Symposium at UO: Ocean impacts of climate change

EUGENE – Leading Oregon scientists and scholars will discuss Ocean Impacts of Climate Change: Science, People and Policy, in a one-day symposium at the University of Oregon’s Knight Law Center on Sept. 10. The symposium, which is free and open to the public, runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m.

Organized by 2010-11 Resident Scholar Richard Hildreth, the symposium is co-sponsored by the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) and the UO School of Law.

The earth’s oceans buffer us from climate change by absorbing heat and dissolving CO2 initially discharged into the atmosphere. The resulting thermal expansion of the ocean contributes to sea level rise along with melting ice caps and glaciers. Further, the ocean’s increasing acidity is adversely affecting important ocean ecosystems and species. Accelerated sea level rise adversely affects low-lying island and coastal communities as well as the ecosystem. This conference highlights the relevant science, the impacts on people, and potential policy and legal responses to these impacts of climate change.

Scientists and scholars taking part in the symposium include Oregon State University oceanographer Jack Barth, Dr. Mary Ruckleshouse of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and Meg Caldwell of Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions. Topics range from marine ecology, biology, and physical science to social consequences, including the disparate impact of climate change on poor communities, international ocean law and environmental justices.

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