Climate Change and Marine Ecos...

Climate Change and Marine Ecosystems

CCME Overview

Climate Change and Marine Ecosystems (CCME) is an ISP-supported research project integrating climate change research at NCAR with marine ecosystem studies. This project naturally builds on the decades-long record of global oceanographic modeling as well as on the growing efforts in regional oceanographic modeling. Despite the increasing number of studies exploring the biological and ecological consequences of climate change, including many in the marine environment, relatively few have utilized climate system model output.

CCME research falls within two parallel tracks:

  • using NCAR’s oceanographic models for studying ecosystem responses to climate change
  • ensuring the modeling efforts provide high quality information that is relevant to ecological research.

Most of the ecosystem studies associated with NCAR’s climate modeling effort has so far been designed to understand the carbon cycle and/or climate feedbacks rather than ecosystem impacts per se. Decision makers involved in marine fisheries management and marine conservation, however, are very interested in planning for future climate change and ocean acidification.

Two CCME projects fall within these tracks. The first is a joint NCAR-Rutgers project to use the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) in the Coral Triangle Region (fig. 1) and includes collaborators from Rutgers University, the University of California-Berkeley and The Nature Conservancy. The goal is to map differences in coral reef vulnerability to bleaching as a function of exposure to extreme sea surface temperature, their sensitivity to those extremes, and the probability of being reseeded via larval dispersal. The motivation of the work is to guide decision-making regarding the placement of marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle. 

The second project is to improve the marine CaCO3 cycle in the CESM ocean biogeochemistry (BGC) model. This work will begin in the fall of 2011, as part of the research proposed by a new ASP postdoctoral fellow.

ContactDr. Joanie Kleypas 

Sea Surface Tempatures from the Coral Triangle ROMS