Impacts of Climate change on the Artic

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  • Impacts of Climate Change in the Artic
    • Vulnerability
      • Greenland ice sheet melting
      • Permafrost boundary moving north and area covered is shrinking
      • area of Artic sea ice is shrinking at an increasing rate
      • reductions in ice thickness
      • treeline moving north-area where trees grow is shrinking
      • predicted to warm by 18degrees f by 2100
    • Social Impacts
      • area of inhabitable land will increase due to ice melt
        • increased population - immigration
      • destruction of entire villages -ice thinner + weaker
        • 24 villages in Alaska now threatened by flooding
        • more dangerous waves +storms
      • over 3000 households rely on hunting + fishing
      • Indigenous people benefit from tourism
        • 30% now make income from sculptures or printmaking
    • Economical Impacts
      • opening of northwest passage
        • imports + exports
        • quicker to travel
        • travel tour operations from places like Canada
      • Indigenous people hunt fish which are declining
      • increased melting of Greenland Ice sheet - increased Agriculture potential
        • longer warmer growing seasons
        • improved soil
      • opportunities for TNC's to exploit oil sources
    • Environmental Impacts
      • sea ice becomes thinner (10-15% reduction)
      • sept 2002 smaller ice cover on record
      • increased coastal erosion
        • Thawing permafrost weakens coast
      • greater use of northwest passage
        • increased risk of oil spills
      • decreased salinity of the ocean's surface layer
      • sea ice decreased by 8%
        • an area  larger than Denmark, Sweden + Norway
        • access to  fish, oil + gas
      • 40% of permafrost will thaw
        • releases methane
    • Ecological Impacts
      • longer warmer growing seasons will benefit agriculture
      • total number of species will increase
      • warm water reduces amount of marine plants that smaller fish feed on
        • affect food chain higher up e.g. Cod + Halibut
          • Can affect seals - multiplier effect
      • Polar Bears
        • Fear of exinction
        • smaller sea stocks reduce available food supply
        • reduced hunting season due to  melting of ice sheet
      • increased ultra violet radiation destroys phyto plankton - base of marine food chain
      • Species go north e.g. Killer Whale affecting food chain
        • some will suffer major increase

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