Researchers from the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences analyse the formation of modern Arctic mammals and discuss their future changes caused by climate change. They observed regional climate warming since the 1990s with visible effects such as rain- and snowfall increase, a decrease of Arctic glaciers, much warmer winters, etc.
They found that nearly all of these effects are ‘biologically significant’, in other words, all of them influence the lives of Arctic animals.
Often these changes are positive. The populations of certain bird species such as Barnacle goose have been rapidly growing over the past 10 years from 100 thousand species in the 1980s to one million in the 2000s. They estimate Barnacle goose will reach 1,2 million species by 2020 which they link with temperature growth. Migration of the breed also expanded dramatically as new colonies of geese settled across the areas out of the Arctic.
Figure 1. Dynamics of the Russian-Baltic population number for Barnacle Goose on wintering counts in Europe
However, not all changes in the Arctic fauna can be explained by climate change. In this case, the researchers believe the main reason for the birds’ well-being is the careful protection of wintering species in Europe, and only then, perhaps, the warming of the Arctic, oran increase in the vegetation season, etc.
Similar positive changes in the population and migration dynamics are observed in other species of the Arctic water birds, although the primary causes of it may vary.
Tishkov, A. A., et al. “Biotic significant climate trends and biota dynamics of the Russian Arctic”
Original source (in Russian): http://eng.arctica-ac.ru/docs/journals/33/biotic-significant-climate-trends-and-biota-dynamics-of-the-russian-arctic.pdf
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