Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
Ecological impact on Canada's Arctic coastline linked to climate change
by Staff Writers
Kingston, Canada (SPX) May 18, 2011


Dead vegetation killed by the 1999 storm surge is in stark contrast to the vegetation along the edges of waterways that receive regular freshwater (and thus survived the damage). Credit: Trevor Lantz, University of Victoria

Scientists from Queen's and Carleton universities head a national multidisciplinary research team that has uncovered startling new evidence of the destructive impact of global climate change on North America's largest Arctic delta.

"One of the most ominous threats of global warming today is from rising sea levels, which can cause marine waters to inundate the land," says the team's co-leader, Queen's graduate student Joshua Thienpont. "The threat is especially acute in polar regions, where shrinking sea ice increases the risk of storm surges."

By studying growth rings from coastal shrubs and lake sediments in the Mackenzie Delta region of the Northwest Territories - the scene of a widespread and ecologically destructive storm surge in 1999 - the researchers have discovered that the impact of these salt-water surges is unprecedented in the 1,000-year history of the lake.

"This had been predicted by all the models and now we have empirical evidence," says team co-leader Michael Pisaric, a geography professor at Carleton. The Inuvialuit, who live in the northwest Arctic, identified that a major surge had occurred in 1999, and assisted with field work.

The researchers studied the impact of salt water flooding on alder bushes along the coastline. More than half of the shrubs sampled were dead within a year of the 1999 surge, while an additional 37 per cent died within five years. A decade after the flood, the soils still contained high concentrations of salt.

In addition, sediment core profiles from inland lakes revealed dramatic changes in the aquatic life - with a striking shift from fresh to salt-water species following the storm surge.

"Our findings show this is ecologically unprecedented over the last millennium," says Queen's biology professor and team member John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and winner of the 2004 NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada's top scientist.

"The Arctic is on the front line of climate change. It's a bellwether of things to come: what affects the Arctic eventually will affect us all."

Since nearly all Arctic indigenous communities are coastal, the damage from future surges could also have significant social impacts. The team predicts that sea ice cover, sea levels and the frequency and intensity of storms and marine storm surges will become more variable in the 21st century.

Other members of the team include Trevor Lantz from the University of Victoria, Steven Kokelj from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Steven Solomon from the Geological Survey of Canada and Queen's undergraduate student Holly Nesbitt. Their findings are published in the prestigious international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

.


Related Links
Queen's University
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Denmark plans claim to North Pole seabed: foreign minister
Copenhagen (AFP) May 17, 2011
Denmark which already counts Greenland and the Faroe Islands as its Arctic territories is planning to lay claim to the North Pole sea bed, Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said in a statement Tuesday. "We expect that Denmark will be able to document claims to an area that among other things includes the sea bed at the North Pole," Espersen said in a statement, stressing however that "the North ... read more


ICE WORLD
A Wrinkly Old Reveal Clues To Its Past

MoonBots Challenges Teams to Conduct Lunar Missions with LEGO Robots

Earth's Nearest Neighbor Within Reach

Space Adventures proposes modified Soyuz TMA for Lunar tourists

ICE WORLD
Opportunity Cracks The 18-Mile Mark

Mars Science Laboratory Aeroshell Delivered To Launch Site

Mars Express Sees Deep Fractures on Mars

Opportunity Images Small Craters

ICE WORLD
NASA Announces Its First Payloads for Commercial Suborbital Spacecraft

Heaven is a 'fairy story': Hawking

Putting the Common Housefly onto the dinner plate

JPL Facility has Built Famed Spacecraft for 50 Years

ICE WORLD
Top Chinese scientists honored with naming of minor planets

China sees smooth preparation for launch of unmanned module

China to attempt first space rendezvous

Countdown begins for Chineses space station program

ICE WORLD
APL-Built Plasma Detector Launches on Space Shuttle Endeavour

"Canary" is Bound for ISS

Utah USTAR Professor's Invention Approved by NASA for Long-Term Use Aboard ISS

The Sabatier System: Producing Water on the ISS

ICE WORLD
Cadets Test-Fire Falcon launch Rocket

Upcoming Ariane 5 mission with GSAT-8 and ST-2 is given its "go" for launch

Preparations for third Ariane 5 mission of 2011 move into their final phase

Another Ariane 5 begins its assembly at the Spaceport

ICE WORLD
New SETI survey focuses on Kepler's top Earth-like planets

Searching for Aliens on Kepler's Planets

Study suggest water on distant planet

Endeavour flies to ISS for the last time

ICE WORLD
When is it worth the cost of remanufacturing

How to control complex networks

Mixing fluids efficiently in confined spaces: Let the fingers do the working

Raytheon Receives Contract to Produce Additional APG-79 AESA Radars




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement