Weller, G. E.. University of Alaska Fairbanks, gunter@gi.alaska.edu
, . E.. ,

Regional assessments of impacts due to global climate change have become a high priority in the national and international programs on global change research. In the Arctic, climate models indicate an amplification of the global greenhouse effect, and a strong warming has already been observed over the last few decades, although it is more regional and patchy than predicted by the models. The warming observed over the landmasses of the Western Arctic during the last few decades is matched by corresponding observed decreases in snow cover and glacier mass balances, by thawing of the permafrost, and by reductions in sea ice extent. Major environmental and societal impacts in the region due to this include costly damage to roads and other infrastructure and large-scale changes in ecosystems when permafrost thaws. Future impacts are likely to include changes in the productivity of marine ecosystems, economic impacts on the Bering Sea fisheries and on petroleum exploration and production, as well as social impacts on northern indigenous populations. While uncertainties exist about the future, climate change during the past few decades over most of the land areas of the Arctic is already occuring at a fast rate and impacts due to it will become even more pronounced if present trends continue.
Day: Monday, Feb. 1
Time: 02:30 - 02:45pm
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
Code: SS14MO0230H