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Global warming is evaporating Arctic ponds, new study shows

ld need to don hip waders to sample the surface pools of water persisting throughout the summer. However, in 2006, the wetlands had dried to such an extent that they could easily be ignited with a lighter. The ecological consequences of shifting wetlands such as these from carbon sink to potential carbon sources are frightening, they say.

Ponds, the dominant source of surface waters in many Arctic regions, are hot spots of biodiversity, as well as habitat for many birds, insects, and other organisms, the researchers point out. The resulting ecological changes will likely cascade throughout the ecosystem.

In the past, researchers like us have sometimes been accused of being alarmist when we discussed climate warming, says Dr. Smol, winner of the 2004 NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal as Canadas top scientist or engineer. We now think we have been overly optimistic the speed and magnitude of environmental changes are worse than even we imagined!


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Contact: Nancy Dorrance
nancy.dorrance@queensu.ca
613-533-2869
Queen's University
2-Jul-2007


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