Often referred to as a ‘canary in a coal mine’ as it is one of the first places on Earth to show the impacts of climate change.
Temperatures here are rising 2X faster than anywhere else, causing rapid ablation of ice.
« Tree line moving north, into higher altitudes.
« Tundra ecosystems being lost as climate warms and other plants taking over.
« Thawing permafrost (producing methane)
« The spread of species such as the spruce bark beetle in Alaska – changing the food chain.
« Increase in the number of boreal fires in Arctic Russia – 10 million hectares burn each year. Boreal ecosystems account for 37% of the world’s carbon pool on land.
« Warmer waters reduce quantity of marine plants which smaller fish feed on. Therefore creating a negative multiplier effect up the food chain, eventually affecting top predators e.g. polar bears.
« Faster annual ice melt reduces polar bear’s spring hunting season.
« Longer summers mean that female bears lose too much body…