Study finds climate change is causing modifications to marine life behavior

Aug 04, 2013
Warming oceans are causing marine species to change breeding, feeding, and migration timing. Credit: University of California - Santa Barbara

Oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface, yet our knowledge of the impact of climate change on marine habitats is a mere drop in the proverbial ocean compared to terrestrial systems. An international team of scientists set out to change that by conducting a global meta-analysis of climate change impacts on marine systems.

Counter to previous thinking, marine species are shifting their geographic distribution toward the poles and doing so much faster than their land-based counterparts. The findings were published in Nature Climate Change.

The three-year study, conducted by a working group of UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and funded by the National Science Foundation, shows that warming oceans are causing marine species to change breeding, feeding, and migration timing as well as shift where they live. Widespread systemic shifts in measures such as distribution of species and phenology—the timing of nature's calendar—are on a scale comparable to or greater than those observed on land.

"The leading edge or front-line of marine is moving toward the poles at an average of 72 kilometers (about 45 miles) per decade—considerably faster than terrestrial species, which are moving poleward at an average of 6 kilometers (about 4 miles) per decade," said lead author Elvira Poloczanska, a research scientist with Australia's national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Marine and Atmospheric Research in Brisbane. "And this is occurring even though are warming three times slower than land temperatures."

The report, which involved scientists from 17 institutions, including NCEAS associates Carrie Kappel and Ben Halpern and former NCEAS postdoctoral associates Mary O'Connor, Lauren Buckley, and Camille Parmesan, forms part of the Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). The Geneva-based IPCC assesses scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information concerning , its potential effects, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

"The effects of climate change on have not been a major focus of past IPCC reports because no one had done the work to pull together all the disparate observations from around the world," said Kappel. "This study provides a solid basis for including marine impacts in the latest global accounting of how climate change is affecting our world."

Unlike previous climate change assessments, which relied heavily on terrestrial data to estimate marine impacts, the NCEAS working group scientists gathered from seven countries to assemble a large marine-only database of 1,735 changes in marine life from the global peer-reviewed literature. The biological changes were documented from time series, with an average length of 40 years of observation.

"Here's a totally different system with its own unique set of complexities and subtleties," said Camille Parmesan, professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at University of Texas at Austin. "Yet the overall impacts of recent climate change remain the same: an overwhelming response of species shifting where and when they live in an attempt to track a shifting climate.

"This is the first comprehensive documentation of what is happening in our marine systems in relation to climate change," added Parmesan. "What it reveals is that the changes occurring on land are being matched by the oceans. And far from being a buffer and displaying more minor changes, what we're seeing is a far stronger response from the oceans." Parmesan has been active in IPCC since 1997, and in her capacity as a lead author, she shared in the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to IPCC.

The research revealed telltale traces that collectively build the case for climate change causing modifications in the ocean. These fingerprints of climate change include movements of species toward the poles as ocean temperatures rise, with an average displacement up to ten times that for terrestrial species. Phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bony fish showed the largest shifts.

Researchers also found that the timing of spring events in the oceans had advanced by more than four days, nearly twice the figure for land. The strength of response varied among species, but again, the research showed the greatest response—up to 11 days in advancement—occurred in invertebrate zooplankton and larval bony fish.

Multiple lines of evidence supported the hypothesis that climate change is the primary driver behind the observed changes: for example, opposing responses in warm-water and cold-water within a community and similar responses from discrete populations at the same range edge. In total, 81 percent of all observations, whether for distribution, phenology, community composition, abundance, or demography, across different populations and ocean basins were consistent with the expected impacts of climate change.

Explore further: 'Fish thermometer' reveals long-standing, global impact of climate change

More information: Global imprint of climate change on marine life, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1958

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NikFromNYC
2.3 / 5 (22) Aug 04, 2013
A massive satillite linked network of about 3600 Argo diving buoys has been in place worldwide since 2003. Even after frantic corrections for steady cooling (loss of heat content), the revised data fail to show any warming trend whatsoever:

http://www.quadra...hart.JPG

http://www.quadra...perature

This explains the spastic headlines wave of "we found the missing heat in the deep
ocean," despite lack of supporting data, since the buoys don't dive so far..
Gmr
3.1 / 5 (15) Aug 04, 2013
NikFromNYC:
It makes sense that marine life would be a lot more sensitive to these changes precisely because its temperature range is much more stable. Animals that exist at a particular temperature range tend to find it hard to exist outside of that range. Part of the reason we get fevers when we get sick. Efficiency means less flexibility - and you get efficiency where you can. An efficient animal at 12.7 degrees Celsius might expire at 12.3, if normally its environment only fluctuates by .1 degrees Celsius annually. It's amazing how sensitive to temperature change some animals can be, actually.
NikFromNYC
2.1 / 5 (21) Aug 04, 2013
Gmr: Ocean life has survived several cycles of ice ages and massive decadal swings caused by asteroids. If the massive water vapor feedback amplification of the high school physics CO₂ greenhouse effect, you know THE ONE THAT FORMS THE BACKBONE OF ALL CLIMATE ALARM, were that supported by actual enhanced warming or successful instead of devastatingly falsified predictions by the supercomputer climate models this utterly speculative theory hides out in, your hand waving argument might be worth stealing billions of dollars of basic science R&D funds to study. That organisms can so easily migrate and that this migration represents an expansion of the biosphere into the naturally warming arctic in our interglacial paradise, your armchair panic may be soothed by realizing the quite obvious alternative hypothesis that a bit of warming makes Nemo quite happy.
NikFromNYC
2 / 5 (20) Aug 04, 2013
Franklins: the NODC site you mention oddly lacks any simple plot of Argo data, just fuzzy technicalities.

http://www.google...cQ_AUoAQ

Please do plot for us an alternative Argo chart, to prove the case of ocean warming. Good luck since they now only offer data from individual buoys.
NikFromNYC
1.8 / 5 (19) Aug 04, 2013
Note indeed how the crucial year of 2004 has been thrown out by researchers who rely on a man made version of Global Warming for continued funding, even though the Argo team itself were using 2004 data as recently as 2008:

"For the period since Argo achieved global coverage, 2004-2008, there is no significant trend in the globally averaged temperature. There is considerable regional and depth-variability over this time period, but the global mean temperature is approximately constant. Given the 50-year temperature record, a 4-year period of constant temperature is not particularly unusual, and should not be taken to indicate any change in the multi-decadal warming trend.

It will of course be of great interest to see how the Argo temperature record of the next 5-10 years compares to both the historical 50-year record and to the present Argo 4-year record."

- The Argo Steering Team
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (12) Aug 04, 2013
Isn't this what your looking for?

http://www.nodc.n...CONTENT/
Gmr
2.2 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2013
Gmr: Ocean life has survived several cycles of ice ages and massive decadal swings caused by asteroids.

Some. Like some life survives a forest fire, or a volcanic eruption. There are winners and losers - and the losers make up the "other" 90% that tends to succumb.

That organisms can so easily migrate and that this migration represents an expansion of the biosphere into the naturally warming arctic in our interglacial paradise, your armchair panic may be soothed by realizing the quite obvious alternative hypothesis that a bit of warming makes Nemo quite happy.

Sadly, I do not have an armchair, nor am I panicking. Warming, however, does not make "Nemo" happy. Quite the opposite - warming changes the bands where creatures can possibly survive, and if predator and prey and the rest of the web can't move at the same rate - the tatters have the look of a world of "junk fish" and marine worms.
VendicarE
2.7 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2013

"The global Argo dataset is not yet long enough to observe global change signals. Seasonal and interannual variability dominate the present 7-year globally-averaged time series." - Argo Public Access Website

"Even after frantic corrections for steady cooling (loss of heat content), the revised data fail to show any warming trend whatsoever:" - NikkieTard

NikkieTard may one day learn something about statistical significance.

Until that day his comments remain mindless and insignificant.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2013
While there is no statistically significant warming in the too short ARGO dataset. Warming is still observed as a close examination of NikkieTards reference image shows.

http://www.quadra...hart.JPG

Bottom panel.

The author of the graphic has reduced the scale to make the warming less apparent, but it is still there.

Water takes around 100 times as much energy to warm a degree as does air. So it's greater thermal inertia has reduced it's temperature increase in rough proportion compared to the air, which has warmed by about 0.74'C

Here is a real plot of global heat content that doesn't come from a Denialist Blog.

http://www.nodc.n...000m.png
VendicarE
2.6 / 5 (12) Aug 04, 2013
"For the period since Argo achieved global coverage, 2004-2008, there is no significant trend in the globally averaged temperature. " - NikkieTard

4 whole years ay?

Global Climate change is defined over periods of 30 years or longer.

You have 26 years more data to collect, TardieBoy.

Get back to us when you have it.
NikFromNYC
2 / 5 (20) Aug 04, 2013
Looks like I have to wait a long time for that Argo plot, you know the one that would be publicly held up as proof of rapid ocean warming if indeed that's what it showed.

Does recent warming form a statistically significant deviation from the natural trend? No, because it shows absolutely no deviation from the natural trend!

http://s15.postim...mage.jpg

Nor does a simple average of tide gauges show any change in sea level trend in our high CO₂ era:

http://oi51.tinyp...koix.jpg

NikFromNYC
2.3 / 5 (21) Aug 04, 2013
Emperor VendicarE is also a budding executioner:

http://tinypic.co...&s=5
GogogoStopSTOP
1.9 / 5 (17) Aug 04, 2013
They followed thousands of fish around for 3 years? They plotted their "average" location? They surmised that that average location changed for the entire population.... rriiiigggggghhhhhht!

Have you ever snorkeled & tried to keep track of A fish, ONE FISH for TEN SECONDS?

BULLSHYTE!

THESE UNIVERSITIES ARE RIPPING US OFF BECAUSE THEY KNOW SOME DOLTS WILL BELIEVE THE CRAP. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
NikFromNYC
2.1 / 5 (19) Aug 04, 2013
When debate is lost, out comes sock puppet posts by fake skeptics? Bemusingly predictable in an activist world based on a field of science that awarded instead of punished water resources expert and former genius award winner Peter Gleick who stole Heartland Institute internal documents and having found no damning conspiracy linked to skeptics, this climatologist mixed in a fabricated juvenile level Dr. Evil strategy document that included mention of none other than formerly obscure "scientist" Peter Gleick. This fulfilled yet another sad cycle of fraudulent headline news.
VendicarE
2.5 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2013
"Emperor VendicarE is also a budding executioner:" - NikkieTard

NikkieTard is frightened. He should be.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (11) Aug 05, 2013
"Looks like I have to wait a long time for that Argo plot," - NikkieTard

If you are admitting that then you are admitting that your claim that the existing plot shows no warming is a lie since you now admit that it isn't long enough in duration to show any statistically significant warming.

Now the question remains as to why the plot you provided from a ConservaTard denialist blog that shows no heat absorption by the ocean is contradicted by the scientific findings of the NOAA.

I guess that Blog Author is a Congenital liar just like you NikkieTard.
NikFromNYC
2.3 / 5 (18) Aug 05, 2013
Afraid of what, VendicarE? A sock puppet commander? Or are you a member of the eco-terrorist group Earth First? The FBI would like to know.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (13) Aug 05, 2013

"Nor does a simple average of tide gauges show any change in sea level trend in our high CO₂ era:" - NikkieTard

Once again, NikkieTard's ConservaTard Blogger sources just don't agree with NOAA science.

http://www1.ncdc....rise.gif

NikkieTard just isn't bright enough to realize that with ocean temperatures lagging atmospheric temperatures in their rate of temperature rise - due to the ocean's higher thermal inertia, ocean expansion - which is proportional to temperature change, has also responded slowly.

The lag will not last long.
VendicarE
2.5 / 5 (10) Aug 05, 2013
"Afraid of what, VendicarE?" - NikkieTard

You tell us TardieBoy. Do you fear summary conviction and execution for the crime of treason against man and nature?

The clock is ticking....

NikFromNYC
2.4 / 5 (20) Aug 05, 2013
"Once again, NikkieTard's ConservaTard Blogger sources just don't agree with NOAA science."

Dude, I'm not the death threat flinging psycho wearing the sandwich board.

You are! You are the face of Global Warming activism, here and now, today, for all to see, and thus my good day is done.

http://filipspagn...nsed.png

Your plot of "sea level" is a great example of deception since it relies on highly speculative corrections to *actually* measured tide gauge data but then it is still labelled as being actual sea level, which it very much is not.
VendicarE
2.7 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2013
"When debate is lost, out comes sock puppet posts by fake skeptics?" - NikkieTard

There is no debate TardieBoy.

You are a congenital liar, and we are simply exposing your lies and childish idiocy for what it is.

We are still waiting for you to explain to us why the C-Fact graphic that was part of the gentleman's debate that was posted, has been manipulated in order to reduce the appearance of the warming trend.

Denialists never have answers. They only have lies, slander, and dishonest accusations.
VendicarE
2.7 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2013
"Once again, NikkieTard's ConservaTard Blogger sources just don't agree with NOAA science." - Vendicar

"Dude, I'm not the death threat flinging psycho wearing the sandwich board." - NikkieTard

Why the sudden need to change the subject? Your blog source is a lie, and you have been using it to lie yourself.

Lie, lie, lie, that is all you do. It is what you live for. Lying is your reason for existence.

The penalty for that sin is death according to the Christian God.

Does that frighten you NikkieTard?

It should.

VendicarE
2.7 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2013
"Your plot of "sea level" is a great example of deception since it relies on highly speculative corrections to *actually* measured tide gauge data " - NikkieTard

If so then write a scientific paper proving it to be so, and get it published.

You don't, because you can't, and you can't because your accusation is a lie.

Lying is a sin. "The wages of sin is death" - God
VendicarE
2.7 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2013
"They followed thousands of fish around for 3 years?" - ShitForBrains

No, they monitored the positions of schools of fish and noted their gradual migration over the years.

It is only rocket science to the very stupid and the willfully ignorant.
VendicarE
2.5 / 5 (10) Aug 05, 2013
"Ocean life has survived several cycles of ice ages and massive decadal swings caused by asteroids." - NikkieTard

And took millions of years to recover.

Is that the Republican plan for the world. Global Environmental devastation, mass death and extinction on a planetary scale and millions of years to recover.

That does appear to be the Republican Goal.

Egleton
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2013
Amen
Jean Demesure
2.1 / 5 (15) Aug 05, 2013
VendicarE : "And took millions of years to recover."

Ice ages and warm periods alternates in 100,000 year cycles over the last 7 cycles we have data of. And even with estimated 5°C global temperature swing in each cycle, ocean's temperature & biology don't change much (even when it was 130m lower during ice ages). "Millions of year to recover" is a wild fantasy.
Jean Demesure
2.2 / 5 (13) Aug 05, 2013
Gmr "An efficient animal at 12.7 degrees Celsius might expire at 12.3, if normally its environment only fluctuates by .1 degrees Celsius annually. It's amazing how sensitive to temperature change some animals can be, actually."

You are be confusing body & environment temperatures. I doubt you can name a single animal for which a change of 1°C environment temperature means life or death, let alone anual change. Fishes are cold blood animals (or have a limited thermo-regulation mecanism), their body temperature change can be huge compared to us, between day and night, when they stay at the bottom or at the surface, when they are at large or near the shore... And they migrate, some of them on very long distances.
VendicarE
2.8 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2013
"Ice ages and warm periods alternates in 100,000 year cycles" - Jean Demesure

Yes. My response was to NikkieTard's comment on asteroids and mass extinction.

Those events were more destructive than the glacial cycles since they caused the extinction of ocean dwelling species as well.

With glacial events the earth has not frozen over completely. There has always been open water in the oceans and untouched land from somewhere in the mid latitudes to the equator. So there was always a region from which plants and animals could extend their habitat as the glaciers receded, and thus recovery was rapid.

This has not been the case for the great extinction events that NikkieTard was so ignorantly referring to.

VendicarE
3 / 5 (10) Aug 05, 2013
"You are be confusing body & environment temperatures." - Jean Demesure

The only ocean dwelling creatures that control their body temperature are the really big and fat ones - the mammals.

It is energetically foolish for most ocean dwelling organisms to even try to maintain a fixed core temperature since all they would be doing is heating the ocean.

This is why fish move to where the temperatures are most comfortable for them, and is how the scientists can to some extent measure temperature by where the fish are.
Howhot
3.2 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2013
VendicarE is absolutely correct. Mr. NickfromNYC probably just does not understand that you heat water very quickly (as global warming is doing), the temperatures tend to stratify in layers that blocks oxygen to the lower layers. That creates dead oceans.

Recently, it was shown that ALL EXTINCTION EVENT where proceeded by a massive and rapid increase in CO2 and rapid global warming. We are talking massive comet strikes creating volcanism on massive scales to generate the CO2 levels that we have made burning fossil fuels in 200 years.

Nick will probably say dismissively ; "oohh sky is falling". Well, it doesn't matter as I've already dismissed his bullet points as rubbish to be disposed of in a proper manner.

The @Vendy has already tard and feathered you, and I agree with him Quit misleading people.

Jean Demesure
2.1 / 5 (16) Aug 06, 2013
My response was to NikkieTard's comment on asteroids and mass extinction.

Your response was to imply that the current warming is to similar asteroids collisions and not to Milankovitch cycles conditions, causing, quote "devastation, mass death and extinction on a planetary scale and millions of years to recover", which is of course baloney, and you know it.

There has always been open water in the oceans and untouched land from somewhere in the mid latitudes to the equator. So there was always a region from which plants and animals could extend their habitat as the glaciers receded, and thus recovery was rapid.

@VendicarE,
So you agree that global warming warms cold waters especially near the poles and EXTENDS marine habitat, a no brainer. Why just not say that? Is it because it essentially defeats an alarmist narrative ?

Jean Demesure
1.9 / 5 (16) Aug 06, 2013
This is why fish move to where the temperatures are most comfortable for them, and is how the scientists can to some extent measure temperature by where the fish are.
@VendicarE,
Fish move where there is food (which depends on sunlight, photosynthesis, ocean currents, overfishing...) and less predators or more preys. That's why they change depth in the same day where temperature swing easily exceed 5°C between the surface and the bottom. Food availability is THE factor, to be "comfortable" with temperature is an anthropogenic prejudice pulled out of the blue.
Anyway, global ocean has warmed less than 0,1°C over the past 50 years, that's a fact, too small to be detectable by any marine species so any temperature change triggering marine life change can only be local and/or cyclical neither global, nor new.

Howhot
3.4 / 5 (8) Aug 06, 2013
Fish move where there is food (which depends on sunlight, photosynthesis, ocean currents, overfishing...) and less predators or more preys. That's why they change depth in the same day where temperature swing easily exceed 5°C between the surface and the bottom. Food availability is THE factor, to be "comfortable" with temperature is an anthropogenic prejudice pulled out of the blue.

All that proves is that you know how to fish. Apparently nothing else though. As the reefs heat up, you loose an incredible amount of bio-diversification, the kind that you will not find in the Arctic. Humans have never experienced the kind of change that is coming at us like a death train extinction event. Who can say with any certainty whether tuna will migrate or salmon, or any number of species. You can't. What you can do is look at what has happened in historical extinction die-offs to get an idea of what could happen with AGW.

Jean Demesure
2 / 5 (16) Aug 07, 2013
Humans have never experienced the kind of change that is coming at us like a death train extinction event.

@Howhot
According to you, nobody "can say with certainty", but you KNOW death train is coming. Oh give me a break. If so, name one reefs species extinction, just one!
All I can see so far is the same tired AGW hyperboles, wild claims, no fact. If your theory holds water, you would'nt need to exagerate, right ?
Shelgeyr
2 / 5 (16) Aug 07, 2013
Study finds climate change is causing modifications to marine life behavior


No it doesn't, but that won't stop "scientists" with an agenda from attributing any discernible behavior change (real or imagined) to climate change.
Howhot
3.5 / 5 (8) Aug 09, 2013
Humans have never experienced the kind of change that is coming at us like a death train extinction event.

@Howhot
According to you, nobody "can say with certainty", but you KNOW death train is coming. Oh give me a break. If so, name one reefs species extinction, just one!
All I can see so far is the same tired AGW hyperboles, wild claims, no fact. If your theory holds water, you would'nt need to exagerate, right ?

Figure of speech, but you understand the meaning; the future does not bode well.

What I have yet to see, is anything from you deniers that is scientific data NOT showing me to be wrong. Not a graph, chart, publication. So far you deniers are a big NADA when it comes to science.

Your all good a creationism though.

Howhot
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 09, 2013
Seriously you anti-environmentalist deniers must have no concept of how future societies will adapt to a dying planet. A planet so abused by industrialism, greed and over population that it is impossible for life on the planetary surface to exist. If there was a prediction for the future, I would say 100-200 years from now, it looks like the movie "Soylent Green". Beyond that, unless there is a global change in Mankind's world dominance, in less than 500 years life on the surface could be gone.

That's not just scare tactics, that is based on what if AGW is correct, what if science is correct, what if we project that out assume we do business as usual. What other conclusions do you guys see give the same input?


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