Microbial colonizers of Arctic soils are sensitive to future climate change

A team of researchers from the University of Bristol have recently shown that ecosystems created by melting glaciers in the Arctic are sensitive to climate change and human activity.

Melting ice is exposing vast landscapes that are colonised by simple forms of microbial life.

These microbes in Arctic soils must cope with short cool summers and long freezing winters, as well as starvation from nutrients.

However, warming temperatures, shorter winters, and increased impacts from human activity threatens the balance of this unique and delicate ecosystem.

The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue international forum

Arctic and non-Arctic countries have expressed their willingness to jointly develop the North Pole in a sustainable manner during a just concluded forum here.

More than 2,000 participants from nearly 30 countries, including senior government officials, organization leaders and

experts, attended the fourth International Arctic Forum (IAF) held in Russia’s far northwestern city of Arkhangelsk on

Wednesday and Thursday.

They envisaged cooperation in a broad range of fields, mainly including energy production and transport connectivity.

Rustam Tankayev, a leading expert with the Russian Union of Oil and Gas Producers, noted that no country can manage Arctic development on its own as the challenges are too knowledge-, capital- and labor-intensive, saying: “The only way to achieve success is through collaboration.”

ENERGY PRODUCTION

Russia, China Agree to Expand Cooperation on Arctic Exploration

Russia and China agreed on Wednesday to expand cooperation in Arctic exploration, including implementation of joint projects under the Northern Sea Route program, Russian Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexey Gruzdev said.

ARKHANGELSK (Sputnik) — Co-chairs of Russian-Chinese commission for preparation of regular meetings of heads of governments held talks on Wednesday on the sidelines of the International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk.

On March 29-30, the Russian city of Arkhangelsk is hosting an international forum called "Arctic: Territory of Dialogue." The main issues on the agenda are human resources, investments in the region, exploration of the Artic and environment protection.

 

The forum in Arkhangelsk is taking place a month before the Arctic council, an intergovernmental platform for the Arctic nations. This year, the council will meet in Fairbanks, Alaska in the United States. It will involve representatives of the US, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Arctic turns green as sea ice melts to record low levels

By Ian Johston

'All of a sudden, our entire idea about how this ecosystem works is different'

The pristine white of the Arctic is turning green because massive blooms of plankton can grow beneath the thinning sheets of sea ice, according to a new study.

The phenomenon was first noticed in 2011 and was something of a surprise as it had been believed that the water beneath the ice was far too dark for plants to photosynthesize.

But now researchers have established the reason the plankton can flourish in such a usually alien environment is that rising temperatures have melted the ice to the point where light can pass through.

After developing a mathematical model, they concluded about 30 per cent of the Arctic sea ice is thin enough for this to happen, compared to just three to four per cent only 20 years ago, they reported in the journal Science Advances.

North-south dialogue: Two Dalhousie students particiapte in Arctic Youth Ambassador Caucus

By Debra Wells-Hopey 

Global Vision, a national not-for-profit, has a mission to engage young Canadians through education and hands-on experiences, helping to develop leaders that can make a difference in their communities. As part of this process, it recently organized an Arctic Youth Ambassador Caucus held in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Mariam Ragab (right) with Nunavut’s Minister of Education Paul Quassa.

Two Dalhousie University students recently returned from the event and shared their experiences. From March 8-12, Madison Campbell and Mariam Ragab joined a group of 50 youth leaders (25 students from the southern provinces met with 25 students from the North) who had been selected from coast to coast to coast to attend the southern mission to the North.

Pollution in China. The butterfly’s effect

By Marc Lanteigne

Analysis | Arctic change is having non-Arctic consequences, which is driving non-Arctic states to get more involved in the Arctic.

A longstanding mantra in environmental policy circles decrees that whatever happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. Concerns about climate change in the circumpolar north have hardly been restricted to that region, especially as evidence of the potential global effects of sea level rise and changed weather patterns, as a result of Arctic Ocean ice, loss continues to accumulate.

Pages