Webinar 23 | Eternal youth? A peril for arctic sea ice and a call for the conservation of unique ecosystems in the Canadian High Arctic.
Christine Michel is a research scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. She is a polar oceanographer, studying primary production and carbon cycling processes in the Arctic Ocean. Her research focusses on the role of sea ice and the impacts of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems. Christine leads the science program supporting the Tuvaijuittuq marine protected area, north of Ellesmere Island.
Climatic changes during the Anthropocene are impacting the Arctic disproportionally compared to the rest of the World. Sea ice declines and the transition towards a seasonal ice cover constitute and generate fundamental alterations to the ecosystems and communities of the North. The Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area, established by the Government of Canada and its northern partners in 2019, is the region where the oldest and thickest ice of the Arctic is found. Tuvaijuittuq, which means the place where ice never melts in Inuktut, is a unique region due to the confuence of large-scale ocean currents of the Transpolar Drift and the Beaufort Gyre, and the presence of the unique multiyear ice ecosystem. This presentation gives an overview of recent results and new discoveries from the Multidisciplinary Arctic Program (MAP) – Last Ice in Tuvaijuittuq and discusses consequences of climate change on the marine ecosystem and for concerted conservation strategies in the Arctic.