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Climate Change

Projected Impacts of Climate Change: Thermal Habitat

Species Habitats Predicted to Move under Continued Ocean Warming

The animations on this site show projected distributions of suitable thermal habitat for fall and spring based on the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory's high-resolution global climate model (CM2.6). In the 80-year model run, atmospheric CO2 increases by 1% per year and doubles by year 70. This results in a global surface warming of 2°C (3.6°F), which is equivalent to the 2060-80 time period in the IPCC's RCP8.5 (highest emissions scenario). Therefore, the time steps (60-80) correspond roughly to the years 2060-80 in the IPCC’s RCP8.5 emissions scenario. It is important to note that these are ONLY projections of thermal habitat and DO NOT include other important factors such as fishing mortality, species interactions, and bottom-up forcing.

For more information, please see the Progress in Oceanography article by Kristin M. Kleisner, Michael J. Fogarty, Sally McGeeb, Jonathan A. Hare, Skye Moret, Charles T. Perretti, and Vincent S. Saba: Marine species distribution shifts on the US Northeast Continental Shelf under continued ocean warming »

IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; RCP = Representative Concentration Pathway

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