Research into the interlinks between biodiversity patterns, processes, threats, conservation and human welfare

Vulnerability to climate change in the ocean


Shown here is absolute change in a given climatic variable between the year shown in the image and 2005.
The vertical black line in the color scale is the global average
Click on the image to see complete set of simulated variables for all available models

Future biogeochemistry change in the ocean (or how much change will occur?)

Plots A-D show the spatial difference between future (i.e., the average from 2091 to 2100) and contemporary (i.e., the average from years 1996 to 2005) values under the RCP8.5 scenario (decadal averages were chosen to minimize aliasing by interannual variability; complete results for the RCP8.5 and RCP4.5 for the ocean surface and floor are shown in Figure S2). Plots E-H show the global average change relative to contemporary values under the RCP45 and RCP85 at the ocean surface and seafloor; semitransparent lines are the projections for individual models. Adapated from Figure 2 in Mora et al. PLoS Biology e1001682

Negative and Positive changes (or will it warm or will it cool?)

Co-occurring ocean biogeochemical changes to the year 2100 under the RCP85. For these plots, we separated absolute changes shown in the figure above between those that will be positive (i.e., cooling, pH increase, oxygenation, and productivity increase; Plots A-E) and negative (i.e., warming, acidification, oxygen depletion, and primary food reduction; Plots F-J). Resulting absolute changes were scaled between 0 and 1 (Plots B-E, G-J), 0 being zero absolute change and 1 being the extreme 97.5% observed value globally. The resulting scaled scores from each variable were added to provide a global composite map of co-occurring positive (Plot A) and negative (Plot F) changes in ocean biogeochemistry. These cumulative change maps ranged from 4 (i.e., the maximum predicted change in all four parameters occurred in that cell) to 0 (i.e., no negative or positive change in any of the four parameters occurred in that cell). The results for the RCP45 at the ocean surface and both RCPs for the seafloor are presented in the Supporting Information section. Adapated from Figure 3 in Mora et al. PLoS Biology e1001682

Biotic exposure to biogeochemical change (or how much change will species and ecosystems will face)

Here we show the mean (horizontal dashes) and standard deviation (curved lines) of the absolute change in each parameter projected to the year 2100 for each marine habitat (Plot A) and biodiversity hotspot for individual taxa (Plot B). A hotspot is defined as the top 10% most diverse (in number of species) areas on Earth where the given taxa are found. In both plots, values for each parameter are color-coded according to the left-hand axes. Values to the left and right of each habitat or hotspot indicate the expected results according to RCP85 and RCP45, respectively. Complete raw results of the exposure of each habitat and hotspots to all parameters as well as the sources of error due to accuracy and precision are presented in Table S4.

Human vulnerability to biogeochemical change (or do we use goods and services impacted by climate change and it so are we ready?)

This plot illustrates the total number of people likely to be vulnerable through exposure to ocean biogeochemistry change according to RCP45 (Plot A) and RCP85 (Plot B). Numbers in the plot are in billions (summations may not be exact owing to rounding).