STATEMENT OF TASK

This workshop will explore what is known about the impacts of climate change on polar ecosystems and identify what gaps or unknowns exist that will be “frontiers” for future science. Using invited presentations and discussion, the workshop will have two components: a presentation portion that uses case examples to highlight known and anticipate impacts of changing climate in polar regions and an interactive portion designed to elicit an exchange of information on our evolving capabilities to study ecological systems and the big “next” questions that stand to be addressed. The workshop will look at examples and research from both terrestrial and marine ecosystems to illustrate impacts such as species movement, changes in seasonality, and feedbacks, and explore how such impacts can or cannot be shown to relate to climate parameters. The workshop will be designed to bring together polar and non-polar scientists to explore whether there are new capabilities available to study ecosystems in different ways that might shed new light on these questions. Participants will seek to identify (but not prioritize) areas of research and technology advances needed to better understand the changes occurring in polar ecosystems. In summary, the workshop will:

  • explore a selected field of science with special polar relevance: climate change and polar ecosystems,

  • consider accomplishments in that field to date,

  • identify emerging or important new questions,

  • identify important unknowns or gaps in understanding, and

  • allow workshop participants to identify what they see as the anticipated frontiers for future research in the field, including challenges and opportunities.



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