Arctic Climate Change Essay

907 Words Nov 2nd, 2011 4 Pages
Changes in the Arctic climate will not only affect the animals, plants and people living in the Arctic regions, but it will also affect the rest of the world. The Arctic region is made up of the northern parts of Canada, the United States, Greenland, Iceland and the Eurasian continents. The changes in the climate will increase global warming in these countries causing the sea level to rise all around the world.

Here is how the climate has been changing in the Arctic. This evidence of this change includes a rise in temperatures which causes the melting of glaciers, sea ice, and permafrost. The increase in melt water results in the rising of the sea level. Over the current century, there are four major changes that are expected to occur.
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The increase in temperature is expected to cause a “northward expansion” of vegetation. This means that the tundra is expected to move into the polar deserts, and the boreal forests are expected to expand into the tundra. The expansion of forest is expected to increase global warming because the boreal forest is darker than the tundra it is replacing. Being darker, it will absorb more of the sun’s energy, warming the planet’s surface. This negative effect is relatively counterbalanced by the larger number of trees that absorb more carbon from the atmosphere.

Here is how the climate change in the Arctic will affect its animals. Many of the animals in the Arctic depend on the sea ice for survival. With the increase in the world’s temperature, the sea ice melts and destroys the habitats of polar bears, seals, walruses, and seabirds. These animals also depend on the sea’s biological productivity. Arctic warming also has a strong effect on marine fish stocks, the aquaculture of salmon and trout, and certain types of vegetation which animals depend on for food.

The settlements and infrastructures in the Arctic region are affected by the climate change. The thawing of the permafrost causes construction problems. Engineers have had to modify plans for new construction as a preventative measure. This increases the building costs. Furthermore, many

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