Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate Change Affecting Even Remote Arctic Environment, Study Says

Date:
June 12, 2001
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
The remoteness of one of the world's largest ecosystems has not made it immune from global environmental problems, according to a major new report on the state of Arctic biodiversity, funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The remoteness of one of the world's largest ecosystems has not made it immune from global environmental problems, according to a major new report on the state of Arctic biodiversity, funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

"Arctic Flora and Fauna: Status and Conservation" was released today in Finland by the Arctic Council's working group for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF). The report includes contributions from more than 150 specialists and experts throughout the Arctic.

"Many scientists or groups of specialists have looked at parts of the Arctic or at different species, but until now no one has taken a comprehensive look at the state of the entire Arctic," said Sune Sohlberg of Sweden, who chairs the CAFF working group. "Thanks to this report, we now have a better idea of conservation needs around the circumpolar region."

At the local level, the report argues, there is clear evidence that several economically-important species have been exploited, and habitat has been fragmented due to development activities.

It adds that climate change is already having measurable effects on Arctic species, permafrost, and sea ice; alien invasive species are increasingly penetrating the region; and contaminants released thousands of kilometers away are appearing at high levels in human and wildlife communities.

The report also highlights the lack of critical information in many areas. Population figures for plants and animals may be uncertain, and the scientific understanding of the ways the Arctic ecosystem functions in changing environment is incomplete. However, these population figures provide a baseline for later research and monitoring data.

The report was developed over a two-year period and funded in part by a $56,000 grant from NSF's division of environmental biology. Based on the latest scientific information, the book-length report provides a clear understanding of the importance of the Earth's largest eco-region and its status in a rapidly changing world.

Henry Huntington, the lead U.S. researcher and chief writer on the editorial team, called it "more a starting point than a final report." He added, "finding and compiling data on species populations and other basic parameters was harder than we had expected. I hope the Arctic Council will build on our work, both through further research that takes a circumpolar perspective and through actions that respond to the threats identified in the report."

Using plain language and numerous maps, diagrams and photographs, the report is designed to be accessible to both scientists and non-scientists. By bringing together local and regional information, it paints a circumpolar picture of the status and trends in Arctic flora and fauna, including information on population sizes and changes, and a list of globally threatened species in the Arctic.

The report was compiled by an international editorial team under the direction of Paula Kankaanpδδ of the Finnish Ministry of Environment and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi. Funding for preparing and publishing the report came from a variety of sources around the Arctic, including NSF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Following presentation of the report to the Arctic Council's senior arctic officials today, CAFF will develop specific recommendations for action, which are expected to be delivered to the Arctic Council's next ministerial meeting in fall 2002. These recommendations will likely chart the course of CAFF's work for the next several years, and are expected to be used by other organizations interested in Arctic conservation.

The Arctic Council is an intergovenmnetal forum that provides a mechanism to address common concerns and challenges faced by the Arctic governments and the people of the Arctic. It was established in 1996 in Ottawa, Canada.

Council members are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America. The Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation, the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the Saami Council, the Aleutian International Association, Arctic Athabaskan Council and Gwich'in Council International are Permanent Participants in the Council.

For more information about the Arctic Council, see: http://www.arctic-council.org For more information on the Arctic Council's Program for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, see: http://www.grida.no/caff.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Climate Change Affecting Even Remote Arctic Environment, Study Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065902.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2001, June 12). Climate Change Affecting Even Remote Arctic Environment, Study Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065902.htm
National Science Foundation. "Climate Change Affecting Even Remote Arctic Environment, Study Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065902.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) — Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) — Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) — One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins