Using this graphic and referring to it is encouraged, and please use it in presentations, web pages, newspapers, blogs and reports.
For any form of publication, please include the link to this page and give the cartographer/designer credit (in this case Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal)
Smith, L.C., Sheng, Y., MacDonald, G.M. & Hinzman, L.D. 2005. Disappearing Arctic Lakes. Science. 308:1429.
Uploaded on Tuesday 21 Feb 2012
Disappearing Arctic lakes - examples in Siberian lakes, 1973 to 1997
Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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. Continued thawing of the permafrost can lead to the drainage and eventual disappearance of these lakes, as can erosion and lake coalescence. These photos show that the total lake abundance and inundation area have declined since 1973 in the study area (Siberia), including permanent drainage and revegetation of former lakebeds (the arrow and oval show representative areas).