While rising temperatures have certainly put a strain on species in some parts of the world, a new study by researchers at the University of Southern Denmark suggests animals in the Arctic region are thriving as because of higher global temperatures.
According to a press release touting the study’s new findings, warmer conditions have produced a larger number of life-sustaining “melt ponds” in Arctic waters.
“Melt ponds provide more light and heat for the ice and the underlying water, but now it turns out that they may also have a more direct and potentially important influence on life in the Arctic waters,” stated the press release.
The researchers said nutrients are able to reach sea creatures in the Arctic more easily because of the melt ponds.
“Climate change is accompanies by more storms and more precipitation, and we must expect that more nutrients will be released from the surroundings into the melt ponds,” said Professor Ronnie Glud of the Department of Biology at SDU. “These conditions, plus the fact that the distribution of areas of melt ponds is increasing, can contribute to increased productivity in plant and animal life in the Arctic seas.”
Recent data released by scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center reveals sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are at their lowest recorded point since 1979, when satellite data first started estimating sea ice.
About 2 million square km of Arctic sea ice are estimated to have been lost since 1979. Current data suggest about 14.28 million square km of sea ice remain.
USA Today recently declared the loss of sea ice “terrifying,” but global warming skeptics have long suggested these claims are overblown when put into perspective.
As reported by Anthony Watts on his influential climate-change website Watts Up With That, the president of the Royal Society in London reported in 1817 significant reductions to arctic sea ice.
“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated. … this affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”
(H/T: Watts Up With That)