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The future of the Arctic: what does it mean for sea ice and small creatures?


Kauko, HM and Fernandez-Mendez, M and Meyer, A and Rosel, A and Itkin, P and Graham, RM and Pavlov, AK, The future of the Arctic: what does it mean for sea ice and small creatures?, Frontiers for Young Minds, 8 Article 97. ISSN 2296-6846 (2020) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

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DOI: doi:10.3389/frym.2020.00097


The warming of our planet is changing the Arctic dramatically. The area covered by sea-ice is shrinking and the ice that is left is younger and thinner. We took part in an expedition to the Arctic, to study how these changes affect organisms living in and under the ice. Following this expedition, we found that storms can more easily break the thinner ice. Storms form cracks in the sea ice, allowing sunlight to pass into the water below, which makes algal growth possible. Algae are microscopic "plants" that grow in water or sea ice. Storms also brought thick heavy snow, which pushed the ice surface below the water. This flooded the snow and created slush. We discovered that this slush is another good habitat for algae. If Arctic sea ice continues to thin, and storms become more common, we expect that these algal habitats will become more important in the future.

Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Keywords:Arctic, sea ice, algae, habitat, storms, diatom, ecosystem, ocean current
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
UTAS Author:Meyer, A (Dr Amelie Meyer)
ID Code:141818
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-11-24
Last Modified:2020-12-21

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