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Global Consequences of a Warming Arctic

Organized by Woods Hole Research Center and Tufts University 17. October 2015

The Arctic is an integral part of the global climate system. Arctic temperatures have risen at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole leading to a rapid loss of sea ice. The recent accelerated melting of land based glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet have caused long frozen lands to thaw, altered rivers and caused a rapid rise in sea level.

Changes in ocean salinity and temperature are altering location and productivity of fisheries. Permafrost soils contain one-third of the global soil carbon. As these soils thaw, they will irreversibly release vast quantities of carbon dioxide and methane with major consequences for global climate.

This session will report on Arctic field studies of the observed changes and their current and future consequences. Such information is critical for decision-making as governments and corporations make plans for accessing fossil fuel, mineral and marine resources as the Arctic emerges from its icy past.

Speakers:

  • William Moomaw, Professor, Tufts University: Global Implications of a Warming Arctic.
  • Scott Goetz, Deputy Director and Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center: Ecosystem Changes Across the Arctic.
  • Larry Hinzman, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks: The role of hydrology and permafrost in Arctic climate feedbacks.
  • Max Holmes, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center: Rivers as Integrators of Arctic Change and Sentinels of Widespread Permafrost Thaw.
  • Sue Natali, Assistant Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center: Permafrost, Carbon and Climate Change.

Moderator:

  • William Moomaw, Professor, Tufts University