Wednesday, 10 April 2013

GA Conference - 15 of lots: Terry Callaghan's Arctic Lecture

After Karl Donert's lecture, it was straight to another lecture theatre for another one.
This was my lecture for personal development and knowledge - although I've worked in this area, I need to develop further.
Terry Callaghan co-wrote one of the GA's TOP SPEC books: on the rapidly changing Arctic.

The Arctic is an area that I have once again been working on resources for. I also developed a range of materials when teaching the Pilot GCSE Geography.

The Frozen Oceans resource which I mentioned earlier, and which won a GA Silver Award this year covers work done in the oceans north of Canada.
I've also created some resources for the Royal Geographical Society's Discovering the Arctic site. I was asked to add some resources on SWIPA - something which Terry referred to right at the start of his lecture. SWIPA is a report on Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic.
Read my resources here.

Terry provided some interesting perspectives on the changes in the Arctic and, crucially, what they meant for everyone sat in the lecture theatre.
These included:

 - some nice video clips, which were reminiscent of 'Chasing Ice' from Jacobshavn
- scientists being described as 'snow geese': they are migrants who follow the academic year - this does, however, mean that most of the work is carried out during the Arctic summer
- the warming trend is undeniable, especially in the Arctic, but there is lots of complexity in the pattern
- Ice Road Truckers as a way of exploring the idea of infrastructure in these communities - something that I know David Rogers already does
- the term ALT to relate to Active Layer Thickness - used as an index of warming in permafrost areas
- some graphics showing the likely impact on lying snow, which makes worrying reading if you're involved in the Alpine ski-industry - it would also link to the changes in vegetation, and problems for indigenous reindeer herders as they thaw and freeze leads to ice layers in the snow which create a barrier to the animals finding food...
- good mention made of Ecosystem Services - this is something that I've been finding out (and writing) about in the last year, and makes an excellent model for exploring change and impact...

There were a couple of useful weblinks which Terry added at the end of his talk.

AMAP is a Norwegian site I have used before to source useful maps: the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme.
There was also the EU Interact website.
INTERACT is the International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic.
This was a new website for me, and looks to be really good, especially for higher level students.

An excellent lecture...

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