Changing Arctic Ocean
Collection EditorsKirsty Crocket, Penelope Lindeque, Christian März, Roxana Suehring
Extended Submission Deadline
About this collectionThe Arctic is the most northern part of our Earth. It is a huge area that spans over several countries including; Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the USA. However, the largest part of the Arctic is not on land but is covered by water – the Arctic Ocean.
For hundreds of thousands of years, large parts of the Arctic Ocean were covered by ice all year around. Many animals, such as polar bears, Arctic foxes, seals, fish and birds, and even some people have made this icy place their home. They have learned to live with the ice, and some animals even need it to live.
But recently, things in the Arctic have been changing. You have probably already heard a lot about Climate Change. Climate Change impacts the long-term weather (climate) everywhere on our planet. Many areas get warmer, some get colder, and everywhere we see more extreme or unusual weather, such as storms, floods or droughts. But nowhere is Climate Change happening as fast as in the Arctic.
You might have also heard about the “2°C goal”. This is a goal that many governments around the world have agreed to. The plan is essentially to make sure the average global warming of our atmosphere stays at less than 2°C compared to what people like to call “pre-industrial time” (the year 1948 is used as a reference).
Right now, most of the world is at around 0.8°C warming. In the Arctic, we are already at 2.3°C warming – that is 0.3°C above what should be the absolute maximum according to the “2°C goal”.
Now you probably ask why it is so bad that the Arctic is getting a bit warmer. That should make it a nicer place to live, right? Unfortunately, the warm temperature means that the ice that has covered the Arctic Ocean for all this time is melting. It looks like that will change the Arctic Ocean forever and with it the animals and people that call the Arctic their home.
In this collection, we want to tell you what we, as scientists, know about the changes in the Arctic; how we investigate these changes and what we have learned from our travels to the Arctic and the analyses we do in our research institutes. We will tell you about how the higher temperatures in the Arctic change the ice. How very tiny animals can have a huge impact. We want to introduce you to life in the ice, under the ice, and at the seafloor. We will talk about processes that make the Arctic Ocean so special and chemicals that can travel from our homes and cities all the way to the Arctic.
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