IPY follow-up requires year-round research on Arctic and global warming
Arctic and Antarctic research teams pulled back to warmer climates when the International Polar Year wrapped last March. But the call has gone out for a return to the poles for a more focused investigation into the effects of global warming. Leading the charge back to the Canadian Arctic is David Hik, a University of Alberta biology professor and a lead researcher with IPY. "IPY gave us a great snapshot of the state of the planet's polar regions," said Hik. "But in the Arctic we made many observations that need a more thorough look, especially in the very early spring and the dead of winter."
Hik says university calendars dictate when most northern research can be done. The only time professors and graduate students have for distant fieldwork is spring and summer
"We have to be there as the snow begins to melt and we have to be there in the dark of winter to witness and document the effects of reduced snow cover," said Hik.
Hik says having researcher's boots on the ground throughout the year in the Arctic could focus intense research into areas touched upon during IPY. Those observations of the effects of a shorter winter and reduced snow cover on Arctic ecosystems include:
- Encroachment by the southern tree line and shrubs on Arctic tundra used by caribou.
- Arctic plants that are growing earlier in the spring and are past their energy yielding prime before calving caribou cows and other animals can use them.
- Reduced snow cover and its insulating qualities, which impacts hibernating species.
To follow through with observations made during IPY, Hik is helping organize a follow up conference of Arctic and Antarctic research teams for next June in Norway. Hik is co author of a paper summarizing recent IPY findings and the call for more focused research. It will be published in Science on Sept. 11.
Source: University of Alberta
Articles on the same topic
- The change in Arctic nature foreshadows the global environment of the futureFri, 11 Sep 2009, 9:24:58 EDT
- Scientists seek new emphases in Arctic climate change researchThu, 10 Sep 2009, 17:08:02 EDT
- Dramatic biological responses to global warming in the ArcticThu, 10 Sep 2009, 14:30:19 EDT
- Scientists seek new emphases in Arctic climate change researchfrom Science CentricFri, 11 Sep 2009, 9:14:10 EDT
- Experts Urge Year-round Research On Arctic And Global Warmingfrom Science DailyThu, 10 Sep 2009, 23:21:49 EDT
- Dramatic Biological Responses To Global Warming In The Arcticfrom Science DailyThu, 10 Sep 2009, 23:21:14 EDT
- Warming study: Arctic ‘severely perturbed’from MSNBC: ScienceThu, 10 Sep 2009, 17:35:42 EDT
- IPY follow-up requires year-round research on Arctic and global warmingfrom Science BlogThu, 10 Sep 2009, 17:14:11 EDT
- Dramatic biological responses to global warming in the Arcticfrom PhysorgThu, 10 Sep 2009, 15:28:30 EDT
- The Changing Arctic: How Animals Respond to Climate Changefrom Live ScienceThu, 10 Sep 2009, 14:35:10 EDT
- Study: The arctic is rapidly changingfrom UPIThu, 10 Sep 2009, 14:14:09 EDT
- Arctic Warming Overtakes 2,000 Years of Natural Coolingfrom Newswise - ScinewsTue, 8 Sep 2009, 14:21:15 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Smeagol found underground in Brazil: New eyeless and highly modified harvestman species
- New gene that makes common bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotic found in animals and patients in China
- Low-oxygen 'dead zones' in North Pacific linked to past ocean-warming events
- Blocking immune cell treats new type of age-related diabetes
- Forming planet observed for first time
- Assessing the role of negative citations in science
- Obese children's health rapidly improves with sugar reduction unrelated to calories
- Annual Antarctic ozone hole larger and formed later in 2015
- Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNA
- NASA study: Mass gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet greater than losses