Ecosystem Health

When glacial melt changes and slows down, it also impacts the ecosystems along the stream channels. When stream flow rates and sea-level rates change, habitats can be seriously impacted. Animals and organisms that live near or on the ice are also affected. According to the WWF, global warming has already caused the loss of an entire ecosystem on the ice shelves of the Arctic. Between 2000 and 2002, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf off Ellesmere Island in Canada broke in two and emptied Disraeli Fjord. This was a 3,000-year-old lake that supported an ecosystem hosting rare microscopic organisms at the bottom of the lake. Scientists reported that by 2002, 96 percent of the unique habitat had been lost.

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