SYNOPTIC 2015 - Arctic Biodiversity Report Findings

Key findings from the Arctic Biodiversity Report with extra research for each area.

2015 Arctic on the Edge Synoptic 

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  • Created on: 08-05-15 08:11
Preview of SYNOPTIC 2015 - Arctic Biodiversity Report Findings

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Francesca Foley Twilight Lesson: Arctic
Key Findings Key notes, facts, figures evidence Synoptic links to other
(summary) topics studied at A
Biodiversity is being Degrading :
degraded, but The most visible changes in the Arctic are those to the physical environment, including warming
decisive action taken temperature s, the loss of sea ice and an increasing collective footprint from industrial activities . The
now can help sustain resulting ecological impacts are often much harder to see. Yet these changes are important to consider
vast, relatively now, since impacts being felt today may take years or decades to show their full effect. Conservation of
undisturbed Arctic biodiversity will no longer happen by default. It is possible only if decisive actions are taken now, to
ecosystems of conserve for posterity the Arctic legacy that enriches the world today.
tundra, mountains,
fresh water and seas Impacts on Biodiversity:
and the valuable Climate change is already having an impact on biodiversity, and is projected to become a progressively
services they provide. more significant threat in the coming decades. Loss of Arctic sea ice threatens biodiversity across an entire
biome and beyond. The related pressure of ocean acidification, resulting from higher concentrations of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, is also already being observed.
Whole species assemblages are adapted to life on top of or under ice -- from the algae that grow on the
underside of multi-year ice, forming up to 25% of the Arctic Ocean's primary production, to the
invertebrates, birds, fish and marine mammals further up the food chain." The iconic polar bear at the top
of that food chain is therefore not the only species at risk even though it may get more media attention.
Though small, Phytoplankton are a critical part of our planetary life support system. They produce half of
the oxygen we breathe, draw down surface CO2, and ultimately support all of our fisheries. Researchers
have found a direct correlation between rising sea surface temperatures and the decline in phytoplankton
growth around the world.
Sensitivity is particularly high in the Arctic. Reindeer and caribou are among the most sensitive species in
the Arctic to human activity, often reducing the use of grazing grounds by 50 per cent to 90 per cent
within four to 10km of roads, power lines or resorts. Large Arctic carnivores abandon areas when road
densities reach typically around 0.5 to 0.6 km/km squared.

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Francesca Foley Twilight Lesson: Arctic
Arctic birds suffer when development leads to drainage of wetlands. They also suffer from traffic noise as
a result of the building of new roads. Studies indicate that a variety of bird populations can fall by as much
as 44 per cent up to 1.…read more

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Francesca Foley Twilight Lesson: Arctic
i. The heath is predicted to move uphill, with its mean altitude changing from about 760
m to about 1160 m. The questions for the conservation of this type of heathland are
whether all heaths below 700 m will cease to exist and whether the heaths can
actually establish at altitudes of between about 1300 and 1600 m.
ii.…read more

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Francesca Foley Twilight Lesson: Arctic
especially birds along Many bird species are vulnerable to changes in the fish and crustacean populations (the birds' food
the East Asian flyway source). It will be particularly difficult for the bird species that have become specialised to eat just one
type of food. If its access to this food disappears, then the conditions necessary for the survival of this
species will also disappear.…read more

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Francesca Foley Twilight Lesson: Arctic
vulnerable. The polar bear is one such species, and the extent and sustainability of sea ice is essential for
its survival. A substantial reduction in sea ice - particularly during the summer - will make productive
ocean areas far more inaccessible for polar bears, forcing them to move to mainland areas or relatively
unproductive arctic waters. This could reduce individual survival rates and affect the species in the long
term.…read more

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Francesca Foley Twilight Lesson: Arctic
(SOx) gases are emitted. However, there are areas of the Arctic where the degree of acid deposition
exceeds the soil's capacity to deal with it, i.e., the critical load[
There are currently To date, invasive alien plants have reached the low Arctic in Alaska. Over a dozen terrestrial invasive
few invasive alien non-native plant species are known from the Canadian low and high Arctic.…read more

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Francesca Foley Twilight Lesson: Arctic
monitoring efforts, the Greenland government is piloting a natural resource monitoring system called
Opening Doors to Native Knowledge, whereby local people and local authority staff are directly involved
in data collection, interpretation and resource management.
WWF helped found the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which has set an environmental standard to
identify sustainable fisheries. We work with partners to help fisheries qualify for MSC certification. Nearly
15,000 seafood products with over $3 billion in annual sales bear the MSC label.…read more

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Francesca Foley Twilight Lesson: Arctic
increasingly needed to fully address the conservation challenges that face Arctic biodiversity now and in the
decades to come. The recommendations that follow recognize the interconnected and transboundary nature
of the challenges to biodiversity conservation in the Arctic and beyond.…read more


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