Changing Climate, Changing Approaches: Conservation in the Face of Climate Change

Sunday, February 20, 2011: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
145A (Washington Convention Center )
That climate change is a challenge to conservation efforts in aquatic habitats is obvious, but the challenges lie far beyond the uncertainty in climate projections. Economic, biological, sociological and ecological issues all play important roles in developing robust strategies for conserving biodiversity and natural systems as temperatures warm, sea levels rise, and the ocean becomes more acidic. In this session, a panel of academic; nongovernmental, business, and academic organization (NGO); and U.S. government scientists discuss emerging approaches to those robust conservation and recovery efforts -- in particular, whether standard efforts or more radical, transformative approaches are appropriate for habitat conservation, and the importance of evolutionary change as a potential component of species and ecosystem resilience. Then, we present several specific studies that include novel approaches to using climatic, ecological, and economic information for conservation. These include conserving mangrove habitats threatened by sea-level rise, assessing the vulnerability of hard coral species to temperature change and ocean acidification, and developing recovery actions for sea turtles in the face of loss of nesting habitat as beaches are inundated and tropical storm patterns change. The session demonstrates the range of issues facing conservation efforts with coming climatic changes as well as novel approaches to addressing the uncertainty in our understanding of those changes.
Michelle M. McClure, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Erin Seney, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow NOAA/NMFS Office of Science and Technology
Michelle M. McClure, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
John Kostyack, National Wildlife Federation
Kyle Van Houtan, NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Assessing Sea Turtle Population Trends Given Strong Environmental Forcing
Russell Brainard, NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Assessing Extinction Risks of Corals in a Changing Climate
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