Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The change in Arctic nature foreshadows the global environment of the future

In Arctic areas, climate change is progressing faster than in any other location on Earth.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki have participated in two new studies indicating that the changes are astonishingly fast. Many original species of Arctic areas are in jeopardy, as global warming causes species from southern areas to migrate north, where they occupy the living space of the original species.

The renowned Science magazine will publish a joint article by 25 researchers specialising in Arctic ecology. Olivier Gilg, researcher at the Faculty of Biosciences at the University of Helsinki, is one of the article?s contributing authors. The article was written under the supervision of Eric Post, professor at Penn State University.

The study results presented in the article indicate that the Arctic eco-system has experienced immense changes in the last twenty years. At many levels, the changes impact the eco-system services that the environment provides for people: the effects extend to the adequacy of natural resources, food production, climate temperature, and result in changes to the landscape. The changes in the northern nature can be interpreted as an advance warning of what is to be expected on all latitudes.

Arctic foxes and northern birch areas are in trouble

The results show that spring begins considerably sooner than before. The blossoming and pollination period of plants starts as much as twenty days sooner in comparison to the situation ten years ago. Predators are in dire straits because nutrition is now available too soon in relation to the otherwise favourable nesting period. The distribution of many insects has moved even more north. European winter moths, for example, have destroyed extensive birch areas in Lapland after moving north. Species invading new areas might supersede the original species in the area ? this is already happening to Arctic foxes, which are currently being overrun by red foxes.

Ivory gulls, ringed seals, polar bears and narwhals are examples of species with a small distribution and specialised habitats, and such species will be the first ones to suffer from the changes. They need the ice in seas to procreate and to find shelter from predators.

A publication concerning the indirect impact of climate change

Climate change also has indirect effects that appear in the interaction between different species. Olivier Gilg and academy professor Ilkka Hanski from the University of Helsinki have teamed up with Benoît Sittler, a researcher from the University of Freiburg, and studied the waning of the previously cyclical population dynamics of the collared lemming in Greenland. The results will be published in the journal Global Change Biology at the end of the year.

With mathematical models, the researchers showed that the drastic change in the population dynamics of collared lemmings is explained by the fact that snow melts sooner than before:the lemmings do not procreate as long as before below the snow, and are also easier for predators to hunt. In addition, frost-melt events in winter form ice layers in the snow layer or at the tundra's surface, which is why the lemmings are unable to find food like they used to.

Additional information:

Ilkka Hanski, Academy Professor
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of
Helsinki, tel. + 358 9 191 57745,
Dr Olivier Gilg

Ilkka Hanski | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>