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From Icefield to Ocean: Glacier Change Impacts to Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems

Implications of Glacier Change in Alaska


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The Gulf of Alaska is one of the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth, supporting salmon fisheries that alone provide nearly $1 billion per year in economic benefits to Southeast Alaska. Glaciers are central to many of the area’s natural processes and economic activities, but the rates of glacier loss in Alaska are among the highest on Earth, with a 26-36 percent reduction in total volume expected by the end of the century. This project brought together scientists and managers at a workshop to synthesize the impacts of glacier change on the region’s coastal ecosystems and to determine related research and monitoring needs. Collected knowledge shows that melting glaciers are expected to have cascading effects on the economy and [...]

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Principal Investigator :
Eran Hood
Cooperator/Partner :
Shad R O'Neel, Anthony Arendt, Sanjay Pyare
Funding Agency :
Alaska CSC
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

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“Hubbard Glacier - Public domain”
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As climate changes, watersheds along the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) are experiencing some of the highest rates of glacier melting on Earth, causing significant societal and ecological impacts on the structure and productivity of marine ecosystems, safety hazards related to glaciers, hydropower generation, and sea-level rise. This project brought together scientists and land and resource managers at a workshop to establish a cross-disciplinary framework for developing new tools to monitor and anticipate future changes in glacier runoff along the GOA. This workshop resulted in a more coordinated strategy for studying glacier change in Alaska and addressing key outstanding questions related to glacier change.

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