Media Release | Feb. 18, 2012
Ocean acidification turns climate change winners into losers: UBC Research
Adding ocean acidification and deoxygenation into the mix of climate change predictions may turn “winner” regions of fisheries and biodiversity into “losers,” according to research released today by University of British Columbia researchers.
Previous projections have suggested the effects of warmer water temperature would result in fish moving pole-ward and deeper towards cooler waters – and an increase of fish catch potential of as much as 30 per cent in the North Atlantic by 2050.
Accounting for effects of de-oxygenation and ocean acidification, however, some regions may see a 20-35 per cent reduction in maximum catch potential by 2050 (relative to 2005) – depending on the individual species’ sensitivity to ocean acidification.
For example, in the Norwegian Sea, ocean warming by itself may result in a 15 per cent increase in fisheries catch potential. However, accounting for acidification and de-oxygenation, the increase turns to a decrease of 15 per cent, and the region from a “winner” to a “loser.”