Arctic Tundra and Ecosystems Impacts

Transcript:

Greg Henry (Professor, University of British Columbia):
Tundra covers almost a third of Canada. The Russians have a word "Tundra" is just "areas without trees".

Narrator:
During International Polar Year, Canadian scientists studied how our warming tundra affects the atmosphere...

Greg Henry:
We're at Alexandra Fjord. It's one of the most beautiful places on the planet. What we're doing here is warming up little pots of tundra. That allows us to measure carbon dioxide and methane and nitrous oxide - three of the big greenhouse gases. We're verifying that the warming that's already going on is changing the whole system.

Narrator:
The high arctic is warming by one degree per decade. How will the ecosystem adapt?

Greg Henry:
We're going to look for evolutionary change in these plants. And so if we're able to show that, that'll be indication that the plants actually can adapt to the rapid change.

Narrator:
Canadian scientists expanded their knowledge of this issue during International Polar Year...

Greg Henry:
By keeping the information flow going, Canadians will be better informed of what's going on in their country.

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