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Arctic’s past holds answers to pressing climate change questions – U Today

by ahnationtalk on November 27, 2015584 Views

November 26, 2015

When Maribeth Murray, director of the Arctic Institute of North America, began recruiting her team to investigate historic climate and sea ice variability in the Arctic, she was looking for archeologists, ecologists and geographers. Old world handwriting expert wasn’t listed as a requirement, but is a skill that’s already coming in handy.

“We’re pulling together data from the logs of historic explorations ships, whaling ships, seal hunting vessels, as well as coastal trading posts,” says Murray. “We want to see what the Arctic marine ecosystem looked like before extensive anthropogenic impacts caused by human activity, and use that information to help address contemporary environmental problems linked to climate change.”

Murray received an Insight grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) earlier this year to fund her four-year project, which will ultimately produce research to help build better Arctic climate models and develop marine ecosystem impact scenarios that can inform management and conservation.

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