Uncertainties in projecting climate-change impacts in marine ecosystems

Type Article
Date 2016-05
Language English
Author(s) Payne Mark R.1, Barange Manuel2, Cheung Williamw. L.3, Mackenzie Brian R.1, Batchelder Harold P.4, Cormon Xochitl5, Eddy Tyler D.6, Fernandes Jose A.2, Hollowed Anne B.7, Jones Miranda C.3, 8, Link Jason S.9, Neubauer Philipp10, Ortiz Ivonne11, Queiros Ana M.2, Paula Jose Ricardo12
Affiliation(s) 1 : Tech Univ Denmark, Natl Inst Aquat Resources DTU Aqua, Ctr Ocean Life, DK-2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark.
2 : Plymouth Marine Lab, Prospect Pl, Plymouth PL1 3DH, Devon, England.
3 : Univ British Columbia, Inst Oceans & Fisheries, AERL, Changing Ocean Res Unit, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
4 : North Pacific Marine Sci Org PICES, 9860 West Saanich Rd, Sidney, BC V8L 4B2, Canada.
5 : IFREMER, Channel & North Sea Fisheries Res Unit, 150 Quai Gambetta,BP 699, F-62321 Boulogne, France.
6 : Dalhousie Univ, Dept Biol, 1355 Oxford St, Halifax, NS B3H 4J1, Canada.
7 : NOAA, Natl Marine Fisheries Serv, Alaska Fisheries Sci Ctr, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115 USA.
8 : Univ Cambridge, Dept Zool, Downing St, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, England.
9 : NOAA, Natl Marine Fisheries Serv, 166 Water St, Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA.
10 : Dragonfly Data Sci, POB 27535, Wellington 6141, New Zealand.
11 : Univ Washington, Joint Inst Study Atmosphere & Oceans, Seattle, WA 98195 USA.
12 : Univ Lisbon, Fac Ciencias, Lab Maritimo Guia, MARE Marine & Environm Sci Ctr, Ave Nossa Senhora do Cabo 939, P-2750374 Cascais, Portugal.
Source Ices Journal Of Marine Science (1054-3139) (Oxford Univ Press), 2016-05 , Vol. 73 , N. 5 , P. 1272-1282
DOI 10.1093/icesjms/fsv231
WOS© Times Cited 32
Note This manuscript stems from the “Workshop on addressing uncertainty in projecting climate-change impacts in marine ecosystems” held as part of the “Third International Symposium on Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans” in Santos, Brazil, 21–27 March 2015
Keyword(s) climate change, initialization uncertainty, parametric uncertainty, projections, scenario uncertainty, structural uncertainty, uncertainty
Abstract Projections of the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems are a key prerequisite for the planning of adaptation strategies, yet they are inevitably associated with uncertainty. Identifying, quantifying, and communicating this uncertainty is key to both evaluating the risk associated with a projection and building confidence in its robustness. We review how uncertainties in such projections are handled in marine science. We employ an approach developed in climate modelling by breaking uncertainty down into (i) structural (model) uncertainty, (ii) initialization and internal variability uncertainty, (iii) parametric uncertainty, and (iv) scenario uncertainty. For each uncertainty type, we then examine the current state-of-the-art in assessing and quantifying its relative importance. We consider whether the marine scientific community has addressed these types of uncertainty sufficiently and highlight the opportunities and challenges associated with doing a better job. We find that even within a relatively small field such as marine science, there are substantial differences between subdisciplines in the degree of attention given to each type of uncertainty. We find that initialization uncertainty is rarely treated explicitly and reducing this type of uncertainty may deliver gains on the seasonal-to-decadal time-scale. We conclude that all parts of marine science could benefit from a greater exchange of ideas, particularly concerning such a universal problem such as the treatment of uncertainty. Finally, marine science should strive to reach the point where scenario uncertainty is the dominant uncertainty in our projections.
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Payne Mark R., Barange Manuel, Cheung Williamw. L., Mackenzie Brian R., Batchelder Harold P., Cormon Xochitl, Eddy Tyler D., Fernandes Jose A., Hollowed Anne B., Jones Miranda C., Link Jason S., Neubauer Philipp, Ortiz Ivonne, Queiros Ana M., Paula Jose Ricardo (2016). Uncertainties in projecting climate-change impacts in marine ecosystems. Ices Journal Of Marine Science, 73(5), 1272-1282. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsv231 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00301/41220/