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The impact of lower sea-ice extent on Arctic greenhouse-gas exchange

  • Frans-Jan Parmentier
  • Torben Christensen
  • Lise Lotte Sorensen
  • Soren Rysgaard
  • A. David McGuire
  • Paul Miller
  • Donald A. Walker
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 195-202
Publication/Series: Nature Climate Change
Volume: 3
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Research

Abstract english

In September 2012, Arctic sea-ice extent plummeted to a new record low: two times lower than the 1979-2000 average. Often, record lows in sea-ice cover are hailed as an example of climate change impacts in the Arctic. Less apparent, however, are the implications of reduced sea-ice cover in the Arctic Ocean for marine-atmosphere CO2 exchange. Sea-ice decline has been connected to increasing air temperatures at high latitudes. Temperature is a key controlling factor in the terrestrial exchange of CO2 and methane, and therefore the greenhouse-gas balance of the Arctic. Despite the large potential for feedbacks, many studies do not connect the diminishing sea-ice extent with changes in the interaction of the marine and terrestrial Arctic with the atmosphere. In this Review, we assess how current understanding of the Arctic Ocean and high-latitude ecosystems can be used to predict the impact of a lower sea-ice cover on Arctic greenhouse-gas exchange.


  • Physical Geography


  • ISSN: 1758-6798
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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