Arctic - Case Study

Mind Map by bethlewis, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by bethlewis over 6 years ago


Mind Map on Arctic - Case Study, created by bethlewis on 05/09/2015.

Resource summary

Arctic - Case Study
  1. The Arctic is the area around the North Pole. It includes northern parts of Asia, North America and Europe.
    1. How is global warming affecting the Arctic?
      1. The area of Arctic sea ice has been shrinking at an increasing rate - some scientists think there won't be any sea ice left by summer 2030.
        1. Greenland ice sheet is melting.
          1. The permafrost is moving north and the area covered by permafrost is shrinking.
            1. The treeline is moving north and the area where trees can't grow is shrinking.
              1. The melting of ice means that the albedo feedback becomes negative.
                1. Albedo - the reflecting of the sun's radiation off the Earth's surfaces.
                  1. Less ice means more heat energy is absorbed in the water as they're darker than ice and don't reflect light.
              2. Environmental impacts
                1. Melting of ice sheets means more water is being added to the oceans - increasing sea level.
                  1. This can disrupt currents such as the North Atlantic Drift.
                  2. Permafrost is a natural CO2 sink and the melting of these can release more CO2 into the atmosphere.
                  3. Ecological impacts
                    1. The changes of climate will mean that some habitats will be reduced or lost.
                      1. Some areas have very sensitive ecosystems. There are few species in the Arctic so a loss of one of them can have a massive effect on them all.
                        1. In the oceans, numbers of marine life could increase as the area covered by permafrost reduces and temperatures increase.
                          1. Hunting season for polar bears decrease as ice becomes too thin.
                            1. This can have an effect on their cubs as they won't be able to reproduce or feed them.
                          2. Socio-economic impacts
                            1. Shrinking sea ice could open up new shipping routes in the summer.
                              1. Some people think that there are oil and gas reserves in the Arctic - conflict could result over who owns them.
                                1. Warmer soils and climate may increase the opportunity for forestry and agriculture.
                                  1. Indigenous people lose their culture and have a decline in food security.
                                    1. Ice used to protect Inuit villages but now they're more open to storms and ocean waves, causing the destruction of villages.
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