Unprecedented Change in the Bering Sea Town Hall
This event will also take place as a Facebook live event to promote Alaska-based participation.
The “Unprecedented Bering Sea Ice Extent and Impacts to Marine Ecosystems and Western Alaskan Communities” AGU session will be the major first opportunity for the scientific community to present the results from 2018 fieldwork and other recent studies, but it will not cover all of the dramatic findings and the format does not offer the opportunity for discussion on the implications for residents and the environment.
In 2018 warm waters from the marine heat wave combined with stormy conditions led to the lowest sea ice season ever seen by far. This made subsistence hunting more difficult and dangerous. Not having the ice also limited primary production and disrupted the base of the food web due to the absence of ice algae affecting food availability for seabirds and fish. There was a spring seabird die off that was followed by total breeding failures in two seabird species. Fishery management surveys found decreased abundance and skinny pollock in the southern Bering Sea prompting an added survey in the northern Being that found high numbers of pollock. Meanwhile HAB cysts were found in all sediment samples collected across the Bering and Chukchi shelves one of the highest measurements ever recorded was made off Point Lay.
This 1.5/2 hour town hall provides a venue for discussion of the collective impacts and implications of changes occurring in the Bering Sea among PIs, regional residents, and program managers.
Light refreshments will be available.