UAF scientists share results of arctic research on global warming

November 09, 2001

Fairbanks, Alaska - Several hundred international scientists studying environment change in the Arctic will meet Nov. 14-17 in Salt Lake City to report the results of recently completed studies that document major changes and improve scientific understanding of the Arctic as an integrated regional system.

The meetings are the first in which terrestrial, marine and atmospheric researchers sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs will meet jointly to share data, discuss its scientific implications and coordinate future integrated efforts.

The objective of the research is to contribute fundamental documentation and understanding of the Arctic's terrestrial, marine and atmospheric environments in support of Arctic System Science and the U.S. Global Change Research Program, leading to an enhanced predictive capability.

Scientists increasingly recognize that the Arctic plays a key role in the Earth's climate system. A complex suite of interrelated, atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial changes have occurred in the Arctic in recent decades.

These changes affect virtually every part of the arctic environment and have global and societal repercussions. There is evidence these changes are connected with atmospheric circulation of the Northern Hemisphere - commonly known as the greenhouse effect. Many scientists believe the Arctic is likely to continue to warm more rapidly than the rest of the globe.

Research is underway to gain understanding into what feedback processes on climate or ecosystems may be involved in the recent changes, and what the long-term impacts may be.

Important topics to be discussed at the meetings include:

Note to Editors: Several key opportunities to interview scientists and view their research findings are available during the event.

CONTACT: Christopher Shock, Information Coordinator for the Boreal Ecology Research Unit at the University of Alaska Fairbanks at 907-474-6364 to make arrangements for coverage, or for additional information or at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, 801-521-0130 during the event.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

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