Frontiers of Global Change Science
This workshop explored the evolution of global change research over the last 25 years and sought to explore the possible trajectory of interdisciplinary research for the coming decades. Areas of discussion included perturbations to the Earth system such as climate change, alterations to biogeochemical cycles, ozone depletion, human population, development and land use, and biodiversity loss.
Keywords: atmospheric composition; climate variability & change; water cycle; land use; carbon cycle; ecosystems; human interactions; anniversary
Over the past quarter century, global change research has evolved to encompass many aspects of the human-Earth system. In the process, perturbations to the Earth system such as climate change, alterations to biogeochemical cycles, ozone depletion, human population, development, land use, and biodiversity loss have been made increasingly apparent through advancing capacity in monitoring, modeling, and the understanding of underlying processes. The evolution of global change research has not only advanced scientific understanding of Earth systems but has also heightened awareness and concern regarding the societal and ecological impacts of global environmental change.
Major studies continue to enumerate these areas of concern (e.g., Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the IPCC series of reports, U.S. National Climate Assessments). During the last 25 years, AGCI has played a leadership role in convening key workshops with a focus on interdisciplinary dialogue. These workshops have helped inform directions in interdisciplinary science and its significance to society. AGCI’s informal yet rigorous atmosphere has helped to forward new research directions and collaborations across disciplines. The future work of AGCI will continue to serve the research community and its role in service to society.
In this context, a landmark AGCI session is proposed to explore and restate the Institute’s vision for continued work by engaging up-and-coming and senior researchers to articulate their sense of the grand challenges for global change science, broadly construed. What are the exciting ideas and questions that build from what we know? The scope of discussions will also extend to include how such “frontiers” of research can be propelled by improvements to STEM education, as well as how the outcomes of this research can better relate to and inform decisions required by society in response.
The AGCI session will involve a highly interdisciplinary group of senior scientists and scholars, as well as a set of younger scientists identified as likely future leaders in their field. In so doing, an additional outcome of this session will be to nurture and catalyze a new generation of researchers, who will work over the next 25 years to advance the needed societally-relevant science. A workshop of this scope will draw upon an expanding organizing committee to work with AGCI’s science advisory committee, in addition to session co-chairs to provide input to session design, participant mix, and intended outcomes.
Aspen Global Change Institute: 25 Years of Interdisciplinary Global Change Science
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What is coral bleaching? Why does the acidity and temperature of the ocean matter to corals? What is driving the stressors to coral reef systems and how are they projected to fair in the coming decades? Dr. Joanie Kleypas gives an engaging and colorful presentation of life below the ocean’s surface and how human activity is damaging coral ecosystems. Dr. Kleypas utilizes the latest in ocean modeling to project future ocean conditions juxtaposed with the global distribution of coral reefs, concluding with stories about promising attempts at reef restoration and strategies for reducing climate impacts on our oceans.
Chapters (navigate to in the progress bar or at the lower-right corner of the video):
1. Beginning (00:19)
2. Global map of coral reefs, area of coral reefs in comparison to Texas (01:38)
3. Coral reefs defined (02:45)
4. Threats to coral reefs such as climate change, pollution, exploitation (03:45)
5. Carbon cycle-sources and sinks, gas law, acidification; (04:14)
6. Global temperature projections, corresponding ocean pH changes (06:16)
7. Coral bleaching, the biology of coral, coral secretions form reefs as an abiotic structure of calcium carbonate (07:34)
8. Coral symbiosis with algae that photosynthesize, coral bleaching and ocean temperature, significant coral loss by mid-century (08:28)
9. Heat stress impacts on coral and NOAA global simulation of heat stress (11:14)
10. Map of severe coral reef bleaching (12:45)
11. Ocean acidification due to carbon dioxide into ocean, acidification chemistry, damage to shell formation (13:14)
12. Overview of the pH scale and ocean chemistry, impact on plant and animal life (15:22)
13. Acidification and corals, marine ecosystems and biodiversity loss (18:05)
14. Coral life cycle, implications for restoration, species interactions-bioerosion (20:40)
15. Media reporting (25:39)
16. Restoration strategies: reduce stressors, improved modeling to guide restoration (27:00)
17. Coral spawning event video, sources and sinks of larvae and relation to ocean currents (30:43)
18. Reef restoration techniques (33:30)
19. Summary: identify adaptation ability of different species, reduce stressors (33:48)
20. End (35:04)