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The Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling project phase 3-A: synthesis and delivery of climate-integrated decision support systems for EBFM in the Bering Sea, Alaska

Climate change has already led to widespread changes to the Bering Sea ecosystem and mounting challenges to the management of fisheries and subsistence resources in the region. At the same time, adaptation by fisheries and coastal communities has been rapid, largely reactive, and evolving. The confluence of climate-driven changes and fisher, fishery, and management responses has heightened the immediate need for transparent and comprehensive climate-integrated tools and advice to inform tradeoff analysis and decision making in the region. The goal of ACLIM3-A is to deliver climate-integrated decision support tools and advice to advance climate-ready fisheries and support climate adaptation in coastal communities in Alaska. Leveraging the momentum and broad expertise and partnerships of the ACLIM network, in phase 3 of the ACLIM project we will continue refinements to address climate change challenges, synthesize key tools and products from previous ACLIM phases, and build on our public data portal and web-based data exploration tools to deliver operational tools and products to support decision making and adaptation planning, including a centralized risk and adaptation dashboard. Specifically, we propose the following five objectives to address the aforementioned priority regional needs: 1) Advance oceanographic modeling and characterize uncertainty and climate risk in linked climate, oceanographic and social-ecological projections; 2) Project changes in fish and crab biomass condition, size, and growth to inform harvest portfolio planning and adaptation; 3) Evaluate changes in carrying capacity for the northern and southeastern Bering Seas under future climate scenarios, characterize lags in trophic responses to shocks, and identify potential phenological bottlenecks; 4) Advance food security assessment for remote coastal Alaskan communities in order to evaluate climate change impacts, community resilience, and adaptation efficacy; and 5) Serve climate-integrated tools and advice through an interactive dashboard (‘ADAPT’), participatory workshops, and offline resources that support risk management and adaptation planning for individuals to industries to communities. This project supports NOAA’s mission for “Science, Service, and Stewardship” towards a “climate-ready nation” through the ACLIM multidisciplinary integrated information system. We build upon more than 7 years of experience and refinement of participatory approaches to develop projections of living marine resources under climate, fishing, and adaptation scenarios. We will leverage new and existing products and information to deliver climate informed advice for regional decision makers, marine resource users and coastal communities. This project will provide the public and decision makers with regionally tailored information on the effectiveness of climate adaptation tools and approaches under alternative future carbon scenarios. Our work will contribute to a growing understanding of the cumulative risks to ecosystems, food security, economies, and wellbeing associated with national and international carbon policies and goals, – information critical to securing a sustainable and livable future.

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