ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research

Phase 4 (2015-2018)

Impacts of the Changing Global Environment at Nunavut’s Northern Frontier

Project Leader(s)

Vincent, Warwick

Global climate models predict that the greatest warming effects of greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere will be at the highest latitudes of the Arctic, and consistent with these projections, the High Arctic appears to be warming at rates well above the global mean. This project aims to track and evaluate the environmental changes taking place along the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island, in Quttinirpaaq National Park and adjacent areas: Nunavut’s northern frontier. Specific objectives include monitoring of climate, snow and permafrost ground temperatures; observations to determine changes in lake ice, alpine glaciers and the Milne Ice Shelf; mapping of surface motion for glaciers and ice caps; analysis of ice island production, drift and decay as marine hazards; and analysis of lake and fiord sediments to assess long term variability. Biological studies will include molecular analysis of microbial communities, including the biodiversity of their viral assemblages, and evaluation of trophic relationships in the lower food web of lakes and fjords of the region, with comparative studies at reference sites elsewhere in the Canadian North. All available information will be synthesized as a sub-regional impact study that can be used in climate assessments. Contributes to IRIS: 2