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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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FRONTIERS IN UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE AND POLAR ECOSYSTEMS

REPORT OF A WORKSHOP

Committee for the Workshop on Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems

Polar Research Board

Division of Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under contract number ARC-0813667, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under contract number NA10OAR4310198, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract number NNX08AB15G. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agency or any of its subagencies.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-21087-4

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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COMMITTEE FOR THE WORKSHOP ON FRONTIERS IN UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE AND POLAR ECOSYSTEMS

JACQUELINE M. GREBMEIER (Co-chair),

University of Maryland, Solomons

JOHN C. PRISCU (Co-chair),

Montana State University, Bozeman

ROSANNE D’ARRIGO,

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, New York

HUGH W. DUCKLOW,

Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

CRAIG FLEENER,

Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Anchorage

KAREN E. FREY,

Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

CHERYL ROSA,

U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Anchorage, Alaska

NRC Staff

MARTHA McCONNELL, Study Director

LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer

LAUREN BROWN, Research Associate

AMANDA PURCELL, Senior Program Assistant

SHELLY FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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POLAR RESEARCH BOARD

JAMES W. C. WHITE (Chair),

University of Colorado, Boulder

JULIE BRIGHAM-GRETTE,

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

DAVID BROMWICH,

Ohio State University, Columbus

CHRISTOPHER J. R. GARRETT,

University of Victoria, Canada

SVEN D. HAAKANSON,

Alutiiq Museum, Kodiak, Alaska

AMY LAUREN LOVECRAFT,

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

MOLLY MCCAMMON,

Alaska Ocean Observing System, Anchorage

ELLEN MOSLEY-THOMPSON,

Ohio State University, Columbus

JOHN PRISCU,

Montana State University, Bozeman

CARYN REA,

ConocoPhillips, Anchorage, Alaska

VLADIMIR ROMANOVSKY,

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

JAMES SWIFT,

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

ALLAN T. WEATHERWAX,

Siena College, Loudonville, New York

Ex-Officio Members:

JACQUELINE M. GREBMEIER,

University of Maryland, Solomons

MAHLON C. KENNICUTT II,

Texas A&M University, College Station

TERRY WILSON,

Ohio State University, Columbus

NRC Staff

CHRIS ELFRING, Board Director

LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer

EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer

LAUREN BROWN, Research Associate

AMANDA PURCELL, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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Acknowledgments

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Eddy C. Carmack, University of British Columbia

Jody W. Deming, University of Washington

Glenn Juday, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Gary Kofinas, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Caryn Rea, ConocoPhillips

Sharon E. Stammerjohn, University of California, Santa Cruz

Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the views of the workshop participants, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by A. David McGuire,

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13132.
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The polar regions are experiencing rapid changes in climate. These changes are causing observable ecological impacts of various types and degrees of severity at all ecosystem levels, including society. Even larger changes and more significant impacts are anticipated. As species respond to changing environments over time, their interactions with the physical world and other organisms can also change. This chain of interactions can trigger cascades of impacts throughout entire ecosystems. Evaluating the interrelated physical, chemical, biological, and societal components of polar ecosystems is essential to understanding their vulnerability and resilience to climate forcing.

The Polar Research Board (PRB) organized a workshop to address these issues. Experts gathered from a variety of disciplines with knowledge of both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Participants were challenged to consider what is currently known about climate change and polar ecosystems and to identify the next big questions in the field. A set of interdisciplinary "frontier questions" emerged from the workshop discussions as important topics to be addressed in the coming decades. To begin to address these questions, workshop participants discussed the need for holistic, interdisciplinary systems approach to understanding polar ecosystem responses to climate change. As an outcome of the workshop, participants brainstormed methods and technologies that are crucial to advance the understanding of polar ecosystems and to promote the next generation of polar research. These include new and emerging technologies, sustained long-term observations, data synthesis and management, and data dissemination and outreach.

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