The Southern Ocean ecosystem under multiple climate change stresses - an integrated circumpolar assessment

Type Article
Date 2015-04
Language English
Author(s) Gutt Julian1, Bertler Nancy2, 3, Bracegirdle Thomas J.4, Buschmann Alexander1, Comiso Josefino5, Hosie Graham6, Isla Enrique7, Schloss Irene R.8, 9, 10, 11, Smith Craig R.12, Tournadre Jean13, Xavier Jose C4, 14
Affiliation(s) 1 : Helmholtz Ctr Polar & Marine Res, Alfred Wegener Inst, D-27568 Bremerhaven, Germany.
2 : Victoria Univ Wellington, Joint Antarctic Res Inst, Wellington, New Zealand.
3 : GNS Sci, Wellington, New Zealand.
4 : British Antarctic Survey, Nat Environm Res Council, Cambridge CB3 0ET, England.
5 : NASA, Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Cryospher Sci Lab, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA.
6 : Scott Polar Res Inst, SCAR Life Sci, Cambridge CB2 1ER, England.
7 : CSIC, Inst Ciencies Mar, E-08003 Barcelona, Spain.
8 : Inst Antartico Argentino, Buenos Aires, DF, Argentina.
9 : Consejo Nacl Invest Cient & Tecn, RA-1033 Buenos Aires, DF, Argentina.
10 : Inst Antartico Argentino, Buenos Aires, DF, Argentina.
11 : Inst Sci Rimouski, Rimouski, PQ G5L 3A1, Canada.
12 : Univ Hawaii Manoa, Dept Oceanog, Honolulu, HI 96822 USA.
13 : IFREMER, Lab Oceanog Spatiale, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
14 : Univ Coimbra, Dept Life Sci, Inst Marine Res, P-3001401 Coimbra, Portugal.
Source Global Change Biology (1354-1013) (Wiley-blackwell), 2015-04 , Vol. 21 , N. 4 , P. 1434-1453
DOI 10.1111/gcb.12794
WOS© Times Cited 130
Keyword(s) acidification, habitats, icebergs, ice-shelves, ozone depletion, sea-ice, warming
Abstract A quantitative assessment of observed and projected environmental changes in the Southern Ocean (SO) with a potential impact on the marine ecosystem shows: (i) large proportions of the SO are and will be affected by one or more climate change processes; areas projected to be affected in the future are larger than areas that are already under environmental stress, (ii) areas affected by changes in sea-ice in the past and likely in the future are much larger than areas affected by ocean warming. The smallest areas (<1% area of the SO) are affected by glacier retreat and warming in the deeper euphotic layer. In the future, decrease in the sea-ice is expected to be widespread. Changes in iceberg impact resulting from further collapse of ice-shelves can potentially affect large parts of shelf and ephemerally in the off-shore regions. However, aragonite undersaturation (acidification) might become one of the biggest problems for the Antarctic marine ecosystem by affecting almost the entire SO. Direct and indirect impacts of various environmental changes to the three major habitats, sea-ice, pelagic and benthos and their biota are complex. The areas affected by environmental stressors range from 33% of the SO for a single stressor, 11% for two and 2% for three, to <1% for four and five overlapping factors. In the future, areas expected to be affected by 2 and 3 overlapping factors are equally large, including potential iceberg changes, and together cover almost 86% of the SO ecosystem.
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Gutt Julian, Bertler Nancy, Bracegirdle Thomas J., Buschmann Alexander, Comiso Josefino, Hosie Graham, Isla Enrique, Schloss Irene R., Smith Craig R., Tournadre Jean, Xavier Jose C (2015). The Southern Ocean ecosystem under multiple climate change stresses - an integrated circumpolar assessment. Global Change Biology, 21(4), 1434-1453. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :