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The Arctic

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The Arctic

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  1. Summer 2010 Workshop in Biology and Multimedia for High School Teachers Where is the Arctic? The Arctic http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/92/Arctic_%28orthographic_projection%29.svg/541px-Arctic_%28orthographic_projection%29.svg.png http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arctica_surface.jpg Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunny_Skies_over_the_Arctic_in_Late_June_2010.jpg

  2. What does the arctic look like? There are two main parts of the arctic-the arctic ocean and the arctic tundra. This presentation will focus on the tundra, but hear are some ocean photos too! Arctic Biodiversity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polar_bears_near_north_pole.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Banquise_img_5961.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1YrIceFlow.png Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  3. The Tundra! Arctic Biodiversity http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soubor:Tundra_coastal_vegetation_Alaska.jpg Alaskan tundra looking south the Brooks range. The tundra is largely flat with low vegetation and frequent large ponds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NorthSlopeAlaska_L7_20010616.jpg False color satellite image of the north slope of Alaska. At the bottom is the Brooks Range with several major rivers flowing north across tundra to the arctic ocean, which is covered in sea ice. Light blues are snow and ice, dark blue is open water, green is vegetation, pink is bare ground. Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  4. What lives on the tundra? Arctic Biodiversity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Hare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_fox http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowy_owl http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladonia_rangiferina http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_goose http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saxifraga_oppositifolia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassiope_tetragona http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_willow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyria_digyna http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musk_oxen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribou http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inupiat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silene_acaulis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptarmigan

  5. Activity! • Use the cards provided by your teacher to research the flora and fauna of the tundra. • Now use your cards to build a basic trophic pyramid for the tundra. • Now make a food web with your cards. Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  6. How will climate change alter Arctic biodiversity? • Remember that all ecosystems respond over time to local abiotic factors (climate). • Now lets look at how the tundra might respond to modern climate change. • First we will look at evidence for anthropogenic climate change and then at a case study of how climate change may alter the arctic tundra ecosystem. Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  7. Climate Change http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png Global average temperature over the last 2000+ years. Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  8. Climate Change http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers Global average temperature over the last 130 years.

  9. Climate Change http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png Global average temperature over the last 35 years. Note that while there is variation between years (some warm and some cold) the overall upward trend over time is clear. Climate is defined as the 30 year average of local weather, therefore this 35 year record shows a clear warming of the global climate. Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  10. Climate Change Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  11. Climate Change Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations for the last 50 years (left) and global average surface temperature for the last 35 years (right). Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  12. Climate Change http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/Greenhouse_Effect.svg The greenhouse effect: Solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth. The earth then radiates infra-red light (heat) back towards space. Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, absorb some of this heat and store that energy in the atmosphere. This process makes the atmosphere warm enough for life to exist all over the planet. Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  13. Climate Change Attribution of climate change to human greenhouse gas emissions. Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GHG_per_capita_2005.png

  14. Climate Change http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Warming_Predictions_Map.jpg Note that the high arctic tundra is projected to warm more than any other terrestrial biome, potentially up to 5.5°C! Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers

  15. Final Activity! Print these quotes and cut out each one. Now arrange them in an order that leads to a logical argument about the effects of climate change on this ecosystem. Depending on your result, rearrange your food web diagram to show how the tundra system might change as a result of climate change. Discuss with the class. • “The arctic fox and the snowy owl have been declining through the last decade . . .” • “. . . generalist predators like the red fox seem to be spreading northward . . .” • “Intense winter breeding, leading to rapid population growth under the snow, precedes peak years in arctic lemmings . . . . Seasonal peak densities are then reached in the spring.” • “For small mammals, deep snow offers protections both from low ambient temperatures and from many predators.” • “In areas with short winters and a shallow snow cover, it seems that voles [and lemmings] always decline to very low populations densities in the spring.” • “Specialist predators [like the snowy owl and arctic fox] depend on a high density of of prey [lemmings] in the spring to breed successfully.” • “Models of climate change predict that winters in the Arctic will become considerably warmer and more variable . . . .” Ims, Rolf A., Eva Fuglei. Trophic Interaction Cycles in Tundra Ecosystems and the Impact of Climate Change. BioScience. April 2005/Vol. 55 No.4. Accessed on 7/17/10 at http://www.arcus.org/alaskafws/downloads/pdf/general_arctic_change/Ims2005.pdf Harvard University Life Sciences - HHMI Outreach Summer 2010 Workshop for Biology Teachers