Arctic Ocean Experiences Significant Shifts in its Ecological Structure

Science, July 10

Growth of phytoplankton biomass in the Arctic Ocean increased by 57% between 1998 and 2018. This surge in biomass at the base of the food chain was triggered in part by retreating Arctic sea ice and the influx of new nutrients from adjoining oceans. In the future, the compositions of European and American-Asian regions of the Arctic are projected to become increasingly similar to the northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, pressing true Arctic species further north. While technically this results in a more “productive” Arctic, the photosynthetic algae mass is quite different to current “productivity” and common fisheries species.

Compiled by Amy Imedieke