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segunda-feira, 16 de maio de 2011

@BreakingScience linked to global #climatechange

Ecological impact on Canada's Arctic coastline linked to global climate change via


Ecological impact on Canada's Arctic coastline linked to global climate change

http://www.physorg.com/

physorg Scientists from Queen's and Carleton universities head a national multidisciplinary research team that has uncovered startling new evidence of the destructive impact of global climate change on North America's largest Arctic delta.


HIDTMA, S.L. - Coastal and Ports engineerings environmental studies - www.hidtma.com/en/

"One of the most ominous threats of today is from , which can cause marine waters to inundate the land," says the team's co-leader, Queen's graduate student Joshua Thienpont. "The threat is especially acute in , where shrinking sea ice increases the risk of storm surges."

By studying growth rings from coastal shrubs and in the Mackenzie Delta region of the Northwest Territories – the scene of a widespread and ecologically destructive storm surge in 1999 – the researchers have discovered that the impact of these salt-water surges is unprecedented in the 1,000-year history of the lake.

"This had been predicted by all the models and now we have empirical evidence," says team co-leader Michael Pisaric, a geography professor at Carleton. The Inuvialuit, who live in the northwest , identified that a major surge had occurred in 1999, and assisted with field work.

The researchers studied the impact of salt water flooding on alder bushes along the coastline. More than half of the shrubs sampled were dead within a year of the 1999 surge, while an additional 37 per cent died within five years. A decade after the flood, the soils still contained high concentrations of salt. In addition, sediment core profiles from inland lakes revealed dramatic changes in the aquatic life – with a striking shift from fresh to salt-water species following the storm surge.

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