Monday, November 28, 2016
Global warming has had extensive effects in the arctic regions of the world, and is consequently changing the ecosystems present. Shown in the Landsat image is Wrangel Island (Russia) which is located in the Arctic Ocean (at about the same latitude as northern Alaska) and is one of the most restricted nature reserves in the world.
The image shows a bloom of algae surrounding the island. Between the years of 1997 and 2015, the annual production of algae has increased by an estimated 47%. This is a big deal for the aquatic environment because algae are at the base of the food web and are consumed by krill and other invertebrates, which in turn fuel the rest of the food chain.
Generally we hear about the average global temperature increase when talking about global warming, but this is not representative of what is happening in certain areas like the Arctic. When this article was published in the NY Times (Nov 22, 2016), temperatures in the arctic have been as much as 36 degrees above the average temperatures based on records from the Danish Meteorological Institute. In October of 2016, the extent of sea ice was 28.5 % below average (lowest since records were started in 1979). This is about the size of Alaska and Texas put together.
This information was taken from the NY Times Article by Carl Zimmer and can be located at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/science/global-warming-alters-arctic-food-chain.html?_r=0