Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tropical regions to be hardest hit by fisheries shifts caused by climate change

12.10.2009
Major shifts in fisheries distribution due to climate change will affect food security in tropical regions most adversely, according to a study led by the Sea Around Us Project at The University of British Columbia.

In the first major study to examine the effects of climate change on ocean fisheries, a team of researchers from UBC and Princeton University finds that climate change will produce major shifts in productivity of the world's fisheries, affecting ocean food supply throughout the world. The study is published today in the journal Global Change Biology.

"Our projections show that climate change may lead to a 30 to 70 per cent increase in catch potential in high-latitude regions and a drop of up to 40 per cent in the tropics," says lead author William Cheung, a researcher at the University of East Anglia in the UK who conducted the study while at UBC.

"Many tropical island residents rely heavily on the oceans for their daily meals. These new findings suggest there's a good chance this important food source will be greatly diminished due to climate change."

Previous studies have looked at how climate change affects global food supply but were limited to land-based food sources. These studies have also predicted that tropical areas will see a decline in land productivity.

The team, led by UBC Fisheries professor Daniel Pauly, also found that regions with the highest increase in catch potential by 2055 include Norway, Greenland, Alaska and the east coast of Russia. Meanwhile, regions with the biggest loss in catch potential include Indonesia, the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), Chile and China.

While greater catch potential in colder regions might appear beneficial, the authors caution that more research is needed to account for the multitude of dynamic factors that affect every ecosystem.

"We need to keep the big picture in mind when looking at the 'winners' and 'losers' of climate change," says Pauly. "Major shifts in fish populations will create a host of changes in ocean ecosystems likely resulting in species loss and problems for the people who now catch them."

"While warmer waters might attract new species to colder regions, the rise in temperature might make the environment inhospitable to current species in the region that cannot move to even higher latitudes. Often these species are important to the diets and culture of native subsistence fishermen."

The team's projections also show that Canada's overall catch potential will remain approximately the same. The west coast may see a decrease of almost 20 per cent from 2005 to 2055 while the east coast may get a 10 per cent boost.

The study analyzed 1,066 species ranging from krill to sharks that constitute roughly 70 per cent of the world's catch. The authors used models that include a large number of environmental and biological factors that affect fisheries. They ran these models through two climate change scenarios, one more conservative than the other, and measured the impact of the scenarios on fish distribution from the years 2005 to 2055. The authors did not include the highest emission level scenario considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which would have produced even more dramatic results.

For a summary of this study or to see the full the full report, visit www.seaaroundus.org/about.htm.

This study is a product of the Sea Around Us Project, a scientific collaboration between the Pew Environment Group and The University of British Columbia. The Sea Around Us Project assesses fisheries impacts at ecosystem, ocean basin and the global level and searches for policy solutions to the challenges they pose. The results of this work are accessible on the web, offering ecosystem data, distribution maps and catch data for more than 1,000 species, historical trends and peer-reviewed publications.

The Pew Environment Group is the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-governmental organization headquartered in the United States that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improving public policy, informing the public and stimulating civic life.

Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Making Oceans Plastic Free - Project tackles the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans
31.05.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

nachricht Nitrogen Oxides Emissions: Traffic Dramatically Underestimated as Major Polluter
31.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>