Prof. Dr. Peter Schlosser
Dept of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Dept of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New York
Environmental Arctic Change: observations, causes and links to lower latitudes
Recent observations revealed drastic changes in the Arctic. The changes cross the physical, chemical, biological and human domains and are of pan-Arctic scale. They include warming of the atmosphere, changes in oceanic water masses and circulation, warming/thawing of permafrost, or migration of vegetation zones. They have significant amplitudes and already impact societies living in the far north. Many of the changes are larger than those in the instrumental records. They are similar to the changes seen in simulations of the Arctic system using coupled general circulation models. These model simulations show a strong amplification of the global warming signal at high northern latitudes. In this presentation, the observed changes are reviewed and their possible causes are discussed. Additionally, they are placed into the context of changes occurring at lower latitudes. Finally, the impacts of the changes are highlighted.