The Arctic is failing.
December 2, 2011 7:17 AM Subscribe
posted by ChuraChura (25 comments total)
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its 2011 Arctic Report Card
. Persistent warming has caused dramatic changes in the Arctic Ocean and the ecosystem it supports.
Ocean changes include reduced sea ice and freshening of the upper ocean, and impacts such as increased biological productivity at the base of the food chain and loss of habit for walrus and polar bears
. Higher temperatures in the Arctic and lower temperatures in some lower latitudes are shifting the global atmospheric wind pattern.
. There is a decline in the extent of summer ice, the age of ice, and a freshening of ocean water (as fresh water melts out of the ice)
. A serious loss of glaciers and snow, combined with higher permafrost temperatures, are warming the Arctic air.
. Tundra vegetation is staying greener longer, causing warmer land temperatures and increasing open water.
. The Arctic Ocean's benthic community is being replaced by those endemic to North America. This affects animals up the trophic level - seabirds, marine mammals, polar bears.
Report cards are also available from 2010
, and 2006