Changing Arctic ecosystems: sea ice decline, permafrost thaw, and benefits for geese

Fact Sheet 2014-3088
By: , and 

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Abstract

Through the Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to inform resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. A key area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 30 years, leading to reductions in sea ice and thawing of permafrost. Loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Saltwater tolerant plants are now thriving in these areas and this appears to be a positive outcome for geese in the Arctic. This finding is contrary to the deleterious effects that declining sea ice is having on habitats of ice-dependent animals, such as polar bear and walrus.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Changing Arctic ecosystems: sea ice decline, permafrost thaw, and benefits for geese
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2014-3088
DOI 10.3133/fs20143088
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description 2 p.
Country United States
State Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) Y