Postprint version. Published in Science, Volume 328, Issue 5985, June 18, 2010, pages 1520-1523.
Copyright © 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1185779.
Climate change will alter marine ecosystems; however, the complexity of the food webs, combined with chronic undersampling, constrains efforts to predict their future and to optimally manage and protect marine resources. Sustained observations at the West Antarctic Peninsula show that in this region, rapid environmental change has coincided with shifts in the food web, from its base up to apex predators. New strategies will be required to gain further insight into how the marine climate system has influenced such changes and how it will do so in the future. Robotic networks, satellites, ships, and instruments mounted on animals and ice will collect data needed to improve numerical models that can then be used to study the future of polar ecosystems as climate change progresses.