Changes in Arctic sea ice and permafrost will likely affect populations of wildlife. Migratory birds such as loons rely on freshwater lakes in the Arctic for nesting and food supply; we are studying how their populations are affected by these changes.
Loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, changing coastal habitats. For some geese this has been a positive change, increasing the amount of coastal area that supports vegetation the geese feed on.
Landscapes of interwoven wetlands and uplands offer a rich set of ecosystem goods and services. Changes in climate and land use can affect the value of those services. We study these areas to understand how they may be changing.
The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. The USGS has modeled the future responses of polar bear and Pacific walrus populations to this environmental change.