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Implications of Arctic Sea Ice Decline for the Earth System

  • Uma S. Bhatt
  • Donald A. Walker
  • John E. Walsh
  • Eddy C. Carmack
  • Karen E. Frey
  • Walter N. Meier
  • Sue E. Moore
  • Frans-Jan Parmentier
  • Eric Post
  • Vladimir E. Romanovsky
  • William R. Simpson
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 57-57
Publication/Series: Annual Review Environment and Resources
Volume: 39
Document type: Journal article review
Publisher: Annual Reviews

Abstract english

Arctic sea ice decline has led to an amplification of surface warming and is projected to continue to decline from anthropogenic forcing, although the exact timing of ice-free summers is uncertain owing to large natural variability. Sea ice reductions affect surface heating patterns and the atmospheric pressure distribution, which may alter midlatitude extreme weather patterns. Increased light penetration and nutrient availability during spring from earlier ice breakup enhances primary production in the Arctic Ocean and its adjacent shelf seas. Ice-obligate marine mammals may be losers, whereas seasonally migrant species may be winners from rapid sea ice decline. Tundra greening is occurring across most of the Arctic, driven primarily by warming temperatures, and is displaying complex spatial patterns that are likely tied to other factors. Sea ice changes are affecting greenhouse gas exchanges as well as halogen chemistry in the Arctic. This review highlights the heterogeneous nature of Arctic change, which is vital for researchers to better understand.


  • Physical Geography
  • sea ice impacts
  • tundra vegetation
  • polar chemistry
  • polar greenhouse
  • gas exchanges
  • Arctic marine mammals
  • Arctic Ocean primary productivity


  • ISSN: 1545-2050
Frans-Jan Parmentier
E-mail: frans-jan [dot] parmentier [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se

Associate professor

Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science



Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
Sölvegatan 12
S-223 62 Lund

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