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!
Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research