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Arctic Ocean Arctic Ocean
Left panel: Schematic of the Arctic Ocean, central basin (Canada and Eurasian basins) and arctic continental shelves (with approximate boundaries for each Arctic Ocean coastal sea), and major rivers draining into the region. Right panel: The three generic types of continental shelves (i.e., inflow, interior and outflow) are shown
27 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean experiences much less exchange with the atmosphere than other oceans; momentum exchange (wind drag), heat exchange and freshwater exchange are limited due to the sea ice cover.
01 Oct 2009 - by Laura Margueritte
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South West Greenland Ocean Temperature South West Greenland Ocean Temperature
Initially, meltwater was assumed to be the prime cause of glacier acceleration, making its way to the ground beneath ice sheets, lubricating it and causing the glaciers to flow more quickly to the sea.
27 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Arctic Ocean surface Temperatures Arctic Ocean surface Temperatures
Consistent with the rapid retreat of sea ice, the surface waters of the Arctic Ocean have been warming in recent years, because declining sea-ice cover allows the water to absorb more heat from the sun.
27 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Uptake of Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere Uptake of Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere
Atmosphere-ocean exchanges of carbon.
27 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Surface Temperature Surface Temperature
At the regional, ocean basin scale, the area between the insulating sea-ice cover and the open ocean (known as the ice margin) is characterized by particularly strong temperature gradients during winter, favoring the development of low pressure systems along the edge of the ice, as well as smaller, intense features known as polar lows that present hazards to shipping.
27 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Simulated projections for Polar cod distribution with global warming Simulated projections for Polar cod distribution with global warming
Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) was found to be sensitive to the warming scenarios and the model predicted that it would be extirpated in most of its range even under the milder warming scenario. This is due to its occurrence in the Arctic Ocean, which largely precludes it from moving northwards. Polar cod was predicted to be extirpated around Greenland and its abundance was largely reduced in other parts of the Arctic Ocean after 30 years of hypot...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Simulated projections for Polar cod distribution with global warming Simulated projections for Polar cod distribution with global warming
Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) was found to be sensitive to the warming scenarios and the model predicted that it would be extirpated in most of its range even under the milder warming scenario. This is due to its occurrence in the Arctic Ocean, which largely precludes it from moving northwards. Polar cod was predicted to be extirpated around Greenland and its abundance was largely reduced in other parts of the Arctic Ocean after 30 years of hypot...
01 May 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Coldwater coral reefs, distribution Coldwater coral reefs, distribution
Scientists are just beginning to learn about the many species in the remote, deep waters of the polar oceans. Corals, for example, are not limited to the warm, shallow waters of the tropics. They also exist in many cold, deep waters all over the world, including Arctic and sub-Antarctic waters. Coral reefs are marine ridges or mounds, which have formed over millennia as a result of the deposition of calcium carbonate by living organisms, predomin...
21 May 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Red king crab native and invasive distribution Red king crab native and invasive distribution
The red king crab is native to the Okhotsk and Japan Seas, the Bering Sea, and the northern Pacific Ocean, where it is an important economic resource. In Alaskan waters, red king crabs have historically been the second most valuable species to fishermen after salmon, although since the 1980s overharvesting has led to the closure of some areas to fishing. The king crab also has an invasive distribution in the Barents Sea. Since its introduction in...
13 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Vegetation and land cover in the Arctic Vegetation and land cover in the Arctic
The land mass in the Arctic - Greenland and parts of Canada, Alaska, Russia and the Nordic countries - surrounds the Arctic Ocean. In the low Arctic, down to the temperate regions, the taiga coniferous forests represents a vast band of deep forests. North of the taiga, the tundra of the Arctic - with low vegetation, shrubs and various degrees of permafrosts spreads out. Beyond the tundra, there might be barren regions with only rock and few plant...
13 Oct 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Arctic, topography and bathymetry (topographic map) Arctic, topography and bathymetry (topographic map)
The Arctic represents the northermost area of the World, the Arctic Ocean and the land areas that surrounds it. The region is characterized but cold temperatures, and ice and snow. The summers are short, but with long periods of daylight (midnight sun). The winters are long and cold and with periods with no sun (polar night). The Arctic Ocean is one basin that is mostly covered by sea ice, and is connected to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The ...
01 Oct 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Sea level rise caused by the melting of mountain and subpolar glaciers Sea level rise caused by the melting of mountain and subpolar glaciers
Another process that results in rising sea levels is the addition of water mass from land ice. Melting glaciers and ice caps, as well as the vast ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, raise sea-levels if their water mass enters the ocean as melted water or icebergs (Pritchard et al. 2009, Steig et al. 2009, Velicogna 2009). Furthermore, it is estimated that melting of tropical glaciers (most of them are considered small) could cause an increas...
22 Nov 2010 - by Viktor Novikov, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Change in sea level as a result of changes in ocean density and circulation Change in sea level as a result of changes in ocean density and circulation
Changes in sea levels resulting exclusively from changes in ocean density and circulation patterns, results of atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCM) for climate change scenario A1B (this scenario assumes future rapid demographic and economic growth, introduction of new and more efficient technologies, accompanied by a balanced use of all types of energy sources) show that there will be significant spatial variability, i.e., changes ...
01 Oct 2010 - by Nieves López Izquierdo, Associate Consultant UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Expected impacts of climate change in 2050 Expected impacts of climate change in 2050
It is expected that by 2050 there will be threats to ecosystem services in the Andes and Mexico, in the Central American and Caribbean sub-regions, and in southeastern Brazil, while there will be negative effects on fishing in the Pacific coastal areas of Peru and Chile. The decrease in precipitation will have adverse effects on agricultural yields in several regions and countries throughout the continent. Particularly noteworthy within Latin Ame...
22 Nov 2010 - by Nieves López Izquierdo, Associate Consultant UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Climate impacts of El Niño Phenomenon in Latin America and the Caribbean Climate impacts of El Niño Phenomenon in Latin America and the Caribbean
El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a natural phenomenon that has occurred for centuries. Ocean and atmospheric conditions in the Pacific tend to fluctuate between El Niño (warming) and a drop in temperature in the tropical Pacific known as La Niña. The fluctuations are rather irregular, but tend to appear every three to six years. A more intensive phase of each event may last for about a year. A warming climate may contribute to an increase i...
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Changes to Coconut Beach (Dominica) after the 1995 hurricane season Changes to Coconut Beach (Dominica) after the 1995 hurricane season
During a period between May 1994 to September 1995 the profile of the beach dramatically changed. A rising sea level combined with more storms, washed away vulnerable beaches. With the sand gone, the coast is more vulnerable to waves going further inland, threatening fresh water wells with salinisation, leading to land erosion, and making the areas less attractive for tourism. When a beach starts to deteriorate, the process can be amazingly quick...
17 May 2005 - by Viktor Novikov, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Phenomenon El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Phenomenon
El Niño describes 'the warm phase of a naturally occurring sea surface temperature oscillation in the tropical Pacific Ocean', and southern oscillation refers to 'a seesaw shift in surface air pressure at Darwin, Australia and the South Pacific Island of Tahiti'. This graphic explains the El Niño-Southern Oscillation Phenomenon, showing the differences between a normal year and an El Niño year.
17 May 2005 - by Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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ENSO impact on Southern Africa ENSO impact on Southern Africa
El Niño describes 'the warm phase of a naturally occurring sea surface temperature oscillation in the tropical Pacific Ocean', southern oscillation refers to 'a seesaw shift in surface air pressure at Darwin, Australia and the South Pacific Island of Tahiti' amd La Nina refers to the cooling phase of the same temperature oscillation that causes El Nino. This graphic shows how the El Nino phenomenon changed weather conditions in southern Africa in...
17 May 2005 - by Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Northern Atlantic Ocean: maritime delimitation and disputes Northern Atlantic Ocean: maritime delimitation and disputes
Overview of the geopolitical situation in the European sector of the Arctic. Despite ongoing discussions, Russia and Norway continue to dispute their maritime limits in the Barent's Sea. The sea is relevant for shipping, mineral resources (oil) and fisheries.
21 Mar 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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