The Arctic is collapsing! Scientists believe that by 2040 the polar region, which is home to an abundance of unique species, will have no more remaining ice. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Arctic is losing sea ice at a rate of thirteen percent per decade. Due to this loss, species are forced to seek out new habitats resulting in land conflict between animals and humans, a loss of genetic variability due to fragmentation, and a rapidly increasing possibility of extinction. This habitat loss greatly affects many Arctic animals such as migratory seabirds, polar bears, and several aquatic mammal species. The goal of this project is to offer solutions to help conserve the sea-ice in the Arctic. To accomplish this goal, as a part of a cross-institutional study between North Carolina State University and Northern Michigan University, our group conducted an extensive literature review to get a full understanding of this conservation issue and examined it from diverse perspectives. We plan to address the direct impacts of climate change on the Arctic, how habitat loss is harming Arctic wildlife specifically, and how we can help preserve the sea-ice for generations to come. Focusing on the Arctic not only allows us to observe the direct effects on the specific region and the species within but also helps us gain a better understanding of current causes contributing to habitat loss and fragmentation and how to possibly mitigate these issues in other regions.
Dr. Diana Lafferty
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Faculty Advisor Department
Walter, Lindsey E.; Zelakiewicz, Alyssa; Crosby, Alexandria; and Dorroh, Reese, "Arctic Change: Drivers and Solutions" (2021). Celebration of Student Scholarship. 15.