Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Thousand year old Arctic ponds are disappearing due to global warming

03.07.2007
Research has uncovered alarming evidence that high Arctic ponds, many which have been permanent bodies of water for thousands of years, are completely drying out during the polar summer. These shallow ponds, which dot the Arctic landscape, are important indicators of environment change and are especially susceptible to the effects of climate change because of their low water volume.

Marianne Douglas, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science and Director of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute at the University of Alberta, and John Smol, Professor of Biology at Queen’s University, studied these unique Arctic ponds for the past 24 years, collecting detailed data such as water quality and water levels from approximately 40 ponds. Collectively, this data represents the longest record of systematic limnological (the science of the properties of fresh water) monitoring from the high Arctic.

Over the 24 years the researchers spent monitoring the ponds, they recorded evidence of recent lower water levels and changes in water chemistry consistent with an increase in evaporation/precipitation ratios (E/P) and warmer temperatures. Until recently, the ponds of the study sites were permanent features of the landscape, but in early July 2006, because of warming trends in the Arctic, several of the main study ponds dried up completely, whereas others had dramatically reduced water levels.

“It was quite shocking to see some of our largest study ponds dry up by early summer,” said Douglas.

The ecological ramifications of these changes are likely severe and will be felt throughout the Arctic ecosystem, says Douglas. It would affect waterfowl habitat and breeding grounds, invertebrate population dynamics and food for insectivores and drinking water for animals, to name only a few.

“These surface water ponds are so important because they are often hotspots of biodiversity and production for microorganisms, plants and animals in this otherwise extreme terrestrial environment.” said Douglas.

In February 2007, Dr. Douglas and a group of researchers met with European VIPS to discuss Canada’s role in the climate-change discussion. Josh Ashton, England’s special representative for climate change at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Henry Derwent, director of climate, energy and environment risk at the UK Department for Environment, toured Canada to talk with scientists, industry representatives and policy-makers about global warming.

Kris Connor | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>