Earlier this month, the paper “Crossing the final ecological threshold in high Arctic ponds” was released via the PNAS website. While public considerations of global climate change usually extend to hurricanes, polar bears, and melting glaciers, there are many more subtle signs of change that are often overlooked, although they are no less important to our understanding of how we’re changing out planet. In the paper, researchers John P. Smol and Marianne S. V. Douglas describe how over the course of 24 years, shallow ponds that have existed for thousands of years in the arctic are now found to be entirely dried up and dessicated in the summer months, the culprit almost certainly being warming in the region. While the drying of arctic ponds may not seem to be of concern to your average suburbanite, these ponds are vital for invertebrate life and waterfowl, and the absence of the ponds is going to have some dire effects of waterfowl, invertebrates, and other life that depends on them. In less than 1/4 of a century, ponds that have existed for ages disappear, in a geological blink of an eye, showing us that nature will not wait for us humans to make up our minds about what to do to curb climate change.
Arctic ponds are drying up (I’ll give you one guess why…)17 07 2007