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Tag: Environmental change

The health of our forests The health of our forests
The importance of the world's forests to global efforts to reduce carbon emissions cannot be underestimated. While living forests are vital to reducing carbon levels in our atmosphere, deforestation accounts for an estimated 17 per cent of global carbon emissions - around 1.5 times greater than those from all the world's air, road, rail and shipping traffic combined.
27 Sep 2012 - by GRID-Arendal
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Selected impacts of climate change in the Caspian Sea region Selected impacts of climate change in the Caspian Sea region
As the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases, the temperature in the European part of the Caspian Sea region will continue to rise, at least at first. Some researchers have recently expressed fears that the warm Gulf Stream current in the Atlantic Ocean may slow down due to the changes in the Artic environment and oceanic circulation.
01 Oct 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Shift in climatic zones, Arctic scenario Shift in climatic zones, Arctic scenario
The scenarios from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) project that temperatures will increase dramatically in the Arctic, more than in many other parts of the world. This leads to effects, such as the decrease of area (e.g. tundra) under continous permafrost, the northward move of the tree line and the decrease of Arctic Sea Ice. The synthesis is based on several different models and ensables and this map depicts the situation at the end...
01 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Arctic development scenarios, human impact in 2050 Arctic development scenarios, human impact in 2050
Human activities influence the environment and reduce the value of forests, tundra and plains in terms of original biodiversity and habitat. Primarily larger mammals are hit by the fragmentation caused by roads and pipelines. The GLOBIO methdology has modeled the future impact of human activities in the Arctic, as seen in this map. Infrastructure and settlements are used as proxies for human activities, using the GLOBIO model from the Global Envi...
01 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Permafrost loss in peatlands of northern Quebec, 1957-2003 Permafrost loss in peatlands of northern Quebec, 1957-2003
Over recent years, the southern limit of permafrost in northern peatlands has retreated by 39 km on average and by as much as 200 km in some parts of the Canadian Arctic. Although regional warming by 1.32°C has accelerated permafrost thaw in northern Manitoba, Canada, these changes are not exclusively linked to temperature rise. The loss of permafrost in Quebec has been attributed to the insulating effect of increased snowfall since the late 1950...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Trends in lakes in the Arctic Trends in lakes in the Arctic
The Arctic contains a variety of types of lakes but overall, it is thermokarst lakes and ponds that are the most abundant and productive aquatic ecosystems in the Arctic. They are found extensively in the lowland regions of western and northern Alaska, Canada and Siberia. These (i.e., thaw) lakes are most commonly formed by the thaw of ice-rich permafrost, which leads to the collapse of ground levels and ponding of surface water in the depression...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Consumption of harvested meat/fish in Inuit Households (Canada) Consumption of harvested meat/fish in Inuit Households (Canada)
The harvest of natural resources is a key feature of traditional lifestyles and economies throughout the Arctic, and a continuing reliance on it as a mainstay of indigenous existence in the north is evident. Environmental change in Arctic regions is a key contributing factor to changing Inuit subsistence patterns. As examples, the Inuit speak of the thinning of the ice which makes hunting more challenging; species they once relied upon are disapp...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Invasive species response to climate change - Hydrilla spp, current and 2080 habitat suitability Invasive species response to climate change - Hydrilla spp, current and 2080 habitat suitability
As climate change alters Arctic ecosystems and enables greater human activity, biological invasions are likely to increase in the Arctic. To some extent, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may be predisposed to invasion because many invasive plants are adapted to open disturbed areas. Range map scenarios developed for 16 highly invasive plants either occurring in or at risk of invading Alaska also paint a sobering outlook for the future. This map dep...
01 Nov 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Human actions leading to coastal degradation Human actions leading to coastal degradation
Physical alteration and the destruction of habitats are now considered one of the most significant threats to coastal areas. Half of the world’s wetlands, and even more of its mangrove forests, have been lost over the past century to physical alterations, the major causes being accelerating social and economic development and poor-planning (UNEP, 2002). There are currently about one billion people living in coastal urban areas. It is estimated t...
26 Jan 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz (Le Monde diplomatique), February 2006
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Coastal populations and shoreline degradation Coastal populations and shoreline degradation
Unsurprisingly, the coastal areas with the greatest population densities are also those with the most shoreline degradation. The areas surrounding the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and southern Asia have the highest proportion of altered land, while the coastal zones of the Arctic, northeast Pacific, south Pacific, West and Central Africa, East Africa, the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden, and Kuwait have the highest proportions of least modified land. In o...
01 Oct 2009 - by Phillippe Rekacewicz, February 2006
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Global sea-level rise Global sea-level rise
According to the 2007 IPCC report, global average sea level rise will vary from 18 cm to 59 cm by 2100. The IPCC models did not account for the accelerated melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Some of the latest research, however, estimates a global sea level rise of between 0.6 and 1.2 metres by 2100.
01 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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