Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reduced sea ice disturbs balance of greenhouse gases

18.02.2013
The widespread reduction in Arctic sea ice is causing significant changes to the balance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is shown in a new study conducted by researchers from Lund University in Sweden, among others.
According to the study, the melting of sea ice in the Arctic has a tangible impact on the balance of greenhouse gases in this region, both in terms of uptake and release. The researchers have studied the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane both in the tundra and in the Arctic Ocean.

“Changes in the balance of greenhouse gases can have major consequences because, globally, plants and the oceans absorb around half of the carbon dioxide that humans release into the air through the use of fossil fuels. If the Arctic component of this buffer changes, so will the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”, says Dr Frans-Jan Parmentier, a researcher at Lund University, Sweden.

He has carried out the research study together with a number of colleagues both from Lund University and from Denmark, Greenland, Canada and the USA. The researchers observed that a vicious circle is formed when the sea ice melts. Normally, the white ice reflects sunlight, which then bounces out into space, but when the sea-ice cover shrinks, the amount of sunlight reflected is also reduced. Instead, a larger proportion is absorbed by the surface of the ocean, which causes warming that contributes to the rise in air temperatures around the Arctic.

On the one hand, the rising temperatures make vegetation grow more vigorously and therefore more carbon dioxide is taken up, which is a positive effect. On the other hand, the same temperature rise means that more carbon dioxide and methane are released from the soil, which has a strong negative impact on the climate, according to Dr Frans-Jan Parmentier.

In addition to the changes on land, the present study shows that there are a number of uncertainties surrounding the effects of the melting ice on the amount of greenhouse gases exchanged by the ocean through natural processes. Many of these marine processes are poorly understood in this context.

“We know very little about how the shrinking sea ice cover disturbs the balance of greenhouse gases in the sea in the long term”, says Dr Parmentier.

For more information, please contact:

Frans-Jan Parmentier
Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University
frans-jan.parmentier@nateko.lu.se
tel. +46 723 37 29 54

Torben R. Christensen
Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University
torben.christensen@nateko.lu.se
tel. +46 709 56 37 43

Helga Ekdahl Heun | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1784.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht New mathematical model can help save endangered species
14.01.2019 | University of Southern Denmark

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

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: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>