ACCAP has produced a new four-minute video on ocean acidification in Alaska. We worked with UAF's Dr. Jeremy Mathis to describe what ocean acidification is and how it might impact Alaska. The video will be shown at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. DVD available upon request.
Stephanie A McAfee, University of Nevada, Reno
Changes in precipitation are important drivers of many observed hydrological and ecological processes, and precipitation is a key component of many studies. However, existing studies of precipitation trends in Alaska simply did not agree about the magnitude or even direction of trends. We revisited the question, analyzing homogeneity and trends in station data and three commonly used gridded precipitation data sets. We identified numerous inhomogeneities in both the station data and the gridded products and discovered that the three gridded products displayed very dissimilar patterns of trend. Finally, we will present some suggestions for moving forward despite the imperfect data.
Study authors: Stephanie McAfee (UN - Reno), Galina Guentchev (NCAR) and Jon K. Eischeid (CIRES)
Rick Thoman, National Weather Service & Jon Gottschalck, NOAA Climate Prediction Center
Variations in the tropical Pacific ocean and atmosphere are an important contributor to seasonal weather and climate variability over large portions of the globe, including Alaska. The warm phase of this variation, El Niño, is favored to be in place for the the upcoming fall and winter seasons. We will review the current state of El Niño and expected development over the next several months and examine how variations in the tropical Pacific can effect high latitude regions such as Alaska. We finish up with a look at how past El Niño falls and winters have turned out and review the forecast for this coming cold season for Alaska.
Terry Johnson, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program
The Norton Sound village of Shaktoolik faces serious threats of erosion and flooding resulting from climate change. University of Alaska Sea Grant agent Terry Johnson and consultant Glenn Gray worked with the community over a two-year period to develop an adaptation plan. The community-driven plan positions Shaktoolik to work with Alaska’s Division of Community and Rural Affairs to begin implementation, with funding through the Alaska Climate Change Impact Mitigation Program. Johnson explains how the plan was developed and how reality differs from theory in climate adaptation planning.
Dr. Phillip Loring, Assistant Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan
Food security is a world-wide societal challenge, and one area of the world where food insecurity is increasing is the North American Arctic and Subarctic. In this presentation Dr. Loring reviews research on food security in general and as it has been executed in the North over the last 15 years. He reviews a comprehensive set of findings regarding why people are food insecure: challenges like remoteness and climate change play a role, but the primary drivers of food insecurity for northern peoples continue to be governance and policy issues, issues that have been recognized and critiqued for many decades. In light of new challenges to the rights of indigenous peoples in the North such as climate change and development, Loring offers suggestions for future research and policy that focuses on place-based and rights-based approaches to planning and development.