Arctic Coastlines Hitting Ecological Tipping Point
“Regime Shifts” ……..
“The abrupt character of these extensive changes, confirmed by our statistical analyses, provides a convincing case for tipping points being crossed,”
In Kongsfjord, the westernmost of the fjords studied, algae composition remained stable for 15 years. Then, between 1995 and 1996, brown algae — a group that includes many types of seaweed and kelp — went from covering 8 percent of the seafloor to a whopping 80 percent.
Such changes aren’t simple, local tweaks, say Kortsch’s group. They’re what ecologists call “regime shifts,” in which one set of plants and animals is almost entirely replaced by another.
Warming in the Arctic is accelerating at twice the average global rate.