The unbelievable weather changes that we are seeing within the Arctic Circle – it was above freezing for a few days in darkest mid-winter, and an ice-free Arctic now seems a real possibility – appear pretty removed from New Hampshire, but not so:

Shipping routes through an ice-free Northwest Passage in combination with modifications to ocean circulation and regional climate patterns linked to Arctic ice melt will affect trade, fisheries, tourism, coastal ecology, air and water quality, animal migration, and demographics not only in the Arctic but also in lower latitude coastal regions such as New England.

That’s why UNH in Durham is hosting a workshop titled “Preparing for a Northwest Passage: A Workshop on the Role of New England in Navigating the New Arctic” at the end of the month.  It kicks off with a free talk, for the public, by Jennifer Francis, a research professor in marine and coastal sciences at Rutgers University, discussing research that links increasing extreme weather event with the rapidly warming and melting Arctic in recent decades – Sunday, March 25,  at 7 p.m. in the University of New Hampshire’s Memorial Union Building Theater II.

The workshop in general seems focused on academics more than, say, city planners or business folk – “Participants will assess economic, environmental, and social impacts of Arctic change on New England and establish convergence research initiatives to prepare for, adapt to, and capitalize on these effects” – but it seems pretty timely and interesting.

For details, check the web page:

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