Ocean warming expands habitat of a rich natural resource and benefits a national economy

Teunis Jansen, Søren Lorenzen Post, Trond Kristiansen, Gudmundur J. Oskarsson, Jesper Boje, Brian R. MacKenzie, Mala Broberg, Helle Siegstad

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Abstract

Geographic redistribution of living natural resources changes access and thereby harvesting opportunities between countries. Internationally shared fish resources can be sensitive to shifts in the marine environment and this may have great impact on the economies of countries and regions that rely most heavily on fisheries to provide employment and food supply. Here we present a climate change-related biotic expansion of a rich natural resource with substantial economic consequences, namely the appearance of northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in Greenlandic waters. In recent years, the summer temperature has reached record highs in the Irminger Current, and this development has expanded the available and realized mackerel habitat in time and space. Observations in the Irminger Current in east Greenland in 2011 of this temperature-sensitive epipelagic fish were the first records so far northwest in the Atlantic. This change in migration pattern was followed by a rapid development of a large-scale fishery of substantial importance for the national economy of Greenland (23% of Greenland's export value of all goods in 2014). A pelagic trawl survey was conducted in mid-summer 2014 and the results showed that the bulk of similar to 1 million Mg (=t) of mackerel in the Irminger Current in southeast Greenland were located in the relatively warm (>8.5 degrees C) surface layer. Mackerel was also observed in southwest Greenland. Finally, 15 CMIP5 Earth System Model projections of future marine climate were used to evaluate the epipelagic environment in Greenland. These projections for moderate and high CO2 emission scenarios (representative concentration pathways [RCP] 4.5 and 8.5) suggest how the available mackerel habitat may expand further in space and time. Overall, our results indicate that, if the stock remains large, productive, and continues its current migration pattern, then climate change has provided Greenland with a new unique opportunity for commercial exploitation. However, positive cases like this should not be cherry-picked and misused as arguments against timely and effective mitigation of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcological Applications
Volume26
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2021-2032
ISSN1051-0761
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • ECOLOGY
  • ENVIRONMENTAL
  • MACKEREL SCOMBER-SCOMBRUS
  • ATLANTIC MACKEREL
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • PELAGIC FISH
  • CONTINENTAL-SHELF
  • IMPACTS
  • FISHERIES
  • WARS
  • climate change
  • CMIP 5
  • Greenland
  • mackerel (Scomber scombrus)
  • Northeast Atlantic
  • projection
  • Ecology
  • Climate change
  • Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)
  • Projection

Cite this

Jansen, Teunis ; Post, Søren Lorenzen ; Kristiansen, Trond ; Oskarsson, Gudmundur J. ; Boje, Jesper ; MacKenzie, Brian R. ; Broberg, Mala ; Siegstad, Helle. / Ocean warming expands habitat of a rich natural resource and benefits a national economy. In: Ecological Applications. 2016 ; Vol. 26, No. 7. pp. 2021-2032.
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abstract = "Geographic redistribution of living natural resources changes access and thereby harvesting opportunities between countries. Internationally shared fish resources can be sensitive to shifts in the marine environment and this may have great impact on the economies of countries and regions that rely most heavily on fisheries to provide employment and food supply. Here we present a climate change-related biotic expansion of a rich natural resource with substantial economic consequences, namely the appearance of northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in Greenlandic waters. In recent years, the summer temperature has reached record highs in the Irminger Current, and this development has expanded the available and realized mackerel habitat in time and space. Observations in the Irminger Current in east Greenland in 2011 of this temperature-sensitive epipelagic fish were the first records so far northwest in the Atlantic. This change in migration pattern was followed by a rapid development of a large-scale fishery of substantial importance for the national economy of Greenland (23{\%} of Greenland's export value of all goods in 2014). A pelagic trawl survey was conducted in mid-summer 2014 and the results showed that the bulk of similar to 1 million Mg (=t) of mackerel in the Irminger Current in southeast Greenland were located in the relatively warm (>8.5 degrees C) surface layer. Mackerel was also observed in southwest Greenland. Finally, 15 CMIP5 Earth System Model projections of future marine climate were used to evaluate the epipelagic environment in Greenland. These projections for moderate and high CO2 emission scenarios (representative concentration pathways [RCP] 4.5 and 8.5) suggest how the available mackerel habitat may expand further in space and time. Overall, our results indicate that, if the stock remains large, productive, and continues its current migration pattern, then climate change has provided Greenland with a new unique opportunity for commercial exploitation. However, positive cases like this should not be cherry-picked and misused as arguments against timely and effective mitigation of climate change.",
keywords = "ECOLOGY, ENVIRONMENTAL, MACKEREL SCOMBER-SCOMBRUS, ATLANTIC MACKEREL, CLIMATE-CHANGE, PELAGIC FISH, CONTINENTAL-SHELF, IMPACTS, FISHERIES, WARS, climate change, CMIP 5, Greenland, mackerel (Scomber scombrus), Northeast Atlantic, projection, Ecology, Climate change, Mackerel (Scomber scombrus), Projection",
author = "Teunis Jansen and Post, {S{\o}ren Lorenzen} and Trond Kristiansen and Oskarsson, {Gudmundur J.} and Jesper Boje and MacKenzie, {Brian R.} and Mala Broberg and Helle Siegstad",
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Ocean warming expands habitat of a rich natural resource and benefits a national economy. / Jansen, Teunis; Post, Søren Lorenzen; Kristiansen, Trond; Oskarsson, Gudmundur J.; Boje, Jesper; MacKenzie, Brian R.; Broberg, Mala; Siegstad, Helle.

In: Ecological Applications, Vol. 26, No. 7, 2016, p. 2021-2032.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ocean warming expands habitat of a rich natural resource and benefits a national economy

AU - Jansen, Teunis

AU - Post, Søren Lorenzen

AU - Kristiansen, Trond

AU - Oskarsson, Gudmundur J.

AU - Boje, Jesper

AU - MacKenzie, Brian R.

AU - Broberg, Mala

AU - Siegstad, Helle

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Geographic redistribution of living natural resources changes access and thereby harvesting opportunities between countries. Internationally shared fish resources can be sensitive to shifts in the marine environment and this may have great impact on the economies of countries and regions that rely most heavily on fisheries to provide employment and food supply. Here we present a climate change-related biotic expansion of a rich natural resource with substantial economic consequences, namely the appearance of northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in Greenlandic waters. In recent years, the summer temperature has reached record highs in the Irminger Current, and this development has expanded the available and realized mackerel habitat in time and space. Observations in the Irminger Current in east Greenland in 2011 of this temperature-sensitive epipelagic fish were the first records so far northwest in the Atlantic. This change in migration pattern was followed by a rapid development of a large-scale fishery of substantial importance for the national economy of Greenland (23% of Greenland's export value of all goods in 2014). A pelagic trawl survey was conducted in mid-summer 2014 and the results showed that the bulk of similar to 1 million Mg (=t) of mackerel in the Irminger Current in southeast Greenland were located in the relatively warm (>8.5 degrees C) surface layer. Mackerel was also observed in southwest Greenland. Finally, 15 CMIP5 Earth System Model projections of future marine climate were used to evaluate the epipelagic environment in Greenland. These projections for moderate and high CO2 emission scenarios (representative concentration pathways [RCP] 4.5 and 8.5) suggest how the available mackerel habitat may expand further in space and time. Overall, our results indicate that, if the stock remains large, productive, and continues its current migration pattern, then climate change has provided Greenland with a new unique opportunity for commercial exploitation. However, positive cases like this should not be cherry-picked and misused as arguments against timely and effective mitigation of climate change.

AB - Geographic redistribution of living natural resources changes access and thereby harvesting opportunities between countries. Internationally shared fish resources can be sensitive to shifts in the marine environment and this may have great impact on the economies of countries and regions that rely most heavily on fisheries to provide employment and food supply. Here we present a climate change-related biotic expansion of a rich natural resource with substantial economic consequences, namely the appearance of northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in Greenlandic waters. In recent years, the summer temperature has reached record highs in the Irminger Current, and this development has expanded the available and realized mackerel habitat in time and space. Observations in the Irminger Current in east Greenland in 2011 of this temperature-sensitive epipelagic fish were the first records so far northwest in the Atlantic. This change in migration pattern was followed by a rapid development of a large-scale fishery of substantial importance for the national economy of Greenland (23% of Greenland's export value of all goods in 2014). A pelagic trawl survey was conducted in mid-summer 2014 and the results showed that the bulk of similar to 1 million Mg (=t) of mackerel in the Irminger Current in southeast Greenland were located in the relatively warm (>8.5 degrees C) surface layer. Mackerel was also observed in southwest Greenland. Finally, 15 CMIP5 Earth System Model projections of future marine climate were used to evaluate the epipelagic environment in Greenland. These projections for moderate and high CO2 emission scenarios (representative concentration pathways [RCP] 4.5 and 8.5) suggest how the available mackerel habitat may expand further in space and time. Overall, our results indicate that, if the stock remains large, productive, and continues its current migration pattern, then climate change has provided Greenland with a new unique opportunity for commercial exploitation. However, positive cases like this should not be cherry-picked and misused as arguments against timely and effective mitigation of climate change.

KW - ECOLOGY

KW - ENVIRONMENTAL

KW - MACKEREL SCOMBER-SCOMBRUS

KW - ATLANTIC MACKEREL

KW - CLIMATE-CHANGE

KW - PELAGIC FISH

KW - CONTINENTAL-SHELF

KW - IMPACTS

KW - FISHERIES

KW - WARS

KW - climate change

KW - CMIP 5

KW - Greenland

KW - mackerel (Scomber scombrus)

KW - Northeast Atlantic

KW - projection

KW - Ecology

KW - Climate change

KW - Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)

KW - Projection

U2 - 10.1002/eap.1384

DO - 10.1002/eap.1384

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 27755730

VL - 26

SP - 2021

EP - 2032

JO - Ecological Applications

JF - Ecological Applications

SN - 1051-0761

IS - 7

ER -