Climate and Ecosystem Science

Understanding climate change impacts on living marine resource distribution and occurrence patterns is a High Priority for NOAA Fisheries. We know very little about the effects of global and regional climate dynamics on marine mammal distribution, abundance, and marine mammal prey availability. 

The Arctic in particular, is a window to changing climate patterns and a suitable biological laboratory to observe and record impacts of receding sea ice, warming sea surface temperatures, and variable energy flow affecting key marine ecosystem functions and native tribal communities dependent on Arctic resources for their livelihood and sustenance. To this end, Protected Species Program staff in collaboration with various partners is involved in the development of a Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) to monitor ecosystem change in the Pacific Arctic and links the physical ocean observations to marine mammal biology

Presentation: Developing a Distributed Biological Observatory


Protected Species Climate Vulnerability Assessment

Goal: Develop and test a methodology for rapid assessment of marine/coastal protected species vulnerability to a changing climate.

Increase understanding of:

  •         What species may be most vulnerable
  •         Why they may be vulnerable
  •         What additional information is needed to inform and guide science and management activities

The methodology is currently in development. Read more about other climate tools and products available here

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