Navigation Links
Biologists lead international team to track Arctic response to climate change
Date:2/20/2013

SOLOMONS, MD (February 21, 2013)--Biologists Jackie Grebmeier and Lee Cooper from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory have been visiting the chilly area north of Alaska near the Bering Strait for more than 20 years, but it's only in the last few years that they have seen things really start to change. And fast. Last summer was the highest ice retreat in the Arctic record, and eight of the last ten years have seen the lowest ice on record.

"We're seeing the highest sea ice retreat in the whole Arctic," said Jackie Grebmeier, research professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and chair of the International Pacific Arctic Group. "It's the most productive part of the Arctic, and it's in the U.S.' backyard."

At the end of February, they travel to Seattle gather an international team of scientists to establish a Distributed Biological Observatory in the North American Arctic. Funded by a five-year award from the National Science Foundation, researchers from Japan, Korea, China, Canada, Russia, and the United States will systematically track the biological response to sea ice retreat and the resulting environmental changes in the Bering and Chukchi Seas to the west and north of Alaska.

"It has been projected that there won't be ice in the summer in the Arctic Ocean by 2050," said research professor Lee Cooper. "But the ice is disappearing faster than all of the models."

Through observing stations in five "hot" spots, scientists will monitor everything from the temperature and salinity of the water and the amount of zooplankton (fish food) swimming around in the waters to clams clinging to the shores and how many birds, walruses, and polar bears continue to call the area home. The goal is to observe and document how the Arctic creatures are responding to climate change and track those ecosystem changes under further loss of sea ice.

In Arctic food webs, even small changes can have large cascading effects on higher organisms. Intense studies of these areas will help scientists to better understand how climate change affects Arctic biology, and how these changes in turn affect the Earth system. No ice in the summer means thinner ice that melts faster in the winter. It's multi-year ice that keeps the Arctic cold, and helps control weather around the world.

"When you change sea ice, you change climate and weather patterns that affect us throughout the U.S.," said Grebmeier, who represents the United States on the International Arctic Science Committee.

A decline in sea ice has other implications, as well. Fishing might move north. Ships from China might take a shortcut through the Bering Strait to reach destinations in Europe instead of the long trip across the Indian Ocean and through the Suez Canal. Oil companies could more easily access oil reserves for more of the year. People who live in the Arctic are also interested in these changes, as increased use of the waterways can lead to contamination of fisheries, pollution, and shifts in their economy.

"When you go up there you really see changes," said Grebmeier. "We're like the frogs in the pot here. But up there, just in the past 20 or 30 years, the changes have been quite obvious."


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Pelsinsky
apelsinsky@umces.edu
410-330-1389
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. IU biologists offer clearer picture of how protein machine systems tweak gene expression
2. Microbiologists can now measure extremely slow life
3. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
4. Penn biologists identify a key enzyme involved in protecting nerves from degeneration
5. University of Toronto biologists predict extinction for organisms with poor quality genes
6. Biologists turn back the clock to understand evolution of sex differences
7. Double the pain: RUB biologists find the cause of pain in the treatment of fair skin cancer
8. UCLA biologists reveal potential fatal flaw in iconic sexual selection study
9. New book on stereology by Mark West is essential reading for neurobiologists
10. SF State biologists tag zombees to track their flight
11. Biologists unlocking the secrets of plant defenses, 1 piece at a time
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Biologists lead international team to track Arctic response to climate change
(Date:6/27/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Biometrics ... The report forecasts the biometrics market ... CAGR of 12.28% during the period 2016-2020. The ... inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape and ... a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. ...
(Date:6/22/2016)...  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest ... in Las Vegas . ... in each of the following categories: net square feet of ... attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   Acuant ... and verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ... solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and ... products that add functional enhancements to existing ... corporations and venues with an automated ID ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Alex,s Lemonade ... announced that that it will open a state-of-the-art bioinformatics ... childhood cancer research. This announcement comes as Liz ... attends the National Cancer Moonshot Summit in ... Dr. Biden as a participant and advocate of pediatric ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Global demand for enzymes is forecast to grow ... billion.  This market includes enzymes used in industrial ... animal feed, and other markets) and specialty applications ... beverages will remain the largest market for enzymes, ... containing enzymes in developing regions.  These and other ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... GUELPH, ON , June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM ... it has been advised by its major shareholders, Clean ... LP, United States based venture ... common shares of Biorem (on a fully diluted, as ... for the disposition of their entire equity holdings in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... DIEGO , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. ... committed to enabling healthier lives through the development of ... Court of the United States ... courts that the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. ... patent eligibility criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: