Arctic

Ecosystems Vulnerable to Climate Change

February 3, 2016

Science Focus, the BBC's online magazine, quoted Ross Virginia on the ecosystems vulnerable to climate change, including Antarctica. 

“A small increase in temperature can tip the ecosystem from frozen to melting, turning patches of desert into a wetland,” says Prof Ross Virginia, Director of the Dickey Center’s Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College in the US. “That makes the soil a very different kind of habitat for the organisms living there, and it can change the cycling of carbon and the release of carbon dioxide.”

#JASE16 in Antarctica

The Joint Antarctic Science Expedition has landed after traveling from Miami to Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile,...to Antarctica.

Follow their continuing adventures!

Oh, Canada!

October 22, 2015

Leehi Yona '16, a Senior Fellow Stamps Scholar, and Presidential Fellow with Professor Ross Virginia in environmental studies, has published an editorial in the Montreal Gazette on expectations for newly-elected Justin Trudeau. Her editorial, "On climate change, Justin Trudeau's positive rhetoric won't be enough," calls on Trudeau to go beyond his "In Canada, better is always possible" rhetoric. She writes, "The positive rhetoric is welcome, but it is not enough. Canadians expect him to work hard toward positive climate action for the future of young generations."

Read her entire op-ed.

Arctic Mosquitoes Thriving Under Climate Change

Dartmouth Media contact: John Cramer | [email protected] | 603-646-9130

HANOVER, N.H. – Sept. 15, 2015 – Warming temperatures are causing Arctic mosquitoes to grow faster and emerge earlier, significantly boosting their population and threatening the caribou they feast on, a Dartmouth College study finds.

The study predicts the mosquitoes’ probability of surviving and emerging as adults will increase by more than 50 percent if Arctic temperatures rise 2 °C. The findings are important because changes in the timing and intensity of their emergence affect their role as pests of people and wildlife, as pollinators of tundra plants and as food for other species, including Arctic and migratory birds.

The researchers say the climate-population model they developed for Arctic mosquitoes and their predators can be generalized to any ecosystem where survival depends on sensitivities to changing temperatures.

Diplomacy at the Top of the World

August 26, 2015

On August 31, in Anchorage, Alaska, the U.S. will convene foreign ministers from Arctic and non-Arctic states to discuss climate change and other topics concerning the region. According to an opinion piece in Project Syndicate, co-authored by Ross Virginia, Director of the Institute of Artic Studies, it is important that disagreements such as Iran's nuclear program and the conflict in Ukraine not derail discussions about the Arctic, where cooperation between Russia and the West has been the norm.

Dartmouth and Greenland Lead International Teens to the Arctic

August 13, 2015

Dartmouth Now reports on Dartmouth's contribution to the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP), a program jointly funded and led by the Government of Greenland and the US, that takes teens from the US, Greenland, and Denmark to Greenland to learn about science and undertake independent research projects. 

Lauren Culler, postdoctoral fellow and science outreach coordinator for the Institute of Arctic Studies, co-leads the program with the Institute's Director, Ross Virgina. “The overall goal was getting the students to learn to ask testable scientific questions and work with the graduate students to design and complete a project,” says Culler.

Read the entire story at Dartmouth Now.

 

Climate Change and Mosquitoes: Desperate and Hungry

“They’re aggressive because they’re desperate,” Lauren Culler, a postdoctoral fellow and outreach coordinator for the Institute of Arctic Studies, tells a journalist from Motherboard website about the mosquitoes swarming Greenland. “My research here has found that only 12-15 percent of mosquitoes ever get a blood meal." 

Culler has been studying the shallow ponds in Western Greenland where mosquitoes spend much of their lives to determine how the rapidly warming climate affects mosquitoes and caribou, as well as people.

Fulbright Arctic Scholars Collaborate for One Arctic

July 16, 2015

In May 2015, as Secretary of State John Kerry was marking the beginning of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, 17 junior scholars and established experts from the eight Arctic countries, including Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States, gathered in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada for their first official meeting as participants of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative.

Institute of Arctic Studies Director and environmental studies professor Ross Virginia leads the Fulbright Arctic Initiative with Mike Sfraga, Vice Chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For 18 months, the Fulbright Arctic Scholars will be  working with governments, NGOs, businesses, and Arctic communities to research innovative solutions to impacts of climate change in the Arctic, particularly on the issues of water, energy, health, and infrastructure.

 

Also:

Arctic Issues Are Global Issues

May 28, 2015

From May 17-21, 2015, Fulbright Canada hosted the inaugural meeting of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Dartmouth environmental studies professor Ross Virginia, Co-lead for the Fulbright Arctic Initiative, and Melody Brown Burkins, Associate Director for Student Programs and Research at the Dickey Center, took part in the meetings. 

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative, launched in April in Ottawa, aims to stimulate international collaboration on Arctic issues by bringing together 17 scholars from the eight Arctic Council countries (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US). The researchers are meeting in Iqaluit to share their research and work on plans for future collaboration. 

Read the press release from Fulbright Canada and a story in The Arctic Journal.

Potentially Vast Microbial Habitat Discovered in Antarctica

April 30, 2015  |  Dartmouth Now

Using a novel, helicopter-borne sensor to penetrate the surface of large swathes of terrain, a team of researchers, including Ross Virginia, Director of Dartmouth's Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center and Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has gathered compelling evidence that beneath Antarctica's ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys lies a salty aquifer that may support previously unknown microbial ecosystems and retain evidence of ancient climate change, stated a press release from NSF.

The Division of Polar Programs in NSF's Geoscience's Directorate supported the AEM sensor project through a collaborative award to Mikucki, Tulaczyk and Virginia. 

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