Arctic Spring Came Early

With Global Warming becoming less and less debated by even the staunchest denialists, continuing confirmation of the affects keep appearing in the media. Case in point is the recent news that the ice of northeast Greenland shows signs of melting about 2 weeks earlier than in the 1990s. [Arctic spring’s ‘rapid advance’]

This news isn’t coming from climatologists or pundits of global warming that the denialists call “alarmists,” but rather biologists who have published their findings in the journal Current Biology.

Observation of 21 species – six plants, 12 arthropods and three birds – revealed that the organisms had brought forward their flowering, emergence or egg-laying in line with the earlier ice melt.

“We were particularly surprised to see the trends were so strong when considering that the entire summer is very short in the High Arctic – just three or four months from snowmelt to freeze-up,” said co-author Toke Hoye, from the University of Aarhus.

The changes in the region are viewed by the researchers as both positive and negative, however. But the net result may be negative if a competitive release is achieved through the introduction of species from warmer latitudes.

“At first, this could be regarded as a positive result because it is extending the summer season, which is probably a factor in terms of organisms getting through their development.

“Over the long term, it is most likely to be the case that species from southern latitudes will be able to establish themselves (in the region) and increase competition for food.”