In EASMO, an international interdisciplinary team aims to provide vital information to stakeholders on how climate change will impact marine environment, biodiversity, as well as the ecosystem services it provides to the society in the eastern tropical Pacific. The Norwegian partner plays a key role in providing state-of-the-art climate and biogeochemical projections in the regions, which will then be used to assess the ecosystem and societal implications. To do this, we have developed a new high-resolution ocean-atmosphere model that also includes ocean biogeochemistry component.
The model calibration is now completed, and simulations of historical period have been completed. Our first results confirm that the regional model performs significantly better than typical low resolution IPCC-class Earth system models. In the eastern tropical Pacific, our model simulates more realistic tropical climate characteristic. In addition, we have used the regional model to investigate the drivers for ubiquitous bias in global models. Specifically, we determine how changes in ocean state affect the simulated precipitation patterns. We have worked closely with our international partners to disseminate our model projections and to simulate future changes in the regional ecosystem.
Marine species are “on the move” escaping hostile climatic conditions. Distribution range shifts of marine biota happen remarkably faster, cause dramatic changes in species interactions and redistribute fishery resources across borders, thus bringing severe ecological, food security, and governance challenges. Redistributions are particularly concerning in marine fish, which provide three billion people with ~15% of their animal protein needs. EASMO will deliver several layers of new scientific knowledge that can be directly integrated into decision-making tools, support adaptive transboundary governance approaches, and propel actions for meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 Zero hunger, 13 Climate action, and 14 Life below water.
EASMO will advance on the plethora of emerging experiments that expose fishes to altered environmental conditions, by investigating the synergistic effect of warming, deoxygenation, and acidification on physiology, function, and nutritional content. We will also improve existing knowledge on the genomic and proteomic bases for climate-induced fish evolution and generate unprecedented information on molecular, cellular, and organism physiology.
Species Distribution Models (SDMs) have forecasted the global-scale effects of climate change on fish and fisheries, whilst intentionally averaging over interannual and decadal variability. Zooming into a pivotal ocean basin, we will apply an ensemble of new-generation SDMs that will allow for previously unaccounted-for interactions between interannual-to-decadal anthropogenic climatic changes (e.g. El Niño Southern Oscillation), whilst incorporating evolutionary adaptation.
Our range-shift projections, provided using state-of-the-art coupled regional climate model, will be scaled-up to map future change in multiple biodiversity facets, ecosystem function levels, as well as catch potential, fisheries revenue, and nutritional value across Exclusive Economic Zones.