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Plenary Session:

The future Arctic Ocean: projections, processes, implications, and uncertainties

Session chairs:

Marius Årthun (University of Bergen, Norway),
Céline Heuzé (University of Gothenborg, Sweden),
Martí Amargant Arumí (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway),
Natalie Summers (NTNU, Norway)

Nowhere is climate change more evident than in the Arctic with an unprecedented loss of sea ice and warming at more than twice the global rate. A warmer and ice-free Arctic Ocean could have cascading effects on weather and climate over mid-latitudes, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, and marine ecosystems. A visible manifestation of Arctic climate change is the poleward penetration of warm Atlantic and Pacific waters and biota. This encroaching borealization of the Arctic Ocean represents an essential step towards a new Arctic climate state and ecosystem. However, these rapid changes in the Arctic climate system are complex and little understood, as the Arctic Ocean is both poorly observed and difficult to model.

In this session, we invite presentations on the future Arctic Ocean, the processes underlying its changes, and the possible implications of such changes for people, regional ecosystems, and the global climate both within and beyond the Arctic. We also welcome presentations assessing the limitations and uncertainties in climate models and their future projections of Arctic climate change. This session is open to contributions from all fields.