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Alaska Sea Grant to convene four-day climate change symposium


Anchorage, Alaska — Sea Ice covering the Arctic Ocean melted away to a record low in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The steady loss of arctic sea ice is perhaps the most obvious sign of a warming planet.

Far less obvious is how individual marine species—from arctic cod that live just below and sometimes within the sea ice, to seals, whales, polar bears and ultimately humans—will respond to the loss of sea ice and other consequences of a warmer Arctic.

In one of the first major scientific meetings on the topic, Alaska Sea Grant will convene Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, the 28th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium, in Anchorage, Alaska, March 26–29, 2013. A complete description and agenda of the symposium can be found online at www.alaskaseagrant.org

This symposium will bring scientists from around the world to share their research on how arctic marine ecosystems are responding to climate change.

Among the topics are

* Observed and anticipated environmental changes in the Arctic.
* Lower trophic level productivity of arctic waters in a changing climate.
* Marine fish resources of the Arctic in a changing climate.
* Observed and anticipated responses of arctic birds and marine mammals to environmental changes in the Arctic.
* Effects of changing arctic marine ecosystems on humans.
* Understanding and managing arctic marine ecosystems in a time of change.

The symposium is organized by Alaska Sea Grant, guided by steering committee members from NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Pew Environment Group, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, North Pacific Fishery Management Council, North Pacific Research Board, and the Institute of Marine Research in Norway.

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A photo of arctic cod beneath the Arctic Ocean sea ice can be downloaded and used with credit:
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/2012/11-01-12ecosystems-abstracts.php
Photo by Elizabeth Calvert Siddon (NOAA/UAF), arctic cod, Boreogadus saida, Arctic Ocean, Canada Basin north of Barrow, Alaska.

The Alaska Sea Grant College Program is a statewide marine research, education, communication, and extension service at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Alaska Sea Grant is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program is a statewide university extension and technical assistance program that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy Alaska's marine and coastal resources.
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This news release was sent from the Alaska Sea Grant College Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. For questions or comments, e-mail Alaska Sea Grant at doug.schneider@alaska.edu, or call me (907) 474-7449.

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Alaska Sea Grant College Program press release