Arctic Estuaries Threatened By Climate Change

2015-10-08T15:45:51+00:00 October 8, 2015|
An estuary on Cook Inlet near Anchorage, Alaska. (Credit: Gavin Stern/AAAS)

(Click to enlarge) An estuary on Cook Inlet near Anchorage, Alaska. (Credit: Gavin Stern/AAAS)

The 2015 AAAS Arctic Science Conference focused on the health and sustainability of estuaries, as well as other climate-driven changes to the region’s environment.

(From AAAS / by Gavin Stern) — Not many species call the brackish, murky waters of Alaska’s estuaries home. But a great diversity of life transits through and spawns in them. Erosion, increasing water temperature, and rising sea levels threaten those estuaries today — not 50 years from now.

“Estuaries are the heart of reproduction and food systems. That’s where the fish and the algae and food systems start out,” said Larry Duffy, executive director of the AAAS Arctic Division. The health and sustainability of estuaries, which are the transition zone between salty ocean water and freshwater systems, was the focus of the AAAS Arctic Science Conference. The annual meeting was held at the University of Alaska in Anchorage from 1-3 October. Changes to Arctic environments are a bellwether for what will eventually occur further south. The Artic is warming twice as fast as in lower latitudes, according to the NOAA Arctic Report Card. Average global temperatures were 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit higher in 2014 compared to 1880.

Read the full article here: http://www.aaas.org/news/arctic-estuaries-threatened-climate-change