Adapting to a Clear and Present Danger: Climate Change and Ocean Ecosystems

Saturday, February 19, 2011: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
101 (Washington Convention Center )
For marine systems, climate change is not a problem of the future; it is with us today. It is driving changes to marine ecosystems and compromising important services that are highly valued by society. Commercially important species such as Atlantic cod have already experienced major shifts in their ranges. Coral reefs are experiencing more frequent bleaching episodes from warming waters. While these and other impacts of climate change have received attention from the press and policy-makers, many less obvious but critically important effects such as ocean acidification and changes in upwelling patterns have yet to be fully examined. These biophysical processes are expected to affect the systems we manage, such as fisheries and coastal development, as well as those systems we don’t manage, such as coastal upwelling systems. But climate change does not operate in a vacuum. Speakers will address how climate-driven changes, in concert with other human activities, will change the ecosystems we depend on, including upwelling regions, coral reefs, and wetlands. An understanding of how climate change will affect the services provided by these systems is essential for society to adapt to a changing world. This symposium will examine how the benefits we can expect to receive from those systems, such as shoreline protection, nutrient cycling, and fisheries, are likely to change and how we might adapt our management approach to these changes.
Chad English, Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea
Mary Ruckelshaus, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
and Scott Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Scott Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Andrew Rosenberg, Conservation International
and Kate Moran, University of Rhode Island
J. Emmett Duffy, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Wetlands and Estuaries: How Things Will Change Where the Land Meets the Sea
Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Resilient Reefs and Mangroves: Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change
Mary Ruckelshaus, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Changing Management To Manage Change: New Approaches from Natural and Social Science
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