Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
in a Changing World
Estuarine/coastal and marine systems are important sources of food, energy and water, and they have been stressed and altered significantly due to human population growth and rapid industrialization across the world. Environmental stressors induced by global climate change include increasing temperature, alternation of precipitation and runoff, sea-level rise, frequency and intensity of storms and extreme weather events, and ocean acidification. Stressors due to direct human activities (non-climate induced) are over-fishing,coastal eutrophication, land-use change, and loss of habitats. In this talk, I will present a few examples to highlight how changing environmental factors and direct human activities affect the structure and function of coastal and marine ecosystems. The consequences of global change for coastal and marine ecosystems are complex, and predictions of the different factors and their associated impact have varying degrees of confidence. In order to improve our understanding and forecasts the impact of global change on coastal and marine ecosystems, we need to establish and maintain ocean observing networks which link from climate forcing to regional and local ecosystems. Also, we will need to develop and examine different adaptation strategies for resorting and keeping the resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems. Development of blue economy needs to have science-based and well-informed policies and decision-making processes in order to sustain economic prosperity and maintain marine ecosystem health.
Prof. Fei CHAI (柴扉) received his Ph.D. from Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in 1995. Prof. Chai has been a faculty member at the University of Maine since 1994, he was promoted to Full Professor in 2008, and served as the Director of School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine between 2012 and 2015. Since 2016, Prof. Chai has been appointed as the Director of State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics (SOED) at Second Institute of Oceanography in Hangzhou, China. Prof. Chai studies physical and biological processes contributing to global carbon cycle, ocean acidification, open ocean and coastal hypoxia, and climate variability affecting marine ecosystems and fisheries. Prof. Chai is an expert in developing and testing physical-biological models, and using models along with in situ and remote sensing observational data to address key regional and global questions and issues. Prof. Chai serves as committee member for several international scientific organizations and programs, promoting interdisciplinary research and international collaboration.