Climate Goals May Not Prevent an Ice-Free Arctic Ocean
Global efforts to rein in the world’s warming may not be enough to prevent sea ice largely disappearing from the Arctic Ocean during the summer months by the end of the century, as Reuters reports. The Arctic Ocean’s sea ice has undergone dramatic declines in recent years, and a statistical review of sea ice conditions suggests the current target of holding warming to 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times won’t be enough to stop the Arctic’s sea ice from largely vanishing in the summer.
The Arctic’s Food Chain May Be Weakening
Shrinking sea ice is bad news for many Arctic animals, as this ice helps hold the Arctic’s food chain together, the Guardian reports. Algae growing beneath the ice is eaten by critters called zooplankton, which in turn are eaten by fish, which are eaten by seals, which are eaten by polar bears. As sea ice disappears, a more temperate species of zooplankton is encroaching, which offers far fewer nutritional benefits to Arctic animals.
Planned EPA Cuts Could Impact Rural Alaska
The Trump administration’s plans to slash spending on the Environmental Protection Agency could mean millions of dollars being diverted away from programs aimed at improving drinking water and wastewater disposal for rural Alaskans, as Alaska Dispatch News reports. Money earmarked to help Alaskans adapt to climate change is similarly at stake.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is also expected to see a steep budget cut, as the Washington Post reports. The same goes with the U.S. Coast guard, and that could impact plans to replace one of its two aging icebreakers – as Foreign Policy reports, the Coast Guard has been counting on getting more money, rather than less.
- New York Times: The Woolly Mammoth’s Last Stand
- Alaska Dispatch News: Fabulous Photos Lift Account of Early 20th-Century Alaska Village Life
- Up Here: Logging On In Gjoa Haven
- Maclean’s: Get Ready for a Canadian Arctic Research Boom
- Canadian Geographic: Arctic Policy Expert Adam Lajeunesse on the Future of Canada’s North