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Alaska's Changing ArcticEcological Consequences for Tundra, Streams, and Lakes$
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John E. Hobbie and George W. Kling

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199860401.001.0001

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Ecological Consequences of Present and Future Changes in Arctic Alaska

Ecological Consequences of Present and Future Changes in Arctic Alaska

Chapter:
(p.303) 10 Ecological Consequences of Present and Future Changes in Arctic Alaska
Source:
Alaska's Changing Arctic
Author(s):

John E. Hobbie

George W. Kling

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199860401.003.0010

This chapter outlines evidence of direct and indirect changes in the ecology of Arctic Alaska caused by changes in the climate, and predicts ecological changes that could occur by the year 2100. It looks into the alterations that have been carried out and that will happen to air temperatures, precipitation, water balance, river discharge, and arctic sea ice in Northern Alaska. It describes the possible physical responses to climate changes in active-layer thickness, possible warming of the permafrost, and the increased formation of thermokarst. It highlights the increased possibility of wildfire during periods of low rainfall, and the changes in microbial processes due to warming. It also looks at various ecological consequences such as accelerating global warming due to the permafrost thawing which may release greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Keywords:   Arctic Alaska, air temperature, precipitation, water balance, river discharge, thermokarst, permafrost thaw, greenhouse gases, global warming

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