NOSB 2005 Research Project: Effects of climate change upon Alaska's marine ecosystems and the communities they support
Temperatures have changed more in Alaska over the past 30 years than they have anywhere else on Earth; winters have warmed by a startling 2–3°C, compared with a global average of 1°C. Although there is still some question whether this warming is due to natural variability or global climate change, the effects on Alaska are significant and accelerating. Some of the observed changes include: earlier breakup of river ice, increased freshwater runoff, thawing permafrost, shrinking glaciers, longer growing season, melting sea ice, and trees and shrubs encroaching on tundra. These changes in turn impact the coastal communities that depend on this changing environment for their livelihood and/or subsistence. Less apparent but no less critical are the changes occurring in marine ecosystems on which coastal economies and people depend.
This project will count as 50 percent of the 2005 Alaska Region NOSB competition. The document will be worth 25 percent and the oral presentation of the project will count as 25 percent toward the 50-percent total.
The research project for the 2005 Tsunami Bowl will be to:
Regardless of your choice of problem or hazard arising from climate change, here are some suggestions to help your organize your paper and project:
This is a contentious topic, so it is very important that you choose your resources wisely. Consult written and electronic publications that have been reviewed or produced by reliable organizations or groups and preferably have been peer-reviewed. Interview elders and your peers in your local community as well as managers at various state and federal agencies dealing with resource management and weather. Independent and international panels of scientists and local experts are often more “balanced” than studies by a specific interest group.
General writing resources
Background resources (PDF):
A large number of background reference materials are available at the password-protected MSL693 site. The required username and password are unchanged from 2004. If you are a member or coach of a new team (or have just forgotten), contact either Susan Sugai (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Carol Kaynor (email@example.com).
The URL for the resources posted at the MSL693 site is:
Background resources (HTML)
BBC News features & teaching materials on global
Climate Change: Hileman, B. 2003. Climate Change. Chemistry and Engineering News 81:27-37. http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8150/8150climatechange.html
Impacts of a Warming Arctic, from Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Note that the PDF document is available as one file (110 pages) or as sections, highly preferable for downloading.
Near-Realtime Arctic Change Indicator, NOAA Arctic Research Office
Satellite-Observed Changes in the Arctic: Comiso, J.C., and C.L. Parkinson. 2004. Satellite-Observed Changes in the Arctic. Physics Today 57:38-44. http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-57/iss-8/p38.html
30-yr temperature changes at Alaska weather stations: http://climate.gi.alaska.edu/ClimTrends/30year/30yr.html