Fossil fuel burning is not the only contributor to

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Fossil fuel burning is not the only contributor to climate change… Other greenhouse gases Agricultural activity = main source of CH 4 and N 2 O …but it does make the largest contribution to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect
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Effects of climate change Melting polar ice --> Sea level rise Ocean current disruption? Tundra biome will contract --> high risk of extinction for adapted species Poleward movement of existing biomes Likely ~ 500 km Risk of extinction for species that don’t disperse quickly
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Arctic sea ice extent
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The arctic will be ice-free in the summer before the end of this century
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Ice-dependent species Harp, spotted and ringed seals: rarely come to land depend on year-round ice for resting, feeding, giving birth and raising pups unlikely to adapt to life on land
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Polar bears Give birth & hunt on sea ice Success depends on ice extent and stability May be forced to hunt on land and compete with other land predators Ice-dependent species
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Ice-dependent species Walrus , Odobenus rosmarus Dive from ice platforms to feed on clams floating ice carries them to new feeding grounds retreat of ice from shore (and continental shelf) water near ice becomes too deep
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Seabirds many nest on cliffs Ivory gulls, Pagophila eburnea fly to sea ice to scavenge retreat of ice from shore will likely have negative impact have already declined by 90% in Canada over last 20 yrs Little auks, Alle alle forage on amphipod Apherusa glacialis , which is concentrated along margins of sea ice pop’ns also in decline Ice-dependent species
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Ice-dependent species
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Apherusa glacialis amphipod endemic to arctic only near sea ice prefers multi-year ice feeds on ice- associated algae Ice-dependent species
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Ice-dependent species Ice algae occur between ice crystals attached to ice immediately below ice major primary producers in arctic and antarctic oceans more n.b. than phytoplankton in some regions and/or at certain times of the year In rapid decline Beaufort sea: since 1970s, ice melting has lowered salinity ice algae replaced by less productive fresh water species Antarctic krill feeding on ice algae
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Alpine habitat is also threatened by climate change
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Recall: Altitudinal dist’n of biomes mirrors latitudinal patterns scrub broadleaf forest coniferous forest tundra Thinner air adaptations to tolerate lower O 2 Plant growth form affected by wind Mountains are “islands” with unique conditions “Flagging”
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Threat to alpine species As climate warms, species forced to higher elevation less space available Recall: golden toad of Costa Rican “cloud forest” (alpine) warming climate may have exacerbated effects of Dendrobatidis fungus Endemic alpine species in Western US: Stellar’s jay (top); chickaree (bottom)
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Rising sea levels Threat to endemic island species Hesperotestudo bermudae Evolved on Bermuda (?) during the Illinoian
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