Arctic environments are characterised by a harsh climate, low human population densities and by hosting relatively simple ecosystems. Alterations of Arctic ecosystems may have large effects on humanity, as these ecosystems provide important services on local and global scales. Because of their relative simplicity, Arctic ecosystems are also ideal model systems for evaluating the often complicated ecological effects of environmental disturbances such as global warming.
This year’s expedition is a continuation of studies that began in 2015 in Hall Land and Washington Land, Greenland, and on Ellesmere Island, Canada. On 11 July researchers will initiate a long-term monitoring program at the Abisko Scientific Research Station to evaluate the impacts of climate change on terrestrial Arctic ecosystems and compare to Arctic islands.