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EIANZ Webinar │ The changing Antarctic and its global ecosystem services

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Online – AWST

For most of humanity’s history in the Antarctic it has been viewed as cold, remote, and unchanging. Over the last decades strong evidence has been gathered to show that the last of these is now false. The Antarctic Ice Sheet has been losing land ice at a rate of about 150 billion tonnes per year for 20 years, up from barely any loss in the early 1990s. Many glaciers are now speeding up and retreating and some critical glaciers may be entering a phase of unstable retreat. Sea ice, the frozen ocean, was stable until 2016 when its extent dropped dramatically, followed by another record in 2022. Almost every day of 2023 was a record low sea ice extent for the time of year. Meanwhile, the Southern Ocean has been absorbing huge amounts of heat and CO2 that would otherwise have been in the atmosphere, offsetting further atmospheric warming. These changes, and more, will affect the planet’s climate, coastlines, ecosystems, fisheries, agriculture, and economies.

The webinar will highlight some of the changes underway and what may happen in the future, and present new work which highlights the economic value that Antarctica provides through a range of ecosystem services which total into hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

Meet the speakers

Matt King is Professor of Polar Geodesy at University of Tasmania where he is also Director of the Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science (ACEAS). ACEAS is working to prepare communities for climate risks emerging from East Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. His research focuses on Antarctic ice sheet change and variability in the context of sea level rise, and the solid Earth’s changing shape due to global redistribution of water.

Natalie Stoeckl is a Professor of Economics in the College of Business and Economics, with an established track record of collaborative cross-disciplinary research. Her research focuses primarily on economic aspects of environmental/natural resource management, in both terrestrial and marine contexts. She helps to highlight the myriad of ways that environmental goods and services, particularly those which are not bought or sold in markets, contribute to the wellbeing of individuals, organisations, communities and society. By doing so, she hopes to make those goods more ‘visible’ and – ideally – more effectively protected and governed.

This event will run off Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) and will be recorded for those unable to make the live event.

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March 25
9:00 am - 10:00 am
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