Global Environmental Changes

We are deepening our understanding of the relationship between our changing climate and the human-ocean ecosystem through the study of oceanography, chemistry, ecosystem modeling, applied mathematics and computing.

Marine heatwaves can cause irreversible ecosystem damage and their frequency has doubled since 1982. If average global temperatures rise 3.5°C, we’ll see a jump from just fewer than four marine heat waves a year on average to a startling 122.

What happens when some of the most vulnerable populations on the planet are forced to flee the impacts of climate change without legal backing or clear definition of their rights?

The Nassau grouper: an endangered, boldly striped fish that was once plentiful in southern coastal Florida, the Florida Keys, Bermuda, the Yucatan, and the Caribbean Sea. For more than 20 years, conservationists in the Caribbean have been working to protect this endangered species. Climate change now threatens to undo all of it.

Climate change and human activity have pressing impacts on the state of our ocean, threatening the integrity of marine ecosystems themselves as well as the services they provide to human communities. Given the inevitable current and future effects of climate change, adaptation by both physical and human systems is crucial. As defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), adaptation refers to “the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects.”

September 11, 2017 | Climate Change


Cheung et al. (2018) Opportunities for climate-risk reduction through effective fisheries management:

Asch et al (2017) Future marine ecosystem drivers, biodiversity and fisheries maximum catch potential in Pacific Island countries and territories under climate change:

Seldon et al (2017) Diversity in thermal affinity among key piscivores buffers impacts of ocean warming on predator-prey interaction:

Miller, D. D., Ota, Y., Sumaila, U. R., Cisneros-Montemayor, A. M., Cheung, W. W. L., 2017, Adaptation strategies to climate change in marine systems, Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.13829, link