Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research Editors’ Choice Award

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Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research Editors’ Choice Award

About the prize

The Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research Editors’ Choice Award will be given yearly to recognize one or two influential papers demonstrating research excellence contributing substantially to our understanding of physical and environmental science in cold environments. The recipients will be selected yearly from all articles published in Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research by consensus of the Editors. In recognition of this outstanding research, in conjunction with Taylor and Francis, Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research will award $1000 to the first author or designated recipient.

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About the winning articles

Two articles were chosen for the 2020 Editors’ Choice Award, here are the comments from the Editor:

Moving up and over: redistribution of plants in alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic ecosystems under global change - Lisa J. Rew et al.

"Multiple anthropogenic factors threaten the diversity of Earth’s biota, including habitat loss, air and water pollution, non-native species, and climate change. In high elevation and high latitude ecosystems, threats from non-native species have historically been thought to be limited by the severe climate limiting successful establishment of viable populations of these invaders. However, climate change may be decreasing the hurdle imposed by the physical environment on the spread of non-native species. In their important and timely review Lisa Rew and colleagues describe the current status of non-native plant species invasions into alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic ecosystems, showing that a similar suite of species is invading these systems. They show that transportation networks and surface disturbances associated with development are increasing the spread and successful establishment of non-native species in cold environments. The ongoing change of native species due to climate change further complicates the prediction of the impacts of non-native species on ecosystem function, and the authors argue for flexibility in the management of non-native species to minimize their adverse impacts."

Accelerated retreat of coastal glaciers in the Western Prince William - Dean R. Maraldo

"Coastal glaciers of the Gulf of Alaska have been retreating overall since the Little Ice Age, but the combination of land and marine terminating glaciers makes their response to climate warming difficult to ascertain. Tidewater glaciers respond differently from land terminating glaciers to climate warming due to the complex influence of topography, bathymetry, ocean circulation, and sediment dynamics on the positions of the termini and the mass balance.  In this important contribution, Dean Maraldo uses historical field mapping, historical topographic maps, and Landsat imagery to inventory changes in area, length, and terminus position of 43 land and tidewater terminating glaciers in Prince William Sound, SW Alaska, between ~1950 and 2018. The main finding of the paper is that the termini of glaciers in Prince William Sound have been retreating over the time interval and show an accelerated retreat rate and mass loss beginning 2004-2006. Although the tidewater glaciers exhibited greater variability and asynchrony in their behavior, they nevertheless showed a decline in their combined area over the study period.  Trends in climate time series data including increased summer and winter temperatures and decreased winter precipitation correlate with the history of terminus changes suggesting an association between glacier changes and climate change. Upscaling of the results from 48 glaciers to include all Prince William Sound glaciers provides an estimated aggregate glacier mass loss of 379 Gt, equivalent to a 1.047 mm contribution to sea-level rise from the 1950s to 2018."

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