Arctic Ponds - Shrinking and Disappearing
But new research on an area in the Barrow region of northern Alaska has revealed that these ponds have been disappearing at an alarming rate, due to an average warming of about 2°C in the region. 17% of the ponds have disappeared and, on average, those remaining are 30% smaller.
Canadian researcher Dr. Vanessa Lougheed, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Texas, El Paso, and her colleagues, have evidence that it's not simply loss of water that is causing the ponds to disappear. Melting permafrost under the ponds is releasing nutrients and causing new plant growth that encroaches on the ponds and eventually swallows them up.