Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

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

15.09.2009
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, ilkka.hanski@helsinki.fi
Dr Olivier Gilg
E-mail: olivier.gilg@gmail.com

Ilkka Hanski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.helsinki.fi

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

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: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>