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Sample records for high arctic climate

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Climate warming decreases the survival of the little auk (Alle alle), a high Arctic avian predator

    PubMed Central

    Hovinen, Johanna E H; Welcker, Jorg; Descamps, Sébastien; Strøm, Hallvard; Jerstad, Kurt; Berge, Jørgen; Steen, Harald

    2014-01-01

    Delayed maturity, low fecundity, and high adult survival are traits typical for species with a long-life expectancy. For such species, even a small change in adult survival can strongly affect the population dynamics and viability. We examined the effects of both regional and local climatic variability on adult survival of the little auk, a long-lived and numerous Arctic seabird species. We conducted a mark-resighting study for a period of 8 years (2006-2013) simultaneously at three little auk breeding sites that are influenced by the West Spitsbergen Current, which is the main carrier of warm, Atlantic water into the Arctic. We found that the survival of adult little auks was negatively correlated with both the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and local summer sea surface temperature (SST), with a time lag of 2 and 1 year, respectively. The effects of NAO and SST were likely mediated through a change in food quality and/or availability: (1) reproduction, growth, and development of Arctic Calanus copepods, the main prey of little auks, are negatively influenced by a reduction in sea ice, reduced ice algal production, and an earlier but shorter lasting spring bloom, all of which result from an increased NAO; (2) a high sea surface temperature shortens the reproductive period of Arctic Calanus, decreasing the number of eggs produced. A synchronous variation in survival rates at the different colonies indicates that climatic forcing was similar throughout the study area. Our findings suggest that a predicted warmer climate in the Arctic will negatively affect the population dynamics of the little auk, a high Arctic avian predator. PMID:25247069

  6. Arctic Climate Systems Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ivey, Mark D.; Robinson, David G.; Boslough, Mark B.; Backus, George A.; Peterson, Kara J.; van Bloemen Waanders, Bart G.; Swiler, Laura Painton; Desilets, Darin Maurice; Reinert, Rhonda Karen

    2015-03-01

    This study began with a challenge from program area managers at Sandia National Laboratories to technical staff in the energy, climate, and infrastructure security areas: apply a systems-level perspective to existing science and technology program areas in order to determine technology gaps, identify new technical capabilities at Sandia that could be applied to these areas, and identify opportunities for innovation. The Arctic was selected as one of these areas for systems level analyses, and this report documents the results. In this study, an emphasis was placed on the arctic atmosphere since Sandia has been active in atmospheric research in the Arctic since 1997. This study begins with a discussion of the challenges and benefits of analyzing the Arctic as a system. It goes on to discuss current and future needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for more comprehensive data products related to the Arctic; assess the current state of atmospheric measurement resources available for the Arctic; and explain how the capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories can be used to address the identified technological, data, and modeling needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for Arctic support.

  7. A High-Latitude Winter Continental Low Cloud Feedback Suppresses Arctic Air Formation in Warmer Climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cronin, T.; Tziperman, E.; Li, H.

    2015-12-01

    High latitude continents have warmed much more rapidly in recent decades than the rest of the globe, especially in winter, and the maintenance of warm, frost-free conditions in continental interiors in winter has been a long-standing problem of past equable climates. It has also been found that the high-latitude lapse rate feedback plays an important role in Arctic amplification of climate change in climate model simulations, but we have little understanding of why lapse rates at high latitudes change so strongly with warming. To better understand these problems, we study Arctic air formation - the process by which a high-latitude maritime air mass is advected over a continent during polar night, cooled at the surface by radiation, and transformed into a much colder continental polar air mass - and its sensitivity to climate warming. We use a single-column version of the WRF model to conduct two-week simulations of the cooling process across a wide range of initial temperature profiles and microphysics schemes, and find that a low cloud feedback suppresses Arctic air formation in warmer climates. This cloud feedback consists of an increase in low cloud amount with warming, which shields the surface from radiative cooling, and increases the continental surface air temperature by roughly two degrees for each degree increase of the initial maritime surface air temperature. The time it takes for the surface air temperature to drop below freezing increases nonlinearly to ~10 days for initial maritime surface air temperatures of 20 oC. Given that this is about the time it takes an air mass starting over the Pacific to traverse the north American continent, this suggests that optically thick stratus cloud decks could help to maintain frost-free winter continental interiors in equable climates. We find that CMIP5 climate model runs show large increases in cloud water path and surface cloud longwave forcing in warmer climates, consistent with the proposed low-cloud feedback

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Early Cretaceous vegetation and climate change at high latitude: palynological evidence from Isachsen Formation, Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galloway, Jennifer M.; Tullius, Dylan N.; Evenchick, Carol A.; Swindles, Graeme T.; Hadlari, Thomas; Embry, Ashton

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the behaviour of global climate during relatively warm periods in Earth's history, such as the Cretaceous Period, advances our overall understanding of the climate system and provides insight on drivers of climate change over geologic time. While it has been suggested that the Valanginian Age represents the first episode of Cretaceous greenhouse climate conditions with relatively equable warm temperatures, mounting evidence suggests that this time was relatively cool. A paucity of paleoclimate data currently exists for polar regions compared to mid- and low-latitudes and this is particularly true for the Canadian Arctic. There is also a lack of information about the terrestrial realm as most paleoclimate studies have been based on marine material. Here we present quantitative pollen and spore data obtained from the marginal marine and deltaic-fluvial Isachsen Formation of the Sverdrup Basin, Canadian Arctic, to better understand the long-term vegetation and climate history of polar regions during the warm but variable Early Cretaceous (Valanginian to Early Aptian). Detrended correspondence analysis of main pollen and spore taxa is used to derive three ecological groupings influenced by moisture and disturbance based on the botanical affinities of palynomorphs: 1) a mixed coniferous assemblage containing both lowland and upland components; 2) a conifer-filicopsid community that likely grew in dynamic lowland habitats; and, 3) a mature dry lowland community composed of Cheirolepidaceans. Stratigraphic changes in the relative abundance of pollen and spore taxa reflect climate variability in this polar region during the ~20 Mya history of the Isachsen Formation. The late Valanginian was relatively cool and moist and promoted lowland conifer-filicopsid communities. Warming in the Hauterivian resulted in the expansion coniferous communities in well-drained or arid hinterlands. A return to relatively cool and moist conditions in the Barremian resulted in the

  11. Polar Climate: Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, R.S.; Douglas, David C.; Belchansky, G.I.; Drobot, S.D.

    2005-01-01

    Recent decreases in snow and sea ice cover in the high northern latitudes are among the most notable indicators of climate change. Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent for the year as a whole was the third lowest on record dating back to 1973, behind 1995 (lowest) and 1990 (second lowest; Hadley Center–NCEP). September sea ice extent, which is at the end of the summer melt season and is typically the month with the lowest sea ice extent of the year, has decreased by about 19% since the late 1970s (Fig. 5.2), with a record minimum observed in 2002 (Serreze et al. 2003). A record low extent also occurred in spring (Chapman 2005, personal communication), and 2004 marked the third consecutive year of anomalously extreme sea ice retreat in the Arctic (Stroeve et al. 2005). Some model simulations indicate that ice-free summers will occur in the Arctic by the year 2070 (ACIA 2004).

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cassano, John

    2013-06-30

    The primary research task completed for this project was the development of the Regional Arctic Climate Model (RACM). This involved coupling existing atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land models using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate System Model (CCSM) coupler (CPL7). RACM is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) atmospheric model, the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) ocean model, the CICE sea ice model, and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land model. A secondary research task for this project was testing and evaluation of WRF for climate-scale simulations on the large pan-Arctic model domain used in RACM. This involved identification of a preferred set of model physical parameterizations for use in our coupled RACM simulations and documenting any atmospheric biases present in RACM.

  13. 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

  14. Regional Climate Modeling over the Glaciated Regions of the Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gready, Benjamin P.

    The Canadian Arctic Islands (CAI) contain the largest concentration of terrestrial ice outside of the continental ice sheets. Mass loss from this region has recently increased sharply due to above average summer temperatures. Thus, increasing the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for mass loss from this region is critical. Previously, Regional Climate Models (RCMs) have been utilized to estimate climatic balance over Greenland and Antarctica. This method offers the opportunity to study a full suite of climatic variables over extensive spatially distributed grids. However, there are doubts of the applicability of such models to the CAI, given the relatively complex topography of the CAI. To test RCMs in the CAI, the polar version of the regional climate model MM5 was run at high resolution over Devon Ice Cap. At low altitudes, residuals (computed through comparisons with in situ measurements) in the net radiation budget were driven primarily by residuals in net shortwave (NSW) radiation. Residuals in NSW are largely due to inaccuracies in modeled cloud cover and modeled albedo. Albedo on glaciers and ice sheets is oversimplified in Polar MM5 and its successor, the Polar version of the Weather Research and Forecast model (Polar WRF), and is an obvious place for model improvement. Subsequently, an inline parameterization of albedo for Polar WRF was developed as a function of the depth, temperature and age of snow. The parameterization was able to reproduce elevation gradients of seasonal mean albedo derived from satellite albedo measurements (MODIS MOD10A1 daily albedo), on the western slope of the Greenland Ice Sheet for three years. Feedbacks between modelled albedo and modelled surface energy budget components were identified. The shortwave radiation flux feeds back positively with changes to albedo, whereas the longwave, turbulent and ground energy fluxes all feed back negatively, with a maximum combined magnitude of two thirds of the shortwave feedback

  15. Impacts of a Warming Arctic - Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    2004-12-01

    The Arctic is now experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on earth. Over the next 100 years, climate change is expected to accelerate, contributing to major physical, ecological, social, and economic changes, many of which have already begun. Changes in arctic climate will also affect the rest of the world through increased global warming and rising sea levels. Impacts of a Warming Arctic is a plain language synthesis of the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), designed to be accessible to policymakers and the broader public. The ACIA is a comprehensively researched, fully referenced, and independently reviewed evaluation of arctic climate change. It has involved an international effort by hundreds of scientists. This report provides vital information to society as it contemplates its responses to one of the greatest challenges of our time. It is illustrated in full color throughout.

  16. Multiple climatic signals inferred from the varved sediments of a coastal lake in the Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amann, Benjamin; Lamoureux, Scott F.

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic is extremely sensitive to climate change, and an influential part of the global climate system. However, the assessment of climate change and impacts from the Arctic remains a challenge mainly due to short and sparse meteorological records. In this context, data from natural paleoclimate archives are fundamental to place climate variability into perspective and assess the sensitivity of Earth's climate to natural and anthropogenic forcings. In particular, Arctic lakes are excellent potential archives. They are sensitive to extreme seasonal variations in surface processes and have a limited direct human impact. Nevertheless, the study of Arctic lakes is an analytical and technical challenge because: (i) limnological information are often lacking due to difficult accessibility; (ii) 210Pb inventories are low and terrestrial macrofossils for 14C dating are rare, which limits the development of precise sediment chronologies; and (iii) sediment accumulation rates are often low, which may restrict the temporal resolution and length of the paleoclimate records. Here, we present a high-resolution record from the varved sediments (annual laminations) of a saline coastal lake located in the Canadian High Arctic (unofficial name Chevalier Lake; Melville Island, NT). The particular interest of this location is the catchment area: 152 times larger than the lake area (Ac = 350 km²; AL = 2.3 km²). This particularity generates high sedimentation rates, atypical of previously studied arctic lakes. Two sediment cores were recovered from the centre and a more proximal zone of the lake. We used microstratigraphy supported by X-ray fluorescence data (Zr/K for particle size, Fe/Rb for the winter clay cap distinction) to develop a precise and cross-dated varve chronology covering the last 400 years. Dating of the uppermost section could be validated with preliminary 137Cs data. Stratigraphical analysis reveals the presence of three sediment units within the meter

  17. Communicating climate science to high school students in the Arctic: Adventure Learning @ Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hougham, R. J.; Miller, B.; Cox, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Adventure Learning @ Greenland (AL@GL) engaged high school students in atmospheric research in the Arctic and in local environments to enhance climate literacy. The overarching objective for this project was to support climate literacy in high school students, specifically the concept of energy exchange between the Earth, atmosphere, and space. The goal then is to produce a model of education and outreach for remote STEM research that can be used to meaningfully engage K-12 and public communities. Over the course of the program experience, students conducted scientific inquiry associated with their place that supported a more focused science content at a field location. Approximately 45 students participated in the hybrid learning environments as part of this project at multiple locations in Idaho, USA, and Greenland. In Greenland, the Summit Camp research station located on the Greenland Ice Sheet was the primary location. The AL@GL project provided a compelling opportunity to engage students in an inquiry-based curriculum alongside a cutting-edge geophysical experiment at Summit: the Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit (ICECAPS) experiment. ICECAPS measures parameters that are closely tied to those identified in student misconceptions. Thus, ICECAPS science and the AL@ approach combined to create a learning environment that was practical, rich, and engaging. Students participating in this project were diverse, rural, and traditionally underrepresented. Groups included: students participating in a field school at Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and Summit Station as members of the JSEP; students at MOSS will were part of the Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS) and HOIST (Helping Orient Indian Students and Teachers) project. These project serve high school students who are first college generation and from low-income families. JSEP is an international group of students from the United States, Greenland, and Denmark

  18. 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.

  19. Early Tertiary climates of the Arctic Ocean

    SciTech Connect

    Marincovich, L.; Zinsmeister, W.J.

    1985-01-01

    Knowledge of Early Tertiary high latitude marine faunas (north of 65 N) is extremely limited. What published data that are available were based on small collections obtained during the early part of the 20th century. Recent work along the western part of the Arctic Ocean has greatly increased the knowledge of the composition of these faunas and climatic conditions of the high northern latitudes during the Early Tertiary. Early Eocene shallow marine faunas from the Eureka Sound Formation, Ellesmere Island (79/sup 0/ 30'N), together with similar aged faunas from Ocean Point, Alaska (72/sup 0/N) and Spitsbergen trough, Svalbard, (78/sup 0/N) indicate that temperature conditions prevailed in the high Arctic during the early Tertiary. These high latitude temperate conditions are also supported by the presence of a diverse terrestrial mammalian faunas (currently known only from Ellesmere Island) and floras. Preliminary comparisons of these faunas from the Arctic ocean with the diverse subtropical faunas from West Greenland (70/sup 0/N) indicates the presence of a major faunal discontinuity existed in the high northern latitudes during the early Tertiary. The cause of this faunal discontinuity is uncertain. It may be due to the presence of a physical barrier between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic or it may reflect cooler climatic conditions north of 70 N.

  20. Challenges of climate change: an Arctic perspective.

    PubMed

    Corell, Robert W

    2006-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGuire, A.D.; Chapin, F. S.; 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.

  2. Can regional climate engineering save the summer Arctic sea ice?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Climate-derived tensions in Arctic security.

    SciTech Connect

    Backus, George A.; Strickland, James Hassler

    2008-09-01

    Globally, there is no lack of security threats. Many of them demand priority engagement and there can never be adequate resources to address all threats. In this context, climate is just another aspect of global security and the Arctic just another region. In light of physical and budgetary constraints, new security needs must be integrated and prioritized with existing ones. This discussion approaches the security impacts of climate from that perspective, starting with the broad security picture and establishing how climate may affect it. This method provides a different view from one that starts with climate and projects it, in isolation, as the source of a hypothetical security burden. That said, the Arctic does appear to present high-priority security challenges. Uncertainty in the timing of an ice-free Arctic affects how quickly it will become a security priority. Uncertainty in the emergent extreme and variable weather conditions will determine the difficulty (cost) of maintaining adequate security (order) in the area. The resolution of sovereignty boundaries affects the ability to enforce security measures, and the U.S. will most probably need a military presence to back-up negotiated sovereignty agreements. Without additional global warming, technology already allows the Arctic to become a strategic link in the global supply chain, possibly with northern Russia as its main hub. Additionally, the multinational corporations reaping the economic bounty may affect security tensions more than nation-states themselves. Countries will depend ever more heavily on the global supply chains. China has particular needs to protect its trade flows. In matters of security, nation-state and multinational-corporate interests will become heavily intertwined.

  6. 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.

  7. Energy fluxes in a high Arctic tundra heath subjected to strong climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lund, M.; Hansen, B. U.; Pedersen, S. H.; Stiegler, C.; Tamstorf, M. P.

    2012-12-01

    During recent decades the observed warming in the Arctic has been almost twice as large as the global average. The implications of such strong warming on surface energy balance, regulating permafrost thaw, hydrology, soil stability and carbon mineralization, need to be assessed. In Zackenberg, northeast Greenland, measurements of energy balance components in various environments have been performed since late 90's, coordinated by Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations. During 1996-2009, mean annual temperature in the area has increased by ca. 0.15 °C yr-1; while maximum thaw depth has increased by 1.4-1.8 cm yr-1. Eddy covariance measurements of energy fluxes have been performed in a Cassiope heath plant community, a commonly occurring tundra ecosystem type in circumpolar middle and high Arctic areas, in Zackenberg allowing for detailed investigations of relationships between energy fluxes and meteorological and soil physical characteristics. As the available data set spans more than a decade, possible trends in energy flux components resulting from warming related changes such as earlier snow melt, increased active layer depth and higher temperatures can be investigated. This presentation will focus on the mid-summer period from which eddy covariance measurements are available. The summer-time energy partitioning at the Zackenberg tundra heath site will be characterized using ratios of sensible, latent and ground heat flux to net radiation and Bowen ratio, whereas the surface characteristics will be described using surface resistance, McNaughton and Jarvis Ω value and Priestley-Taylor α coefficient. Furthermore, we aim to estimate the full year, all energy balance components for the tundra heath site using Snow Model (Liston and Elder 2006) for the dark winter period during which no eddy covariance measurements are available. The snow cover duration in the area is a major regulator of the energy partitioning. Early results point towards high summer

  8. Connecting process to high resolution paleorecords: long term investigations of linked Arctic climate-hydrology-lacustrine sedimentary processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamoureux, S. F.; Normandeau, A.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution lacustrine sedimentary sequences hold substantial potential for paleoenvironmental analyses, particularly in regions where few alternatives are available. Increased attention to quantifying processes that generate sedimentary facies has yielded increasingly detailed environmental interpretations but these efforts have been limited by available field data. The Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory (CBAWO) was initiated in 2003 to develop a long term site to evaluate the controls over sediment transport and the formation of clastic sedimentary records. This program in the Canadian Arctic has supported 13 years of research in paired watersheds and lakes, both of which contain clastic varves. Results from 2003-14 demonstrate how multiple climatic factors delivery sediment in a complex manner. This comparatively simple hydroclimatic system is dominated by runoff and sediment transport from spring snowmelt, with clear associations between catchment snow water equivalence (or total runoff) and sediment yield, with discharge limited by snow exhaustion as the season progresses. Major rainfall can constitute a dominant contribution to seasonal sediment yield, but antecedent conditions can significantly reduce runoff markedly. Hence, these results indicate two primary competing hydroclimatic factors that control catchment sediment yield, both with independent climatic and hydrological factors. Additionally, the impact of landscape disturbance on downstream sediment yield has been evaluated following a major episode of permafrost thaw in 2007. Results show that localized slope disturbances resulted in enhanced erosion but downstream fluvial storage reduced the magnitude of transport. Sediment from disturbances will be gradually released and may generate decadal-scale sediment delivery changes in the downstream record. Collectively, this research indicates multiple controls over the formation of clastic varves. Advances in high resolution sedimentary

  9. 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

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Modeling Arctic Climate with a Regional Arctic System Model (RASM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassano, J. J.; Duvivier, A.; Hughes, M.; Roberts, A.; Brunke, M.; Fisel, B. J.; Gutowski, W. J.; Maslowski, W.; Nijssen, B.; Osinski, R.; Zeng, X.

    2013-12-01

    A new regional Earth system model of the Arctic, the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), has recently been developed. The initial version of this model includes atmosphere (WRF), ocean (POP), sea ice (CICE), and land (VIC) component models coupled with the NCAR CESM CPL7 coupler. The model is configured to run on a large pan-Arctic domain that includes all sea ice covered waters in the Northern Hemisphere and all Arctic Ocean draining land areas. Results from multi-decadal (1989 to present) simulations with RASM will be presented and will focus on the model's representation of atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land surface climate, emphasizing both strengths and weaknesses of the current model climate and comparisons with atmosphere-only WRF simulations. Results from the model show both areas of improvement and degraded results relative to stand-alone WRF. Improvement in the coupled model climate are related to more physically realistic representation of coupled processes such as energy transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere through leads in the sea ice during winter. Degraded results come from feedbacks in model component biases, such as atmospheric circulation biases resulting in incorrect local sea ice cover that then result in large local atmospheric temperature biases. The issue of spectral nudging in a coupled regional climate model system as well as other lessons learned during the development of RASM will be discussed. The presentation will conclude with future plans for RASM.

  13. 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

  14. Eocene Arctic Ocean and earth's Early Cenozoic climate

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, D.L.

    1985-01-01

    Seasonal changes of the Arctic Ocean are an approximate microcosm of the present advanced interglacial climate of the Earth. A similar relationship has existed for several million years but was the Early Cenozoic Arctic Ocean an analog of Earth's climate, as well. Absence of polar ice during the Cretaceous is relatively well established. During the Cenozoic a worldwide decrease in mean annual ocean temperature resulted from such factors as altered oceanic circulation and lower atmospheric CO/sub 2/ levels. Limited Arctic Ocean data for the middle or late Eocene indicate the presence of upwelling conditions and accompanying high productivity of diatoms, ebridians, silicoflagellates and archaeomonads. During this interval, some seasonality is suggested from the varve-like nature of a single sediment core. However, the absence of drop stones or any ice-rafted sediment supports the idea of an open water, ice-free central Arctic Ocean during this time. Latest Cretaceous Arctic Ocean sediment is interpreted to represent approximately the same conditions as those suggested for the Eocene and together with that data suggest that the central Arctic Ocean was ice-free during part if not all of the first 20 my of the Cenozoic. Sediment representing the succeeding 30 my has not been recovered but by latest Miocene or earl Pliocene, ice-rafted sediment was accumulating, both pack ice and icebergs covered the Arctic Ocean reflecting cyclic glacial climate.

  15. PCW/PHEOS-WCA: quasi-geostationary Arctic measurements for weather, climate, and air quality from highly eccentric orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lachance, Richard L.; McConnell, John C.; McElroy, C. Tom; O'Neill, Norm; Nassar, Ray; Buijs, Henry; Rahnama, Peyman; Walker, Kaley; Martin, Randall; Sioris, Chris; Garand, Louis; Trichtchenko, Alexander; Bergeron, Martin

    2012-09-01

    The PCW (Polar Communications and Weather) mission is a dual satellite mission with each satellite in a highly eccentric orbit with apogee ~42,000 km and a period (to be decided) in the 12-24 hour range to deliver continuous communications and meteorological data over the Arctic and environs. Such as satellite duo can give 24×7 coverage over the Arctic. The operational meteorological instrument is a 21-channel spectral imager similar to the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). The PHEOS-WCA (weather, climate and air quality) mission is intended as an atmospheric science complement to the operational PCW mission. The target PHEOS-WCA instrument package considered optimal to meet the full suite of science team objectives consists of FTS and UVS imaging sounders with viewing range of ~4.5° or a Field of Regard (FoR) ~ 3400×3400 km2 from near apogee. The goal for the spatial resolution at apogee of each imaging sounder is 10×10 km2 or better and the goal for the image repeat time is targeted at ~2 hours or better. The FTS has 4 bands that span the MIR and NIR with a spectral resolution of 0.25 cm-1. They should provide vertical tropospheric profiles of temperature and water vapour in addition to partial columns of many other gases of interest for air quality. The two NIR bands target columns of CO2, CH4 and aerosol optical depth (OD). The UVS is an imaging spectrometer that covers the spectral range of 280-650 nm with 0.9 nm resolution and targets the tropospheric column densities of O3 and NO2 and several other Air Quality (AQ) gases as well the Aerosol Index (AI).

  16. Arctic climate response to geoengineering with stratospheric sulfate aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCusker, K. E.; Battisti, D. S.; Bitz, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    Recent warming and record summer sea-ice area minimums have spurred expressions of concern for arctic ecosystems, permafrost, and polar bear populations, among other things. Geoengineering by stratospheric sulfate aerosol injections to deliberately cancel the anthropogenic temperature rise has been put forth as a possible solution to restoring Arctic (and global) climate to modern conditions. However, climate is particularly sensitive in the northern high latitudes, responding easily to radiative forcing changes. To that end, we explore the extent to which tropical injections of stratospheric sulfate aerosol can accomplish regional cancellation in the Arctic. We use the Community Climate System Model version 3 global climate model to execute simulations with combinations of doubled CO2 and imposed stratospheric sulfate burdens to investigate the effects on high latitude climate. We further explore the sensitivity of the polar climate to ocean dynamics by running a suite of simulations with and without ocean dynamics, transiently and to equilibrium respectively. We find that, although annual, global mean temperature cancellation is accomplished, there is over-cooling on land in Arctic summer, but residual warming in Arctic winter, which is largely due to atmospheric circulation changes. Furthermore, the spatial extent of these features and their concurrent impacts on sea-ice properties are modified by the inclusion of ocean dynamical feedbacks.

  17. Past climate variability and change in the Arctic and at high latitudes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alley, Richard B.; Brigham-Grette, Julie; Miller, Gifford H.; Polyak, Leonid; ,; ,; ,

    2009-01-01

    Paleoclimate records play a key role in our understanding of Earth's past and present climate system and in our confidence in predicting future climate changes. Paleoclimate data help to elucidate past and present active mechanisms of climate change by placing the short instrumental record into a longer term context and by permitting models to be tested beyond the limited time that instrumental measurements have been available.

  18. 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

  19. Climate of the Arctic marine environment.

    PubMed

    Walsh, John E

    2008-03-01

    The climate of the Arctic marine environment is characterized by strong seasonality in the incoming solar radiation and by tremendous spatial variations arising from a variety of surface types, including open ocean, sea ice, large islands, and proximity to major landmasses. Interannual and decadal-scale variations are prominent features of Arctic climate, complicating the distinction between natural and anthropogenically driven variations. Nevertheless, climate models consistently indicate that the Arctic is the most climatically sensitive region of the Northern Hemisphere, especially near the sea ice margins. The Arctic marine environment has shown changes over the past several decades, and these changes are part of a broader global warming that exceeds the range of natural variability over the past 1000 years. Record minima of sea ice coverage during the past few summers and increased melt from Greenland have important implications for the hydrographic regime of the Arctic marine environment. The recent changes in the atmosphere (temperature, precipitation, pressure), sea ice, and ocean appear to be a coordinated response to systematic variations of the large-scale atmospheric circulation, superimposed on a general warming that is likely associated with increasing greenhouse gases. The changes have been sufficiently large in some sectors (e.g., the Bering/Chukchi Seas) that consequences for marine ecosystems appear to be underway. Global climate models indicate an additional warming of several degrees Celsius in much of the Arctic marine environment by 2050. However, the warming is seasonal (largest in autumn and winter), spatially variable, and closely associated with further retreat of sea ice. Additional changes predicted for 2050 are a general decrease of sea level pressure (largest in the Bering sector) and an increase of precipitation. While predictions of changes in storminess cannot be made with confidence, the predicted reduction of sea ice cover will

  20. Climate impacts on arctic freshwater ecosystems and fisheries: background, rationale and approach of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).

    PubMed

    Wrona, Frederick J; Prowse, Terry D; Reist, James D; Hobbie, John E; Lévesque, Lucie M J; Vincent, Warwick F

    2006-11-01

    Changes in climate and ultraviolet radiation levels in the Arctic will have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that makes up their habitat, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables, such as temperature and precipitation, with freshwater ecosystems are highly complex and can propagate through the ecosystem in ways that are difficult to project. This is partly due to a poor understanding of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, and partly due to a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. The papers in this special issue are an abstraction of the analyses performed by 25 international experts and their associated networks on Arctic freshwater hydrology and related aquatic ecosystems that was initially published by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) in 2005 as "Chapter 8--Freshwater Ecosystems and Fisheries". The papers provide a broad overview of the general hydrological and ecological features of the various freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic, including descriptions of each ACIA region, followed by a review of historical changes in freshwater systems during the Holocene. This is followed by an assessment of the effects of climate change on broad-scale hydro-ecology; aquatic biota and ecosystem structure and function; and arctic fish and fisheries. Potential synergistic and cumulative effects are also discussed, as are the roles of ultraviolet radiation and contaminants. The nature and complexity of many of the effects are illustrated using case studies from around the circumpolar north, together with a discussion of important threshold responses (i.e., those that produce stepwise and/or nonlinear effects). The issue concludes with summary the key findings, a list of gaps in

  1. Late Holocene climate and chemical change at high latitudes: case studies from contaminated sites in subarctic and arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galloway, Jennifer M.; Cooney, Darryl; Crann, Carley; Falck, Hendrik; Howell, Dana; Jamieson, Heather; Macumber, Andrew; Nasser, Nawaf; Palmer, Michael; Patterson, R. Timothy; Parsons, Michael; Roe, Helen M.; Sanei, Hamed; Spence, Christopher; Stavinga, Drew; Swindles, Graeme T.

    2015-04-01

    Climate variability is occurring at unprecedented rates in northern regions of the Earth, yet little is known about the nature of this variability or its influence on chemical cycling in the environment, particularly in areas with a legacy of contamination from past resource development. We use a paleolimnological approach to reconstruct climate and chemical change over centuries and millennia at two sites in the mineral-rich Slave Geologic Province in Northern Canada heavily impacted by gold mining. Such an approach is necessary to define the cumulative effects of climate change on metal loading and can be used to define anthropogenic release of contaminants to support policy and regulation due to a paucity of long-term monitoring data. The Seabridge Gold Inc. Courageous Lake project is a gold exploration project 240 km north of Yellowknife in the central Northwest Territories, Arctic Canada. Mining operations took place within the claim area at the Tundra (1964-1968) and Salmita (1983-1987) mines. Giant Mine is located in the subarctic near the City of Yellowknife and mining at this site represents the longest continuous gold mining operation in Canada (1938 to 2002). Due to the refractory mineralogy of ore, gold was extracted from arsenopyrite by roasting, which resulted in release of substantial quantities of highly toxic arsenic trioxide to the environment. Arsenic (As) is also naturally elevated at these sites due its occurrence in Yellowknife Supergroup greenstone belts and surficial geologic deposits. To attempt to distinguish between geogenic and anthropogenic sources of As and characterize the role of climate change on metalloid mobility we used a freeze coring technology to capture lake sediments from the properties. Sediments were analyzed for sedimentary grain size and bulk geochemistry using ICP-MS to reconstruct climate and chemical change. Micropaleontological analyses are on-going. Interpretations of the physical, chemical, and biological archive

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Recent trends in energy flows through the Arctic climate system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, Michael; Haimberger, Leo

    2016-04-01

    While Arctic climate change can be diagnosed in many parameters, a comprehensive assessment of long-term changes and low frequency variability in the coupled Arctic energy budget still remains challenging due to the complex physical processes involved and the lack of observations. Here we draw on strongly improved observational capabilities of the past 15 years and employ observed radiative fluxes from CERES along with state-of-the-art atmospheric as well as coupled ocean-ice reanalyses to explore recent changes in energy flows through the Arctic climate system. Various estimates of ice volume and ocean heat content trends imply that the energy imbalance of the Arctic climate system was >1 Wm-2 during the 2000-2015 period, where most of the extra heat warmed the ocean and a comparatively small fraction was used to melt sea ice. The energy imbalance was partly fed by enhanced oceanic heat transports into the Arctic, especially in the mid 2000s. Seasonal trends of net radiation show a very clear signal of the ice-albedo feedback. Stronger radiative energy input during summer means increased seasonal oceanic heat uptake and accelerated sea ice melt. In return, lower minimum sea ice extent and higher SSTs lead to enhanced heat release from the ocean during fall season. These results are consistent with modeling studies finding an enhancement of the annual cycle of surface energy exchanges in a warming Arctic. Moreover, stronger heat fluxes from the ocean to the atmosphere in fall tend to warm the arctic boundary layer and reduce meridional temperature gradients, thereby reducing atmospheric energy transports into the polar cap. Although the observed results are a robust finding, extended high-quality datasets are needed to reliably separate trends from low frequency variability.

  5. Impact of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) Variability on Arctic Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahajan, S.; Zhang, R.; Delworth, T. L.

    2009-12-01

    Observations show a rapid decline of Arctic sea-ice extent and thickness, and a rapid warming in Arctic surface air temperatures (SAT) in the past decade. Recent observational studies confirm the amplification of SAT anomalies over the Arctic region, as previously suggested by several modeling studies. While climate model projections clearly show that increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases lead to a warming trend over the Arctic, a recent study finds multidecadal variations of Arctic climate that are strongly correlated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The AMOC is often thought to be a major source of decadal/multidecadal variability in the climate system, and contributes to the observed AMO. The focus of this study is to evaluate the role of low frequency AMOC variability on Arctic climate in a 1000 years control simulation of the GFDL CM2.1 coupled climate model. Simulated Arctic sea-ice extent anomaly is found to be highly anti-correlated with Arctic SAT anomaly, similar to observations. The coupled climate model also simulates the amplification of Arctic SAT anomalies by a factor of 4 of global SAT anomalies. A strong correlation is also found between the simulated AMO and Arctic SAT and sea-ice extent anomalies on decadal time-scales. The AMO is mainly induced by low frequency AMOC variations in the control simulation. Spatially, the AMO demonstrates the largest influence on the Bering, Labrador and Nordic Seas sea-ice concentration anomalies, similar to the observed spatial pattern of the Arctic sea-ice declining trend since 1979. Both observations and climate model simulations suggest a strong role of AMOC on decadal Arctic climate variability. Our model results suggest that the intensifying AMOC, in addition to anthropogenic greenhouse gases induced global warming, might have also contributed to the recent decline in Arctic sea-ice.

  6. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave 1 pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach for determining significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  7. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.

    2000-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave I pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach to determine significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Comparative responses of Dryas octopetala to simulated changes in climate from alpine, low- and high arctic ITEX sites

    SciTech Connect

    Welker, J.M.; Parsons, A.N.; Walker, M.D. |||

    1995-06-01

    Field manipulations of environmental conditions have been established in dry tundra sites on Niwot Ridge, CO, Toolik Lake, AK and on Svalbard, Norway as part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). Dryas octopetala is the dominant species at all three sites where we have examined organismic and ecosystem responses to similar increases in temperature. Leaf and seed mass differ significantly between all sites and warmer temperatures resulted in reductions in leaf mass at both the high and low arctic sites in the initial year, but this was not observed at the alpine site. Reductions in leaf mass were accompanied by changes in leaf demography. Seed masses were inherently different between sites, being largest from plants in the alpine tundra. Plants in the alpine and in the high arctic had higher seed weights when warmed. By the end of the second year, leaf C:N ratios were higher in alpine plants which were warmed. These organismic responses may set the stage for altered colonization of bare ground while changes in C:N ratios may modify decomposition rates linking organismic and ecosystem dynamics.

  11. Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gogineni, Sivaprasad; Thomas, Robert H.; Abdalati, Waleed (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    The Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA) is a NASA-sponsored initiative with the prime objective of understanding the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. In October 1998, PARCA investigators met to review activities of the previous year, assess the program's progress, and plan future investigations directed at accomplishing that objective. Some exciting results were presented and discussed, including evidence of dramatic thinning of the ice sheet near the southeastern coast. Details of the investigations and many of the accomplishments are given in this report, but major highlights are given in the Executive Summary of the report.

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Inter-annual growth of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus, L.) in relation to climate variation

    PubMed Central

    Kristensen, David M; Jørgensen, Thomas R; Larsen, Rasmus K; Forchhammer, Mads C; Christoffersen, Kirsten S

    2006-01-01

    Background Major changes in climate have been observed in the Arctic and climate models predict further amplification of the enhanced greenhouse effect at high-latitudes leading to increased warming. We propose that warming in the Arctic may affect the annual growth conditions of the cold adapted Arctic charr and that such effects can already be detected retrospectrally using otolith data. Results Inter-annual growth of the circumpolar Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus, L.) was analysed in relation to climatic changes observed in the Arctic during the last two decades. Arctic charr were sampled from six locations at Qeqertarsuaq in West Greenland, where climate data have been recorded since 1990. Two fish populations met the criteria of homogeny and, consequently, only these were used in further analyses. The results demonstrate a complex coupling between annual growth rates and fluctuations in annual mean temperatures and precipitation. Significant changes in temporal patterns of growth were observed between cohorts of 1990 and 2004. Conclusion Differences in pattern of growth appear to be a consequence of climatic changes over the last two decades and we thereby conclude that climatic affects short term and inter-annual growth as well as influencing long term shifts in age-specific growth patterns in population of Arctic charr. PMID:16934162

  16. 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

  17. Arctic ocean sediment texture and the Pleistocene climate cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, D.L.; Morris, T.H.

    1985-01-01

    Arctic Ocean sediment texture accurately reflects the Plio-Pleistocene climate cycle. The precision of paleoclimate interpretation is improved when deglaciation is recognized as a distinct climate stage, overlapping both glacial and interglacial stages, and for the later Pleistocene, perhaps never completed. Oxygen isotope stratigraphy and foraminifera productivity are out of phase but can be understood in the context of the transitional nature of the glacial, deglacial and interglacial climate stages of the Arctic Ocean.

  18. Mars, Always Cold, Sometimes Wet: New Constraints on Mars Denudation Rates and Climate Evolution from Analog Studies at Haughton Crater, Devon Island, High Arctic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Pascal; Boucher, M.; Desportes, C.; Glass, B. J.; Lim, D.; McKay, C. P.; Osinski, G. R.; Parnell, J.; Schutt, J. W.

    2005-01-01

    Analysis of crater modification on Mars and at Haughton Crater, Devon Island, High Arctic, which was recently shown to be significantly older than previously believed (Eocene age instead of Miocene) [1], suggest that Mars may have never been climatically wet and warm for geological lengths of time during and since the Late Noachian. Impact structures offer particularly valuable records of the evolution of a planet s climate and landscape through time. The state of exposure and preservation of impact structures and their intracrater fill provide clues to the nature, timing, and intensity of the processes that have modified the craters since their formation. Modifying processes include weathering, erosion, mantling, and infilling. In this study, we compare the modification of Haughton through time with that of impact craters in the same size class on Mars. We derive upper limits for time-integrated denudation rates on Mars during and since the Late Noachian. These rates are significantly lower than previously published and provide important constraints for Mars climate evolution.

  19. High resolution modeling of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere region over the Arctic - GEM-AC simulations for the future climate with and without aviation emissions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porebska, Magdalena; Struzewska, Joanna; Kaminski, Jacek W.

    2016-04-01

    Upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) region is a layer around the tropopause. Perturbation of the chemical composition in the UTLS region can impact physical and dynamical processes that can lead to changes in cloudiness, precipitation, radiative forcing, stratosphere-troposphere exchange and zonal flow. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential impacts of aviation emissions on the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. In order to assess the impact of the aviation emissions we will focus on changes in atmospheric dynamic due to changes in chemical composition in the UTLS over the Arctic. Specifically, we will assess perturbations in the distribution of the wind, temperature and pressure fields in the UTLS region. Our study will be based on simulations using a high resolution chemical weather model for four scenarios of current (2006) and future (2050) climate: with and without aircraft emissions. The tool that we use is the GEM-AC (Global Environmental Multiscale with Atmospheric Chemistry) chemical weather model where air quality, free tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry processes are on-line and interactive in an operational weather forecast model of Environment Canada. In vertical, the model domain is defined on 70 hybrid levels with model top at 0.1 mb. The gas-phase chemistry includes detailed reactions of Ox, NOx, HOx, CO, CH4, ClOx and BrO. Also, the model can address aerosol microphysics and gas-aerosol partitioning. Aircraft emissions are from the AEDT 2006 database developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (USA) and the future climate simulations are based on RCP8.5 projection presented by the IPCC in the fifth Assessment Report AR5. Results from model simulations on a global variable grid with 0.5o x 0.5o uniform resolution over the Arctic will be presented.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Arctic and subarctic (i.e., [sub]arctic) ecosystems are predicted to be particularly susceptible to climate change. The area of tundra is expected to decrease and temperate climates will extend further north, affecting species inhabiting northern environments. Consequently, species at high latitudes should be especially susceptible to climate change, likely experiencing significant range contractions. Contrary to these expectations, our modelling of species distributions suggests that predicted climate change up to 2080 will favour most mammals presently inhabiting (sub)arctic Europe. Assuming full dispersal ability, most species will benefit from climate change, except for a few cold-climate specialists. However, most resident species will contract their ranges if they are not able to track their climatic niches, but no species is predicted to go extinct. If climate would change far beyond current predictions, however, species might disappear. The reason for the relative stability of mammalian presence might be that arctic regions have experienced large climatic shifts in the past, filtering out sensitive and range-restricted taxa. We also provide evidence that for most (sub)arctic mammals it is not climate change per se that will threaten them, but possible constraints on their dispersal ability and changes in community composition. Such impacts of future changes in species communities should receive more attention in literature. PMID:23285098

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Climate penalty for shifting shipping to the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Fuglestvedt, Jan S; Dalsøren, Stig Bjørløw; Samset, Bjørn Hallvard; Berntsen, Terje; Myhre, Gunnar; Hodnebrog, Øivind; Eide, Magnus Strandmyr; Bergh, Trond Flisnes

    2014-11-18

    The changing climate in the Arctic opens new shipping routes. A shift to shorter Arctic transit will, however, incur a climate penalty over the first one and a half centuries. We investigate the net climate effect of diverting a segment of Europe-Asia container traffic from the Suez to an Arctic transit route. We find an initial net warming for the first one-and-a-half centuries, which gradually declines and transitions to net cooling as the effects of CO2 reductions become dominant, resulting in climate mitigation only in the long term. Thus, the possibilities for shifting shipping to the Arctic confront policymakers with the question of how to weigh a century-scale warming with large uncertainties versus a long-term climate benefit from CO2 reductions. PMID:25347302

  5. ArcticDEM; A Publically Available, High Resolution Elevation Model of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morin, Paul; Porter, Claire; Cloutier, Michael; Howat, Ian; Noh, Myoung-Jong; Willis, Michael; Bates, Brian; Willamson, Cathleen; Peterman, Kennith

    2016-04-01

    A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the Arctic is needed for a large number of reasons, including: measuring and understanding rapid, ongoing changes to the Arctic landscape resulting from climate change and human use and mitigation and adaptation planning for Arctic communities. The topography of the Arctic is more poorly mapped than most other regions of Earth due to logistical costs and the limits of satellite missions with low-latitude inclinations. A convergence of civilian, high-quality sub-meter stereo imagery; petascale computing and open source photogrammetry software has made it possible to produce a complete, very high resolution (2 to 8-meter posting), elevation model of the Arctic. A partnership between the US National Geospatial-intelligence Agency and a team led by the US National Science Foundation funded Polar Geospatial Center is using stereo imagery from DigitalGlobe's Worldview-1, 2 and 3 satellites and the Ohio State University's Surface Extraction with TIN-based Search-space Minimization (SETSM) software running on the University of Illinois's Blue Water supercomputer to address this challenge. The final product will be a seemless, 2-m posting digital surface model mosaic of the entire Arctic above 60 North including all of Alaska, Greenland and Kamchatka. We will also make available the more than 300,000 individual time-stamped DSM strip pairs that were used to assemble the mosaic. The Arctic DEM will have a vertical precision of better than 0.5m and can be used to examine changes in land surfaces such as those caused by permafrost degradation or the evolution of arctic rivers and floodplains. The data set can also be used to highlight changing geomorphology due to Earth surface mass transport processes occurring in active volcanic and glacial environments. When complete the ArcticDEM will catapult the Arctic from the worst to among the best mapped regions on Earth.

  6. The Arctic Climate Modeling Program: Professional Development for Rural Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bertram, Kathryn Berry

    2010-01-01

    The Arctic Climate Modeling Program (ACMP) offered yearlong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professional development to teachers in rural Alaska. Teacher training focused on introducing youth to workforce technologies used in Arctic research. Due to challenges in making professional development accessible to rural teachers, ACMP…

  7. Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Distribution as an Indicator of Arctic Climate Change - Synthesis of Model Results and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslowski, Wieslaw; Clement Kinney, Jaclyn; Jakacki, Jaromir; Osinski, Robert; Zwally, Jay

    2010-05-01

    The Arctic region is an integral part of the Earth's climate system through its influence on global surface energy and moisture fluxes and on atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Within the Arctic, its sea ice cover is possibly the most sensitive indicator of the polar amplified global warming and of the state of Arctic climate system as a whole. Hence changes in Arctic climate and the decline of multi-year sea ice cover have significant ramifications to the entire pan-Arctic region and beyond. Having the recorded average global surface temperature about 0.54°C (0.96°F) above the 20th Century average the decade of 2000-2009 has been the warmest of the 130-year record, with the maximum positive temperatures anomalies in the northern high latitude regions. Satellite records of the Arctic sea ice show a decreasing and accelerating trend in ice extent and concentration since the late 1979, as a result of the global warming. More importantly there is growing evidence that the Arctic sea ice thickness and volume have been decreasing at even faster rate. This means that our knowledge of the Arctic sea ice melt might be significantly biased due to the interpretation of 2-dimensional sea ice extent / concentration records only instead of ice thickness and volume. The rates of recent ice thickness and volume melt derived from our pan-Arctic coupled ice-ocean model results combined with recent remotely sensed data suggest an accelerating negative trend. This trend is robust and lends credence to the postulation that the Arctic not only might but it is likely to be ice-free during the summer in the near future. However, global climate models vary widely in their predictions of warming and the rate of Arctic ice melt, suggesting it may take anywhere from a couple of decades to more than a century to melt most of the summer sea ice cover. Also many regional models are limited in their representation of the rapid Arctic sea ice thinning and volume loss. The inability of models

  8. 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

  9. Evaluation of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) - Process-resolving Arctic Climate Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslowski, Wieslaw

    2016-04-01

    The Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) has been developed to better understand the past and present operation of Arctic System at process scale and to predict its change at time scales from days to decades, in support of the US environmental assessment and prediction needs. RASM is a limited-area, fully coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere-land model that uses the Community Earth System Model (CESM) framework. It includes the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, the LANL Parallel Ocean Program (POP) and Community Ice Model (CICE) and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land hydrology model. The ocean and sea ice models used in RASM are regionally configured versions of those used in CESM, while WRF replaces the Community Atmospheric Model (CAM). In addition, a streamflow routing (RVIC) model was recently implemented in RASM to transport the freshwater flux from the land surface to the Arctic Ocean. The model domain is configured at an eddy-permitting resolution of 1/12° (or ~9km) for the ice-ocean and 50 km for the atmosphere-land model components. It covers the entire Northern Hemisphere marine cryosphere, terrestrial drainage to the Arctic Ocean and its major inflow and outflow pathways, with optimal extension into the North Pacific / Atlantic to model the passage of cyclones into the Arctic. In addition, a 1/48° (or ~2.4km) grid for the ice-ocean model components has been recently configured. All RASM components are coupled at high frequency (currently at 20-minute intervals) to allow realistic representation of inertial interactions among the model components. In addition to an overview of RASM technical details, model results are presented from both fully coupled and subsets of RASM, where the atmospheric and land components are replaced with prescribed realistic atmospheric reanalysis data to evaluate model skill in representing seasonal climatology as well as interannual and multidecadal climate variability. Selected physical processes and resulting

  10. Climate Effects on Methylmercury Bioaccumulation Along a Latitudinal Gradient in the Eastern Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chetelat, J.; Richardson, M.; MacMillan, G. A.; Amyot, M.; Hintelmann, H.; Crump, D.

    2014-12-01

    Recent evidence indicates that inorganic mercury (Hg) loadings to Arctic lakes decline with latitude. However, monomethylmercury (MMHg) concentrations in fish and their prey do not decline in a similar fashion, suggesting that higher latitude lakes are more vulnerable to Hg inputs. Preliminary results will be presented from a three-year study (2012-2015) of climate effects on MMHg bioaccumulation in lakes of the eastern Canadian Arctic. We have investigated mercury transport and accumulation processes in lakes and ponds from three study regions along a latitudinal gradient in climate-controlled ecosystem types in the Canadian Arctic, specifically sub-Arctic taiga, Arctic tundra and polar desert. In each water body, we measured key aspects of MMHg bioaccumulation—MMHg bioavailability to benthic food webs and organism growth rates—as well as how watershed characteristics affect the transport of Hg and organic carbon to lakes. Novel approaches were incorporated including the use of passive samplers (Diffusive Gradient in Thin Film samplers or DGTs) to estimate sediment bioavailable MMHg concentrations and tissue RNA content to compare organism short-term growth rates. A comparison of Arctic tundra and sub-Arctic taiga lakes showed that surface water concentrations of MMHg were strongly and positively correlated to total Hg concentrations both within and among study regions, implying strong control of inorganic Hg supply. Sediment concentrations of bioavailable MMHg were highly variable among lakes, although average concentrations were similar between study regions. Local environmental conditions appear to have a strong influence on sediment potential for MMHg supply. Lake-dwelling Arctic char from tundra lakes had similar or higher total Hg concentrations compared with brook trout from sub-Arctic lakes that were exposed to higher water MMHg concentrations. Potential environmental drivers of these patterns will be discussed. This latitudinal study will provide new

  11. Shrub expansion and climate feedbacks in Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2012-03-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems stand to play a substantial role in both the magnitude and rate of global climate warming over the coming decades and centuries. The exact nature of this role will be determined by the combined effects of currently amplified rates of climate warming in the Arctic (Serreze et al 2000) and a series of related positive climate feedbacks that include mobilization of permafrost carbon (Schuur et al 2008), decreases in surface albedo (Chapin et al 2005) and evapotranspiration (ET) mediated increases in atmospheric water vapor (Swann et al 2010). Conceptually, these feedback mechanisms are intuitive and readily comprehensible: warming-induced permafrost thaw will make new soil carbon pools accessible for microbial respiration, and increased vegetation productivity, expansion of shrubs in particular, will lower surface reflectance and increase ET. However, our current understanding of these feedback mechanisms relies largely on limited and local field studies and, as such, the quantitative estimates of feedback effects on regional and global climate require spatial upscaling and uncertainty estimates derived from models. Moreover, the feedback mechanisms interact and their combined net effect on climate is highly variable and not well characterized. A recent study by Bonfils et al (2012) is among the first to explicitly examine how shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems will impact regional climate. Using an Earth system model, Bonfils et al find that an idealized 20% increase in shrub cover north of 60°N latitude will lead to annual temperature increases of 0.66 °C and 1.84 °C, respectively, when the shrubs are 0.5 m and 2 m tall. The modeled temperature increases arise from atmospheric heating as a combined consequence of decreased albedo and increased ET. The primary difference between the two cases is associated with the fact that tall shrubs protrude above the snow, thus reducing albedo year round, whereas short shrubs are completely

  12. 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

  13. Carbon, Climate and Cameras: Showcasing Arctic research through multimedia storytelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tachihara, B. L.; Linder, C. A.; Holmes, R. M.

    2011-12-01

    In July 2011, Tachihara spent three weeks in the Siberian Arctic documenting The Polaris Project, an NSF-funded effort that brings together an international group of undergraduate students and research scientists to study Arctic systems. Using a combination of photography, video and interviews gathered during the field course, we produced a six-minute film focusing on the researchers' quest to track carbon as it moves from terrestrial upland areas into lakes, streams, rivers and eventually into the Arctic Ocean. The overall goal was to communicate the significance of Arctic science in the face of changing climate. Using a selection of clips from the 2011 video, we will discuss the advantages and challenges specific to using multimedia presentations to represent Arctic research, as well as science in general. The full video can be viewed on the Polaris website: http://www.thepolarisproject.org.

  14. Relating Regional Arctic Sea Ice and climate extremes over Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ionita-Scholz, Monica; Grosfeld, Klaus; Lohmann, Gerrit; Scholz, Patrick

    2016-04-01

    The potential increase of temperature extremes under climate change is a major threat to society, as temperature extremes have a deep impact on environment, hydrology, agriculture, society and economy. Hence, the analysis of the mechanisms underlying their occurrence, including their relationships with the large-scale atmospheric circulation and sea ice concentration, is of major importance. At the same time, the decline in Arctic sea ice cover during the last 30 years has been widely documented and it is clear that this change is having profound impacts at regional as well as planetary scale. As such, this study aims to investigate the relation between the autumn regional sea ice concentration variability and cold winters in Europe, as identified by the numbers of cold nights (TN10p), cold days (TX10p), ice days (ID) and consecutive frost days (CFD). We analyze the relationship between Arctic sea ice variation in autumn (September-October-November) averaged over eight different Arctic regions (Barents/Kara Seas, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi/Bering Seas, Central Arctic, Greenland Sea, Labrador Sea/Baffin Bay, Laptev/East Siberian Seas and Northern Hemisphere) and variations in atmospheric circulation and climate extreme indices in the following winter season over Europe using composite map analysis. Based on the composite map analysis it is shown that the response of the winter extreme temperatures over Europe is highly correlated/connected to changes in Arctic sea ice variability. However, this signal is not symmetrical for the case of high and low sea ice years. Moreover, the response of temperatures extreme over Europe to sea ice variability over the different Arctic regions differs substantially. The regions which have the strongest impact on the extreme winter temperature over Europe are: Barents/Kara Seas, Beaufort Sea, Central Arctic and the Northern Hemisphere. For the years of high sea ice concentration in the Barents/Kara Seas there is a reduction in the number

  15. Holocene climate change in Arctic Canada and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Climatic reconstructions in the North American arctic during the last 6000 years

    SciTech Connect

    Andrews, J.T.; Short, S.K.

    1983-07-11

    The objectives include: (1) building a data base of modern surface pollen samples from across the eastern and central Canadian arctic as well as along the North Slope of Alaska; (2) documenting changes in the pollen spectra at a series of peat and lake sites in northern Labrador, Baffin Island, and Keewatin; (3) preparing a series of transfer functions that relate modern climatic data to modern surface pollen spectra and applying the equations to fossil pollen spectra in the eastern Canadian arctic; and (4) discussing the significance of spikes of exotic tree and shrub pollen in high arctic peat and lake samples as paleoclimatic indicators.

  19. Changes in Arctic climate and its relationship with Barents Oscillation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, E.; Lim, G.

    2013-12-01

    One of the major atmospheric modes governing the atmospheric motion on the Arctic region in boreal winter is Arctic Oscillation. This zonally symmetric pattern is first identified by Lorenz(1951) and named in 1887 by Thompson and Wallace. After its discovery many researchers have explained variability of winter climate over the northern hemisphere using intensity of Arctic oscillation and its relationship have been well shown. In the last decade, Arctic oscillation has trended to a more neutral state. However, in the same period Arctic warming has been faster than any other region and strong cold surge events over Eurasia have occurred. Strong relationship between Arctic oscillation and these phenomena is not well explained. Skeie(2000) called second EOF mode of sea level pressure Barents oscillation. Using this index, the relationship between recent cold events over Eurasia and Barents oscillation can be shown. Briefly, recent changes over the Arctic region are well associated with this mode. Some of studies consider Barents oscillation as a non-real mode and artificially made from statistical error. In this study, difference between Barents oscillation and Arctic oscillation is shown according to its statistical relationship with other variables and dynamical structure.

  20. Impacts of ocean albedo alteration on Arctic sea ice restoration and Northern Hemisphere climate

    DOE PAGES

    Cvijanovic, Ivana; Caldeira, Ken; MacMartin, Douglas G.

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic Ocean is expected to transition into a seasonally ice-free state by mid-century, enhancing Arctic warming and leading to substantial ecological and socio-economic challenges across the Arctic region. It has been proposed that artificially increasing high latitude ocean albedo could restore sea ice, but the climate impacts of such a strategy have not been previously explored. Motivated by this, we investigate the impacts of idealized high latitude ocean albedo changes on Arctic sea ice restoration and climate. In our simulated 4xCO₂ climate, imposing surface albedo alterations over the Arctic Ocean leads to partial sea ice recovery and a modestmore » reduction in Arctic warming. With the most extreme ocean albedo changes, imposed over the area 70°–90°N, September sea ice cover stabilizes at ~40% of its preindustrial value (compared to ~3% without imposed albedo modifications). This is accompanied by an annual mean Arctic surface temperature decrease of ~2 °C but no substantial global mean temperature decrease. Imposed albedo changes and sea ice recovery alter climate outside the Arctic region too, affecting precipitation distribution over parts of the continental United States and Northeastern Pacific. For example, following sea ice recovery, wetter and milder winter conditions are present in the Southwest United States while the East Coast experiences cooling. We conclude that although ocean albedo alteration could lead to some sea ice recovery, it does not appear to be an effective way of offsetting the overall effects of CO₂ induced global warming.« less

  1. Impacts of ocean albedo alteration on Arctic sea ice restoration and Northern Hemisphere climate

    SciTech Connect

    Cvijanovic, Ivana; Caldeira, Ken; MacMartin, Douglas G.

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic Ocean is expected to transition into a seasonally ice-free state by mid-century, enhancing Arctic warming and leading to substantial ecological and socio-economic challenges across the Arctic region. It has been proposed that artificially increasing high latitude ocean albedo could restore sea ice, but the climate impacts of such a strategy have not been previously explored. Motivated by this, we investigate the impacts of idealized high latitude ocean albedo changes on Arctic sea ice restoration and climate. In our simulated 4xCO₂ climate, imposing surface albedo alterations over the Arctic Ocean leads to partial sea ice recovery and a modest reduction in Arctic warming. With the most extreme ocean albedo changes, imposed over the area 70°–90°N, September sea ice cover stabilizes at ~40% of its preindustrial value (compared to ~3% without imposed albedo modifications). This is accompanied by an annual mean Arctic surface temperature decrease of ~2 °C but no substantial global mean temperature decrease. Imposed albedo changes and sea ice recovery alter climate outside the Arctic region too, affecting precipitation distribution over parts of the continental United States and Northeastern Pacific. For example, following sea ice recovery, wetter and milder winter conditions are present in the Southwest United States while the East Coast experiences cooling. We conclude that although ocean albedo alteration could lead to some sea ice recovery, it does not appear to be an effective way of offsetting the overall effects of CO₂ induced global warming.

  2. Climatic anomalous patterns associated with the Arctic and Polar cell strength variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Weihong; Wu, Kaijun; Leung, Jeremy Cheuk-Hin

    2016-03-01

    The Arctic cell as a reversed and closed loop next to the Polar cell has been recently revealed in the Northern Hemisphere (NH). In this paper, we study the interannual variability of the Arctic and Polar cell strengths during 1979-2012, and their influence on surface air temperature (SAT), precipitation, and sea-ice concentration (SIC) at mid- and high-latitudes of the NH. We show that there is a significant negative correlation between the Arctic and Polar cell strengths. Both the Arctic and Polar cell strengths can well indicate the recurring climatic anomalies of SAT, precipitation, and SIC in their extreme winters. The surface large-scale cold-warm and dry-wet anomalous patterns in these extreme winters are directly linked with the vertical structure of height and temperature anomalies in the troposphere. Results suggest that the past climatic anomalies are better indicated by the strength anomalies of the Polar and Arctic cells than the traditional indices of mid-high latitude pattern such as the Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation. This study illustrates a three-dimensional picture of atmospheric variable anomalies in the troposphere that result in surface climatic anomalies.

  3. 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

  4. Future Arctic climate changes: Adaptation and mitigation time scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  5. Influence of global climatic processes on environment The Arctic seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kholmyansky, Mikhael; Anokhin, Vladimir; Kartashov, Alexandr

    2016-04-01

    One of the most actual problems of the present is changes of environment of Arctic regions under the influence of global climatic processes. Authors as a result of the works executed by them in different areas of the Russian Arctic regions, have received the materials characterising intensity of these processes. Complex researches are carried out on water area and in a coastal zone the White, the Barents, the Kara and the East-Siberian seas, on lake water areas of subarctic region since 1972 on the present. Into structure of researches enter: hydrophysical, cryological observations, direct measurements of temperatures, the analysis of the drill data, electrometric definitions of the parametres of a frozen zone, lithodynamic and geochemical definitions, geophysical investigations of boreholes, studying of glaciers on the basis of visual observations and the analysis of photographs. The obtained data allows to estimate change of temperature of a water layer, deposits and benthonic horizon of atmosphere for last 25 years. On the average they make 0,38⁰C for sea waters, 0,23⁰C for friable deposits and 0,72⁰C for atmosphere. Under the influence of temperature changes in hydrosphere and lithosphere of a shelf cryolithic zone changes the characteristics. It is possible to note depth increase of roof position of the cryolithic zone on the most part of the studied water area. Modern fast rise in temperature high-ice rocks composing coast, has led to avalanche process thermo - denudation and to receipt in the sea of quantity of a material of 1978 three times exceeding level Rise in temperature involves appreciable deviation borders of the Arctic glacial covers. On our monitoring measurements change of the maintenance of oxygen in benthonic area towards increase that is connected with reduction of the general salinity of waters at the expense of fresh water arriving at ice thawing is noticed. It, in turn, leads to change of a biogene part of ecosystem. The executed

  6. 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.

  7. High-Arctic butterflies become smaller with rising temperatures.

    PubMed

    Bowden, Joseph J; Eskildsen, Anne; Hansen, Rikke R; Olsen, Kent; Kurle, Carolyn M; Høye, Toke T

    2015-10-01

    The response of body size to increasing temperature constitutes a universal response to climate change that could strongly affect terrestrial ectotherms, but the magnitude and direction of such responses remain unknown in most species. The metabolic cost of increased temperature could reduce body size but long growing seasons could also increase body size as was recently shown in an Arctic spider species. Here, we present the longest known time series on body size variation in two High-Arctic butterfly species: Boloria chariclea and Colias hecla. We measured wing length of nearly 4500 individuals collected annually between 1996 and 2013 from Zackenberg, Greenland and found that wing length significantly decreased at a similar rate in both species in response to warmer summers. Body size is strongly related to dispersal capacity and fecundity and our results suggest that these Arctic species could face severe challenges in response to ongoing rapid climate change. PMID:26445981

  8. High Arctic sea ice conditions influence marine birds wintering in Low Arctic regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFarlane Tranquilla, Laura; Hedd, April; Burke, Chantelle; Montevecchi, William A.; Regular, Paul M.; Robertson, Gregory J.; Stapleton, Leslie Ann; Wilhelm, Sabina I.; Fifield, David A.; Buren, Alejandro D.

    2010-09-01

    Ocean climate change is having profound biological effects in polar regions. Such change can also have far-reaching downstream effects in sub-polar regions. This study documents an environmental relationship between High Arctic sea ice changes and mortality events of marine birds in Low Arctic coastal regions. During April 2007 and March 2009, hundreds of beached seabird carcasses and moribund seabirds were found along the east and northeast coasts of Newfoundland, Canada. These seabird "wrecks" (i.e. dead birds on beaches) coincided with a period of strong, persistent onshore winds and heavily-accumulated sea ice that blocked bays and trapped seabirds near beaches. Ninety-two percent of wreck seabirds were Thick-billed Murres ( Uria lomvia). Body condition and demographic patterns of wreck murres were compared to Thick-billed Murres shot in the Newfoundland murre hunt. Average body and pectoral masses of wreck carcasses were 34% and 40% lighter (respectively) than shot murres, indicating that wreck birds had starved. The acute nature of each wreck suggested that starvation and associated hypothermia occurred within 2-3 days. In 2007, first-winter murres (77%) dominated the wreck. In 2009, there were more adults (78%), mostly females (66%). These results suggest that spatial and temporal segregation in ages and sexes can play a role in differential survival when stochastic weather conditions affect discrete areas where these groups aggregate. In wreck years, southward movement of Arctic sea ice to Low Arctic latitudes was later and blocked bays longer than in most other years. These inshore conditions corresponded with recent climate-driven changes in High Arctic ice break-up and ice extent; coupled with local weather conditions, these ice conditions appeared to be the key environmental features that precipitated the ice-associated seabird wrecks in the Low Arctic region.

  9. 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–climate

  10. Impact of Holocene climate variability on Arctic vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gajewski, K.

    2015-10-01

    This paper summarizes current knowledge about the postglacial history of the vegetation of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) and Greenland. Available pollen data were used to understand the initial migration of taxa across the Arctic, how the plant biodiversity responded to Holocene climate variability, and how past climate variability affected primary production of the vegetation. Current evidence suggests that most of the flora arrived in the area during the Holocene from Europe or refugia south or west of the region immediately after local deglaciation, indicating rapid dispersal of propagules to the region from distant sources. There is some evidence of shrub species arriving later in Greenland, but it is not clear if this is dispersal limited or a response to past climates. Subsequent climate variability had little effect on biodiversity across the CAA, with some evidence of local extinctions in areas of Greenland in the late Holocene. The most significant impact of climate changes is on vegetation density and/or plant production.

  11. 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

  12. Arctic sea ice cover in connection with climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alekseev, G. V.; Aleksandrov, E. I.; Glok, N. I.; Ivanov, N. E.; Smolyanitsky, V. M.; Kharlanenkova, N. E.; Yulin, A. V.

    2015-12-01

    Recently published studies on key issues in the evolution of Arctic sea ice cover are reviewed and attempts to answer disputable questions are made in the research part of the work. It is shown that climate warming, manifested in an increase in the surface air temperature, and reduction in the ice cover develop with a high degree of agreement in summer. Based on this fact, anomalies of the September ice-cover area have been retrieved from 1900. They show a significant decrease in the 1930-1940s, which is almost twice as low as in 2007-2012. The influence of fluctuations in the flow of warm and salty Atlantic water is noted in variations in the winter maximum of the ice-cover area in the Barents Sea. An accelerated positive trend has been ascertained for the air temperature in late autumn-early winter in 1993-2012 due to an increase in the open water area in late summer. Inherent regularities of the ice-cover-area variability made it possible to develop a prediction of the monthly values of sea-ice extent with a head time from 6 months to 2 years. Their strong correlation with summer air temperature is used to estimate the onset of summer ice clearance in the Arctic.

  13. Communicating Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Arctic Gas hydrate, Environment and Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mienert, Jurgen; Andreassen, Karin; Bünz, Stefan; Carroll, JoLynn; Ferre, Benedicte; Knies, Jochen; Panieri, Giuliana; Rasmussen, Tine; Myhre, Cathrine Lund

    2015-04-01

    Arctic methane hydrate exists on land beneath permafrost regions and offshore in shelf and continental margins sediments. Methane or gas hydrate, an ice-like substrate, consists mainly of light hydrocarbons (mostly methane from biogenic sources but also ethane and propane from thermogenic sources) entrapped by a rigid cage of water molecules. The pressure created by the overlying water and sediments offshore stabilizes the CH4 in continental margins at a temperature range well above freezing point; consequently CH4 exists as methane ice beneath the seabed. Though the accurate volume of Arctic methane hydrate and thus the methane stored in hydrates throughout the Quaternary is still unknown it must be enormous if one considers the vast regions of Arctic continental shelves and margins as well as permafrost areas offshore and on land. Today's subseabed methane hydrate reservoirs are the remnants from the last ice age and remain elusive targets for both unconventional energy and as a natural methane emitter influencing ocean environments and ecosystems. It is still contentious at what rate Arctic warming may govern hydrate melting, and whether the methane ascending from the ocean floor through the hydrosphere reaches the atmosphere. As indicated by Greenland ice core records, the atmospheric methane concentration rose rapidly from ca. 500 ppb to ca. 750 ppb over a short time period of just 150 years at the termination of the younger Dryas period ca. 11600 years ago, but the dissociation of large quantities of methane hydrates on the ocean floor have not been documented yet (Brook et al., 2014 and references within). But with the major projected warming and sea ice melting trend (Knies et al., 2014) one may ask, for how long will CH4 stay trapped in methane hydrates if surface and deep-ocean water masses will warm and permafrost continuous to melt (Portnov et al. 2014). How much of the Arctic methane will be consumed by the micro- and macrofauna, how much will

  17. Arctic climate response to the termination of the African Humid Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muschitiello, Francesco; Zhang, Qiong; Sundqvist, Hanna S.; Davies, Frazer J.; Renssen, Hans

    2015-10-01

    The Earth's climate response to the rapid vegetation collapse at the termination of the African Humid Period (AHP) (5.5-5.0 kyr BP) is still lacking a comprehensive investigation. Here we discuss the sensitivity of mid-Holocene Arctic climate to changes in albedo brought by a rapid desertification of the Sahara. By comparing a network of surface temperature reconstructions with output from a coupled global climate model, we find that, through a system of land-atmosphere feedbacks, the end of the AHP reduced the atmospheric and oceanic poleward heat transport from tropical to high northern latitudes. This entails a general weakening of the mid-latitude Westerlies, which results in a shift towards cooling over the Arctic and North Atlantic regions, and a change from positive to negative Arctic Oscillation-like conditions. This mechanism would explain the sign of rapid hydro-climatic perturbations recorded in several reconstructions from high northern latitudes at 5.5-5.0 kyr BP, suggesting that these regions are sensitive to changes in Saharan land cover during the present interglacial. This is central in the debate surrounding Arctic climate amplification and future projections for subtropical precipitation changes.

  18. Emissions and climate forcing from global and Arctic fishing vessels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKuin, Brandi; Campbell, J. Elliott

    2016-02-01

    Fishing vessels were recently found to be the largest source of black carbon ship emissions in the Arctic, suggesting that the fishing sector should be a focus for future studies. Here we developed a global and Arctic emissions inventory for fishing vessel emissions of short-lived and long-lived climate forcers based on data from a wide range of vessel sizes, fuel sulfur contents, engine types, and operational characteristics. We found that previous work generally underestimated emissions of short-lived climate forcers due to a failure to account for small fishing vessels as well as variability in emission factors. In particular, global black carbon emissions were underestimated by an order of magnitude. Furthermore, our order of magnitude estimate of the net climate effect from these fishing vessel emissions suggests that short-lived climate forcing may be particularly important in regions where fuel has a low sulfur content. These results have implications for proposed maritime policies and provide a foundation for future climate simulations to forecast climate change impacts in the Arctic.

  19. Influence of climate model variability on projected Arctic shipping futures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephenson, Scott R.; Smith, Laurence C.

    2015-11-01

    Though climate models exhibit broadly similar agreement on key long-term trends, they have significant temporal and spatial differences due to intermodel variability. Such variability should be considered when using climate models to project the future marine Arctic. Here we present multiple scenarios of 21st-century Arctic marine access as driven by sea ice output from 10 CMIP5 models known to represent well the historical trend and climatology of Arctic sea ice. Optimal vessel transits from North America and Europe to the Bering Strait are estimated for two periods representing early-century (2011-2035) and mid-century (2036-2060) conditions under two forcing scenarios (RCP 4.5/8.5), assuming Polar Class 6 and open-water vessels with medium and no ice-breaking capability, respectively. Results illustrate that projected shipping viability of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and Northwest Passage (NWP) depends critically on model choice. The eastern Arctic will remain the most reliably accessible marine space for trans-Arctic shipping by mid-century, while outcomes for the NWP are particularly model-dependent. Omitting three models (GFDL-CM3, MIROC-ESM-CHEM, and MPI-ESM-MR), our results would indicate minimal NWP potential even for routes from North America. Furthermore, the relative importance of the NSR will diminish over time as the number of viable central Arctic routes increases gradually toward mid-century. Compared to vessel class, climate forcing plays a minor role. These findings reveal the importance of model choice in devising projections for strategic planning by governments, environmental agencies, and the global maritime industry.

  20. Assessing climate impacts and risks of ocean albedo modification in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mengis, N.; Martin, T.; Keller, D. P.; Oschlies, A.

    2016-05-01

    The ice albedo feedback is one of the key factors of accelerated temperature increase in the high northern latitudes under global warming. This study assesses climate impacts and risks of idealized Arctic Ocean albedo modification (AOAM), a proposed climate engineering method, during transient climate change simulations with varying representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios. We find no potential for reversing trends in all assessed Arctic climate metrics under increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. AOAM only yields an initial offset during the first years after implementation. Nevertheless, sea ice loss can be delayed by 25(60) years in the RCP8.5(RCP4.5) scenario and the delayed thawing of permafrost soils in the AOAM simulations prevents up to 40(32) Pg of carbon from being released by 2100. AOAM initially dampens the decline of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning and delays the onset of open ocean deep convection in the Nordic Seas under the RCP scenarios. Both these processes cause a subsurface warming signal in the AOAM simulations relative to the default RCP simulations with the potential to destabilize Arctic marine gas hydrates. Furthermore, in 2100, the RCP8.5 AOAM simulation diverts more from the 2005-2015 reference state in many climate metrics than the RCP4.5 simulation without AOAM. Considering the demonstrated risks, we conclude that concerning longer time scales, reductions in emissions remain the safest and most effective way to prevent severe changes in the Arctic.

  1. Climate-driven regime shifts in Arctic marine benthos.

    PubMed

    Kortsch, Susanne; Primicerio, Raul; Beuchel, Frank; Renaud, Paul E; Rodrigues, João; Lønne, Ole Jørgen; Gulliksen, Bjørn

    2012-08-28

    Climate warming can trigger abrupt ecosystem changes in the Arctic. Despite the considerable interest in characterizing and understanding the ecological impact of rapid climate warming in the Arctic, few long time series exist that allow addressing these research goals. During a 30-y period (1980-2010) of gradually increasing seawater temperature and decreasing sea ice cover in Svalbard, we document rapid and extensive structural changes in the rocky-bottom communities of two Arctic fjords. The most striking component of the benthic reorganization was an abrupt fivefold increase in macroalgal cover in 1995 in Kongsfjord and an eightfold increase in 2000 in Smeerenburgfjord. Simultaneous changes in the abundance of benthic invertebrates suggest that the macroalgae played a key structuring role in these communities. The abrupt, substantial, and persistent nature of the changes observed is indicative of a climate-driven ecological regime shift. The ecological processes thought to drive the observed regime shifts are likely to promote the borealization of these Arctic marine communities in the coming years. PMID:22891319

  2. The Arctic as a test case for an assessment of climate impacts on national security.

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Mark A.; Zak, Bernard Daniel; Backus, George A.; Ivey, Mark D.; Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick

    2008-11-01

    organizations. Because changes in the Arctic environment are happening so rapidly, a successful program will be one that can adapt very quickly to new information as it becomes available, and can provide decision makers with projections on the 1-5 year time scale over which the most disruptive, high-consequence changes are likely to occur. The greatest short-term impact would be to initiate exploratory simulations to discover new emergent and robust phenomena associated with one or more of the following changing systems: Arctic hydrological cycle, sea ice extent, ocean and atmospheric circulation, permafrost deterioration, carbon mobilization, Greenland ice sheet stability, and coastal erosion. Sandia can also contribute to new technology solutions for improved observations in the Arctic, which is currently a data-sparse region. Sensitivity analyses have the potential to identify thresholds which would enable the collaborative development of 'early warning' sensor systems to seek predicted phenomena that might be precursory to major, high-consequence changes. Much of this work will require improved regional climate models and advanced computing capabilities. Socio-economic modeling tools can help define human and national security consequences. Formal uncertainty quantification must be an integral part of any results that emerge from this work.

  3. Climate sensitivity to Arctic seaway restriction during the early Paleogene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Christopher D.; LeGrande, Allegra N.; Tripati, Aradhna K.

    2009-09-01

    The opening and closing of ocean gateways affects the global distribution of heat, salt, and moisture, potentially driving climatic change on regional to global scales. Between 65 and 45 million years ago (Ma), during the early Paleogene, exchange between the Arctic and global oceans occurred through two narrow and shallow seaways, the Greenland-Norway seaway and the Turgai Strait. Sediments from the Arctic Ocean suggest that, during this interval, the surface ocean was warm, brackish, and episodically enabled the freshwater fern Azolla to bloom. The precise mechanisms responsible for the development of these conditions in the Paleogene Arctic remain uncertain. Here we show results from an isotope-enabled, atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, which indicate that Northern Hemisphere climate would have been very sensitive to the degree of oceanic exchange through the Arctic seaways. We also present modelled estimates of seawater and calcite δ18O for the Paleogene. By restricting these seaways, we simulate freshening of the surface Arctic Ocean to ~ 6 psu and warming of sea-surface temperatures by 2 °C in the North Atlantic and 5-10 °C in the Labrador Sea. Our results may help explain the occurrence of low-salinity tolerant taxa in the Arctic Ocean during the Eocene and provide a mechanism for enhanced warmth in the north western Atlantic. We propose that the formation of a volcanic land-bridge between Greenland and Europe could have caused increased ocean convection and warming of intermediate waters in the Atlantic. If true, this result is consistent with the theory that bathymetry changes may have caused thermal destabilisation of methane clathrates and supports a tectonic trigger hypothesis for the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

  4. 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.

  5. Reconstructing the Climate and Ecology of an Arctic Pliocene Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rybczynski, N.; Ballantyne, A.; Csank, A.; Matheus, P.

    2006-12-01

    Instrumental records reveal that the current rate of arctic warming greatly exceeds mean global warming. However, arctic temperatures during the Pliocene were considerably warmer than present, making it an excellent time period for investigating potential consequences of current warming trends. Pliocene-aged (4 to 5 Ma) peat deposits from Ellesmere Island are characterized by a remarkable fossil assemblage including 15 vertebrate taxa, 90 plant taxa and 101 invertebrate taxa. Among the fossils are well-preserved samples of an extinct larch (Larix groenlandii), which have been exploited as an archive of paleoclimatic information. Analysis of annual ring widths and oxygen isotopes suggest that Pliocene temperatures were 14.2 ° C warmer than today (-5.5 \\mp 1.9 ° C). Furthermore, temporal patterns in isotopic variability suggest that modes of variability that dominate modern arctic climates, such as the NAO, were also operating during the Pliocene. Isotopic analysis of fossil bone material may provide insight into the structure of past arctic ecosystems. Preliminary data suggest that carbon and nitrogen isotopes extracted from the collagen of fossil bone may provide a powerful new tool for investigating the response of arctic ecosystems to previously warm intervals in Earth's History.

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

    PubMed

    Smol, John P; Douglas, Marianne S V

    2007-07-24

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

  7. 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

  8. Multiple climate drivers accelerate Arctic plant community senescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livensperger, C.; Steltzer, H.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2015-12-01

    Alteration of seasonal phenology cues due to climate change has led to changes in the onset and duration of the growing season. While photoperiod often acts as an ultimate control on phenological events, recent studies have shown that environmental cues such as temperature and soil water content can modify the direction and rate of senescence processes. Warmer temperatures have resulted in an observed trend towards delayed senescence across temperate latitudes. However, Arctic regions are characterized by extreme seasonality and rapidly decreasing photoperiod, and consequently senescence may not shift as climate warms. We monitored the timing of Arctic plant community senescence for three years under the framework of an experimental manipulation that altered seasonal phenological cues through warming and earlier snowmelt. Alternative models of senescence were tested to determine if microclimate (air temperature, soil temperature, and soil moisture) or start of season phenology affect the timing and rate of community senescence. We found that all three microclimate predictors contributed to explaining variation in timing of senescence, suggesting that photoperiod is not the sole control on timing of senescence in Arctic plant communities. Rather, increased air and soil temperatures along with drier soil conditions, led to acceleration in the onset of senescence at a community level. Our data suggest that (1) multiple climate drivers predict timing of plant community senescence, and (2) climate change could result in a shorter peak season due to earlier onset of senescence, which would decrease the potential carbon uptake in moist acidic tundra.

  9. Arctic Shrub Growth Response to Climate Variation and Infrastructure Development on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackerman, D.; Finlay, J. C.; Griffin, D.

    2015-12-01

    Woody shrub growth in the arctic tundra is increasing on a circumpolar scale. Shrub expansion alters land-atmosphere carbon fluxes, nutrient cycling, and habitat structure. Despite these ecosystem effects, the drivers of shrub expansion have not been precisely established at the landscape scale. This project examined two proposed anthropogenic drivers: global climate change and local infrastructure development, a press disturbance that generates high levels of dust deposition. Effects of global change were studied using dendrochronology to establish a relationship between climate and annual growth in Betula and Salix shrubs growing in the Alaskan low Arctic. To understand the spatial heterogeneity of shrub expansion, this analysis was replicated in shrub populations across levels of landscape properties including soil moisture and substrate age. Effects of dust deposition on normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and photosynthetic rate were measured on transects up to 625 meters from the Dalton Highway. Dust deposition rates decreased exponentially with distance from road, matching previous models of road dust deposition. NDVI tracked deposition rates closely, but photosynthetic rates were not strongly affected by deposition. These results suggest that dust deposition may locally bias remote sensing measurements such as NDVI, without altering internal physiological processes such as photosynthesis in arctic shrubs. Distinguishing between the effects of landscape properties, climate, and disturbance will improve our predictions of the biogeochemical feedbacks of arctic shrub expansion, with potential application in climate change modeling.

  10. Sensitivity of the Regional Arctic System Model surface climate to ice-ocean state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, A.; Maslowski, W.; Osinski, R.; Cassano, J. J.; Craig, A.; Duvivier, A.; Fisel, B. J.; Gutowski, W. J.; Higgins, M.; Hughes, M. R.; Lettenmaier, D. P.; Nijssen, B.

    2012-12-01

    The Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) is a high-resolution Earth System model extending across the Arctic Ocean, its marginal seas, the Arctic drainage basin, and including the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) Arctic domain. RASM uses the flux coupler (CPL7) within the Community Earth System Model framework to couple regional configurations of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF), Parallel Ocean Program (POP), Los Alamos sea ice model (CICE), and Variable Infiltration Capacity land hydrology model (VIC). Work is also underway to incorporate the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM) as well as glacier, ice cap and dynamic vegetation models. As part of RASM development, coupled simulations are being prepared for the CORDEX Arctic domain, which is unique among CORDEX regions by being centered over the ocean. Up to this point, there has been uncertainty over how much initial and surface conditions in the ice-ocean boundary layer influence the surface climate of the Arctic in RASM, relative to regional atmospheric model constraints, such as spectral nudging and boundary conditions. We present results that suggest there is a significant dependency on the initial sea ice conditions on decadal timescales within RASM. This has important implications for (i) how results from different regional artic models may be combined and compared in CORDEX and (ii) appropriate methods for ensemble generation in regional polar models. We will also present results illustrating the influence of sub-hourly sea ice deformation on decadal climate in RASM, highlighting an important reason why fully coupled and high-resolution regional models are essential for regional Arctic downscaling.

  11. Regional Arctic System Model (RASM): A Tool to Address the U.S. Priorities and Advance Capabilities for Arctic Climate Modeling and Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslowski, W.; Roberts, A.; Cassano, J. J.; Gutowski, W. J., Jr.; Nijssen, B.; Osinski, R.; Zeng, X.; Brunke, M.; Duvivier, A.; Hamman, J.; Hossainzadeh, S.; Hughes, M.; Seefeldt, M. W.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic is undergoing some of the most coordinated rapid climatic changes currently occurring anywhere on Earth, including 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 Earth System Models (ESMs) are in broad agreement with these changes, the rate of change in ESMs generally remains outpaced by observations. Reasons for that relate to a combination of coarse resolution, inadequate parameterizations, under-represented processes and a limited knowledge of physical interactions. We demonstrate the capability of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) in addressing some of the ESM limitations in simulating observed variability and trends in arctic surface climate. RASM is a high resolution, pan-Arctic coupled climate model with the sea ice and ocean model components configured at an eddy-permitting resolution of 1/12o and the atmosphere and land hydrology model components at 50 km resolution, which are all coupled at 20-minute intervals. RASM is an example of limited-area, process-resolving, fully coupled ESM, which due to the constraints from boundary conditions facilitates detailed comparisons with observational statistics that are not possible with ESMs. The overall goal of RASM is to address key requirements published in the Navy Arctic Roadmap: 2014-2030 and in the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, regarding the need for advanced modeling capabilities for operational forecasting and strategic climate predictions through 2030. The main science objectives of RASM are to advance understanding and model representation of critical physical processes and feedbacks of importance to sea ice thickness and area distribution. RASM results are presented to quantify relative contributions by (i) resolved processes and feedbacks as well as (ii) sensitivity to space dependent sub-grid parameterizations to better

  12. 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.

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

    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

    2004-11-01

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

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

    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

    2004-11-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Impacts of volcanic eruptions and geoengineering on Arctic climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berdahl, Mira

    Stratospheric aerosols can produce large radiative forcing and climate response, often amplified in the Arctic. Here I study the Arctic response to natural (volcanic eruptions) and potential anthropogenic (geoengineering) stratospheric sulfate aerosols. I use a regional climate model and global climate model output from two modeling intercomparison projects. First, I investigate the relative impacts of changes in radiation and advection on snow extent over Baffin Island with the Weather Research and Forecasting model. Model results show it is possible to suddenly lower the snowline by amounts comparable to those seen during the Little Ice Age with an average temperature decrease of --3.9 +/- 1.1 K from present. Further, sea ice expansion following large volcanic eruptions would have significant affects on inland temperatures, especially in the fall. Next, I analyze Last Millennium simulations from the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project 3 to assess whether state-of-the-art global climate models produce sudden changes and persistence of cold conditions after large volcanic eruptions as inferred by geological records and previous climate modeling. North Atlantic sea ice and Baffin Island snow cover showed large-scale expansion in the simulations, but none of the models produced significant centennial-scale effects. Warm Baffin Island summer climates stunt snow expansion in some models completely, and model topography misses the critical elevations that could sustain snow on the island. This has critical consequences for ice and snow formation and persistence in regions such as the Arctic where temperatures are near freezing and small temperature changes affect the state of water. Finally, I analyze output from the Geoengineering Modeling Intercomparison Project to examine whether geoengineering by injection of sulfate aerosols into the lower stratosphere prevents the demise of minimum annual sea ice extent, or slows spring snow cover loss. Despite

  19. 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.

  20. Manganese cycles in Arctic marine sediments - Climate signals or diagenesis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    März, C.; Stratmann, A.; Eckert, S.; Schnetger, B.; Brumsack, H.-J.

    2009-04-01

    In comparison to sediments from other parts of the world ocean, the inorganic geochemistry of Arctic Ocean sediments is poorly investigated. However, marked light to dark brown layers are well-known features of Quaternary Arctic sediments, and have been related to variable Mn contents. Brown layers represent intervals relatively rich in Mn (often > 1 wt.%), while yellowish-greyish intervals contain less Mn. As these brown layers are widespread in pelagic Quaternary deposits of the Arctic Ocean, there are attempts to use them as stratigraphic, age-equivalent marker horizons that are genetically related to global climate changes (e.g. Jakobsson et al., 2000; Löwemark et al., 2008). In the Arctic Ocean, other conventional stratigraphic methods often fail, therefore the use of Mn-rich layers as a chemostratigraphic tool seems to be a promising approach. However, several inorganic-geochemical and modelling studies of Mn cycles in the Arctic as well as in other parts of the world ocean have shown that multiple Mn layers in marine sediments can be created by non-steady state diagenetic processes, i.e. secondary Mn redistribution in the sediment due to microbially mediated dissolution-reprecipitation reactions (e.g. Li et al., 1969; Gobeil et al., 1997; Burdige, 2006; Katsev et al., 2006). Such biogeochemical processes can lead to rapid migration or fixation of redox boundaries in the sediment, resulting in the formation or (partial) destruction of metal-rich layers several thousands of years after sediment deposition. As this clearly would alter primary paleoenvironmental signals recorded in the sediments, we see an urgent need to unravel the real stratigraphic potential of Arctic Mn cycles before they are readily established as standard tools. For this purpose, we are studying Mn cycles in Arctic Ocean sediments recovered during R/V Polarstern expedition ARK XXIII/3 on the Mendeleev Ridge (East Siberian Sea). First results of pore water and sediment composition

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Eocene climate and Arctic paleobathymetry: A tectonic sensitivity study using GISS ModelE-R

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    The early Paleogene (65-45 million years ago, Ma) was a ‘greenhouse’ interval with global temperatures warmer than any other time in the last 65 Ma. This period was characterized by high levels of CO2, warm high-latitudes, warm surface-and-deep oceans, and an intensified hydrological cycle. Sediments from the Arctic suggest that the Eocene surface Arctic Ocean was warm, brackish, and episodically enabled the freshwater fern Azolla to bloom. The precise mechanisms responsible for the development of these conditions remain uncertain. We present equilibrium climate conditions derived from a fully-coupled, water-isotope enabled, general circulation model (GISS ModelE-R) configured for the early Eocene. We also present model-data comparison plots for key climatic variables (SST and δ18O) and analyses of the leading modes of variability in the tropical Pacific and North Atlantic regions. Our tectonic sensitivity study indicates that Northern Hemisphere climate would have been very sensitive to the degree of oceanic exchange through the seaways connecting the Arctic to the Atlantic and Tethys. By restricting these seaways, we simulate freshening of the surface Arctic Ocean to ~6 psu and warming of sea-surface temperatures by 2°C in the North Atlantic and 5-10°C in the Labrador Sea. Our results may help explain the occurrence of low-salinity tolerant taxa in the Arctic Ocean during the Eocene and provide a mechanism for enhanced warmth in the north western Atlantic. We also suggest that the formation of a volcanic land-bridge between Greenland and Europe could have caused increased ocean convection and warming of intermediate waters in the Atlantic. If true, this result is consistent with the theory that bathymetry changes may have caused thermal destabilisation of methane clathrates in the Atlantic.

  4. Paleoclimate records at high latitude in Arctic during the Paleogene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salpin, Marie; Schnyder, Johann; Baudin, François; Suan, Guillaume; Labrousse, Loïc; Popescu, Speranta; Suc, Jean-Pierre

    2015-04-01

    Paleoclimate records at high latitude in Arctic during the Paleogene SALPIN Marie1,2, SCHNYDER Johann1,2, BAUDIN François1,2, SUAN Guillaume3, LABROUSSE Loïc1,2, POPESCU Speranta4, SUC Jean-Pierre1,4 1: Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7193, Institut des Sciences de la Terre Paris (iSTeP), F 75005, Paris, France 2: CNRS, UMR 7193, Institut des Sciences de la Terre Paris (iSTeP), F 75005 Paris, France 3: UCB Lyon 1, UMR 5276, LGLTPE, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France 4: GEOBIOSTRATDATA.CONSULTING, 385 Route du Mas Rillier 69140 Rillieux la Pape, France The Paleogene is a period of important variations of the Earth climate system either in warming or cooling. The climatic optima of the Paleogene have been recognized both in continental and marine environment. This study focus on high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, in the Arctic Basin. The basin has had an influence on the Cenozoic global climate change according to its polar position. Is there a specific behaviour of the Arctic Basin with respect to global climatic stimuli? Are there possible mechanisms of coupling/decoupling of its dynamics with respect to the global ocean? To answer these questions a unique collection of sedimentary series of Paleogene age interval has been assembled from the Laurentian margin in Northern Yukon (Canada) and from the Siberian margin (New Siberian Islands). Selected continental successions of Paleocene-Eocene age were used to study the response of the Arctic system to known global events, e.g. the climatic optima of the Paleogene (the so-called PETM, ETM2 or the Azolla events). Two sections of Paleocene-Eocene age were sampled near the Mackenzie delta, the so-called Coal Mine (CoMi) and Caribou Hills (CaH) sections. The aim of the study is to precise the climatic fluctuations and to characterise the source rock potential of the basin, eventually linked to the warming events. This study is based on data of multi-proxy analyses: mineralogy on bulk and clay

  5. High Arctic Archives of Terrestrial Change in Svalbard Wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beilman, D. W.; Reimer, P. J.; Blaauw, M.; Hormes, A.

    2008-12-01

    High resolution records of change in terrestrial High Arctic environments are often limited by slow accumulation rates and the absence of material or conditions suitable for accurate chronologies. At several wetland sites in the inner fjords of western Svalbard we investigated organic deposits to assess the sensitivity of ecosystem carbon dynamics to past climate variation. These carbon rich wetlands contain by area about 26 to 61 kg C m-2 in deposits as thick as 1.4 m. Our radiocarbon evidence and the published literature show that sequestered carbon in Svalbard wetlands is typically of mid- to late-Holocene age. High resolution AMS radiocarbon measurements on fossil remains of individual plant species reveal a pattern of carbon sequestration that varied from multi-centennial periods of rapid accumulation, as high as about 35 g C m- 2 yr-1, to very slow or hiatus conditions that persisted for hundreds to thousands of years followed by renewed sequestration. Periods of strong carbon accumulation in the mid-Holocene and over the last thousand years capture High Arctic wetland conditions resolvable at the sub-decadal scale. This is the first assessment of High Arctic organic deposits using a high-resolution radiocarbon approach. Together with marine, glacial and lake records, peat archives of terrestrial change contribute to a clearer picture of polar region sensitivity over the last several thousand years.

  6. Climate, icing, and wild arctic reindeer: past relationships and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Brage Bremset; Aanes, Ronny; Herfindal, Ivar; Kohler, Jack; Saether, Bernt-Erik

    2011-10-01

    Across the Arctic, heavy rain-on-snow (ROS) is an "extreme" climatic event that is expected to become increasingly frequent with global warming. This has potentially large ecosystem implications through changes in snowpack properties and ground-icing, which can block the access to herbivores' winter food and thereby suppress their population growth rates. However, the supporting empirical evidence for this is still limited. We monitored late winter snowpack properties to examine the causes and consequences of ground-icing in a Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) metapopulation. In this high-arctic area, heavy ROS occurred annually, and ground-ice covered from 25% to 96% of low-altitude habitat in the sampling period (2000-2010). The extent of ground-icing increased with the annual number of days with heavy ROS (> or = 10 mm) and had a strong negative effect on reindeer population growth rates. Our results have important implications as a downscaled climate projection (2021-2050) suggests a substantial future increase in ROS and icing. The present study is the first to demonstrate empirically that warmer and wetter winter climate influences large herbivore population dynamics by generating ice-locked pastures. This may serve as an early warning of the importance of changes in winter climate and extreme weather events in arctic ecosystems.

  7. The Opening of the Arctic-Atlantic Gateway: Tectonic, Oceanographic and Climatic Dynamics - an IODP Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissler, Wolfram; Knies, Jochen

    2016-04-01

    The modern polar cryosphere reflects an extreme climate state with profound temperature gradients towards high-latitudes. It developed in association with stepwise Cenozoic cooling, beginning with ephemeral glaciations and the appearance of sea ice in the late middle Eocene. The polar ocean gateways played a pivotal role in changing the polar and global climate, along with declining greenhouse gas levels. The opening of the Drake Passage finalized the oceanographic isolation of Antarctica, some 40 Ma ago. The Arctic Ocean was an isolated basin until the early Miocene when rifting and subsequent sea-floor spreading started between Greenland and Svalbard, initiating the opening of the Fram Strait / Arctic-Atlantic Gateway (AAG). Although this gateway is known to be important in Earth's past and modern climate, little is known about its Cenozoic development. However, the opening history and AAG's consecutive widening and deepening must have had a strong impact on circulation and water mass exchange between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic. To study the AAG's complete history, ocean drilling at two primary sites and one alternate site located between 73°N and 78°N in the Boreas Basin and along the East Greenland continental margin are proposed. These sites will provide unprecedented sedimentary records that will unveil (1) the history of shallow-water exchange between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic, and (2) the development of the AAG to a deep-water connection and its influence on the global climate system. The specific overarching goals of our proposal are to study: (1) the influence of distinct tectonic events in the development of the AAG and the formation of deep water passage on the North Atlantic and Arctic paleoceanography, and (2) the role of the AAG in the climate transition from the Paleogene greenhouse to the Neogene icehouse for the long-term (~50 Ma) climate history of the northern North Atlantic. Getting a continuous record of the

  8. Interglacial climates and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: is there an Arctic controversy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, Henning A.

    2013-03-01

    Arctic palaeorecords are important to understand the "natural range" of forcing and feedback mechanisms within the context of past and present climate change in this temperature-sensitive region. A wide array of methods and archives now provide a robust understanding of the Holocene climate evolution. By comparison rather little is still known about older interglacials, and in particular, on the effects of the northward propagation of heat transfer via the Atlantic meridional ocean circulation (AMOC) into the Arctic. Terrestrial records from this area often indicate a warmer and moister climate during past interglacials than in the Holocene implying a more vigorous AMOC activity. This is in conflict with marine data. Although recognized as very prominent interglacials in Antarctic ice cores, cross-latitudinal surface ocean temperature reconstructions show that little of the surface ocean warmth still identified in the Northeast Atlantic during older interglacial peaks (e.g., MIS5e, 9, 11) was further conveyed into the polar latitudes, and that each interglacial developed its own specific palaeoclimate features. Interactive processes between water mass overturning and the hydrological system of the Arctic, and how both developed together out of a glacial period with its particular ice sheet configuration and relative sea-level history, determined the efficiency of an evolving interglacial AMOC. Because of that glacial terminations developed some very specific water mass characteristics, which also affected the climate evolution of the ensuing interglacial periods. Moreover, the observed contrasts in the Arctic-directed meridional ocean heat flux between past interglacials have implications for the palaeoclimatic evaluation of this polar region. Crucial environmental factors of the Arctic climate system, such as the highly dynamical interactions between deep water mass flow, surface ocean temperature/salinity, sea ice, and atmosphere, exert strong feedbacks on

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Science Traverses in the Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williamson, Marie-Claude

    2012-01-01

    The presentation is divided into three parts. Part I is an overview of early expeditions to the High Arctic, and their political consequences at the time. The focus then shifts to the Geological Survey of Canada s mapping program in the North (Operation Franklin), and to the Polar Continental Shelf Project (PCSP), a unique organization that resides within the Government of Canada s Department of Natural Resources, and supports mapping projects and science investigations. PCSP is highlighted throughout the presentation so a description of mandate, budgets, and support infrastructure is warranted. In Part II, the presenter describes the planning required in advance of scientific deployments carried out in the Canadian High Arctic from the perspective of government and university investigators. Field operations and challenges encountered while leading arctic field teams in fly camps are also described in this part of the presentation, with particular emphasis on the 2008 field season. Part III is a summary of preliminary results obtained from a Polar Survey questionnaire sent out to members of the Arctic research community in anticipation of the workshop. The last part of the talk is an update on the analog program at the Canadian Space Agency, specifically, the Canadian Analog Research Network (CARN) and current activities related to Analog missions, 2009-2010.

  11. High levels of contaminants in ivory gull Pagophila eburnea eggs from the Russian and Norwegian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Miljeteig, Cecilie; Strøm, Hallvard; Gavrilo, Maria V; Volkov, Andrey; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2009-07-15

    We found high levels of contaminants, in particular organochlorines, in eggs of the ivory gull Pagophila eburnea, a high Arctic seabird species threatened by climate change and contaminants. An 80% decline in the ivory gull breeding population in the Canadian Arctic the last two decades has been documented. Because of the dependence of the ivory gull on sea ice and its high trophic position, suggested environmental threats are climate change and contaminants. The present study investigated contaminant levels (organochlorines, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated alkyl substances, and mercury) in ivory gull eggs from four colonies in the Norwegian (Svalbard) and Russian Arctic (Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya). The contaminant levels presented here are among the highest reported in Arctic seabird species, and we identify this as an important stressor in a species already at risk due to environmental change.

  12. 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

  13. Evidence of high-elevation amplification versus Arctic amplification.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qixiang; Fan, Xiaohui; Wang, Mengben

    2016-01-01

    Elevation-dependent warming in high-elevation regions and Arctic amplification are of tremendous interest to many scientists who are engaged in studies in climate change. Here, using annual mean temperatures from 2781 global stations for the 1961-2010 period, we find that the warming for the world's high-elevation stations (>500 m above sea level) is clearly stronger than their low-elevation counterparts; and the high-elevation amplification consists of not only an altitudinal amplification but also a latitudinal amplification. The warming for the high-elevation stations is linearly proportional to the temperature lapse rates along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients, as a result of the functional shape of Stefan-Boltzmann law in both vertical and latitudinal directions. In contrast, neither altitudinal amplification nor latitudinal amplification is found within the Arctic region despite its greater warming than lower latitudes. Further analysis shows that the Arctic amplification is an integrated part of the latitudinal amplification trend for the low-elevation stations (≤500 m above sea level) across the entire low- to high-latitude Northern Hemisphere, also a result of the mathematical shape of Stefan-Boltzmann law but only in latitudinal direction. PMID:26753547

  14. Indirect interactions in the High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Roslin, Tomas; Wirta, Helena; Hopkins, Tapani; Hardwick, Bess; Várkonyi, Gergely

    2013-01-01

    Indirect interactions as mediated by higher and lower trophic levels have been advanced as key forces structuring herbivorous arthropod communities around the globe. Here, we present a first quantification of the interaction structure of a herbivore-centered food web from the High Arctic. Targeting the Lepidoptera of Northeast Greenland, we introduce generalized overlap indices as a novel tool for comparing different types of indirect interactions. First, we quantify the scope for top-down-up interactions as the probability that a herbivore attacking plant species i itself fed as a larva on species j. Second, we gauge this herbivore overlap against the potential for bottom-up-down interactions, quantified as the probability that a parasitoid attacking herbivore species i itself developed as a larva on species j. Third, we assess the impact of interactions with other food web modules, by extending the core web around the key herbivore Sympistis nigrita to other predator guilds (birds and spiders). We find the host specificity of both herbivores and parasitoids to be variable, with broad generalists occurring in both trophic layers. Indirect links through shared resources and through shared natural enemies both emerge as forces with a potential for shaping the herbivore community. The structure of the host-parasitoid submodule of the food web suggests scope for classic apparent competition. Yet, based on predation experiments, we estimate that birds kill as many (8%) larvae of S. nigrita as do parasitoids (8%), and that spiders kill many more (38%). Interactions between these predator guilds may result in further complexities. Our results caution against broad generalizations from studies of limited food web modules, and show the potential for interactions within and between guilds of extended webs. They also add a data point from the northernmost insect communities on Earth, and describe the baseline structure of a food web facing imminent climate change. PMID

  15. Indirect Interactions in the High Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Roslin, Tomas; Wirta, Helena; Hopkins, Tapani; Hardwick, Bess; Várkonyi, Gergely

    2013-01-01

    Indirect interactions as mediated by higher and lower trophic levels have been advanced as key forces structuring herbivorous arthropod communities around the globe. Here, we present a first quantification of the interaction structure of a herbivore-centered food web from the High Arctic. Targeting the Lepidoptera of Northeast Greenland, we introduce generalized overlap indices as a novel tool for comparing different types of indirect interactions. First, we quantify the scope for top-down-up interactions as the probability that a herbivore attacking plant species i itself fed as a larva on species j. Second, we gauge this herbivore overlap against the potential for bottom-up-down interactions, quantified as the probability that a parasitoid attacking herbivore species i itself developed as a larva on species j. Third, we assess the impact of interactions with other food web modules, by extending the core web around the key herbivore Sympistis nigrita to other predator guilds (birds and spiders). We find the host specificity of both herbivores and parasitoids to be variable, with broad generalists occurring in both trophic layers. Indirect links through shared resources and through shared natural enemies both emerge as forces with a potential for shaping the herbivore community. The structure of the host-parasitoid submodule of the food web suggests scope for classic apparent competition. Yet, based on predation experiments, we estimate that birds kill as many (8%) larvae of S. nigrita as do parasitoids (8%), and that spiders kill many more (38%). Interactions between these predator guilds may result in further complexities. Our results caution against broad generalizations from studies of limited food web modules, and show the potential for interactions within and between guilds of extended webs. They also add a data point from the northernmost insect communities on Earth, and describe the baseline structure of a food web facing imminent climate change. PMID

  16. Arctic climate and its interaction with lower latitudes under different levels of anthropogenic warming in a global coupled climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenigk, Torben; Brodeau, Laurent

    2016-09-01

    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 the Arctic climate and interactions with lower latitudes under different levels of anthropogenic warming. The model simulations indicate an accelerated warming and ice extent reduction in the Arctic between the year-2030 and year-2015 simulations compared to the change between the year-2015 and year-2000 simulations. 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 under year-2015 and year-2030 conditions. This cooling is related to a strong reduction in the AMOC, itself due to 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.

  17. High Levels of Molecular Chlorine found in the Arctic Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, J.; Huey, L. G.; Liu, Z.; Tanner, D.; Cantrell, C. A.; Orlando, J. J.; Flocke, F. M.; Shepson, P. B.; Weinheimer, A. J.; Hall, S. R.; Beine, H.; Wang, Y.; Ingall, E. D.; Thompson, C. R.; Hornbrook, R. S.; Apel, E. C.; Fried, A.; Mauldin, L.; Smith, J. N.; Staebler, R. M.; Neuman, J. A.; Nowak, J. B.

    2014-12-01

    Chlorine radicals are a strong atmospheric oxidant, particularly in polar regions where levels of hydroxyl radicals can be quite low. In the atmosphere, chlorine radicals expedite the degradation of methane and tropospheric ozone and the oxidation of mercury to more toxic forms. Here, we present direct measurements of molecular chlorine levels in the Arctic marine boundary layer in Barrow, Alaska, collected in the spring of 2009 over a six-week period using chemical ionization mass spectrometry. We detected high levels of molecular chlorine of up to 400 pptv. Concentrations peaked in the early morning and late afternoon and fell to near-zero levels at night. Average daytime molecular chlorine levels were correlated with ozone concentrations, suggesting that sunlight and ozone are required for molecular chlorine formation. Using a time-dependent box model, we estimated that the chlorine radicals produced from the photolysis of molecular chlorine on average oxidized more methane than hydroxyl radicals and enhanced the abundance of short-lived peroxy radicals. Elevated hydroperoxyl radical levels, in turn, promoted the formation of hypobromous acid, which catalyzed mercury oxidation and the breakdown of tropospheric ozone. Therefore, we propose that molecular chlorine exerts a significant effect on the atmospheric chemistry in the Arctic. While the formation mechanisms of molecular chlorine are not yet understood, the main potential sources of chlorine include snowpack, sea salt, and sea ice. There is recent evidence of molecular halogen (Br2 and Cl2) formation in the Arctic snowpack. The coverage and composition of the snow may control halogen chemistry in the Arctic. Changes of sea ice and snow cover in the changing climate may affect air-snow-ice interaction and have a significant impact on the levels of radicals, ozone, mercury and methane in the Arctic troposphere.

  18. Influence of Sea Ice on Arctic Marine Sulfur Biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model

    SciTech Connect

    Deal, Clara; Jin, Meibing

    2013-06-30

    Global climate models (GCMs) have not effectively considered how responses of arctic marine ecosystems to a warming climate will influence the global climate system. A key response of arctic marine ecosystems that may substantially influence energy exchange in the Arctic is a change in dimethylsulfide (DMS) emissions, because DMS emissions influence cloud albedo. This response is closely tied to sea ice through its impacts on marine ecosystem carbon and sulfur cycling, and the ice-albedo feedback implicated in accelerated arctic warming. To reduce the uncertainty in predictions from coupled climate simulations, important model components of the climate system, such as feedbacks between arctic marine biogeochemistry and climate, need to be reasonably and realistically modeled. This research first involved model development to improve the representation of marine sulfur biogeochemistry simulations to understand/diagnose the control of sea-ice-related processes on the variability of DMS dynamics. This study will help build GCM predictions that quantify the relative current and possible future influences of arctic marine ecosystems on the global climate system. Our overall research objective was to improve arctic marine biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM, now CESM). Working closely with the Climate Ocean Sea Ice Model (COSIM) team at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), we added 1 sea-ice algae and arctic DMS production and related biogeochemistry to the global Parallel Ocean Program model (POP) coupled to the LANL sea ice model (CICE). Both CICE and POP are core components of CESM. Our specific research objectives were: 1) Develop a state-of-the-art ice-ocean DMS model for application in climate models, using observations to constrain the most crucial parameters; 2) Improve the global marine sulfur model used in CESM by including DMS biogeochemistry in the Arctic; and 3) Assess how sea ice influences DMS dynamics in the arctic marine

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Status of Wind-Diesel Applications in Arctic Climates: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Baring-Gould, I.; Corbus, D.

    2007-12-01

    The rising cost of diesel fuel and the environmental regulation for its transportation, use, and storage, combined with the clear impacts of increased arctic temperatures, is driving remote communities to examine alternative methods of providing power. Over the past few years, wind energy has been increasingly used to reduce diesel fuel consumption, providing economic, environmental, and security benefits to the energy supply of communities from Alaska to Antarctica. This summary paper describes the current state of wind-diesel systems, reviews the operation of wind-diesel plants in cold climates, discusses current research activities pertaining to these systems, and addresses their technical and commercial challenges. System architectures, dispatch strategies, and operating experience from a variety of wind-diesel systems in Alaska will be reviewed. Specific focus will also be given to the control of power systems with large amounts of wind generation and the complexities of replacing diesel engine waste heat with excess wind energy, a key factor in assessing power plants for retrofit. A brief overview of steps for assessing the viability of retrofitting diesel power systems with wind technologies will also be provided. Because of the large number of isolated diesel minigrids, the market for adding wind to these systems is substantial, specifically in arctic climates and on islands that rely on diesel-only power generation.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Will the Arctic Land Surface become Wetter or Drier in Response to a Warming Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinzman, L. D.; Rawlins, M.; Serreze, M.; Vorosmarty, C. J.; Walsh, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    There is much concern about a potentially "accelerated" hydrologic cycle, with associated extremes in weather and climate-related phenomena. Whether this translates into wetter or drier conditions across arctic landscapes remains an open question. Arctic ecosystems differ substantially from those in temperate regions, largely due to the interactions of extremes in climate and land surface characteristics. Ice-rich permafrost prevents percolation of rainfall or snowmelt water, often maintaining a moist to saturated active layer where the permafrost table is shallow. Permafrost may also block the lateral movement of groundwater, and act as a confining unit for water in sub- or intra-permafrost aquifers. However, as permafrost degrades, profound changes in interactions between groundwater and surface water occur that affect the partitioning among the water balance components with subsequent impacts to the surface energy balance and essential ecosystem processes. Most simulations of arctic climate project sustained increases in temperature and gradual increases in precipitation over the 21st century. However, most climatic models do not correctly represent the essential controls that permafrost exerts on hydrological, ecological, and climatological processes. If warming continues as projected, we expect large-scale changes in surface hydrology as permafrost degrades. Where groundwater gradients are downward (i.e. surface water will infiltrate to subsurface groundwater), as in most cases, we may expect improved drainage and drier soils, which would result in reduced evaporation and transpiration (ET). In some special cases, where the groundwater gradient is upward (as in many wetlands or springs) surface soils may become wetter or inundated as permafrost degrades. Further, since soil moisture is a primary factor controlling ecosystem processes, interactions between ecosystems, GHG emissions, and high-latitude climate must also be considered highly uncertain. These inter

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Arctic Council Nations Could Encourage Development of Climate Indicator: Flux to the Atmosphere from Arctic Permafrost Carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekwurzel, B.; Yona, L.; Natali, S.; Holmes, R. M.; Schuur, E.

    2015-12-01

    Permafrost regions store almost twice the carbon in the atmosphere (Tarnocai et al 2009). As climate warms a proportion of this carbon will be released as carbon dioxide and methane. The Arctic Council may be best suited to harness international scientific collaboration for policy relevant knowledge about the global impacts of permafrost thaw. Scientists in Arctic Council and observer states have historically collaborated on permafrost research (e.g. Permafrost Carbon Network, part of Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) project). This work increased knowledge of permafrost carbon pool size and vulnerability. However, data gaps persist across the Arctic. Despite gaps, numerous studies directly inform international policy negotiations aiming to stay below 2° C. Some suggest "permafrost carbon feedback" may comprise 3 to 11% of total allowed emissions through 2100 under a RCP4.5 (Schaefer et al2014). Understanding and accounting for future permafrost atmospheric carbon release requires science and policy coordination that the Arctic Council could incentivize. For example, Council nations could convene scientists and stakeholders to develop a Permafrost-Climate Indicator providing more direct decision support than current permafrost indicators, and identify research needed for a periodic estimate of Arctic permafrost CO2 and CH4 emissions. This presentation covers current challenges scientists and policymakers may face to develop a practical and robust Permafrost Climate Indicator. For example, which timescales are most appropriate for international emissions commitments? Do policy-relevant timescales align with current scientific knowledge? What are the uncertainties and how can they be decreased? We present likely strengths and challenges of a Permafrost Climate Indicator co-developed by scientists and stakeholders. Potential greenhouse gas atmospheric flux from Arctic permafrost carbon may be greater than some nations' United Nations emissions reductions

  10. Assessing the links between Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance and Arctic climate using Climate Models and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mottram, Ruth; Rodehacke, Christian; Boberg, Fredrik; Langen, Peter; Sloth Madsen, Marianne; Høyer Svendsen, Synne; Yang, Shuting; Hesselbjerg Christensen, Jens; Olesen, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Changes in different parts of the Arctic cryosphere may have knock-on effects on other parts of the system. The fully coupled climate model EC-Earth, which includes the ice sheet model PISM, is a useful tool to examine interactions between sea ice, ice sheet, ocean and atmosphere. Here we present results from EC-Earth experimental simulations that show including an interactive ice sheet model changes ocean circulation, sea ice extent and regional climate with, for example, a dampening of the expected increase in Arctic temperatures under the RCP scenarios when compared with uncoupled experiments. However, the relatively coarse resolution of the climate model likely influences the calculated surface mass balance forcing applied to the ice sheet model and it is important therefore to evaluate the model performance over the ice sheet. Here, we assess the quality of the climate forcing from the GCM to the ice sheet model by comparing the energy balance and surface mass balance (SMB) output from EC-Earth with that from a regional climate model (RCM) run at very high resolution (0.05 degrees) over Greenland. The RCM, HIRHAM5, has been evaluated over a wide range of climate parameters for Greenland which allows us to be confident it gives a representative climate forcing for the Greenland ice sheet. To evaluate the internal variability in the climate forcing, we compare simulations from HIRHAM5 forced with both the EC-Earth historical emissions and the ERA-Interim reanalysis on the boundaries. The EC-Earth-PISM RCP8.5 scenario is also compared with an EC-Earth run without an ice sheet to assess the impact of an interactive ice sheet on likely future changes. To account for the resolution difference between the models we downscale both EC-Earth and HIRHAM5 simulations with a simple offline energy balance model (EBM).

  11. International conference on physiological process studies in the Arctic: (Implications for ecosystems response to climate change)

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. II.

    1991-01-01

    The conference on physiological process studies in the Arctic was held in Toronto, Canada, to summarize the current understanding of plant physiological processes in the Arctic. Participants reviewed the current understanding of arctic ecophysiology and discussed the role of physiology in controlling ecosystem processes such as productivity and nutrient cycling. Emphasis was placed on ways in which ecophysiological studies might provide insight into possible responses of arctic ecosystems to global climatic change. The major conclusions of the workshop were that, although we know a great deal about the adaptations of arctic plants to their physical environment, the biotic interactions among plants and between plants and other organisms are more important in governing the distribution of plants in the Arctic. Future research in arctic physiological ecology should emphasize biotic interactions, feedbacks and time lags that modify plant response to environment, and the roles that plants play as regulators of ecosystem processes.

  12. 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.

  13. Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dethloff, Klaus; Rex, Markus; Shupe, Matthew

    2016-04-01

    The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) is an international initiative under the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) umbrella that aims to improve numerical model representations of sea ice, weather, and climate processes through coupled system observations and modeling activities that link the central Arctic atmosphere, sea ice, ocean, and the ecosystem. Observations of many critical parameters such as cloud properties, surface energy fluxes, atmospheric aerosols, small-scale sea-ice and oceanic processes, biological feedbacks with the sea-ice ice and ocean, and others have never been made in the central Arctic in all seasons, and certainly not in a coupled system fashion. The primary objective of MOSAiC is to develop a better understanding of these important coupled-system processes so they can be more accurately represented in regional- and global-scale weather- and climate models. Such enhancements will contribute to improved modeling of global climate and weather, and Arctic sea-ice predictive capabilities. The MOSAiC observations are an important opportunity to gather the high quality and comprehensive observations needed to improve numerical modeling of critical, scale-dependent processes impacting Arctic predictability given diminished sea ice coverage and increased model complexity. Model improvements are needed to understand the effects of a changing Arctic on mid-latitude weather and climate. MOSAiC is specifically designed to provide the multi-parameter, coordinated observations needed to improve sub-grid scale model parameterizations especially with respect to thinner ice conditions. To facilitate, evaluate, and develop the needed model improvements, MOSAiC will employ a hierarchy of modeling approaches ranging from process model studies, to regional climate model intercomparisons, to operational forecasts and assimilation of real-time observations. Model evaluations prior to the field program will

  14. 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-...

  15. Trace element concentrations and gastrointestinal parasites of Arctic terns breeding in the Canadian High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Provencher, J F; Braune, B M; Gilchrist, H G; Forbes, M R; Mallory, M L

    2014-04-01

    Baseline data on trace element concentrations are lacking for many species of Arctic marine birds. We measured essential and non-essential element concentrations in Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) liver tissue and brain tissue (mercury only) from Canada's High Arctic, and recorded the presence/absence of gastrointestinal parasites during four different phases of the breeding season. Arctic terns from northern Canada had similar trace element concentrations to other seabird species feeding at the same trophic level in the same region. Concentrations of bismuth, selenium, lead and mercury in Arctic terns were high compared to published threshold values for birds. Selenium and mercury concentrations were also higher in Arctic terns from northern Canada than bird species sampled in other Arctic areas. Selenium, mercury and arsenic concentrations varied across the time periods examined, suggesting potential regional differences in the exposure of biota to these elements. For unknown reasons, selenium concentrations were significantly higher in birds with gastrointestinal parasites as compared to those without parasites, while bismuth concentrations were higher in Arctic terns not infected with gastrointestinal parasites.

  16. Pcw/phemos for Arctic Weather, Climate and Air Quality: a Quasi-Geostationary View of the Arctic and Environs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, J. C.; O'Neill, N. T.; McElroy, C. T.; Solheim, B.; Buijs, H.; Rahnama, P.; Walker, K. A.; Martin, R. V.; Sioris, C.; Garand, L.; Trichtchenko, A.; Nassar, R.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic is a region of rapid climate change with warming temperatures and depleting multi-year ice which may be exacerbated by transport of black carbon from the burning of the boreal forest and anthropogenic material from mid- and high-latitudes. It is also the source of winter storms delivering cold air to lower latitudes. Currently data are available for these areas from polar orbiting satellites, but only intermittently at a given location as the satellites pass overhead. The Canadian Space Agency, in concert with other government departments, is considering launching the PCW (Polar Communications and Weather) mission which would use two satellites each in a 16 hour TAP or 12 hour Molniya orbit (very high eccentricity with an apogee of ~ 6Re) which is a quasi-stationary orbit close to apogee ( 4 hours) to give 24x7 (continuous) coverage of the Arctic region. The baseline PCW meteorological instrument which would deliver operational meteorological data to the forecasting community is a 20-channel spectral imager similar to MODIS or ABI. The CSA is exploring the possibility of science instruments for atmospheric, plasma and auroral science. Currently the CSA has launched a Phase-A study for the development of an atmospheric package, called PHEMOS, led by ABB Bomen, with COM DEV and a group of atmospheric scientists from university and government. We will present the case for the development of a suite of innovative imaging instruments to provide essential Arctic weather, climate and air quality data from the PCW satellites. The science goals of the PHEMOS instruments (imaging FTS, UV-Vis spectrometer) in concert with those of the PCW multi-spectral imager are the provision of basic weather information, the collection of synoptic-scale air quality (gas and aerosol) measurements to better understand the impact of industrial and agricultural pollution, boreal forest fire smoke and volcanic aerosols on mid- and high latitudes as well as the acquisition of column

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cassano, John

    2011-05-15

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

  18. Dynamics of Arctic and Sub-Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Circulation: Diagnosis of Mechanisms and Biases Using Data Assimilation

    SciTech Connect

    Eric T. DeWeaver

    2010-02-17

    The overall goal of work performed under this grant is to enhance understanding of simulations of present-day climate and greenhouse gas-induced climate change. The examination of present-day climate also includes diagnostic intercomparison of model simulations and observed mean climate and climate variability using reanalysis and satellite datasets. Enhanced understanding is desirable 1) as a prerequisite for improving simulations; 2) for assessing the credibility of model simulations and their usefulness as tools for decision support; and 3) as a means to identify robust behaviors which commonly occur over a wide range of models, and may yield insights regarding the dominant physical mechanisms which determine mean climate and produce climate change. A further objective is to investigate the use of data assimilation as a means for examining and correcting model biases. Our primary focus is on the Arctic, but the scope of the work was expanded to include the global climate system.

  19. Influence of Climate Warming on Arctic Mammals? New Insights from Ancient DNA Studies of the collared lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prost, Stefan; Smirnov, Nickolay; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Sommer, Robert S.; Stiller, Mathias; Nagel, Doris; Knapp, Michael; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-05-01

    Global temperature increased by approximately half a degree (Celsius) within the last 150 years. Even this moderate warming had major impacts on Earth's ecological and biological systems, especially in the Arctic where the magnitude of abiotic changes even exceeds those in temperate and tropical biomes. Therefore, understanding the biological consequences of climate change on high latitudes is of critical importance for future conservation of the species living in this habitat. The past 25,000 years can be used as a model for such changes, as they were marked by prominent climatic changes that influenced geographic distribution, demographic history and pattern of genetic variation of many extant species. We sequenced ancient and modern DNA of the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), which is a key species of the arctic biota, from a single site (Pymva Shor, Northern Pre Urals, Russia) to see if climate warming events after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) had detectable effects on the genetic variation of this arctic rodent species, which is strongly associated with cold and dry climate. Using three dimensional network reconstruction and model-based approaches such as Approximate Bayesian Computation and Markov Chain Monte Carlo based Bayesian inference we show that there is evidence for a population decline in the collared lemming following the LGM, with the population size dropping to a minimum during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (Blling/Allerd) warming phase at 14.5 kyrs BP. Our results show that previous climate warming events had a strong influence on collard lemming populations. A similar population reduction due to predicted future climate change would have severe effects on the arctic ecosystem, as collared lemmings are a key species in the trophic interactions and ecosystem processes in the Arctic.

  20. High Arctic Paraglacial Coastal Evolution in Northern Billefjorden, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strzelecki, Matt; Long, Antony; Lloyd, Jerry

    2013-04-01

    Most sediment budget studies in paraglacial, High Arctic, environments have focussed attention on quantifying sediment fluxes in glacial and fluvial catchments. In contrast, little attention has been paid to the functioning of the paraglacial coastal zone with existing models of coastal change based on relict systems developed in mid latitude settings. The pristine coasts of Spitsbergen provided a superb opportunity to quantify how High Arctic coasts are respondingto rapid climate warming and associated paraglacial landscape transformation. In this paper we reconstruct the development of the paraglacial coasts in Petuniabukta and Adolfbukta, the northernmost bays of Billefjorden, central Spitsbergen. The study area is characterized by a sheltered location, a semi-arid, sub-polar climate, limited wave fetch and tidal range, and rapid retreat of all surrounding glaciers. Using a combination of geomorphological, sedimentological, remote sensing and dating methods, we study the processes controlling the coastal zone development over annual, century and millennial timescales. Interannual changes observed between 2008-2010 show that gravel barriers in the study area are resilient to the impacts of local storms and the operation of sea-ice processes. In general, the processes controlling the short-term barrier development often operate in the opposite direction to the landforming patterns visible in the longer-term evolution. Over multi-decadal timescales, since the end of the Little Ice Age. we observe drammatic changes in sediment flux and coastal response under an interval characterised by a warming climate, retreating local ice masses, a shortened winter sea-ice season and melting permafrost. A new approach of dating juvenile mollusc found in uplifted marine barriers led to the better understating of the Late Holocene evolution of a Petuniabukta coastal zone and its reaction to deglaciation, glacioisostatic uplift and sea-level fluctuations. We propose a new

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Arctic marine climate of the early nineteenth century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brohan, P.; Ward, C.; Willetts, G.; Wilkinson, C.; Allan, R.; Wheeler, D.

    2010-05-01

    The climate of the early nineteenth century is likely to have been significantly cooler than that of today, as it was a period of low solar activity (the Dalton minimum) and followed a series of large volcanic eruptions. Proxy reconstructions of the temperature of the period do not agree well on the size of the temperature change, so other observational records from the period are particularly valuable. Weather observations have been extracted from the reports of the noted whaling captain William Scoresby Jr., and from the records of a series of Royal Navy expeditions to the Arctic, preserved in the UK National Archives. They demonstrate that marine climate in 1810-1825 was marked by consistently cold summers, with abundant sea-ice. But although the period was significantly colder than the modern average, there was considerable variability: in the Greenland Sea the summers following the Tambora eruption (1816 and 1817) were noticeably warmer, and had less sea-ice coverage, than the years immediately preceding them; and the sea-ice coverage in Lancaster Sound in 1819 and 1820 was low even by modern standards.

  6. Arctic marine climate of the early nineteenth century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brohan, P.; Ward, C.; Willetts, G.; Wilkinson, C.; Allan, R.; Wheeler, D.

    2010-02-01

    The climate of the early nineteenth century is likely to have been significantly cooler than that of today, as it was a period of low solar activity (the Dalton minimum) and followed a series of large volcanic eruptions. Proxy reconstructions of the temperature of the period do not agree well on the size of the temperature change, so other observational records from the period are particularly valuable. Weather observations have been extracted from the reports of the noted whaling captain William Scoresby Jr., and from the records of a series of Royal Navy expeditions to the Arctic, preserved in the UK National Archives. They demonstrate that marine climate in 1810-25 was marked by consistently cold summers, with abundant sea-ice. But although the period was significantly colder than the modern average, there was a lot of variability: in the Greenland Sea the summers following the Tambora eruption (1816 and 1817) were noticeably warmer, and had lower sea-ice coverage, than the years immediately preceding them; and the sea-ice coverage in Lancaster Sound in 1819 and 1820 was low even by modern standards.

  7. The palaeobiology of high latitude birds from the early Eocene greenhouse of Ellesmere Island, Arctic Canada.

    PubMed

    Stidham, Thomas A; Eberle, Jaelyn J

    2016-02-12

    Fossils attributable to the extinct waterfowl clade Presbyornithidae and the large flightless Gastornithidae from the early Eocene (~52-53 Ma) of Ellesmere Island, in northernmost Canada are the oldest Cenozoic avian fossils from the Arctic. Except for its slightly larger size, the Arctic presbyornithid humerus is not distinguishable from fossils of Presbyornis pervetus from the western United States, and the Gastornis phalanx is within the known size range of mid-latitude individuals. The occurrence of Presbyornis above the Arctic Circle in the Eocene could be the result of annual migration like that of its living duck and geese relatives, or it may have been a year-round resident similar to some Eocene mammals on Ellesmere and some extant species of sea ducks. Gastornis, along with some of the mammalian and reptilian members of the Eocene Arctic fauna, likely over-wintered in the Arctic. Despite the milder (above freezing) Eocene climate on Ellesmere Island, prolonged periods of darkness occurred during the winter. Presence of these extinct birds at both mid and high latitudes on the northern continents provides evidence that future increases in climatic warming (closer to Eocene levels) could lead to the establishment of new migratory or resident populations within the Arctic Circle.

  8. The palaeobiology of high latitude birds from the early Eocene greenhouse of Ellesmere Island, Arctic Canada

    PubMed Central

    Stidham, Thomas A.; Eberle, Jaelyn J.

    2016-01-01

    Fossils attributable to the extinct waterfowl clade Presbyornithidae and the large flightless Gastornithidae from the early Eocene (~52–53 Ma) of Ellesmere Island, in northernmost Canada are the oldest Cenozoic avian fossils from the Arctic. Except for its slightly larger size, the Arctic presbyornithid humerus is not distinguishable from fossils of Presbyornis pervetus from the western United States, and the Gastornis phalanx is within the known size range of mid-latitude individuals. The occurrence of Presbyornis above the Arctic Circle in the Eocene could be the result of annual migration like that of its living duck and geese relatives, or it may have been a year-round resident similar to some Eocene mammals on Ellesmere and some extant species of sea ducks. Gastornis, along with some of the mammalian and reptilian members of the Eocene Arctic fauna, likely over-wintered in the Arctic. Despite the milder (above freezing) Eocene climate on Ellesmere Island, prolonged periods of darkness occurred during the winter. Presence of these extinct birds at both mid and high latitudes on the northern continents provides evidence that future increases in climatic warming (closer to Eocene levels) could lead to the establishment of new migratory or resident populations within the Arctic Circle. PMID:26867798

  9. The palaeobiology of high latitude birds from the early Eocene greenhouse of Ellesmere Island, Arctic Canada.

    PubMed

    Stidham, Thomas A; Eberle, Jaelyn J

    2016-01-01

    Fossils attributable to the extinct waterfowl clade Presbyornithidae and the large flightless Gastornithidae from the early Eocene (~52-53 Ma) of Ellesmere Island, in northernmost Canada are the oldest Cenozoic avian fossils from the Arctic. Except for its slightly larger size, the Arctic presbyornithid humerus is not distinguishable from fossils of Presbyornis pervetus from the western United States, and the Gastornis phalanx is within the known size range of mid-latitude individuals. The occurrence of Presbyornis above the Arctic Circle in the Eocene could be the result of annual migration like that of its living duck and geese relatives, or it may have been a year-round resident similar to some Eocene mammals on Ellesmere and some extant species of sea ducks. Gastornis, along with some of the mammalian and reptilian members of the Eocene Arctic fauna, likely over-wintered in the Arctic. Despite the milder (above freezing) Eocene climate on Ellesmere Island, prolonged periods of darkness occurred during the winter. Presence of these extinct birds at both mid and high latitudes on the northern continents provides evidence that future increases in climatic warming (closer to Eocene levels) could lead to the establishment of new migratory or resident populations within the Arctic Circle. PMID:26867798

  10. 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.

  11. Modeling of Arctic Storms with a Variable High-Resolution General Circulation Model

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Mark A.; Roesler, Erika Louise; Bosler, Peter Andrew

    2015-08-01

    The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Biological and Environmental Research project, “Water Cycle and Climate Extremes Modeling” is improving our understanding and modeling of regional details of the Earth’s water cycle. Sandia is using high resolution model behavior to investigate storms in the Arctic.

  12. The freeze-up of high Arctic ponds and potential impacts on the carbon balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langer, M.; Westermann, S.; Abnizova, A.; Muster, S.; Wischnewski, K.; Boike, J.

    2011-12-01

    A considerable part of the global carbon budget is stored in the Arctic permafrost landscapes. Several studies suggest that lakes and ponds play a key role in the carbon turnover of these ecosystems as they are considered to be favourable paths of carbon exchange between surface and atmosphere. The direction and strength of the carbon fluxes from Arctic lakes is controlled by a variety of physical and biochemical processes whose climate interactions are complex and still poorly understood. In some Arctic regions the fractional area of lakes and ponds can be as large as 25% highlighting the importance of water bodies in the Arctic ecosystems. Our long-term studies on the energy balance of a typical Arctic lake landscape reveal that the seasonal freeze-thaw dynamic is highly sensitive to small variations in the winter time radiation budget and the subsurface heat flux, especially at shallow ponds. The time required to completely freeze the water body including the subjacent bottom sediments can vary up to several months. This implies that the period of unfrozen ponds, during which biological activity is favourable, highly depends on factors such as the winter time cloudiness and snow cover. Hence, the close interaction between the winter time surface energy balance and biological processes might strongly affect the production and storage of green house gases of Arctic landscapes. This potential climate feedback mechanism is even more important as small water bodies are usually below the spatial resolution of remote sensing products. Therefore, they are not included in landscape classifications used in recent estimates of the global carbon budget or climate models. Nevertheless, small water bodies can make up a considerable percentage of the tundra surface comparable in size to the area occupied by large (thermokarst) lakes. Further investigation on the role of small water bodies appears to be mandatory for a better understanding of the Arctic carbon balance.

  13. 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.

  14. On the Influence of North Pacific Sea Surface Temperature on the Arctic Winter Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurwitz, Margaret M.; Newman, P. A.; Garfinkel, C. I.

    2012-01-01

    Differences between two ensembles of Goddard Earth Observing System Chemistry-Climate Model simulations isolate the impact of North Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) on the Arctic winter climate. One ensemble of extended winter season forecasts is forced by unusually high SSTs in the North Pacific, while in the second ensemble SSTs in the North Pacific are unusually low. High Low differences are consistent with a weakened Western Pacific atmospheric teleconnection pattern, and in particular, a weakening of the Aleutian low. This relative change in tropospheric circulation inhibits planetary wave propagation into the stratosphere, in turn reducing polar stratospheric temperature in mid- and late winter. The number of winters with sudden stratospheric warmings is approximately tripled in the Low ensemble as compared with the High ensemble. Enhanced North Pacific SSTs, and thus a more stable and persistent Arctic vortex, lead to a relative decrease in lower stratospheric ozone in late winter, affecting the April clear-sky UV index at Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Natalia, Kukarenko

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Adaptive strategies and life history characteristics in a warming climate: salmon in the Arctic?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nielsen, Jennifer L.; Ruggerone, Gregory T.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

    2013-01-01

    In the warming Arctic, aquatic habitats are in flux and salmon are exploring their options. Adult Pacific salmon, including sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka), coho (O. kisutch), Chinook (O. tshawytscha), pink (O. gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) have been captured throughout the Arctic. Pink and chum salmon are the most common species found in the Arctic today. These species are less dependent on freshwater habitats as juveniles and grow quickly in marine habitats. Putative spawning populations are rare in the North American Arctic and limited to pink salmon in drainages north of Point Hope, Alaska, chum salmon spawning rivers draining to the northwestern Beaufort Sea, and small populations of chum and pink salmon in Canada’s Mackenzie River. Pacific salmon have colonized several large river basins draining to the Kara, Laptev and East Siberian seas in the Russian Arctic. These populations probably developed from hatchery supplementation efforts in the 1960’s. Hundreds of populations of Arctic Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) are found in Russia, Norway and Finland. Atlantic salmon have extended their range eastward as far as the Kara Sea in central Russian. A small native population of Atlantic salmon is found in Canada’s Ungava Bay. The northern tip of Quebec seems to be an Atlantic salmon migration barrier for other North American stocks. Compatibility between life history requirements and ecological conditions are prerequisite for salmon colonizing Arctic habitats. Broad-scale predictive models of climate change in the Arctic give little information about feedback processes contributing to local conditions, especially in freshwater systems. This paper reviews the recent history of salmon in the Arctic and explores various patterns of climate change that may influence range expansions and future sustainability of salmon in Arctic habitats. A summary of the research needs that will allow informed expectation of further Arctic colonization by salmon is given.

  20. Regional Arctic sea ice variations as predictor for winter climate conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenigk, Torben; Caian, Mihaela; Nikulin, Grigory; Schimanke, Semjon

    2016-01-01

    Seasonal prediction skill of winter mid and high northern latitudes climate from sea ice variations in eight different Arctic regions is analyzed using detrended ERA-interim data and satellite sea ice data for the period 1980-2013. We find significant correlations between ice areas in both September and November and winter sea level pressure, air temperature and precipitation. The prediction skill is improved when using November sea ice conditions as predictor compared to September. This is particularly true for predicting winter NAO-like patterns and blocking situations in the Euro-Atlantic area. We find that sea ice variations in Barents Sea seem to be most important for the sign of the following winter NAO—negative after low ice—but amplitude and extension of the patterns are modulated by Greenland and Labrador Seas ice areas. November ice variability in the Greenland Sea provides the best prediction skill for central and western European temperature and ice variations in the Laptev/East Siberian Seas have the largest impact on the blocking number in the Euro-Atlantic region. Over North America, prediction skill is largest using September ice areas from the Pacific Arctic sector as predictor. Composite analyses of high and low regional autumn ice conditions reveal that the atmospheric response is not entirely linear suggesting changing predictive skill dependent on sign and amplitude of the anomaly. The results confirm the importance of realistic sea ice initial conditions for seasonal forecasts. However, correlations do seldom exceed 0.6 indicating that Arctic sea ice variations can only explain a part of winter climate variations in northern mid and high latitudes.

  1. Occurrence of near-surface ozone depletion in the Arctic spring strongly affected by Northern-Hemispheric climate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koo, J.; Wang, Y.; Jiang, T.; Deng, Y.; Oltmans, S. J.; Solberg, S.

    2013-12-01

    In the Arctic spring, near-surface ozone can decrease to extremely low levels due to chemical removal catalyzed by halogen radicals. These ozone depletion events (ODEs) are usually accompanied by greatly enhanced surface deposition of reactive gaseous mercury. Here we show the effects of regional climate variability on Arctic ODE frequencies by analyzing surface ozone measurements at three monitoring sites (Barrow, Alert, and Zeppelinfjellet) in the past 30 years. Among the various climate variability indices, the Western Pacific (WP) index has the most significant impact. In years with high ODE frequencies at Barrow and Alert in April, the WP teleconnection pattern tends to be in its negative phase with a weakened storm track from the western Pacific to the Arctic and a strengthened subtropical jet across the Pacific, reducing transport of ozone-rich air masses from mid-latitudes to the Arctic. Analysis of the observations at Zeppelinfjellet indicates a much stronger influence of WP pattern in the 2000s than 1990s. Consequently, the WP index may be used as a proxy to assess ODE frequencies and subsequent environmental impacts in future climate projections.

  2. The Rossby Centre Regional Atmospheric Climate Model part II: application to the Arctic climate.

    PubMed

    Jones, Colin G; Wyser, Klaus; Ullerstig, Anders; Willén, Ulrika

    2004-06-01

    The Rossby Centre regional climate model (RCA2) has been integrated over the Arctic Ocean as part of the international ARCMIP project. Results have been compared to observations derived from the SHEBA data set. The standard RCA2 model overpredicts cloud cover and downwelling longwave radiation, during the Arctic winter. This error was improved by introducing a new cloud parameterization, which significantly improves the annual cycle of cloud cover. Compensating biases between clear sky downwelling longwave radiation and longwave radiation emitted from cloud base were identified. Modifications have been introduced to the model radiation scheme that more accurately treat solar radiation interaction with ice crystals. This leads to a more realistic representation of cloud-solar radiation interaction. The clear sky portion of the model radiation code transmits too much solar radiation through the atmosphere, producing a positive bias at the top of the frequent boundary layer clouds. A realistic treatment of the temporally evolving albedo, of both sea-ice and snow, appears crucial for an accurate simulation of the net surface energy budget. Likewise, inclusion of a prognostic snow-surface temperature seems necessary, to accurately simulate near-surface thermodynamic processes in the Arctic.

  3. Northeast Greenland Caves Project: first results from a speleothem-derived record of climate change for the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moseley, Gina; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Cheng, Hai; Lu, Yanbin; Spoetl, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    Multiple lines of evidence currently exist that demonstrate the climate is changing across our planet, and that the Arctic in particular is highly sensitive to these changes, warming up twice as fast as the global average. Understanding how the climate in the Arctic will develop in the future and its subsequent effects is thus a major concern. In order to improve understanding of the climate system within the Arctic, we have collected a suite of calcite flowstone samples from solution-formed caves in the Ordovician-Silurian Centrum limestone of Kronprins Christian Land, Northeast Greenland. Under contemporary conditions, the region is arid, barren, and permanently frozen, however, the presence of these caves and thick flowstone deposits indicates a previous milder climate. During the summer of 2015, 26 caves were documented at 80.4 degrees north, and 16 speleothem samples collected. Here we present the results of the first U-Th dating and stable isotope analyses. U-Th ages show that the flowstone was deposited intermittently between 220 and 500 thousand years ago (ka) with additional smaller growth periods at c. 108 and 5.7 ka, thus indicating the presence of flowing water at these times. δ18O of the speleothem calcite varies between c. -12 and -16.5 ‰ and displays millennial-scale variability. Our initial results thus demonstrate the potential of these speleothem deposits for extending our knowledge of Greenland's climate beyond the limit of the Greenland ice cores.

  4. Sensitivity of Pliocene Arctic climate to orbital forcing, atmospheric CO2 and sea ice albedo parameterisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Fergus; Haywood, Alan; Pickering, Steven

    2016-04-01

    General circulation model (GCM) simulations of the mid-Pliocene Warm Period (mPWP, 3.264 to 3.025 Myr ago) do not reproduce the magnitude of Northern Hemisphere high latitude surface air and sea surface temperature (SAT and SST) warming that proxy data indicates. There is also large uncertainty regarding the state of sea ice cover in the mPWP. Evidence for both perennial and seasonal mPWP Arctic sea ice is found in analyses of marine sediments, whilst in a multi-model ensemble of mPWP climate simulations, half of the ensemble simulated ice-free summer Arctic conditions. Given the strong influence that sea ice exerts on high latitude temperatures, a better understanding of the nature of mPWP Arctic sea ice would be highly beneficial in understanding proxy derived estimates of high latitude surface temperature change, and the ability of climate models to reproduce this. In GCM simulations, the mPWP is typically represented with fixed orbital forcing, usually identical to modern, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations of ˜ 400 ppm. However, orbital forcing varied over the ˜ 240,000 years of the mPWP, and it is likely that atmospheric CO2 varied as well. A previous study has suggested that the parameterisation of sea ice albedo in the HadCM3 GCM may not reflect the sea ice albedo for a warmer climate, where seasonal sea ice constitutes a greater proportion of the Arctic sea ice cover. These three factors, in isolation and combined, can greatly influence the simulation of Arctic sea ice cover and the degree of high latitude surface temperature warming. This paper explores the impact of various combinations of potential mPWP orbital forcing, atmospheric CO2 concentrations and minimum sea ice albedo on sea ice extent and high latitude warming. The focus is on the Northern Hemisphere, due to availability of proxy data, and the large data-model discrepancies in this region. Changes in orbital forcings are demonstrated to be sufficient to alter the Arctic sea ice simulated by

  5. Modeling dynamics of circum-arctic tundra plant communities in response to climate warming and grazing pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Q.; Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Forbes, B. C.; Vors, L. S.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic is a complex system with strong interconnectedness among system components. Understanding the responses of the arctic tundra biome to a changing climate requires knowledge of the complex interactions among climate, soils, and the biological system. In this study, we investigate the individual and interactive effects of projected climate change and reindeer/caribou grazing across a variety of climate zones and soil nutrient levels on tundra plant community dynamics using an arctic vegetation model - ArcVeg. Our research questions include: 1) How does soil nutrient availability affect tundra vegetation responses to projected climate warming? 2) How does grazing affect tundra vegetation responses? 3) How do interactions of soil nutrients, climate warming and grazing affect tundra vegetation? We based our simulations on A1B scenario temperature data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), soil organic nitrogen data from Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) simulations and grazing pressure derived from reindeer/caribou population data from the CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network (CARMA). We found that in general tundra communities responded to warming with increased plant biomass, but the magnitude of the response is affected by the bioclimate zones, warming magnitude, available soil nutrients and grazing pressures. Regions with greater soil organic nitrogen responded to warming with greater biomass increase, Low Arctic tundra tended to have greater biomass increase than High Arctic tundra due to greater shrub abundance. However, such responses are mitigated by grazing. Regions with greater reindeer population and thus greater grazing intensity tended to have stronger negative effects on plant responses to warming than regions with less grazing. For example, in Subzone D, total biomass and NPP increases due to warming were about 71% and 43% in an Alaskan low grazing-intensity region, but 63% and 36% in a northwestern Canada

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Arctic sea ice response to atmospheric forcings with varying levels of anthropogenic warming and climate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jinlun; Steele, Michael; Schweiger, Axel

    2010-10-01

    Numerical experiments are conducted to project arctic sea ice responses to varying levels of future anthropogenic warming and climate variability over 2010-2050. A summer ice-free Arctic Ocean is likely by the mid-2040s if arctic surface air temperature (SAT) increases 4°C by 2050 and climate variability is similar to the past relatively warm two decades. If such a SAT increase is reduced by one-half or if a future Arctic experiences a range of SAT fluctuation similar to the past five decades, a summer ice-free Arctic Ocean would be unlikely before 2050. If SAT increases 4°C by 2050, summer ice volume decreases to very low levels (10-37% of the 1978-2009 summer mean) as early as 2025 and remains low in the following years, while summer ice extent continues to fluctuate annually. Summer ice volume may be more sensitive to warming while summer ice extent more sensitive to climate variability. The rate of annual mean ice volume decrease relaxes approaching 2050. This is because, while increasing SAT increases summer ice melt, a thinner ice cover increases winter ice growth. A thinner ice cover also results in a reduced ice export, which helps to further slow ice volume loss. Because of enhanced winter ice growth, arctic winter ice extent remains nearly stable and therefore appears to be a less sensitive climate indicator.

  10. 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...

  11. Climatic interpretation of Paleogene and Early Neogene spore-pollen floras from Spitsbergen and Arctic Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Norris, G.; Head, M.J.

    1985-01-01

    A relatively complete spore-pollen record through the Late Paleocene and possible Early Eocene from Spitsbergen (lat. 78/sup 0/C long 15/sup 0/E) comprises assemblages commonly with a high conifer and fern content and with moderate triporate angiosperm values. Assemblages are notably dissimilar from those at mid-latitudes and include a number of species which do not appear in Europe until Oligocene or earlier times. This all suggests that the climate varied within a temperate regime. Conifer and fern spores remain abundant but angiosperm pollen is much more diverse and includes taxa referable to Ulmus, Alnus, Juglans, Liquidambar, Pterocarya, Tilia, Fagus, Nyssa, Ilex, .Nuphar, and the Onagraceae which collectively indicate a moderately warm temperate climate. These assemblages thus predate putative Oligocene cooling and fix a maximum possible age limit for its initiation in this area. Eocene floras of the eastern Canadian Arctic (80/sup 0/N, 100/sup 0/W) have been interpreted as sub-tropical but may be warm temperate. Late Eocene spore-pollen assemblages from the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin of western Arctic Canada (l at 69/sup 0/N, long 134/sup 0/W) are similar to those from Spitsbergen. Species diversity decreases near the Eocene/Oligocene boundary notably related to disappearance of thermophylic taxa indicating cooling for at least part of the Early and Middle Oligocene interval. Warm temperate or temperate floras were reestablished in the Late Oligocene and Miocene of Arctic Canada but were replaced by boreal tundra floras in the Pliocene at latest.

  12. Influence of altered low cloud parameterizations for seasonal variation of Arctic cloud amount on climate feedbacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yoojin; Choi, Yong-Sang; Kim, Baek-Min; Kim, Hyerim

    2015-12-01

    This study investigates the alteration of climate feedbacks due to overestimated wintertime low-level cloud amount bias over the Arctic region (60°N-90°N) in a climate model. The climate feedback was quantitatively examined through radiative kernels that are pre-calculated radiative responses of climate variables to doubling of carbon dioxide concentration in NCAR Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3). Climate models have various annual cycle of the Arctic cloud amount at the low-level particularly with large uncertainty in winter and CAM3 may tend to overestimate the Arctic low-level cloud. In this study, the seasonal variation of low-level cloud amount was modified by reducing the wintertime cloud amount by up to 35 %, and then compared with the original without seasonal variation. Thus, we investigate how that bias may affect climate feedbacks and the projections of future Arctic warming. The results show that the decrease in low-level cloud amount slightly affected the radiation budgets because of a small amount of incident solar insolation in winter, but considerably changed water vapor and temperature profiles. Consequently, the most distinctive was decreases in water vapor feedback and contribution of heat transport (by -0.20 and -0.55 W m-2 K-1, respectively) and increases in the lapse rate feedback and cloud feedback (by 0.13 and 0.58 W m-2 K-1, respectively) during winter in this model experiment. This study suggests that the change in Arctic cloud amount effectively reforms the contributions of individual climate feedbacks to Arctic climate system and leads to opposing effects on different feedbacks, which cancel out in the model.

  13. Influence of altered low cloud parameterizations for seasonal variation of Arctic cloud amount on climate feedbacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yoojin; Choi, Yong-Sang; Kim, Baek-Min; Kim, Hyerim

    2016-09-01

    This study investigates the alteration of climate feedbacks due to overestimated wintertime low-level cloud amount bias over the Arctic region (60°N-90°N) in a climate model. The climate feedback was quantitatively examined through radiative kernels that are pre-calculated radiative responses of climate variables to doubling of carbon dioxide concentration in NCAR Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3). Climate models have various annual cycle of the Arctic cloud amount at the low-level particularly with large uncertainty in winter and CAM3 may tend to overestimate the Arctic low-level cloud. In this study, the seasonal variation of low-level cloud amount was modified by reducing the wintertime cloud amount by up to 35 %, and then compared with the original without seasonal variation. Thus, we investigate how that bias may affect climate feedbacks and the projections of future Arctic warming. The results show that the decrease in low-level cloud amount slightly affected the radiation budgets because of a small amount of incident solar insolation in winter, but considerably changed water vapor and temperature profiles. Consequently, the most distinctive was decreases in water vapor feedback and contribution of heat transport (by -0.20 and -0.55 W m-2 K-1, respectively) and increases in the lapse rate feedback and cloud feedback (by 0.13 and 0.58 W m-2 K-1, respectively) during winter in this model experiment. This study suggests that the change in Arctic cloud amount effectively reforms the contributions of individual climate feedbacks to Arctic climate system and leads to opposing effects on different feedbacks, which cancel out in the model.

  14. Chemistry and dynamics of the Arctic winter 2015/2016: Simulations with the Chemistry-Climate Model EMAC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosrawi, Farahnaz; Kirner, Ole; Sinnhuber, Bjoern-Martin; Ruhnke, Roland; Hoepfner, Michael; Woiwode, Wolfgang; Oelhaf, Hermann; Santee, Michelle L.; Manney, Gloria L.; Froidevaux, Lucien; Murtagh, Donal; Braesicke, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Model simulations of the Arctic winter 2015/2016 were performed with the atmospheric chemistry-climate model ECHAM5/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC) for the POLSTRACC (Polar Stratosphere in a Changing Climate) project. The POLSTRACC project is a HALO mission (High Altitude and LOng Range Research Aircraft) that aims to investigate the structure, composition and evolution of the Arctic Upper Troposphere Lower Stratosphere (UTLS) in a changing climate. Especially, the chemical and physical processes involved in Arctic stratospheric ozone depletion, transport and mixing processes in the UTLS at high latitudes, polar stratospheric clouds as well as cirrus clouds are investigated. The model simulations were performed with a resolution of T42L90, corresponding to a quadratic Gaussian grid of approximately 2.8°× 2.8° degrees in latitude and longitude, and 90 vertical layers from the surface up to 0.01 hPa (approx. 80 km). A Newtonian relaxation technique of the prognostic variables temperature, vorticity, divergence and surface pressure towards ECMWF data was applied above the boundary layer and below 10 hPa, in order to nudge the model dynamics towards the observed meteorology. During the Arctic winter 2015/2016 a stable vortex formed in early December, with a cold pool where temperatures reached below the Nitric Acid Trihydrate (NAT) existence temperature of 195 K, thus allowing Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) to form. The early winter has been exceptionally cold and satellite observations indicate that sedimenting PSC particles have lead to denitrification as well as dehydration of stratospheric layers. In this presentation an overview of the chemistry and dynamics of the Arctic winter 2015/2016 as simulated with EMAC will be given and comparisons to satellite observations such as e.g. Aura/MLS and Odin/SMR will be shown.

  15. Predicted responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change.

    PubMed

    Ernakovich, Jessica G; Hopping, Kelly A; Berdanier, Aaron B; Simpson, Rodney T; Kachergis, Emily J; Steltzer, Heidi; Wallenstein, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Global climate change is already having significant impacts on arctic and alpine ecosystems, and ongoing increases in temperature and altered precipitation patterns will affect the strong seasonal patterns that characterize these temperature-limited systems. The length of the potential growing season in these tundra environments is increasing due to warmer temperatures and earlier spring snow melt. Here, we compare current and projected climate and ecological data from 20 Northern Hemisphere sites to identify how seasonal changes in the physical environment due to climate change will alter the seasonality of arctic and alpine ecosystems. We find that although arctic and alpine ecosystems appear similar under historical climate conditions, climate change will lead to divergent responses, particularly in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. As seasonality changes in the Arctic, plants will advance the timing of spring phenological events, which could increase plant nutrient uptake, production, and ecosystem carbon (C) gain. In alpine regions, photoperiod will constrain spring plant phenology, limiting the extent to which the growing season can lengthen, especially if decreased water availability from earlier snow melt and warmer summer temperatures lead to earlier senescence. The result could be a shorter growing season with decreased production and increased nutrient loss. These contrasting alpine and arctic ecosystem responses will have cascading effects on ecosystems, affecting community structure, biotic interactions, and biogeochemistry.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The Arctic Climate Modeling Program: K-12 Geoscience Professional Development for Rural Educators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertram, K. B.

    2009-12-01

    Helping teachers and students connect with scientists is the heart of the Arctic Climate Modeling Program (ACMP), funded from 2005-09 by the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experience for Students and Teachers. ACMP offered progressive yearlong science, technology and math (STM) professional development that prepared teachers to train youth in workforce technologies used in Arctic research. ACMP was created for the Bering Strait School District, a geographically isolated area with low standardized test scores, high dropout rates, and poverty. Scientists from around the globe have converged in this region and other areas of the Arctic to observe and measure changes in climate that are significant, accelerating, and unlike any in recorded history. Climate literacy (the ability to understand Earth system science and to make scientifically informed decisions about climate changes) has become essential for this population. Program resources were designed in collaboration with scientists to mimic the processes used to study Arctic climate. Because the Bering Strait School District serves a 98 percent Alaska Native student population, ACMP focused on best practices shown to increase the success of minority students. Significant research indicates that Alaska Native students succeed academically at higher rates when instruction addresses topics of local interest, links education to the students’ physical and cultural environment, uses local knowledge and culture in the curriculum, and incorporates hands-on, inquiry-based lessons in the classroom. A seven-partner consortium of research institutes and Alaska Native corporations created ACMP to help teachers understand their role in nurturing STM talent and motivating students to explore geoscience careers. Research underscores the importance of increasing school emphasis in content areas, such as climate, that facilitate global awareness and civic responsibility, and that foster critical thinking and

  19. Dynamics of Arctic and Sub-Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Circulation: Diagnosis of Mechanisms and Biases Using Data Assimilation

    SciTech Connect

    Eric T. DeWeaver

    2010-01-19

    This is the final report for DOE grant DE-FG02-07ER64434 to Eric DeWeaver at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The overall goal of work performed under this grant is to enhance understanding of simulations of present-day climate and greenhouse gas-induced climate change. Enhanced understanding is desirable 1) as a prerequisite for improving simulations; 2) for assessing the credibility of model simulations and their usefulness as tools for decision support; and 3) as a means to identify robust behaviors which commonly occur over a wide range of models, and may yield insights regarding the dominant physical mechanisms which determine mean climate and produce climate change. A furthe objective is to investigate the use of data assimilation as a means for examining and correcting model biases. Our primary focus is on the Arctic, but the scope of the work was expanded to include the global climate system to the extent that research targets of opportunity present themselves. Research performed under the grant falls into five main research areas: 1) a study of data assimilation using an ensemble filter with the atmospheric circulation model of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in which both conventional observations and observations of the refraction of radio waves from GPS satellites were used to constrain the atmospheric state of the model; 2) research on the likely future status of polar bears, in which climate model simluations were used to assess the effectiveness of climate change mitigation efforts in preserving the habitat of polar bears, now considered a threatened species under global warming; 3) as assessment of the credibility of Arctic sea ice thickness simulations from climate models; 4) An examination of the persistence and reemergence of Northern Hemisphere sea ice area anomalies in climate model simulations and in observations; 5) An examination of the roles played by changes in net radiation and surface relative humidity in determine the

  20. Arctic amplification decreases temperature variance in northern mid- to high-latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Screen, James A.

    2014-07-01

    Changes in climate variability are arguably more important for society and ecosystems than changes in mean climate, especially if they translate into altered extremes. There is a common perception and growing concern that human-induced climate change will lead to more volatile and extreme weather. Certain types of extreme weather have increased in frequency and/or severity, in part because of a shift in mean climate but also because of changing variability. In spite of mean climate warming, an ostensibly large number of high-impact cold extremes have occurred in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes over the past decade. One explanation is that Arctic amplification--the greater warming of the Arctic compared with lower latitudes associated with diminishing sea ice and snow cover--is altering the polar jet stream and increasing temperature variability. This study shows, however, that subseasonal cold-season temperature variability has significantly decreased over the mid- to high-latitude Northern Hemisphere in recent decades. This is partly because northerly winds and associated cold days are warming more rapidly than southerly winds and warm days, and so Arctic amplification acts to reduce subseasonal temperature variance. Previous hypotheses linking Arctic amplification to increased weather extremes invoke dynamical changes in atmospheric circulation, which are hard to detect in present observations and highly uncertain in the future. In contrast, decreases in subseasonal cold-season temperature variability, in accordance with the mechanism proposed here, are detectable in the observational record and are highly robust in twenty-first-century climate model simulations.

  1. Climate change and emissions impacts on atmospheric PAH transport to the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Carey L; Zhang, Yanxu; Selin, Noelle E

    2014-01-01

    We investigate effects of 2000-2050 emissions and climate changes on the atmospheric transport of three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): phenanthrene (PHE), pyrene (PYR), and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). We use the GEOS-Chem model coupled to meteorology from a general circulation model and focus on impacts to northern hemisphere midlatitudes and the Arctic. We project declines in anthropogenic emissions (up to 20%) and concentrations (up to 37%), with particle-bound PAHs declining more, and greater declines in midlatitudes versus the Arctic. Climate change causes relatively minor increases in midlatitude concentrations for the more volatile PHE and PYR (up to 4%) and decreases (3%) for particle-bound BaP. In the Arctic, all PAHs decline slightly under future climate (up to 2%). Overall, we observe a small 2050 "climate penalty" for volatile PAHs and "climate benefit" for particle-bound PAHs. The degree of penalty or benefit depends on competition between deposition and surface-to-air fluxes of previously deposited PAHs. Particles and temperature have greater impacts on future transport than oxidants, with particle changes alone accounting for 15% of BaP decline under 2050 emissions. Higher temperatures drive increasing surface-to-air fluxes that cause PHE and PYR climate penalties. Simulations suggest ratios of more-to-less volatile species can be used to diagnose signals of climate versus emissions and that these signals are best observed in the Arctic.

  2. Climate change and emissions impacts on atmospheric PAH transport to the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Carey L; Zhang, Yanxu; Selin, Noelle E

    2014-01-01

    We investigate effects of 2000-2050 emissions and climate changes on the atmospheric transport of three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): phenanthrene (PHE), pyrene (PYR), and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). We use the GEOS-Chem model coupled to meteorology from a general circulation model and focus on impacts to northern hemisphere midlatitudes and the Arctic. We project declines in anthropogenic emissions (up to 20%) and concentrations (up to 37%), with particle-bound PAHs declining more, and greater declines in midlatitudes versus the Arctic. Climate change causes relatively minor increases in midlatitude concentrations for the more volatile PHE and PYR (up to 4%) and decreases (3%) for particle-bound BaP. In the Arctic, all PAHs decline slightly under future climate (up to 2%). Overall, we observe a small 2050 "climate penalty" for volatile PAHs and "climate benefit" for particle-bound PAHs. The degree of penalty or benefit depends on competition between deposition and surface-to-air fluxes of previously deposited PAHs. Particles and temperature have greater impacts on future transport than oxidants, with particle changes alone accounting for 15% of BaP decline under 2050 emissions. Higher temperatures drive increasing surface-to-air fluxes that cause PHE and PYR climate penalties. Simulations suggest ratios of more-to-less volatile species can be used to diagnose signals of climate versus emissions and that these signals are best observed in the Arctic. PMID:24279957

  3. High Arctic wetlands: Their occurrence, hydrological characteristics and sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woo, Ming-ko; Young, Kathy L.

    2006-04-01

    High Arctic wetlands, though limited in occurrence, are an important ecological niche, providing the major vegetated areas in an arid and cold polar desert environment. These wetlands are often found as patches in the barren landscape. At a few locales which may be ice-wedge polygonal grounds, glacial terrain and zones of recent coastal uplift, wetland occurrence can become extensive, forming a mosaic that comprises patches of different wetland types. Reliable water supply during the thawed season is a deciding factor in wetland sustainability. The sources include meltwater from late-lying snowbanks, localized ground water discharge, streamflow, inundation by lakes and the sea, and for some ice-wedge wetlands, ground-ice melt. Different types of wetlands have their own characteristics, and peat accumulation or diatom depositions are common. The peat cover insulates the wetland from summer heating and encourages permafrost aggradation, with the feedback that a shallow frost table reduces the moisture storage capacity in a thinly thawed layer, which becomes easily saturated. All the wetlands studied have high calcium content since they are formed on carbonate terrain. Coastal wetlands have high salt concentration while snowmelt and ground-ice melt provides dilution. The sustainability of High Arctic wetlands is predicated upon water supply exceeding the losses to evaporation and lateral drainage. Disturbances due to natural causes such as climatic variations, geomorphic changes, or human-induced drainage, can reduce inundation opportunities or increase outflow. Then, the water table drops, the vegetation changes and the peat degrades, leading to the detriment of the wetlands.

  4. Multiproxy paleoecological evidence of Holocene climatic changes on the Boothia Peninsula, Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortin, Marie-Claude; Gajewski, Konrad

    2016-05-01

    A study of chironomid remains in the sediments of Lake JR01 on the Boothia Peninsula in the Central Canadian Arctic provides a high-resolution record of mean July air temperatures for the last 6.9 ka. Diatom and pollen studies have previously been published from this core. Peak Holocene temperatures occurred prior to 5.0 ka, a time when overall aquatic and terrestrial biological production was high. Chironomid-inferred summer air temperatures reached up to 7.5°C during this period. The region of Lake JR01 cooled over the mid- to late-Holocene, with high biological production between 6.1 and 5.4 ka. Biological production decreased again at ˜2 ka and the rate of cooling increased in the past 2 ka, with coolest temperatures occurring between 0.46 and 0.36 ka, coinciding with the Little Ice Age. Although biological production increased in the last 150 yr, the reconstructed temperatures do not indicate a warming during this time. During transitions, either warming or cooling, chironomid production increases, suggesting an ecosystem-level response to climate variability, seen at a number of lakes across the Arctic.

  5. Multiproxy paleoecological evidence of Holocene climatic changes on the Boothia Peninsula, Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortin, Marie-Claude; Gajewski, Konrad

    2016-05-01

    A study of chironomid remains in the sediments of Lake JR01 on the Boothia Peninsula in the Central Canadian Arctic provides a high-resolution record of mean July air temperatures for the last 6.9 ka. Diatom and pollen studies have previously been published from this core. Peak Holocene temperatures occurred prior to 5.0 ka, a time when overall aquatic and terrestrial biological production was high. Chironomid-inferred summer air temperatures reached up to 7.5°C during this period. The region of Lake JR01 cooled over the mid- to late-Holocene, with high biological production between 6.1 and 5.4 ka. Biological production decreased again at ∼2 ka and the rate of cooling increased in the past 2 ka, with coolest temperatures occurring between 0.46 and 0.36 ka, coinciding with the Little Ice Age. Although biological production increased in the last 150 yr, the reconstructed temperatures do not indicate a warming during this time. During transitions, either warming or cooling, chironomid production increases, suggesting an ecosystem-level response to climate variability, seen at a number of lakes across the Arctic.

  6. Does climate warming stimulate or inhibit soil protist communities? A test on testate amoebae in high-arctic tundra with free-air temperature increase.

    PubMed

    Tsyganov, Andrey N; Nijs, Ivan; Beyens, Louis

    2011-04-01

    Soil testate amoebae assemblages in a grassland area at Zackenberg (Northeast Greenland) were subjected to simulated climate-warming during the growing season using the Free-Air Temperature Increase technique. Samples were collected in upper (0 - 3cm) and deeper (3 - 6cm) soil horizons. Mean temperature elevations at 2.5 and 7.5 cm depth were 2.58 ± SD 1.11 and 2.13±SD 0.77°C, respectively, and did not differ significantly. Soil moisture in the top 11cm was not affected by the warming. During the manipulation, the densities of living amoebae and empty shells were higher in the experimental plots but only in the upper layer. Possibly, testate amoebae in the deeper layer were limited by other factors, suggesting that warming enhances the carrying capacity only in favourable conditions. Species richness, on the other hand, was only increased in the deeper horizon. Warming did not change the percentage of individuals belonging to small-sized species in any of the living assemblages, contrary to our expectation that those species would quickly increase their density. However, in the empty shell assemblages, the proportion of small-sized individuals in the experimental plots was higher in both layers, indicating a rapid, transient increase in small amoebae before the first sampling date. Changes in successional state of testate amoebae assemblages in response to future climate change might thus be ephemeral, whereas alterations in density and species richness might be more sustained.

  7. Soil thawing and warming in the High Arctic and the potential breakdown of previously frozen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sletten, R. S.; Hagedorn, B.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic has accumulated substantial stores of carbon within permanently frozen soils during the Holocene. Recent, unprecedented warming in the Arctic may release considerable carbon within this region. Record high temperatures and melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet occurred this past summer and we have recorded significant thawing of the permafrost in the High Arctic of Greenland. Our decade long soil temperature record at our High Arctic sites at Thule, Greenland reveals a significant increase in the thawed depth and soil temperature. The rate of breakdown of soil organics depends on soil temperature as well as moisture content. The balance between wet, anaerobic soils versus dry soils is recognized but not often studied. Our data on soil temperature, moisture, and microclimate provide insights into the covariance of these parameters and relative estimates of how soil organic carbon decomposition can vary under the changing conditions. Our previous work has shown that soil organic carbon in the High Arctic was underestimated by over an order of magnitude, particularly in the most barren sites. The primary source of the previously missed carbon was carbon at depth that is nearly always or continuously frozen. The deepening of the thawed layer is documented at our Thule sites. We present a conceptual model of the potential carbon release. These soils continue to undergo freeze-thaw cycles that may also mix the soils by cryoturbation and bring more carbon to the upper, better drained portion of the active layer. As the soil warms, it may allow greater development of vegetation; however this will also depend on the soil stability and the potential for a stable substrate for vegetation. Some arctic studies indicate a greater rate of carbon mineralization while others indicate increased vegetation biomass. The complex interplay will ultimately determine the rate of carbon release. Clearly the arctic system is unique in storing substantial carbon below the ground

  8. Wave heights in the 21st century Arctic Ocean simulated with a regional climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khon, V. C.; Mokhov, I. I.; Pogarskiy, F. A.; Babanin, A.; Dethloff, K.; Rinke, A.; Matthes, H.

    2014-04-01

    While wave heights globally have been growing over recent decades, observations of their regional trends vary. Simulations of future wave climate can be achieved by coupling wave and climate models. At present, wave heights and their future trends in the Arctic Ocean remain unknown. We use the third-generation wave forecast model WAVEWATCH-III forced by winds and sea ice concentration produced within the regional model HIRHAM, under the anthropogenic scenario SRES-A1B. We find that significant wave height and its extremes will increase over different inner Arctic areas due to reduction of sea ice cover and regional wind intensification in the 21st century. The opposite tendency, with a slight reduction in wave height appears for the Atlantic sector and the Barents Sea. Our results demonstrate the complex wave response in the Arctic Ocean to a combined effect of wind and sea ice forcings in a climate-change scenario during the 21st century.

  9. General effects of climate change on Arctic fishes and fish populations.

    PubMed

    Reist, James D; Wrona, Frederick J; Prowse, Terry D; Power, Michael; Dempson, J Brian; Beamish, Richard J; King, Jacquelynne R; Carmichael, Theresa J; Sawatzky, Chantelle D

    2006-11-01

    Projected shifts in climate forcing variables such as temperature and precipitation are of great relevance to arctic freshwater ecosystems and biota. These will result in many direct and indirect effects upon the ecosystems and fish present therein. Shifts projected for fish populations will range from positive to negative in overall effect, differ among species and also among populations within species depending upon their biology and tolerances, and will be integrated by the fish within their local aquascapes. This results in a wide range of future possibilities for arctic freshwater and diadromous fishes. Owing to a dearth of basic knowledge regarding fish biology and habitat interactions in the north, complicated by scaling issues and uncertainty in future climate projections, only qualitative scenarios can be developed in most cases. This limits preparedness to meet challenges of climate change in the Arctic with respect to fish and fisheries.

  10. 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.

  11. Climate change in the marine Arctic in the early 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alekseev, Genrikh; Pnyushkov, Andrey; Ivanov, Nikolai; Balakin, Andrey

    2010-05-01

    The enhanced warming in the Arctic began in the middle of 1990s and maximized in 2007. During this period an abrupt shrinking of the summer ice extent occurred and significant positive anomaly of temperature in Atlantic Water (AW) layer in the Arctic Basin expanded over larger area. This climate shift coincided with the resumption of intensive field studies in the Arctic Ocean. The observations collected during the last two decades and especially in the frame of IPY 2007/08 international projects provided an enormous database of oceanographic, sea ice and atmospheric data that makes it possible to determine the climate shift in the marine Arctic, to compare the recent anomalies to those in 1970s and to link the Arctic climate shift to the global climate change. Observations show that since 1990 the surface air temperature (SAT) in the marine Arctic increased rapidly. The CMIP3 ensemble of climate models is seemed to underestimate the rise of SAT especially in summer. Time series of the AW layer parameters along with its pathway over the Arctic Basin during the period of 1930-2009 were compiled in order to trace the development of anomalies. Mean decadal oceanographic fields for 1990s and 2000s and for 2007 year were produced and its anomalies from 1970s were estimated. Rapid climate changes in the marine Arctic in 1990-2000s can not be accounted solely for the anthropogenic effect since the actually observed changes exceed the predictions of the global climate models. Our analysis emphasizes an important role of the increasing summer heat fluxes, as well as the influence of low latitude ocean variability and the solar activity. Other conclusion is that abrupt warming in the marine Arctic stopped in 2008-2009 and it is necessary to continue the monitoring of further changes. The studies were fulfilled in the frame of the AARI IPY projects, Applied Science Program of the Roshydromet and with support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (projects 06-05-64054a

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. A closer investigation of associations between Autumn Arctic sea ice and central and east Eurasian winter climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shaoyin; Liu, Jiping

    2016-04-01

    Whether recent Arctic sea ice loss is responsible for recent severe winters over mid-latitude continents has emerged as a major debate among climate scientists owing to short records of observations and large internal variability in mid- and high-latitudes. In this study, we divide the evolution of autumn Arctic sea ice extent during 1979-2014 into three epochs, 1979-1986 (high), 1987-2006 (moderate) and 2007-2014 (low), using a regime shift identification method. We then compare the associations between autumn Arctic sea ice and winter climate anomalies over central and eastern Eurasia for the three epochs with focus not only on the mean state, but also the extreme events. The results show robust and detectable signals of sea ice loss in weather and climate over western Siberia and East Asia. For the mean state, anomalous low sea ice extent is associated with a strengthening of the Siberian high pressure, a weakening of westerly winds over north Asia, leading to cold anomalies in central Asia and northern China. For the extreme events, the latitude (speed) of the jet stream shifts southward (reduces), the wave extent amplifies, blocking high events increase over Ural Mountains, leading to increased frequency of cold air outbreaks extending from central Asia to northeast China. These associations bear a high degree of similarity to the observed atmospheric anomalies during the low sea ice epoch. By contrast, the patterns of atmospheric anomalies for the high sea ice epoch are different from those congruent with sea ice variability, which is related to the persistent negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation. We also found that the ENSO plays a minor role in the determination of the observed atmospheric anomalies for the three epochs. Support for these observational analysis is largely corroborated by independent atmospheric model simulations.

  15. Sensitivity of Pliocene Arctic climate to orbital forcing, atmospheric CO2 and sea ice albedo parameterisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Fergus W.; Haywood, Alan M.; Dowsett, Harry J.; Pickering, Steven J.

    2016-05-01

    General circulation model (GCM) simulations of the mid-Pliocene Warm Period (mPWP, 3.264 to 3.025 Myr ago) do not reproduce the magnitude of Northern Hemisphere high latitude surface air and sea surface temperature (SAT and SST) warming that proxy data indicate. There is also large uncertainty regarding the state of sea ice cover in the mPWP. Evidence for both perennial and seasonal mPWP Arctic sea ice is found through analyses of marine sediments, whilst in a multi-model ensemble of mPWP climate simulations, half of the ensemble simulated ice-free summer Arctic conditions. Given the strong influence that sea ice exerts on high latitude temperatures, an understanding of the nature of mPWP Arctic sea ice would be highly beneficial. Using the HadCM3 GCM, this paper explores the impact of various combinations of potential mPWP orbital forcing, atmospheric CO2 concentrations and minimum sea ice albedo on sea ice extent and high latitude warming. The focus is on the Northern Hemisphere, due to availability of proxy data, and the large data-model discrepancies in this region. Changes in orbital forcings are demonstrated to be sufficient to alter the Arctic sea ice simulated by HadCM3 from perennial to seasonal. However, this occurs only when atmospheric CO2 concentrations exceed 300 ppm. Reduction of the minimum sea ice albedo from 0.5 to 0.2 is also sufficient to simulate seasonal sea ice, with any of the combinations of atmospheric CO2 and orbital forcing. Compared to a mPWP control simulation, monthly mean increases north of 60°N of up to 4.2 °C (SST) and 9.8 °C (SAT) are simulated. With varying CO2, orbit and sea ice albedo values we are able to reproduce proxy temperature records that lean towards modest levels of high latitude warming, but other proxy data showing greater warming remain beyond the reach of our model. This highlights the importance of additional proxy records at high latitudes and ongoing efforts to compare proxy signals between sites.

  16. 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

    2015-03-31

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Effects of Arctic Sea Ice Decline on Weather and Climate: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vihma, Timo

    2014-09-01

    The areal extent, concentration and thickness of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas have strongly decreased during the recent decades, but cold, snow-rich winters have been common over mid-latitude land areas since 2005. A review is presented on studies addressing the local and remote effects of the sea ice decline on weather and climate. It is evident that the reduction in sea ice cover has increased the heat flux from the ocean to atmosphere in autumn and early winter. This has locally increased air temperature, moisture, and cloud cover and reduced the static stability in the lower troposphere. Several studies based on observations, atmospheric reanalyses, and model experiments suggest that the sea ice decline, together with increased snow cover in Eurasia, favours circulation patterns resembling the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation. The suggested large-scale pressure patterns include a high over Eurasia, which favours cold winters in Europe and northeastern Eurasia. A high over the western and a low over the eastern North America have also been suggested, favouring advection of Arctic air masses to North America. Mid-latitude winter weather is, however, affected by several other factors, which generate a large inter-annual variability and often mask the effects of sea ice decline. In addition, the small sample of years with a large sea ice loss makes it difficult to distinguish the effects directly attributable to sea ice conditions. Several studies suggest that, with advancing global warming, cold winters in mid-latitude continents will no longer be common during the second half of the twenty-first century. Recent studies have also suggested causal links between the sea ice decline and summer precipitation in Europe, the Mediterranean, and East Asia.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Year-round effects of climate on demographic parameters of an arctic-nesting goose species.

    PubMed

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Gauthier, Gilles; Lebreton, Jean-Dominique

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how climate change will affect animal population dynamics remains a major challenge, especially in long-distant migrants exposed to different climatic regimes throughout their annual cycle. We evaluated the effect of temperature throughout the annual cycle on demographic parameters (age-specific survival and recruitment, breeding propensity and fecundity) of the greater snow goose (Chen caerulescens atlantica L.), an arctic-nesting species. As this is a hunted species, we used the theory of exploited populations to estimate hunting mortality separately from natural mortality in order to evaluate climatic effects only on the latter form of mortality. Our analysis was based on a 22-year marking study (n = 27,150 females) and included live recaptures at the breeding colony and dead recoveries from hunters. We tested the effect of climatic covariates by applying a procedure that accounts for unexplained environmental variation in the demographic parameter to a multistate capture-mark-recapture recruitment model. Breeding propensity, clutch size and hatching probability all increased with high temperatures on the breeding grounds. First-year survival to natural causes of mortality increased when temperature was high at the end of the summer, whereas adult survival was not affected by temperature. On the contrary, accession to reproduction decreased with warmer climatic conditions during the non-breeding season. Survival was strongly negatively related to hunting mortality in adults, as expected, but not in first-year birds, which suggests the possibility of compensation between natural and hunting mortality in the latter group. We show that events occurring both at and away from the breeding ground can affect the demography of migratory birds, either directly or through carryover effects, and sometimes in opposite ways. This highlights the need to account for the whole life cycle of an animal when attempting to project the response of populations to future

  3. Year-round effects of climate on demographic parameters of an arctic-nesting goose species.

    PubMed

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Gauthier, Gilles; Lebreton, Jean-Dominique

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how climate change will affect animal population dynamics remains a major challenge, especially in long-distant migrants exposed to different climatic regimes throughout their annual cycle. We evaluated the effect of temperature throughout the annual cycle on demographic parameters (age-specific survival and recruitment, breeding propensity and fecundity) of the greater snow goose (Chen caerulescens atlantica L.), an arctic-nesting species. As this is a hunted species, we used the theory of exploited populations to estimate hunting mortality separately from natural mortality in order to evaluate climatic effects only on the latter form of mortality. Our analysis was based on a 22-year marking study (n = 27,150 females) and included live recaptures at the breeding colony and dead recoveries from hunters. We tested the effect of climatic covariates by applying a procedure that accounts for unexplained environmental variation in the demographic parameter to a multistate capture-mark-recapture recruitment model. Breeding propensity, clutch size and hatching probability all increased with high temperatures on the breeding grounds. First-year survival to natural causes of mortality increased when temperature was high at the end of the summer, whereas adult survival was not affected by temperature. On the contrary, accession to reproduction decreased with warmer climatic conditions during the non-breeding season. Survival was strongly negatively related to hunting mortality in adults, as expected, but not in first-year birds, which suggests the possibility of compensation between natural and hunting mortality in the latter group. We show that events occurring both at and away from the breeding ground can affect the demography of migratory birds, either directly or through carryover effects, and sometimes in opposite ways. This highlights the need to account for the whole life cycle of an animal when attempting to project the response of populations to future

  4. Modelling the impacts of a dipole-like climatic state over the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasha Karami, Mehdi; de Vernal, Anne; Hu, Xianmin; Myers, Paul G.

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic dipole anomaly (ADA) features a pattern with opposite sea-level pressure anomalies over the Canadian Archipelago and the Barents Sea. Changes in the predominance of Arctic atmospheric circulation modes and the shift towards a dipole mode in the past decade played a role in the summer sea ice loss and sea ice-freshwater export from the Arctic to the North Atlantic. Reconstruction of sea ice cover variations during Holocene also suggests opposite anomalies in the Barents Sea versus either the western Arctic or the Fram Strait area similar to the ADA pattern. It is vital to study such physical processes that cause dramatic changes in the Arctic sea ice recalling the link between the ADA and the current climate change. Here we focus on the question of how a persistent ADA-like state affects the Arctic sea ice distribution and its outflow to the Atlantic Ocean. For this purpose, an eddy-permitting regional configuration of the NEMO coupled ocean/sea-ice model is used. The regional domain covers the Arctic Ocean and the Northern-Hemisphere Atlantic, with a horizontal resolution of 1/4 degree at the equator (ANHA4). For the present-day simulations, boundary conditions are obtained by taking the average over the years with a positive ADA and those with a negative ADA. In the Holocene scenario, global climate model data are used to force our regional model. To exclude the role of Bering Strait and the heat flux from the Pacific Ocean, we repeat the experiments with a closed Bering Strait since a nearly closed Bering configuration was possible for the Early Holocene. The model results are compared with the paleoclimate data from Arctic and subarctic seas.

  5. Comparative studies of land-atmosphere energy exchange in high and low Arctic tundra ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stiegler, Christian; Lindroth, Anders; Lund, Magnus; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.

    2013-04-01

    The energy balance of arctic terrestrial ecosystems is of crucial importance to understand future climate change in high northern latitudes. Despite a growing interest in the Arctic local measurements and observations of climate characteristics are still scarce. Therefore, we present first results of comparative short- and long-term eddy covariance and energy balance measurements of high and low Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in Greenland. The study area covers high Arctic tundra heath and fen ecosystems in Zackenberg (Northeast Greenland National Park, 74°30'N, 21°00'W) and low Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in the Kobbefjord area close to the city of Nuuk (West Greenland, 64°07'N, 51°21'W). By using a mobile eddy covariance and energy balance tower we collected data during late winter (April 2012), early summer (June/July 2012) and late summer (August 2012). Mobile eddy covariance and energy balance measurements during late winter in Zackenberg focus on the energy balance of undisturbed snow covered surfaces with variable snow depth and snow layer structure. Data collection on thin snow layers with disturbed surfaces and exposed vegetation also show the impact of Muskox cratering on the surface energy balance. Measurements during early summer in the Kobbefjord area were conducted on characteristic bare soils with scattered cushion plants, on grasslands with sedge vegetation and on shrub vegetation up to 100 cm in height. Late summer measurements of energy balance and eddy covariance in the Zackenberg valley focus on transect measurements of energy balance components and active layer thickness of adjacent high arctic fen and heath ecosystems. In addition to the short-term mobile measurements we use and analyse data sets from permanent stations monitoring eddy covariance and energy balance on heath and fen sites in both high and low Arctic environments. Long-term measurements provide continuous data since early April 2012 and in this study we compare our mobile

  6. Endophytic Fungal Communities Associated with Vascular Plants in the High Arctic Zone Are Highly Diverse and Host-Plant Specific.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Yao, Yi-Feng

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and stems of four vascular plant species in the High Arctic using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the ITS region. Endophytic fungal communities showed high diversity. The 76,691 sequences obtained belonged to 250 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Of these OTUs, 190 belonged to Ascomycota, 50 to Basidiomycota, 1 to Chytridiomycota, and 9 to unknown fungi. The dominant orders were Helotiales, Pleosporales, Capnodiales, and Tremellales, whereas the common known fungal genera were Cryptococcus, Rhizosphaera, Mycopappus, Melampsora, Tetracladium, Phaeosphaeria, Mrakia, Venturia, and Leptosphaeria. Both the climate and host-related factors might shape the fungal communities associated with the four Arctic plant species in this region. These results suggested the presence of an interesting endophytic fungal community and could improve our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26067836

  7. Endophytic Fungal Communities Associated with Vascular Plants in the High Arctic Zone Are Highly Diverse and Host-Plant Specific.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Yao, Yi-Feng

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and stems of four vascular plant species in the High Arctic using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the ITS region. Endophytic fungal communities showed high diversity. The 76,691 sequences obtained belonged to 250 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Of these OTUs, 190 belonged to Ascomycota, 50 to Basidiomycota, 1 to Chytridiomycota, and 9 to unknown fungi. The dominant orders were Helotiales, Pleosporales, Capnodiales, and Tremellales, whereas the common known fungal genera were Cryptococcus, Rhizosphaera, Mycopappus, Melampsora, Tetracladium, Phaeosphaeria, Mrakia, Venturia, and Leptosphaeria. Both the climate and host-related factors might shape the fungal communities associated with the four Arctic plant species in this region. These results suggested the presence of an interesting endophytic fungal community and could improve our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems.

  8. Endophytic Fungal Communities Associated with Vascular Plants in the High Arctic Zone Are Highly Diverse and Host-Plant Specific

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tao; Yao, Yi-Feng

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and stems of four vascular plant species in the High Arctic using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the ITS region. Endophytic fungal communities showed high diversity. The 76,691 sequences obtained belonged to 250 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Of these OTUs, 190 belonged to Ascomycota, 50 to Basidiomycota, 1 to Chytridiomycota, and 9 to unknown fungi. The dominant orders were Helotiales, Pleosporales, Capnodiales, and Tremellales, whereas the common known fungal genera were Cryptococcus, Rhizosphaera, Mycopappus, Melampsora, Tetracladium, Phaeosphaeria, Mrakia, Venturia, and Leptosphaeria. Both the climate and host-related factors might shape the fungal communities associated with the four Arctic plant species in this region. These results suggested the presence of an interesting endophytic fungal community and could improve our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26067836

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A Pliocene chronostratigraphy for the Canadian western and high Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosse, John; Braschi, Lea; Rybczynski, Natalia; Lakeman, Thomas; Zimmerman, Susan; Finkel, Robert; Barendregt, Rene; Matthews, John

    2014-05-01

    The Beaufort Formation comprises an extensive (1200 km long, more than 1 km thick) clastic wedge that formed during the Pliocene along the western Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA). In the western Arctic, the Ballast Brook (BB) site on Banks Is. exposes more than 20 km of section through the sandy and pebble sandy braided stream deposits with detrital organic beds. Farther north, Beaufort Fm fluvial and estuarine facies have been examined on Meighen Is. In the high Arctic, high terrace gravels (450 m high surface) at the Fyles Leaf Bed (FLB) and Beaver Pond (BP) sites on Ellesmere Is. are not considered part of the Beaufort Fm but have similar paleoenvironmental records. Fossil plant and faunal material from these sediments is often very well preserved and provides evidence of a boreal-type forest and peatlands. The BP fossil site preserves the remains of fossil vertebrates including fish, frog, horse, beaver, deerlet, and black bear, consistent with a boreal type forest habitat. The FLB site has recently yielded the first fossil evidence for a High Arctic camel, identified with the help of collagen fingerprinting from a fragmentary limb bone (tibia). Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the Ellesmere sites has yielded a Mean Annual Temperature of between 14 to 22 degrees Celsius warmer than today. Minimum cosmogenic nuclide burial ages of 3.4 and 3.8 Ma obtained for the BP and FLB sites, respectively, are consistent with vertebrate and floral biostratigraphic evidence. The paleoenvironmental records from the Beaufort Fm in the western CAA sites have revealed a similar ecosystem with noteworthy differences in MAT and perhaps seasonality. New burial ages from Meighen Is. indicate a maximum age of 6.1 Ma, consistent with yet much older than previous age estimates, but supportive of paleomagnetic and biostratigraphy at the same location. The age differences may account for some of the interpreted variations in paleoenvironments, in addition to spatial differences in

  13. Influence of Climate Warming on Arctic Mammals? New Insights from Ancient DNA Studies of the Collared Lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus

    PubMed Central

    Prost, Stefan; Smirnov, Nickolay; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Sommer, Robert S.; Stiller, Mathias; Nagel, Doris; Knapp, Michael; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Background Global temperature increased by approximately half a degree (Celsius) within the last 150 years. Even this moderate warming had major impacts on Earth's ecological and biological systems, especially in the Arctic where the magnitude of abiotic changes even exceeds those in temperate and tropical biomes. Therefore, understanding the biological consequences of climate change on high latitudes is of critical importance for future conservation of the species living in this habitat. The past 25,000 years can be used as a model for such changes, as they were marked by prominent climatic changes that influenced geographical distribution, demographic history and pattern of genetic variation of many extant species. We sequenced ancient and modern DNA of the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), which is a key species of the arctic biota, from a single site (Pymva Shor, Northern Pre Urals, Russia) to see if climate warming events after the Last Glacial Maximum had detectable effects on the genetic variation of this arctic rodent species, which is strongly associated with a cold and dry climate. Results Using three dimensional network reconstructions we found a dramatic decline in genetic diversity following the LGM. Model-based approaches such as Approximate Bayesian Computation and Markov Chain Monte Carlo based Bayesian inference show that there is evidence for a population decline in the collared lemming following the LGM, with the population size dropping to a minimum during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (Bølling/Allerød) warming phase at 14.5 kyrs BP. Conclusion Our results show that previous climate warming events had a strong influence on genetic diversity and population size of collared lemmings. Due to its already severely compromised genetic diversity a similar population reduction as a result of the predicted future climate change could completely abolish the remaining genetic diversity in this population. Local population extinctions of collared

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2003-10-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Interannual climate variations in Arctic as driven by the Global atmosphere oscillation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serykh, Ilya; Byshev, Vladimir; Neiman, Victor; Sidorova, Alexandra; Sonechkin, Dmitry

    2015-04-01

    The present-day global climate change affects the Arctic basin substantially more because of the sea ice cover extinction and the permafrost melting. But there are essential variations of these effects from year to year. We believe that these variations might be a regional manifestation of a planetary-scale phenomenon named the Global atmospheric oscillation (GAO). GAO includes the well-known El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) process and similar processes in equatorial Atlantic and Indian Oceans within itself. The goal of this report is to present some arguments to support this point of view. For this goal, we have studied some interrelations between the above-mentioned Arctic anomalies and GAO as seen in global re-analyses of the sea level pressure (SLP) and near surface temperature (NST) for the period of 1920-2013. The mean global fields of SLP and NST have been computed for all El Niño events falling into this time period, and separately, for all and La Niña events. As a result, two (for SLP and NST as well) global fields of the mean El Niño/La Niña difference were obtained. Statistical significance of the non-zero values of these fields, i.e. the reality of GAO, was evaluated with the t-Student's test. It turned out that the main spatial structures of GAO, presented specifically by El Niño and La Niña events in Pacific region, exist at a very high level (up to 99%, t>4) of the significance. Therefore, one can conclude that the interannual-scale dynamics of GAO is actually reflected in the climate features of different regions of the Earth, including the Russian Arctic. In particular, when the boreal winter season coincides with an El Niño event GAO is indicative by a negative anomaly of NST (about -1°C) and a positive anomaly of SLP over the Arctic basin. In contrary, significant (about +1°C) positive anomaly of NST along with reduced SLP over the whole Arctic region is typical for any La Niña event (up to 95%, t>2). To control the reliability

  17. Net Ecosystem Production of Polar Desert and Wetland Landscapes in the Rapidly Changing Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmerton, C. A.; St Louis, V. L.; Humphreys, E.; Barker, J. D.; Gamon, J. A.; Pastorello, G.

    2014-12-01

    A rapidly warming and wetting Arctic climate is changing the net ecosystem production (NEP) of northern landscapes and subsequent exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere. Assessments of northern terrestrial NEP have focused mostly on the rich peatland landscapes of the low Arctic, with far fewer studies from expansive, but sparse, high Arctic polar landscapes. Consequently, how these ecosystems may respond to a warming and wetting climate is still a key gap in our understanding of global carbon feedbacks. We used multi-season eddy covariance measurements to quantify growing season (June to September) NEP on contrasting polar desert and meadow wetland landscapes near Lake Hazen on northern Ellesmere Island (81ºN), in Canada's high Arctic. We also used variation in contemporary NEP and weather to improve our understanding of potential future carbon cycling in a warmer and wetter high Arctic climate. During a typical growing season, we found that a dry polar desert landscape accumulated only 6.6±1.2 g C m-2 similar to other high Arctic sites and consistent with cold, barren soils with weak plant growth. Desert NEP coincided strongest with landscape moisture, rather than heating, with increased NEP occurring during drier conditions when soil heterotrophic rates were lowest. With a nearly constant but varying supply of water, the productive meadow wetland accumulated 13 times more carbon (86.1±16.9 g C m-2) than the desert during the growing season. NEP at the wetland was similar to comparable landscapes much further south, owing to continuous 24-hour daylight and typically clear-skies surrounding Lake Hazen. Wetland soils showed a consistent strong burst of CO2 to the atmosphere each spring (min. NEP: -2.5 µmol CO2 s-1 m-2) and a well-defined peak in July productivity (3.9-4.4 µmol CO2 s-1 m-2). Wetland NEP associated positively and strongly with both landscape heating and moisture, suggesting that autotrophic limitations other than water or heat

  18. 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.

  19. Peopling of the high Arctic - induced by sea ice?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funder, Svend

    2010-05-01

    'We travelled in the winter after the return of daylight and did not go into fixed camp until spring, when the ice broke up. There was good hunting on the way, seals, beluga, walrus, bear.' (From Old Merkrusârk's account of his childhood's trek from Baffin Island to Northwest Greenland, told to Knud Rasmussen on Saunders Island in 1904) Five thousand years ago people moving eastwards from Beringia spread over the barrens of the Canadian high Arctic. This was the first of three waves of prehistoric Arctic 'cultures', which eventually reached Greenland. The passage into Greenland has to go through the northernmost and most hostile part of the country with a 5 month Polar night, and to understand this extraordinary example of human behaviour and endurance, it has been customary to invoke a more favourable (warmer) climate. This presentation suggests that land-fast sea ice, i.e. stationary sea ice anchored to the coast, is among the most important environmental factors behind the spread of prehistoric polar cultures. The ice provides the road for travelling and social communion - and access to the most important source of food, the ocean. In the LongTerm Project (2006 and 2007) we attempted to establish a Holocene record for sea ice variations along oceanic coasts in northernmost Greenland. Presently the coasts north of 80° N are beleaguered by year-round sea ice - for ten months this is land-fast ice, and only for a period in the stormy autumn months are the coasts exposed to pack-ice. This presentation Land-fast ice - as opposed to pack-ice - is a product of local temperatures, but its duration over the year, and especially into the daylight season, is also conditioned by other factors, notably wind strength. In the geological record we recognize long lasting land-fast ice by two absences: absence of traces of wave action (no beach formation), which, however, can also be a result of pack-ice along the coast; - and absence of driftwood on the shore (land-fast ice

  20. 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…

  1. GRACE Results and Their Impact: Climate Change in Siberia and Northern Canada and the Freshening of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickey, J. O.; Marcus, S. L.; Seitz, F.

    2006-12-01

    Discharges from the land masses surrounding the Arctic Ocean form a key component of its freshwater budget, which in turn plays a critical role in regulating its internal dynamics. Especially during summer, runoff from the Yenisey, Lena and Kolyma basins in Siberia, and the Mackenzie basin in Canada, leads to the formation of a cold Arctic halocline near the surface which strongly impacts the processes of vertical mixing and sea ice formation. To understand the impacts of global change on these processes, therefore, it is critical to gain an accurate assessment of freshwater inputs to the Artic Ocean and their changes as the climate warms. Due to its high orbital inclination and low altitude, the GRACE constellation provides comprehensive geographical coverage, on length scales sufficiently small to resolve the individual catchment basins that provide a major source of freshwater to the Arctic Ocean. Here we explore the impact of GRACE data on tracking changes in Arctic freshwater runoff and its sources, using comparisons with estimated river discharge and net precipitation to form water mass budgets for the individual basins listed above. Changes on both seasonal and interannual timescales will be investigated.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Key Findings of the AMAP 2015 Assessment on Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone as Arctic Climate Forcers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, P.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) established an Expert Group on Short-Lived Climate Forcers (SLCFs) in 2009 with the goal of reviewing the state of science surrounding SLCFs in the Arctic and recommending science tasks to improve the state of knowledge and its application to policy-making. In 2011, the result of the Expert Group's work was published in a technical report entitled The Impact of Black Carbon on Arctic Climate (AMAP, 2011). That report focused entirely on black carbon (BC) and co-emitted organic carbon (OC). The SLCFs Expert Group then expanded its scope to include all species co-emitted with BC as well as tropospheric ozone. An assessment report, entitled Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone as Arctic Climate Forcers, was published in 2015. The assessment includes summaries of measurement methods and emissions inventories of SLCFs, atmospheric transport of SLCFs to and within the Arctic, modeling methods for estimating the impact of SLCFs on Arctic climate, model-measurement inter-comparisons, trends in concentrations of SLCFs in the Arctic, and a literature review of Arctic radiative forcing and climate response. In addition, three Chemistry Climate Models and five Chemistry Transport Models were used to calculate Arctic burdens of SLCFs and precursors species, radiative forcing, and Arctic temperature response to the forcing. Radiative forcing was calculated for the direct atmospheric effect of BC, BC-snow/ice effect, and cloud indirect effects. Forcing and temperature response associated with different source sectors (Domestic, Energy+Industry+Waste, Transport, Agricultural waste burning, Forest fires, and Flaring) and source regions (United States, Canada, Russia, Nordic Countries, Rest of Europe, East and South Asia, Arctic, mid-latitudes, tropics, southern hemisphere) were calculated. To enable an evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of regional emission mitigation options, the normalized impacts (i.e., impacts per unit

  4. Improved cloud parameterization for Arctic climate simulations based on satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaus, Daniel; Dethloff, Klaus; Dorn, Wolfgang; Rinke, Annette

    2015-04-01

    The defective representation of Arctic cloud processes and properties remains a crucial problem in climate modelling and in reanalysis products. Satellite-based cloud observations (MODIS and CPR/CALIOP) and single-column model simulations (HIRHAM5-SCM) were exploited to evaluate and improve the simulated Arctic cloud cover of the atmospheric regional climate model HIRHAM5. The ECMWF reanalysis dataset 'ERA-Interim' (ERAint) was used for the model initialization, the lateral boundary forcing as well as the dynamical relaxation inside the pan-Arctic domain. HIRHAM5 has a horizontal resolution of 0.25° and uses 40 pressure-based and terrain-following vertical levels. In comparison with the satellite observations, the HIRHAM5 control run (HH5ctrl) systematically overestimates total cloud cover, but to a lesser extent than ERAint. The underestimation of high- and mid-level clouds is strongly outweighed by the overestimation of low-level clouds. Numerous sensitivity studies with HIRHAM5-SCM suggest (1) the parameter tuning, enabling a more efficient Bergeron-Findeisen process, combined with (2) an extension of the prognostic-statistical (PS) cloud scheme, enabling the use of negatively skewed beta distributions. This improved model setup was then used in a corresponding HIRHAM5 sensitivity run (HH5sens). While the simulated high- and mid-level cloud cover is improved only to a limited extent, the large overestimation of low-level clouds can be systematically and significantly reduced, especially over sea ice. Consequently, the multi-year annual mean area average of total cloud cover with respect to sea ice is almost 14% lower than in HH5ctrl. Overall, HH5sens slightly underestimates the observed total cloud cover but shows a halved multi-year annual mean bias of 2.2% relative to CPR/CALIOP at all latitudes north of 60° N. Importantly, HH5sens produces a more realistic ratio between the cloud water and ice content. The considerably improved cloud simulation manifests in

  5. Arctic Cut-Off High Drives the Poleward Shift of a New Greenland Melting Record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tedesco, M.; Mote, T.; Fettweis, X.; Hanna, E.; Jeyaratnam, J.; Booth, J. F.; Datta, R.; Briggs, K.

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centered over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700+/-50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948-2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade. Subject terms: Earth sciences Atmospheric science Climate science

  6. High resolution Arctic snow observations: SnowNet (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiemstra, C. A.; Sturm, M.; Gelvin, A. B.; Berezovskaya, S.; Saari, S. P.; Finnegan, D. C.; Liston, G. E.

    2009-12-01

    Snow’s importance has become especially prominent in the terrestrial Arctic, where snow dominates the landscape most of the year and changes in snow arrival, depth, and melt have substantial energy budget and biotic consequences. Yet, the Arctic presents formidable challenges to accurate snow measurements because snow depths can vary greatly over relatively short distances (< 10 m). Snow distribution patterns in windy environments, such as the Arctic, arise from interactions among wind, snow, vegetation, and topography. In this environment, snow is transported easily and is retained in topographic depressions, near taller vegetation, and deposited on the lee sides of hills. Reliable observations of where snow exists in the Arctic landscape can be difficult to obtain, and estimates vary depending on where snow is sampled. Measurements tend to be widely distributed and sparse. In addition, observed changes in Arctic vegetation (e.g., increasing shrubs) and land surfaces (e.g., thermokarst) complicate matters further. In response to this critical shortcoming in Arctic snow measurements, we have developed a prototype observational network (SnowNet) that employs standard meteorological observations and high resolution topographic and vegetation data in concert with a comprehensive spatially-intensive snow measurement program. Our sites at Barrow (started 2007) and Imnavait Creek (started 2008), Alaska, feature frequent site visits and intensive spatial sampling of snow depths and densities and snow-surface topography. Both sites have high resolution (~20 cm) topographic and vegetation data layers generated from remote sensing and ground surveys. Further, we have been incorporating extremely high-resolution (< 10 cm) ground-based LiDAR snow and vegetation datasets that allow us to identify relationships among topography, vegetation, and snow in Arctic environments. In addition, we have collected tens of thousands of manual snow depths across our research sites. This

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Projected Impact of Climate Change on the Energy Budget of the Arctic Ocean by a Global Climate Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

    The annual energy budget of the Arctic Ocean is characterized by a net heat loss at the air-sea interface that is balanced by oceanic heat transport into the Arctic. The energy loss at the air-sea interface is due to the combined effects of radiative, sensible, and latent heat fluxes. The inflow of heat by the ocean can be divided into two components: the transport of water masses of different temperatures between the Arctic and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the export of sea ice, primarily through Fram Strait. Two 150-year simulations (1950-2099) of a global climate model are used to examine how this balance might change if atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) increase. One is a control simulation for the present climate with constant 1950 atmospheric composition, and the other is a transient experiment with observed GHGs from 1950 to 1990 and 0.5% annual compounded increases of CO2 after 1990. For the present climate the model agrees well with observations of radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere, atmospheric advective energy transport into the Arctic, and surface air temperature. It also simulates the seasonal cycle and summer increase of cloud cover and the seasonal cycle of sea-ice cover. In addition, the changes in high-latitude surface air temperature and sea-ice cover in the GHG experiment are consistent with observed changes during the last 40 and 20 years, respectively. Relative to the control, the last 50-year period of the GHG experiment indicates that even though the net annual incident solar radiation at the surface decreases by 4.6 W(per square meters) (because of greater cloud cover and increased cloud optical depth), the absorbed solar radiation increases by 2.8 W(per square meters) (because of less sea ice). Increased cloud cover and warmer air also cause increased downward thermal radiation at the surface so that the net radiation into the ocean increases by 5.0 Wm-2. The annual increase in radiation into the ocean, however, is

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Climate change: Increasing shrub abundance in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, Matthew; Racine, Charles; Tape, Kenneth

    2001-05-01

    The warming of the Alaskan Arctic during the past 150 years has accelerated over the last three decades and is expected to increase vegetation productivity in tundra if shrubs become more abundant; indeed, this transition may already be under way according to local plot studies and remote sensing. Here we present evidence for a widespread increase in shrub abundance over more than 320 km of Arctic landscape during the past 50 years, based on a comparison of historic and modern aerial photographs. This expansion will alter the partitioning of energy in summer and the trapping and distribution of snow in winter, as well as increasing the amount of carbon stored in a region that is believed to be a net source of carbon dioxide.

  15. Tracking Water Vapor in the Winter High Arctic using the Microwave Humidity Sounder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duck, T. J.; Lesins, G. B.; Drummond, J. R.

    2010-12-01

    The cold and dry conditions during the darkness of the winter High Arctic have been a challenge for the retrieval of tropospheric water vapor amounts from satellites. Water vapor remains the most important greenhouse gas even in these dry conditions and so its variability has a direct bearing on the radiative forcing at the surface. The presence of the surface-based temperature inversion helps to amplify the response of the surface temperature to fluctuations in water vapor column. The ability to track the movement and magnitude of water vapor intrusions into the Arctic has important operational forecast as well as climate implications associated with rapid Arctic warming and sea ice loss. The water vapor field also determines the cloud and precipitation development. The first high temporal and high spatial resolution satellite retrievals of precipitable water in the winter High Arctic without interference from clouds and precipitation were done by Melsheimer and Heygster (2008) using the 5 AMSU-B microwave channels near the strong 183 GHz water vapor line and the window channel at 150 GHz. We have applied their algorithm to the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) that is installed on the NOAA-18, -19 and MetOp-A satellites. The MHS is the next generation instrument replacing the AMSU-B. The retrievals have a sensitivity of less than 0.5 mm of column water with a nadir spatial resolution of 17 km. Numerous passes over the entire Arctic take place every day providing a high resolution map of the distribution of water vapor over the entire Arctic without masking from clouds or precipitation. The calibration procedures, including comparisons with multiple ground-based microwave radiometers, will be presented along with results of the water vapor tracking experiments for the 2009-2010 winter season in the High Arctic. Movies depicting the movement and evolution of the water vapor column will be shown. These show frequent intrusions of lobes of moisture associated with

  16. Climate-driven regime shifts in the biological communities of arctic lakes

    PubMed Central

    Smol, John P.; Wolfe, Alexander P.; Birks, H. John B.; Douglas, Marianne S. V.; Jones, Vivienne J.; Korhola, Atte; Pienitz, Reinhard; Rühland, Kathleen; Sorvari, Sanna; Antoniades, Dermot; Brooks, Stephen J.; Fallu, Marie-Andrée; Hughes, Mike; Keatley, Bronwyn E.; Laing, Tamsin E.; Michelutti, Neal; Nazarova, Larisa; Nyman, Marjut; Paterson, Andrew M.; Perren, Bianca; Quinlan, Roberto; Rautio, Milla; Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie; Siitonen, Susanna; Solovieva, Nadia; Weckström, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Fifty-five paleolimnological records from lakes in the circumpolar Arctic reveal widespread species changes and ecological reorganizations in algae and invertebrate communities since approximately anno Domini 1850. The remoteness of these sites, coupled with the ecological characteristics of taxa involved, indicate that changes are primarily driven by climate warming through lengthening of the summer growing season and related limnological changes. The widespread distribution and similar character of these changes indicate that the opportunity to study arctic ecosystems unaffected by human influences may have disappeared. PMID:15738395

  17. 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.

  18. Climate change, its consequences in the Arctic and around the world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayer, Sophie; Le Divenah, Claudie; Rosetti, Alexandra

    2010-05-01

    CLIMATE CHANGE, ITS CONSEQUENCES IN THE ARCTIC AND AROUND THE WORLD This project has been led in a French European Class either in physics, chemistry, geology, biology and English by: - Sophie Jayer (Biology and geology teacher) - Claudie Le Divenah (Physics and Chemistry teacher) - Alexandra Rosetti (English teacher) As it was a European class, all the classes were held in English. The goals were - to have the students study both sciences and English - to show them that all these subjects were linked in real life and how important English was for scientists - To give them a glimpse of what scientific researches were both in the field and in a lab - To get them involved in the polar year - To make them work on the notion of world citizenship and raise their awareness about the issue of sustainable development We first introduced the Damocles and Tara project to the pupils. Then we studied the Arctic's geography, their inhabitants and ecosystem (Biology and English). In physics and chemistry, they talked about their working conditions, equipments and what kind of analysis they would do. In geology, we studied the evolution of the sea ice and its consequences but also climate changes of the past, the influence of climate on human history and the evidences of global warming nowadays (the pupils had to find information and to make a presentation about different climate events that could be evidence of global warming). A man who works on a research boat for a French national organization came in our class and was able to present his work, the conditions of life on board and to answer the pupils' questions. This is a quick summary of our work. If you need any additional information before the GIFT, please contact me at: sophie.jayer@neuf.fr or Sophie Jayer 61 A route de Paris 78550 Bazainville 0033 (0)1 34 87 61 06 0033 (0)6 20 53 84 65 (mobile) Our group teaches at Emilie de Breteuil High School In Montigny le Bretonneux, 30 km southwest of Paris Lycée Emilie de

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaudhary, Nitin; Smith, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2013-04-01

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

  20. Climate variability in the Siberian Arctic over the past millennium: midge-based inferences from lakes of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilyashuk, Boris; van Hardenbroek, Maarten; Heiri, Oliver; Lotter, André F.

    2010-05-01

    Our study aims at reconstructing climatic variability and climate impact on lakes over the past millennium in the Siberian Arctic, the coldest region of Eurasia. Here we present climate inferences based on the stratigraphic analysis of fossil chironomid assemblages (non-biting midges) from sediments of three arctic lakes (one millennial and two centennial records) located in the northeastern part of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic (70°N, 147°E). Changes in chironomid assemblages in the millennial record clearly show the most significant climatic events of the past millennium, namely the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, and the recent warming of 20th century. During relatively warm phases chironomid assemblages are dominated by the warm-adapted Chironomus anthracinus-type, whereas cooler phases are characterized by taxa such as Micropsectra insignilobus-type and Sergentia coracina-type. The pattern of chironomid-inferred climate changes in this Asian part of the Arctic, as represented by chironomid sample scores in a Principal Components Analysis (PCA), is comparable to that recorded in a tree-ring based summer air temperature reconstruction from this region, and broadly similar to those found in other high-resolution millennial records across the European and Western Hemisphere Arctic (e.g., Svalbard, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic). The recent warming of the 20th century is also well visible in both centennial chironomid records. PCA scores for the chironomid samples of recent decades fall outside the range of variability during the first half of the 20th century but are within the range of the millennial-scale variability. Our reconstructions suggest that the recent warming is unusual in the context of the variability of the past centuries but is, within the millennial climate variability, comparable to the Medieval Climate Anomaly.

  1. An overview of effects of climate change on selected arctic freshwater and anadromous fishes.

    PubMed

    Reist, James D; Wrona, Frederick J; Prowse, Terry D; Power, Michael; Dempson, J Brian; King, Jacquelynne R; Beamish, Richard J

    2006-11-01

    Arctic freshwater and diadromous fish species will respond to the various effects of climate change in many ways. For wide-ranging species, many of which are key components of northern aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, there is a large range of possible responses due to inter- and intra-specific variation, differences in the effects of climate drivers within ACIA regions, and differences in drivers among regions. All this diversity, coupled with limited understanding of fish responses to climate parameters generally, permits enumeration only of a range of possible responses which are developed here for selected important fishes. Accordingly, in-depth examination is required of possible effects within species within ACIA regions, as well as comparative studies across regions. Two particularly important species (Arctic char and Atlantic salmon) are examined as case studies to provide background for such studies.

  2. Recent mass changes of glaciers in the Russian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moholdt, Geir; Wouters, Bert; Gardner, Alex S.

    2012-05-01

    Glaciers and ice caps are known to contribute significantly to present-day sea level rise, but there are still glaciated regions where little is known about modern changes in glacier mass. One of these regions is the Russian High Arctic archipelagos which has a total glaciated area of 51,500 km2. We have assessed the glacier mass budget of this region for a 6-year period between October 2003 and October 2009 using independent ICESat laser altimetry and GRACE gravimetry. Over this period we found that the archipelagos have lost ice at a rate of -9.1 ± 2.0 Gt a-1, which corresponds to a sea level contribution of 0.025 mm a-1. Approximately 80% of the ice loss came from Novaya Zemlya with the remaining 20% coming from Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya. Meteorological records of temperature and precipitation for the period 1980-2009 suggest that the recent climatic mass budget is not substantially different from the longer-term trend.

  3. Arctic Hydrology and the role of feedbacks in the climate system (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinzman, L. D.

    2009-12-01

    The effects of a warming climate on the terrestrial regions of the Arctic are already quite apparent and impacts to the hydrologic system are also quite evident. The broadest impacts to the terrestrial arctic regions will result through consequent effects of changing permafrost structure and extent. As the climate differentially warms in summer and winter, the permafrost will become warmer, the active layer (the layer of soil above the permafrost that annually experiences freeze and thaw) will become thicker, the lower boundary of permafrost will become shallower and permafrost extent will decrease in area. These simple structural changes will affect every aspect of the surface water and energy balances and local ecology. Surface moisture and surface temperature are the main driving variables in local terrestrial and atmospheric linkages. Surface temperature is the linchpin in energy fluxes since it links atmospheric thermal gradients, forcing convective heat transfer, with the subsurface thermal gradients, driving conductive heat transfer. Soil moisture exerts a strong influence upon energy fluxes through controls on evaporative heat flux, phase change in thawing of permafrost, and indirect effects on thermal conductivity. In order to understand and predict ecosystem responses to a changing climate and the resultant feedbacks, it is critical to quantify the dynamic interactions of soil moisture and temperature with changes in permafrost as a function of climatic processes, landscape type, and vegetation. In future climate scenarios, the Arctic is expected to be warmer, and experience greater precipitation. With the lengthening of the summer season, however, more of this precipitation will occur as rain. The periods of potential evaporation, and transpiration will also increase. Oddly enough, even now, the Arctic may be considered a desert. The vast wetlands that cover large portions of Alaska, Canada and Siberia exist because permafrost prevents soil moisture and

  4. Regional climate responses to geoengineering with tropical and Arctic SO2 injections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robock, Alan; Oman, Luke; Stenchikov, Georgiy L.

    2008-08-01

    Anthropogenic stratospheric aerosol production, so as to reduce solar insolation and cool Earth, has been suggested as an emergency response to geoengineer the planet in response to global warming. While volcanic eruptions have been suggested as innocuous examples of stratospheric aerosols cooling the planet, the volcano analog actually argues against geoengineering because of ozone depletion and regional hydrologic and temperature responses. To further investigate the climate response, here we simulate the climate response to both tropical and Arctic stratospheric injection of sulfate aerosol precursors using a comprehensive atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies ModelE. We inject SO2 and the model converts it to sulfate aerosols, transports the aerosols and removes them through dry and wet deposition, and calculates the climate response to the radiative forcing from the aerosols. We conduct simulations of future climate with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change A1B business-as-usual scenario both with and without geoengineering and compare the results. We find that if there were a way to continuously inject SO2 into the lower stratosphere, it would produce global cooling. Tropical SO2 injection would produce sustained cooling over most of the world, with more cooling over continents. Arctic SO2 injection would not just cool the Arctic. Both tropical and Arctic SO2 injection would disrupt the Asian and African summer monsoons, reducing precipitation to the food supply for billions of people. These regional climate anomalies are but one of many reasons that argue against the implementation of this kind of geoengineering.

  5. Vertical migration in high Arctic waters during autumn 2004

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falk-Petersen, Stig; Leu, Eva; Berge, Jørgen; Kwasniewski, Slawomir; Nygård, Henrik; Røstad, Anders; Keskinen, Essi; Thormar, Jonas; von Quillfeldt, Cecilie; Wold, Anette; Gulliksen, Bjørn

    2008-10-01

    The diel vertical migration (DVM) of zooplankton and pelagic fish in the southern Arctic Ocean (82°N) and in Rijpfjorden (Svalbard, Nordaustlandet, 80°N) was investigated in autumn 2004, when there were distinct differences in light conditions between day and night. We collected data on zooplankton and fish distribution using plankton nets, trawls, and an echo sounder together with data on environmental parameters including sea-ice distribution, hydrography, and in situ fluorescence in the water column. In Rijpfjorden, the Arctic phytoplankton bloom had culminated several weeks prior to the present study and all three Calanus species had migrated down to depths for over wintering and did not show any changes in vertical distribution. However, in the Arctic Ocean pack ice at 82°N, Calanus hyperboreus, was found in high abundances (up to 65 ind. m -3) actively feeding on the Arctic bloom in September. They performed a classic DVM, feeding in the upper 50 m during the night and descending to depths below 50 m during the day. In Rijpfjorden, distinct DVM patterns were observed among the amphipod Themisto libellula, adult and juvenile stages of the pteropod Limacina helicina, and polar cod. Polar cod in Rijpfjorden fed on Calanus spp. and on L. helicina. We conclude that animals display DVM in the Arctic during autumn if they need to feed in food-rich surface waters.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

  8. Climate trends in the Arctic as observed from space

    PubMed Central

    Comiso, Josefino C; Hall, Dorothy K

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic is a region in transformation. Warming in the region has been amplified, as expected from ice-albedo feedback effects, with the rate of warming observed to be ∼0.60 ± 0.07°C/decade in the Arctic (>64°N) compared to ∼0.17°C/decade globally during the last three decades. This increase in surface temperature is manifested in all components of the cryosphere. In particular, the sea ice extent has been declining at the rate of ∼3.8%/decade, whereas the perennial ice (represented by summer ice minimum) is declining at a much greater rate of ∼11.5%/decade. Spring snow cover has also been observed to be declining by −2.12%/decade for the period 1967–2012. The Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at the rate of ∼34.0 Gt/year (sea level equivalence of 0.09 mm/year) during the period from 1992 to 2011, but for the period 2002–2011, a higher rate of mass loss of ∼215 Gt/year has been observed. Also, the mass of glaciers worldwide declined at the rate of 226 Gt/year from 1971 to 2009 and 275 Gt/year from 1993 to 2009. Increases in permafrost temperature have also been measured in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere while a thickening of the active layer that overlies permafrost and a thinning of seasonally frozen ground has also been reported. To gain insight into these changes, comparative analysis with trends in clouds, albedo, and the Arctic Oscillation is also presented. How to cite this article:WIREs Clim Change 2014, 5:389�409. doi: 10.1002/wcc.277 PMID:25810765

  9. Climate Trends in the Arctic as Observed from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.; Hall, Dorothy K.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic is a region in transformation. Warming in the region has been amplified, as expected from ice-albedo feedback effects, with the rate of warming observed to be approx. 0.60+/-0.07 C/decade in the Arctic (>64degN) compared to approx. 0.17 C/decade globally during the last three decades. This increase in surface temperature is manifested in all components of the cryosphere. In particular, the sea ice extent has been declining at the rate of approx. 3.8%/decade, whereas the perennial ice (represented by summer ice minimum) is declining at a much greater rate of approx.11.5%/decade. Spring snow cover has also been observed to be declining by -2.12%/decade for the period 1967-2012. The Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at the rate of approx. 34.0Gt/year (sea level equivalence of 0.09 mm/year) during the period from 1992 to 2011, but for the period 2002-2011, a higher rate of mass loss of approx. 215 Gt/year has been observed. Also, the mass of glaciers worldwide declined at the rate of 226 Gt/year from 1971 to 2009 and 275 Gt/year from 1993 to 2009. Increases in permafrost temperature have also been measured in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere while a thickening of the active layer that overlies permafrost and a thinning of seasonally frozen ground has also been reported. To gain insight into these changes, comparative analysis with trends in clouds, albedo, and the Arctic Oscillation is also presented.

  10. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols

    SciTech Connect

    Lau, Maggie C.Y.; Stackhouse, B.; Layton, Alice C.; Chauhan, Archana; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Chourey, Karuna; Mykytczuk, N. C.S.; Bennett, Phil C.; Lamarche-Gagnon, G.; Burton, N.; Renholm, J.; Hettich, R. L.; Pollard, W. H.; Omelon, C. R.; Medvigy, David M.; Pffifner, Susan M.; Whyte, L. G.; Onstott, T. C.

    2015-01-01

    The transition of Arctic carbon-rich cryosols into methane (CH₄)-emitting wetlands due to global warming is a rising concern. However, the spatially predominant mineral cryosols and their CH₄ emission potential are poorly understood. Fluxes measured in situ and estimated under laboratory conditions coupled with -omics analysis indicate (1) mineral cryosols in the Canadian high Arctic contain atmospheric CH₄-oxidizing bacteria; (2) the atmospheric CH⁺ uptake flux increases with ground temperature; and, as a result, (3) the atmospheric CH₄ sink strength will increase by a factor of 5-30 as the Arctic warms by 5-15 °C over a century. We demonstrated that acidic mineral cryosols have previously unrecognized potential of negative CH₄ feedback.

  11. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols

    DOE PAGES

    Lau, Maggie C.Y.; Stackhouse, B.; Layton, Alice C.; Chauhan, Archana; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Chourey, Karuna; Mykytczuk, N. C.S.; Bennett, Phil C.; Lamarche-Gagnon, G.; Burton, N.; et al

    2015-01-01

    The transition of Arctic carbon-rich cryosols into methane (CH₄)-emitting wetlands due to global warming is a rising concern. However, the spatially predominant mineral cryosols and their CH₄ emission potential are poorly understood. Fluxes measured in situ and estimated under laboratory conditions coupled with -omics analysis indicate (1) mineral cryosols in the Canadian high Arctic contain atmospheric CH₄-oxidizing bacteria; (2) the atmospheric CH⁺ uptake flux increases with ground temperature; and, as a result, (3) the atmospheric CH₄ sink strength will increase by a factor of 5-30 as the Arctic warms by 5-15 °C over a century. We demonstrated that acidic mineralmore » cryosols have previously unrecognized potential of negative CH₄ feedback.« less

  12. 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.

  13. Rising to the Challenge of Climate Impact Assessment in the Arctic (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinzman, L. D.

    2013-12-01

    The environmental changes ongoing in Arctic Regions have clearly demonstrated the climate is changing however assessing and predicting the impacts upon the physical and biological systems remains an important research challenge. To truly understand the evolution of the environment in response to a warming climate, we cannot investigate single components in isolation. We must change our perspective to include the dynamic linkages and feedbacks among system components, including physical and biological processes and in some cases societal interactions. The land areas of the Arctic are changing rapidly. The permafrost is degrading, lakes are draining, soils are getting drier, plant and animal species are migrating northward, snow is melting earlier and returning later. The marine system is also experiencing marked changes, most notably loss of sea ice, warming of deeper layers, changes in cloudiness and weather, acidification and migration of species. Trends of decreasing sea ice and increased open-water fetch, combined with warming air and ground temperatures, result in higher wave energy, increased seasonal thaw, and accelerated coastal retreat along large parts of circum-Arctic coast. All of these changes are having a significant impact upon local environment, but these changes are occurring over such a large area, they are beginning to affect regional and perhaps even global climate. We will not be able accurately forecast the impacts of changing climate conditions until we can accurately incorporate the processes of those dynamics in the integrated system.

  14. Tracking Particulate Organic Matter Characteristics in Major Arctic Rivers: Indicators of Watershed-Scale Climate Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClelland, J. W.; Griffin, C. G.; Holmes, R. M.; Peterson, B. J.; Raymond, P. A.; Spencer, R. G.; Striegl, R. G.; Tank, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Six large rivers, including the Yukon and Mackenzie in North America and the Yenisey, Ob', Lena, and Kolyma in Eurasia, drain the majority of the watershed area surrounding the Arctic Ocean. Parallel sampling programs were initiated at downstream locations on these rivers in 2003 to improve estimates of fluvial export and track large-scale perturbations associated with climate change. Over a decade later, synthesis of water chemistry data from these ongoing sampling efforts provides an unprecedented opportunity to 1) examine similarities and differences among the major Arctic rivers, and 2) think critically about how changes in various water chemistry parameters may or may not inform us about climate change impacts. River-borne organic matter characteristics may be particularly telling because mass flux values and composition/source indicators vary with hydrology and permafrost coverage. However, separating climate impacts that occur within river corridors from those that occur beyond them may be difficult, especially when considering changes in particulate organic matter (POM) loads. Data on suspended POM yields, C:N ratios, stable isotope ratios, and radiocarbon content in the major Arctic rivers show marked spatial, seasonal, and interannual variability that is helpful for thinking about how climate change effects may manifest in the future, but it will be challenging to separate changes in POM related to bank erosion and suspension/deposition of in situ sediment stocks from changes in POM that may be linked to processes such as permafrost thaw occurring across the broader landscape.

  15. Uncertainty in climate model projections of Arctic sea ice decline: An evaluation relevant to polar bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeWeaver, Eric

    2007-01-01

    This report describes uncertainties in climate model simulations of Arctic sea ice decline, and proposes a selection criterion for models to be used in projecting polar bear (Ursus maritimus) habitat loss. Uncertainties in model construction are discussed first, both for climate models in general and for their sea ice component models. A key point in the discussion is that the inherent climate sensitivity of sea ice leads inevitably to uncertainty in simulations of sea ice decline. The ability of climate models to simulate gross properties of Arctic ice cover, including the annual mean, seasonal cycle, and recent trends, is then assessed, followed by a review of model projections of 21st Century decline. The proposed selection criterion selects models with less than 20% error in their simulations of present-day September sea ice extent, where extent is defined as the area of the Arctic with at least 50% ice cover. Of the 10 models satisfying this criterion, all lose at least 30% of their September ice extent, and 4 lose over 80% of their September ice by the middle of the 21st Century (years 2045 to 2055). By the end of the 21st Century (years 2090 to 2099), seven of the models are essentially ice free in September.

  16. Short-lived pollutants in the Arctic: their climate impact and possible mitigation strategies

    SciTech Connect

    Menon, Surabi; Quinn, P.K.; Bates, T.S.; Baum, E.; Doubleday, N.; Fiore, A.M.; Flanner, M.; Fridlind, A.; Garrett, T.J.; Koch, D.; Menon, S.; Shindell, D.; Stohl, A.; Warren, S.G.

    2007-09-24

    Several short-lived pollutants known to impact Arctic climate may be contributing to the accelerated rates of warming observed in this region relative to the global annually averaged temperature increase. Here, we present a summary of the short-lived pollutants that impact Arctic climate including methane, tropospheric ozone, and tropospheric aerosols. For each pollutant, we provide a description of the major sources and the mechanism of forcing. We also provide the first seasonally averaged forcing and corresponding temperature response estimates focused specifically on the Arctic. The calculations indicate that the forcings due to black carbon, methane, and tropospheric ozone lead to a positive surface temperature response indicating the need to reduce emissions of these species within and outside the Arctic. Additional aerosol species may also lead to surface warming if the aerosol is coincident with thin, low lying clouds. We suggest strategies for reducing the warming based on current knowledge and discuss directions for future research to address the large remaining uncertainties.

  17. Influence of the physical terrestrial Arctic in the eco-climate system.

    PubMed

    Saito, Kazuyuki; Zhang, Tingjun; Yang, Daqing; Marchenko, Sergei; Barry, Roger G; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Hinzman, Larry

    2013-12-01

    This synthesis paper provides a summary of the major components of the physical terrestrial Arctic and the influences of their changes upon the larger eco-climate system. Foci here are snow cover, permafrost, and land hydrology. During the last century, snow cover duration has shortened in a large portion of the circum-Arctic, mainly because of its early northward retreat in spring due to warming. Winter precipitation has generally increased, resulting in an increase in maximum snow depth over large areas. This is consistent with the increase in river discharge over large Russian watersheds. Soil temperature has also increased, and the active layer has deepened in most of the permafrost regions, whereas thinning of the seasonally frozen layer has been observed in areas not underlain by permafrost. These active components are mutually interrelated, conditioned by ambient micro- to landscape-level topography and local surface and subsurface conditions, and they are closely related with vegetation and ecology, as evidenced by evolution in the late Quaternary. Further, we provide examples and arguments for discussions on the pathways through which changes in the Arctic terrestrial system can affect or propagate to remote areas beyond the Arctic, reaching to the extratropics in the larger climate system. These considerations include dynamical and thermodynamical responses and feedbacks,'modification of hemisphere-scale atmospheric circulation associated with troposphere-stratosphere couplings, and moisture intrusion at a continental scale. PMID:24555309

  18. On the gate of Arctic footsteps: Doors open to foreign high schools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manno, C.; Pecchiar, I.

    2012-12-01

    With the increased attention on the changing Arctic Region effective science education, outreach and communication need to be higher priorities within the scientific communities. In order to encourage the dissemination of polar research at educational levels foreign high school students and teachers were visiting Tromso University for a week. The project highlights the role of the universities as link between research and outreach. The first aim of this project was to increase awareness of foreign schools on major topics concerning the Arctic issues (from the economic/social to the environmental/climatic point of view). Forty three Italian high school students were involved in the laboratory activities running at the UiT and participated in seminars. Topics of focus were Ocean Acidification, Global Warming and the combined effects with other anthropogenic stressors. During their stay, students interviewed several scientists in order to allow them to edit a "visiting report" and to elaborate all the material collected. Back in Italy they performed an itinerant exhibition (presentation of a short movie, posters, and pictures) in various Italian schools in order to pass on their Arctic education experience. The project highlights the role of University as communicator of "climate related issues" in the international frame of the "new generation" of students.

  19. The future of soil invertebrate communities in polar regions: different climate change responses in the Arctic and Antarctic?

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Uffe N; Wall, Diana H

    2013-03-01

    The polar regions are experiencing rapid climate change with implications for terrestrial ecosystems. Here, despite limited knowledge, we make some early predictions on soil invertebrate community responses to predicted twenty-first century climate change. Geographic and environmental differences suggest that climate change responses will differ between the Arctic and Antarctic. We predict significant, but different, belowground community changes in both regions. This change will be driven mainly by vegetation type changes in the Arctic, while communities in Antarctica will respond to climate amelioration directly and indirectly through changes in microbial community composition and activity, and the development of, and/or changes in, plant communities. Climate amelioration is likely to allow a greater influx of non-native species into both the Arctic and Antarctic promoting landscape scale biodiversity change. Non-native competitive species could, however, have negative effects on local biodiversity particularly in the Arctic where the communities are already species rich. Species ranges will shift in both areas as the climate changes potentially posing a problem for endemic species in the Arctic where options for northward migration are limited. Greater soil biotic activity may move the Arctic towards a trajectory of being a substantial carbon source, while Antarctica could become a carbon sink.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of climate change and UV radiation on fisheries for arctic freshwater and anadromous species.

    PubMed

    Reist, James D; Wrona, Frederick J; Prowse, Terry D; Dempson, J Brian; Power, Michael; Köck, Günter; Carmichael, Theresa J; Sawatzky, Chantelle D; Lehtonen, Hannu; Tallman, Ross F

    2006-11-01

    Fisheries for arctic freshwater and diadromous fish species contribute significantly to northern economies. Climate change, and to a lesser extent increased ultraviolet radiation, effects in freshwaters will have profound effects on fisheries from three perspectives: quantity of fish available, quality of fish available, and success of the fishers. Accordingly, substantive adaptation will very likely be required to conduct fisheries sustainably in the future as these effects take hold. A shift to flexible and rapidly responsive 'adaptive management' of commercial fisheries will be necessary; local land- and resource-use patterns for subsistence fisheries will change; and, the nature, management and place for many recreational fisheries will change. Overall, given the complexity and uncertainty associated with climate change and related effects on arctic freshwaters and their biota, a much more conservative approach to all aspects of fishery management will be required to ensure ecosystems and key fished species retain sufficient resiliency and capacity to meet future changes.

  2. Wave climate and trends along the eastern Chukchi Arctic Alaska coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erikson, L.H.; Storlazzi, C.D.; Jensen, R.E.

    2011-01-01

    Due in large part to the difficulty of obtaining measurements in the Arctic, little is known about the wave climate along the coast of Arctic Alaska. In this study, numerical model simulations encompassing 40 years of wave hind-casts were used to assess mean and extreme wave conditions. Results indicate that the wave climate was strongly modulated by large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns and that mean and extreme wave heights and periods exhibited increasing trends in both the sea and swell frequency bands over the time-period studied (1954-2004). Model simulations also indicate that the upward trend was not due to a decrease in the minimum icepack extent. ?? 2011 ASCE.

  3. Dynamics of a recovering Arctic bird population: the importance of climate, density dependence, and site quality.

    PubMed

    Bruggeman, Jason E; Swem, Ted; Andersen, David E; Kennedy, Patricia L; Nigro, Debora

    2015-10-01

    Intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect vital rates and population-level processes, and understanding these factors is paramount to devising successful management plans for wildlife species. For example, birds time migration in response, in part, to local and broadscale climate fluctuations to initiate breeding upon arrival to nesting territories, and prolonged inclement weather early in the breeding season can inhibit egg-laying and reduce productivity. Also, density-dependent regulation occurs in raptor populations, as territory size is related to resource availability. Arctic Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius; hereafter Arctic peregrine) have a limited and northern breeding distribution, including the Colville River Special Area (CRSA) in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, USA. We quantified influences of climate, topography, nest productivity, prey habitat, density dependence, and interspecific competition affecting Arctic peregrines in the CRSA by applying the Dail-Madsen model to estimate abundance and vital rates of adults on nesting cliffs from 1981 through 2002. Arctic peregrine abundance increased throughout the 1980s, which spanned the population's recovery from DDT-induced reproductive failure, until exhibiting a stationary trend in the 1990s. Apparent survival rate (i.e., emigration; death) was negatively correlated with the number of adult Arctic peregrines on the cliff the previous year, suggesting effects of density-dependent population regulation. Apparent survival and arrival rates (i.e., immigration; recruitment) were higher during years with earlier snowmelt and milder winters, and apparent survival was positively correlated with nesting season maximum daily temperature. Arrival rate was positively correlated with average Arctic peregrine productivity along a cliff segment from the previous year and initial abundance was positively correlated with cliff height. Higher cliffs with documented higher productivity (presumably

  4. Dynamics of a recovering Arctic bird population: the importance of climate, density dependence, and site quality.

    PubMed

    Bruggeman, Jason E; Swem, Ted; Andersen, David E; Kennedy, Patricia L; Nigro, Debora

    2015-10-01

    Intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect vital rates and population-level processes, and understanding these factors is paramount to devising successful management plans for wildlife species. For example, birds time migration in response, in part, to local and broadscale climate fluctuations to initiate breeding upon arrival to nesting territories, and prolonged inclement weather early in the breeding season can inhibit egg-laying and reduce productivity. Also, density-dependent regulation occurs in raptor populations, as territory size is related to resource availability. Arctic Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius; hereafter Arctic peregrine) have a limited and northern breeding distribution, including the Colville River Special Area (CRSA) in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, USA. We quantified influences of climate, topography, nest productivity, prey habitat, density dependence, and interspecific competition affecting Arctic peregrines in the CRSA by applying the Dail-Madsen model to estimate abundance and vital rates of adults on nesting cliffs from 1981 through 2002. Arctic peregrine abundance increased throughout the 1980s, which spanned the population's recovery from DDT-induced reproductive failure, until exhibiting a stationary trend in the 1990s. Apparent survival rate (i.e., emigration; death) was negatively correlated with the number of adult Arctic peregrines on the cliff the previous year, suggesting effects of density-dependent population regulation. Apparent survival and arrival rates (i.e., immigration; recruitment) were higher during years with earlier snowmelt and milder winters, and apparent survival was positively correlated with nesting season maximum daily temperature. Arrival rate was positively correlated with average Arctic peregrine productivity along a cliff segment from the previous year and initial abundance was positively correlated with cliff height. Higher cliffs with documented higher productivity (presumably

  5. Ten-year trends of atmospheric mercury in the high Arctic compared to Canadian sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, A. S.; Steffen, A.; Aspmo Pfaffhuber, K.; Berg, T.; Pilote, M.; Poissant, L.; Tordon, R.; Hung, H.

    2012-08-01

    Global emissions of mercury continue to change at the same time as the Arctic is experiencing ongoing climatic changes. Continuous monitoring of atmospheric mercury provides important information about long-term trends in the balance between transport, chemistry, and deposition of this pollutant in the Arctic atmosphere. Ten-year records of total gaseous mercury (TGM) were analyzed from two high Arctic sites at Alert (Nunavut, Canada) and Zeppelin Station (Svalbard, Norway); one sub-Arctic site at Kuujjuarapik (Nunavik, Québec, Canada); and three temperate Canadian sites at St. Anicet (Québec), Kejimkujik (Nova Scotia) and Egbert (Ontario). Five of the six sites examined show a decreasing trend over this time period. Overall trend estimates at high latitude sites were: -0.9% yr-1 (95% confidence limits: -1.4, 0) at Alert and no trend (-0.5, +0.7) at Zeppelin Station. Faster decreases were observed at the remainder of the sites: -2.1% yr-1 (-3.1, -1.1) at Kuujjuarapik, -1.9% yr-1 (-2.1, -1.8) at St. Anicet, -1.6% yr-1 (-2.4, -1.0) at Kejimkujik and -2.2% yr-1 (-2.8, -1.7) at Egbert. Trends at the sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites agree with reported decreases in background TGM concentration since 1996 at Mace Head, Ireland, and Cape Point, South Africa, but conflict with estimates showing an increase in global anthropogenic emissions over a similar period. Trends in TGM at the two high Arctic sites were not only less negative (or neutral) overall but much more variable by season. Possible reasons for differences in seasonal and overall trends at the Arctic sites compared to those at lower latitudes are discussed, as well as implications for the Arctic mercury cycle. The first calculations of multi-year trends in reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) and total particulate mercury (TPM) at Alert were also performed, indicating increases from 2002 to 2009 in both RGM and TPM in the spring when concentrations are highest.

  6. Ten-year trends of atmospheric mercury in the high Arctic compared to Canadian sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, A. S.; Steffen, A.; Pfaffhuber, K. A.; Berg, T.; Pilote, M.; Poissant, L.; Tordon, R.; Hung, H.

    2013-02-01

    Global emissions of mercury continue to change at the same time as the Arctic is experiencing ongoing climatic changes. Continuous monitoring of atmospheric mercury provides important information about long-term trends in the balance between transport, chemistry, and deposition of this pollutant in the Arctic atmosphere. Ten-year records of total gaseous mercury (TGM) from 2000 to 2009 were analyzed from two high Arctic sites at Alert (Nunavut, Canada) and Zeppelin Station (Svalbard, Norway); one sub-Arctic site at Kuujjuarapik (Nunavik, Québec, Canada); and three temperate Canadian sites at St. Anicet (Québec), Kejimkujik (Nova Scotia) and Egbert (Ontario). Five of the six sites examined showed a decreasing trend over this time period. Overall trend estimates at high latitude sites were: -0.9% yr-1 (95% confidence limits: -1.4, 0) at Alert and no trend (-0.5, +0.7) at Zeppelin Station. Faster decreases were observed at the remainder of the sites: -2.1% yr-1 (-3.1, -1.1) at Kuujjuarapik, -1.9% yr-1 (-2.1, -1.8) at St. Anicet, -1.6% yr-1 (-2.4, -1.0) at Kejimkujik and -2.2% yr-1 (-2.8, -1.7) at Egbert. Trends at the sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites agree with reported decreases in background TGM concentration since 1996 at Mace Head, Ireland, and Cape Point, South Africa, but conflict with estimates showing an increase in global anthropogenic emissions over a similar period. Trends in TGM at the two high Arctic sites were not only less negative (or neutral) overall but much more variable by season. Possible reasons for differences in seasonal and overall trends at the Arctic sites compared to those at lower latitudes are discussed, as well as implications for the Arctic mercury cycle. The first calculations of multi-year trends in reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) and total particulate mercury (TPM) at Alert were also performed, indicating increases from 2002 to 2009 in both RGM and TPM in the spring when concentrations are highest.

  7. An estimated cost of lost climate regulation services caused by thawing of the Arctic cryosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    Recent and expected changes in Arctic sea ice cover, snow cover, and methane emissions from permafrost thaw are likely to result in large positive feedbacks to climate warming. There is little recognition of the significant loss in economic value that the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, snow, and permafrost will impose on humans. Here, we examine how sea ice and snow cover, as well as methane emissions due to changes in permafrost, may potentially change in the future, to year 2100, and how these changes may feed back to influence the climate. Between 2010 and 2100, the annual costs from the extra warming due to a decline in albedo related to losses of sea ice and snow, plus each year's methane emissions, cumulate to a present value cost to society ranging from US$7.5 trillion to US$91.3 trillion. The estimated range reflects uncertainty associated with (1) the extent of warming-driven positive climate feedbacks from the thawing cryosphere and (2) the expected economic damages per metric ton of CO2 equivalents that will be imposed by added warming, which depend, especially, on the choice of discount rate. The economic uncertainty is much larger than the uncertainty in possible future feedback effects. Nonetheless, the frozen Arctic provides immense services to all nations by cooling the earth's temperature: the cryosphere is an air conditioner for the planet. As the Arctic thaws, this critical, climate-stabilizing ecosystem service is being lost. This paper provides a first attempt to monetize the cost of some of those lost services.

  8. An estimated cost of lost climate regulation services caused by thawing of the Arctic cryosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    Recent and expected changes in Arctic sea ice cover, snow cover, and methane emissions from permafrost thaw are likely to result in large positive feedbacks to climate warming. There is little recognition of the significant loss in economic value that the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, snow, and permafrost will impose on humans. Here, we examine how sea ice and snow cover, as well as methane emissions due to changes in permafrost, may potentially change in the future, to year 2100, and how these changes may feed back to influence the climate. Between 2010 and 2100, the annual costs from the extra warming due to a decline in albedo related to losses of sea ice and snow, plus each year's methane emissions, cumulate to a present value cost to society ranging from US$7.5 trillion to US$91.3 trillion. The estimated range reflects uncertainty associated with (1) the extent of warming-driven positive climate feedbacks from the thawing cryosphere and (2) the expected economic damages per metric ton of CO2 equivalents that will be imposed by added warming, which depend, especially, on the choice of discount rate. The economic uncertainty is much larger than the uncertainty in possible future feedback effects. Nonetheless, the frozen Arctic provides immense services to all nations by cooling the earth's temperature: the cryosphere is an air conditioner for the planet. As the Arctic thaws, this critical, climate-stabilizing ecosystem service is being lost. This paper provides a first attempt to monetize the cost of some of those lost services. PMID:24555313

  9. Collaborative Research. Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Zhuang, Qianlai; Schlosser, Courtney; Melillo, Jerry; Walter, Katey

    2015-09-15

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

  10. High temperatures in the Late Cretaceous Arctic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Jenkyns, Hugh C; Forster, Astrid; Schouten, Stefan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S

    2004-12-16

    To understand the climate dynamics of the warm, equable greenhouse world of the Late Cretaceous period, it is important to determine polar palaeotemperatures. The early palaeoceanographic history of the Arctic Ocean has, however, remained largely unknown, because the sea floor and underlying deposits are usually inaccessible beneath a cover of floating ice. A shallow piston core taken from a drifting ice island in 1970 fortuitously retrieved unconsolidated Upper Cretaceous organic-rich sediment from Alpha ridge, a submarine elevated feature of probable oceanic origin. A lack of carbonate in the sediments from this core has prevented the use of traditional oxygen-isotope palaeothermometry. Here we determine Arctic palaeotemperatures from these Upper Cretaceous deposits using TEX86, a new palaeothermometer that is based on the composition of membrane lipids derived from a ubiquitous component of marine plankton, Crenarchaeota. From these analyses we infer an average sea surface temperature of approximately 15 degrees C for the Arctic Ocean about 70 million years ago. This calibration point implies an Equator-to-pole gradient in sea surface temperatures of approximately 15 degrees C during this interval and, by extrapolation, we suggest that polar waters were generally warmer than 20 degrees C during the middle Cretaceous (approximately 90 million years ago).

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

    PubMed Central

    Rylander, Charlotta; Odland, Jon Ø.; Sandanger, Torkjel M.

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Cumulative effects of climate warming and other human activities on freshwaters of Arctic and subarctic North America.

    PubMed

    Schindler, David W; Smol, John P

    2006-06-01

    Despite their generally isolated geographic locations, the freshwaters of the north are subjected to a wide spectrum of environmental stressors. High-latitude regions are especially sensitive to the effects of recent climatic warming, which have already resulted in marked regime shifts in the biological communities of many Arctic lakes and ponds. Important drivers of these limnological changes have included changes in the amount and duration of snow and ice cover, and, for rivers and lakes in their deltas, the frequency and extent of spring floods. Other important climate-related shifts include alterations in evaporation and precipitation ratios, marked changes in the quality and quantity of lake and river water inflows due to accelerated glacier and permafrost melting, and declining percentages of precipitation that falls as snow. The depletion of stratospheric ozone over the north, together with the clarity of many Arctic lakes, renders them especially susceptible to damage from ultraviolet radiation. In addition, the long-range atmospheric transport of pollutants, coupled with the focusing effects of contaminant transport from biological vectors to some local ecosystems (e.g., salmon nursery lakes, ponds draining seabird colonies) and biomagnification in long food chains, have led to elevated concentrations of many persistent organic pollutants (e.g., insecticides, which have never been used in Arctic regions) and other pollutants (e.g., mercury). Rapid development of gas and oil pipelines, mining for diamonds and metals, increases in human populations, and the development of all-season roads, seaports, and hydroelectric dams will stress northern aquatic ecosystems. The cumulative effects of these stresses will be far more serious than those caused by changing climate alone. PMID:16944640

  13. Arctic cut-off high drives the poleward shift of a new Greenland melting record.

    PubMed

    Tedesco, M; Mote, T; Fettweis, X; Hanna, E; Jeyaratnam, J; Booth, J F; Datta, R; Briggs, K

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700±50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948-2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade.

  14. Arctic cut-off high drives the poleward shift of a new Greenland melting record.

    PubMed

    Tedesco, M; Mote, T; Fettweis, X; Hanna, E; Jeyaratnam, J; Booth, J F; Datta, R; Briggs, K

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700±50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948-2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade. PMID:27277547

  15. Arctic cut-off high drives the poleward shift of a new Greenland melting record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, M.; Mote, T.; Fettweis, X.; Hanna, E.; Jeyaratnam, J.; Booth, J. F.; Datta, R.; Briggs, K.

    2016-06-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700+/-50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948-2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade.

  16. Arctic cut-off high drives the poleward shift of a new Greenland melting record

    PubMed Central

    Tedesco, M.; Mote, T.; Fettweis, X.; Hanna, E.; Jeyaratnam, J.; Booth, J. F.; Datta, R.; Briggs, K.

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700±50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948–2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade. PMID:27277547

  17. Potential for mercury reduction by microbes in the high arctic.

    PubMed

    Poulain, Alexandre J; Ní Chadhain, Sinéad M; Ariya, Parisa A; Amyot, Marc; Garcia, Edenise; Campbell, Peter G C; Zylstra, Gerben J; Barkay, Tamar

    2007-04-01

    The contamination of polar regions due to the global distribution of anthropogenic pollutants is of great concern because it leads to the bioaccumulation of toxic substances, methylmercury among them, in Arctic food chains. Here we present the first evidence that microbes in the high Arctic possess and express diverse merA genes, which specify the reduction of ionic mercury [Hg(II)] to the volatile elemental form [Hg(0)]. The sampled microbial biomass, collected from microbial mats in a coastal lagoon and from the surface of marine macroalgae, was comprised of bacteria that were most closely related to psychrophiles that had previously been described in polar environments. We used a kinetic redox model, taking into consideration photoredox reactions as well as mer-mediated reduction, to assess if the potential for Hg(II) reduction by Arctic microbes can affect the toxicity and environmental mobility of mercury in the high Arctic. Results suggested that mer-mediated Hg(II) reduction could account for most of the Hg(0) that is produced in high Arctic waters. At the surface, with only 5% metabolically active cells, up to 68% of the mercury pool was resolved by the model as biogenic Hg(0). At a greater depth, because of incident light attenuation, the significance of photoredox transformations declined and merA-mediated activity could account for up to 90% of Hg(0) production. These findings highlight the importance of microbial redox transformations in the biogeochemical cycling, and thus the toxicity and mobility, of mercury in polar regions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Trophic interactions in a high arctic snow goose colony.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Gilles; Bêty, Joël; Giroux, Jean-François; Rochefort, Line

    2004-04-01

    We examined the role of trophic interactions in structuring a high arctic tundra community characterized by a large breeding colony of greater snow geese (Chen caerulescens atlantica). According to the exploitation ecosystem hypothesis of Oksanen et al. (1981), food chains are controlled by top-down interactions. However, because the arctic primary productivity is low, herbivore populations are too small to support functional predator populations and these communities should thus be dominated by the plant/ herbivore trophic-level interaction. Since 1990, we have been monitoring annual abundance and productivity of geese, the impact of goose grazing, predator abundance (mostly arctic foxes, Alopex lagopus) and the abundance of lemmings, the other significant herbivore in this community, on Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada. Goose grazing consistently removed a significant proportion of the standing crop (∼40%) in tundra wetlands every year. Grazing changed plant community composition and reduced the production of grasses and sedges to a low-level equilibrium compared to the situation where the presence of geese had been removed. Lemming cyclic fluctuations were strong and affected fox reproduction. Fox predation on goose eggs was severe and generated marked annual variation in goose productivity. Predation intensity on geese was closely related to the lemming cycle, a consequence of an indirect interaction between lemming and geese via shared predators. We conclude that, contrary to the exploitation ecosystem hypothesis, both the plant/herbivore and predator/prey interactions are significant in this arctic community. PMID:21680492

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, K. L.; Abnizova, A.

    2012-12-01

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

  1. Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project and its Interest in Arctic Hydrology Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, D.; Prowse, T. D.; Steffen, K.; Ryabinin, V.

    2009-12-01

    The cryosphere is an important and dynamic component of the global climate system. The global cryosphere is changing rapidly, with changes in the Polar Regions receiving particular attention during the International Polar Year 2007-2008. The Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project is a core project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and is co-sponsored by WCRP, SCAR (Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research) and IASC (International Committee for Antarctic Research). The principal goal of CliC is to assess and quantify the impacts that climatic variability and change have on components of the cryosphere and the consequences of these impacts for the climate system. To achieve its objectives, CliC coordinates international and regional projects, partners with other organizations in joint initiatives, and organizes panels and working groups to lead and coordinate advanced research aimed at closing identified gaps in scientific knowledge about climate and cryosphere. The terrestrial cryosphere includes land areas where snow cover, lake- and river-ice, glaciers and ice caps, permafrost and seasonally frozen ground and solid precipitation occur. The main task of this theme is to improve estimates and quantify the uncertainty of water balance and related energy flux components in cold climate regions. This includes precipitation (both solid and liquid) distribution, properties of snow, snow melt, evapotranspiration, sublimation, water movement through frozen and unfrozen ground, water storage in watersheds, river- and lake-ice properties and processes, and river runoff. The focus of this theme includes two specific issues: the role of permafrost and frozen ground in the carbon balance, and precipitation in cold climates. Hydrological studies of cold regions will provide a key contribution to the new theme crosscut, which focuses on the cryospheric input to the freshwater balance of the Arctic. This presentation will provide an overview and update of recent

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  3. The potential impact of climate change on infectious diseases of Arctic fauna.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Michael; Kutz, Susan J; Jenkins, Emily; O'Hara, Todd M

    2005-12-01

    Climate change is already affecting Arctic species including infectious disease agents and greater changes are expected. Some infectious diseases are already increasing but future changes are difficult to predict because of the complexity of host-agent-environment relationships. However mechanisms related to climate change that will influence disease patterns are understood. Warmer temperatures will benefit free living bacteria and parasites whose survival and development is limited by temperature. Warmer temperatures could promote survivability, shorter development rates and transmission. Insects such as mosquitoes and ticks that transmit disease agents may also benefit from climate change as well as the diseases they spread. Climate change will have significant impacts on biodiversity. Disease agents of species that benefit from warming will likely become more prevalent. Host species stressed by changing environmental conditions may be more vulnerable to disease agents. Warming could lead to increased agriculture and other economic opportunities in the Arctic bringing people, domestic food animals, pets and invasive species and their disease agents into Northern regions. Climate warming may also favor the release of persistent environmental pollutants some of which can affect the immune system and may favor increased rates of some diseases.

  4. Simulation of the modern arctic climate by the NCAR CCM1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bromwich, David H.; Tzeng, Ren-Yow; Parish, Thomas, R.

    1994-01-01

    The National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate Model Version 1 (CCM1's) simulation of the modern arctic climate is evaluated by comparing a five-year seasonal cycle simulation with the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) global analyses. The sea level pressure (SLP), storm tracks, vertical cross section of height, 500-hPa height, total energy budget, and moisture budget are analyzed to investigate the biases in the simulated arctic climate. The results show that the model simulates anomalously low SLP, too much storm activity, and anomalously strong baroclinicity to the west of Greenland and vice versa to the east of Greenland. This bias is mainly attributed to the model's topographic representation of Greenland. First, the broadened Greenland topography in the model distorts the path of cyclone waves over the North Atlantic Ocean. Second, the model oversimulates the ridge over Greenland, which intensifies its blocking effect and steers the cyclone waves clockwise around it and hence produces an artificial circum-Greenland trough. These biases are significantly alleviated when the horizontal resolution increases to T42. Over the Arctic basin, the model simulates large amounts of low-level (stratus) clouds in winter and almost no stratus in summer, which is opposite to the observations. This bias is mainly due to the location of the simulated SLP features and the negative anomaly of storm activity, which prevent the transport of moisture into this region during summer but favor this transport in winter. The moisture budget analysis shows that the model's net annual precipitation (P-E) between 70 deg N and the North Pole is 6.6 times larger than the observations and the model transports six times more moisture into this region. The bias in the advection term is attributed to the positive moisture fixer scheme and the distorted flow pattern. However, the excessive moisture transport into the Arctic basin does not solely

  5. Simulation of Climatic Changes in the Arctic and North Atlantic During Recent Decades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hakkinen, Sirpa; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The interactions of the atmosphere and ice-ocean system in the Arctic will be studied using a coupled ice-ocean model which will also use ice drift derived from microwave observations as forcing. We especially search for linkages between the recent large climatic shifts in the Arctic Ocean and atmosphere for which period we also have microwave sea ice data. The coupled model area covers the whole N. Atlantic thus interactions between the lower latitudes are also investigated because we anticipate that the same large scale atmospheric patterns which dominate the midlatitudes extend their influence on the Arctic. The model hindcast for 1951-1993 shows clear decadal variability in the leading modes of ocean circulation. No specific low-freq modes are expected for the ice drift because its spectrum is white. However, the ice drift exhibits two see-saw patterns in response to the leading atmospheric circulation mode ('Arctic Oscillation'), one of them is the well-known out of phase relationship between Baffin Bay and Barents-Kara Seas, the other one is between Siberian shelf and Alaskan Coast (Hakkinen and Geiger, 2000).

  6. Attribution of the Recent Winter Arctic warming and Sea-Ice Decline with Observation-based Data and Coupled Climate Model Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S.; Park, D. S. R.; Feldstein, S. B.; Franzke, C. L. E.

    2015-12-01

    Wintertime Arctic sea ice extent has been declining since the late 20th century, particularly over the Atlantic sector that encompasses the Barents-Kara Seas and Baffin Bay. This sea-ice decline is attributable to various Arctic environmental changes, such as enhanced downward infrared radiation (IR), preseason sea-ice reduction, enhanced inflow of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean, and sea-ice export. However, their relative contributions are uncertain. Utilizing ERA-Interim reanalysis and satellite-based data, it is shown here that a positive trend of downward IR accounts for nearly half of the sea-ice concentration (SIC) decline during the 1979-2011 winter over the Atlantic sector. Furthermore, we find that the Arctic downward IR increase is driven by horizontal atmospheric water flux and warm air advection into the Arctic, and not by evaporation and surface heat flux from the Arctic Ocean. These horizontal heat fluxes are linked to La-Nina-like tropical convection. In all CMIP5 climate models that are analyzed here, high pattern correlations are found between the surface air temperature trend and downward IR trend. However, there are two groups of CMIP5 models: one with small correlations between the Arctic surface air temperature trend and the surface heat flux trend (Group 1), and the other with large correlations (Group 2) between the same two variables. There is evidence that the Group 1 models are consistent with the aforementioned observation-based finding that the Arctic warming is closely related to large-scale circulation changes. In contrast, the Group 2 models are at odds with this observation in that their Arctic warming is more closely tied to surface heat fluxes than with the large-scale circulation change. Interestingly, while Group 1 models have a warm or weak bias, Group 2 models have large cold biases in the Arctic. This difference suggests that deficiencies that cause the cold bias of the mean state may contribute to the surface heat

  7. Direct and indirect climatic drivers of biotic interactions: ice-cover and carbon runoff shaping Arctic char Salvelinus alpinus and brown trout Salmo trutta competitive asymmetries.

    PubMed

    Ulvan, Eva M; Finstad, Anders G; Ugedal, Ola; Berg, Ole Kristian

    2012-01-01

    One of the major challenges in ecological climate change impact science is to untangle the climatic effects on biological interactions and indirect cascading effects through different ecosystems. Here, we test for direct and indirect climatic drivers on competitive impact of Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus L.) on brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) along a climate gradient in central Scandinavia, spanning from coastal to high-alpine environments. As a measure of competitive impact, trout food consumption was measured using (137)Cs tracer methodology both during the ice-covered and ice-free periods, and contrasted between lakes with or without char coexistence along the climate gradient. Variation in food consumption between lakes was best described by a linear mixed effect model including a three-way interaction between the presence/absence of Arctic char, season and Secchi depth. The latter is proxy for terrestrial dissolved organic carbon run-off, strongly governed by climatic properties of the catchment. The presence of Arctic char had a negative impact on trout food consumption. However, this effect was stronger during ice-cover and in lakes receiving high carbon load from the catchment, whereas no effect of water temperature was evident. In conclusion, the length of the ice-covered period and the export of allochthonous material from the catchment are likely major, but contrasting, climatic drivers of the competitive interaction between two freshwater lake top predators. While future climatic scenarios predict shorter ice-cover duration, they also predict increased carbon run-off. The present study therefore emphasizes the complexity of cascading ecosystem effects in future effects of climate change on freshwater ecosystems.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Arctic Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  10. Simulation of the modern arctic climate by the NCAR CCM1

    SciTech Connect

    Bromwich, D.H.; Tzeng, R.Y. ); Parish, T.R. )

    1994-07-01

    The NCAR CCM1's simulation of the modern arctic climate is evaluated by comparing a five-year seasonal cycle simulation with the ECMWF global analyses. The sea level pressure (SLP), storm tracks, vertical cross section of height, 500-hPa height, total energy budget, and moisture budget are analyzed to investigate the biases in the simulated arctic climate. The results show that the model simulates anomalously low SLP, too much activity, and anomalously strong baroclinicity to the west of Greenland and vice versa to the east of Greenland. This bias is mainly attributed to the model's topographic representation of Greenland. First, the broadened Greenland topography in the model distorts the path of cyclone waves over the North Atlantic Ocean. Second, the model oversimulates the ridge over Greenland, which intensifies its blocking effect and steers the cyclone waves clockwise around it and hence produces an artificial [open quotes]circum-Greenland[close quotes] trough. These biases are significantly alleviated when the horizontal resolution increases to T42. Over the Arctic basin, the modal simulates large amounts of low-level (stratus) clouds in winter and almost no stratus in summer, which is opposite to the observations. This bias is mainly due to the location of the simulated SLP features and the negative anomaly of storm activity, which prevent the transport of moisture into this region during summer but favor this transport in winter. 26 refs., 14 figs., 42 tabs.

  11. Arctic Spring Transition in Warming Climate: A Study Using Reanalysis Dataset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De, B.; Zhang, X.

    2014-12-01

    An increased warming trend over the Arctic in recent years has been documented using observations, and is expected to continue by climate model projections. This increase may shift the springtime transition time, resulting in a longer sea-ice melt and vegetation growing period over the Arctic. In this study, we investigated variability of and changes in the spring transition in a warming climate and examined attributions of various dynamic and thermodynamic processes. The results demonstrate a dramatic increase in springtime surface air temperature (SAT) over the Arctic since 1979. Physical analysis reveals the importance of large-scale poleward moisture and energy advection accompanied by an enhancement in net downward radiation flux, which result in the surface warming. The cloudiness could impact the surface radiation budget and retreat of sea ice cover reduces surface albedo, making an additional contribution to the surface warming. In addition to the overall evaluation of these physical processes, composite analysis suggests that relative contributions from these processes to the increased springtime SAT vary across different geographic sub-regions.

  12. The last polar dinosaurs: high diversity of latest Cretaceous arctic dinosaurs in Russia.

    PubMed

    Godefroit, Pascal; Golovneva, Lina; Shchepetov, Sergei; Garcia, Géraldine; Alekseev, Pavel

    2009-04-01

    A latest Cretaceous (68 to 65 million years ago) vertebrate microfossil assemblage discovered at Kakanaut in northeastern Russia reveals that dinosaurs were still highly diversified in Arctic regions just before the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event. Dinosaur eggshell fragments, belonging to hadrosaurids and non-avian theropods, indicate that at least several latest Cretaceous dinosaur taxa could reproduce in polar region and were probably year-round residents of high latitudes. Palaeobotanical data suggest that these polar dinosaurs lived in a temperate climate (mean annual temperature about 10 degrees C), but the climate was apparently too cold for amphibians and ectothermic reptiles. The high diversity of Late Maastrichtian dinosaurs in high latitudes, where ectotherms are absent, strongly questions hypotheses according to which dinosaur extinction was a result of temperature decline, caused or not by the Chicxulub impact.

  13. The Svalbard REU Program: Undergraduates Pursuing Arctic Climate Change Research on Svalbard, Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roof, S.; Werner, A.

    2007-12-01

    The Svalbard Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the Arctic Natural Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation has been successfully providing international field research experiences since 2004. Each year, 7-9 undergraduate students have participated in 4-5 weeks of glacial geology and climate change fieldwork on Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago in the North Atlantic (76- 80° N lat.). While we continue to learn new and better ways to run our program, we have learned specific management and pedagogical strategies that allow us to streamline our logistics and to provide genuine, meaningful research opportunities to undergraduate students. We select student participants after extensive nationwide advertising and recruiting. Even before applying to the program, students understand that they will be doing meaningful climate change science, will take charge of their own project, and will be expected to continue their research at their home institution. We look for a strong commitment of support from a student's advisor at their home institution before accepting students into our program. We present clear information, including participant responsibilities, potential risks and hazards, application procedures, equipment needed, etc on our program website. The website also provides relevant research papers and data and results from previous years, so potential participants can see how their efforts will contribute to growing body of knowledge. New participants meet with the previous years' participants at a professional meeting (our "REUnion") before they start their field experience. During fieldwork, students are expected to develop research questions and test their own hypotheses while providing and responding to peer feedback. Professional assessment by an independent expert provides us with feedback that helps us improve logistical procedures and shape our educational strategies. The assessment also shows us how

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. The Arctic CH4 sink and its implications for the permafrost carbon feedbacks to the global climate system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juncher Jørgensen, Christian; Christiansen, Jesper; Mariager, Tue; Hugelius, Gustaf

    2016-04-01

    Using atmospheric methane (CH4), certain soil microbes are able to sustain their metabolism, and in turn remove this powerful greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. While the process of CH4 oxidation is a common feature in most natural and unmanaged ecosystems in temperate and boreal ecosystems, the interactions between soil physical properties and abiotic process drivers, net landscape exchange and spatial patterns across Arctic drylands remains highly uncertain. Recent works show consistent CH4 comsumption in upland dry tundra soils in Arctic and High Arctic environments (Christiansen et al., 2014, Biogeochemistry 122; Jørgensen et al., 2015, Nature Geoscience 8; Lau et al., 2015, The ISME Journal 9). In these dominantly dry or barren soil ecosystems, CH4 consumption has been observed to significantly exceed the amounts of CH4 emitted from adjacent wetlands. These observations point to a potentially important but largely overlooked component of the global soil-climate system interaction and a counterperspective to the conceptual understanding of the Arctic being a only a source of CH4. However, due to our limited knowledge of spatiotemporal occurrence of CH4 consumption across a wider range of the Arctic landscape we are left with substantial uncertainites and an overall unconstrained range estimate of this terrestrial CH4 sink and its potential effects on permafrost carbon feedback to the atmospheric CH4 concentration. To address this important knowledge gap and identify the most relevant spatial scaling parameters, we studied in situ CH4 net exchange across a large landscape transect on West Greenland. The transect representated soils formed from the dominant geological parent materials of dry upland tundra soils found in the ice-free land areas of Western Greenland, i.e. 1) granitic/gneissic parent material, 2) basaltic parent material and 3) sedimentary deposits. Results show that the dynamic variations in soil physical properties and soil hydrology exerts an

  18. The influence of climate change and the timing of stratospheric warmings on Arctic ozone depletion

    SciTech Connect

    Austin, J.; Butchart, N.

    1994-01-20

    A three-dimensional model is presented to evaluate the influence of climatic change and increased carbon dioxide concentrations on ozone depletion in the Arctic region. Satellite data showing the time of stratospheric warmings during the winters of 1979-1992 is used in a series of idealized experiments where the timing of the warmings is varied by using different geopotential wave amplitudes. Results of the experiments indicate that for doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, an ozone hole in the Arctic is more likely to develop during years where late stratospheric warming has occurred after a relatively quiescent winter. The validity of this model is dependent on the future composition and temperature of the stratosphere. 43 refs., 21 figs.

  19. Methane Oxidation in Arctic Soils from High- and Flat-Centered Polygons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, J.; Roy Chowdhury, T.; Yang, Z.; Gu, B.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    The premise of global warming will cause deeper permafrost thawing, followed by increased carbon mineralization and CH4 formation in saturated tundra soils. Arctic tundra soils also serve as potential sinks for CH4 in response to warming temperature, which might be a key process in the global CH4 budget. Quantification of methane oxidation potential of Arctic tundra is an important component to constrain models assessing the Carbon-climate feedback from high latitude soils. The signature polygonal ground of Arctic tundra generates high level of heterogeneity in soil hydrology and soil thermal regime. Thus, two distinct polygonal features were investigated in this study to evaluate CH4 oxidation potentials under multiple biogeochemical controls. The rates, drivers, and temperature sensitivity of methane oxidation were compared between High- and Flat-Centered Polygons (HCP and FCP, respectively). A significant lag period of CO2 production was observed in soil microcosms from HCP center, which might be attributed to microbial biomass limitations and the slow growth of anaerobic microbial populations that were sensitive to freezing. Prolonged thawing significantly accelerated carbon mineralization and CH4 oxidation rates measured via methane oxidation assays (MOA) from both active and permafrost organic layers of HCP. Soil microcosms from FCP showed higher CO2 production and CH4 oxidation rates in the active organic layer, but not permafrost layer, which might be explained by the anoxic/oxic interface identified by Fe(II) content in active layer. MOAs with temperature manipulation demonstrated high temperature dependence of methane oxidation activity, mediated primarily by soluble methane monooxygenase based upon metagenomic analysis and PCR quantification. Future work will identify key variables controlling methane oxidation rate and develop parameterization that can be incorporated into Arctic terrestrial ecosystem models.

  20. Testing massive Arctic sea ice export as a trigger for abrupt climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coletti, Anthony; Condron, Alan; Bradley, Raymond

    2014-05-01

    The discharge of freshwater from glacial lakes to the North Atlantic is repeatedly cited as the main trigger for abrupt centennial to millennial length climate change during the last deglaciation. Broecker et al., (1989) was a proponent of this idea suggesting that abrupt re-routing of pro-glacial lake freshwater to the North Atlantic through the St. Lawrence Valley weakened the strength of the AMOC. Yet, evidence for this is lacking, freshwater estimates in these lakes are relatively small and flood durations are rather short (<5 years), suggesting that floods may not have been the only mechanism driving these climate shifts. Using sophisticated ocean modeling, it has been shown that the release of freshwater originating from the Arctic is more effective at weakening the AMOC compared to freshwater released further south. Here we investigate whether the break-up and mobilization of thick Arctic sea-ice would have supplied enough freshwater to the Nordic Seas to sufficiently cause dampening of the AMOC and hinder NADW formation in the sub-polar North Atlantic. We use numerical climate models to assess 1) the maximum thickness of sea ice that can be formed during glacial periods and the volume of freshwater in the ice, 2) the mechanism which caused the collapse and mobilization of arctic sea-ice into the North Atlantic and 3) the impact of melting sea-ice on global ocean circulation. This hypothesis focuses on the potential impacts of sea-ice as a forcing mechanism for abrupt climate change events on geologic time scales.

  1. Wave climate in the Arctic 1992-2014: seasonality and trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stopa, Justin E.; Ardhuin, Fabrice; Girard-Ardhuin, Fanny

    2016-07-01

    Over the past decade, the diminishing Arctic sea ice has impacted the wave field, which depends on the ice-free ocean and wind. This study characterizes the wave climate in the Arctic spanning 1992-2014 from a merged altimeter data set and a wave hindcast that uses CFSR winds and ice concentrations from satellites as input. The model performs well, verified by the altimeters, and is relatively consistent for climate studies. The wave seasonality and extremes are linked to the ice coverage, wind strength, and wind direction, creating distinct features in the wind seas and swells. The altimeters and model show that the reduction of sea ice coverage causes increasing wave heights instead of the wind. However, trends are convoluted by interannual climate oscillations like the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. In the Nordic Greenland Sea the NAO influences the decreasing wind speeds and wave heights. Swells are becoming more prevalent and wind-sea steepness is declining. The satellite data show the sea ice minimum occurs later in fall when the wind speeds increase. This creates more favorable conditions for wave development. Therefore we expect the ice freeze-up in fall to be the most critical season in the Arctic and small changes in ice cover, wind speeds, and wave heights can have large impacts to the evolution of the sea ice throughout the year. It is inconclusive how important wave-ice processes are within the climate system, but selected events suggest the importance of waves within the marginal ice zone.

  2. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities.

    PubMed

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale. PMID:27149113

  3. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities.

    PubMed

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale.

  4. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale. PMID:27149113

  5. Contrasted climatic trends in the Atlantic vs. Pacific gateways of the Arctic Ocean during the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vernal, A.; Hillaire-Marcel, C.; Rochon, A.

    2013-12-01

    The reconstruction of sea-surface conditions including sea ice cover was undertaken based on about 20 marine sediment cores collected in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas. The approach has been standardized and mostly relies on the modern analogue technique applied to dinoflagellate cyst assemblages, which permit simultaneous estimates of sea ice cover, summer sea-surface temperature and salinity. The results show some regionalism in both trends, amplitude and overall variability. In general, changes of small amplitude are recorded in the Canadian Arctic whereas a slight cooling trend with an increasing sea ice cover characterizes the Northern Baffin Bay and Fram Strait areas from mid to late Holocene. In contrast, the Chukchi Sea records show large amplitude variations with millennial pacing making difficult to define any trend. The Chukchi Sea data indicate reduced sea ice and warmer conditions during the mid-Holocene, notably around 6.5 and 3.5 ka, and also point to important variations during the last millennium. The overall results suggest a higher variability thus sensitivity to climate change, in the Chukchi Sea area than in the Eastern parts of the Arctic and subarctic regions, which are largely influenced by northern branches of the North Atlantic Drift. The climate sensitivity of the Chukchi Sea area may be related to the proximity of the Pacific gateway. Strong linkages between sea-surface conditions, sea ice cover and export rate seem tightly linked there with large scale atmospheric synopses in the North Pacific and possibly the tropical Pacific. The apparent consistency of the Mount Logan record (Fisher et al., the Holocene 2008) with those of the Chukchi Sea (de Vernal et al., Quat. Sci. Rev. 2013) tends to support the hypothesis of a strong influence of North Pacific atmospheric teleconnections on sea-surface conditions in the Western Arctic.

  6. Overview of analogue science activities at the McGill Arctic Research Station, Axel Heiberg Island, Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollard, Wayne; Haltigin, Tim; Whyte, Lyle; Niederberger, Thomas; Andersen, Dale; Omelon, Christopher; Nadeau, Jay; Ecclestone, Miles; Lebeuf, Martin

    2009-05-01

    The Canadian High Arctic contains several of the highest fidelity Mars analogue sites in the world. Situated at nearly 80° north, Expedition Fjord on Axel Heiberg Island is located within a polar desert climate, with the surrounding landscape and conditions providing an invaluable opportunity to examine terrestrial processes in a cold, dry environment. Through the Canadian Space Agency's Analogue Research Network program, scientific activities based out of the McGill Arctic Research Station (M.A.R.S.) are extremely broad in scope, representing physical, biological, and technological investigations. Some of the most unique hydrogeologic features under investigation near M.A.R.S. are a series of cold saline springs that maintain liquid-state flow year round regardless of air temperature. Previous studies have examined their geomorphic relation to discharge-related formations, water chemistry, temperature monitoring, discharge rates, and combined flow/thermal modeling. Recent investigations have identified microbial communities and characterized biological activity within the springs and within permafrost sections, having direct relevance to astrobiological analogue research goals. Another main thrust of research activities based at M.A.R.S. pertains to the detection, mapping, and quantification of subsurface ice deposits. A long-term study is presently underway examining polygonal terrain, comparing surficial patterns found in the region with those identified on Mars, and using surface morphology to estimate ice wedge volumes through a combination of aerial photography interpretation and ground-based geophysical techniques. Other technological developments include the use of in situ microscopy for the detection of biomarkers and improved permafrost drilling techniques. This paper presents an overview of previous studies undertaken at M.A.R.S. over the past decades and will describe in detail both present and upcoming work.

  7. Bioluminescence in the high Arctic during the polar night.

    PubMed

    Berge, J; Båtnes, A S; Johnsen, G; Blackwell, S M; Moline, M A

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the composition and activity of the planktonic community during the polar night in the high Arctic Kongsfjord, Svalbard. Our results are the first published evidence of bioluminescence among zooplankton during the Arctic polar night. The observations were collected by a bathyphotometer detecting bioluminescence, integrated into an autonomous underwater vehicle, to determine the concentration and intensity of bioluminescent flashes as a function of time of day and depth. To further understand community dynamics and composition, plankton nets were used to collect organisms passing through the bathyphotometer along with traditional vertical net tows. Additionally, using a moored bathyphotometer closed to the sampling site, the bioluminescence potential itself was shown not to have a diurnal or circadian rhythm. Rather, our results provide evidence for a diel vertical migration of bioluminescent zooplankton that does not correspond to any externally detectable changes in illumination. PMID:24489409

  8. Bioluminescence in the high Arctic during the polar night.

    PubMed

    Berge, J; Båtnes, A S; Johnsen, G; Blackwell, S M; Moline, M A

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the composition and activity of the planktonic community during the polar night in the high Arctic Kongsfjord, Svalbard. Our results are the first published evidence of bioluminescence among zooplankton during the Arctic polar night. The observations were collected by a bathyphotometer detecting bioluminescence, integrated into an autonomous underwater vehicle, to determine the concentration and intensity of bioluminescent flashes as a function of time of day and depth. To further understand community dynamics and composition, plankton nets were used to collect organisms passing through the bathyphotometer along with traditional vertical net tows. Additionally, using a moored bathyphotometer closed to the sampling site, the bioluminescence potential itself was shown not to have a diurnal or circadian rhythm. Rather, our results provide evidence for a diel vertical migration of bioluminescent zooplankton that does not correspond to any externally detectable changes in illumination.

  9. Evaluating climate variables, indexes and thresholds governing Arctic urban sustainability: case study of Russian permafrost regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anisimov, O. A.; Kokorev, V.

    2013-12-01

    Addressing Arctic urban sustainability today forces planners to deal with the complex interplay of multiple factors, including governance and economic development, demography and migration, environmental changes and land use, changes in the ecosystems and their services, and climate change. While the latter can be seen as a factor that exacerbates the existing vulnerabilities to other stressors, changes in temperature, precipitation, snow, river and lake ice, and the hydrological regime also have direct implications for the cities in the North. Climate change leads to reduced demand for heating energy, on one hand, and heightened concerns about the fate of the infrastructure built upon thawing permafrost, on the other. Changes in snowfall are particularly important and have direct implications for the urban economy, as together with heating costs, expenses for snow removal from streets, airport runways, roofs and ventilation corridors underneath buildings erected on pile foundations on permafrost constitute the bulk of the city's maintenance budget. Many cities are located in river valleys and are prone to flooding that leads to enormous economic losses and casualties, including human deaths. The severity of the northern climate has direct implications for demographic changes governed by regional migration and labor flows. Climate could thus be viewed as an inexhaustible public resource that creates opportunities for sustainable urban development. Long-term trends show that climate as a resource is becoming more readily available in the Russian North, notwithstanding the general perception that globally climate change is one of the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. In this study we explore the sustainability of the Arctic urban environment under changing climatic conditions. We identify key governing variables and indexes and study the thresholds beyond which changes in the governing climatic parameters have significant impact on the economy

  10. Biased thermohaline exchanges with the Arctic across the Iceland-Faroe Ridge in ocean climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, S. M.; Hansen, B.; Østerhus, S.; Quadfasel, D.; Valdimarsson, H.

    2016-04-01

    The northern limb of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation and its transport of heat and salt towards the Arctic strongly modulate the climate of the Northern Hemisphere. The presence of warm surface waters prevents ice formation in parts of the Arctic Mediterranean, and ocean heat is directly available for sea-ice melt, while salt transport may be critical for the stability of the exchanges. Through these mechanisms, ocean heat and salt transports play a disproportionally strong role in the climate system, and realistic simulation is a requisite for reliable climate projections. Across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge (GSR) this occurs in three well-defined branches where anomalies in the warm and saline Atlantic inflow across the shallow Iceland-Faroe Ridge (IFR) have been shown to be particularly difficult to simulate in global ocean models. This branch (IF-inflow) carries about 40 % of the total ocean heat transport into the Arctic Mediterranean and is well constrained by observation during the last 2 decades but associated with significant inter-annual fluctuations. The inconsistency between model results and observational data is here explained by the inability of coarse-resolution models to simulate the overflow across the IFR (IF-overflow), which feeds back onto the simulated IF-inflow. In effect, this is reduced in the model to reflect only the net exchange across the IFR. Observational evidence is presented for a substantial and persistent IF-overflow and mechanisms that qualitatively control its intensity. Through this, we explain the main discrepancies between observed and simulated exchange. Our findings rebuild confidence in modelled net exchange across the IFR, but reveal that compensation of model deficiencies here through other exchange branches is not effective. This implies that simulated ocean heat transport to the Arctic is biased low by more than 10 % and associated with a reduced level of variability, while the quality of the simulated salt

  11. Atmospheric transport of persistent organic pollutants to and from the Arctic under present-day and future climate.

    PubMed

    Octaviani, Mega; Stemmler, Irene; Lammel, Gerhard; Graf, Hans F

    2015-03-17

    The long-term atmospheric cycling and fate of persistent organic pollutants under the influence of a changing climate is a concern. A GCM's realization of present-day (1970-1999) and future (2070-2099) climate, the latter under a medium scenario of greenhouse gas emissions, is used to study meridional transports and their correlations with the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations (AO and NAO). Regions of import and export maxima into the Arctic are identified along the Arctic Circle. It is found that, under future climate conditions, the net export of PCB153 out of the Arctic will increase. The meridional net flux pattern of this substance is expected to become independent of AO and NAO. For DDT, a trend of decreasing net Arctic import will reverse to an increasing trend 100 years after peak emission, which is partly due to more frequent AO and NAO positive phases. It is concluded that the long-term accumulation trends in the Arctic of other persistent pollutants, including so-called emerging pollutants, are subject to the substances' specific behavior and fate in the environment and need to be studied specifically. PMID:25686012

  12. Atmospheric transport of persistent organic pollutants to and from the Arctic under present-day and future climate.

    PubMed

    Octaviani, Mega; Stemmler, Irene; Lammel, Gerhard; Graf, Hans F

    2015-03-17

    The long-term atmospheric cycling and fate of persistent organic pollutants under the influence of a changing climate is a concern. A GCM's realization of present-day (1970-1999) and future (2070-2099) climate, the latter under a medium scenario of greenhouse gas emissions, is used to study meridional transports and their correlations with the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations (AO and NAO). Regions of import and export maxima into the Arctic are identified along the Arctic Circle. It is found that, under future climate conditions, the net export of PCB153 out of the Arctic will increase. The meridional net flux pattern of this substance is expected to become independent of AO and NAO. For DDT, a trend of decreasing net Arctic import will reverse to an increasing trend 100 years after peak emission, which is partly due to more frequent AO and NAO positive phases. It is concluded that the long-term accumulation trends in the Arctic of other persistent pollutants, including so-called emerging pollutants, are subject to the substances' specific behavior and fate in the environment and need to be studied specifically.

  13. The impact of precession changes on the Arctic climate during the last interglacial glacial transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khodri, Myriam; Cane, Mark A.; Kukla, George; Gavin, Joyce; Braconnot, Pascale

    2005-07-01

    Three sensitivity experiments using an Ocean Atmosphere General Circulation Model (OAGCM) are conducted to simulate the climate impact of precession. The relative contributions of components of the hydrological cycle including the albedo of Arctic sea ice, advection of atmospheric water vapor and sea surface temperature to the summer Arctic melt process are evaluated. Timing of the perihelion is varied in each experiment with meteorological spring (SP), winter (WP) and autumn (AP) perihelion corresponding to conditions at 110, 115 and 120 ky BP, respectively. Obliquity is unchanged at the 115 ky level which is lower than today. The experiments are assessed relative to the present day control, which has been shown to simulate current conditions based on observations. In the SP experiment, top of the atmosphere (TOA) insolation is weaker than today between the summer solstice and autumnal equinox. In the AP case representing the interglacial, it is less intense between vernal equinox and summer solstice but stronger during the remainder of the year. Although the incident solar radiation is reduced in summer in the SP experiment, increased melting of snow is found primarily as a result of feedbacks from the delayed seasonal cycle of hydrologic components. This is in contrast to both the WP and AP cases in which the perennial snow cover is simulated. At the time of the last glacial inception, 115 ky BP, the WP experiment shows lower insolation to the high northern latitudes in late spring and summer mainly as a result of lower obliquity than today. Dynamical ocean-atmosphere interactions in response to precession maintain the reduced sea ice melting in late spring, strengthen the annual equator-to-pole sea surface temperature (SST) gradient and increase atmospheric moisture convergence in glaciation-sensitive regions. In both the WP and AP experiments seasonal sea ice melting is weakened resulting in pronounced outgoing radiative flux at the locations of expanded sea

  14. Freshwater discharges drive high levels of methylmercury in Arctic marine biota.

    PubMed

    Schartup, Amina T; Balcom, Prentiss H; Soerensen, Anne L; Gosnell, Kathleen J; Calder, Ryan S D; Mason, Robert P; Sunderland, Elsie M

    2015-09-22

    Elevated levels of neurotoxic methylmercury in Arctic food-webs pose health risks for indigenous populations that consume large quantities of marine mammals and fish. Estuaries provide critical hunting and fishing territory for these populations, and, until recently, benthic sediment was thought to be the main methylmercury source for coastal fish. New hydroelectric developments are being proposed in many northern ecosystems, and the ecological impacts of this industry relative to accelerating climate changes are poorly characterized. Here we evaluate the competing impacts of climate-driven changes in northern ecosystems and reservoir flooding on methylmercury production and bioaccumulation through a case study of a stratified sub-Arctic estuarine fjord in Labrador, Canada. Methylmercury bioaccumulation in zooplankton is higher than in midlatitude ecosystems. Direct measurements and modeling show that currently the largest methylmercury source is production in oxic surface seawater. Water-column methylation is highest in stratified surface waters near the river mouth because of the stimulating effects of terrestrial organic matter on methylating microbes. We attribute enhanced biomagnification in plankton to a thin layer of marine snow widely observed in stratified systems that concentrates microbial methylation and multiple trophic levels of zooplankton in a vertically restricted zone. Large freshwater inputs and the extensive Arctic Ocean continental shelf mean these processes are likely widespread and will be enhanced by future increases in water-column stratification, exacerbating high biological methylmercury concentrations. Soil flooding experiments indicate that near-term changes expected from reservoir creation will increase methylmercury inputs to the estuary by 25-200%, overwhelming climate-driven changes over the next decade.

  15. Freshwater discharges drive high levels of methylmercury in Arctic marine biota

    PubMed Central

    Schartup, Amina T.; Balcom, Prentiss H.; Soerensen, Anne L.; Gosnell, Kathleen J.; Calder, Ryan S. D.; Mason, Robert P.; Sunderland, Elsie M.

    2015-01-01

    Elevated levels of neurotoxic methylmercury in Arctic food-webs pose health risks for indigenous populations that consume large quantities of marine mammals and fish. Estuaries provide critical hunting and fishing territory for these populations, and, until recently, benthic sediment was thought to be the main methylmercury source for coastal fish. New hydroelectric developments are being proposed in many northern ecosystems, and the ecological impacts of this industry relative to accelerating climate changes are poorly characterized. Here we evaluate the competing impacts of climate-driven changes in northern ecosystems and reservoir flooding on methylmercury production and bioaccumulation through a case study of a stratified sub-Arctic estuarine fjord in Labrador, Canada. Methylmercury bioaccumulation in zooplankton is higher than in midlatitude ecosystems. Direct measurements and modeling show that currently the largest methylmercury source is production in oxic surface seawater. Water-column methylation is highest in stratified surface waters near the river mouth because of the stimulating effects of terrestrial organic matter on methylating microbes. We attribute enhanced biomagnification in plankton to a thin layer of marine snow widely observed in stratified systems that concentrates microbial methylation and multiple trophic levels of zooplankton in a vertically restricted zone. Large freshwater inputs and the extensive Arctic Ocean continental shelf mean these processes are likely widespread and will be enhanced by future increases in water-column stratification, exacerbating high biological methylmercury concentrations. Soil flooding experiments indicate that near-term changes expected from reservoir creation will increase methylmercury inputs to the estuary by 25–200%, overwhelming climate-driven changes over the next decade. PMID:26351688

  16. Freshwater discharges drive high levels of methylmercury in Arctic marine biota.

    PubMed

    Schartup, Amina T; Balcom, Prentiss H; Soerensen, Anne L; Gosnell, Kathleen J; Calder, Ryan S D; Mason, Robert P; Sunderland, Elsie M

    2015-09-22

    Elevated levels of neurotoxic methylmercury in Arctic food-webs pose health risks for indigenous populations that consume large quantities of marine mammals and fish. Estuaries provide critical hunting and fishing territory for these populations, and, until recently, benthic sediment was thought to be the main methylmercury source for coastal fish. New hydroelectric developments are being proposed in many northern ecosystems, and the ecological impacts of this industry relative to accelerating climate changes are poorly characterized. Here we evaluate the competing impacts of climate-driven changes in northern ecosystems and reservoir flooding on methylmercury production and bioaccumulation through a case study of a stratified sub-Arctic estuarine fjord in Labrador, Canada. Methylmercury bioaccumulation in zooplankton is higher than in midlatitude ecosystems. Direct measurements and modeling show that currently the largest methylmercury source is production in oxic surface seawater. Water-column methylation is highest in stratified surface waters near the river mouth because of the stimulating effects of terrestrial organic matter on methylating microbes. We attribute enhanced biomagnification in plankton to a thin layer of marine snow widely observed in stratified systems that concentrates microbial methylation and multiple trophic levels of zooplankton in a vertically restricted zone. Large freshwater inputs and the extensive Arctic Ocean continental shelf mean these processes are likely widespread and will be enhanced by future increases in water-column stratification, exacerbating high biological methylmercury concentrations. Soil flooding experiments indicate that near-term changes expected from reservoir creation will increase methylmercury inputs to the estuary by 25-200%, overwhelming climate-driven changes over the next decade. PMID:26351688

  17. Mercury Depletion Episode Studies in the Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, A.; Schroeder, W.; Hoenniger, G.; Platt, U.; Lawson, G.

    2001-12-01

    Episodic mercury depletion episodes were first recorded in Alert, Canada in 1995. Since this time, considerable research has been undertaken to further study this phenomenon. It has been found that there is an occurrence of fast photo-chemically induced reactions involving the oxidation of Hg (0) to Hg (II) during the springtime period in the high Arctic. Data from a cold regions pyrolysis unit (CRPU) have confirmed that particle-associated mercury (PM) and reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) are still present in the air during a mercury depletion event when Hg (0) concentration levels are very low. These more reactive species are less volatile and are more readily removed in the air and/or are deposited on the snow surfaces than Hg (0). In the winter and spring of 2000 in Alert, snow samples collected showed an almost 20 fold increase in mercury concentrations during the springtime period from the dark period. Air profiling measurements undertaken during the same time period have shown that Hg (0) is re-emitted from the snow pack surfaces both over land and the frozen Arctic Ocean near Alert. It is thought that free radical BrO is responsible for the destruction of ozone depletion episodes in the Arctic during springtime and increased concentrations from satellites have been measured during these times. Ground level in situ measurements taken over the frozen ocean during depletion events showed an anti-correlation between Hg (0) and BrO concentrations during MDEs. In February 2001, continuous automated RGM and PM measurements were initiated to further study this phenomenon in parallel with the CRPU to measure total atmospheric mercury concentrations in ambient air in the Canadian Arctic during springtime depletion events. A summary of findings from these studies will be presented.

  18. A Pan-arctic Survey about the Meaning of Winter Respiration in Northern High Latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selbmann, A. K.; Natali, S.

    2015-12-01

    The arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, with the greatest warming occurring during the winter months. Despite the cold temperatures during the winter, microbial activity continues and leads to a release of soil carbon during a criticial period when plant uptake has ceased. Due to the warming climate, huge pools of carbon stored in permafrost soils are expected to be released to the atmosphere. To identify the annual carbon balance of arctic ecosystems and potential impacts caused by a rise in temperatures, understanding the magnitude of winter respiration is essential. In order to refine current and future estimates of carbon loss from permafrost ecosystems, we conducted a pan-arctic synthesis of winter respiration from northern high latitude regions. We examined differences in cumulative winter respiration among permafrost zones, biomes, ecosystem types, and effects of measurement method on winter respiration estimates. We also examined effect of air temperature and precipitation (Worldclim database) on rates of winter respiration. The database contained 169 measurement points from 46 study sites located throughout the permafrost zones. We found that 21.6 % of annual respiration is happening during non-growing season, which can shift ecosystems from annual sinks during the growing season to net sources of carbon on an annual basis. Across studies, the average carbon loss during the winter was 66 g CO2-C. There was a strong relationship between mean annual air temperature and winter respiration, and lower respiration in continuous compared to discontinuous permafrost zones and northern areas without permafrost. The present results clarify the contribution of winter respiration to annual carbon balance and show the sensitivity of carbon release to rising temperatures in northern high latitudes. These results suggest that permafrost degradation and increased temperature will lead to a higher release of carbon from the Arctic in wintertime

  19. Remote sensing of aerosols in the Arctic for an evaluation of global climate model simulations

    PubMed Central

    Glantz, Paul; Bourassa, Adam; Herber, Andreas; Iversen, Trond; Karlsson, Johannes; Kirkevåg, Alf; Maturilli, Marion; Seland, Øyvind; Stebel, Kerstin; Struthers, Hamish; Tesche, Matthias; Thomason, Larry

    2014-01-01

    In this study Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua retrievals of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) at 555 nm are compared to Sun photometer measurements from Svalbard for a period of 9 years. For the 642 daily coincident measurements that were obtained, MODIS AOT generally varies within the predicted uncertainty of the retrieval over ocean (ΔAOT = ±0.03 ± 0.05 · AOT). The results from the remote sensing have been used to examine the accuracy in estimates of aerosol optical properties in the Arctic, generated by global climate models and from in situ measurements at the Zeppelin station, Svalbard. AOT simulated with the Norwegian Earth System Model/Community Atmosphere Model version 4 Oslo global climate model does not reproduce the observed seasonal variability of the Arctic aerosol. The model overestimates clear-sky AOT by nearly a factor of 2 for the background summer season, while tending to underestimate the values in the spring season. Furthermore, large differences in all-sky AOT of up to 1 order of magnitude are found for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 model ensemble for the spring and summer seasons. Large differences between satellite/ground-based remote sensing of AOT and AOT estimated from dry and humidified scattering coefficients are found for the subarctic marine boundary layer in summer. Key Points Remote sensing of AOT is very useful in validation of climate models PMID:25821664

  20. Diel Variation of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound Emissions- A field Study in the Sub, Low and High Arctic on the Effect of Temperature and Light

    PubMed Central

    Lindwall, Frida; Faubert, Patrick; Rinnan, Riikka

    2015-01-01

    Many hours of sunlight in the midnight sun period suggest that significant amounts of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) may be released from arctic ecosystems during night-time. However, the emissions from these ecosystems are rarely studied and limited to point measurements during daytime. We measured BVOC emissions during 24-hour periods in the field using a push-pull chamber technique and collection of volatiles in adsorbent cartridges followed by analysis with gas chromatography- mass spectrometry. Five different arctic vegetation communities were examined: high arctic heaths dominated by Salix arctica and Cassiope tetragona, low arctic heaths dominated by Salix glauca and Betula nana and a subarctic peatland dominated by the moss Warnstorfia exannulata and the sedge Eriophorum russeolum. We also addressed how climate warming affects the 24-hour emission and how the daytime emissions respond to sudden darkness. The emissions from the high arctic sites were lowest and had a strong diel variation with almost no emissions during night-time. The low arctic sites as well as the subarctic site had a more stable release of BVOCs during the 24-hour period with night-time emissions in the same range as those during the day. These results warn against overlooking the night period when considering arctic emissions. During the day, the quantity of BVOCs and the number of different compounds emitted was higher under ambient light than in darkness. The monoterpenes α-fenchene, α -phellandrene, 3-carene and α-terpinene as well as isoprene were absent in dark measurements during the day. Warming by open top chambers increased the emission rates both in the high and low arctic sites, forewarning higher emissions in a future warmer climate in the Arctic. PMID:25897519

  1. Diel Variation of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound Emissions--A field Study in the Sub, Low and High Arctic on the Effect of Temperature and Light.

    PubMed

    Lindwall, Frida; Faubert, Patrick; Rinnan, Riikka

    2015-01-01

    Many hours of sunlight in the midnight sun period suggest that significant amounts of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) may be released from arctic ecosystems during night-time. However, the emissions from these ecosystems are rarely studied and limited to point measurements during daytime. We measured BVOC emissions during 24-hour periods in the field using a push-pull chamber technique and collection of volatiles in adsorbent cartridges followed by analysis with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Five different arctic vegetation communities were examined: high arctic heaths dominated by Salix arctica and Cassiope tetragona, low arctic heaths dominated by Salix glauca and Betula nana and a subarctic peatland dominated by the moss Warnstorfia exannulata and the sedge Eriophorum russeolum. We also addressed how climate warming affects the 24-hour emission and how the daytime emissions respond to sudden darkness. The emissions from the high arctic sites were lowest and had a strong diel variation with almost no emissions during night-time. The low arctic sites as well as the subarctic site had a more stable release of BVOCs during the 24-hour period with night-time emissions in the same range as those during the day. These results warn against overlooking the night period when considering arctic emissions. During the day, the quantity of BVOCs and the number of different compounds emitted was higher under ambient light than in darkness. The monoterpenes α-fenchene, α-phellandrene, 3-carene and α-terpinene as well as isoprene were absent in dark measurements during the day. Warming by open top chambers increased the emission rates both in the high and low arctic sites, forewarning higher emissions in a future warmer climate in the Arctic. PMID:25897519

  2. The Arctic Holocene Transitions Proxy Climate Database — Principal Millennial-Scale Patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufman, D. S.; McKay, N.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic Holocene Transitions (AHT) Project is a community-based, PAGES-endorsed effort to investigate centennial-scale variability in the Arctic climate system during the Holocene, and to understand the feedbacks that lead to pronounced changes. The AHT project recently released a major database of Arctic Holocene proxy climate records (Clim. Past-Disc. 10:1). The systematic review of marine and terrestrial proxy climate time series is based on quantitative screening criteria with new approaches for assessing the geochronological accuracy of age models and for characterizing the climate variables represented by the proxies. Records from only 39% of the sites could be found in the primary paleoclimate data repositories, underscoring the importance of such community-based efforts to assembling a comprehensive product. The database authors, including representatives from six Arctic regions, considered published records from nearly 500 sites. Of these, time series from 170 sites met the criteria for inclusion in the database. Namely, the records are located north of 58°N, extend back at least to 6 cal ka (84% extend back > 8 ka), are resolved at sub-millennial scale (at least one value every 400 ± 200 yr) and have age models constrained by at least one age every 3000 yr. The database contains proxy records from lake sediment (60%), marine sediment (32%), glacier ice (5%), and other sources. Most (60%) reflect temperature (mainly summer warmth) and are primarily based on pollen, chironomid or diatom assemblages. Many (15%) reflect some aspect of hydroclimate as inferred from stable isotopes, pollen assemblages, and other indicators. Principal component (PC) analyses indicates that the predominant pattern of change in temperature-sensitive time series is a ramp between 5 and 3 ka that separates millennial-long intervals of less-pronounced change. This shift corresponds to cooling at most sites, but a substantial fraction of sites warm across this transition. Between

  3. The Blazing Arctic? Linkages of Tundra Fire Regimes to Climatic Change and Implications for Carbon Cycling (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, F.; Higuera, P. E.; Walsh, J. E.; Chapman, W.; Duffy, P.; Brubaker, L.; Chipman, M. L.

    2010-12-01

    Among the major challenges in anticipating Arctic changes are “surprises” stemming from changes in system components that have remained relatively stable in the historic record. Tundra burning is potentially one such component. We conducted charcoal analysis of lake sediments from several tundra regions to evaluate the uniqueness of recent tundra fires, and examined potential climatic controls of Alaskan tundra fires from CE 1950-2009. A striking example of tundra burning is the 2007 Anaktuvuk River (AR) Fire, an unusually large fire in the tundra of the Alaskan Arctic. This fire doubled the area burned north of 68 oN in that region since record keeping began in 1950. Analysis of lake-sediment cores reveals peak values of charcoal accumulation corresponding to the AR Fire in 2007, with no evidence of other fire events in that area throughout the past five millennia. However, a number of tundra fires, including one as large as the AR Fire, have occurred over the past 60 years in western Alaska, where average summer temperatures are substantially higher than the AR area. In addition, charcoal analysis of lake sediments from interior and northwestern Alaska suggests that during certain periods of the Late Glacial and Holocene, tundra fire frequencies were as high as those of the modern boreal forests. These records along with the AR and historic fires demonstrate that tundra ecosystems support diverse fire regimes and can burn frequently. Reconciling these dramatic differences in tundra fire regimes requires knowledge of climate-fire relationships. Atmospheric reanalysis suggests that the AR Fire was favored by exceptionally warm/dry weather conditions in summer and early autumn. Boosted regression tree modeling shows that warm, dry summer conditions can explain up to 95% of the inter-annual variability in tundra area burned throughout Alaska over the past 60 years and that the response of tundra burning to climatic warming is non-linear. Additionally, tundra area

  4. 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

  5. Exploring the mobility of cryoconite on High-Arctic glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine-Fynn, T. D.; Hodson, A. J.; Bridge, J. W.; Langford, H.; Anesio, A.; Ohlanders, N.; Newton, S.

    2010-12-01

    There has been a growing awareness of the significance of biologically active dust (cryoconite) on the energy balance of, and nutrient cycling at glacier surfaces. Moreover, researchers have estimated the mass of biological material released from glacier ice to downstream environments and ecosystems, including the melt-out of cells from emergent ice in the ablation area. However, the processes, rates and mechanisms of cryoconite mobility and transport have not been fully explored. For many smaller valley glaciers in the High-Arctic, the climate dictates only a thin (~ 1m) layer of ice at the glacier surface is at the melting point during the summer months. This surface ice is commonly characterized by an increased porosity in response to incident energy and hydraulic conditions, and has been termed the “weathering crust”. The presence of cryoconite, with its higher radiation absorption, exacerbates the weathering crust development. Thus, crucially, the transport of cryoconite is not confined to simply a ‘smooth’ ice surface, but rather also includes mobility in the near-surface ice matrix. Here, we present initial results from investigations of cryoconite transport at Midtre Lovénbreen and Longyearbreen, two north-facing valley glaciers in Svalbard (Norway). Using time-lapse imagery, we explore the transport rates of cryoconite on a glacier surface and consider the associations between mobility and meteorological conditions. Results suggest some disparity between micro-, local- and plot-scale observations of cryoconite transport: the differences imply controlling influences of cryoconite volume, ice surface topography and ice structure. While to examine the relative volumes of cryoconite exported from the glacier surface by supraglacial streams we employ flow cytometry, using SYBR-Green-II staining to identify the biological component of the suspended load. Preliminary comparisons between shallow (1m) ice cores and in-stream concentrations suggest

  6. Very High Resolution Climate Modelling in Northern Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stendel, M.; Christensen, J. H.

    2009-04-01

    Simulations with global climate models (GCMs) clearly indicate that major climate changes for the Arctic can be expected during the 21st century. Already now, there are substantial changes in sea-ice extent and thickness and a considerable increase in air temperature in several regions. Contemporary GCMs are unable to give a realistic representation of the climate and climate change in regions with steep orography, due to their coarse resolution. But even relatively high resolution regional climate models (RCMs) fail in this respect. We have therefore conducted a transient simulation with the newest version of the HIRHAM RCM, covering the period 1958-2001 over a region in northeast European Russia, including the Ural Mountains, with the unprecedented horizontal resolution of 4 km. For this simulation, a double downscaling procedure was applied. Average and extreme values will be discussed, and a comparison of subsurface temperatures to a set of observations from the region will be presented.

  7. Geomorphologic mapping in the Ny Ålesund area (Svalbard Island, Norway) for the analysis of geomorphologic effects on rock slopes induced by glacier retreat in climate sensitive High Arctic regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miccadei, Enrico; Piacentini, Tommaso; Casacchia, Ruggero; Sparapani, Roberto

    2014-05-01

    The geomorphological effects of glacial retreat, rapidly changing Arctic environments and consequent local temporary permafrost melting are several types of glacial and periglacial landforms (pingos, solifluction, drumlins, etc.) but also debris and rock falls, alluvial fan and glacial outwash development and scarp/slopes retreat and evolution. In this work we have realized a geomorphologic map of rockfalls, landslides, alluvial fans and the slopes and scarps of steep mountainsides in the Ny Ålesund area (Svalbard Island, Norway) focused on the analysis of rock falls as geomorphological effects of glacier retreat, permafrost degradation and higher temperatures on slope processes. The investigation is based on geological and geomorphological field survey, and remote sensing and aerial photo interpretation, The Ny Ålesund area landscape is characterized by rugged non-vegetated mountains only partially covered by glaciers, with steep flanks and rock scarps; the scarps are formed by different types of rocks (intrusive and effusive igneous rocks, marine sedimentary rocks); this landscape is highly affected by debris and rock falls (from scarps and slopes) forming wide talus slopes and by alluvial fan and fluvial outwash (from glaciers), which make the surface sedimentary cover of the island together with rock glaciers and moraine deposits and locally fluvial deposits. The work is focused on the comprehension of the role of different factors in inducing rock falls, alluvial fans, slope/scarps evolution in high geomorphological sensitivity environments (i.e. glacial, periglacial or mountain) including: orography, lithology, rock fracturation, morphostructural setting, meteorological context. The conclusions focus on the possible geomorphological hazards affecting the Ny Ålesund area.

  8. The Unexpected Re-Growth of Ice-Entombed Bryophytes in the Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Farge, C.

    2014-12-01

    The rapid retreat of glaciers and ice caps throughout the Canadian Arctic is exposing pristine vegetation preserved beneath cold-based ice. For the past half century this vegetation has been consistently reported as dead. This interpretation has been overturned by the successful re-growth of Little Ice Age (1550-1850 AD) bryophytes emerging from the Teardrop Glacier, Sverdrup Pass, Ellesmere Island (79° N) collected in 2009. Some populations showed regeneration in the field and lab experiments confirmed their capacity to regrow. The species richness of these subglacial populations is exceptional, comprising >62 species that represent 44% of the extant bryophyte flora of Sverdrup Pass. Cold-based glaciers are known to provide critical habitats for a variety of microbiota (i.e., fungi, algae, cyanobacteria, bacteria and viruses) in high latitude ecosystems. The regeneration of Little Ice Age bryophytes fundamentally expands the concept of biological refugia to land plants that was previously restricted to survival above and beyond glacial margins. Given this novel understanding of subglacial ecosystems, fieldwork is now being extended southward to plateau ice caps on Baffin Island, Nunavut, where ice retreat is exposing subglacial populations of greater antiquity (thousands to tens of thousands of radiocarbon years before present). Bryophytes by nature are totipotent (stem cell equivalency) and poikilohydric (desiccation tolerance), which facilitate their unique adaptation to extreme environments. Continuity of the Arctic bryophyte flora extends back through the Holocene to the late Tertiary [Beaufort Fm, 2-5 Ma], when the majority of taxa were the same, based on records spanning the archipelago from Ellesmere to Banks Island. This record contrasts with that of vascular plants, which have had a number of extinctions, necessitating recolonization of arctic populations from outside the region. The biological significance of a stable bryophyte element highlights their

  9. The Student-PARTNERS Project: Engaging Students, Teachers, and the Public in the Study of the Arctic and Global Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, R. M.; Zhulidov, A.; Gurtovaya, T.; Bulygina, E.; Braun, L.; Clapp, A.; Laroche, M.; Andreeva, Y.; Suslova, A.; Cheng, S.; Guerrero, M. L.; Kelly, M.; Vtornikova, E.; Sokolova, G.; Chuprov, V.

    2006-12-01

    The International Polar Year provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the importance of the Arctic to the Earth's climate system and at the same time engage the public in the investigation of one of the most pressing issues facing humanity, global climate change. The Student-PARTNERS Project, recently funded by the National Science Foundation's Arctic Sciences Section, is involving students, their teachers, and their communities in hands-on arctic research as a means of exciting them about science and motivating them to consider solutions to the energy/climate challenge. The project focuses on the hydrology and biogeochemistry of major arctic rivers in Siberia, Canada, and Alaska, and how changes in arctic rivers caused by global warming have the potential to impact ocean salinity, ocean circulation, and consequently global climate. Students and teachers from around the Arctic as well as from a growing number of schools outside of the Arctic are working together on this project. Participants are encouraged to view the earth as a system, where changes in the Arctic can lead to changes is regions far removed from the Arctic, and vice versa. The science is also advanced, as local involvement in the research allows a far greater range of samples to be collected from rivers around the Arctic than would otherwise be possible. An unintended benefit of the project is that it facilitates our research reaching an expanded audience, as student involvement tends to capture the public's interest, creating an opening for discussing the underlying science.

  10. Methanogen community composition and rates of methane consumption in Canadian High Arctic permafrost soils.

    PubMed

    Allan, J; Ronholm, J; Mykytczuk, N C S; Greer, C W; Onstott, T C; Whyte, L G

    2014-04-01

    Increasing permafrost thaw, driven by climate change, has the potential to result in organic carbon stores being mineralized into carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) through microbial activity. This study examines the effect of increasing temperature on community structure and metabolic activity of methanogens from the Canadian High Arctic, in an attempt to predict how warming will affect microbially controlled CH4 soil flux. In situ CO2 and CH4 flux, measured in 2010 and 2011 from ice-wedge polygons, indicate that these soil formations are a net source of CO2 emissions, but a CH4 sink. Permafrost and active layer soil samples were collected at the same sites and incubated under anaerobic conditions at warmer temperatures, with and without substrate amendment. Gas flux was measured regularly and indicated an increase in CH4 flux after extended incubation. Pyrosequencing was used to examine the effects of an extended thaw cycle on methanogen diversity and the results indicate that in situ methanogen diversity, based on the relative abundance of the 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene associated with known methanogens, is higher in the permafrost than in the active layer. Methanogen diversity was also shown to increase in both the active layer and permafrost soil after an extended thaw. This study provides evidence that although High Arctic ice-wedge polygons are currently a sink for CH4, higher arctic temperatures and anaerobic conditions, a possible result of climate change, could result in this soil becoming a source for CH4 gas flux. PMID:24596286

  11. Production and Cycling of Methylmercury in High Arctic Wetland Ponds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehnherr, I.; St. Louis, V. L.

    2010-12-01

    Some species of freshwater fish in the Canadian high Arctic contain levels of methylmercury (MeHg) that pose health risks to the northern Inuit peoples that harvest these species as a traditional food source. In temperate regions, wetlands are known natural sites of MeHg production and hence significant MeHg sources to downstream ecosystems. However, the importance of wetlands to Hg methylation in the Arctic is unclear and the sources of MeHg to arctic freshwater ecosystems are still largely unidentified. Our research is demonstrating that some shallow and warm wetland ponds on the Arctic landscape contain high MeHg concentrations compared to nearby deep and cold lakes. We used a mass-balance approach to measure the net in-pond production of MeHg in two warm wetland ponds (Ponds 1 and 2) near Lake Hazen, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (81° N latitude). We quantified external inputs and outputs of MeHg to and from the ponds, as well as the accumulation of MeHg in the water column during the summers of 2005 and 2008. Any changes in water column MeHg concentrations that could not be accounted for by external inputs or sinks were attributed to in-pond production. The principal external input and sink of MeHg was, respectively, wet atmospheric deposition and water-column MeHg photodemethylation. For 2005, we estimate that the net flux of MeHg from sediments into the water column was 0.015 μg m-2 d-1 in Pond 1 and 0.0016 μg m-2 d-1 in Pond 2. Compared to sediment-water MeHg fluxes measured in Alaskan tundra lakes (0.0015-0.0045 μg m-2 d-1), Pond 1 sediments are a greater source of MeHg while Pond 2 is similar to the Alaskan lakes. Furthermore, the accumulation of MeHg in the water column of Pond 1 (0.0061 μg m-2 d-1) was similar to the net yield of MeHg from temperate boreal wetlands (0.0005-0.006 μg m-2 d-1), demonstrating that these Arctic wetlands are important sites of MeHg production. In addition, we used mercury stable-isotope tracers to quantify methylation and

  12. Long-term monitoring at multiple trophic levels suggests heterogeneity in responses to climate change in the Canadian Arctic tundra

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier, Gilles; Bêty, Joël; Cadieux, Marie-Christine; Legagneux, Pierre; Doiron, Madeleine; Chevallier, Clément; Lai, Sandra; Tarroux, Arnaud; Berteaux, Dominique

    2013-01-01

    Arctic wildlife is often presented as being highly at risk in the face of current climate warming. We use the long-term (up to 24 years) monitoring records available on Bylot Island in the Canadian Arctic to examine temporal trends in population attributes of several terrestrial vertebrates and in primary production. Despite a warming trend (e.g. cumulative annual thawing degree-days increased by 37% and snow-melt date advanced by 4–7 days over a 23-year period), we found little evidence for changes in the phenology, abundance or productivity of several vertebrate species (snow goose, foxes, lemmings, avian predators and one passerine). Only primary production showed a response to warming (annual above-ground biomass of wetland graminoids increased by 123% during this period). We nonetheless found evidence for potential mismatches between herbivores and their food plants in response to warming as snow geese adjusted their laying date by only 3.8 days on average for a change in snow-melt of 10 days, half of the corresponding adjustment shown by the timing of plant growth (7.1 days). We discuss several reasons (duration of time series, large annual variability, amplitude of observed climate change, nonlinear dynamic or constraints imposed by various rate of warming with latitude in migrants) to explain the lack of response by herbivores and predators to climate warming at our study site. We also show how length and intensity of monitoring could affect our ability to detect temporal trends and provide recommendations for future monitoring. PMID:23836788

  13. Long-term monitoring at multiple trophic levels suggests heterogeneity in responses to climate change in the Canadian Arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Gilles; Bêty, Joël; Cadieux, Marie-Christine; Legagneux, Pierre; Doiron, Madeleine; Chevallier, Clément; Lai, Sandra; Tarroux, Arnaud; Berteaux, Dominique

    2013-08-19

    Arctic wildlife is often presented as being highly at risk in the face of current climate warming. We use the long-term (up to 24 years) monitoring records available on Bylot Island in the Canadian Arctic to examine temporal trends in population attributes of several terrestrial vertebrates and in primary production. Despite a warming trend (e.g. cumulative annual thawing degree-days increased by 37% and snow-melt date advanced by 4-7 days over a 23-year period), we found little evidence for changes in the phenology, abundance or productivity of several vertebrate species (snow goose, foxes, lemmings, avian predators and one passerine). Only primary production showed a response to warming (annual above-ground biomass of wetland graminoids increased by 123% during this period). We nonetheless found evidence for potential mismatches between herbivores and their food plants in response to warming as snow geese adjusted their laying date by only 3.8 days on average for a change in snow-melt of 10 days, half of the corresponding adjustment shown by the timing of plant growth (7.1 days). We discuss several reasons (duration of time series, large annual variability, amplitude of observed climate change, nonlinear dynamic or constraints imposed by various rate of warming with latitude in migrants) to explain the lack of response by herbivores and predators to climate warming at our study site. We also show how length and intensity of monitoring could affect our ability to detect temporal trends and provide recommendations for future monitoring.

  14. Long-term monitoring at multiple trophic levels suggests heterogeneity in responses to climate change in the Canadian Arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Gilles; Bêty, Joël; Cadieux, Marie-Christine; Legagneux, Pierre; Doiron, Madeleine; Chevallier, Clément; Lai, Sandra; Tarroux, Arnaud; Berteaux, Dominique

    2013-08-19

    Arctic wildlife is often presented as being highly at risk in the face of current climate warming. We use the long-term (up to 24 years) monitoring records available on Bylot Island in the Canadian Arctic to examine temporal trends in population attributes of several terrestrial vertebrates and in primary production. Despite a warming trend (e.g. cumulative annual thawing degree-days increased by 37% and snow-melt date advanced by 4-7 days over a 23-year period), we found little evidence for changes in the phenology, abundance or productivity of several vertebrate species (snow goose, foxes, lemmings, avian predators and one passerine). Only primary production showed a response to warming (annual above-ground biomass of wetland graminoids increased by 123% during this period). We nonetheless found evidence for potential mismatches between herbivores and their food plants in response to warming as snow geese adjusted their laying date by only 3.8 days on average for a change in snow-melt of 10 days, half of the corresponding adjustment shown by the timing of plant growth (7.1 days). We discuss several reasons (duration of time series, large annual variability, amplitude of observed climate change, nonlinear dynamic or constraints imposed by various rate of warming with latitude in migrants) to explain the lack of response by herbivores and predators to climate warming at our study site. We also show how length and intensity of monitoring could affect our ability to detect temporal trends and provide recommendations for future monitoring. PMID:23836788

  15. High Methylmercury in Arctic and Subarctic Ponds is Related to Nutrient Levels in the Warming Eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Gwyneth A; Girard, Catherine; Chételat, John; Laurion, Isabelle; Amyot, Marc

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost thaw ponds are ubiquitous in the eastern Canadian Arctic, yet little information exists on their potential as sources of methylmercury (MeHg) to freshwaters. They are microbially active and conducive to methylation of inorganic mercury, and are also affected by Arctic warming. This multiyear study investigated thaw ponds in a discontinuous permafrost region in the Subarctic taiga (Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui, QC) and a continuous permafrost region in the Arctic tundra (Bylot Island, NU). MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were well above levels measured in most freshwater ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic (>0.1 ng L(-1)). On Bylot, ice-wedge trough ponds showed significantly higher MeHg (0.3-2.2 ng L(-1)) than polygonal ponds (0.1-0.3 ng L(-1)) or lakes (<0.1 ng L(-1)). High MeHg was measured in the bottom waters of Subarctic thaw ponds near Kuujjuarapik (0.1-3.1 ng L(-1)). High water MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were strongly correlated with variables associated with high inputs of organic matter (DOC, a320, Fe), nutrients (TP, TN), and microbial activity (dissolved CO2 and CH4). Thawing permafrost due to Arctic warming will continue to release nutrients and organic carbon into these systems and increase ponding in some regions, likely stimulating higher water concentrations of MeHg. Greater hydrological connectivity from permafrost thawing may potentially increase transport of MeHg from thaw ponds to neighboring aquatic ecosystems.

  16. Sediment dynamics in paired High Arctic lakes revealed from high-resolution swath bathymetry and acoustic stratigraphy surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Normandeau, A.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Lajeunesse, P.; Francus, P.

    2016-09-01

    High Arctic lakes are commonly used for paleoclimatic reconstructions because they are particularly sensitive to climate variability. However, the processes leading to sediment deposition and distribution in these lakes are often poorly understood. Here for the first time in the Canadian High Arctic, we present original data resulting from swath bathymetry and subbottom surveys carried out on two lakes at Cape Bounty, Melville Island. The results reveal the dynamic nature of the lakes, in which mass movement deposits and bedforms on the deltas reflect frequent slope instabilities and hyperpycnal flow activity. The analysis of the mass movement deposits reveals that small blocky debris flows/avalanches, debris flows, and a slide occurred during the Holocene. These mass movements are believed to have been triggered by earthquakes and potentially by permafrost thawing along the shoreline. Altogether, these mass movement deposits cover more than 30% of the lake floors. Additionally, the river deltas on both lakes were mapped and reveal the presence of several gullies and bedforms. The presence of gullies along the delta front indicates that hyperpycnal flows generated at the river mouth can transport sediment in different trajectories downslope, resulting in a different sediment accumulation pattern and record. The dynamic nature of these two lakes suggests that further analysis on sediment transport and distribution within Arctic lakes is required in order to improve paleoclimatic reconstructions.

  17. The climate of the Taimyr Peninsula in the Holocene and a Forecast of Climatic Changes in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ukraintseva, V.

    2009-04-01

    Based on the data of the spore-pollen and radiocarbon methods during our research of a peat bog in the south-eastern part of the Taimyr Peninsula we discovered for the first time the natural dynamics of the climate for this region during the period of the last 10 500 years [2, 3] and made a long-term forecast of climatic changes both for the Taimyr Peninsula and for other Arctic regions. By the quantitative characteristics of the climate and their dynamics in time, reconstructed for the basin of the Fomich River (71 ° 42 ' North, 108 ° 03 ' East) and for the Taimyr Peninsula on the whole, we have established two climatic types: tundra (10500 ±140 years BP- 7040 ± 60 years BP) and forest (5720± 60 years BP - 500 ± 60 years BP to the present time). In the first half of the Holocene the climate there was rather stable; only 7530 years ago a sharp cooling took place; the second half of the Holocene, beginning with 5720 years ago, is characterized by alternating fluctuations in the climate [3]. Taking only the palaeoclimatic reconstructions as a basis, we can talk about a trend of climatic changes in the future. However comparing the Sun activity` forecast, expressed in Wolf units (Max W), made by V.N. Kupetsky [1], with the climatic characteristics, which we have reconstructed, we could then make a more precise forecast of climatic changes for the Taimyr Peninsula and the Russian part of the Arctic (Table). The above forecast lets us make the following basically important conclusions: (1) the climate`s warming, which is currently being observed on the Earth (the 23rd cycle of the Sun`s activity) will last till 2011; (2) during the following two cycles (24th and 25th) the Sun`s activity will decrease to 100-110 Wolf units, which will cause a cooling of the climate on the Earth; (3) in the following, the 26th cycle, the Sun`s activity will increase up to 130 Wolf units, which will cause a warming of the climate; (4) in the 27th cycle (2037-2048) the Sun`s activity

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Bokhorst, Stef; Phoenix, Gareth K; Berg, Matty P; Callaghan, Terry V; Kirby-Lambert, Christopher; Bjerke, Jarle W

    2015-11-01

    Climate change impacts are not uniform across the Arctic region because interacting factors causes large variations in local ecosystem change. Extreme climatic events and population cycles of herbivores occur simultaneously against a background of gradual climate warming trends and can redirect ecosystem change along routes that are difficult to predict. Here, we present the results from sub-Arctic heath vegetation and its belowground micro-arthropod community in response to the two main drivers of vegetation damage in this region: extreme winter warming events and subsequent outbreaks of the defoliating autumnal moth caterpillar (Epirrita autumnata). Evergreen dwarf shrub biomass decreased (30%) following extreme winter warming events and again by moth caterpillar grazing. Deciduous shrubs that were previously exposed to an extreme winter warming event were not affected by the moth caterpillar grazing, while those that were not exposed to warming events (control plots) showed reduced (23%) biomass from grazing. Cryptogam cover increased irrespective of grazing or winter warming events. Micro-arthropods declined (46%) following winter warming but did not respond to changes in plant community. Extreme winter warming and caterpillar grazing suppressed the CO2 fluxes of the ecosystem. Evergreen dwarf shrubs are disadvantaged in a future sub-Arctic with more stochastic climatic and biotic events. Given that summer warming may further benefit deciduous over evergreen shrubs, event and trend climate change may both act against evergreen shrubs and the ecosystem functions they provide. This is of particular concern given that Arctic heath vegetation is typically dominated by evergreen shrubs. Other components of the vegetation showed variable responses to abiotic and biotic events, and their interaction indicates that sub-Arctic vegetation response to multiple pressures is not easy to predict from single-factor responses. Therefore, while biotic and climatic events may

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

    PubMed

    Bokhorst, Stef; Phoenix, Gareth K; Berg, Matty P; Callaghan, Terry V; Kirby-Lambert, Christopher; Bjerke, Jarle W

    2015-11-01

    Climate change impacts are not uniform across the Arctic region because interacting factors causes large variations in local ecosystem change. Extreme climatic events and population cycles of herbivores occur simultaneously against a background of gradual climate warming trends and can redirect ecosystem change along routes that are difficult to predict. Here, we present the results from sub-Arctic heath vegetation and its belowground micro-arthropod community in response to the two main drivers of vegetation damage in this region: extreme winter warming events and subsequent outbreaks of the defoliating autumnal moth caterpillar (Epirrita autumnata). Evergreen dwarf shrub biomass decreased (30%) following extreme winter warming events and again by moth caterpillar grazing. Deciduous shrubs that were previously exposed to an extreme winter warming event were not affected by the moth caterpillar grazing, while those that were not exposed to warming events (control plots) showed reduced (23%) biomass from grazing. Cryptogam cover increased irrespective of grazing or winter warming events. Micro-arthropods declined (46%) following winter warming but did not respond to changes in plant community. Extreme winter warming and caterpillar grazing suppressed the CO2 fluxes of the ecosystem. Evergreen dwarf shrubs are disadvantaged in a future sub-Arctic with more stochastic climatic and biotic events. Given that summer warming may further benefit deciduous over evergreen shrubs, event and trend climate change may both act against evergreen shrubs and the ecosystem functions they provide. This is of particular concern given that Arctic heath vegetation is typically dominated by evergreen shrubs. Other components of the vegetation showed variable responses to abiotic and biotic events, and their interaction indicates that sub-Arctic vegetation response to multiple pressures is not easy to predict from single-factor responses. Therefore, while biotic and climatic events may

  1. American mastodon extirpation in the Arctic and Subarctic predates human colonization and terminal Pleistocene climate change

    PubMed Central

    Zazula, Grant D.; MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Metcalfe, Jessica Z.; Reyes, Alberto V.; Brock, Fiona; Druckenmiller, Patrick S.; Groves, Pamela; Harington, C. Richard; Hodgins, Gregory W. L.; Kunz, Michael L.; Longstaffe, Fred J.; Mann, Daniel H.; McDonald, H. Gregory; Nalawade-Chavan, Shweta; Southon, John R.

    2014-01-01

    Existing radiocarbon (14C) dates on American mastodon (Mammut americanum) fossils from eastern Beringia (Alaska and Yukon) have been interpreted as evidence they inhabited the Arctic and Subarctic during Pleistocene full-glacial times (∼18,000 14C years B.P.). However, this chronology is inconsistent with inferred habitat preferences of mastodons and correlative paleoecological evidence. To establish a last appearance date (LAD) for M. americanum regionally, we obtained 53 new 14C dates on 36 fossils, including specimens with previously published dates. Using collagen ultrafiltration and single amino acid (hydroxyproline) methods, these specimens consistently date to beyond or near the ∼50,000 y B.P. limit of 14C dating. Some erroneously “young” 14C dates are due to contamination by exogenous carbon from natural sources and conservation treatments used in museums. We suggest mastodons inhabited the high latitudes only during warm intervals, particularly the Last Interglacial [Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5] when boreal forests existed regionally. Our 14C dataset suggests that mastodons were extirpated from eastern Beringia during the MIS 4 glacial interval (∼75,000 y ago), following the ecological shift from boreal forest to steppe tundra. Mastodons thereafter became restricted to areas south of the continental ice sheets, where they suffered complete extinction ∼10,000 14C years B.P. Mastodons were already absent from eastern Beringia several tens of millennia before the first humans crossed the Bering Isthmus or the onset of climate changes during the terminal Pleistocene. Local extirpations of mastodons and other megafaunal populations in eastern Beringia were asynchrononous and independent of their final extinction south of the continental ice sheets. PMID:25453065

  2. American mastodon extirpation in the Arctic and Subarctic predates human colonization and terminal Pleistocene climate change.

    PubMed

    Zazula, Grant D; MacPhee, Ross D E; Metcalfe, Jessica Z; Reyes, Alberto V; Brock, Fiona; Druckenmiller, Patrick S; Groves, Pamela; Harington, C Richard; Hodgins, Gregory W L; Kunz, Michael L; Longstaffe, Fred J; Mann, Daniel H; McDonald, H Gregory; Nalawade-Chavan, Shweta; Southon, John R

    2014-12-30

    Existing radiocarbon ((14)C) dates on American mastodon (Mammut americanum) fossils from eastern Beringia (Alaska and Yukon) have been interpreted as evidence they inhabited the Arctic and Subarctic during Pleistocene full-glacial times (∼ 18,000 (14)C years B.P.). However, this chronology is inconsistent with inferred habitat preferences of mastodons and correlative paleoecological evidence. To establish a last appearance date (LAD) for M. americanum regionally, we obtained 53 new (14)C dates on 36 fossils, including specimens with previously published dates. Using collagen ultrafiltration and single amino acid (hydroxyproline) methods, these specimens consistently date to beyond or near the ∼ 50,000 y B.P. limit of (14)C dating. Some erroneously "young" (14)C dates are due to contamination by exogenous carbon from natural sources and conservation treatments used in museums. We suggest mastodons inhabited the high latitudes only during warm intervals, particularly the Last Interglacial [Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5] when boreal forests existed regionally. Our (14)C dataset suggests that mastodons were extirpated from eastern Beringia during the MIS 4 glacial interval (∼ 75,000 y ago), following the ecological shift from boreal forest to steppe tundra. Mastodons thereafter became restricted to areas south of the continental ice sheets, where they suffered complete extinction ∼ 10,000 (14)C years B.P. Mastodons were already absent from eastern Beringia several tens of millennia before the first humans crossed the Bering Isthmus or the onset of climate changes during the terminal Pleistocene. Local extirpations of mastodons and other megafaunal populations in eastern Beringia were asynchrononous and independent of their final extinction south of the continental ice sheets.

  3. 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

  4. The High Arctic Large Igneous Province Mantle Plume caused uplift of Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galloway, Jennifer; Ernst, Richard; Hadlari, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    The Sverdrup Basin is an east-west-trending extensional sedimentary basin underlying the northern Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The tectonic history of the basin began with Carboniferous-Early Permian rifting followed by thermal subsidence with minor tectonism. Tectonic activity rejuvenated in the Hauterivian-Aptian by renewed rifting and extension. Strata were deformed by diapiric structures that developed during episodic flow of Carboniferous evaporites during the Mesozoic and the basin contains igneous components associated with the High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP). HALIP was a widespread event emplaced in multiple pulses spanning ca. 180 to 80 Ma, with igneous rocks on Svalbard, Franz Josef Island, New Siberian Islands, and also in the Sverdrup Basin on Ellef Ringnes, Axel Heiberg, and Ellesmere islands. Broadly contemporaneous igneous activity across this broad Arctic region along with a reconstructed giant radiating dyke swarm suggests that HALIP is a manifestation of large mantle plume activity probably centred near the Alpha Ridge. Significant surface uplift associated with the rise of a mantle plume is predicted to start ~10-20 my prior to the generation of flood basalt magmatism and to vary in shape and size subsequently throughout the LIP event (1,2,3) Initial uplift is due to dynamical support associated with the top of the ascending plume reaching a depth of about 1000 km, and with continued ascent the uplift topography broadens. Additional effects (erosion of the ductile lithosphere and thermal expansion caused by longer-term heating of the mechanical lithosphere) also affect the shape of the uplift. Topographic uplift can be between 1 to 4 km depending on various factors and may be followed by subsidence as the plume head decays or become permanent due to magmatic underplating. In the High Arctic, field and geochronological data from HALIP relevant to the timing of uplift, deformation, and volcanism are few. Here we present new evidence

  5. Modeling non-sorted circles along low Arctic climate gradient, Dalton highway, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolsky, D. J.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Tipenko, G. S.; Walker, D. A.

    2005-12-01

    This research investigates cryoturbation processes in the Arctic tundra, and mechanisms that cause differential frost heave in the active layer. The project explores the influence of seasonal freeze/thaw cycles on the dynamics of frost boils north of the Alaska's Brook Range. The main question to be addressed is, "How changes in surface conditions such as vegetation, snow cover and climate affect the seasonal dynamics of water and heat within frost-boil systems?" A coupled thermo-mechanical model of the frost boil phenomena based on principles of non-smooth thermo-mechanics is presented. The soil is treated as a heterogeneous fully saturated mixture of ice, water and soil particles, which obeys laws of elasticity for slow deformations in a porous media. The pore water migration towards the freezing zone and its consequent freezing are the main driving forces of the soil deformation. The model includes the heat and mass conservation laws, continuity equation, the Clapeyron's equation, and an empirical formula, which relates unfrozen water content to temperature. We applied this model to investigate the sensitivity of a predicted differential frost heave, to thermo-rheological properties of the soil and other physical parameters. The model shows that the soil texture plays the decisive role in creating the differential frost heave. Modeling of frost-boil systems along the Arctic gradient and reaction of them to changes in climate, in the active layer depth and in vegetation cover is performed by specifying boundary conditions and soil properties. Using this model we explore interaction between vegetation cover and thermo-mechanical processes at several sites along the Dalton highway in the Arctic tundra.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Regional seasonal forecasts of the Arctic sea ice in two coupled climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevallier, Matthieu; Guémas, Virginie; Salas y Mélia, David; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco

    2015-04-01

    The predictive capabilities of two state-of-the-art coupled atmosphere-ocean global climate models (CNRM-CM5.1 and EC-Earth v2.3) in seasonal forecasting of the Arctic sea ice will be presented with a focus on regional skill. 5-month hindcasts of September sea ice area in the Arctic peripherial seas (Barents-Kara seas, Laptev-East Siberian seas, Chukchi sea and Beaufort sea) and March sea ice area in the marginal ice zones (Barents, Greenland, Labrador, Bering and Okhotsk sea) have been produced over the period 1990-2009. Systems mainly differ with respect to the initialization strategy, the ensemble generation techniques and the sea ice components. Predictive skill, assessed in terms of actual and potential predictability, is comparable in the two systems for both summer and winter hindcasts. Most interestingly, the multi-model prediction is often better than individual predictions in several sub-basins, including the Barents sea in the winter and most shelf seas in the summer. Systematic biases are also reduced using the multi-model predictions. Results from this study show that a regional zoom of global seasonal forecasts could be useful for operational needs. This study also show that the multi-model approach may be the step forward in producing accurate and reliable seasonal forecasts based on coupled global climate models.

  9. Methane emissions from Alaska arctic tundra in response to climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Livingston, G.P.; Morrissey, L.A.

    1992-03-01

    In situ observations of methane emissions from the Alaska North Slope in 1987 and 1989 provide insight into the environmental interactions regulating methane emissions and into the local- and regional-scale response of the arctic tundra to interannual environmental variability. Inferences regarding climate change are based on in situ measurements of methane emissions, regional landscape characterizations derived from Landsat Multispectral Scanner satellite data, and projected regional scale emissions based on observed interannual temperature differences and simulated changes in the spatial distribution of methane emissions. Results suggest that biogenic methane emissions from arctic tundra will be significantly perturbed by climatic change, leading to warmer summer soil temperatures and to vertical displacement of the regional water table. The effect of increased soil temperatures on methane emissions resulting from anaerobic decomposition in northern wetlands will be to both increase total emissions and to increase interannual and seasonal variability. The magnitude of these effects will be determined by those factors affecting the areal distribution of methane emission rates through regulation of the regional water table. At local scales, the observed 4.7 C increase in mid-summer soil temperatures between 1987 and 1989 resulted in a 3.2-fold increase in the rate of methane emissions from anaerobic soils.

  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 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.

  12. Strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming from Arctic methane emissions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Isaksen, Ivar S.A.; Gauss, Michael; Myhre, Gunnar; Walter Anthony, Katey M.; Ruppel, Carolyn

    2011-01-01

    The magnitude and feedbacks of future methane release from the Arctic region are unknown. Despite limited documentation of potential future releases associated with thawing permafrost and degassing methane hydrates, the large potential for future methane releases calls for improved understanding of the interaction of a changing climate with processes in the Arctic and chemical feedbacks in the atmosphere. Here we apply a “state of the art” atmospheric chemistry transport model to show that large emissions of CH4 would likely have an unexpectedly large impact on the chemical composition of the atmosphere and on radiative forcing (RF). The indirect contribution to RF of additional methane emission is particularly important. It is shown that if global methane emissions were to increase by factors of 2.5 and 5.2 above current emissions, the indirect contributions to RF would be about 250% and 400%, respectively, of the RF that can be attributed to directly emitted methane alone. Assuming several hypothetical scenarios of CH4 release associated with permafrost thaw, shallow marine hydrate degassing, and submarine landslides, we find a strong positive feedback on RF through atmospheric chemistry. In particular, the impact of CH4 is enhanced through increase of its lifetime, and of atmospheric abundances of ozone, stratospheric water vapor, and CO2 as a result of atmospheric chemical processes. Despite uncertainties in emission scenarios, our results provide a better understanding of the feedbacks in the atmospheric chemistry that would amplify climate warming.

  13. 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.

  14. Circumpolar contamination in eggs of the high-Arctic ivory gull Pagophila eburnea.

    PubMed

    Lucia, Magali; Verboven, Nanette; Strøm, Hallvard; Miljeteig, Cecilie; Gavrilo, Maria V; Braune, Birgit M; Boertmann, David; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2015-07-01

    The ivory gull Pagophila eburnea is a high-Arctic species threatened by climate change and contaminants. The objective of the present study was to assess spatial variation of contaminant levels (organochlorines [OCs], brominated flame retardants [BFRs], perfluorinated alkyl substances [PFASs], and mercury [Hg]) in ivory gulls breeding in different areas across the Arctic region as a baseline for potential future changes associated with climate change. Contaminants were already determined in eggs from Canada (Seymour Island; except PFASs), Svalbard in Norway (Svenskøya), and 3 sites in Russia (Nagurskoe, Cape Klyuv, and Domashny). New data from Greenland allowed the investigation of a possible longitudinal gradient of contamination. The most quantitatively abundant OCs were p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and polychlorobiphenyls. Mercury concentrations were higher in Canada compared with other colonies. Eggs from Nagurskoe often were characterized by higher OC and BFR concentrations. Concentrations gradually decreased in colonies situated east of Nagurskoe. In contrast, PFAS concentrations, especially perfluorooctanoate and perfluorononanoate, were higher in Greenland. Some of the contaminants, especially Hg and p,p'-DDE, exceeded published thresholds known to disrupt the reproductive success of avian species. Overall, the levels of OCs, BFRs, and PFASs did not suggest direct lethal exposure to these compounds, but their potential synergetic/additive sublethal effects warrant monitoring.

  15. Near-Surface Meteorology During the Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS): Evaluation of Reanalyses and Global Climate Models.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Boer, G.; Shupe, M.D.; Caldwell, P.M.; Bauer, Susanne E.; Persson, O.; Boyle, J.S.; Kelley, M.; Klein, S.A.; Tjernstrom, M.

    2014-01-01

    Atmospheric measurements from the Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS) are used to evaluate the performance of three atmospheric reanalyses (European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF)- Interim reanalysis, National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)-National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis, and NCEP-DOE (Department of Energy) reanalysis) and two global climate models (CAM5 (Community Atmosphere Model 5) and NASA GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) ModelE2) in simulation of the high Arctic environment. Quantities analyzed include near surface meteorological variables such as temperature, pressure, humidity and winds, surface-based estimates of cloud and precipitation properties, the surface energy budget, and lower atmospheric temperature structure. In general, the models perform well in simulating large-scale dynamical quantities such as pressure and winds. Near-surface temperature and lower atmospheric stability, along with surface energy budget terms, are not as well represented due largely to errors in simulation of cloud occurrence, phase and altitude. Additionally, a development version of CAM5, which features improved handling of cloud macro physics, has demonstrated to improve simulation of cloud properties and liquid water amount. The ASCOS period additionally provides an excellent example of the benefits gained by evaluating individual budget terms, rather than simply evaluating the net end product, with large compensating errors between individual surface energy budget terms that result in the best net energy budget.

  16. The impact of Pleistocene climate change on an ancient arctic-alpine plant: multiple lineages of disparate history in Oxyria digyna.

    PubMed

    Allen, Geraldine A; Marr, Kendrick L; McCormick, Laurie J; Hebda, Richard J

    2012-03-01

    The ranges of arctic-alpine species have shifted extensively with Pleistocene climate changes and glaciations. Using sequence data from the trnH-psbA and trnT-trnL chloroplast DNA spacer regions, we investigated the phylogeography of the widespread, ancient (>3 million years) arctic-alpine plant Oxyria digyna (Polygonaceae). We identified 45 haplotypes and six highly divergent major lineages; estimated ages of these lineages (time to most recent common ancestor, T(MRCA)) ranged from ∼0.5 to 2.5 million years. One lineage is widespread in the arctic, a second is restricted to the southern Rocky Mountains of the western United States, and a third was found only in the Himalayan and Altai regions of Asia. Three other lineages are widespread in western North America, where they overlap extensively. The high genetic diversity and the presence of divergent major cpDNA lineages within Oxyria digyna reflect its age and suggest that it was widespread during much of its history. The distributions of individual lineages indicate repeated spread of Oxyria digyna through North America over multiple glacial cycles. During the Last Glacial Maximum it persisted in multiple refugia in western North America, including Beringia, south of the continental ice, and within the northern limits of the Cordilleran ice sheet. Our data contribute to a growing body of evidence that arctic-alpine species have migrated from different source regions over multiple glacial cycles and that cryptic refugia contributed to persistence through the Last Glacial Maximum.

  17. The impact of Pleistocene climate change on an ancient arctic-alpine plant: multiple lineages of disparate history in Oxyria digyna.

    PubMed

    Allen, Geraldine A; Marr, Kendrick L; McCormick, Laurie J; Hebda, Richard J

    2012-03-01

    The ranges of arctic-alpine species have shifted extensively with Pleistocene climate changes and glaciations. Using sequence data from the trnH-psbA and trnT-trnL chloroplast DNA spacer regions, we investigated the phylogeography of the widespread, ancient (>3 million years) arctic-alpine plant Oxyria digyna (Polygonaceae). We identified 45 haplotypes and six highly divergent major lineages; estimated ages of these lineages (time to most recent common ancestor, T(MRCA)) ranged from ∼0.5 to 2.5 million years. One lineage is widespread in the arctic, a second is restricted to the southern Rocky Mountains of the western United States, and a third was found only in the Himalayan and Altai regions of Asia. Three other lineages are widespread in western North America, where they overlap extensively. The high genetic diversity and the presence of divergent major cpDNA lineages within Oxyria digyna reflect its age and suggest that it was widespread during much of its history. The distributions of individual lineages indicate repeated spread of Oxyria digyna through North America over multiple glacial cycles. During the Last Glacial Maximum it persisted in multiple refugia in western North America, including Beringia, south of the continental ice, and within the northern limits of the Cordilleran ice sheet. Our data contribute to a growing body of evidence that arctic-alpine species have migrated from different source regions over multiple glacial cycles and that cryptic refugia contributed to persistence through the Last Glacial Maximum. PMID:22822441

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Microbes residing in young organic rich Alaskan soils contain older carbon than those residing in old mineral high Arctic soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziolkowski, L. A.; Slater, G. F.; Onstott, T. C.; Whyte, L.; Townsend-Small, A.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic soils range from very organic rich to low carbon and mineral-dominated soils. At present, we do not yet fully understand if all carbon in the Arctic is equally vulnerable to mineralization in a warmer climate. Many studies have demonstrated that ancient carbon is respired when permafrost has thawed, yet our understanding of the active layer and permafrost carbon dynamics is still emerging. In an effort to remedy this disconnect between our knowledge of surface fluxes and below ground processes, we used radiocarbon to examine the microbial carbon dynamics in soil cores from organic rich soils near Barrow, Alaska and mineral soils from the Canadian high Arctic. Specifically, we compared the microbial community using lipid biomarkers, the inputs of carbon using n-alkanes and measured the 14C of both the bulk organic carbon and of the microbial lipids. In theory, the microbial lipids (phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA) represent the viable microbial community, as these lipids are hydrolyzed quickly after cell death. Variations in the PLFA distributions suggested that different microbial communities inhabit organic rich Alaskan soils and those of the Canadian high Arctic. When the PLFA concentrations were converted to cellular concentration, they were within the same order of magnitude (1 to 5 x 108 cells/g dry soil) with slightly higher cell concentrations in the organic rich Alaskan soils. When these cellular concentrations were normalized to the organic carbon content, the Canadian high Arctic soils contained a greater proportion of microbes. Although bulk organic carbon 14C of Alaskan soils indicated more recent carbon inputs into the soil than the Canadian high Arctic soils, the 14C of the PLFA revealed the opposite. For corresponding depth horizons, microbes in Alaskan soils were consuming carbon 1000 to 1500 years older than those in the Canadian high Arctic. Differences between the 14C content of bulk organic carbon and the microbial lipids were much smaller

  2. Arctic Climate and Terrestrial Vegetation Responses During the Middle to Late Eocene and Early Oligocene: Colder Winters Preceded Cool-Down.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenwood, D. R.; Eldrett, J.

    2006-12-01

    The late Eocene to early Oligocene is recognized as an interval of substantial change in the global climate, with isotopic proxies of climate indicating a significant drop in sea surface temperatures. Other studies have shown, however that at middle latitudes that terrestrial mean annual temperature did not change significantly over this interval, and that the major change was likely a shift towards a greater range of seasonal temperatures; colder winters and warmer summers. Previous analyses of high latitude (Arctic) middle Eocene climate using both leaf physiognomic analysis and qualitative analysis of identified nearest living relatives of terrestrial floras indicated upper microthermal environments (mean annual temp. or MAT ca 10°C but perhaps as high as 15°C, coldest month mean temp. or CMMT ca 0°C) for Axel Heiberg Island in the Arctic Archipelago, but did not address precipitation nor provide data on the Eocene-Oligocene transition in the Arctic. Presented here are new estimates of temperature and precipitation (annual and season amounts) for the Arctic based on NLR analysis of terrestrial plant palynomorphs (spores and pollen) from the ODP 913B and 985 cores from near Greenland. The record of climate for the Greenland cores show a similar climate in the middle Eocene to that previously estimated for Axel Heiberg Island further to the west, with MAT 10- 15°C but with CMMT >5°C. Precipitation was high (mean annual precip. or MAP >180 cm/yr), although with large uncertainties attached to the estimate. The climate proxy record for the late Eocene to early Oligocene shows a lack of change in MAT and MAP over the time interval. Consistent with other published records at middle latitudes, however, winter temperatures (as CMMT) show greater variability leading up to the E-O boundary, and consistently cooler values in the early Oligocene (CMMT <5°C) than recorded for most of the middle to late Eocene record (CMMT >5°C). Plant groups sensitive to freezing such

  3. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols.

    PubMed

    Lau, M C Y; Stackhouse, B T; Layton, A C; Chauhan, A; Vishnivetskaya, T A; Chourey, K; Ronholm, J; Mykytczuk, N C S; Bennett, P C; Lamarche-Gagnon, G; Burton, N; Pollard, W H; Omelon, C R; Medvigy, D M; Hettich, R L; Pfiffner, S M; Whyte, L G; Onstott, T C

    2015-08-01

    Methane (CH4) emission by carbon-rich cryosols at the high latitudes in Northern Hemisphere has been studied extensively. In contrast, data on the CH4 emission potential of carbon-poor cryosols is limited, despite their spatial predominance. This work employs CH4 flux measurements in the field and under laboratory conditions to show that the mineral cryosols at Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian high Arctic consistently consume atmospheric CH4. Omics analyses present the first molecular evidence of active atmospheric CH4-oxidizing bacteria (atmMOB) in permafrost-affected cryosols, with the prevalent atmMOB genotype in our acidic mineral cryosols being closely related to Upland Soil Cluster α. The atmospheric (atm) CH4 uptake at the study site increases with ground temperature between 0 °C and 18 °C. Consequently, the atm CH4 sink strength is predicted to increase by a factor of 5-30 as the Arctic warms by 5-15 °C over a century. We demonstrate that acidic mineral cryosols are a previously unrecognized potential of CH4 sink that requires further investigation to determine its potential impact on larger scales. This study also calls attention to the poleward distribution of atmMOB, as well as to the potential influence of microbial atm CH4 oxidation, in the context of regional CH4 flux models and global warming. PMID:25871932

  4. Bacterial succession in a glacier foreland of the High Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Schütte, Ursel M.E.; Abdo, Zaid; Bent, Stephen J.; Williams, Christopher J.; Schneider, G. Maria; Solheim, Bjørn; Forney, Larry J.

    2009-01-01

    Succession is defined as changes in biological communities over time. It has been extensively studied in plant communities, but little is known about bacterial succession, in particular in environments such as High Arctic glacier forelands. Bacteria carry out key processes in the development of soil, biogeochemical cycling, and facilitating plant colonization. In this study we sampled two roughly parallel chronosequences in the foreland of Midre Lovén glacier on Svalbard, Norway and tested whether any of several factors were associated with changes in the structure of bacterial communities, including time after glacier retreat, horizontal variation caused by the distance between chronosequences, and vertical variation at two soil depths. The structures of soil bacterial communities at different locations were compared using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP) of 16S rRNA genes, and the data were analyzed by sequential analysis of log-linear statistical models. While no significant differences in community structure were detected between the two chronosequences, statistically significant differences between sampling locations in the surface and mineral soils could be demonstrated even though glacier forelands are patchy and dynamic environments. These findings suggest bacterial succession occurs in High Arctic glacier forelands but may differ in different soil depths. PMID:19587774

  5. Slow recovery of High Arctic heath communities from nitrogen enrichment.

    PubMed

    Street, Lorna E; Burns, Nancy R; Woodin, Sarah J

    2015-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are strongly nutrient limited and exhibit dramatic responses to nitrogen (N) enrichment, the reversibility of which is unknown. This study uniquely assesses the potential for tundra heath to recover from N deposition and the influence of phosphorus (P) availability on recovery. We revisited an experiment in Svalbard, established in 1991, in which N was applied at rates representing atmospheric N deposition in Europe (10 and 50 kg N ha(-1)  yr(-1) ; 'low' and 'high', respectively) for 3-8 yr. We investigated whether significant effects on vegetation composition and ecosystem nutrient status persisted up to 18 yr post-treatment. Although the tundra heath is no longer N saturated, N treatment effects persist and are strongly P-dependent. Vegetation was more resilient to N where no P was added, although shrub cover is still reduced in low-N plots. Where P was also added (5 kg P ha(-1)  yr(-1) ), there are still effects of low N on community composition and nutrient dynamics. High N, with and without P, has many lasting impacts. Importantly, N + P has caused dramatically increased moss abundance, which influences nutrient dynamics. Our key finding is that Arctic ecosystems are slow to recover from even small N inputs, particularly where P is not limiting.

  6. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols.

    PubMed

    Lau, M C Y; Stackhouse, B T; Layton, A C; Chauhan, A; Vishnivetskaya, T A; Chourey, K; Ronholm, J; Mykytczuk, N C S; Bennett, P C; Lamarche-Gagnon, G; Burton, N; Pollard, W H; Omelon, C R; Medvigy, D M; Hettich, R L; Pfiffner, S M; Whyte, L G; Onstott, T C

    2015-08-01

    Methane (CH4) emission by carbon-rich cryosols at the high latitudes in Northern Hemisphere has been studied extensively. In contrast, data on the CH4 emission potential of carbon-poor cryosols is limited, despite their spatial predominance. This work employs CH4 flux measurements in the field and under laboratory conditions to show that the mineral cryosols at Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian high Arctic consistently consume atmospheric CH4. Omics analyses present the first molecular evidence of active atmospheric CH4-oxidizing bacteria (atmMOB) in permafrost-affected cryosols, with the prevalent atmMOB genotype in our acidic mineral cryosols being closely related to Upland Soil Cluster α. The atmospheric (atm) CH4 uptake at the study site increases with ground temperature between 0 °C and 18 °C. Consequently, the atm CH4 sink strength is predicted to increase by a factor of 5-30 as the Arctic warms by 5-15 °C over a century. We demonstrate that acidic mineral cryosols are a previously unrecognized potential of CH4 sink that requires further investigation to determine its potential impact on larger scales. This study also calls attention to the poleward distribution of atmMOB, as well as to the potential influence of microbial atm CH4 oxidation, in the context of regional CH4 flux models and global warming.

  7. Mapping Snowfields in the High Arctic by UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klump, Jens; Leya, Thomas; Fuhr, Günter

    2014-05-01

    Plant habitats are often influenced by small scale factors of substrate composition, topography and water sources that influence the availability of water and nutrients. In our lomg-term study to investigate the the distribution and dispersal strategies as well as the life cycle of psychrophilic algae (snow algae) it was necessary to get a better understanding of the structure of the snowfields where these algae live. Previous attempts to map snowfields using tethered platforms, such as kites or balloons, had proven to be difficult due to the very unstable weather conditions in the extreme environment of the High Arctic. The inherent problems of tethered platforms could be overcome with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). During the August 2013 field campaign on the Svalbard archipelago we used an Asctec Falcon 8 UAV to map snowfields and glacier surfaces in the visible and thermal infra-red spectrum. The georeferenced images were assembled into photo mosaic maps which were also converted into digital elevation models. The photo mosaic maps and digital elevation models gave new insights into small-scale factors that influence the physical and chemical conditions of the snow algae habitat. This presentation gives an overview of our results from the use of UAV for the mapping of snowfields in the High Arctic and discusses the risks and limitations of UAV in this extreme environment.

  8. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols

    PubMed Central

    Lau, M C Y; Stackhouse, B T; Layton, A C; Chauhan, A; Vishnivetskaya, T A; Chourey, K; Ronholm, J; Mykytczuk, N C S; Bennett, P C; Lamarche-Gagnon, G; Burton, N; Pollard, W H; Omelon, C R; Medvigy, D M; Hettich, R L; Pfiffner, S M; Whyte, L G; Onstott, T C

    2015-01-01

    Methane (CH4) emission by carbon-rich cryosols at the high latitudes in Northern Hemisphere has been studied extensively. In contrast, data on the CH4 emission potential of carbon-poor cryosols is limited, despite their spatial predominance. This work employs CH4 flux measurements in the field and under laboratory conditions to show that the mineral cryosols at Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian high Arctic consistently consume atmospheric CH4. Omics analyses present the first molecular evidence of active atmospheric CH4-oxidizing bacteria (atmMOB) in permafrost-affected cryosols, with the prevalent atmMOB genotype in our acidic mineral cryosols being closely related to Upland Soil Cluster α. The atmospheric (atm) CH4 uptake at the study site increases with ground temperature between 0 °C and 18 °C. Consequently, the atm CH4 sink strength is predicted to increase by a factor of 5–30 as the Arctic warms by 5–15 °C over a century. We demonstrate that acidic mineral cryosols are a previously unrecognized potential of CH4 sink that requires further investigation to determine its potential impact on larger scales. This study also calls attention to the poleward distribution of atmMOB, as well as to the potential influence of microbial atm CH4 oxidation, in the context of regional CH4 flux models and global warming. PMID:25871932

  9. Modeling the evolution of climate-sensitive Arctic subsea permafrost in regions of extensive gas expulsion at the West Yamal shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portnov, Alexey; Mienert, Jurgen; Serov, Pavel

    2014-11-01

    Thawing subsea permafrost controls methane release from the Russian Arctic shelf having a considerable impact on the climate-sensitive Arctic environment. Expulsions of methane from shallow Russian Arctic shelf areas may continue to rise in response to intense degradation of relict subsea permafrost. Here we show modeling of the permafrost evolution from the Late Pleistocene to present time at the West Yamal shelf. Modeling results suggest a highly dynamic permafrost system that directly responds to even minor variations of lower and upper boundary conditions, e.g., geothermal heat flux from below and/or bottom water temperature changes from above permafrost. Scenarios of permafrost evolution show a potentially nearest landward modern extent of the permafrost at the West Yamal shelf limited by ~17 m isobaths, whereas its farthest seaward extent coincides with ~100 m isobaths. The model also predicts seaward tapering of relict permafrost with a maximal thickness of 275-390 m near the shoreline. Previous field observations detected extensive emissions of free gas into the water column at the transition zone between today's shallow water permafrost (<20 m) and deeper water nonpermafrost areas (>20 m). The model adapts well to corresponding heat flux and ocean temperature data, providing crucial information about the modern permafrost conditions. It shows current locations of upper and lower permafrost boundaries and evidences for possible release of methane from the seabed to the hydrosphere in a warming Arctic.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming. PMID:25967156

  12. Pollution in the Summertime Canadian High Arctic observed during NETCARE 2014: Investigation of origin and composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köllner, Franziska; Schneider, Johannes; Bozem, Heiko; Hoor, Peter; Willis, Megan; Burkart, Julia; Leaitch, Richard; Abbatt, Jon; Herber, Andreas; Borrmann, Stephan

    2015-04-01

    The clean and sensitive Arctic atmosphere is influenced by transport of air masses from lower latitudes that bring pollution in the form of aerosol particles and trace gases into the Arctic regions. However, the transport processes causing such pollution events are yet not sufficiently well understood. Here we report on results from the aircraft campaign NETCARE 2014 that took place in July 2014 in Resolute Bay, Nunavut (Canada) as part of the "Network on Climate and Aerosols: Addressing Key Uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environment" (NETCARE). These airborne measurements add to only a very few of such measurements conducted in the Arctic during the summertime. The instrumentation on board the research aircraft Polar 6 (operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research) included a large set of physico-chemical aerosol analysis instruments, several trace gas measurements and basic meteorological parameters. Here we focus on observed pollution events that caused elevated trace gas and aerosol concentrations in the summertime Canadian High Arctic between 50 and 3500 m. In order to better understand the chemical composition and the origin of those polluted air masses, we use single particle aerosol composition obtained using the Aircraft-based Laser Ablation Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (ALABAMA), combined with aerosol size distributions and number concentrations from an Optical Particle Counter as well as trace gas measurements of CO and CO2. CO and CO2 are important tracers to study pollution events, which are connected to anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic combustion processes, respectively biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion. The ALABAMA provides a detailed single particle aerosol composition analysis from which we identify different particle types like soot-, biomass burning-, organics-, diesel exhaust- and metallic particles. The measurements were compared to Lagrangian models like FLEXPART and LAGRANTO to find the pollution sources

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Microbial Communities in a High Arctic Polar Desert Landscape

    PubMed Central

    McCann, Clare M.; Wade, Matthew J.; Gray, Neil D.; Roberts, Jennifer A.; Hubert, Casey R. J.; Graham, David W.

    2016-01-01

    The High Arctic is dominated by polar desert habitats whose microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used next generation sequencing to describe the α- and β-diversity of microbial communities in polar desert soils from the Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard. Ten phyla dominated the soils and accounted for 95% of all sequences, with the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi being the major lineages. In contrast to previous investigations of Arctic soils, relative Acidobacterial abundances were found to be very low as were the Archaea throughout the Kongsfjorden polar desert landscape. Lower Acidobacterial abundances were attributed to characteristic circumneutral soil pHs in this region, which has resulted from the weathering of underlying carbonate bedrock. In addition, we compared previously measured geochemical conditions as possible controls on soil microbial communities. Phosphorus, pH, nitrogen, and calcium levels all significantly correlated with β-diversity, indicating landscape-scale lithological control of available nutrients, which in turn, significantly influenced soil community composition. In addition, soil phosphorus and pH significantly correlated with α-diversity, particularly with the Shannon diversity and Chao 1 richness indices. PMID:27065980

  16. High levels of molecular chlorine in the Arctic atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Jin; Huey, L. Gregory; Liu, Zhen; Tanner, David J.; Cantrell, Chris A.; Orlando, John J.; Flocke, Frank M.; Shepson, Paul B.; Weinheimer, Andrew J.; Hall, Samuel R.; Ullmann, Kirk; Beine, Harry J.; Wang, Yuhang; Ingall, Ellery D.; Stephens, Chelsea R.; Hornbrook, Rebecca S.; Apel, Eric C.; Riemer, Daniel; Fried, Alan; Mauldin, Roy L.; Smith, James N.; Staebler, Ralf M.; Neuman, J. Andrew; Nowak, John B.

    2014-02-01

    Chlorine radicals can function as a strong atmospheric oxidant, particularly in polar regions, where levels of hydroxyl radicals are low. In the atmosphere, chlorine radicals expedite the degradation of methane and tropospheric ozone, and the oxidation of mercury to more toxic forms. Here we present direct measurements of molecular chlorine levels in the Arctic marine boundary layer in Barrow, Alaska, collected in the spring of 2009 over a six-week period using chemical ionization mass spectrometry. We report high levels of molecular chlorine, of up to 400 pptv. Concentrations peaked in the early morning and late afternoon, and fell to near-zero levels at night. Average daytime molecular chlorine levels were correlated with ozone concentrations, suggesting that sunlight and ozone are required for molecular chlorine formation. Using a time-dependent box model, we estimate that the chlorine radicals produced from the photolysis of molecular chlorine oxidized more methane than hydroxyl radicals, on average, and enhanced the abundance of short-lived peroxy radicals. Elevated hydroperoxyl radical levels, in turn, promoted the formation of hypobromous acid, which catalyses mercury oxidation and the breakdown of tropospheric ozone. We therefore suggest that molecular chlorine exerts a significant effect on the atmospheric chemistry of the Arctic.

  17. Resource utilisation by deep-sea megabenthos in the Canadian High Arctic (Baffin Bay and Parry Channel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgeois, Solveig; Witte, Ursula; Harrison, Ailish M.; Makela, Anni; Kazanidis, Georgios; Archambault, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Ongoing climate change in the Arctic is causing drastic alteration of the Arctic marine ecosystem functioning, such as shifts in patterns of primary production, and modifying the present tight pelagic-benthic coupling. Subsequently benthic communities, which rely upon organic matter produced in the top layers of the Ocean, will also be affected by these changes. The benthic megafaunal communities play a significant role in ecological processes and ecosystem functioning (i.e. organic matter recycling, bioturbation, food source for the higher trophic levels…). Yet, information is scarce regarding the main food sources for dominant benthic organisms, and therefore the impact of the ongoing changes is difficult to assess. The goal of this study is to investigate the preferential feeding of different carbon sources by megabenthic organisms in the Canadian High Arctic and to identify environmental drivers which explain the observed trends. In summer 2013, benthic megafauna was collected at 9 stations spread along latitudinal (58 to 81°N) and longitudinal (62 to 114°W) transects in the Baffin Bay and Parry Channel, respectively. Carbon and nitrogen bulk stable isotope analyses (δ13C and δ15N) were performed on several species divided into groups according to their feeding type. This study highlights distinct trends in δ13C values of benthic organisms suggesting the importance of both phytoplankton and ice algae as carbon sources for megafauna in the Canadian High Arctic. The importance of physical and biological parameters as drivers of food web structure will be furthermore discussed.

  18. Latitudinal distribution of the recent Arctic warming

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-12-08

    Increasing Arctic temperature, disappearance of Arctic sea ice, melting of the Greenland ice sheet, sea level rise, increasing strength of Atlantic hurricanes are these impending climate catastrophes supported by observations? Are the recent data really unprecedented during the observational records? Our analysis of Arctic temperature records shows that the Arctic and temperatures in the 1930s and 1940s were almost as high as they are today. We argue that the current warming of the Arctic region is affected more by the multi-decadal climate variability than by an increasing concentration of carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, none of the existing coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models used in the IPCC 2007 cIimate change assessment is able to reproduce neither the observed 20th century Arctic cIimate variability nor the latitudinal distribution of the warming.

  19. Microbial adaptation to temperature increases the vulnerability of carbon stocks in Arctic and Boreal soils to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karhu, Kristiina; Auffret, Marc; Dungait, Jennifer; Fraser, Fiona; Hopkins, David; Prosser, James; Singh, Brajesh; Subke, Jens-Arne; Wookey, Philip; Ågren, Göran; Hartley, Iain

    2013-04-01

    by quantifying changes in microbial biomass, microbial community structure , mass-specific activity, carbon-use efficiency, and the activities of enzymes involved in the break-down of labile versus more recalcitrant compounds. Our results from temperate, Mediterranean and tropical soils generally show little evidence of thermal acclimation, but responses were dependent on soil type and the temperature range investigated; at low temperatures and from organic soils, further evidence for enhancement was produced. The lack of evidence of acclimation suggests that there remains the potential for C losses from soils in temperate and tropical areas as the climate changes. Furthermore, results from incubations from Boreal and Arctic soils showed clear enhancement. This suggests that the long-term effect of warming on soil respiration rates in the Arctic could be larger than predicted based on short-term measurements of temperature sensitivity. Consequently, the substantial stores of carbon present in high-latitude soils may be even more vulnerable to climate warming than previously estimated. We also discuss the potential mechanisms underlying the observed patterns based on the extensive range of microbial assays carried out in this project.

  20. 1,500-Year Cycle in Holocene Climate from Burial Lake, Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Millennial-scale fluctuations in climate conditions are commonly observed in Holocene paleoclimate archives, however the meaning of these variations including whether they might arise from internal or external forcing are still actively debated. Proxy evidence of millennial-scale variability is most clearly present in a few specific parts of the world (e.g. North Atlantic region), whereas a lack of evidence from many other regions may result from a lack of observations or a lack of signal. Here we present the first evidence for such variations in Arctic Alaska using sedimentological and geochemical analyses from Burial Lake (68.43°N, 159.17°W; 460 m above sea level) in the western Brooks Range. We measured biogenic silica (BSi), total organic carbon, total nitrogen, C/N ratios, dry bulk density, magnetic susceptibility and magnetic remanence measurements, and elemental abundances from scanning XRF and use radiocarbon dating on terrestrial macrofossils to establish age control. Large fluctuations in biogenic silica and related proxies at millennial time scales over the last 10,000 cal yr BP are attributed to changes in aquatic productivity, which is indirectly mediated by climate through changes in the duration of the ice-free growing season and the availability of limiting nutrients. Spectral and wavelet analysis of the BSi record indicates a significant 1,500-yr cycle (above 95% confidence) emerges by ~6,000 cal yr BP. Comparison of BSi with reconstructed total solar irradiance reveals a low correlation (r2 = 0.01), suggesting no direct solar forcing of aquatic productivity. A comparison with Northern Hemisphere wide records shows no consistent phase relationship between the timing of maxima/minima in our BSi record. These results are consistent with previous work showing a strong middle Holocene transition into a ~1500-yr cycle. Similar timing for the emergence of an ~1500-yr cycle are found in proxies sensitive to thermohaline circulation and deep water

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-15

    From July to September 2008, air samples were collected aboard the research expedition icebreaker XueLong (Snow Dragon) as part of the 2008 Chinese Arctic Research Expedition Program. Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) concentrations were analyzed in all of the samples. The average concentrations (± standard deviation) over the entire period were 33 ± 16, 5.4 ± 3.0, and 13 ± 7.5 pg m⁻³ for α-, β- and γ-HCH, respectively. Compared to previous studies in the same areas, total HCH (ΣHCH, the sum of α-, β-, and γ-HCH) levels declined by more than 10 × compared to those observed in the 1990s, but were approximately 4 × higher than those measured by the 2003 China Arctic Research Expedition, suggesting the increase of atmospheric ΣHCH recently. Because of the continuing use of lindane, ratios of α/γ-HCH showed an obvious decrease in North Pacific and Arctic region compared with those for 2003 Chinese Arctic Research Expedition. In Arctic, the level of α-HCH was found to be linked to sea ice distribution. Geographically, the average concentration of α-HCH in air samples from the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, neither of which contain sea ice, was 23 ± 4.4 pg m⁻³, while samples from the area covered by seasonal ice (∼75°N to ∼83°N), the so-called "floating sea ice region", contained the highest average levels of α-HCH at 48 ± 12 pg m⁻³, likely due to emission from sea ice and strong air-sea exchange. The lowest concentrations of α-HCH were observed in the pack ice region in the high Arctic covered by multiyear sea ice (∼83°N to ∼86°N). This phenomenon implies that the re-emission of HCH trapped in ice sheets and Arctic Ocean may accelerate during the summer as ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean decreases in response to global climate change.

  2. New insights into the Weichselian environment and climate of the East Siberian Arctic, derived from fossil insects, plants, and mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sher, A. V.; Kuzmina, S. A.; Kuznetsova, T. V.; Sulerzhitsky, L. D.

    2005-03-01

    Multidisciplinary study of a key section on the Laptev Sea Coast (Bykovsky Peninsula, east Lena Delta) in 1998-2001 provides the most complete record of Middle and Late Weichselian environments in the East Siberian Arctic. The 40-m high Mamontovy Khayata cliff is a typical Ice Complex section built of icy silts with a network of large syngenetic polygonal ice wedges, and is richly fossiliferous. In combination with pollen, plant macrofossil and mammal fossils, a sequence of ca 70 insect samples provides a new interpretation of the environment and climate of the area between ca 50 and 12 ka. The large number of radiocarbon dates from the section, together with an extensive 14C database on mammal bones, allows chronological correlation of the various proxies. The Bykovsky record shows how climate change, and the Last Glacial Maximum in particular, affected terrestrial organisms such as insects and large grazing mammals. Both during the presumed "Karginsky Interstadial" (MIS 3) and the Sartanian Glacial (MIS 2), the vegetation remained a mosaic arctic grassland with relatively high diversity of grasses and herbs and dominance of xeric habitats: the tundra-steppe type. This biome was supported by a constantly very continental climate, caused by low sea level and enormous extension of shelf land. Variations within the broad pattern were caused mainly by fluctuations in summer temperature, related to global trends but overprinted by the effect of continentality. No major changes in humidity were observed nor were advances of modern-type forest or forest-tundra recorded, suggesting a major revision of the "Karginsky Interstadial" paradigm. The changing subtypes of the tundra-steppe environment were persistently favourable for mammalian grazers, which inhabited the shelf lowlands throughout the studied period. Mammal population numbers were lowered during the LGM, especially toward its end, and then flourished in a short, but impressive peak in the latest Weichselian, just

  3. What we know, do not know, and need to know about climate change vulnerability in the western Canadian Arctic: a systematic literature review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, James D.; Pearce, Tristan

    2010-01-01

    This letter systematically reviews and synthesizes scientific and gray literature publications (n = 420) to identify and characterize the nature of climate change vulnerability in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the western Canadian Arctic and identify gaps in understanding. The literature documents widespread evidence of climate change, with implications for human and biophysical systems. Adaptations are being employed to manage changing conditions and are indicative of a high adaptive capacity. However, barriers to adaptation are evident and are expected to constrain adaptive capacity to future climate change. Continued climate change is predicted for the region, with differential exposure sensitivity for communities, groups and sectors: a function of social-economic-biophysical characteristics and projected future climatic conditions. Existing climate risks are expected to increase in magnitude and frequency, although the interaction between projected changes and socio-economic-demographic trends has not been assessed. The capacity for adapting to future climate change has also not been studied. The review identifies the importance of targeted vulnerability research that works closely with community members and other stakeholders to address research needs. Importantly, the fully categorized list of reviewed references accompanying this letter will be a valuable resource for those working or planning to work in the region, capturing climate change research published since 1990. At a broader level, the systematic review methodology offers a promising tool for climate/environmental change studies in general where there is a large and emerging body of research but limited understanding of research gaps and needs.

  4. Warmer and wetter winters: characteristics and implications of an extreme weather event in the High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Brage B.; Isaksen, Ketil; Benestad, Rasmus E.; Kohler, Jack; Pedersen, Åshild Ø.; Loe, Leif E.; Coulson, Stephen J.; Larsen, Jan Otto; Varpe, Øystein

    2014-11-01

    One predicted consequence of global warming is an increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, or heavy rainfalls. In parts of the Arctic, extreme warm spells and heavy rain-on-snow (ROS) events in winter are already more frequent. How these weather events impact snow-pack and permafrost characteristics is rarely documented empirically, and the implications for wildlife and society are hence far from understood. Here we characterize and document the effects of an extreme warm spell and ROS event that occurred in High Arctic Svalbard in January-February 2012, during the polar night. In this normally cold semi-desert environment, we recorded above-zero temperatures (up to 7 °C) across the entire archipelago and record-breaking precipitation, with up to 98 mm rainfall in one day (return period of >500 years prior to this event) and 272 mm over the two-week long warm spell. These precipitation amounts are equivalent to 25 and 70% respectively of the mean annual total precipitation. The extreme event caused significant increase in permafrost temperatures down to at least 5 m depth, induced slush avalanches with resultant damage to infrastructure, and left a significant ground-ice cover (˜5-20 cm thick basal ice). The ground-ice not only affected inhabitants by closing roads and airports as well as reducing mobility and thereby tourism income, but it also led to high starvation-induced mortality in all monitored populations of the wild reindeer by blocking access to the winter food source. Based on empirical-statistical downscaling of global climate models run under the moderate RCP4.5 emission scenario, we predict strong future warming with average mid-winter temperatures even approaching 0 °C, suggesting increased frequency of ROS. This will have far-reaching implications for Arctic ecosystems and societies through the changes in snow-pack and permafrost properties.

  5. Diversification of Nitrogen Sources in Various Tundra Vegetation Types in the High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Wojtuń, Bronisław; Richter, Dorota; Jakubas, Dariusz; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra

    2015-01-01

    Low nitrogen availability in the high Arctic represents a major constraint for plant growth, which limits the tundra capacity for carbon retention and determines tundra vegetation types. The limited terrestrial nitrogen (N) pool in the tundra is augmented significantly by nesting seabirds, such as the planktivorous Little Auk (Alle alle). Therefore, N delivered by these birds may significantly influence the N cycling in the tundra locally and the carbon budget more globally. Moreover, should these birds experience substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, this will adversely influence the tundra N-budget. Hence, assessment of bird-originated N-input to the tundra is important for understanding biological cycles in polar regions. This study analyzed the stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources in the High Arctic and in numerous plants that access different N-pools in ten tundra vegetation types in an experimental catchment in Hornsund (Svalbard). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by birds, ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by atmospheric N2-fixation. The stable nitrogen isotope mixing mass balance, in contrast to direct methods that measure actual deposition, indicates the ratio between the actual N-loads acquired by plants from different N-sources. Our results enhance our understanding of the importance of different N-sources in the Arctic tundra and the used methodological approach can be applied elsewhere.

  6. Diversification of Nitrogen Sources in Various Tundra Vegetation Types in the High Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Wojtuń, Bronisław; Richter, Dorota; Jakubas, Dariusz; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra

    2015-01-01

    Low nitrogen availability in the high Arctic represents a major constraint for plant growth, which limits the tundra capacity for carbon retention and determines tundra vegetation types. The limited terrestrial nitrogen (N) pool in the tundra is augmented significantly by nesting seabirds, such as the planktivorous Little Auk (Alle alle). Therefore, N delivered by these birds may significantly influence the N cycling in the tundra locally and the carbon budget more globally. Moreover, should these birds experience substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, this will adversely influence the tundra N-budget. Hence, assessment of bird-originated N-input to the tundra is important for understanding biological cycles in polar regions. This study analyzed the stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources in the High Arctic and in numerous plants that access different N-pools in ten tundra vegetation types in an experimental catchment in Hornsund (Svalbard). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by birds, ranged from 0–21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by atmospheric N2-fixation. The stable nitrogen isotope mixing mass balance, in contrast to direct methods that measure actual deposition, indicates the ratio between the actual N-loads acquired by plants from different N-sources. Our results enhance our understanding of the importance of different N-sources in the Arctic tundra and the used methodological approach can be applied elsewhere. PMID:26376204

  7. Climatic change of sea ice mean thickness in the Arctic basin

    SciTech Connect

    Nagurny, A.P.

    1996-12-31

    A method for automatically monitoring sea ice thickness by measuring ice-plate vibration is proposed. Two energy maximums are clearly manifested in the spectrum of ice cover vibrations, corresponding to the resonant waves (the equality of ice eigen frequency as a plate and upper water layer without ice cover) and to the waves at the minimum of the dispersion curve of the ice-water system. The free vibrations of the resonant waves have low amplitudes and can be adequately described by linear theory of elastic gravity wave propagation. Data are presented for sea ice thickness determined by measuring elastic-gravity waves at points in the Arctic basin for the years 1970 through 1992. During this period, a linear decrease in sea ice thickness was observed. The thickness decreased by 12-14 centimeters, or 3 to 4% of average thickenss, overall. Taking into account the significant scattering of data, a trend of climatic warming in the atmosphere-Arctic Ocean system is indicated. 11 refs., 2 figs.

  8. Development, sensitivity analysis, and uncertainty quantification of high-fidelity arctic sea ice models.

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, Kara J.; Bochev, Pavel Blagoveston; Paskaleva, Biliana S.

    2010-09-01

    Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and due to feedback effects the Arctic ice cover is changing rapidly. Predictive mathematical models are of paramount importance for accurate estimates of the future ice trajectory. However, the sea ice components of Global Climate Models (GCMs) vary significantly in their prediction of the future state of Arctic sea ice and have generally underestimated the rate of decline in minimum sea ice extent seen over the past thirty years. One of the contributing factors to this variability is the sensitivity of the sea ice to model physical parameters. A new sea ice model that has the potential to improve sea ice predictions incorporates an anisotropic elastic-decohesive rheology and dynamics solved using the material-point method (MPM), which combines Lagrangian particles for advection with a background grid for gradient computations. We evaluate the variability of the Los Alamos National Laboratory CICE code and the MPM sea ice code for a single year simulation of the Arctic basin using consistent ocean and atmospheric forcing. Sensitivities of ice volume, ice area, ice extent, root mean square (RMS) ice speed, central Arctic ice thickness, and central Arctic ice speed with respect to ten different dynamic and thermodynamic parameters are evaluated both individually and in combination using the Design Analysis Kit for Optimization and Terascale Applications (DAKOTA). We find similar responses for the two codes and some interesting seasonal variability in the strength of the parameters on the solution.

  9. Climate change impacts on continental weathering through the Middle Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous of Sverdrup Basin, Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galloway, Jennifer; Grasby, Stephen; Swindles, Graeme; Dewing, Keith

    2014-05-01

    Jurassic to Cretaceous strata of Sverdrup Basin, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, contain marine and non-marine successions that can be studied to reconstruct ancient paleoclimates and paleoenvironments that are poorly understood in high-latitude regions. We use element geochemistry integrated with palynology to study a continuous Aalenian to Albian-aged succession preserved in the Hoodoo Dome H-37 oil and gas well located on southern Ellef Ringnes Island near the centre of Sverdrup Basin. Cluster analysis (stratigraphically constrained incremental sum of squares; CONISS) is used to delineate four geochemical zones that are broadly coeval with major changes in palyno-assemblages interpreted to reflect changes in regional paleoclimate. Zone 1 (late Aalenian to Bathonian) is characterized by palynomorphs associated with humid and warm climate conditions. The chemical alteration index (CAI) is high in this interval, expected under this a humid and warm climate. A transition to a seasonally arid and warm climate occurred in the Bathonian and persisted until the Kimmeridgian or Valanginian (Zone 2). This interval is characterized by decreased chemical weathering, indicated by a drop in CAI. The onset of Zone 3 (Kimmeridgian or Valanginian to late Barremian or early Aptian) occurs during a transition to humid and cool climate conditions and is associated with a period of regional uplift and rifting. Zone 3 is marked by a substantial and progressive drop in CAI, indicating a transition from a weathering to transport-dominated system, possibly associated with landscape destabilization. Reduced tectonic activity in Zone 4 (early Aptian to early or mid Albian) shows a return to active chemical weathering, possibly associated with landscape stabilization, suggested by a continued increase in pollen from upland coniferous taxa. The geochemical and palynological records of Middle Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous strata of the Hoodoo Dome H-37 oil and gas well show close correlation

  10. A Convective Cloud Feedback and Spring Arctic Sea Ice Forecasting at High CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbot, D. S.; Walker, C. C.; Tziperman, E.

    2008-12-01

    Winter and spring sea ice dramatically cool the Arctic climate during the the coldest seasons of the year and may have remote effects on global climate as well. Accurate forecasting of winter and spring sea ice has significant social and economic benefits. Such forecasting requires the identification and understanding of all the feedbacks that can affect sea ice. A novel convective cloud feedback has recently been proposed in the context of explaining equable climates, e.g., the climate of the Eocene, that might be important for determining future winter and spring sea ice. In this feedback CO2 -initiated warming leads to sea ice reduction, which which allows increased heat and moisture fluxes from the ocean surface, which destabilizes the atmosphere and leads to atmospheric convection. This atmospheric convection produces high and optically thick convective clouds and increases high-altitude moisture levels, both of which trap outgoing longwave radiation and therefore result in a further warming and sea ice loss. Here it is shown that this convective cloud feedback is active during winter in the coupled ocean-sea ice-land-atmosphere global climate models used for the 1%/year CO2 increase to quadrupling scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fourth assessment report. It is further shown that the convective cloud feedback plays an essential role in the elimination of maximum seasonal (spring) sea ice in NCAR's CCSM model, one of the IPCC models that nearly completely loses spring sea ice. This is done by performing a sensitivity analysis using the atmospheric component of CCSM, run at a CO2 concentration of 1120 ppm, by selectively disabling the convective cloud feedback and the ocean heat transport feedback. The result is that both feedbacks are necessary for the elimination of spring sea ice at this CO2 concentration.

  11. High Methylmercury in Arctic and Subarctic Ponds is Related to Nutrient Levels in the Warming Eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Gwyneth A; Girard, Catherine; Chételat, John; Laurion, Isabelle; Amyot, Marc

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost thaw ponds are ubiquitous in the eastern Canadian Arctic, yet little information exists on their potential as sources of methylmercury (MeHg) to freshwaters. They are microbially active and conducive to methylation of inorganic mercury, and are also affected by Arctic warming. This multiyear study investigated thaw ponds in a discontinuous permafrost region in the Subarctic taiga (Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui, QC) and a continuous permafrost region in the Arctic tundra (Bylot Island, NU). MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were well above levels measured in most freshwater ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic (>0.1 ng L(-1)). On Bylot, ice-wedge trough ponds showed significantly higher MeHg (0.3-2.2 ng L(-1)) than polygonal ponds (0.1-0.3 ng L(-1)) or lakes (<0.1 ng L(-1)). High MeHg was measured in the bottom waters of Subarctic thaw ponds near Kuujjuarapik (0.1-3.1 ng L(-1)). High water MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were strongly correlated with variables associated with high inputs of organic matter (DOC, a320, Fe), nutrients (TP, TN), and microbial activity (dissolved CO2 and CH4). Thawing permafrost due to Arctic warming will continue to release nutrients and organic carbon into these systems and increase ponding in some regions, likely stimulating higher water concentrations of MeHg. Greater hydrological connectivity from permafrost thawing may potentially increase transport of MeHg from thaw ponds to neighboring aquatic ecosystems. PMID:26030209

  12. Responses of arctic tundra to experimental and observed changes in climate

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. III; Shaver, G.R.; Giblin, A.E.; Nadelhoffer, K.J.; Laundre, J.A.

    1995-04-01

    The authors manipulated light, temperature, and nutrients in moist tussock tundra in Alaska to determine how global changes might affect community and ecosystem processes. Some of these manipulations altered nutrient availability, growth-form composition, net primary production, and species richness in less than a decade, indicating arctic vegetation at this site is sensitive to climatic change. In general, short-term (3-yr) responses were poor predictors of longer term (9-yr) changes in community composition. The longer term responses showed closer correspondence to patterns of vegetation distribution along environmental gradients. Nitrogen and phosphorus availability tended to increase with elevated temperature and in response to light attenuation. Nutrient addition increased biomass and production of deciduous shrubs but reduced growth of evergreen shrubs and nonvascular plants. Light attenuation reduced biomass of all growth forms. Elevated temperature enhanced shrub production but reduced production of nonvascular plants. The contrasting responses to temperature increase and to nutrient addition by different growth forms {open_quotes}canceled out{close_quotes} at the ecosystem level, buffering changes in ecosystem characteristics such as biomass, production, and nutrient uptake. The major effect of elevated temperature was to speed plant response to changes in soil resources and, in long term (9 yr), to increase nutrient availability. Species richness was reduced 30-50% by temperature and nutrient treatments. Declines in diversity occurred disproportionately in forbs and in mosses. During our 9-yr study (the warmest decade on record in the region), biomass of one dominant tundra species unexpectedly changed in control plots in the direction predicted by our experiments and by Holocene pollen records. This suggests that regional climatic warming may already be altering the species composition of Alaskan arctic tundra. 73 refs., 9 figs., 4 tabs.

  13. Observational uncertainty of Arctic sea-ice concentration significantly affects seasonal climate forecasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunzel, Felix; Notz, Dirk; Baehr, Johanna; Müller, Wolfgang; Fröhlich, Kristina

    2016-04-01

    We examine how the choice of a particular satellite-retrieved sea-ice concentration dataset used for initialising seasonal climate forecasts impacts the prediction skill of Arctic sea-ice area and Northern hemispheric 2-meter air temperatures. To do so, we performed two assimilation runs with the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) from 1979 to 2012, where atmospheric and oceanic parameters as well as sea-ice concentration were assimilated using Newtonian relaxation. The two assimilation runs differ only in the sea-ice concentration dataset used for assimilating sea ice. In the first run, we use sea-ice concentrations as derived by the NASA-Team algorithm, while in the second run we use sea-ice concentrations as derived from the Bootstrap algorithm. A major difference between these two sea-ice concentration data products involves the treatment of melt ponds. While for both products melt ponds appear as open water in the raw satellite data, the Bootstrap algorithm more strongly attempts to offset this systematic bias by synthetically increasing the retrieved ice concentration during summer months. For each year of the two assimilation runs we performed a 10-member ensemble of hindcast experiments starting on 1 May and 1 November with a hindcast length of 6 months. For hindcasts started in November, initial differences in Arctic sea-ice area and surface temperature decrease rapidly throughout the freezing period. For hindcasts started in May, initial sea-ice area differences increase over time. By the end of the melting period, this causes significant differences in 2-meter air temperature of regionally more than 3°C. Hindcast skill for surface temperatures over Europe and North America is higher with Bootstrap initialization during summer and with NASA Team initialisation during winter. This implies that the choice of the sea-ice data product and, thus, the observational uncertainty also affects forecasts of teleconnections that depend on Northern

  14. Disentangling the effects of climate and local ecosystem dynamics on carbon accumulation in boreal and low-Arctic peatlands in northern Manitoba, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camill, P.; Hall, A.; Westervelt, A.; Adams, C.; Umbanhowar, C. E.; Geiss, C. E.; Edlund, M.

    2012-12-01

    High-latitude peatlands store a vast quantity of soil carbon that may be susceptible to current and future changes in warming, aridity, thermokarst, and fire. Understanding the processes affecting rates of carbon storage in these systems is therefore important for assessing potential biosphere feedbacks on climate. Regional climatic changes have the potential to affect C storage by changing the balance of NPP and decomposition. Superimposed on these broader climatic signals are local processes, such as succession and fire, which can change peat accumulation rates by altering community composition, NPP, decomposition, and peat consumption. Peatland sedimentary records provide useful historical archives for assessing the impacts of regional climatic factors, local factors, and possible interactions between climate and local factors on long-term carbon accumulation rates. We present stratigraphic data from 42 permafrost peat cores in two regions (boreal and low-Arctic) of northern Manitoba that allow us to examine the effects of climate changes in space (across a latitudinal gradient) and time (Holocene), including past events such as the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) and Neoglacial Cooling (NGC). Macroscopic charcoal was used as a proxy of fire severity. Age control was achieved with calibrated AMS 14C dates (multiple dates for most cores). The timing and relative magnitude of past climatic change were constrained by published lake sediment proxies. Results indicate that mean regional rates of carbon accumulation during the Holocene in the low-Arctic region were approximately half (5-30 g-C m-2y-1) the rates in the boreal region (15-60 g-C m-2y-1). Despite these regional differences, the temporal trends between regions were similar, with higher rates of C accumulation during the HTM in the boreal site (~8,000-6,000 B.P.) and the low-Arctic site (~6,500-3,000 B.P.) and lower C accumulation rates in both regions during NGC. The mode of regional fire severity occurred

  15. Atmospheric transport of persistent organic pollutants to the Arctic, today and in a future climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Octaviani, Mega; Stemmler, Irene; Lammel, Gerhard

    2013-04-01

    Persistent organic pollutants are of great concern because of their long residence time and long-range transport potential in the environment and because they are readily bioaccumulated along food chains and toxic for wildlife and humans. A multicompartment model is used to study global-scale and long term chemodynamics of anthropogenic organic substances in the Earth system. Model components are the atmosphere (ECHAM5) and ocean general circulation models (MPIOM), which include dynamic sub-models for atmospheric aerosols and the marine biogeochemistry, two-dimensional surface compartments (topsoil, vegetation surfaces, ice, and temporal snow cover) and intercompartmental mass exchange process parameterisations [1-3]. The transports into and out of the Arctic (66° N) are characterized for 1950-2000 under one realisation of present-day climate [4-5] and for 2001-2100 under one realisation of future climate (greenhouse gas emission scenario A1B of IPCC-AR4). Despite decaying primary emissions (since decades) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and dichlorodimephenyltrichloromethane (DDT) are continuing to accumulate in the Arctic, which is fed by atmospheric transports. The main regions of import (and export) are identified and the vertical distribution and seasonalities are characterized. Changes by the end of the 21st century are discussed in the context of a major teleconnection, i.e. the Arctic Oscillation. References [1] Guglielmo F, Lammel G, Maier-Reimer E: Global environmental cycling of DDT and ?-HCH in the 1980s - a study using a coupled atmosphere and ocean general circulation model. Chemosphere 76 (2009) 1509-1517 [2] Stemmler I, Lammel G: Cycling of DDT in the global oceans 1950-2002: World ocean returns the pollutant. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36 (2009) L24602 [3] Hofmann L, Stemmler I, Lammel G: The impact of organochlorines cycling in the cryosphere on their global distributions and fate - 2. Land ice and temporary snow cover. Environ. Pollut. 162 (2012) 482

  16. Remote Sensing of Arctic and Boreal Atmospheric Composition from a Highly Elliptical Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nassar, Ray; McElroy, C. Tom; Walker, Kaley A.; McLinden, Chris; Sioris, Chris E.; Jones, Dylan B. A.; Martin, Randall V.; Rochon, Yves; Garand, Louis; Trischencko, Alexander P.

    2016-04-01

    The Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) mission is a proposed Canadian mission that aims to provide continuous meteorological observations and communications capacity over the Arctic and northern latitudes from a pair of satellites in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) configuration. The Weather, Climate and Air quality (WCA) concept is a mission enhancement that completed a Phase A study through the Polar Highly Elliptical Orbit Science (PHEOS) program. The PHEOS-WCA instrument suite would consist of a high resolution Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) operating in the mid-, near- and shortwave infrared and a UV-Visible grating Spectrometer (UVS), both with 2-dimensional imaging capability. These instruments would enable dense measurements of numerous quantities important for understanding weather (H2O and temperature profiles), climate (column-averaged CO2 and CH4) and air quality (tropospheric O3, CO, NO2, SO2, NH3, HCN, CH3OH, BrO, aerosols, ….) with a pixel size of 10×10 km2 or better and repeat time targeted at 2 hours or less. Our studies have demonstrated that HEO observations of CO2 offer major advantages over those from low earth orbit (LEO) for constraining CO2 surface sources and sinks in the Arctic and boreal regions, especially in the summer when there is the potential for the release of CO2 from permafrost thaw and boreal forest disturbances. This presentation will give an overview of the PHEOS-WCA mission concept, discuss its complementarity with upcoming international missions and provide an update on recent progress and challenges in moving forward.

  17. Peeking Under the Ice… Literally: Records of Arctic Climate Change from Radiocarbon Dating Moss Emerging from Beneath Retreating Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brin