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IPY-OSC Francisco Fernandoy-46
APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. Our aims are to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach. We seek to achieve these aims by:
  • Facilitating international and interdisciplinary networking to share ideas and experiences and to develop new research directions and collaborations;
  • Providing opportunities for professional career development; and
  • Promoting education and outreach as an integral component of polar research and to stimulate future generations of polar researchers.

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The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought. The temperature threshold for melting the ice sheet completely is in the range of 0.8 to 3.2 degrees Celsius of global warming, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels, shows a new study by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Today, already 0.8 degrees of global warming has been observed. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea-level rise of several meters and therefore it potentially affects the lives of many millions of people.

The time it takes before most of the ice in Greenland is lost strongly depends on the level of warming. "The more we exceed the threshold, the faster it melts," says Alexander Robinson, lead-author of the study now published in Nature Climate Change. In a business-as-usual scenario of greenhouse-gas emissions, in the long run humanity might be aiming at 8 degrees Celsius of global warming. This would result in one fifth of the ice sheet melting within 500 years and a complete loss in 2000 years, according to the study. "This is not what one would call a rapid collapse," says Robinson. "However, compared to what has happened in our planet's history, it is fast. And we might already be approaching the critical threshold."

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Featured Member

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Fisheries and Oceans Canada and University of Manitoba, Canada

I am a PhD student at the University of Manitoba and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, studying the diet and energetics of the Eastern Beaufort Sea beluga population under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Loseto and Dr. Jim Roth. I finished my MSc. in the Chemical and Environmental Toxicology program at the University of Ottawa, studying biovector transport of contaminants (mercury, PCBs, and DDT) from a large seabird colony to High Arctic food webs at Cape Vera, Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada. I have worked at Environment Canada on various projects in environmental toxicology, such as monitoring temporal trends of perfluorinated compounds in polar bears, immuntoxicity in bivalves, and the effects of brominated flame retardants on the reproductive success of tree swallows. I have also worked as an evaluator for the Ecological Assessment Division, studying the toxicity and bioaccumulation of selenium and other inorganic substances in aquatic ecosystems. I am very interested in the impacts of contaminants in Arctic ecosystems and their interactions with other stressors on marine mammals. I am also involved in science education and outreach, and have a B.Ed from the Outdoor Education program at Queen's University and have worked as an educator at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

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