MBARI: Changing ecosystems in a rapidly warming Southern Ocean
Speaker: Oscar Schofield, Professor/Chair, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University
Understanding how climate change affects food webs is a fundamental question facing humanity. Technical advances are providing a new means to study these processes as many marine systems appear to be changing. I will provide an overview of the large-scale changes along the West Antarctic Peninsula and Amundsen Sea. These regions exhibit the fastest rates of winter warming on Earth. My talk will focus on how the deep ocean is driving the physical shifts that are leading to shorter sea ice seasons and large changes in the ecosystems. I will highlight new robotic technologies are opening new means for studying these processes in natural communities. Combining the insights provided by the rapid dynamics of the physical ocean and evolutionary behaviors that integrate environmental signals over annual to decadal scales is providing insights allowing us to understand how climate shifts will alter ecosystems in the future.