This art collection is a result of work by third-sixth graders who investigated the science behind climate change, graphed real data related to impacts, and illustrated the issues in silk paintings. Fireweed Academy students collaborated with the Artists in the Schools program and the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBNERR) for a three week study of climate change this spring.
This project grew out of a KBNERR workshop on Climate Resilience, where researchers and decision makers identified the opportunity to explore Climate Change with involvement of Homer’s vibrant arts and education communities. Goals of the project are to:
- Educate about possible local climate futures and environmental change
- Focus on positive adaptation and a resilient community vision to climate impacts
- Foster community collaboration among scientists, artists and youth
Coastal communities have the capacity to explore observations of environmental change and enhance understanding of climate science and envision a resilient community future. We would like to extend our appreciation for the ongoing support of education, science and the arts in Alaska schools.
Blooms of Alexandrium Catenella
Did you know that “red tide” is actually blooms of algae? One of these said algae are dinoflagellates called Alexandrium Catenella. They can cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning or PSP. The amount of these harmful algal blooms is increasing because of global warming. Algae need carbon dioxide to survive, and so the amount of Alexandrium is increasing. Warmer oceans and elevated sea levels also cause the amount of Alexandrium to go up. From 2011 to 2016, the percent of Alexandrium in samples has gone from about 11% in 2011, to 21% in 2016.
Data Source: KBNERR Harmful Species Program Phytoplankton Monitoring
Pteropods, coral reefs and other creatures are dying because the amount of CO2 absorbed into the oceans. As the oceans absorb CO2 they become more acidic. Increasing ocean acidification has been shown to significantly reduce the ability of pteropods and corals to produce their skeletons.
Did you know that climate change effects salinity in the ocean? Between 2001 and 2016 the salinity in the water has decreased by 3.5 (psu) in Seldovia, Alaska. The rising temperatures melt freshwater glaciers causing an increase in freshwater flow to the oceans, decreasing the salinity in the ocean.
Data Source: NERR System Wide Monitoring Program water quality station