The Arctic Ocean is in agony

Louis Fortier is professor of oceanography at Laval University and
director of Quebec-Ocean. Head of mission for the scientific expedition
CASES (Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study), he spent a year in
the arctic, aboard the icebreaker Amundsen. Just back, he pulls the
alarm bells announcing the disappearance of the arctic world in a short
time much faster than expected and thus opening the way to the
maritime traffic in these regions apart, the 2030.
From a geopolitical point of view, the opening of the Northwest Passage
will raise a number of issues, including that of the possession
this space to fishery resources still unclear. On the plan
economic, the road connecting Europe and Asia via Cape Horn
and 19.000 kilometers long would no longer need to be.
Furthermore, such melting will have dramatic consequences on
the arctic ecosystem. According to the Quebec researcher, there is no doubt
than typical species, such as polar bears, seals or cod
arctic will die out. The anticipated disappearance of the ice cover
will have a beneficial effect initially because productivity
Organic Arctic seas increases with the amount of light that
reaches the surface layer. Indeed, this bright intake stimulates
photosynthesis which is at the base of all trophic networks. A long
term, however, when the ice cover will be reduced to the parties more
deep Arctic sea, Arctic species will be replaced by
the Atlantic and Pacific species.
In addition, this font could also have a direct impact on the effect of
greenhouse. In fact, researchers have proved the permeability of sea ice,
allowing both summer and winter the passage of carbon dioxide towards the ocean,
Because of 20mg per square meter. However, the oceans absorbing even better
CO2 as ice, melting arctic ice cover could
slow the Global warming. But the possibility that the oceans
return part of the CO2 that will not have been taken care of by the pump
biological also remains probable; and it could be all the more serious
the oceanic funds already possess a certain amount of methane
Faced with all these observations, the Louis Fortier team cannot
that Canada be encouraged to prepare for ecological repercussions,
geopolitics and socioeconomics of a warming of the Arctic.

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Sources: Le Devoir, 07 / 10 / 2004
Editor: Elodie Pinot OTTAWA,

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