2010 APS Intersociety Meeting: Session on physiological effects of ocean acidification on marine animals in times of ocean warming: ecosystem implications

2010 APS Intersociety Meeting: Global Change and Global Science: Comparative Physiology in a Changing World
August 4-7, 2010
Westminster, Colorado

About the Meeting

The theme of this meeting will be how comparative and evolutionary animal physiologists can contribute to understanding the consequences of global change and how understanding global change requires broad, global science. To our knowledge, this will be the first conference of any type to focus on the effects of global climate change on animal physiology. This meeting is designed to provide a strong scientific program with participant interaction and emphasize emerging research performed by young investigators. Increasing societal focus on the challenges of global climate change is bringing new funding and career opportunities, and another goal of the meeting is to include workshops related to career choices for comparative physiologists, and to help physiologists build connections with agencies and institutions interested in global effects on animals.

Many aspects of the Earth’s atmosphere are changing either regionally or globally in response to human activities, especially fossil-fuel burning, and have changed even more drastically in magnitude over the planet’s history. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports suggests that the resilience of many of Earth’s ecosystems will be compromised by climate change in the coming century, leading to decreased cereal grain productivity, increased water stress in semi-arid regions dependent on snowmelt, increased damage from storms and floods, and widespread human health effects including malnutrition and increased deaths from storms, cardio-respiratory diseases, and insect-borne diseases. However, key uncertainties remain in understanding the effects of atmospheric and climate change on ecosystems and health.

Ecosystem resilience in the face of climate and atmospheric change will be determined by the capacities for acclimation and adaptation of the constituent species. Comparative and environmental physiologists are well-trained to study both the mechanisms of acclimation, and the extent to which organisms can acclimate to environmental changes. Environmental change can alter genetic expression and, through rapid evolution, modify organismal life histories. Determining whether organismal adaptive responses will mitigate or exacerbate the effects of global climate require detailed studies of the response of natural organisms to the types of environmental stress anticipated with global climate change. Comparative and evolutionary physiologists are uniquely trained to investigate the mechanisms and capacities of organisms to adapt to a changing environment, and therefore to help predict the complex consequences of anthropogenic climate change for humans and ecological communities.

Organizing Committee

Jon Harrison (Chair)
Arizona State University

Siribhinya Benyajati
University of Oklahoma Health Science Center

Andrew Biewener
Harvard University

David Goldstein
Wright State University

Carlos Martinez del Rio
University of Wyoming

Don Mykles
Colorado State University

Hans-Otto Pörtner
Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany

Patricia Schulte
University of British Columbia, Canada

The American Physiological Society, More information.

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