Climate change impacts in the Bering and Barents Seas

Climate change impacts in the Bering and Barents Seas - what the IPCC 4th Assessment Report has found:
  • A recent major ecosystem shift in the northern Bering Sea has been attributed to regional climate warming and trends in the Arctic Oscillation [1.3.4.2]
  • Northerly range extensions of pelagic fish species have been reported for the Northern Bering Sea region related to regional climate warming [1.3.4.3]
  • See also: Polar Regions, Russian Federation, United States, Norway

WWF work

What WWF is doing on the ground in Bering and Barents Seas to protect against climate change:
  • A number of resilience-building projects in the Barents and Bering Seas Ecoregions are currently being planned. In the proposed Barents Sea project, a project scope for resilience-building will be based on recommendations from the Murmansk workshop, held in March 2006.
  • The proposed Bering Sea Ecoregion project, a joint WWF Russia and WWF US endeavor, will relate to adaptive management strategies for the polar bear, which will include recommendations for the protection of denning sites, implementation of hunting regulations, and reduction of human-bear conflicts.
  • Another proposed Bering Sea Ecoregion project will relate to resilience-building and Alaskan fisheries. Climate Witness projects, which document local observations regarding climate change impacts, in Alaska include the Huslia Climate Witness project and will build on arctic website content by adding four Climate Witness projects.
  • A vulnerability analysis was conducted for the Barents Sea Ecoregion, which reports on the potential for interactions and intersections of anthropogenic and climate change stressors, which influence the overall vulnerability of the Ecoregion to human-induced activities. The analysis principally analyzed the impacts of oil and gas transportation pressures to develop a preliminary framework for assessing the effects of multiple stressors on biodiversity. The cumulative effects of multiple stressors analyzed suggests that habitat protection and reduction of non-climate stressors to strengthen Ecoregion resilience.
Spectacular phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

WWF contacts

  • Miriam Geitz

    Senior Conservation Officer

    WWF Norway,
    Oslo

    +47 22 00 65 03

 / ©: WWF-Canon / Kevin Schafer
Northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), Bering Sea.
© WWF-Canon / Kevin Schafer

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