The confirmation that our planet is undergoing a process of global warming in which greenhouse gas emissions due to human activity are an important causal factor has focused growing attention on the impacts of this change on society and the natural environment. And while the scale and repercussions of the problem have yet to be sufficiently investigated, it is acknowledged that polar ecosystems may be among the most vulnerable. International Polar Year, with an intense programme of activities running from March 2007 to March 2009, offers a timely opportunity to address this and other gaps in our knowledge.This book draws its contents from the second in a series of debates organised jointly by the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the BBVA Foundation. In its pages, leading international experts review and synthesise the current state of scientific knowledge to gauge how climate change may impact on our polar ecosystems.
Carlos M. Duarte is a research professor with the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) in Mallorca (CSIC and University of the Balearic Islands). His research encompasses a wide range of interests, focusing on the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and their role in the functioning
of the biosphere.
Introduction: Global Warming and Polar Ecosystems Carlos M. Duarte 1. The Impact of Increasing Ultraviolet Radiation on the Polar Oceans Susana Agustí 2. Are Declining Antarctic Krill Stocks a Result of Global Warming or of the Decimation of the Whales? Victor Smetacek 3. The Impact of Climate Change on Antarctic Megafauna Jaume Forcada 4. Impacts of GlobalWarming on Arctic Pelagic Ecosystems and Processes Paul Wassmann 5. Effects of Global Warming on Arctic Sea-Floor Communities and its Consequences for Higher Trophic Levels Paul E. Renaud, Michael L. Carroll and William G. Ambrose Jr. Acknowledgements References List of Photographs List of Illustrations Index About the Authors