Global research network needed to understand changes in the Arctic
February 17, 2007
A worldwide research network is needed to better understand how climate change is affecting the Arctic, says an Ohio State University geologist.
Saturday Berry Lyons, director of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, outlined a plan that would consolidate research on the Arctic into a single network.
“This is basically a plan to better understand how the Arctic is changing, but doing it in a new systematic, international and ‘pan-Arctic’ way,” said Lyons. “We’re trying to understand how the Arctic system is responding, not just to climate change — although that is a major reason — but also to environmental changes in general.”
Sea Ice Minimum 2003-2005. Courtesy of NASA
“This is an opportunity to get people from different scientific disciplines together and to start thinking about the Arctic as a larger, interconnected system. That’s the new part of this,” he added.
In recent years scientists have raised alarm bells over fast-declining sea ice in the Arctic. Projections by the National Center for Atmospheric Research suggest that the Arctic Ocean could have ice-free summers by 2040, effectively creating a Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
This article is based on a news release from Ohio State University.