Reduced Biodiversity in the Arctic with Higher Sea Ice Loss

Nature Climate Change, October 27
If higher human greenhouse gas emissions continue, greater loss of Arctic sea ice will significantly reduce many species in the Arctic.  Lower sea ice coverage results in more light availability in these increasingly open-ocean conditions, favoring the growth of more southerly forms and even blooms of phytoplankton and zooplankton, which will outcompete Arctic species. Loss of sea ice habitats will cause a strong reduction in biodiversity all the way from ice algal species, to large Arctic mammals such as polar bears and beluga whales. In addition, changes in the chemically active sea-ice zone will result in increased CO2 uptake, increasing ocean acidification rates and release of seawater methane into the atmosphere.

Compiled by Amy Imdieke.

By Amy Imdieke, Global Outreach Director, and Pam Pearson, Director of ICCI.
Published Oct. 31, 2020      Updated Jul. 12, 2022 3:22 pm