The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered animals on the planet, with only around 400 individuals remaining. In the Gulf of Maine, climate change is rapidly reorganizing the ecosystem, upending the regular patterns of the whales’ food supply and putting their future at risk.
On Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 5 p.m., Nick Record will present “Whales and Warming: How Climate Change is Shaping the Future of Right Whales” as part of the free Cafe Sci series at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay.
“The climate-driven changes rippling throughout the Gulf of Maine have serious consequences for the small number of remaining right whales,” said Record, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory. “Climate change is outdating many of our conservation and management efforts, and it’s difficult to keep up with the rapid evolution of this ecosystem.”
Conservation strategies depend on knowing where and when right whales will show up, and encounters with fishing gear and ships can be deadly. Record’s research shows that advances in oceanographic forecasting can offer key insights to improving protections for whales in a changing climate. People are invited to join him to discuss the environmental changes impacting the intricately intertwined Gulf of Maine ecosystem and ways that conservation strategies can keep up.
Bigelow Laboratory’s Cafe Sci is a series of free events that helps the public engage with ocean researchers on critical issues and groundbreaking science. This summer, the series of six talks is held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Aug. 13. For more details and to register for events, visit bigelow.org/cafesci.