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Small Arctic climate changes make big difference in ecosystem: study

Even a one-degree increase is melting permafrost, shrinking glaciers, and increasing sediment.


OTTAWA — A study examining the effects of climate change on a remote Arctic lake concludes such ecosystems are changing more quickly and profoundly than previously thought.

Canadian scientists recently published research on Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island.

They found that even a one-degree temperature increase is melting permafrost, shrinking glaciers, increasing sediment and changing the types of plants and animals found in the lake.

Lead researcher Igor Lehnherr says lakes in different parts of the North will show different impacts.

He says the study suggests that Arctic ecosystems aren’t as resilient in the face of climate change as scientists had hoped, and that small changes make big differences.

 

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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