Consequences of change and variability in sea ice on marine ecosystem and biogeochemical processes during the 2007–2008 Canadian International Polar Year program
Change and variability in the timing and magnitude of sea ice geophysical and thermodynamic state have consequences on many aspects of the arctic marine system. The changes in both the geophysical and thermodynamic state, and in particular the timing of the development of these states, have consequences throughout the marine system. In this paper we review the ‘consequences’ of change in sea ice state on primary productivity, marine mammal habitats, and sea ice as a medium for storage and transport of contaminants and carbon exchange across the ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere interface based upon results from the International Polar Year. Pertinent results include: 1) conditions along ice edges can bring deep nutrient-rich ‘pacific’ waters into nutrient-poor surface waters along the arctic coast, affecting local food webs; 2) both sea ice thermodynamic and dynamic processes ultimately affect ringed seal/polar bear habitats by controlling the timing, location and amount of surface deformation required for ringed seal and polar bear preferred habitat 3) the ice edges bordering open waters of flaw leads are areas of high biological production and are observed to be important beluga habitat. 4) exchange of climate-active gases, including CO 2 , is extremely active in sea ice environments, and the overall question of whether the Arctic Ocean is (or will be) a source or sink for CO 2 will be dependent on the balance of competing climate-change feedbacks. Copyright The Author(s) 2012
Volume (Year): 115 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
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