in the timing of shorefast ice stabilization, offshore ice conditions, and winter wind patterns to ice characteristics in locations where spring bowhead whaling occurs, we are working toward an integrated scientific product compatible with the perspective of local ice experts. A baseline for assessing future change and community climate-related vulnerabilities may not be characterized by single variables, such as ice thickness, but rather by how changes in observable variables manifest in impacts to human activities. This research matches geophysical data to ice-use to establish such a baseline. Documenting human-environment interactions will allow future monitoring to illustrate how strategies for continued community ice-use are indicative of or responsive to change, and potentially capable of incorporating science products as additional sources of useable information.

  20. 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

  1. Factors affecting projected Arctic surface shortwave heating and albedo change in coupled climate models.

    PubMed

    Holland, Marika M; Landrum, Laura

    2015-07-13

    We use a large ensemble of simulations from the Community Earth System Model to quantify simulated changes in the twentieth and twenty-first century Arctic surface shortwave heating associated with changing incoming solar radiation and changing ice conditions. For increases in shortwave absorption associated with albedo reductions, the relative influence of changing sea ice surface properties and changing sea ice areal coverage is assessed. Changes in the surface sea ice properties are associated with an earlier melt season onset, a longer snow-free season and enhanced surface ponding. Because many of these changes occur during peak solar insolation, they have a considerable influence on Arctic surface shortwave heating that is comparable to the influence of ice area loss in the early twenty-first century. As ice area loss continues through the twenty-first century, it overwhelms the influence of changes in the sea ice surface state, and is responsible for a majority of the net shortwave increases by the mid-twenty-first century. A comparison with the Arctic surface albedo and shortwave heating in CMIP5 models indicates a large spread in projected twenty-first century change. This is in part related to different ice loss rates among the models and different representations of the late twentieth century ice albedo and associated sea ice surface state. PMID:26032318

  2. Factors affecting projected Arctic surface shortwave heating and albedo change in coupled climate models

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Marika M.; Landrum, Laura

    2015-01-01

    We use a large ensemble of simulations from the Community Earth System Model to quantify simulated changes in the twentieth and twenty-first century Arctic surface shortwave heating associated with changing incoming solar radiation and changing ice conditions. For increases in shortwave absorption associated with albedo reductions, the relative influence of changing sea ice surface properties and changing sea ice areal coverage is assessed. Changes in the surface sea ice properties are associated with an earlier melt season onset, a longer snow-free season and enhanced surface ponding. Because many of these changes occur during peak solar insolation, they have a considerable influence on Arctic surface shortwave heating that is comparable to the influence of ice area loss in the early twenty-first century. As ice area loss continues through the twenty-first century, it overwhelms the influence of changes in the sea ice surface state, and is responsible for a majority of the net shortwave increases by the mid-twenty-first century. A comparison with the Arctic surface albedo and shortwave heating in CMIP5 models indicates a large spread in projected twenty-first century change. This is in part related to different ice loss rates among the models and different representations of the late twentieth century ice albedo and associated sea ice surface state. PMID:26032318

  3. Arctic and subarctic environmental analyses utilizing ERTS-1 imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. M. (Principal Investigator); Mckim, H. L.; Gatto, L. W.; Haugen, R. K.; Crowder, W. K.; Slaughter, C. W.; Marlar, T. L.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. ERTS-1 imagery provides a means of distinguishing and monitoring estuarine surface water circulation patterns and changes in the relative sediment load of discharging rivers on a regional basis. Physical boundaries mapped from ERTS-1 imagery in combination with ground truth obtained from existing small scale maps and other sources resulted in improved and more detailed maps of permafrost terrain and vegetation for the same area. Snowpack cover within a research watershed has been analyzed and compared to ground data. Large river icings along the proposed Alaska pipeline route from Prudhoe Bay to the Brooks Range have been monitored. Sea ice deformation and drift northeast of Point Barrow, Alaska have been measured during a four day period in March and shore-fast ice accumulation and ablation along the west coast of Alaska have been mapped for the spring and early summer seasons.

  4. Community-driven research on environmental sources of H. pylori infection in arctic Canada

    PubMed Central

    Hastings, Emily V; Yasui, Yutaka; Hanington, Patrick; Goodman, Karen J; Working Group, The CANHelp

    2014-01-01

    The role of environmental reservoirs in H. pylori transmission remains uncertain due to technical difficulties in detecting living organisms in sources outside the stomach. Residents of some Canadian Arctic communities worry that contamination of the natural environment is responsible for the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in the region. This analysis aims to estimate associations between exposure to potential environmental sources of biological contamination and prevalence of H. pylori infection in Arctic Canada. Using data from 3 community-driven H. pylori projects in the Northwest and Yukon Territories, we estimated effects of environmental exposures on H. pylori prevalence, using odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from multilevel logistic regression models to adjust for household and community effects. Investigated exposures include: untreated drinking water; livestock; dogs; cats; mice or mouse droppings in the home; cleaning fish or game. Our analysis did not identify environmental exposures associated clearly with increased H. pylori prevalence, except any exposure to mice or mouse droppings (OR = 4.6, CI = 1.2–18), reported by 11% of participants. Our multilevel models showed H. pylori clustering within households, but environmental exposures accounted for little of this clustering; instead, much of it was accounted for by household composition (especially: having infected household members; number of children). Like the scientific literature on this topic, our results do not clearly implicate or rule out environmental reservoirs of H. pylori; thus, the topic remains a priority for future research. Meanwhile, H. pylori prevention research should seek strategies for reducing direct transmission from person to person. PMID:25483330

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, M.

    2015-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Changes of the Arctic Ice Caps from ICESat and GRACE - A study of mass balance.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    Data from ICESat, compared with GRACE data, were used to estimate the mass balance of the smaller Arctic ice caps on Svalbard, Iceland and the Canadian Arctic from the years 2003-2009. In this study we used the repeat track method to estimate the surface elevation change of the Arctic ice caps from ICESat altimetry. The GRACE mass balance was obtained using a point mass modeling method, which allowed a better separation of the dominant signal from the Greenland Ice Sheet. In the ICESat part of the study we used several different methods for estimating the mass balance. The methods where based on both interpolation and extrapolation of the elevation change estimates over the ice caps, using both parametric and non-parametric approaches. We found that all Arctic ice caps show a consistent negative mass balance from the year 2003-2009. Ranging from -3 to -26 Gt/yr from the ICESat estimates for the different regions, which is in good agreement with the GRACE results. Also found is that the choice of method used for the ICESat analysis can have a significant impact on the mass balance.

  10. Changing seasonality and phenological responses of free-living male arctic ground squirrels: the importance of sex

    PubMed Central

    Sheriff, Michael J.; Richter, Melanie M.; Buck, C. Loren; Barnes, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    Many studies have addressed the effects of climate change on species as a whole; however, few have examined the possibility of sex-specific differences. To understand better the impact that changing patterns of snow-cover have on an important resident Arctic mammal, we investigated the long-term (13 years) phenology of hibernating male arctic ground squirrels living at two nearby sites in northern Alaska that experience significantly different snow-cover regimes. Previously, we demonstrated that snow-cover influences the timing of phenological events in females. Our results here suggest that the end of heterothermy in males is influenced by soil temperature and an endogenous circannual clock, but timing of male emergence from hibernation is influenced by the timing of female emergence. Males at both sites, Atigun and Toolik, end heterothermy on the same date in spring, but remain in their burrows while undergoing reproductive maturation. However, at Atigun, where snowmelt and female emergence occur relatively early, males emerge 8 days earlier than those at Toolik, maintaining a 12-day period between male and female emergence found at each site, but reducing the pre-emergence euthermic period that is critical for reproductive maturation. This sensitivity in timing of male emergence to female emergence will need to be matched by phase shifts in the circannual clock and responsiveness to environmental factors that time the end of heterothermy, if synchrony in reproductive readiness between the sexes is to be preserved in a rapidly changing climate. PMID:23836786

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, Dong L.; Lee, Jae N.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Understanding Pan-Arctic Tundra Vegetation Change Through Long-term Remotely Sensed Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    2014-05-01

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

  16. Changes in Arctic warm and cold spell occurrence during winter and summer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthes, Heidrun; Rinke, Annette; Dethloff, Klaus

    2016-04-01

    In the Arctic, climate change manifests with the strongest warming trends on the globe, especially in the cold season, associated with Arctic Amplification. However, climate change is not restricted to mean temperature but also expresses itself in changes of temperature extremes. It is under debate if climate extremes change similarly strong, and what mechanisms apply. Our study provides detailed regional information about two selected temperature extreme indices in the Arctic, namely warm and cold spells in winter and summer. Both indices detect lasting cold respectively warm periods that are based on extreme temperatures: cold nights as days where the daily minimum temperature is below the 10th percentile of minimum temperatures and warm day times where the daily maximum temperature is above the 90th percentile of maximum temperatures. We analyze the temporal evolution and variability of warm and cold spells from 1979-2013, based on daily station data and the ERA-Interim reanalysis. Calculated trends from both datasets suggest a widespread decrease of cold spells in winter and summer of up to -4 days/decade, with regional patches where trends are statistically significant throughout the Arctic. Winter trends are spatially heterogeneous, the reanalysis also shows small areas with statistically significant increases of cold spells throughout Siberia. Calculated changes in warm spells from both datasets are mostly small throughout the Arctic (below ± 1 day/decade) and statistically not significant. Remarkable exceptions are the Lena river basin in winter with a statistically significant decrease of up to 1.5 days/decade and areas in Scandinavia with statistically significant increases of up to 2.5 days/decade in winter and summer (again from both datasets). Changes in both warm and cold spells may be caused by two separate mechanisms: changes in occurrence of the underlying extremes (changes in the number of cold nights and warm daytimes) or changes in the temporal

  17. 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.

  18. Response of Arctic Ocean stratification to changing river runoff in a column model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nummelin, Aleksi; Li, Camille; Smedsrud, Lars H.

    2015-04-01

    A one-dimensional model of the atmosphere-ice-ocean column is used to study the effects of changing river runoff to the Arctic Ocean. River runoff is the largest contributor of freshwater to the Arctic and is expected to increase as the hydrological cycle accelerates due to global warming. The column model simulates the stratification of the Arctic Ocean reasonably well, capturing important features such as the fresh surface layer, the salty cold halocline, and the temperature maximum within the Atlantic Water layer. The model is run for 500 years with prescribed boundary conditions to reach steady state solutions. Increasing river runoff is found to strengthen the stratification and to produce a fresher and shallower surface mixed layer with warming (up to ˜1°C for a doubling of present-day runoff) in the Atlantic Water layer below. An important consequence is that the effect of the larger vertical temperature gradient is able to balance that of the stronger stratification and yield a close to constant vertical heat flux toward the surface. As a result, the sea ice response is small, showing only slight increase (up to ˜15 cm for a doubling of present-day runoff) in annual mean ice thickness. Limitations of the study include the idealized nature of the column model and uncertainties in the background vertical mixing within the Arctic Ocean.

  19. Recent, unprecedented, arctic ozone losses: climate change or large interannual variability?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieder, H. E.; Polvani, L. M.

    2012-04-01

    The record ozone loss over the Arctic in the spring of 2011 [e.g., Manney et al., 2011] highlights the importance of a detailed understanding of the connection between cold polar temperatures, polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) and column ozone. Several studies have analyzed the empirical relationship between PSC volume (Vpsc) and ozone loss in the Arctic [e.g., Rex et al., 2006], and put forward the hypothesis that the coldest Arctic winters are getting colder and therefore anomalous ozone losses in the Arctic are likely to increase in the coming decades. In the present study we analyze trends and variability in polar temperatures, Vpsc and column ozone, using both reanalysis products (ERA40, MERRA) and numerical model output (from selected models participating in the Chemistry-Climate Model Validation Activity). Beyond considering mean values, we employ a variety of statistical measures for extremes (i.e., high quantiles) in order to identify possible changes in the frequency distribution of polar temperatures and Vpsc, and attempt to determine whether the recent occurrences of record ozone loss are indicative of statistically significant trends or simply a reflection of large natural variability.

  20. Changes in Seasonal Cloud Cover over the Arctic Seas from Satellite and Surface Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schweiger, Axel J.

    2004-01-01

    Winter and spring changes in cloudiness are compared over the arctic seas (ocean areas north of 60 degrees N) from the TOVS (TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder) Polar Pathfinder retrievals and two separate datasets derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). All satellite products exhibit significant decreases in cloud fraction over the arctic seas during winter (December, January, February) on the order of 5 %/ decade. An equally striking increase in spring (March, April, May) cloudiness is evident from the TOVS Pathfinder (TPP) and the extended AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP-x) projects. In the Central Arctic these positive trends can be as large as 15 %/decade. Surface observations from the Russian drifting meteorological stations are consistent with satellite-observed changes during the 1980s. Negative trends in spring cloudiness reported by Comiso [2003] are in conflict with these findings. Spring changes in cloudiness are associated with changes in the atmospheric circulation. These dramatic, large-scale changes may have substantial impacts on the surface energy balance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-26

    Arctic climate is projected to change dramatically in the next 100 years and increases in temperature will likely lead to changes in the distribution and makeup of the Arctic biosphere. A largely deciduous ecosystem has been suggested as a possible landscape for future Arctic vegetation and is seen in paleo-records of warm times in the past. Here we use a global climate model with an interactive terrestrial biosphere to investigate the effects of adding deciduous trees on bare ground at high northern latitudes. We find that the top-of-atmosphere radiative imbalance from enhanced transpiration (associated with the expanded forest cover) is up to 1.5 times larger than the forcing due to albedo change from the forest. Furthermore, the greenhouse warming by additional water vapor melts sea-ice and triggers a positive feedback through changes in ocean albedo and evaporation. Land surface albedo change is considered to be the dominant mechanism by which trees directly modify climate at high-latitudes, but our findings suggest an additional mechanism through transpiration of water vapor and feedbacks from the ocean and sea-ice. PMID:20080628

  2. Environmental changes bridge evolutionary valleys

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, Barrett; Ostermeier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    In the basic fitness landscape metaphor for molecular evolution, evolutionary pathways are presumed to follow uphill steps of increasing fitness. How evolution can cross fitness valleys is an open question. One possibility is that environmental changes alter the fitness landscape such that low-fitness sequences reside on a hill in alternate environments. We experimentally test this hypothesis on the antibiotic resistance gene TEM-15 β-lactamase by comparing four evolutionary strategies shaped by environmental changes. The strategy that included initial steps of selecting for low antibiotic resistance (negative selection) produced superior alleles compared with the other three strategies. We comprehensively examined possible evolutionary pathways leading to one such high-fitness allele and found that an initially deleterious mutation is key to the allele’s evolutionary history. This mutation is an initial gateway to an otherwise relatively inaccessible area of sequence space and participates in higher-order, positive epistasis with a number of neutral to slightly beneficial mutations. The ability of negative selection and environmental changes to provide access to novel fitness peaks has important implications for natural evolutionary mechanisms and applied directed evolution. PMID:26844293

  3. Environmental changes bridge evolutionary valleys.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, Barrett; Ostermeier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    In the basic fitness landscape metaphor for molecular evolution, evolutionary pathways are presumed to follow uphill steps of increasing fitness. How evolution can cross fitness valleys is an open question. One possibility is that environmental changes alter the fitness landscape such that low-fitness sequences reside on a hill in alternate environments. We experimentally test this hypothesis on the antibiotic resistance gene TEM-15 β-lactamase by comparing four evolutionary strategies shaped by environmental changes. The strategy that included initial steps of selecting for low antibiotic resistance (negative selection) produced superior alleles compared with the other three strategies. We comprehensively examined possible evolutionary pathways leading to one such high-fitness allele and found that an initially deleterious mutation is key to the allele's evolutionary history. This mutation is an initial gateway to an otherwise relatively inaccessible area of sequence space and participates in higher-order, positive epistasis with a number of neutral to slightly beneficial mutations. The ability of negative selection and environmental changes to provide access to novel fitness peaks has important implications for natural evolutionary mechanisms and applied directed evolution. PMID:26844293

  4. Greenland Meltwater and Arctic Circulation Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dukhovskoy, D. S.; Proshutinsky, A. Y.; Timmermans, M. L.; Myers, P. G.; Platov, G.

    2015-12-01

    Between 1948 and 1996, wind-driven components of ice drift and surface ocean currents experienced a well-pronounced decadal variability alternating between anticyclonic and cyclonic circulation regimes. During cyclonic regimes, low sea level atmospheric pressure dominated over the Arctic Ocean driving sea ice and the upper ocean clockwise; the Arctic atmosphere was relatively warm and humid and freshwater flux from the Arctic Ocean toward the sub-Arctic seas was intensified. During anticylonic circulation regimes, high sea level pressure dominated over the Arctic driving sea ice and ocean counter-clockwise; the atmosphere was cold and dry and the freshwater flux from the Arctic to the sub-Arctic seas was reduced. Since 1997, however, the Arctic system has been dominated by an anticyclonic circulation regime with a set of environmental parameters that are atypical for these regimes. Of essential importance is to discern the causes and consequences of the apparent break-down in the natural decadal variability of the Arctic climate system, and specifically: Why has the well-pronounced decadal variability observed in the 20th century been replaced by relatively weak interannual changes under anticyclonic circulation regime conditions in the 21st century? 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 Greenland impact environmental conditions and interrupt their decadal variability. In order to test this hypothesis, numerical experiments with several FAMOS (Forum for Arctic Modeling & Observational Synthesis) ice-ocean coupled models have been conducted. In these experiments, Greenland melt freshwater is tracked by passive tracers being constantly released along the Greenland coast. Propagation pathways and time scales of Greenland meltwater within the sub-Arctic seas are discussed.

  5. Environmental change in moorland landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, J.; Shotbolt, L.; Bonn, A.; Burt, T. P.; Chapman, P. J.; Dougill, A. J.; Fraser, E. D. G.; Hubacek, K.; Irvine, B.; Kirkby, M. J.; Reed, M. S.; Prell, C.; Stagl, S.; Stringer, L. C.; Turner, A.; Worrall, F.

    2007-05-01

    Moorlands are unique environments found in uplands of the temperate zone including in the UK, New Zealand and Ireland, and in some high altitude tropical zones such as the Andean páramos. Many have been managed through grazing, burning or drainage practices. However, there are a number of other environmental and social factors that are likely to drive changes in management practice over the next few decades. Some moorlands have been severely degraded and in some countries conservation and restoration schemes are being attempted, particularly to revegetate bare soils. Native or non-native woodland planting may increase in some moorland environments while atmospheric deposition of many pollutants may also vary. Moorland environments are very sensitive to changes in management, climate or pollution. This paper reviews how environmental management change, such as changes in grazing or burning practices, may impact upon moorland processes based on existing scientific understanding. It also reviews the impacts of changes in climate and atmospheric deposition chemistry. The paper focuses on the UK moorlands as a case study of moorland landscapes that are in different states of degradation. Future research that is required to improve our understanding of moorland processes is outlined. The paper shows that there is a need for more holistic and spatial approaches to understanding moorland processes and management. There is also a need to develop approaches that combine understanding of interlinked social and natural processes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiao, Chaoyi; Flanner, Mark G.

    2016-05-01

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

  7. High Arctic paleoenvironmental and Paleoclimatic changes in the Mid-Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrle, Jens; Schröder-Adams, Claudia; Selby, David; Du Vivier, Alice; Flögel, Sascha; McAnena, Alison; Davis, William; Pugh, Adam; Galloway, Jennifer; Hofmann, Peter; Wagner, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Although major progress in Cretaceous (145-66 Ma) paleoclimate and paleoceanography has been made during the last decades (e.g., Hay, 2008, 2011; Föllmi, 2012 and references therein), our knowledge of high latitudinal environmental change remains largely unknown compared to low- and mid-latitude marine and terrestrial environments. Drilling the Arctic Ocean remains challenging and expensive, whereas the Sverdrup Basin provides excellent exposures on land. To fully understand the climate and paleoceanographic dynamics of the warm, equable greenhouse world of the Cretaceous Period it is important to determine polar paleotemperatures and to study paleoceanographic changes in a well-established and continuous bio- and chemostratigraphic context. Exceptional exposures of Cretaceous sediments on the central to southern part of Axel Heiberg Island at a Cretaceous paleolatitude of about 71°N (Tarduno et al., 1998) provide a unique window on the Cretaceous Arctic paleoenvironment and climate history (Schröder-Adams et al., 2014). Here we present high-resolution records combining sedimentological studies, U-Pb zircon geochronology, marine organic carbon isotopes and initial 187Os/188Os data, TEX86-derived sea-surface temperatures (SST) and climate modelling, that constrain the timing and magnitude of major Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs) and climate events constructed from a ~1.8 km sedimentary succession exposed on Axel Heiberg and Ellef Ringnens islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The first high latitude application of initial 187Os/188Os data are agreeable with global profiles (Du Vivier et al., 2014) indicating the widespread magmatic pulse of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (LIP) at the onset of OAE2 but also record the emplacement of local High Arctic LIP prior to the OAE2 in the Sverdrup Basin. Initial SST data suggest a slightly lower meridional temperature gradient during the Middle/Late Albian compared to present and a similar to the present one during

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Terrestrial Arctic Amplification Due to Changes in the Eurasian Soil Thermal Regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frauenfeld, O. W.; Chen, L.; Zhang, T.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic amplification phenomenon suggests that due to feedbacks largely involving sea ice, increases in surface air temperature in response to greenhouse gas forcing are most pronounced in the Arctic. As the Arctic warms in response to climate change, the summer melt season lengthens and intensifies, leading to less sea ice at the end of summer. Absorption of solar radiation during summer in expanding open water areas increases the heat content of the ocean, delaying ice formation and promoting increased upward heat fluxes. Loss of sea ice thus provides a positive feedback that exacerbates the warming observed in the Arctic. The underlying premise of our study is that much like Arctic amplification due to the loss of sea ice, changes in the amount and distribution of frozen ground in Northern Hemisphere land areas represent a terrestrial analog to Arctic amplification. In response to climate warming we are observing increases in soil temperatures, deepening of the active layer, and talik formation in permafrost regions. This leads to delayed freeze-up of soils, decreased freeze depths in seasonally frozen ground regions, and earlier spring thaw. These changes in the soil thermal regime result in more and more heat storage in soils during the warm season, amplifying the frozen ground changes in high latitudes. The increased heat storage in the soil thermal regime results in a seasonal redistribution of energy, which leads to a substantially increased heat flux from the soil to the atmosphere during the cold season. It is this heat flux that represents our hypothesized feedback. We use monthly historical soil temperature observations at 423 station locations in the Eurasian high latitudes combined with soil properties based on the Harmonized World Soil Database to provide estimates of this soil heat flux. We calculate the temperature gradient based on soil temperature and, for a generalized assessment, first use a constant, estimated thermal conductivity for

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Recent changes in pan-Arctic melt onset from satellite passive microwave measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.; Derksen, C.; Brown, R.; Markus, T.

    2013-02-01

    A new satellite passive microwave (PMW) melt onset retrieval algorithm based on temporal variations in the differences of the brightness temperature between 19 and 37 GHz is shown to be as effective as radar (e.g., QuikScat) measurements. The PMW technique shows improved melt estimates that are more closely linked to observed snow-off dates than previous studies. An integrated pan-Arctic (north of 50°N) melt onset date (MOD) dataset is produced by combining estimates on land and sea ice for the entire satellite PMW record. During the 1979-2011 period, significant trends of 2~3 days (decade)-1 to earlier MOD are mainly concentrated over the Eurasian land sector of the Arctic, consistent with changes in spring snow cover extent observed with visible satellite data. The variability and change in melt onset are largely driven by spring surface air temperature, with insignificant influence from low-frequency modes of atmospheric circulation.

  13. Climate change alters the structure of arctic marine food webs due to poleward shifts of boreal generalists

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Climate-driven poleward shifts, leading to changes in species composition and relative abundances, have been recently documented in the Arctic. Among the fastest moving species are boreal generalist fish which are expected to affect arctic marine food web structure and ecosystem functioning substantially. Here, we address structural changes at the food web level induced by poleward shifts via topological network analysis of highly resolved boreal and arctic food webs of the Barents Sea. We detected considerable differences in structural properties and link configuration between the boreal and the arctic food webs, the latter being more modular and less connected. We found that a main characteristic of the boreal fish moving poleward into the arctic region of the Barents Sea is high generalism, a property that increases connectance and reduces modularity in the arctic marine food web. Our results reveal that habitats form natural boundaries for food web modules, and that generalists play an important functional role in coupling pelagic and benthic modules. We posit that these habitat couplers have the potential to promote the transfer of energy and matter between habitats, but also the spread of pertubations, thereby changing arctic marine food web structure considerably with implications for ecosystem dynamics and functioning. PMID:26336179

  14. The atmospheric role in the Arctic water cycle: A review on processes, past and future changes, and their impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vihma, Timo; Screen, James; Tjernström, Michael; Newton, Brandi; Zhang, Xiangdong; Popova, Valeria; Deser, Clara; Holland, Marika; Prowse, Terry

    2016-03-01

    Atmospheric humidity, clouds, precipitation, and evapotranspiration are essential components of the Arctic climate system. During recent decades, specific humidity and precipitation have generally increased in the Arctic, but changes in evapotranspiration are poorly known. Trends in clouds vary depending on the region and season. Climate model experiments suggest that increases in precipitation are related to global warming. In turn, feedbacks associated with the increase in atmospheric moisture and decrease in sea ice and snow cover have contributed to the Arctic amplification of global warming. Climate models have captured the overall wetting trend but have limited success in reproducing regional details. For the rest of the 21st century, climate models project strong warming and increasing precipitation, but different models yield different results for changes in cloud cover. The model differences are largest in months of minimum sea ice cover. Evapotranspiration is projected to increase in winter but in summer to decrease over the oceans and increase over land. Increasing net precipitation increases river discharge to the Arctic Ocean. Over sea ice in summer, projected increase in rain and decrease in snowfall decrease the surface albedo and, hence, further amplify snow/ice surface melt. With reducing sea ice, wind forcing on the Arctic Ocean increases with impacts on ocean currents and freshwater transport out of the Arctic. Improvements in observations, process understanding, and modeling capabilities are needed to better quantify the atmospheric role in the Arctic water cycle and its changes.

  15. Climate change alters the structure of arctic marine food webs due to poleward shifts of boreal generalists.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Climate-driven poleward shifts, leading to changes in species composition and relative abundances, have been recently documented in the Arctic. Among the fastest moving species are boreal generalist fish which are expected to affect arctic marine food web structure and ecosystem functioning substantially. Here, we address structural changes at the food web level induced by poleward shifts via topological network analysis of highly resolved boreal and arctic food webs of the Barents Sea. We detected considerable differences in structural properties and link configuration between the boreal and the arctic food webs, the latter being more modular and less connected. We found that a main characteristic of the boreal fish moving poleward into the arctic region of the Barents Sea is high generalism, a property that increases connectance and reduces modularity in the arctic marine food web. Our results reveal that habitats form natural boundaries for food web modules, and that generalists play an important functional role in coupling pelagic and benthic modules. We posit that these habitat couplers have the potential to promote the transfer of energy and matter between habitats, but also the spread of pertubations, thereby changing arctic marine food web structure considerably with implications for ecosystem dynamics and functioning. PMID:26336179

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Genomics in a changing arctic: critical questions await the molecular ecologist

    SciTech Connect

    Wullschleger, Stan D.; Breen, Amy L.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Olson, Matthew S.; Näsholm, Torgny; Ganeteg, Ulrika; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Weston, David J.

    2015-04-20

    Molecular ecology is poised to tackle a host of interesting questions in the coming years. Of particular importance to the molecular ecologist are new technologies and analytical approaches that provide opportunities to address questions previously unapproachable.The Arctic provides a unique and rapidly changing environment with a suite of emerging research needs that can be addressed through genetics and genomics. Here we highlight recent research on boreal and tundra ecosystems and put forth a series of questions related to plant and microbial responses to climate change that can benefit from technologies and analytical approaches contained within the molecular ecologist's toolbox. These questions include understanding (i) the mechanisms of plant acquisition and uptake of N in cold soils, (ii) how these processes are mediated by root traits, (iii) the role played by the plant microbiome in cycling C and nutrients within high-latitude ecosystems and (iv) plant adaptation to extreme Arctic climates. We highlight how contributions can be made in these areas through studies that target model and nonmodel organisms and emphasize that the sequencing of the Populus and Salix genomes provides a valuable resource for scientific discoveries related to the plant microbiome and plant adaptation in the Arctic. Moreover, there exists an exciting role to play in model development, including incorporating genetic and evolutionary knowledge into ecosystem and Earth System Models. In this regard, the molecular ecologist provides a valuable perspective on plant genetics as a driver for community biodiversity, and how ecological and evolutionary forces govern community dynamics in a rapidly changing climate.

  18. Trophic transfer of contaminants in a changing arctic marine food web: Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, Canada.

    PubMed

    McKinney, Melissa A; McMeans, Bailey C; Tomy, Gregg T; Rosenberg, Bruno; Ferguson, Steven H; Morris, Adam; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2012-09-18

    Contaminant dynamics in arctic marine food webs may be impacted by current climate-induced food web changes including increases in transient/subarctic species. We quantified food web organochlorine transfer in the Cumberland Sound (Nunavut, Canada) arctic marine food web in the presence of transient species using species-specific biomagnification factors (BMFs), trophic magnification factors (TMFs), and a multifactor model that included δ(15)N-derived trophic position and species habitat range (transient versus resident), and also considered δ(13)C-derived carbon source, thermoregulatory group, and season. Transient/subarctic species relative to residents had higher prey-to-predator BMFs of biomagnifying contaminants (1.4 to 62 for harp seal, Greenland shark, and narwhal versus 1.1 to 20 for ringed seal, arctic skate, and beluga whale, respectively). For contaminants that biomagnified in a transient-and-resident food web and a resident-only food web scenario, TMFs were higher in the former (2.3 to 10.1) versus the latter (1.7 to 4.0). Transient/subarctic species have higher tissue contaminant levels and greater BMFs likely due to higher energetic requirements associated with long-distance movements or consumption of more contaminated prey in regions outside of Cumberland Sound. These results demonstrate that, in addition to climate change-related long-range transport/deposition/revolatilization changes, increasing numbers of transient/subarctic animals may alter food web contaminant dynamics. PMID:22957980

  19. AON observations in the Eurasian and Makarov Basins target changes in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polyakov, I.; Ivanov, V.; Rember, R.; Pnyushkov, A.; Alexeev, V. A.; Alkire, M. B.; Morison, J.; Ashik, I. M.

    2014-12-01

    The pan-Arctic boundary current provides the largest input of water, heat, and salt into the Arctic Ocean. Recent observations captured strong changes in the Eurasian and Makarov basins (EMB); understanding the transition requires tracing the intensity of this major subsurface transport system. Responding to urgent needs for a long-term observation system for understanding rapid high-latitude climate change, an EMB observational network is implemented as an element of the Arctic Observing Network (AON). The overarching goal of this AON program is to compile a cohesive picture of the state and transformations of water masses (particularly, Atlantic Water, AW) in the EMB. NABOS (=Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational System) was the predecessor of this AON program. Observations provided by the program were critical for understanding the large-scale structure and temporal variability of an oceanic boundary current. Fourteen years long observations were instrumental for documenting all stages of the AW warming providing evidence for the anomalous state of the ocean in the 2000s. For example, the prevailing anticyclonic circulation in 2008-10 over the central Laptev Sea slope was documented — a deviation from the classical shallow-to-right circulation paradigm. This program naturally complements the existing AON infrastructure in a synergistic way working hand-in-hand with other elements of the AON, which is vital for interpreting and assessing polar climate change.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Delivering Global Environmental Change Science Through Documentary Film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. Recent changes in Arctic temperature extremes: warm and cold spells during winter and summer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthes, Heidrun; Rinke, Annette; Dethloff, Klaus

    2015-11-01

    In the Arctic, climate change manifests with the strongest warming trends on the globe, especially in the cold season. It is under debate if climate extremes change similarly strong. Our study provides detailed regional information about two selected temperature extreme indices in the Arctic, namely warm and cold spells in winter and summer. We analyze their temporal evolution and variability from 1979-2013, based on daily station data and ERA-Interim reanalysis. Calculated trends from both datasets suggest a widespread decrease of cold spells in winter and summer of up to -4 days/decade, with regional patches where trends are statistically significant throughout the Arctic. Winter trends are spatially heterogeneous, the reanalysis also shows small areas with statistically significant increases of cold spells throughout Siberia. Calculated changes in warm spells from both datasets are mostly small throughout the Arctic (less than ±1 day/decade) and statistically not significant. Remarkable exceptions are the Lena river basin in winter with a statistically significant decrease of up to -1.5 days/decade and areas in Scandinavia with statistically significant increases of up to 2.5 days/decade in winter and summer (again from both datasets). From the analysis of spell lengths, we find that there are no shifts from longer to shorter spells or vice versa with time, but long cold spells (events lasting for more than 15 days) disappear almost completely after the year 2000. There is a distinct inter-annual and decadal variability in the spells, which hinders the detection of significant trends for all spell categories in all regions.

  3. Changes in the Arctic Ocean CO2 sink (1996-2007): A regional model analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manizza, M.; Follows, M. J.; Dutkiewicz, S.; Menemenlis, D.; Hill, C. N.; Key, R. M.

    2013-12-01

    The rapid recent decline of Arctic Ocean sea ice area increases the flux of solar radiation available for primary production and the area of open water for air-sea gas exchange. We use a regional physical-biogeochemical model of the Arctic Ocean, forced by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research atmospheric reanalysis, to evaluate the mean present-day CO2 sink and its temporal evolution. During the 1996-2007 period, the model suggests that the Arctic average sea surface temperature warmed by 0.04°C a-1, that sea ice area decreased by ˜0.1 × 106 km2 a-1, and that the biological drawdown of dissolved inorganic carbon increased. The simulated 1996-2007 time-mean Arctic Ocean CO2 sink is 58 ± 6 Tg C a-1. The increase in ice-free ocean area and consequent carbon drawdown during this period enhances the CO2 sink by ˜1.4 Tg C a-1, consistent with estimates based on extrapolations of sparse data. A regional analysis suggests that during the 1996-2007 period, the shelf regions of the Laptev, East Siberian, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas experienced an increase in the efficiency of their biological pump due to decreased sea ice area, especially during the 2004-2007 period, consistent with independently published estimates of primary production. In contrast, the CO2 sink in the Barents Sea is reduced during the 2004-2007 period due to a dominant control by warming and decreasing solubility. Thus, the effect of decreasing sea ice area and increasing sea surface temperature partially cancel, though the former is dominant.

  4. Past, Present, and Future: A Science Program for the Arctic Ocean Linking Ancient and Contemporary Observations of Change Through Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coakley, Bernard; Edmonds, Henrietta N.; Frey, Karen; Gascard, Jean-Claude; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Kassens, Heidemarie; Thiede, Jörn; Wegner, Carolyn

    2007-07-01

    A follow-up to the 2nd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning, 19-21 November 2007, Potsdam, Germany The Arctic Ocean is the missing piece for any global model. Records of processes at both long and short timescales will be necessary to predict the future evolution of the Arctic Ocean through what appears to be a period of rapid climate change. Ocean monitoring is impoverished without the long-timescale records available from paleoceanography and the boundary conditions that can be obtained from marine geology and geophysics. The past and the present are the key to our ability to predict the future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Regional shoreline change and coastal erosion hazards in Arctic Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Regional shoreline change and coastal erosion hazards in Arctic Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gibbs, A.E.; Harden, E.L.; Richmond, B.M.; Erikson, L.H.

    2011-01-01

    Historical shoreline positions along the mainland Beaufort Sea coast of Alaska were digitized and analyzed to determine the long-term rate of change. Average shoreline change rates and ranges from 1947 to the mid-2000s were determined every 50 meters between Barrow and Demarcation Point, at the U.S.-Canadian border. Results show that shoreline change rates are highly variable along the coast, with an average regional shoreline change rate of-2.0 m/yr and localized rates of up to -19 m/yr. The highest erosion rates were observed at headlands, points, and associated with breached thermokarst lakes. Areas of accretion were limited, and generally associated with spit extension and minor beach accretion. In general, erosion rates increase from east to west, with overall higher rates east of Harrison Bay. ?? 2011 ASCE.

  8. The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) is a nonprofit membership organization composed of universities and institutions that have a substantial commitment to research in the Arctic. ARCUS was formed in 1988 to serve as a forum for planning, facilitating, coordinating, and implementing interdisciplinary studies of the Arctic; to act as a synthesizer and disseminator of scientific information on arctic research; and to educate scientists and the general public about the needs and opportunities for research in the Arctic. ARCUS, in collaboration with the broader science community, relevant agencies and organizations, and other stakeholders, coordinates science planning and educational activities across disciplinary and organizational boundaries. Examples of ARCUS projects include: - Arctic Sea Ice Outlook - an international effort that provides monthly summer reports synthesizing community estimates of the expected sea ice minimum. - Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook - a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others that provides weekly reports with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in Alaska waters. - PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) - a program whereby K-12 educators and researchers work together in hands-on field experiences in the Arctic and Antarctic to advance polar science education. - ArcticInfo mailing list, Witness the Arctic newsletter, and the Arctic Calendar - communication tools for the arctic science community to keep apprised of relevant news, meetings, and announcements. - Coordination for the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program, which aims to provide scientific understanding of arctic environmental change to help society understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic.

  9. The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, S. E.; Wiggins, H. V.; Creek, K. R.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) is a nonprofit membership organization composed of universities and institutions that have a substantial commitment to research in the Arctic. Founded in 1988 to serve as a forum for advancing interdisciplinary studies of the Arctic, ARCUS synthesizes and disseminates scientific information on arctic research and educates scientists and the general public about the needs and opportunities for research in the Arctic. ARCUS works closely with national and international stakeholders in advancing science planning and educational activities across disciplinary and organizational boundaries. Examples of ARCUS projects include: - Arctic Sea Ice Outlook - an international effort that provides monthly summer reports synthesizing community estimates of the expected sea ice minimum. - Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook - a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others that provides weekly reports with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in Alaska waters. - PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) - a program for K-12 educators and researchers to work together in hands-on field experiences in the Arctic and Antarctic to advance polar science education. - ArcticInfo mailing list, Witness the Arctic newsletter, and the Arctic Calendar - communication tools for the arctic community to keep apprised of relevant news, meetings, and announcements. - Project Office for the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program, which aims to provide scientific understanding of arctic environmental change to help society understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic. More information about these and other ARCUS activities can be found at the ARCUS website at: http://www.arcus.org.

  10. The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creek, K. R.; Fox, S. E.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) is a nonprofit membership organization composed of universities and institutions that have a substantial commitment to research in the Arctic. Founded in 1988 to serve as a forum for advancing interdisciplinary studies of the Arctic, ARCUS synthesizes and disseminates scientific information on arctic research and educates scientists and the general public about the needs and opportunities for research in the Arctic. ARCUS works closely with national and international stakeholders in advancing science planning and educational activities across disciplinary and organizational boundaries. Examples of ARCUS projects include: - Arctic Sea Ice Outlook - an international effort that provides monthly summer reports synthesizing community estimates of the expected sea ice minimum. - Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook - a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others that provides weekly reports with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in Alaska waters. - PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) - a program for K-12 educators and researchers to work together in hands-on field experiences in the Arctic and Antarctic to advance polar science education. - ArcticInfo mailing list, Witness the Arctic newsletter, and the Arctic Calendar - communication tools for the arctic community to keep apprised of relevant news, meetings, and announcements. - Project Office for the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program, which aims to provide scientific understanding of arctic environmental change to help society understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic. More information about these and other ARCUS activities can be found at the ARCUS website at: http://www.arcus.org.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Inter-model diversity in jet stream changes and its relation to Arctic climate in CMIP5

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yim, Bo Young; Min, Hong Sik; Kug, Jong-Seong

    2016-07-01

    We examined how coupled general circulation models (CGCMs) simulate changes in the jet stream differently under greenhouse warming, and how this inter-model diversity is related to the simulated Arctic climate changes by analyzing the simulation of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5. Although the jet stream in the multi-model ensemble mean shifts poleward, a considerable diversity exists among the 34 CGCMs. We found that inter-model differences in zonal wind responses, especially in terms of meridional shift of the midlatitude jet, are highly dependent on Arctic surface warming and lower stratospheric cooling. Specifically, the midlatitude jet tends to shift relatively equatorward (poleward) in the models with stronger (weaker) Arctic surface warming, whereas the jet tends to shift relatively poleward (equatorward) in the models with stronger (weaker) Arctic lower stratospheric cooling.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gutowski, William J.

    2013-02-07

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

  17. Modeling the Response of Arctic Vegetation to Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, E. S.; Snyder, P. K.

    2009-12-01

    An increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is contributing to planetary warming that is strongest over high latitude land areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and strong warming have led to changes in vegetation distribution, permafrost depth, and snow cover, which significantly affect the interactions between the terrestrial ecosystem and the climate through biophysical and biogeochemical processes. With a continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions and additional warming in the high latitudes, uncertainty exists as to how the Arctic biosphere will respond in the coming decades and whether Arctic ecosystems will remain a carbon sink or instead become a source of carbon to the atmosphere. Elevated carbon dioxide and climate change can affect vegetation growth through changing the assimilation of carbon dioxide and the respiration of carbon from the vegetation and soil. Using a dynamic global vegetation model, the Integrated BIosphere Simulator Model (IBIS), potential changes in both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes of Arctic vegetation were analyzed to determine how future climate change and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide may alter their functioning and ability to store carbon. High latitude regions were modeled using a variety of temperature, precipitation, and carbon dioxide scenarios. Changes in gross and net primary production, net ecosystem exchange, soil carbon, soil respiration, leaf area index, and biomass content were analyzed. Under high levels of carbon dioxide, net primary production increased at a greater rate than high levels of warming. Soil carbon decreased dramatically with high levels of warming as soil respiration increased, but soil carbon increased with higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide as the vegetation fixed more carbon. Net primary production also increased in scenarios with elevated precipitation. The results from the combined scenarios of climate and atmospheric carbon

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  19. Arctic Climate Change Analysed By Two 30-year Scenario Regional Climate Model Runs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiilsholm, S.; Christensen, J. H.

    High-resolution climate change simulations for an area covering the entire Arctic have been conducted with the regional climate model (RCM) HIRHAM. The emission sce- narios used were the IPCC SRES1 marker scenarios A2 and B2. Three 30-year time slice experiments were conducted with HIRHAM for periods representing present-day (1961-1990) and the future (2071-2100) in the two scenarios. Changes of the climate between these two periods will be presented with special emphasize on the climate of Greenland.

  20. Late Holocene sea-level change in Arctic Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnett, Robert L.; Gehrels, W. Roland; Charman, Dan J.; Saher, Margot H.; Marshall, William A.

    2015-01-01

    Relative sea-level data from the pre-industrial era are required for validating geophysical models of glacio-isostatic adjustment as well as for testing models used to make sea-level predictions based on future climate change scenarios. We present the first late Holocene (past ˜3300 years) relative sea-level reconstruction for northwestern Norway based on investigations in South Hinnøya in the Vesterålen - Lofoton archipelago. Sea-level changes are reconstructed from analyses of salt-marsh and estuarine sediments and the micro-organisms (foraminifera and testate amoebae) preserved within. The 'indicative meaning' of the microfauna is established from their modern distributions. Records are dated by radiocarbon, 201Pb, 137Cs and chemostratigraphical analyses. Our results show a continuous relative sea-level decline of 0.7-0.9 mm yr-1 for South Hinnøya during the late Holocene. The reconstruction extends the relative sea-level trend recorded by local tide gauge data which is only available for the past ˜25 years. Our reconstruction demonstrates that existing models of shoreline elevations and GIA overpredict sea-level positions during the late Holocene. We suggest that models might be adjusted in order to reconcile modelled and reconstructed sea-level changes and ultimately improve understanding of GIA in Fennoscandia.

  1. Recent changes in the multi-year ice area budget of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Stephen; Pizzolato, Larissa; Derksen, Chris; Brady, Michael

    2014-05-01

    The Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) is intricate collection of islands and channels located on the North American continental shelf. The deep-water route of the North West Passage crosses through the CAA near 75°N connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The major challenge to safe navigation of the North West Passage is the presence of multi-year sea ice (MYI). In recent years, MYI conditions within the CAA during September have begun to decrease considerably with 2011 and 2012 being the lightest MYI years on record since 1968. Recent light MYI years within the CAA are associated with recent openings of the North West Passage (i.e. 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012). MYI within the CAA is either imported from the Arctic Ocean or grown in situ and therefore in order to understand the processes contributing to these recent reductions in September MYI within the CAA we derived the first estimates of the MYI area budget of the CAA using RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 imagery from 1997-2012. Overall, there has been a reduced amount of Arctic Ocean MYI inflow into the CAA during the summer months since 2007. The latter process can be attributed to more frequent high sea level pressure anomalies over the Beaufort Sea and Canadian Basin. The amount of MYI grown in situ within the CAA has also reduced because of longer melt seasons reducing the survivability of seasonal ice over. MYI outflow to Baffin Bay from the CAA has been relatively consistent over the period. Interestingly, the recent reduced amount of MYI within the CAA, particularly noticeable since 2007, was found to be quantitatively linked with a step change increase in observed Arctic marine shipping activity following the dramatic summer sea ice reductions that began in 2007.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alley, R. B.

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Last Decade of Changes in Ground Temperature and Active Layer Thickness in the High Canadian Arctic and in Barrow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romanovsky, V. E.; Cable, W.; Walker, D. A.; Yoshikawa, K.; Marchenko, S. S.

    2013-12-01

    -45 cm from the ground surface in 2005. Increase in the active layer beyond this depth triggered the melting of the upper part of the ice wedges and widespread ground settlement at this location. In our presentation we will report on the observed changes in local topography in relation to changes in ground temperature and ALT at all three mentioned sites. In 2001, a Permafrost Observatory was also established within the Barrow Environmental Observatory in Barrow, Alaska under the auspices of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Since 2001, permafrost temperature at this depth increased by 0.5°C. Most of this increase happened after 2005. A site-specific numerical model for the Barrow permafrost temperature regime was developed in the GI Permafrost Lab. The daily air temperatures and snow cover thickness during the entire period of measurements (1924-2013) at the Barrow meteorological station were used as input data. Analysis of the resulting time series will be used in this presentation to reveal the effect of changes in air temperature and in snow depth on permafrost temperature and on the active layer thickness. This will help to put our decade-long observations along NAAT into a longer time perspective.

  4. 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.

  5. Disappearing Arctic Tundra Ponds: Assessing 60 Years of Change in the Barrow Peninsula, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, C.; Lougheed, V.

    2012-12-01

    Decadal hydrological changes of closed-basin tundra ponds in continuous permafrost fills a missing gap in arctic fresh water research. Furthermore, the lack of historic datasets and high resolution historical imagery adds to the challenge of understanding the long-term trends of these ecosystems. Given the dominance of these aquatic ecosystems in the Arctic landscape, documenting hydrological changes is important to understand carbon and energy balance, trophic energy flow, and biodiversity. We utilized historic aerial imagery from USGS archives of 1948 and modern high-resolution Quickbird imagery from 2008 to assess areal changes in arctic ponds over the past 60 years. Object-oriented classification was used to extract the areal extent of ponds and validated using a combination of ground-based measurements such as Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) and Differential Geographic Positioning System (DGPS). A total of 1120 ponds in different drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) distributed across the Barrow Peninsula were assessed. Analysis indicated a decline in total pond area and a decrease of 36% in the number of ponds, with change more pronounced in smaller ponds (<100m2). Aquatic plant cover data collected over a 40 year period (1970-2012) indicate that expansion of vegetation into the ponds may be a primary mechanism whereby ponds may experience infilling. Other mechanisms may include increased evaporation due to warmer and longer summers, transpiration from encroaching aquatic grasses and changes in precipitation patterns. However, images from additional years will be analyzed to separate out the roles of these variables on inter- versus intra-annual variability in pond surface area.

  6. Late Holocene Climate Change Inferred From Varved Proglacial Lake Sediments on Northeastern Baffin Island, Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, E. K.; Briner, J. P.; Axford, Y.

    2007-12-01

    The Arctic has a disproportionately large response to changes in radiative forcing of climate, and glaciers and arctic lacustrine ecosystems respond sensitively to these changes. Lacustrine ecosystems throughout the Arctic are undergoing rapid regime shifts, including dramatically increased primary productivity and changing aquatic floral and faunal assemblages. Our work on organic lake sediments from northeast Baffin Island shows a large increase in primary productivity, changes in insect (Chironomidae) assemblages including the disappearance of cold stenotherms, and a rise in chironomid-inferred summer water temperatures of at least 1.5°C over the past 50 years, reaching temperatures that were unprecedented in the past 5000 years. Here, we pursue the use of varve thickness, an abiotic temperature proxy, to expand our understanding of late Holocene temperature changes on northeast Baffin Island. We obtained a 14C- and 239+240Pu-dated surface core/percussion core pair from a proglacial lake. Together these cores span > 8000 years and the sediments are varved, as verified by the 239+240Pu analysis, for at least the past 700 years. Magnetic susceptibility was high during the early Holocene, decreased to near-zero values during the mid-Holocene and increased during the past 2500 years to reach the highest values seen in the record around 1000 years ago. Loss-on- ignition had an opposite trend, with the highest values in the mid-Holocene. Sedimentation rate was constant during most of the Holocene (0.03 cm yr -1) and increased during the past 1000 years to 0.05 cm yr -1. These parameters indicate that following the absence of an active glacier during the middle Holocene, glacier activity initiated ~2500 years ago and reached peak activity over the last 1000 years. Our ongoing work to obtain a varve-thickness record for at least the last 700 years, and its calibration to a nearby weather station, will be presented.

  7. 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

  8. Understanding of the atmospheric methane evolution and change over the last 30 years with focus on the Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Platt, Stephen; Myhre, Cathrine Lund; Dalsoren, Stig; Hermansen, Ove; Myhre, Gunnar

    2015-04-01

    The methane (CH4) concentration is increasing in the atmosphere, both globally and in the Arctic region since ~2005. The explanation to this is currently not well understood. There are huge reservoirs of CH4 in the Arctic; both methane hydrates in seabed sediments, and organic material in land- and marine-based permafrost which can be partly converted to CH4 after permafrost thaw. Both are vulnerable to destabilization in a warming climate. The Arctic Ocean surface waters may also represent a potentially important source of CH4, which may be sensitive to changes in sea-ice cover. Previous studies show strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming from Arctic methane emissions. Final results from the GAME project (Causes and effects of Global and Arctic changes in the MEthane budget), and first results from the MOCA project (Methane Emissions from the Arctic OCean to the Atmosphere: Present and Future Climate Effects: http://moca.nilu.no) will be presented. One goal of these studies is to improve the understanding on how emissions in different regions, transport and chemical processes contribute to observed changes in atmospheric methane distribution the last 40 years, with particular focus on the Arctic, including CH4 emissions from the ocean like the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. The work is an integrated study combining new measurements at Zeppelin Observatory, Svalbard, analysis of existing and ongoing methane observations and other relevant species, and Chemical Transport Modelling (CTM). The Oslo CTM3 model is used to calculate distribution and changes over the last 40 years. The study include evaluation of different methane sources and source regions, and chemical processes affecting OH distribution and changes, including changes in anthropogenic and natural emissions from different sources. The Norwegian Research council through the project GAME (Causes and effects of Global and Arctic changes in the MEthane budget), and MOCA (Methane Emissions from

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bock, Judith K.

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Matthiesen, Henning; Møller, Anders Bjørn; Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Elberling, Bo

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average with overlooked consequences for the preservation of the rich cultural and environmental records that have been stored for millennia in archaeological deposits. In this article, we investigate the oxic degradation of different types of organic archaeological deposits located in different climatic zones in West and South Greenland. The rate of degradation is investigated based on measurements of O2 consumption, CO2 production and heat production at different temperatures and water contents. Overall, there is good consistency between the three methods. However, at one site the, O2 consumption is markedly higher than the CO2 production, highlighting the importance of combining several measures when assessing the vulnerability of organic deposits. The archaeological deposits are highly vulnerable to degradation regardless of age, depositional and environmental conditions. Degradation rates of the deposits are more sensitive to increasing temperatures than natural soils and the process is accompanied by a high microbial heat production that correlates significantly with their total carbon content. We conclude that organic archaeology in the Arctic is facing a critical challenge that requires international action. PMID:27356878

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

    PubMed Central

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Matthiesen, Henning; Møller, Anders Bjørn; Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Elberling, Bo

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average with overlooked consequences for the preservation of the rich cultural and environmental records that have been stored for millennia in archaeological deposits. In this article, we investigate the oxic degradation of different types of organic archaeological deposits located in different climatic zones in West and South Greenland. The rate of degradation is investigated based on measurements of O2 consumption, CO2 production and heat production at different temperatures and water contents. Overall, there is good consistency between the three methods. However, at one site the, O2 consumption is markedly higher than the CO2 production, highlighting the importance of combining several measures when assessing the vulnerability of organic deposits. The archaeological deposits are highly vulnerable to degradation regardless of age, depositional and environmental conditions. Degradation rates of the deposits are more sensitive to increasing temperatures than natural soils and the process is accompanied by a high microbial heat production that correlates significantly with their total carbon content. We conclude that organic archaeology in the Arctic is facing a critical challenge that requires international action. PMID:27356878

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Matthiesen, Henning; Møller, Anders Bjørn; Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Elberling, Bo

    2016-06-01

    The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average with overlooked consequences for the preservation of the rich cultural and environmental records that have been stored for millennia in archaeological deposits. In this article, we investigate the oxic degradation of different types of organic archaeological deposits located in different climatic zones in West and South Greenland. The rate of degradation is investigated based on measurements of O2 consumption, CO2 production and heat production at different temperatures and water contents. Overall, there is good consistency between the three methods. However, at one site the, O2 consumption is markedly higher than the CO2 production, highlighting the importance of combining several measures when assessing the vulnerability of organic deposits. The archaeological deposits are highly vulnerable to degradation regardless of age, depositional and environmental conditions. Degradation rates of the deposits are more sensitive to increasing temperatures than natural soils and the process is accompanied by a high microbial heat production that correlates significantly with their total carbon content. We conclude that organic archaeology in the Arctic is facing a critical challenge that requires international action.

  15. Automated Mapping of Rapid Arctic Ocean Coastal Change Over Large Spans of Time and Geography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hulslander, D.

    2012-12-01

    While climate change is global in scope, its impacts vary greatly from region to region. The dynamic Arctic Ocean coastline often shows greater sensitivity to climate change and more obvious impacts. Current longer ice-free conditions, rising sea level, thawing permafrost, and melting of larger ice bodies combine to produce extremely rapid coastal change and erosion. Anderson et al. (2009; Geology News) have measured erosion rates at sites along the Alaskan Arctic Ocean coast of 15 m per year and greater. Completely understanding coastal change in the Arctic requires mapping both current erosional regimes as well as changes in erosional rates over several decades. Studying coastal change and trends in the Arctic, however, presents several significant difficulties. The study area is enormous, with over 45,000 km of coastline; it is also one of the most remote, inaccessible, and hostile environments on Earth. Moreover, the region has little to no historical data from which to start. Thus, any study of the area must be able to construct its own baseline. Remote sensing offers the best solution given these difficulties. Spaceborne platforms allow for regular global coverage at temporal and spatial scales sufficient for mapping coastal erosion and deposition. The Landsat family of instruments (MSS, TM, and ETM) has data available as frequently as every 16 days and starting as early as 1972. The data are freely available from the USGS through earthexplorer.usgs.gov and are well calibrated both geometrically and spectrally, eliminating expensive pre-processing steps and making them analysis-ready. Finally, because manual coastline delineation of the quantity of data involved would be prohibitive in both budget and labor, an automated processing chain must be used. ENVI Feature Extraction can provide results in line with those generated by expert analysts (Hulslander, et al., 2008; GEOBIA 2008 Proceedings). Previous studies near Drew Point, Alaska have shown that feature

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Altered atmospheric circulation, reductions in Arctic sea ice, ocean warming, and changes in evaporation and transpiration are driving changes in the global hydrologic cycle. Precipitation isotopic (δ(18)O and δ(2)H) measurements can help provide a mechanistic understanding of hydrologic change at global and regional scales. To study the changing water cycle in the northeastern US, we examined the longest (1968-2010) record of precipitation isotope values, collected at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, US (43(°)56'N, 71(°)45'W). We found a significant reduction in δ(18)O and δ(2)H values over the 43-year record, coupled with a significant increase in d-excess values. This gradual reduction in δ(18)O and δ(2)H values unexpectedly occurred during a period of regional warming. We provide evidence that these changes are governed by the interactions among the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, loss of Arctic sea ice, the fluctuating jet stream, and regular incursions of polar air into the northeastern US. PMID:26971874

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Wenxia; LeDrew, Ellsworth

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Altered atmospheric circulation, reductions in Arctic sea ice, ocean warming, and changes in evaporation and transpiration are driving changes in the global hydrologic cycle. Precipitation isotopic (δ18O and δ2H) measurements can help provide a mechanistic understanding of hydrologic change at global and regional scales. To study the changing water cycle in the northeastern US, we examined the longest (1968–2010) record of precipitation isotope values, collected at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, US (43o56′N, 71o45′W). We found a significant reduction in δ18O and δ2H values over the 43-year record, coupled with a significant increase in d-excess values. This gradual reduction in δ18O and δ2H values unexpectedly occurred during a period of regional warming. We provide evidence that these changes are governed by the interactions among the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, loss of Arctic sea ice, the fluctuating jet stream, and regular incursions of polar air into the northeastern US. PMID:26971874

  20. 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.

  1. Environmental controls on the 2H/1H values of terrestrial leaf waxes in the eastern Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanahan, Timothy M.; Hughen, Konrad A.; Ampel, Linda; Sauer, Peter E.; Fornace, Kyrstin

    2013-10-01

    The hydrogen isotope composition of plant waxes preserved in lacustrine sediments is a potentially valuable tool for reconstructing paleoenvironmental changes in the Arctic. However, in contrast to the mid- and low-latitudes, significantly less effort has been directed towards understanding the factors controlling D/H fractionation in high latitude plant waxes and the impact of these processes on the interpretation of sedimentary leaf wax δD records. To better understand these processes, we examined the D/H ratios of long chain fatty acids in lake surface sediments spanning a temperature and precipitation gradient on Baffin Island in the eastern Canadian Arctic. D/H ratios of plant waxes increase with increasing temperature and aridity, with values ranging from -240‰ to -160‰ over the study area. Apparent fractionation factors between n-alkanoic acids in Arctic lake sediments and precipitation(εFA-ppt) are less negative than those of mid-latitude lakes and modern plants by 25‰ to 65‰, consistent with n-alkane data from modern Arctic plants (Yang et al., 2011). Furthermore, εFA-ppt values from Arctic lakes become systematically more positive with increasing evaporation, in contrast to mid-latitude sites, which show little to no change in fractionation with aridity. These data are consistent with enhanced water loss and isotope fractionation at higher latitude in the Arctic summer, when continuous sunlight supports increased daily photosynthesis. The dominant control on δDFA variations on Baffin Island is temperature. However, changing εFA-ppt result in steeper δDFA-temperature relationships than observed for modern precipitation. The application of this δDFA-based paleotemperature calibration to existing δDFA records from Baffin Island produces much more realistic changes in late Holocene temperature and highlights the importance of these effects in influencing the interpretation of Arctic δDFA records. A better understanding of the controls on

  2. Potential NEE Budget and Prediction of Future Emissions under Climate Change in an Arctic Wet Sedge Tundra, Barrow, Alaska .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalhori, A. A. M.; Oechel, W. C.; Burba, G. G.; Gioli, B.; Zona, D.; Murphy, P.; Goodrich, J. P.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are critically affected by climate change and also play an important role in the global carbon budget. Presented here is a 14-year study of growing season CO2 fluxes in an Alaskan wet sedge tundra ecosystem -which is about 2 km south of the Arctic Ocean and is adjacent to the NOAA Climate Monitoring & Diagnostic Laboratory (CMDL)- and the key environmental controls on these fluxes. We have measured net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) using the eddy covariance technique from 1998 to 2014 in order to quantify the long-term seasonal and inter-annual variability in the CO2 budget over this period. The WPL correction and the surface heating correction were applied to all CO2 flux data from the open-path instrument (Burba et al., 2008). Despite several gaps in measurement years, we found that growing season net CO2 uptake has significantly increased since the 2000s and that NEE is sensitive to dry conditions in tundra. Our data suggest this increase in CO2 uptake (larger than -6 μmol m-2 s-1) occurred during the initial thawing period and during the June-August growing season. However, there is a decreasing trend in total summer uptake beginning in 2011, continuing until the end of 2014. The mean diurnal pattern for the summer period over the course of 14 years (Figure below), indicates inter-annual variability associated with the key environmental controls on these CO2 fluxes. Monthly trends in Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), net radiation, relative humidity as well as air temperature and soil temperature have consistently simultaneous effects on the variation in NEE. More significant effect of PAR than temperature on summer NEE had been observed for the first period of this study, however our ANOVA, multiple regression and t-test results showed a stronger effect of temperature than PAR in the recent years assuming that Arctic warming will be greater than average global warming. Also the diurnal pattern shows that the maximum daily carbon

  3. Exploring Environmental Change: An Environmental Education Kit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Jean; And Others

    This educational resource kit consists of five illustrated panels and the Teacher/Leader Guide. The five illustrations show a camp setting over a time sequence from the 1940s or 1950s through 1986. Each panel illustrates the speed and the causes of change, showing the addition of factories across the camp lake; alteration, razing, and building of…

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Potential impacts of climate change on infectious diseases in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Alan J; Butler, Jay C

    2005-12-01

    Climate change could cause changes in the incidence of infectious diseases in Arctic regions. Higher ambient temperatures in the Arctic may result in an increase in some temperature sensitive foodborne diseases such as gastroenteritis, paralytic shellfish poisoning and botulism. An increase in mean temperature may also influence the incidence of infectious diseases of animals that are spread to humans (zoonoses) by changing the population and range of animal hosts and insect vectors. An increase in flooding events may result in outbreaks of waterborne infection, such as Giardia lamblia or Cryptospordium parvum. A change in rodent and fox populations may result in an increase in rabies or echinococcosis. Temperature and humidity influence the distribution and density of many arthropod vectors which in turn may influence the incidence and northern range of vectorborne diseases such as West Nile virus. Recommendations include: the strenghtening of public health systems, disease surveillance coordinated with climate monitoring, and research into the detection, prevention, control and treatment of temperature-sensitive infectious diseases. PMID:16440610

  6. Genomics in a changing arctic: critical questions await the molecular ecologist

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wullschleger, Stan D.; Breen, Amy L.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Olson, Matthew S.; Näsholm, Torgny; Ganeteg, Ulrika; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Weston, David J.

    2015-04-20

    Molecular ecology is poised to tackle a host of interesting questions in the coming years. Of particular importance to the molecular ecologist are new technologies and analytical approaches that provide opportunities to address questions previously unapproachable.The Arctic provides a unique and rapidly changing environment with a suite of emerging research needs that can be addressed through genetics and genomics. Here we highlight recent research on boreal and tundra ecosystems and put forth a series of questions related to plant and microbial responses to climate change that can benefit from technologies and analytical approaches contained within the molecular ecologist's toolbox. Thesemore » questions include understanding (i) the mechanisms of plant acquisition and uptake of N in cold soils, (ii) how these processes are mediated by root traits, (iii) the role played by the plant microbiome in cycling C and nutrients within high-latitude ecosystems and (iv) plant adaptation to extreme Arctic climates. We highlight how contributions can be made in these areas through studies that target model and nonmodel organisms and emphasize that the sequencing of the Populus and Salix genomes provides a valuable resource for scientific discoveries related to the plant microbiome and plant adaptation in the Arctic. Moreover, there exists an exciting role to play in model development, including incorporating genetic and evolutionary knowledge into ecosystem and Earth System Models. In this regard, the molecular ecologist provides a valuable perspective on plant genetics as a driver for community biodiversity, and how ecological and evolutionary forces govern community dynamics in a rapidly changing climate.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikenoue, T.; Bjørklund, K. R.; Kruglikova, S. B.; Onodera, J.; Kimoto, K.; Harada, N.

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Arctic in Rapid Transition (art): Integrating Priorities for Arctic Marine Science Over the Next Decade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegner, C.; Forest, A.; Forwick, M.; Frey, K. E.; Mathis, J. T.; Michel, C.; Nikolopoulos, A.; O'Regan, M. A.; Peeken, I.; Reigstad, M.

    2010-12-01

    The Arctic is undergoing rapid environmental and economic transformations. Recent climate warming, which is simplifying access to oil and gas resources, enabling trans-Arctic shipping, and shifting the distribution of harvestable resources, has brought the Arctic Ocean to the top of national and international political agendas. Scientific knowledge of the present status of the Arctic Ocean and the process-based understanding of the mechanics of change are urgently needed to make useful predictions of future conditions throughout the Arctic region. These are required to plan for the consequences of climate change. A step towards improving our capacity to predict future Arctic change was undertaken with the Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP II) meetings in 2005 and 2006, which brought together scientists, policymakers, research managers, Arctic residents, and other stakeholders interested in the future of the Arctic region. The Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) Initiative developed out of the synthesis of the several resulting ICARP II science plans specific to the marine environment. This process has been driven by the early career scientists of the ICARP II Marine Roundtable. The ART Initiative is an integrative, international, multi-disciplinary, long-term pan-Arctic program to study changes and feedbacks among the physical characteristics and biogeochemical cycles of the Arctic Ocean. The first ART workshop was held in Fairbanks, Alaska in November 2009 with 58 participants. Workshop discussions and reports were used to develop a science plan that integrates, updates, and develops priorities for Arctic Marine Science over the next decade. The science plan was endorsed by endorsed and sponsored by the IASC SSC "Marine System", the former Arctic Ocean Science Board (AOSB). The next step now is to develop the ART Implementation Plan in order to further the goals of ART during the second ART workshop in Winnipeg, Canada. Our focus

  9. Seasonal to Decadal Change of Arctic Coastal Bluffs, Barter Island, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richmond, B. M.; Gibbs, A.; Erikson, L. H.; Beitch, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    Warming air and sea temperatures in the Arctic are leading to elevated levels of permafrost thaw and longer periods of ice-free conditions during the summer months which can lead to increased coastal exposure to storm surge and wave impacts. Using recently collected time-lapse photography, historical maps and imagery, and DEM's derived from airborne lidar and aerial photography using structure from motion (SfM) algorithms, we document coastal bluff change along a 5 km stretch of coast on Barter Island in NE Alaska during a single summer and over several decades. Time-lapse cameras installed during the summers of 2014 and 2015 on the coastal bluffs are used to create an archive of hourly air temperature and pressure, bluff morphology, and sea conditions allowing us to document individual bluff failure events and conditions at the time of failure. The historical rates of bluff retreat are derived from 1947 T-sheet maps, various periods of satellite imagery, aerial orthophoto mosaics, and more recently acquired lidar and SfM DEM data. Coastal change rates at 50 m transect spacing have been calculated over a seven decade time span. We combine these results with elevation models and bluff geology to estimate overall volume change and sediment contribution to the nearshore. These combined datasets are used to better understand the timing and processes of arctic coastal retreat.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Water is of fundamental importance for human life; access to water of good quality is of vital concern for mankind. Currently however, the situation is under severe pressure due to several stressors that have a clear impact on access to water. In the Arctic, climate change is having an impact on water availability by melting glaciers, decreasing seasonal rates of precipitation, increasing evapotranspiration, and drying lakes and rivers existing in permafrost grounds. Water quality is also being impacted as manmade pollutants stored in the environment are released, lowland areas are flooded with salty ocean water during storms, turbidity from permafrost-driven thaw and erosion is increased, and the growth or emergence of natural pollutants are increased. By 2030 it is estimated that the world will need to produce 50% more food and energy which means a continuous increase in demand for water. Decisionmakers will have to very clearly include life quality aspects of future generations in the work as impact of ongoing changes will be noticeable, in many cases, in the future. This article will focus on effects of climate-change on water security with an Arctic perspective giving some examples from different countries how arising problems are being addressed. PMID:22043217

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic, even more so than other parts of the world, has warmed substantially over the past few decades. Temperature and humidity influence the rate of development, survival and reproduction of pathogens and thus the incidence and prevalence of many infectious diseases. Higher temperatures may also allow infected host species to survive winters in larger numbers, increase the population size and expand their habitat range. The impact of these changes on human disease in the Arctic has not been fully evaluated. There is concern that climate change may shift the geographic and temporal distribution of a range of infectious diseases. Many infectious diseases are climate sensitive, where their emergence in a region is dependent on climate-related ecological changes. Most are zoonotic diseases, and can be spread between humans and animals by arthropod vectors, water, soil, wild or domestic animals. Potentially climate-sensitive zoonotic pathogens of circumpolar concern include Brucella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella spp., Clostridium botulinum, Francisella tularensis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Bacillus anthracis, Echinococcus spp., Leptospira spp., Giardia spp., Cryptosporida spp., Coxiella burnetti, rabies virus, West Nile virus, Hantaviruses, and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. PMID:25317383

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Water is of fundamental importance for human life; access to water of good quality is of vital concern for mankind. Currently however, the situation is under severe pressure due to several stressors that have a clear impact on access to water. In the Arctic, climate change is having an impact on water availability by melting glaciers, decreasing seasonal rates of precipitation, increasing evapotranspiration, and drying lakes and rivers existing in permafrost grounds. Water quality is also being impacted as manmade pollutants stored in the environment are released, lowland areas are flooded with salty ocean water during storms, turbidity from permafrost-driven thaw and erosion is increased, and the growth or emergence of natural pollutants are increased. By 2030 it is estimated that the world will need to produce 50% more food and energy which means a continuous increase in demand for water. Decisionmakers will have to very clearly include life quality aspects of future generations in the work as impact of ongoing changes will be noticeable, in many cases, in the future. This article will focus on effects of climate-change on water security with an Arctic perspective giving some examples from different countries how arising problems are being addressed. PMID:22043217

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  15. Integrating Research on Global Climate Change and Human Use of the Oceans: a Geospatial Method for Daily Monitoring of Sea Ice and Ship Traffic in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eucker, W.; McGillivary, P. A.

    2012-12-01

    One apparent consequence of global climate change has been a decrease in the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice more rapidly than models have predicted, while Arctic ship traffic has likewise increased beyond economic predictions. To ensure representative observations of changing climate conditions and human use of the Arctic Ocean, we concluded a method of tracking daily changes in both sea ice and shipping in the Arctic Ocean was needed. Such a process improves the availability of sea ice data for navigational safety and allows future developments to be monitored for understanding of ice and shipping in relation to policy decisions appropriate to optimize sustainable use of a changing Arctic Ocean. The impetus for this work was the 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) which provided baseline data on Arctic ship traffic. AMSA was based on responses from circumpolar countries, was manpower intensive, and took years to compile. A more timely method of monitoring human use of the Arctic Ocean was needed. To address this, a method of monitoring sea ice on a scale relevant to ship-navigation (<10km) was developed and implemented in conjunction with arctic ship tracking using S-AIS (Satellite Automatic Identification Systems). S-AIS is internationally required on ships over a certain size, which includes most commercial vessels in the Arctic Ocean. Daily AIS and sea ice observations were chosen for this study. Results of this method of geospatial analysis of the entire arctic are presented for a year long period from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011. This confirmed the dominance of European Arctic ship traffic. Arctic shipping is maximal during August and diminishes in September with a minimum in winter, although some shipping continues year-round in perennially ice-free areas. Data are analyzed for the four principal arctic quadrants around the North Pole by season for number and nationality of vessels. The goal of this study was not merely to monitor ship

  16. An atmosphere-ocean GCM modelling study of the climate response to changing Arctic seaways in the early Cenozoic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  17. An overview of Arctic Ocean acoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutt, Dan

    2012-11-01

    This paper presents a review of the underwater acoustics of the Arctic Ocean. It discusses the main features of the underwater acoustic environment and how they are so strongly affected by the presence of ice cover. The paper also discusses the history of Arctic Ocean acoustics research, how the motivation was originally military in character during the Cold War and how it changed to being driven by environmental considerations today. Originally, the physics of the Arctic Ocean was studied in order to predict its acoustic properties, and now acoustic techniques are used to help understand its physical environment.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  19. Model Representation of Last Decade Regional Changes of Arctic Snow on Sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, R.; Castro-Morales, K.; Gerdes, R.

    2015-12-01

    Present changes that Arctic snow on sea ice experience due to a warming climate have important implications to the sea ice component, precipitation, heat and radiation budgets. In this study, we analyzed the regional distribution and changes, from 2000 to 2013, of Arctic snow depth simulated with a coupled sea ice-general circulation model. For validation, we compared the modeled snow depths (hs_mod) with airborne snow depth measurements from NASA's Operation IceBridge (hs_OIB) from 2009 to 2013. As in many current sea-ice models, our model configuration consist on a single-layer snow scheme and lack of explicit snow redistribution processes. The snow is accumulated proportionally to the prescribed sea-ice thickness distribution. Despite the simple scheme, our results show that the hs_mod latitudinal distribution in the western Arctic is in good agreement to the OIB observations. The hs_mod is generally thicker than hs_OIB: for latitudes dominated by first-year ice (between 67° N and 76° N) hs_mod is on average 1.1±7.9 cm thicker than hs_OIB, while for multi-year ice dominated latitudes (> 76° N), hs_mod is on average 3.0±8.8 cm thicker than hs_OIB. By 2013, the Arctic-wide hs decreased 21 % with respect to the hs multi-annual mean (2000 to 2013) occurring mainly in first-year ice dominated areas. In a simple snow mass budget, our results show that 65 % of the yearly accumulated snow is lost by sublimation and snowmelt due to the heat transfer between the snow/ice interface and the atmosphere. Despite the yearly recovery of snow in winter, the long-term reduction in the summer sea-ice extent ultimately affects the maximum accumulation of snow in spring. Compared to snow reduction estimates from snow radar measurements, the model results underestimate this loss, and we suggest that this is partially due to the lack of explicit snow redistribution processes in the model, ratifying the need to include these in current sea-ice models to improve the snow

  20. On the Role of Sea Ice Deformations in Arctic Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslowski, Wieslaw; Osinski, Robert; Roberts, Andrew; DiMaggio, Dominic

    2015-04-01

    Understanding air-sea interactions and their effects on arctic climate change requires comprehensive knowledge of the sea ice dynamics and thermodynamics at a process level. While significant advancement has been made for example in understanding and model representation of sea ice rheology, surface albedo and ice-albedo feedback, there are other processes such as sea ice deformations, which require further studies and model improvement. Of particular potential interest are leads, which control winter air-sea heat exchange and buoyancy input into the ocean, or sea ice ridging and shearing, which affect the ice-ocean coupling. Their importance in arctic climate change under an increasing first-year ice cover is yet to be determined, as global climate models commonly do not resolve such sea ice features at their actual scale, magnitude and frequency and stand-alone high-resolution atmosphere or ice-ocean models do not allow studies of air-sea-ice interactions. We use the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), which is a fully coupled, high-resolution regional climate model, to study sea ice deformation processes and resulting coupling across the air-sea interface. RASM includes the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) atmospheric model, the Parallel Ocean Program (POP), the Community Ice Model (CICE) and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land hydrology model. It is configured for the pan-Arctic region at an eddy-permitting resolution of 1/12° for the ice-ocean and 50 km for the atmosphere-land model components. In addition, all RASM components are coupled at high frequency, i.e. at a 20-minute time step. The sea ice component has been upgraded to the Los Alamos Community Ice Model version 5 (CICE5), which allows either Elastic-Viscous-Plastic (EVP) or a new anisotropic (EPA) rheology and incorporates form drag to more realistically represent sea ice morphology and estimate ice-ocean and ice-atmosphere stresses. Results from multiple RASM simulations, using

  1. Forty years of change: a northern Alaskan seabird's response to a warming Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Divoky, G.; Suydam, R.

    2012-12-01

    decade also facilitated changes in the distribution of a guillemot nest competitor and nest predator resulting in major losses of eggs and young. Horned Puffins (Fratercula corniculata) recently expanded their breeding range from the subarctic to northern Alaska and regularly disrupt guillemot nesting by displacing eggs and killing guillemot nestlings while prospecting for nest sites. Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus), rare on Cooper Island until 2002 are now seen regularly in August as they seek refuge on land and prey on guillemot young. While the loss of cryopelagic prey led to reductions in the guillemot population, the loss of eggs and nestlings to puffins and bears was severe enough to threaten the existence of the colony. In 2011 all nest sites at the colony were replaced with plastic nest cases that eliminate disturbance by bears and puffins. Upper trophic level predators are recognized as important indicators of variation in and perturbations to marine ecosystems and in the near future the waters of the western Arctic will be experiencing a range of alterations due to both atmospheric warming and industrial development. The ongoing research at the Cooper Island Black Guillemot colony, combined with its historic database. will allow assessment of those changes.

  2. Projected changes in solar UV radiation in the Arctic and sub-Arctic Oceans: Effects from changes in reflectivity, ice transmittance, clouds, and ozone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountoulakis, I.; Bais, A. F.; Tourpali, K.; Fragkos, K.; Misios, S.

    2014-07-01

    Ultraviolet-B (UV-B), UV-A, and erythemal solar irradiance over ocean-covered areas north of 55°N are simulated for the past (1950-1960), present (2005-2015), and future (2090-2100) using a radiative transfer model. The simulations focus mainly on the effects of changes in ocean surface reflectivity, cloudiness, and stratospheric ozone. Based on projected changes in sea ice cover and thickness, changes in irradiance transmitted into the ocean are also derived. The input parameters of the radiative transfer model were obtained from four Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 Earth System Models driven by the emission scenarios Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5. Over a large fraction of the area under study, the overall effect from the projected changes in the factors considered is a reduction in the ultraviolet solar irradiance by the end of the 21st century relative to the levels in the 1950s. Increases were projected only for all skies during August for locations below 65°N due to the projected decrease in cloudiness. The reduction in clear-sky UV-A irradiance (on average 4-7% depending on scenario and season) is entirely driven by the reduction in surface reflectivity, while the projected ozone recovery is responsible for a great portion of the reduction in clear-sky UV-B irradiance (10-18% on average). Under all skies, the changes in the monthly mean noontime erythemal irradiance range from +15% to -38%, depending on the location and season. Compared to the 1950s, up to 10 times higher levels of UV-B irradiance are projected to enter large parts of the Arctic Ocean by 2100, mainly because of the partial disappearance of sea ice.

  3. Arctic terrestrial water storage changes from GRACE satellite estimates and a land surface hydrology model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, F.; Alsdorf, D.; Shumb, C.; Lettenmaier, D.

    2008-12-01

    Continental water storage plays a key role in the global hydrological cycle. Since 2002, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission has provided a basis for estimating spatial and temporal variations of terrestrial water storage over areas order of 105 km2. These estimates show strong interseasonal and interannual variations in terrestrial water storage at high latitudes, which are attributable at least in part to the important role of snow water storage on the seasonal water cycle. Evaluation of the accuracy of the GRACE terrestrial water storage is complicated by the absence of direct observations of terrestrial water storage. Land surface hydrology models, forced with observations, provide an opportunity for evaluating GRACE estimates regionally and globally. In this study, the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land surface hydrology model, which calculates the land surface water and energy balance, is used to evaluate the GRACE over the pan-Arctic region. The VIC model is driven by ECMWF analysis fields, which have been shown to give comparable hydrologic results to gridded observations at high latitudes, and are available in near-real time. The VIC runs cover the GRACE period 2002-2007. The VIC calculated total terrestrial water storage changes over major Arctic river basins are compared with GRACE estimates. Storage components simulated by VIC including snow, soil moisture, lake/wetland storage, and stream storage changes are segregated from the VIC simulations, and the contributions of each of these components to seasonal and interannual variations in GRACE terrestrial water storage are analyzed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, M.

    2005-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-15

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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100 km2 study area on the Beaufort Sea coastal plain of northern Alaska. We detected statistically significant change (99% confidence interval), defined as contiguous areas (>10 m2) that had changed in height by at least 0.55 m, in 0.3% of the study region. Erosional features indicative of ice-rich permafrost degradation were associated with ice-bonded coastal, river, and lake bluffs, frost mounds, ice wedges, and thermo-erosional gullies. These features accounted for about half of the area where vertical change was detected. Inferred thermo-denudation and thermo-abrasion of coastal and river bluffs likely accounted for the dominant permafrost-related degradational processes with respect to area (42%) and volume (51%). More than 300 thermokarst pits significantly subsided during the study period, likely as a result of storm surge flooding of low-lying tundra (<1.4 m asl) as well as the lasting impact of warm summers in the late-1980s and mid-1990s. Our results indicate that repeat airborne LiDAR can be used to detect landscape change in arctic coastal lowland regions at large spatial scales over sub-decadal time periods.

  11. New insights on Arctic Quaternary climate variability from palaeo-records and numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobsson, Martin; Long, Antony; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Kjær, Kurt H.; Spielhagen, Robert F.

    2010-12-01

    Terrestrial and marine geological archives in the Arctic contain information on environmental change through Quaternary interglacial-glacial cycles. The Arctic Palaeoclimate and its Extremes (APEX) scientific network aims to better understand the magnitude and frequency of past Arctic climate variability, with focus on the "extreme" versus the "normal" conditions of the climate system. One important motivation for studying the amplitude of past natural environmental changes in the Arctic is to better understand the role of this region in a global perspective and provide base-line conditions against which to explore potential future changes in Arctic climate under scenarios of global warming. In this review we identify several areas that are distinct to the present programme and highlight some recent advances presented in this special issue concerning Arctic palaeo-records and natural variability, including spatial and temporal variability of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Arctic Ocean sediment stratigraphy, past ice shelves and marginal marine ice sheets, and the Cenozoic history of Arctic Ocean sea ice in general and Holocene oscillations in sea ice concentrations in particular. The combined sea ice data suggest that the seasonal Arctic sea ice cover was strongly reduced during most of the early Holocene and there appear to have been periods of ice free summers in the central Arctic Ocean. This has important consequences for our understanding of the recent trend of declining sea ice, and calls for further research on causal links between Arctic climate and sea ice.

  12. Mapping the Changing Extent and Thickness of Arctic Multiyear Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, S. L.; Richter-Menge, J.; Hutchings, J. K.; Newman, T.; Connor, L. N.; Jackson, C.

    2015-12-01

    Satellite remote sensing provides continuous observations of the sea ice pack across basin scales and has revolutionized our understanding of ice mass balance over the last two decades. Satellite and airborne altimeters deliver a unique set of measurements of sea ice elevation, from which thickness may be derived. Recent analyses provide details on the interannual variability of Arctic sea ice thickness and volume, superimposed on a multi-decadal decline. Results indicate that the largest losses are to the multiyear ice (MYI) cover. A declining MYI cover will precondition the pack for further loss, severely altering the mass and energy budgets. Advancing our understanding of how and why the MYI cover is changing is therefore critical for improved predictions of the future Arctic climate system. Using seven years of high-resolution Operation IceBridge airborne measurements with complementary satellite radar imagery and scatterometry data we map the interannual variability of the MYI pack. We describe key features including the variability and trends in the thickness distribution and extent. During this period mean ice thickness was around 3.2 m with a modal thickness of 2.8 m. We examine the influence of dynamic processes on recent variability, gaining new insights on the age, thickness and morphology of the MYI pack.

  13. What can we learn from the Paleo-Records about Future Arctic Climate Change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, B.; Huard, D. B.; Schmidt, G. A.; de Vernal, A.

    2014-12-01

    The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5), include historical simulations from the 20th century, future climate simulations following different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) for the 21st Century and beyond, and, for the first time in CMIP, three sets of paleo-climate simulations of the recent past for which more paleo-proxi-data exist. We use simulations of the Mid-Holocene (MH) climate (6K BP) from General Circulation Models participating in CMIP5 to constrain future projections of Arctic climate change by the same models. During the Mid-Holocene, the Arctic received approximately 50 W/m2 more solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere during summer, a similar increase to what is projected from greenhouse gas forcing for the middle of the 21st century. The constraint in our analysis arise from a measure of the ability of GCMs to hindcast MH climate using a suite of both land paleo-records - which are much more abundant for high latitudes than ocean proxy - and ocean paleo-record. Results show that GCMs with skill at simulating the MH climate and today's climate give more realistic future projections of the sea ice decline in forced climate simulations of the 21st century participating in the IPCC-AR5.

  14. Recent changes in shelf hydrography in the Siberian Arctic: Potential for subsea permafrost instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitrenko, Igor A.; Kirillov, Sergey A.; Tremblay, L. Bruno; Kassens, Heidemarie; Anisimov, Oleg A.; Lavrov, Sergey A.; Razumov, Sergey O.; Grigoriev, Mikhail N.

    2011-10-01

    Summer hydrographic data (1920-2009) show a dramatic warming of the bottom water layer over the eastern Siberian shelf coastal zone (<10 m depth), since the mid-1980s, by 2.1°C. We attribute this warming to changes in the Arctic atmosphere. The enhanced summer cyclonicity results in warmer air temperatures and a reduction in ice extent, mainly through thermodynamic melting. This leads to a lengthening of the summer open-water season and to more solar heating of the water column. The permafrost modeling indicates, however, that a significant change in the permafrost depth lags behind the imposed changes in surface temperature, and after 25 years of summer seafloor warming (as observed from 1985 to 2009), the upper boundary of permafrost deepens only by ˜1 m. Thus, the observed increase in temperature does not lead to a destabilization of methane-bearing subsea permafrost or to an increase in methane emission. The CH4 supersaturation, recently reported from the eastern Siberian shelf, is believed to be the result of the degradation of subsea permafrost that is due to the long-lasting warming initiated by permafrost submergence about 8000 years ago rather than from those triggered by recent Arctic climate changes. A significant degradation of subsea permafrost is expected to be detectable at the beginning of the next millennium. Until that time, the simulated permafrost table shows a deepening down to ˜70 m below the seafloor that is considered to be important for the stability of the subsea permafrost and the permafrost-related gas hydrate stability zone.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Many arctic ecological processes are regulated by soil temperature that is tightly interconnected with snow cover distribution and persistence. Recently, various climate-induced changes have been observed in arctic tundra ecosystems, e.g. shrub expansion, resulting in reduction in albedo and greater C fixation in aboveground vegetation as well as increased rates of soil C mobilization by microbes. Importantly, the net effects of these shifts are unknown, in part because our understanding of belowground processes is limited. Here, we focus on the effects of increased snow depth, and as a consequence, increased winter soil temperature on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in dry and moist tundra. We analyzed deep DNA sequence data from soil samples taken at a long-term snow fence experiment in Northern Alaska. Our results indicate that, in contrast with previously observed responses of plants to increased snow depth at the same experimental site, the ECM fungal community of the dry tundra was more affected by deeper snow than the moist tundra community. In the dry tundra, both community richness and composition were significantly altered while in the moist tundra, only community composition changed significantly while richness did not. We observed a decrease in richness of Tomentella, Inocybe and other taxa adapted to scavenge the soil for labile N forms. On the other hand, richness of Cortinarius, and species with the ability to scavenge the soil for recalcitrant N forms, did not change. We further link ECM fungal traits with C soil pools. If future warmer atmospheric conditions lead to greater winter snow fall, changes in the ECM fungal community will likely influence C emissions and C fixation through altering N plant availability, fungal biomass and soil-plant C-N dynamics, ultimately determining important future interactions between the tundra biosphere and atmosphere. PMID:27004610

  16. 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.

  17. Environmental insurance adapts to changing needs

    SciTech Connect

    Vuono, M. )

    1995-03-01

    No longer simply a specialty service niche, environmental insurance has become an increasingly important asset to businesses worldwide. Companies of all sizes are using insurance as a proactive tool for prudent environmental risk management. During the last five years, the environmental insurance industry has matured to meet the ever-changing environmental insurance needs of business. A broad range of policies and programs offers coverage against damages caused by chemical spills, hazardous material and related environmental contaminants. Securing environmental insurance coverage has become as customary for many businesses as acquiring general liability and automobile insurance.

  18. Arctic Energy Resources: Energy Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gryc, George

    1984-04-01

    Arctic Energy Resources is a volume of 26 papers recording the proceedings of the Comite' Arctique International Conference, held at the Veritas Centre, Oslo, Norway, September 22-24, 1982. This was the fourth of a series of meetings on the Arctic organized by the Comite', an organization established in the Principality of Monaco with the active support of H.S.H. Prince Rainer III. The fourth Conference was opened by H.R.H. Crown Prins Harald of Norway, a noble beginning for a noble objective.The North Polar Region has drawn world attention recently because of several large hydrocarbon and other mineral discoveries and because of major political and environmental actions in the North American Arctic. Since 1923 when Naval Petroleum Reserve number 4 (NPR-4) was established, northern Alaska has been considered a major petroleum province. It was first explored systematically with modern techniques from 1943 to 1953. In 1958, Alaska became a state, and both federal and state lands in northern Alaska were available for private exploration. Building on the knowledge base provided by the Pet-4 program and its spinoff research laboratory at Barrow, industry explored the area east of NPR-4 and discovered the largest hydrocarbon accumulation (9.6 bbl crude oil and 26 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) gas) in North America at Prudhoe Bay. Concerns for environmental impacts, including oil spills, led to the passing of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969. In 1970, over 9 million acres were set aside, now known as the Arctic National Wildlife Range, and in 1971 the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was passed by the U.S. Congress. The Arab oil embargo of 1973 heightened the energy crisis and changed the economic basis for further exploration in the Arctic. The convergence of these events dramatically changed the balance of power and the pace of activity in the North American Arctic.

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgain, P.; Gascard, J. C.; Shi, J.; Zhao, J.

    2013-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

    Sea ice thickness (SIT) is a key parameter of scientific interest because understanding the natural spatiotemporal variability of ice thickness is critical for improving global climate models. In this paper, changes in Arctic SIT during 1982-2003 are examined using a neural network (NN) algorithm trained with in situ submarine ice draft and surface drilling data. For each month of the study period, the NN individually estimated SIT of each ice-covered pixel (25-km resolution) based on seven geophysical parameters (four shortwave and longwave radiative fluxes, surface air temperature, ice drift velocity, and ice divergence/convergence) that were cumulatively summed at each monthly position along the pixel's previous 3-yr drift track (or less if the ice was <3 yr old). Average January SIT increased during 1982-88 in most regions of the Arctic (+7.6 ?? 0.9 cm yr-1), decreased through 1996 Arctic-wide (-6.1 ?? 1.2 cm yr-1), then modestly increased through 2003 mostly in the central Arctic (+2.1 ?? 0.6 cm yr-1). Net ice volume change in the Arctic Ocean from 1982 to 2003 was negligible, indicating that cumulative ice growth had largely replaced the estimated 45 000 km3 of ice lost by cumulative export. Above 65??N, total annual ice volume and interannual volume changes were correlated with the Arctic Oscillation (AO) at decadal and annual time scales, respectively. Late-summer ice thickness and total volume varied proportionally until the mid-1990s, but volume did not increase commensurate with the thickening during 1996-2002. The authors speculate that decoupling of the ice thickness-volume relationship resulted from two opposing mechanisms with different latitudinal expressions: a recent quasi-decadal shift in atmospheric circulation patterns associated with the AO's neutral state facilitated ice thickening at high latitudes while anomalously warm thermal forcing thinned and melted the ice cap at its periphery. ?? 2008 American Meteorological Society.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. A ground-based trace gas observing system for detection of Arctic and Boreal change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karion, A.; Miller, J. B.; Sweeney, C.; Bruhwiler, L.; Newberger, T.; Miller, C. E.; Dinardo, S. J.; Wolter, S.; Ledlow, L.

    2012-12-01

    The large reservoir of below-ground organic carbon in the Arctic and Boreal region (ABR) permafrost, combined with large observed and predicted temperature changes leads to the expectation of increasing surface emissions of CO2 and/or CH4 this century. However, the near-term response of northern ecosystems could be enhanced ecosystem productivity and carbon sequestration via, among other causes, longer growing seasons and encroachment of woody species into Arctic tundra. Regardless of the temporal evolution of carbon (both CO2 and CH4) sources and sinks in the ABR, monitoring these changes at regional (~10^5 - 10^6 km^2) scales using trace gas mixing and isotopic ratios will be a critical complement to detailed process-based studies at the plot scale and remote sensing of the land surface. Turbulent mixing in the lower few kilometers of the atmosphere naturally integrates emissions from all known and unknown processes and can provide a powerful bottom-line constraint on the net result of both sources and sinks. We will present the first year of results of a trace-gas measurement system capable of daily or more frequent observations of more than 50 trace gas species, including CO2, CH4 and their stable and radio isotope ratios. The measurements were initiated as part of the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) and come from a 30 m tower located on a ridge in central Alaska. Central Alaska is dominated by discontinuous permafrost, which is likely to undergo significant changes in the coming decades. Footprint analysis suggests that mixing ratios measured at the tower are influenced by large swaths of central Alaska, although in winter, anthropogenic emissions form the city of Fairbanks are evident. In summer, as expected, we observe a large drawdown of CO2. The seasonal cycle of CH4 is dominated by the large-scale destruction of methane by hydroxyl radical (OH). However, based on previous measurements from other ABR sites, we expect summer

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Statistical Variability and Persistence Change in Daily Air Temperature Time Series from High Latitude Arctic Stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suteanu, Cristian

    2015-07-01

    In the last decades, Arctic communities have been reporting that weather conditions are becoming less predictable. Most scientific studies have not been able to consistently confirm such a trend. The question regarding the possible increase in weather variability was addressed here based on daily minimum and maximum surface air temperature time series from 15 high latitude Arctic stations from Canada, Norway, and the Russian Federation. A range of analysis methods were applied, distinguished mainly by the way in which they treat time scale. Statistical L-moments were determined for temporal windows of different lengths. While the picture provided by L-scale and L-kurtosis is not consistent with an increasing variability, L-skewness was found to change towards more positive values, reflecting an enhancement of warm spells. Haar wavelet analysis was applied both to the entire time series and to running windows. Persistence diagrams were generated based on running windows advancing through time and on local slopes of Haar analysis graphs; they offer a more nuanced view on variability by reflecting its change over time on a range of temporal scales. Local increases in variability could be identified in some cases, but no consistent change was detected in any of the stations over the studied temporal scales. The possibility for other intervals of temporal scale (e.g., days, hours, minutes) to potentially reveal a different situation cannot be ruled out. However, in the light of the results presented here, explanations for the discrepancy between variability perception and results of pattern analysis might have to be explored using an integrative approach to weather variables such as air temperature, cloud cover, precipitation, wind, etc.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durgonics, T.; Hoeg, P.; von Benzon, H. H.

    2014-12-01

    The increasing dependence on GNSS-based methods and technologies for global or regional navigation and communication has raised concerns about the impact of space weather on these systems. Temporal and spatial ionosphere variations caused by driving forces, such as changes in solar radiation, solar wind, and the Earth's magnetic field contribute to errors in satellite navigation positioning and communication systems. In this study we will focus on the impact of space weather in the Arctic region related to total electron content (TEC) and scintillation changes. Measurements from the GNSS network of stations in Greenland are analyzed and geophysical variables such as such as TEC, amplitude scintillation indices (S4), and phase scintillation indices (σϕ), are calculated together with 2D/3D electron density and scintillation maps. For the TEC we applied data from the Greenland GNET network of stations - consisting of 62 stations, while the scintillations data are based on 50 Hz sampled data from a set of sites on the west coast of Greenland (i.e., Thule, Sisimiut, and Kangerlussuaq). The GNSS-derived data is augmented by ground-based geomagnetic measurements, such as the Dst-index and magnetic H-component data obtained from the Greenland magnetic stations. Extreme ionosphere events will be presented and the underlying geophysical process will be identified and discussed. Especially results where large-scale gradients in the regional TEC are compared with the growth of scintillations. We will identify crucial elements and parameters (such as the auroral oval and the auroral electrojet), driving these changes in the Greenland TEC, S4 and σϕ distributions, in order to come up with appropriate algorithms and tools for monitoring and predicting Arctic TEC and scintillation large-scale patterns.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, James R.; Russell, Gary L.

    1996-01-01

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

  9. Environmental Education: A Time of Change, a Time for Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keene, Matt; Blumstein, Daniel T.

    2010-01-01

    We join the authors in this special issue in their call to embrace a culture of evaluation. Obstacles to change are formidable. Educators debate their purpose--provide knowledge or achieve environmental goals--and we have limited evidence of the effectiveness of environmental programs and policies. Change requires collaboration across…

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. The Impact of Multidecadal NAO Variations on Atlantic Ocean Heat Transport and Rapid Changes in Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, F. J.; Delworth, T. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic and North Atlantic have experienced pronounced changes over the 20th and early 21st centuries, including a rapid loss of Arctic sea ice over the last several decades and prominent multidecadal variability in both ocean temperatures and sea ice. Here we use suites of climate model simulations to probe some of the factors responsible for the multidecadal variability in the Atlantic/Arctic system. We show that multidecadal fluctuations of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) induce multidecadal fluctuations of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). A positive phase of the NAO is associated with strengthened westerly winds over the North Atlantic. These winds extract more heat than normal from the subpolar ocean, thereby increasing upper ocean density, deepwater formation, and the strength of the AMOC and associated poleward ocean heat transport. In model simulations the observed negative phase of the NAO in the 1960s and 1970s led to a weaker than normal AMOC, reduced poleward ocean heat transport, a cold North Atlantic, and an increase in Arctic sea ice extent in both winter and summer. The NAO strengthened from the 1970s to the mid 1990s, leading to an increase of the AMOC and a warming of the North Atlantic. The increased heat transport extended throughout the North Atlantic, into the Barents Sea, and finally into the Arctic, contributing to a rapid reduction of sea ice in the 1990s through the 2000s. Feedbacks involving shortwave radiation are an important component of the overall changes. In these model simulations as much as 1/3 of the recent reduction of Arctic sea ice is associated with the NAO-induced AMOC and heat transport increase. Since the mid 1990s the NAO has changed from a strong positive phase to a more neutral phase. In our model simulations this weakens the AMOC and poleward ocean heat transport, and diminishes the contribution of ocean heat transport to the reduction of Arctic sea ice extent. Considered in isolation

  13. Two mechanisms of aquatic and terrestrial habitat change along an Alaskan Arctic coastline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Urban, Frank E.; Jorgenson, M. Torre

    2010-01-01

    Arctic habitats at the interface between land and sea are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The northern Teshekpuk Lake Special Area (N-TLSA), a coastal plain ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea in northern Alaska, provides habitat for migratory waterbirds, caribou, and potentially, denning polar bears. The 60-km coastline of N-TLSA is experiencing increasing rates of coastline erosion and storm surge flooding far inland resulting in lake drainage and conversion of freshwater lakes to estuaries. These physical mechanisms are affecting upland tundra as well. To better understand how these processes are affecting habitat, we analyzed long-term observational records coupled with recent short-term monitoring. Nearly the entire coastline has accelerating rates of erosion ranging from 6 m/year from 1955 to 1979 and most recently peaking at 17 m/year from 2007 to 2009, yet an intensive monitoring site along a higher bluff (3–6 masl) suggested high interannual variability. The frequency and magnitude of storm events appears to be increasing along this coastline and these patterns correspond to a greater number of lake tapping and flooding events since 2000. For the entire N-TLSA, we estimate that 6% of the landscape consists of salt-burned tundra, while 41% is prone to storm surge flooding. This offset may indicate the relative frequency of low-magnitude flood events along the coastal fringe. Monitoring of coastline lakes confirms that moderate westerly storms create extensive flooding, while easterly storms have negligible effects on lakes and low-lying tundra. This study of two interacting physical mechanisms, coastal erosion and storm surge flooding, provides an important example of the complexities and data needs for predicting habitat change and biological responses along Arctic land–ocean interfaces.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. Projected Arctic warming, rapid sea ice loss, and snow state changes: Influence on near- surface permafrost degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, D. M.; Slater, A. G.

    2008-12-01

    Projected climatic changes in the Arctic associated with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations are varied. Global climate models suggest that warming in the Arctic will be considerably stronger than the rest of the world. In the Community Climate System Model (CCSM3), 21st century terrestrial Arctic warming ranges from ~+4 to +8° C depending on emission scenario. This warming is non-linear, due in part, to periods of accelerated sea ice loss. Along with the warming, CCSM3 (and other global models) project an increase in winter snowfall and concomitant changes in snow depth, snow density, and snow-season length. Here, we evaluate the roles of Arctic warming, accelerated sea ice loss, and snow state changes on the rate and extent of soil warming and permafrost degradation. We utilize the Community Land Model (CLM) with improved permafrost dynamics to evaluate and compare the large-scale near-surface permafrost response to these climatic forcings. The strong projected warming is, not surprisingly the biggest contributor to permafrost degradation. However, we can attribute roughly 18 percent of the permafrost degradation to increasing snowfall and the resulting maintenance of the insulating snowpack even in the face of strong warming. We also find that a period of accelerated warming associated with rapid sea ice loss can accelerate soil warming and lead to rapid thaw of warmer permafrost and to increased vulnerability of colder permafrost.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  18. Long-term changes of the benthos in the Arctic area under influence of the climatic fluctuations

    SciTech Connect

    Denisenko, S.G.; Denisenko, N.V.

    1996-12-31

    The Barents Sea, with the White Sea, is one of the most investigated Russian northern seas. For this reason benthos material sampled during the current century in the expeditions to the Barents Sea is important because of long-term changes in the bottom fauna in the Arctic Seas. The changes can occur under the influence of the long-term climatic fluctuations, as well as under human impact. This knowledge of the changes of the bottom fauna in the Arctic Seas can be useful in forecasting future global climatic changes. The aim of the present work was to understand how the climatic fluctuations influence the changes of the total biomass and abundance of zoobenthos. The biomass data of the 4 total benthic surveys (1924--1927; 1958--1959; 1968--1970; 1988--1993) were analyzed.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Douglas, D.C.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Observed and projected climate change implications for urban infrastructure and society in the Russian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Streletskiy, D. A.; Shiklomanov, N. I.; Efimov, S. V.; Shkolnik, I.

    2012-12-01

    The discoveries of mineral resources followed by an extensive economic development of the Russian North in 1960s led to a development of complex infrastructure on permafrost and urbanization of the Russian Arctic. Despite the mass migration from the northern regions, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the diminishing government support, the Russian Arctic inherited massive infrastructure and remained predominantly urban. Currently, only in five districts bordering Arctic Ocean more than 1.4 million people live in urban-style buildings built on permafrost. Majority of the buildings are constructed assuming the equilibrium conditions of heat-exchange between atmosphere and permafrost underneath. This is usually achieved by construction on piles with ventilated cellars allowing ground cooling in a winter and shading in a summer. The ability of the foundations to carry structural load or foundation bearing capacity (FBC) depends on permafrost properties and changes according to permafrost temperature and active-layer depth. Climate warming observed in recent decades created conditions of diminishing FBC and resulted in deformations and failures of structures built on permafrost. This work is focused on quantitative assessment of these changes at a regional scale. In order to estimate the role of climate change on stability of structures build according to the passive principle, the permafrost-geotechnical model was developed. The historical changes were assessed by comparing model results for period associated with industrialization and construction boom in the Russian North (1965-1975) and present conditions (1995-2005) using NCEP climatic datasets. Projected changes in FBC according to A2 IPCC scenario for the mid-21st century (2041-2060) relative to baseline period (1981-2000) were assessed using output from the ensemble of MGO RCM climate change simulations. It has been found that substantial decrease in FBC will likely occur for the majority of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. How fast is Arctic climate really changing? An insight from recent past, present day and near future coupled model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenigk, Torben; Brodeau, Laurent

    2016-04-01

    Three quasi-equilibrium simulations using constant greenhouse gas forcing corresponding to years 2000, 2015 and 2030 have been performed with the global coupled model EC-Earth in order to analyze recent past and possible near future changes in the Arctic climate. The model simulations indicate an accelerated warming and ice extent reduction in the Arctic in near future conditions compared to the recent past. Both Arctic warming and sea ice reduction are closely linked to the increase of ocean heat transport into the Arctic, particularly through the Barents Sea Opening. Decadal variations of Arctic sea ice extent and ice volume are of the same order of magnitude as the observed ice extent reductions in the last 30 years and are dominated by the variability of the ocean heat transports through the Barents Sea Opening and the Bering Strait. Despite a general warming of mid and high northern latitudes, a substantial cooling is found in the subpolar gyre of the North Atlantic in the near future simulation. This cooling is related to a strong reduction in the AMOC, which is mainly caused by reduced deep water formation in the Labrador Sea. The observed trend towards a more negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the observed linkage between autumn Arctic ice variations and NAO are reproduced in our model simulations for selected 30-year periods but are not robust over longer time periods. This indicates that the observed linkages between ice and NAO might not be robust in reality either, and that the observational time period is still too short to reliably separate the trend from the natural variability.

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

    PubMed Central

    Charvet, Sophie; Vincent, Warwick F.; Comeau, André; Lovejoy, Connie

    2012-01-01

    High Arctic meromictic lakes are extreme environments characterized by cold temperatures, low nutrient inputs from their polar desert catchments and prolonged periods of low irradiance and darkness. These lakes are permanently stratified with an oxygenated freshwater layer (mixolimnion) overlying a saline, anoxic water column (monimolimnion). The physical and chemical properties of the deepest known lake of this type in the circumpolar Arctic, Lake A, on the far northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada, have been studied over the last 15 years, but little is known about the lake’s biological communities. We applied high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene to investigate the protist communities down the water column at three sampling times: under the ice at the end of winter in 2008, during an unusual period of warming and ice-out the same year, and again under the ice in mid-summer 2009. Sequences of many protist taxa occurred throughout the water column at all sampling times, including in the deep anoxic layer where growth is highly unlikely. Furthermore, there were sequences for taxonomic groups including diatoms and marine taxa, which have never been observed in Lake A by microscopic analysis. However, the sequences of other taxa such as ciliates, chrysophytes, Cercozoa, and Telonema varied with depth, between years and during the transition to ice-free conditions. These seasonally active taxa in the surface waters of the lake are thus sensitive to depth and change with time. DNA from these taxa is superimposed upon background DNA from multiple internal and external sources that is preserved in the deep, cold, largely anoxic water column. PMID:23267353

  4. Toolik Lake project: Terrestrial and freshwater research on change in the Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Hobbie, J.E.; Peterson, B.J.; Shaver, G.R.

    1992-03-01

    The Toolik Lake research project in the foothills of the North Slope, Alaska, has collected data since 1975 with funding from the NSFs Division of Polar Programs and from the Long Term Ecological Research Program and Ecosystems Research Program of the Division of Biotic Systems and Resources. The broad goal is to understand and predict how ecosystems of tundra, lakes, and streams function and respond to change. One specific goal is to understand the extent of control by resources (bottom-up control) or by grazing and predation (top-down control). The processes and relationships are analyzed in both natural ecosystems and in ecosystems that have undergone long-term experimental manipulations to simulate effects of climate and human-caused change. These manipulations include the fertilization of lakes and steams, the addition and removal of lake trout from lakes, the changing of the abundance of arctic grayling in sections of rivers, the exclusion of grazers from tundra, and the shading, fertilizing, and heating of the tussock tundra. A second specific goal is to monitor year-to-year variability and to measure how rapidly long-term change occurs. The measurements include: for lakes, measurements of temperature, chlorophyll, primary productivity; for streams, nutrients, chlorophyll on riffle rocks, insect and fish abundance, and water flow; and for the tundra, amount of flowering, air temperature, solar radiation, and biomass. A third specific goal is to understand the exchange of nutrients between land and water.

  5. Changes versus homeostasis in alpine and sub-alpine vegetation over three decades in the sub-arctic.

    PubMed

    Hedenås, Henrik; Carlsson, Bengt A; Emanuelsson, Urban; Headley, Alistair D; Jonasson, Christer; Svensson, Brita M; Callaghan, Terry V

    2012-01-01

    Plant species distributions are expected to shift and diversity is expected to decline as a result of global climate change, particularly in the Arctic where climate warming is amplified. We have recorded the changes in richness and abundance of vascular plants at Abisko, sub-Arctic Sweden, by re-sampling five studies consisting of seven datasets; one in the mountain birch forest and six at open sites. The oldest study was initiated in 1977-1979 and the latest in 1992. Total species number increased at all sites except for the birch forest site where richness decreased. We found no general pattern in how composition of vascular plants has changed over time. Three species, Calamagrostis lapponica, Carex vaginata and Salix reticulata, showed an overall increase in cover/frequency, while two Equisetum taxa decreased. Instead, we showed that the magnitude and direction of changes in species richness and composition differ among sites. PMID:22864693

  6. RECONSTRUCTION AND ANALYSIS OF HISTORICAL CHANGES IN CARBON STORAGE IN ARCTIC TUNDRA

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Davydov, Alexander N.; Mikhailova, Galina V.

    2011-01-01

    Background Arctic climate change is already having a significant impact on the environment, economic activity, and public health. For the northern peoples, traditions and cultural identity are closely related to the natural environment so any change will have consequences for society in several ways. Methods A questionnaire was given to the population on the Vaigach island, the Nenets who rely to a large degree on hunting, fishing and reindeer herding for survival. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted about perception of climate change. Results Climate change is observed and has already had an impact on daily life according to more than 50% of the respondents. The winter season is now colder and longer and the summer season colder and shorter. A decrease in standard of living was noticeable but few were planning to leave. Conclusion Climate change has been noticed in the region and it has a negative impact on the standard of living for the Nenets. However, as of yet they do not want to leave as cultural identity is important for their overall well-being. PMID:22091216

  10. 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

  11. Decadal-scale dynamic changes on Novaya Zemlya, Russian High Arctic, from remotely sensed imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, R.; Holt, T.; Bell, H.; Ludwinski-Heydenkorn, L.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic ice masses have rapidly lost mass from the mid-1990s, through a combination of negative surface mass balance and accelerated ice discharge from marine-terminating outlet glaciers. In the past decade, substantial mass deficits have been identified on Novaya Zemlya, Russian High Arctic, and its outlet glaciers have retreated rapidly, likely due to declining sea ice concentrations. Although studies from the Greenland Ice Sheet suggest that outlet glacier retreat impacts markedly on inland ice at decadal timescales, its influence on Novaya Zemlya remains unclear and is complicated by the presence of surge-type glaciers. Here we use multiple satellite imagery sources to assess decadal-scale (1980s - 2010s) changes in the frontal position, surface elevation, terminus velocity and glaciological structure of outlet glaciers on the northern ice cap, Novaya Zemlya. We observe a substantial acceleration in retreat rates during the study period: recession was comparatively slow between the mid-1980s and circa. 2000, it increased markedly during the 2000s and further accelerated from 2011 onwards. Total retreat rates (1980s - 2010s) showed a strong dependence on terminus type: recession on marine-terminating outlets was up to an order of magnitude greater than on land- or lake-terminating glaciers, with the latter retreating somewhat quicker than those ending on land. We observed substantially higher retreat rates on the Barents Sea coast than on the Kara Sea, and greater recession on the northern Kara Sea coast than in the south. We detect frontal advance on three glaciers in the 2010s, which contrasts markedly with the strong retreat observed elsewhere. We suggest that this results from recent surge activity and is supported by the identification of surge-related features (e.g. looped moraines) on these outlets. Future work will use ASTER and Corana imagery to map surface elevation change and feature tracking will be applied to optical imagery, in order to quantify

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes, dominated by fermenters (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes). PMID:26034016

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-21

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

  16. Environmental Changes, Microbiota, and Allergic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Byoung-Ju; Lee, So-Yeon; Kim, Hyo-Bin; Lee, Eun

    2014-01-01

    During the last few decades, the prevalence of allergic disease has increased dramatically. The development of allergic diseases has been attributed to complex interactions between environmental factors and genetic factors. Of the many possible environmental factors, most research has focused on the most commonly encountered environmental factors, such as air pollution and environmental microbiota in combination with climate change. There is increasing evidence that such environmental factors play a critical role in the regulation of the immune response that is associated with allergic diseases, especially in genetically susceptible individuals. This review deals with not only these environmental factors and genetic factors but also their interactions in the development of allergic diseases. It will also emphasize the need for early interventions that can prevent the development of allergic diseases in susceptible populations and how these interventions can be identified. PMID:25228995

  17. 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

  18. Sensitivity of permafrost carbon release to past climate change in Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaglioti, B.; Mann, D. H.; Wooller, M. J.; Jones, B. M.; Farquharson, L. M.; Pohlman, J.

    2015-12-01

    Warming may cause arctic permafrost to thaw and release large stores of carbon (C) downstream and into the atmosphere. Documenting how permafrost-C release responded to prehistoric warming events can help determine its sensitivity to future climate change. We did this by first quantifying past climate change in Arctic Alaska over the last 15,000 years using oxygen isotope ratios in ancient wood cellulose, which is a proxy for summer temperatures and moisture sources. We then used radiocarbon (14C) age-offsets in lake sediment to determine how much permafrost C was being released over this same time period. A 14C age-offset is the difference between the true age of deposition determined by the 14C ages of delicate, terrestrial plant remains and the age of bulk sediment from the same stratigraphic layer. This bulk sediment contains ancient C derived from permafrost in the lake's watershed. Shifts in the magnitude of the age-offset over time provide a proxy for changes in the relative amount of permafrost C being released. Today, the age-offset in our study lake is 2,000 calibrated years before present (cal yr BP), which is the lowest it has been over the last 15,000 years. During the warmer-than-present, Bølling-Allerød period (BA; 14,700-12,900 cal yr BP), and the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM; 11,700-8,500 cal yr BP), the age offset reached 4,000-6,000 cal yr, indicating