UW News

October 23, 2003

News briefing Tuesday, new B-roll video available: 400 to attend landmark SEARCH meeting in Seattle on all aspects of Arctic change

News and Information

The extent of sea ice in the Arctic in September 2002 was at its lowest point of the last 30 years, and this September, the ice was again near that level. Seattle is the site this week of the first and largest meeting bringing together international scientists studying all aspects of change in the Arctic. They will look not just at the extent of the ice, but also shifts in ocean and atmospheric conditions and of how ecosystems and human communities are responding. The meeting is the first open science meeting under SEARCH, the Study of Environmental Arctic Change initiative, led by the National Science Foundation.

Conference Oct. 27-30 includes 100 speakers, agenda at http://www.arcus.org/SEARCH/OSM/agenda.html. Reporters attending sessions during the week are urged to ease registration at the door by going to http://www.arcus.org/SEARCH/registration.html, in the “Meeting Fees” section select “Another person or institution will pay the registration fees,” then type “ARCUS waived – media” in the slot just below for name of the institution.

10:15 a.m., Marina Room (prior registration not required); includes Jamie Morison, University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory, and Pete Schlosser, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University; five other Arctic experts available for questions.

New package of b-roll video includes researchers at work at North Pole, Greenland.

Bell Harbor International Conference Center, Seattle waterfront

“All the different disciplines where scientists see change in the Arctic are represented and will be heard,” says Jim Overland, oceanographer with NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle and chair of the open-science-meeting organizing committee. SEARCH is a broad, interdisciplinary program of long-term observations, analysis and modeling to understand a complex series of significant changes that have occurred across the Arctic in recent decades. “It’s taken more than six years of groundwork to reach the point of having this meeting,” says Jamie Morison, UW oceanographer and chair of the SEARCH science steering committee.