- Monday, 15 December 2014 15:14
Ramsar – December 11, 2014
Arctic peatlands, glacier forelands, rivers, lakes, wet tundras, seashores and shallow bays make up the largest part of the Arctic (at least 60% of the surface) and constitute a significant part of the world’s wetlands and freshwater resources. Arctic wetlands store enormous amounts of carbon in frozen peat and soil, as long as the insulation by an undisturbed peat layer is preventing the underlying permafrost from melting. Accelerated climate change in the Arctic provokes rapid environmental change, easier access to oil and gas, minerals and fisheries, This threatens ecosystems through the retreat of sea ice, permafrost thawing, atmospheric warming, habitat fragmentation, de-synchronisation of predator-prey life cycles, overharvesting of wildlife and of globally migratory bird and mammal populations, and ocean acidification (factors highlighted in UNEP’s “view from the top” in 2013). For full story, click here.