Scientists Convene for 2011 Arctic Science Summit Week in Seoul
Polar regions, which are highly sensitive to climate change, are important in the climate system because snow and ice cover are closely related to global circulation of the atmosphere and the ocean.
As concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases continue to increase, a temperature rise in the Arctic is about twice as high as the global average.
And the Korea Polar Research Institute kicked off the 13th Arctic Science Summit Week on Sunday in Seoul with scientists and experts in the field coming together for the annual meeting.
The summit provides opportunities for international cooperation in all areas of Arctic science and insight into research conducted by the host country.
[Interview : Lee Hong-kum, Director-General
Korea Polar Research Institute] "The Korea Polar Research Institute started operating Dasan Station in the Arctic in 2002. We now contribute to international studies and are recognized globally for the work we have done over the past nine years."
Tuesday's keynote speaker, Karin Lochte of Germany, talked about the importance of Arctic ecosystems, citing the unique biodiversity and natural resources there and said that Arctic regions are under considerable pressure.
[Interview : Karin Lochte, Director
Alfred Wegener Institute] "Any changes, global changes, will happen first in the Arctic, and we consider it as a kind of early warning system of global warming. And, therefore, it is very important to know what's happening in the Arctic."
Climate change in the Arctic region will result in ocean warming, loss of ice, and the thawing of permafrost, which will go on to affect the movement of migratory species and fish stocks, cause sea levels to rise, and change rainfall amounts.
And Lochte stressed that investigating changes in the Arctic is a huge task, therefore not only countries around the Arctic Ocean but other nations around the globe must work together to preserve Arctic ecosystems.
Oh Jee-hyun, Arirang News.
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