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10 facts about the Arctic!

Take the survey. Understanding these and other complex processes occurring in the Arctic is essential for the increasingly sophisticated computer models scientists use to predict weather and climate.


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Recent changes in the jet stream — a current of air that circles and insulates the Arctic like a giant thermos — have allowed warm, moist winds from low latitudes to move north. At the same time, chilly blasts of Arctic air — the dreaded polar vortices — have brought deep freeze conditions to the continental US and Europe. Concerns about global heating have spread far beyond the scientific community in recent years.

Low sea-ice cover in the Arctic | Watts Up With That?

The expedition starts on the same day as global climate protests and before a UN climate summit in New York next week. The effects of climate change are expected to vary regionally across the Arctic in the degree of sea-ice loss, the persistence of intact sea-ice, and how food webs are impacted Moore and Huntington In other areas such as the Canadian Archipelago, perennial ice is expected to persist longer and populations there remain relatively unaffected at present Moore and Huntington Although many scientists have emphasized known and expected negative impacts on Arctic marine mammals e.

For example, the body condition of bowhead whales has improved as the open water season has lengthened in the Beaufort Sea Moore Declines in the amount and thickness age of sea ice are creating more opportunities for human activity in the Arctic, with resulting impacts on marine mammals. This creates opportunities for oil and gas exploration and development, shipping, tourism, commercial fishing, and military operations.

These activities expose Arctic marine mammals to a variety of threats, including ship strikes, pollution, entanglement in fishing nets or lines, and exposure to human-caused sound and other forms of disturbance that previously either had been absent or had been present only on a much smaller scale. If the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change on some Arctic species is to be avoided, the source of the problem on a global scale will have to be addressed.

Regardless of the degree to which society and governments are able to alter the course of global warming, our challenge in the short-term is to understand the effects of climate change on the Arctic, and anticipate the impact on Arctic species and human communities to the fullest extent possible. Burek, K. Gulland, and T. Effects of climate change on Arctic marine mammal health.

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Ecological Applications 18 2 :S—S Doney, S. Fabry, R. Feely, and J. Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problem. Annual Review of Marine Science Evans, P. Pierce, and S. Climate change and marine mammals. Gilg, O. Kovacs, J. Aars, J. Fort, G.

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Gauthier, D. Ims, H. Meltofte, J.

The Unsung Heroes of the Arctic - Ep. 3 - Wildlife: The Big Freeze

Moreau, E. Post, N. Schmidt, G.

see Yannic, and L. Climate change and the ecology and evolution of Arctic vertebrates. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences — Harington, C. The evolution of Arctic marine mammals. Ecological Applications 18 2 :S23—S Huntington, H. A preliminary assessment of threats to arctic marine mammals and their conservation in the coming decades. Marine Policy Kovacs, K. Climate change impacts on seals and whales in the North Atlantic Arctic and adjacent shelf seas.


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Science Progress 91 2 Lydersen, J. Overland, and S. Impacts of changing sea-ice conditions on Arctic marine mammals.