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Global Climate Change: Ask the Experts

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Saturday, November 23, 2002
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The Southern Ocean, the body of water surrounding Antarctica, is a key region in determining global climate. Recent studies show that the Southern Ocean is undergoing an alarming warming trend that may affect climates in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. What is the Antarctic telling us abut our future? In the north, the Arctic also is changing in dramatic and disturbing ways with giant lakes replacing what used to be ice fields. Are the polar areas of our earth especially sensitive? If so, do they now serve as an early warning system for catastrophic change? There is a long-standing and pervasive myth that human input is local not global. Perhaps damage to the earth's polar areas is finally proving just how wrong this type of thinking is.

Gregory S. Stone is Vice President for Global Marine Programs at the New England Aquarium. Dr. Stone became the driving force behind the effort to create the third largest sanctuary for marine wildlife on the planet. His vision became a reality as the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati declared its largely uninhabited Phoenix Islands a marine protected area. Physically, the preserve covers more than 184,000 square kilometers (73,800 square miles), or an area the equivalent of the Great Lakes of Superior, Michigan and Huron combined. A marine biologist, he is a specialist in undersea technology and exploration, using deep-sea submersibles, undersea habitats and SCUBA diving in all oceans of the world. He was the Senior Editor of *the International Marine Technology Society Journal* from 1997-2003, is a National Fellow of the Explorers Club and was awarded the National Science Foundation/U.S. Navy Antarctic Service medal for his research in Antarctica.

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