Research Topic

Biogeochemical Consequences of Climate-Driven Changes in the Arctic

About this Research Topic

The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the global average, causing rapid changes to freshwater, terrestrial and marine ecosystems that have ecological and socio-economic repercussions at local, regional and global scales. Recent patterns in warming have led to sea ice loss, changing ocean circulation ...

The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the global average, causing rapid changes to freshwater, terrestrial and marine ecosystems that have ecological and socio-economic repercussions at local, regional and global scales. Recent patterns in warming have led to sea ice loss, changing ocean circulation patterns and the melting of permafrost, leading to increases in primary production, changes in the distribution and composition of communities and modification of carbonate chemistry. These changes exert cascading effects on Arctic Ocean carbon and nutrient dynamics, including important feedbacks on local and regional budgets.

Approximately 50% of the Arctic Ocean is made up of productive shelves supporting large fisheries, diverse habitats and people. It is therefore critical to develop a better understanding of the Arctic ecosystem now in order to predict the consequences of future climate change. Coastal and marine habitats are particularly vulnerable to increases in riverine flow, melting permafrost and erosion and threaten hunting, fishing and herding activities that are so important for people's livelihoods and well-being.

Due to the complexity and coupled nature of biogeochemical processes, an integrated view on the cycling of carbon, micro- and macro-nutrients, and their interactions with other biological and physical parameters, is required to understand how anticipated levels of climate change might affect Arctic environment. The goal of this Research Topic is to establish baseline Arctic biogeochemical processes, develop an understanding of the variables that influence the stocks and flows of nutrients and carbon, determine the role of climatic change, and project how biogeochemistry may change in the near future.

We welcome contributions on any aspect of Arctic biogeochemistry, ecology and oceanography. These topics may include, studies of the marine water column and sediments, rivers, atmospheric inputs, glaciers, permafrost and any other Arctic habitat. Contributions covering the socioeconomic impacts of a changing Arctic ecosystem and future Arctic scenarios within the scope of the Topic are also encouraged and are particularly relevant to the "Interdisciplinary Climate Studies" section of Frontiers in Environmental Science and the "Global Change and the Future Ocean" section of Frontiers in Marine Science. We welcome submission of original research, perspectives and review articles.

Image credit: Martin Fortier/ ArcticNet


Keywords: permafrost, ice retreat, rapid warming, ocean, sediments


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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