Science

What’s up and what’s not?

Things are looking up for biodiversity on UEA campus. Students from the UEA Conservation and Wildlife Society (CAWS) and Sustainability Society have joined forces with SU Environment officer Eva Korcynzki and the UEA Landscape Management Team to begin rewilding UEA. The project was conceived by Sustainability Society President Meg Watts and CAWS president Lucie Johnson; however, it fits perfectly with the Landscape team’s existing aims. Watts and Johnson are hoping to create a bee corridor across UEA campus by planting small patches of native wildflower meadow, as well as providing winter pollination opportunities and habitats by creating and installing insect hotels.

It’s all going downhill for the Arctic Circle. Scientists state that the region is on track for an ice-free summer by 2050. “It’s a matter of when, not if,” says Walt Meier, senior research scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center. Siberia’s Laptev sea, which functions as the Arctic’s most important sea ice nursery, has always frozen over by late October. However, due to an unprecedented heat wave across Siberia this year (and the intrusion of warmer Atlantic currents), the Laptev Sea is looking concerningly empty. This spells disaster for the Arctic region: smaller ice sheets mean smaller hunting grounds for endangered Polar Bears, increased global warming as the white area that reflects the sun’s heat back into space is reduced and an increase in oceanic turbulence. This draws yet more warmer water up from the depths, contributing further to reduced ice sheets in a positive feedback loop.

03/11/2020

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Meg Watts