CASE STUDY 1 - Arctic impacts

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predicted to melt

because of the albedo effect (more water absorbing more radiation)

in next 100 years predicted to be 3-5 degrees warmer over land and up to 7 over ocean

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impact on natural systems

vegetation shifts

predicted to shift north with warmer temperatures

could destablise the food webs

longer growing seasons


40% expected to thaw

releases methane - add to enhanced greenhouse effect

collapsing ground surfaces, draining of lakes, toppling of trees - loss of habitats

more fires and pests

drier and warmer - more fires - destroy habitats

more habitats for moss, fungi and birds

carbon cycle

more CO2 uptake and more productivity but more release of methane emissions

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impact on ecology

land species (who depend on ice) are at risk

loss of polar bear/seal habitats - they depend on the ice for hunting ground

some fish species 

eg arctic cisco can't survive the warmer waters and so have to move north


trees in Tundra are younger as they move North

Boreal forest tree line advance in Alaska - encroaching

new species

new invasive species eg fungi, moss, birds - warm enough to sustain vegetation

changing migration patterns

hunting in different places such as Carabu in Alaska

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impact on society


  • increased access through the North West passage for marine shipping (oil and gas)
  • enhanced agriculture and forestry and longer growing seasons (greenland cabbage)
  • access to oil, gas, fish resources


  • more danger to ships from ice bergs coming through the passage
  • need to herd animals to change migration routes
  • loss of hunting grounds and culture to the Arctic's indigenous communities like the innuit
  • melting of permafrost making the grounds unstable to build on
  • decline of agricultural opportunities because fish species like broad whitefish, arctic char and arctic cisco are threatened by the warmer waters (but it allows for some new opportunities for commercial fishing as new breeds eg cod move in)
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Michael Adeniyi

Quality, nice and precise 

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