New international study suggests effects of climate change may be irreversible
Unprecedented and maybe irreversible effects of Arctic warming, linked to human intervention, have been discovered by a team of international researchers led by Queens University biologist John Smol and University of Alberta earth scientist Alexander Wolfe.
The researchers have found dramatic new evidence of changes in the community composition of freshwater algae, water fleas and insect larvae (the base of most aquatic food webs) in a large new study that covers five circumpolar countries extending halfway around the world and 30 degrees of latitude spanning boreal forest to high arctic tundra ecosystems.
"This is an important compilation of data that human interference is affecting ecosystems on a profound scale," says Dr. Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and 2004 winner of Canadas top science award, the Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal. "Were crossing ecological thresholds here, as shown by changes in biota associated with climate-related phenomena like receding ice cover in lakes. Once you pass these thresholds its hard to go back."
Nancy Dorrance | EurekAlert!
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