With a great set of co-authors, including Eli Fenichel at Yale, we just published a paper in Nature Climate Change showing how to measure the impacts of climate change on wealth. Our previous work, including this, has shown how climate pushes natural resources around. In this new paper, we show that those movements change who gets access to resources, and how those movements affect wealth. As important, or even more important, than the quantity of resources, however, is the quality of a region’s resource management, existing institutions, and fishing regulations. Places with strong resource management stand to gain the most from climate-driven changes in resource distribution.
To make these points, we use a hypothetical example with two fishing ports.
This is one of the initial publications from our NSF Coastal SEES grant examining the impacts of climate change on fish and fisheries.
This figure shows three of the key sources of uncertainty in any projection, using sea surface temperature as an example: the model used to make the projection (blue), the climate change scenario followed (green), and irreducible variability in the model (orange). The graph shows how natural variability dominates over the next couple decades, but the scenario of greenhouse gas emissions is very important by the end of the century.
Fishing and climate change: two of the largest human impacts on the ocean. But how do they interact? In a new paper just out in Ecosphere, Emma Fuller, Eleanor Brush, and I use an ecological model to build some intuition. We looked specifically at how fishing affects the ability of species to shift their distributions fast enough to keep up with climate velocity. Two main take-home messages:
Fishing the leading edge of a species range has the biggest impact (this also tends to be where fishing is unregulated….)
Marine protected areas (MPAs) can actually make it harder for species to keep up with climate if the MPAs concentrate fishing effort in narrower areas.
We host a monthly seminar series on climate and fish, which call “Fish Baste,” designed to increase dialogue and collaboration among members of Rutgers, Princeton, U. Maine, and NOAA, as well as among researchers in ecology, social science, and climate science. Format is a short, informal talk, followed by discussion, and meetings are open to anyone.
New schedule for the year is filling up, and it looks great!
We have a new paper out in Proceedings B, “Fishing, fast growth and climate variability increase the risk of collapse.” Analyzing data from fisheries around the world, we show that patterns in the ocean are nearly the opposite of those on land. Slow-growing species like lions and tigers may be most at risk of extinction on land, but in the ocean, it’s the “rabbits” that are most sensitive. We find that fast-growing species like flounder and sardines are more than three times more likely to collapse when they experience overfishing than their slower-growing cousins. Populations that experience strong climate variability are also more at risk.
Tim Essington also had a nice paper exploring some of these patterns among small pelagic species earlier this year. Definitely worth a read, plus the following discussion (here and here).
Jim Morley started work back in early January, but as of last week, has joined us at Rutgers. He previously finished a Ph.D. with Jeff Buckel at NC State working on bluefish, and his interests include climate change, food webs, and fisheries. He’ll be working on a research project with the Pew Charitable Trusts and the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council to understand whether climate variability is influencing food webs in the southeast U.S. We’re excited to have Jim join us!