| Implementation plan for Loss of Sea Ice (LOSI) program - :8607 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Implementation plan for Loss of Sea Ice (LOSI) program
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  • Description:
    "Ice is the defining feature characterizing the seasonal physical and biological environment of the Bering Sea. As in other ecosystems throughout the world, the Bering Sea is warming. Areas of the Bering Sea that historically were seasonally ice-covered are now totally ice-free throughout the year. Recent observations indicate that the depth-averaged temperature of the eastern Bering Sea is increasing. Results of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment indicate that climate change will have profound impacts on managed species in the Bering Sea. Scientists expect that in the next 50 years, these shifts will alter the spatial distribution and abundance of managed species in the Bering Sea, resulting in major changes to the Alaskan economy and the Bering Sea ecosystem. We anticipate geographic redistribution of important commercial fishes and their fisheries, redirection of larval fish transport pathways, reduction of prey resources around marine mammal and seabird rookeries, and the establishment of new biological interactions. A research program targeting impacts of loss of sea ice is needed to study this unprecedented change within the historical record. Without a program in place now, the opportunity to monitor these changes will be forfeited, and NOAA will be far less able to meet agency responsibilities for management of fish and marine mammal species. Thus the Loss of Sea Ice (LOSI) program provides a permanent, long-term research program directed at determining the impacts of the loss of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas"--Executive summary.

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