Friday, September 11, 2009
Massive changes in the Artic weather and ice levels happening
Global warming is already devastating the habitat of animals in the colder regions in the extreme North. The impact on polar bears is already pretty well known, but there are a whole range of animals that are affected (link to article):
The Arctic as we know it may soon be a thing of the past. That's the message from Eric Post, lead scientist of a new report into the effects of climate change on life in the Arctic. "It seems no matter where you look -- on the ground, in the air, or in the water -- we're seeing signs of rapid change," said Post in a press statement.
With the decline in sea ice and snow, animals usually seen at lower latitudes are being found in more northerly regions, including red foxes that have been displacing native Arctic foxes. Migratory caribou in low Arctic Greenland and elsewhere are declining in number as they have not been able to keep their calving season in synch with changes in plant growth. With the decline in caribou comes a knock-on effect to native Inuit hunters, according to the report's authors. Hotter summers could result in more insects and parasites that prey on the caribou, which could then also reduce the annual caribou harvest by local indigenous peoples.
This impact on animals and the native human populations is different from 'Survival of the fittest' since these are changes made by humans. Unfortunately, these are just an indicator of the impact of global warming, the changes are happening all around us.