Melting Arctic sea ice may affect land ecosystems
London: Melting sea ice
may have a direct bearing on methane emissions from Arctic tundra, according to
a study. “Changes in the Arctic Ocean can affect ecosystems located far away on
land," said study’s lead author Frans-Jan Parmentier from Lund University
Bright sea ice reflects
most sunlight, while open water absorbs most sunlight. Less sea ice, therefore,
leads to more absorbed heat, and higher temperatures throughout the North Pole
This stimulates the
production of methane by micro-organisms in permafrost soils, which also drives
the change towards a warmer climate. “Our research shows that to understand the
impact of climate change on the Arctic, the ocean and land cannot be viewed
separately,” Parmentier said.
with researchers from the United States and the Netherlands, explored the
connection between methane emissions and loss of sea ice by using advanced
“Sea ice decline is one
of the most visible consequences of climate change, and has a tremendous impact
on the Arctic climate. Since the 1990s, the Arctic has been losing sea ice at a
tremendous rate — about 14 per cent per decade," the researcher said.
“The expectation is
that with further sea ice decline, temperatures in the Arctic will continue to
rise, and so will methane emissions from northern wetlands,” Parmentier added.