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Seventy Years of High Arctic Plant Responses to Climate Change
Prach, K., Kosnar, J., Klimesova, J. and Hais, M. 2010. High Arctic vegetation after 70 years: A repeated analysis from Svalbard. Polar Biology 33: 635-639.

In a review of ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change, Parmesan (2006) wrote that "nearly every Arctic ecosystem shows marked shifts due to climate change," and as a result, the authors decided to see if such was the case at a study site in the High Arctic located at 7838'N, 1645'E, near Brucebyen at the Adolfbukta Bay in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), where the vegetation had been carefully surveyed, identified and mapped in the 1930s and the results published by Acock (1940).

What was done
In the summer of 2008, Prach et al. repeated the vegetation mapping and identification of species "on the same strip of land 2,042 x 521 meters in size, as surveyed by Acock in 1936-1937 and using the same methods."

What was learned
The four researchers, all from the Czech Republic, report that their work "did not reveal any changes in vegetation, since a previous study in 1936-1937, that could be attributed to climate change."

What it means
Prach et al. write that they "endorse the opinion that the vegetation on Svalbard is still resistant to climate fluctuations, in line with a statement of Jonsdottir (2005): 'Svalbard ecosystems are adapted to extreme fluctuations in climate on different temporal scales and can thus be regarded as rather robust'." Then, quoting Parmesan (2006), who said that "nearly every Arctic ecosystem shows marked shifts due to climate change," they conclude their paper by writing that "based on the results presented here, we wanted to note that some Arctic ecosystems still show no evident change." We would only add that maybe it just hasn't warmed as much in this High Arctic land as the world's climate alarmists would have us believe, which is also suggested by Prach et al.

Acock, A.M. 1940. Vegetation of a calcareous inner fjord region in Spitsbergen. Journal of Ecology 28: 81-106.

Jonsdottir, I.S. 2005. Terrestrial ecosystems on Svalbard: heterogeneity, complexity and fragility from an Arctic island perspective. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 105B: 155-165.

Parmesan, C. 2006. Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 37: 637-669.

Reviewed 4 August 2010