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Changes In The Arctic Environment

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Chapter Summary

Erosion of peat-filled coasts, along with their warming, and that of coastal waters is leading to the release of methane from gas hydrates either found on the seabed, or stored in the coastal permafrost. Diminishing ice-based productivity may lead to a loss of diversity and modification of sustainable trophic structure and food webs in shallow water coastal pelagic and benthic zones. As a consequence of increased fossil fuel combustion and addition of massive amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and oceans, changes to the ocean chemistry itself, in the acidity or pH, are occurring that will impact the calcareous organisms at primary production levels, and could lead to catastrophic effects on the higher organisms of the food chains. The potential for that vision of the Arctic lies with the cooperation among the nations of the Arctic Ocean.

Keywords: Arctic Ocean; fossil fuel; permafrost



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