Studies of Climate Effects on Polar and Sub-Polar Ecosystems:
Progress in Observation and Prediction
May 22-26, 2011, Seattle,
The sub-arctic seas are among the regions that support the most important
fisheries of the Northern Hemisphere and are regions anticipated to
experience some of the most rapid changes in climate from global warming.
The sub-arctic seas differ considerably in their latitude, and the amounts,
sources, physical properties and biological constituents of advected
water. In contrast, their fisheries are dominated by a few species of
gadid fish, particularly species of cod and pollock. There is considerable
concern that the combined effects of climate change and fisheries removals
may shift these marine ecosystems into alternative stable states, which
may have a lower yield of species valuable to people. Additionally,
it is becoming increasing evident that the connections between the Arctic
and the Sub-Arctic are important to both systems.
Comparison of the forcing mechanisms among the sub-arctic seas has
been useful for learning more about these ecosystems, and the responses
of their biological components, including commercially exploited fish
stocks, to variation in physical and anthropomorphic forcing mechanisms.
In response to interest in these ocean regions by the international
community, ESSAS, with support of its international partners, IMBER,
PICES and ICES, is holding a 2nd Open Science Meeting to facilitate
interdisciplinary comparative studies of these important marine ecosystems
and their present and future responses to climate variability. The symposium
is open to all.