The Value of 48 Years Studying Arctic Birds (George Divoky)

Video Shot in: 2022

Dr. George Divoky had already been studying Black Guillemots on Cooper Island just off Point Barrow, Alaska, for 28 years, in relative obscurity, until a New York Times article in 2002 brought attention to his work on the melting Arctic. His research on one bird population on one island was already revealing the devastating impact of climate change and declining sea ice. By monitoring nesting cycles and observing migration patterns, he discovered that the decline in Arctic bird populations was primarily due to decreasing migration rates from source colonies in other parts of the Arctic. Dr. Divoky’s findings highlighted the collapse of an important ecosystem and emphasized the need for long-term monitoring of the cryopelagic system. Dr. Divoky’s work on Black Guillemots continues after 48 years and serves as one of the most detailed long-term research projects highlighting how global warming is affecting the planet’s climate.