This website is the digital version of the 2014 National Climate Assessment, produced in collaboration with the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

For the official version, please refer to the PDF in the downloads section. The downloadable PDF is the official version of the 2014 National Climate Assessment.

Search Options

X

Search form

Top

Welcome to the National Climate Assessment

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

Explore the effects of climate change
United States Global Change Research Program logo
United States Department of Agriculture logo United States Department of Commerce logo United States Department of Defense logo United States Department of Energy logo United States Department of Health and Human Services logo United States Department of the Interior logo United States Department of State logo United States Department of Transportation logo United States Environmental Protection Agency logo National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo National Science Foundation logo Smithsonian Institution logo United States Agency for International Development logo

Oceans and Marine Resources

Ocean waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, broadly affecting ocean circulation, chemistry, ecosystems, and marine life. Rising sea surface temperatures have been linked with increasing levels and ranges of diseases in people and marine life.

Explore how climate change is affecting the oceans and marine resources.

Next

Convening Lead Authors

Scott Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Andrew A. Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists

Lead Authors

Michael Alexander, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Francisco Chavez, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

C. Drew Harvell, Cornell University

Gretchen Hofmann, University of California Santa Barbara

Michael Orbach, Duke University

Mary Ruckelshaus, Natural Capital Project

Introduction

As a nation, we depend on the oceans for seafood, recreation and tourism, cultural heritage, transportation of goods, and, increasingly, energy and other critical resources. The U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone extends 200 nautical miles seaward from the coasts, spanning an area about 1.7 times the land area of the continental U.S. and encompassing waters along the U.S. East, West, and Gulf coasts, around Alaska and Hawai‘i, and including the U.S. territories in the Pacific and Caribbean. This vast region is host to a rich diversity of marine plants and animals and a wide range of ecosystems, from tropical coral reefs to Arctic waters covered with sea ice.

ocean and blue sky ©iStockPhoto.comFrank P.J. van Haalen

Oceans support vibrant economies and coastal communities with numerous businesses and jobs. More than 160 million people live in the coastal watershed counties of the United States, and population in this zone is expected to grow in the future. The oceans help regulate climate, absorb carbon dioxide (an important greenhouse, or heat-trapping, gas), and strongly influence weather patterns far into the continental interior. Ocean issues touch all of us in both direct and indirect ways.49,140,36,141

Changing climate conditions are already affecting these valuable marine ecosystems and the array of resources and services we derive from the sea. Some climate trends, such as rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification, are common across much of the coastal areas and open ocean worldwide. The biological responses to climate change often vary from region to region, depending on the different combinations of species, habitats, and other attributes of local systems. Data records for the ocean are often shorter and less complete than those on land, and for many biological variables it is still difficult to discern long-term ocean trends from natural variability.19

Key Message 1: Rising Ocean Temperatures

The rise in ocean temperature over the last century will persist into the future, with continued large impacts on climate, ocean circulation, chemistry, and ecosystems.

Supporting Evidence
close

Supporting Evidence

Process for Developing Key Messages

A central component of the assessment process was the Oceans and Marine Resources Climate assessment workshop that was held January 23-24, 2012, at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD, and simultaneously, via web teleconference, at NOAA in Seattle, WA. In the workshop, nearly 30 participants took part in a series of scoping presentations and breakout sessions that began the process leading to a foundational Technical Input Report (TIR) entitled “Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.”1 The report, consisting of nearly 220 pages of text organized into 7 sections with numerous subsections and more than 1200 references, was assembled by 122 authors representing governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, and other entities.

The chapter author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via teleconferences that permitted a careful review of the foundational TIR1 and of approximately 25 additional technical inputs provided by the public, as well as the other published literature, and professional judgment. The chapter author team met at Conservation International in Arlington, VA on 3-4 May 2012 for expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors, wherein each message was defended before the entire author team before the key message was selected for inclusion in the report. These discussions were supported by targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each message to help define “key vulnerabilities.”

Description of evidence base

The key message is supported by extensive evidence documented in Sections 2 and 3 of the Oceans Technical Input Report1 and in the additional technical inputs received as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input, as well as stakeholder engagement leading up to drafting the chapter.

Relevant and recent peer-reviewed publications,2,3,4,5,6 including many others that are cited therein, describe evidence that ocean temperature has risen over the past century. This evidence base includes direct and indirect temperature measurements, paleoclimate records, and modeling results.

There are also many relevant and recent peer-reviewed publications describing changes in physical and chemical ocean properties that are underway due to climate change.7,8,9

New information and remaining uncertainties

Important new information since the last National Climate Assessment10 includes the latest update to a data set of ocean temperatures.5

There is accumulating new information on all of these points with regard to physical and chemical changes in the ocean and resultant impacts on marine ecosystems. Both measurements and model results are continuing to sharpen the picture.

A significant area of uncertainty remains with regard to the region-by-region impacts of warming, acidification, and associated changes in the oceans. Regional and local conditions mean that impacts will not be uniform around the U.S. coasts or internationally. Forecasting of regional changes is still an area of very active research, though the overall patterns for some features are now clear.

Large-scale and recurring climate phenomena (such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) cause dramatic changes in biological productivity and ecosystem structure and make it difficult to discern climate-driven trends.

Current time series of biological productivity are restricted to a handful of sites around the globe and to a few decades, and global, comprehensive satellite time series of ocean color are even shorter, beginning in 1997. Based on an analysis of different in situ datasets, one research group suggested a decline of 1% per year over the past century, but these findings may be an artifact of limited data and have been widely debated.9,11 However, the few in situ time series mostly indicate increases in biological productivity over the past 20 years, but with clear links to regional changes in climate.9

Assessment of confidence based on evidence

Confidence that the ocean is warming and acidifying, and that sea level is rising is very high. Changes in other physical and chemical properties such as ocean circulation, wave heights, oxygen minimums, and salinity are of medium confidence. For ecosystem changes, there is high confidence that these are occurring and will persist and likely grow in the future, though the details of these changes are highly geographically variable.

Confidence Level

Very High

Strong evidence (established theory, multiple sources, consistent results, well documented and accepted methods, etc.), high consensus

High

Moderate evidence (several sources, some consistency, methods vary and/or documentation limited, etc.), medium consensus

Medium

Suggestive evidence (a few sources, limited consistency, models incomplete, methods emerging, etc.), competing schools of thought

Low

Inconclusive evidence (limited sources, extrapolations, inconsistent findings, poor documentation and/or methods not tested, etc.), disagreement or lack of opinions among experts

Rising Ocean Temperatures

Cores from corals, ocean sediments, ice records, and other indirect temperature measurements indicate the recent rapid increase of ocean temperature is the greatest that has occurred in at least the past millennium and can only be reproduced by climate models with the inclusion of human-caused sources of heat-trapping gas emissions.2,3,4,20 The ocean is a critical reservoir for heat within Earth’s climate system, and because of seawater’s large heat storing capacity, small changes in ocean temperature reflect large changes in ocean heat storage. Direct measurements of ocean temperatures show warming beginning in about 1970 down to at least 2,300 feet, with stronger warming near the surface leading to increased thermal stratification (or layering) of the water column.5,6 Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic and Pacific, including near U.S. coasts, have also increased since 1900.21,15 In conjunction with a warming climate, the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has decreased rapidly over the past four decades.7,8,22 Models that best match historical trends project seasonally ice-free northern waters by the 2030s.23,24,25

Figure 24.1: Observed Ocean Warming Observed Ocean Warming Details/Download

Climate-driven warming reduces vertical mixing of ocean water that brings nutrients up from deeper water, leading to potential impacts on biological productivity. Warming and altered ocean circulation are also expected to reduce the supply of oxygen to deeper waters, leading to future expansion of sub-surface low-oxygen zones.26,27 Both reduced nutrients at the surface and reduced oxygen at depth have the potential to change ocean productivity.9 Satellite observations indicate that warming of the upper ocean on year-to-year timescales leads to reductions in the biological productivity of tropical and subtropical (the region just outside the tropics) oceans and expansion of the area of surface waters with very low quantities of phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants) biomass.28,29 Ecosystem models suggest that the same patterns of productivity change will occur over the next century as a consequence of warming during this century, perhaps also with increasing productivity near the poles.30,31 These changes can affect ecosystems at multiple levels of the food web, with consequent changes for fisheries and other important human activities that depend on ocean productivity.19,32

Other changes in the physical and chemical properties of the ocean are also underway due to climate change. These include rising sea level,17 changes in upper ocean salinity (including reduced salinity of Arctic surface waters) resulting from altered inputs of freshwater and losses from evaporation, changes in wave height from changes in wind speed, and changes in oxygen content at various depths – changes that will affect marine ecosystems and human uses of the ocean in the coming years.19

Figure 24.2: Ocean Impacts of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Ocean Impacts of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Details/Download

While the long-term global pattern is clear, there is considerable variability in the effects of climate change regionally and locally because oceanographic conditions are not uniform and are strongly influenced by natural climate fluctuations. Trends during short periods of a decade or so can be dominated by natural variability.33 For example, the high incidence of La Niña events in the last 15 years has played a role in the observed temperature trends.34 Analyses35 suggest that more of the increase in heat energy during this period has been transferred to the deep ocean (see also Ch. 2: Our Changing Climate). While this might temporarily slow the rate of increase in surface air temperature, ultimately it will prolong the effects of global warming because the oceans hold heat for longer than the atmosphere does.

Interactions with processes in the atmosphere and on land, such as rainfall patterns and runoff, also vary by region and are strongly influenced by natural climate fluctuations, resulting in additional local variation in the observed effects in the ocean. Marine ecosystems are also affected by other human-caused local and regional disturbances such as overfishing, coastal habitat loss, and pollution, and climate change impacts may exacerbate the effects of these other human factors.

Key Message 2: Ocean Acidification Alters Marine Ecosystems

The ocean currently absorbs about a quarter of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, leading to ocean acidification that will alter marine ecosystems in dramatic yet uncertain ways.

Supporting Evidence
close

Supporting Evidence

Process for Developing Key Messages

A central component of the assessment process was the Oceans and Marine Resources Climate assessment workshop that was held January 23-24, 2012, at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD, and simultaneously, via web teleconference, at NOAA in Seattle, WA. In the workshop, nearly 30 participants took part in a series of scoping presentations and breakout sessions that began the process leading to a foundational Technical Input Report (TIR) entitled “Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.”1 The report, consisting of nearly 220 pages of text organized into 7 sections with numerous subsections and more than 1200 references, was assembled by 122 authors representing governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, and other entities.

The chapter author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via teleconferences that permitted a careful review of the foundational TIR1 and of approximately 25 additional technical inputs provided by the public, as well as the other published literature, and professional judgment. The chapter author team met at Conservation International in Arlington, VA on 3-4 May 2012 for expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors, wherein each message was defended before the entire author team before the key message was selected for inclusion in the report. These discussions were supported by targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each message to help define “key vulnerabilities.”

Description of evidence base

The key message is supported by extensive evidence documented in the Oceans Technical Input Report1 and additional technical inputs received as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input, as well as stakeholder engagement leading up to drafting the chapter.

Numerous references provide evidence for the increasing acidity (lower pH) of oceans around the world (Ch. 2: Our Changing Climate, Key Message 12).36,37

There is a rapid growth in peer-reviewed publications describing how ocean acidification will impact ecosystems,38,39 but to date evidence is largely based on studies of calcification rather than growth, reproduction, and survival of organisms. For these latter effects, available evidence is from laboratory studies in low pH conditions, rather than in situ observations.40,41

New information and remaining uncertainties

The interplay of environmental stressors may result in “surprises” where the synergistic impacts may be more deleterious or more beneficial than expected. Such synergistic effects create complexities in predicting the outcome of the interplay of stressors on marine ecosystems. Many, but not all, calcifying species are affected by increased acidity in laboratory studies. How those responses will cascade through ecosystems and food webs is still uncertain. Although studies are underway to expand understanding of ocean acidification on all aspects of organismal physiology, much remains to be learned.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence

Confidence is very high that carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere are causing ocean acidification, and high that this will alter marine ecosystems. The nature of those alterations is unclear, however, and predictions of most specific ecosystem changes have low confidence at present, but with medium confidence for coral reefs.

Confidence Level

Very High

Strong evidence (established theory, multiple sources, consistent results, well documented and accepted methods, etc.), high consensus

High

Moderate evidence (several sources, some consistency, methods vary and/or documentation limited, etc.), medium consensus

Medium

Suggestive evidence (a few sources, limited consistency, models incomplete, methods emerging, etc.), competing schools of thought

Low

Inconclusive evidence (limited sources, extrapolations, inconsistent findings, poor documentation and/or methods not tested, etc.), disagreement or lack of opinions among experts

Ocean Acidification Alters Marine Ecosystems

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has risen by about 40% above pre-industrial levels.13,44 The ocean absorbs about a quarter of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide annually, thereby changing seawater chemistry and decreasing pH (making seawater more acidic) (Ch. 2: Our Changing Climate, Key Message 12).36,45 Surface ocean pH has declined by 0.1 units, equivalent to a 30% increase in ocean acidity, since pre-industrial times.46 Ocean acidification will continue in the future due to the interaction of atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean water. Regional differences in ocean pH occur as a result of variability in regional or local conditions, such as upwelling that brings subsurface waters up to the surface.37 Locally, coastal waters and estuaries can also exhibit acidification as the result of pollution and excess nutrient inputs.

Shells Dissolve in Acidified Ocean Water

Shells Dissolve in Acidified Ocean Water

Pteropods, or “sea butterflies,” are eaten by a variety of marine species ranging from tiny krill to salmon to whales. The photos show what happens to a pteropod’s shell in seawater that is too acidic. On the left is a shell from a live pteropod from a region in the Southern Ocean where acidity is not too high.42 The shell on the right is from a pteropod in a region where the water is more acidic.

Details/Download

More acidic waters create repercussions along the marine food chain. For example, calcium carbonate is a skeletal component of a wide variety of organisms in the oceans, including corals. The chemical changes caused by the uptake of CO2 make it more difficult for these living things to form and maintain calcium carbonate shells and skeletal components and increases erosion of coral reefs,47,48 resulting in alterations in marine ecosystems that will become more severe as present-day trends in acidification continue or accelerate (Ch. 22: Alaska; Ch. 23: Hawai‘i and Pacific Islands).38,39,40,41 Tropical corals are particularly susceptible to the combination of ocean acidification and ocean warming, which would threaten the rich and biologically diverse coral reef habitats.

Figure 24.3: Ocean Acidification Reduces Size of Clams Ocean Acidification Reduces Size of Clams Details/Download

Over 90% of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, and more than half of the imported seafood comes from aquaculture (fish and shellfish farming).49 While only 1% of U.S. seafood comes from domestic shellfish farming, the industry is locally important. In addition, shellfish have historically been an important cultural and food resource for indigenous peoples along our coasts (Ch. 12: Indigenous Peoples, Key Message 1). Increased ocean acidification, low-oxygen events, and rising temperatures are already affecting shellfish aquaculture operations. Higher temperatures are predicted to increase aquaculture potential in poleward regions, but decrease it in the tropics.50 Acidification, however, will likely reduce growth and survival of shellfish stocks in all regions.39

The Impacts of Ocean Acidification on West Coast Aquaculture

Ocean acidification has already changed the way shellfish farmers on the West Coast conduct business. For oyster growers, the practical effect of the lowering pH of ocean water has not only been to make the water more acidic, but also more corrosive to young shellfish raised in aquaculture facilities. Growers at Whiskey Creek Hatchery, in Oregon’s Netarts Bay, found that low pH seawater during spawning reduced growth in mid-stage larval (juvenile) Pacific oysters.51 Hatcheries in Washington State have also experienced losses of spat (oyster larvae that have attached to a surface and begun to develop a shell) due to water quality issues that include other human-caused effects like dredging and pollution.52 Facilities like the Taylor Shellfish Farms hatchery on Hood Canal have changed their production techniques to respond to increasing acidification in Puget Sound.

These impacts bring to light a potential challenge: existing natural variation may interact with human-caused changes to produce unanticipated results for shell-forming marine life, especially in coastal regions.53 As a result, there is an increasing need for information about water chemistry conditions, such as data obtained through the use of sensor networks. In the case of Whiskey Creek, instruments installed in collaboration with ocean scientists created an “early warning” system that allows oyster growers to choose the time they take water into the hatchery from the coastal ocean. This allows them to avoid the lower-pH water related to upwelling and the commensurate loss of productivity in the hatchery.

From a biological perspective, these kinds of preventative measures can help produce higher-quality oysters. Studies on native Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida) show that there is a “carry-over” effect of acidified water – oysters exposed to acidic conditions while in the juvenile stage continue to grow slower in later life stages.54 Research on some oyster species such as Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), the commercially important species in U.S. west coast aquaculture, shows that specially selected strains can be more resistant to acidification.55

Overall, economically important species such as oysters, mussels, and sea urchins are highly vulnerable to changes in ocean conditions brought on by climate change and rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Sea temperature and acidification are expected to increase; the acidity of surface seawater is projected to nearly double by the end of this century. Some important cultured species may be influenced in larval and juvenile developing stages, during fertilization, and as adults,56 resulting in lower productivity. Action groups, such as the California Current Acidification Network (C-CAN), are working to address the needs of the shellfish industry – both wild and aquaculture-based fisheries – in the face of ocean change. These efforts bring scientists from across disciplines together with aquaculturists, fishermen, the oceanographic community, and state and federal decision-makers to ensure a concerted, standardized, and cost-effective approach to gaining new understanding of the impact of acidification on ecosystems and the economy.57

Key Message 3: Habitat Loss Affects Marine Life

Significant habitat loss will continue to occur due to climate change for many species and areas, including Arctic and coral reef ecosystems, while habitat in other areas and for other species will expand. These changes will consequently alter the distribution, abundance, and productivity of many marine species.

Supporting Evidence
close

Supporting Evidence

Process for Developing Key Messages

A central component of the assessment process was the Oceans and Marine Resources Climate assessment workshop that was held January 23-24, 2012, at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD, and simultaneously, via web teleconference, at NOAA in Seattle, WA. In the workshop, nearly 30 participants took part in a series of scoping presentations and breakout sessions that began the process leading to a foundational Technical Input Report (TIR) entitled “Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.”1 The report, consisting of nearly 220 pages of text organized into 7 sections with numerous subsections and more than 1200 references, was assembled by 122 authors representing governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, and other entities.

The chapter author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via teleconferences that permitted a careful review of the foundational TIR1 and of approximately 25 additional technical inputs provided by the public, as well as the other published literature, and professional judgment. The chapter author team met at Conservation International in Arlington, VA on 3-4 May 2012 for expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors, wherein each message was defended before the entire author team before the key message was selected for inclusion in the report. These discussions were supported by targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each message to help define “key vulnerabilities.”

Description of evidence base

 

The key message is supported by extensive evidence documented in the Oceans Technical Input Report1 and additional technical inputs received as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input, as well as stakeholder engagement leading up to drafting the chapter.

Many peer-reviewed publications58,59,60,61 describe threats to coral reefs induced by global change.

There are also many relevant and recent peer-reviewed publications62,63,64,65,66,67 that discuss impacts on marine species and resources of habitat change that is induced by climate change.

New information and remaining uncertainties

Regional and local variation is, again, a major component of the remaining uncertainties. Different areas, habitats, and species are responding differently and have very different adaptive capacities. Those species that are motile will certainly respond differently, or at least at a different rate, by changing distribution and migration patterns, compared to species that do not move, such as corals.

Although it is clear that some fish stocks are moving poleward and to deeper water, how far they will move and whether most species will move remains unclear. A key uncertainty is the extent to which various areas will benefit from range expansions of valuable species or increases in productivity, while other areas will suffer as species move away from previously productive areas. The loss of critically important habitat due to climate change will result in changes in species interactions that are difficult to predict.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence

There is very high confidence that habitat and ecosystems are changing due to climate change, but that change is not unidirectional by any means. Distribution, abundance, and productivity changes are species and location dependent and may be increasing or decreasing in a complex pattern.

Confidence Level

Very High

Strong evidence (established theory, multiple sources, consistent results, well documented and accepted methods, etc.), high consensus

High

Moderate evidence (several sources, some consistency, methods vary and/or documentation limited, etc.), medium consensus

Medium

Suggestive evidence (a few sources, limited consistency, models incomplete, methods emerging, etc.), competing schools of thought

Low

Inconclusive evidence (limited sources, extrapolations, inconsistent findings, poor documentation and/or methods not tested, etc.), disagreement or lack of opinions among experts

Habitat Loss Affects Marine Life

Species have responded to climate change in part by shifting where they live.68,69 Such range shifts result in ecosystem changes, including the relationships between species and their connection to habitat, because different species respond to changing conditions in different ways. This means that ocean ecosystems are changing in complex ways, with accompanying changes in ecosystem functions (such as nutrient cycling, productivity of species, and predator-prey relationships). Overall habitat extent is expected to change as well, though the degree of range migration will depend upon the life history of particular species. For example, reductions in seasonal sea-ice cover and higher surface temperatures may open up new habitats in polar regions for some important fish species, such as cod, herring, and pollock.70 However, the continuing presence of cold bottom-water temperatures on the Alaskan Continental shelf could limit northward migration into the northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea.71 In addition, warming may cause reductions in the abundance of some species, such as pollock, in their current ranges in the Bering Sea.72 For other ice-dependent species, including several marine mammals such as polar bears, walruses, and many seal species, the loss of their critically important habitat will result in population declines.73,74 Additionally, climate extremes can facilitate biological invasions by a variety of mechanisms such as increased movement or transport of invasive species, and decreased resilience of native species, so that climate change could increase existing impacts from human transport.75 These changes will result in changing interactions among species with consequences that are difficult to predict. Tropical species and ecosystems may encounter similar difficulties in migrating poleward as success of some key species such as corals may be limited by adequate bottom substrate, water clarity, and light availability.76

Climate change impacts such as increasing ocean temperatures can profoundly affect production of natural stocks of fish by changing growth, reproduction, survival, and other critical characteristics of fish stocks and ecosystems. For species that migrate to freshwater from the sea, like salmon, some published studies indicate earlier start of spawning migration, warming stream temperatures, and extirpation in southern extent of range, all of which can affect productivity.19,77,78 To remain within their normal temperature range, some fish stocks are moving poleward and to deeper water.62,63,64,65,66 Fishery productivity is predicted to decline in the lower 48 states, but increase in parts of Alaska.79 However, projections based only on temperature may neglect important food web effects. Fishing costs are predicted to increase as fisheries transition to new species and as processing plants and fishing jobs shift poleward.32 The cumulative impact of such changes will be highly variable on regional scales because of the combination of factors – some acting in opposite directions. Some areas will benefit from range expansions of valuable species or increases in productivity, while others will suffer as species move away from previously productive areas.

Coral Reef Ecosystem Collapse

Recent research indicates that 75% of the world’s coral reefs are threatened due to the interactive effects of climate change and local sources of stress, such as overfishing, nutrient pollution, and disease.58,59,80,60,81 In Florida, all reefs are rated as threatened, with significant impacts on valuable ecosystem services they provide.82 Caribbean coral cover has decreased 80% in less than three decades.83 These declines have in turn led to a flattening of the three dimensional structure of coral reefs and hence a decrease in the capacity of coral reefs to provide shelter and other resources for other reef-dependent ocean life.84

Figure 24.4: Warming Seas Are a Double-blow to Corals

Warming Seas Are a Double-blow to Corals

Drag the slider to view time series effect

Figure 24.4: A colony of star coral (Montastraea faveolata) off the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico (estimated to be about 500 years old) exemplifies the effect of rising water temperatures. Increasing disease due to warming waters killed the central portion of the colony (yellow portion in A), followed by such high temperatures that bleaching - or loss of symbiotic algae from coral - occurred from the surrounding tissue (white area in B). The coral then experienced more disease in the bleached area on the periphery (C) that ultimately killed the colony (D). (Photo credit: Ernesto Weil).

Details/Download

The relationship between coral and zooxanthellae (algae vital for reef-building corals) is disrupted by higher than usual temperatures and results in a condition where the coral is still alive, but devoid of all its color (bleaching). Bleached corals can later die or become infected with disease.85,86 Thus, high temperature events alone can kill large stretches of coral reef, although cold water and poor water quality can also cause localized bleaching and death. Evidence suggests that relatively pristine reefs, with fewer human impacts and with intact fish and associated invertebrate communities, are more resilient to coral bleaching and disease.87

Key Message 4: Rising Temperatures Linked to Diseases

Rising sea surface temperatures have been linked with increasing levels and ranges of diseases in humans and in marine life, including corals, abalones, oysters, fishes, and marine mammals.

Supporting Evidence
close

Supporting Evidence

Process for Developing Key Messages

A central component of the assessment process was the Oceans and Marine Resources Climate assessment workshop that was held January 23-24, 2012, at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD, and simultaneously, via web teleconference, at NOAA in Seattle, WA. In the workshop, nearly 30 participants took part in a series of scoping presentations and breakout sessions that began the process leading to a foundational Technical Input Report (TIR) entitled “Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.”1 The report, consisting of nearly 220 pages of text organized into 7 sections with numerous subsections and more than 1200 references, was assembled by 122 authors representing governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, and other entities.

The chapter author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via teleconferences that permitted a careful review of the foundational TIR1 and of approximately 25 additional technical inputs provided by the public, as well as the other published literature, and professional judgment. The chapter author team met at Conservation International in Arlington, VA on 3-4 May 2012 for expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors, wherein each message was defended before the entire author team before the key message was selected for inclusion in the report. These discussions were supported by targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each message to help define “key vulnerabilities.”

Description of evidence base

 

The key message is supported by extensive evidence in the Oceans Technical Input Report1 and additional technical inputs received as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input, as well as stakeholder engagement leading up to drafting the chapter.

As noted in the chapter, the references document increased levels and ranges of disease coincident with rising temperatures.88,89,90,91,92,93

New information and remaining uncertainties

The interactions among host, environment, and pathogen are complex, which makes it challenging to separate warming due to climate change from other causes of disease outbreaks in the ocean.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence

There is high confidence that disease outbreaks and levels are increasing, and that this increase is linked to increasing temperatures. Again, there is substantial local to regional variation but the overall pattern seems consistent.

Confidence Level

Very High

Strong evidence (established theory, multiple sources, consistent results, well documented and accepted methods, etc.), high consensus

High

Moderate evidence (several sources, some consistency, methods vary and/or documentation limited, etc.), medium consensus

Medium

Suggestive evidence (a few sources, limited consistency, models incomplete, methods emerging, etc.), competing schools of thought

Low

Inconclusive evidence (limited sources, extrapolations, inconsistent findings, poor documentation and/or methods not tested, etc.), disagreement or lack of opinions among experts

Rising Temperatures Linked to Diseases

There has been a significant increase in reported incidences of disease in corals, urchins, mollusks, marine mammals, turtles, and echinoderms (a group of some 70,000 marine species including sea stars, sea urchins, and sand dollars) over the last several decades.88,89,90,91,92,93 Increasing disease outbreaks in the ocean affecting ecologically important species, which provide critically important habitat for other species such as corals,89,94,95 algae,96 and eelgrass,61 have been linked with rising temperatures. Disease increases mortality and can reduce abundance for affected populations as well as fundamentally change ecosystems by changing habitat or species relationships. For example, loss of eelgrass beds due to disease can reduce critical nursery habitat for several species of commercially important fish.61,97

The complexity of the host/environment/pathogen interaction makes it challenging to separate climate warming from the myriad of other causes facilitating increased disease outbreaks in the ocean. However, three categories of disease-causing pathogens are unequivocally related to warming oceans. Firstly, warmer winters due to climate change can increase the overwinter survival and growth rates of pathogens.91 A disease-causing parasite in oysters that proliferates at high water temperatures and high salinities spread northward up the eastern seaboard as water temperatures warmed during the 1990s.98,99 Growth rates of coral disease lesions increased with winter and summer warming from 1996 to 2006.86 Winter warming in the Arctic is resulting in increased incidence of a salmon disease in the Bering Sea and is now thought to be a cause of a 57% decline of Yukon Chinook salmon.100

Secondly, increasing disease outbreaks in ecologically important species like coral, eelgrass, and abalone have been linked with temperatures that are higher than the long-term averages. The spectacular biodiversity of tropical coral reefs is particularly vulnerable to warming because the corals that form the foundational reef structure live very near the upper temperature limit at which they thrive. The increasing frequency of record hot temperatures has caused widespread coral bleaching90 and disease outbreaks89 and is a principal factor contributing to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature listing a third of the reef-building corals as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered 101 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposing to list 66 species of corals under the Endangered Species Act.102,103 In the Chesapeake Bay, eelgrass died out almost completely during the record-hot summers of 2005 and 2010,104,105 and the California black abalone has been driven to the edge of extinction by a combination of warming water and bacterial disease.106,107

Thirdly, there is evidence that increased water temperature is responsible for the enhanced survival and growth of certain marine bacteria that make humans sick.106,107 Increases in growth of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (a pathogenic bacterial species) during the warm season are responsible for human illnesses associated with oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico108 and northern Europe.109 Vibrio vulnificus, which is responsible for the overwhelming majority of reported seafood-related deaths in the United States,110 is also a significant and growing source of potentially fatal wound infections associated with recreational swimming, fishing-related cuts, and seafood handling, and is most frequently found in water with a temperature above 68°F.108,110,111,112

Key Message 5: Economic Impacts of Marine-related Climate Change

Climate changes that result in conditions substantially different from recent history may significantly increase costs to businesses as well as disrupt public access and enjoyment of ocean areas.

Supporting Evidence
close

Supporting Evidence

Process for Developing Key Messages

A central component of the assessment process was the Oceans and Marine Resources Climate assessment workshop that was held January 23-24, 2012, at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD, and simultaneously, via web teleconference, at NOAA in Seattle, WA. In the workshop, nearly 30 participants took part in a series of scoping presentations and breakout sessions that began the process leading to a foundational Technical Input Report (TIR) entitled “Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.”1 The report, consisting of nearly 220 pages of text organized into 7 sections with numerous subsections and more than 1200 references, was assembled by 122 authors representing governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, and other entities.

The chapter author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via teleconferences that permitted a careful review of the foundational TIR1 and of approximately 25 additional technical inputs provided by the public, as well as the other published literature, and professional judgment. The chapter author team met at Conservation International in Arlington, VA on 3-4 May 2012 for expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors, wherein each message was defended before the entire author team before the key message was selected for inclusion in the report. These discussions were supported by targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each message to help define “key vulnerabilities.”

Description of evidence base

The key message is supported by extensive evidence documented in the Oceans Technical Input Report1 and additional technical inputs received as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input, as well as stakeholder engagement leading up to drafting the chapter.

Many peer-reviewed publications describe the predicted impacts of climate change on tourism and recreation industries and their associated infrastructure.113,114,115

New information and remaining uncertainties

Given the complexity of transportation, resource use and extraction, and leisure and tourism activities, there are large uncertainties in impacts in specific locales or for individual activities. Some businesses and communities may be able to adapt rapidly, others less so. Infrastructure impacts of climate change will also be an important part of the ability of businesses, communities, and the public to adapt.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence

As with many other impacts of climate change, the evidence that change is occurring is very strong but the resultant impacts are still uncertain. For all of these human uses, and the associated costs and disruption, the evidence is suggestive and confidence medium on the effects of the ongoing changes in ocean conditions.

Confidence Level

Very High

Strong evidence (established theory, multiple sources, consistent results, well documented and accepted methods, etc.), high consensus

High

Moderate evidence (several sources, some consistency, methods vary and/or documentation limited, etc.), medium consensus

Medium

Suggestive evidence (a few sources, limited consistency, models incomplete, methods emerging, etc.), competing schools of thought

Low

Inconclusive evidence (limited sources, extrapolations, inconsistent findings, poor documentation and/or methods not tested, etc.), disagreement or lack of opinions among experts

Economic Impacts of Marine-related Climate Change

Altered environmental conditions due to climate change will affect, in both positive and negative ways, human uses of the ocean, including transportation, resource use and extraction, leisure and tourism activities and industries, in the nearshore and offshore areas. Climate change will also affect maritime security and governance. Arctic-related national security concerns and threats to national sovereignty have also been a recent focus of attention for some researchers.116,117,118,119 With sea ice receding in the Arctic as a result of rising temperatures, global shipping patterns are already changing and will continue to change considerably in the decades to come.119,120,121,122 The increase in maritime traffic could make disputes over the legal status of sea lines-of-communication and international straits more pointed, but mechanisms exist to resolve these disputes peacefully through the Law of the Sea Convention and other customary international laws.

Resource use for fisheries, aquaculture, energy production, and other activities in ocean areas will also need to adjust to changing ocean climate conditions. In addition to the shift in habitat of living resources discussed above, changing ocean and weather conditions due to human-induced climate change make any activities at sea more difficult to plan, design, and operate.

In the United States, the healthy natural services (such as fishing and recreation) and cultural resources provided by the ocean also play a large economic role in our tourism industry. Nationally in 2010, 2.8% of gross domestic product, 7.52 million jobs, and $1.11 trillion in travel and recreational total sales are supported by tourism.123 In 2009-2010, nine of the top ten states and U.S. territories and seven of the top ten cities visited by overseas travelers were coastal, including the Great Lakes. Changes in the location and distribution of marine resources (such as fish, healthy reefs, and marine mammals) due to climate change will affect the recreational industries and all the people that depend on reliable access to these resources in predictable locales. For example, as fish species shift poleward or to deeper waters,65,67 these fish may be less accessible to recreational fishermen. Similar issues will also affect commercial fishing.

Similarly, new weather conditions differing from the historical pattern will pose a challenge for tourism, boating, recreational fishing, diving, and snorkeling, all of which rely on highly predictable, comfortable water and air temperatures and calm waters. For example, the strength of hurricanes and the number of strong (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes are projected to increase over the North Atlantic (Ch. 2: Our Changing Climate). Changes in wind patterns124 and wave heights have been observed125,126 and are projected to continue to change in the future.127,128 This means that the public will not be able to rely on recent experience in planning leisure and tourism activities.113,114,115 As weather patterns change and air and sea surface temperatures rise, preferred locations for recreation and tourism also may change. In addition, infrastructure such as marinas, marine supply stores, boardwalks, hotels, and restaurants that support leisure activities and tourism will be negatively affected by sea level rise. They may also be affected by increased storm intensity and changing wave heights,114,115 as well as elevated storm surge due to sea level rise and other expected effects of a changing climate; these impacts will vary significantly by region.129

Key Message 6: Initiatives Serve as a Model

In response to observed and projected climate impacts, some existing ocean policies, practices, and management efforts are incorporating climate change impacts. These initiatives can serve as models for other efforts and ultimately enable people and communities to adapt to changing ocean conditions.

Supporting Evidence
close

Supporting Evidence

Process for Developing Key Messages

A central component of the assessment process was the Oceans and Marine Resources Climate assessment workshop that was held January 23-24, 2012, at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD, and simultaneously, via web teleconference, at NOAA in Seattle, WA. In the workshop, nearly 30 participants took part in a series of scoping presentations and breakout sessions that began the process leading to a foundational Technical Input Report (TIR) entitled “Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.”1 The report, consisting of nearly 220 pages of text organized into 7 sections with numerous subsections and more than 1200 references, was assembled by 122 authors representing governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, and other entities.

The chapter author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via teleconferences that permitted a careful review of the foundational TIR1 and of approximately 25 additional technical inputs provided by the public, as well as the other published literature, and professional judgment. The chapter author team met at Conservation International in Arlington, VA on 3-4 May 2012 for expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors, wherein each message was defended before the entire author team before the key message was selected for inclusion in the report. These discussions were supported by targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each message to help define “key vulnerabilities.”

Description of evidence base

The key message is supported by extensive evidence documented in the Oceans Technical Input Report1 and additional technical inputs reports received as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input, as well as stakeholder engagement leading up to drafting the chapter.

Scenarios suggest that adjustments to fish harvest regimes can improve catch stability under increased climate variability. These actions could have a greater effect on biological and economic performance in fisheries than impacts due to warming over the next 25 years.130,131,132

New information and remaining uncertainties

Efforts are underway to enhance the development and deployment of science in support of adaptation, to improve understanding and awareness of climate-related risks, and to enhance analytic capacity to translate understanding into planning and management activities. While critical knowledge gaps exist, there is a wealth of climate- and ocean-related science pertinent to adaptation.1

Assessment of confidence based on evidence

 

There is high confidence that adaptation planning will help mitigate the impacts of changing ocean conditions. But there is much work to be done to craft local solutions to the set of emerging issues in ocean and coastal areas.

Confidence Level

Very High

Strong evidence (established theory, multiple sources, consistent results, well documented and accepted methods, etc.), high consensus

High

Moderate evidence (several sources, some consistency, methods vary and/or documentation limited, etc.), medium consensus

Medium

Suggestive evidence (a few sources, limited consistency, models incomplete, methods emerging, etc.), competing schools of thought

Low

Inconclusive evidence (limited sources, extrapolations, inconsistent findings, poor documentation and/or methods not tested, etc.), disagreement or lack of opinions among experts

Initiatives Serve as a Model

Climate considerations can be integrated into planning, restoration, design of marine protected areas, fisheries management, and aquaculture practices to enhance ocean resilience and adaptive capacity. Many existing sustainable-use strategies, such as ending overfishing, establishing protected areas, and conserving habitat, are known to increase resilience. Analyses of fishery management and climate scenarios suggest that adjustments to harvest regimes (especially reducing harvest rates of over-exploited species) can improve catch stability under changing climate conditions. These actions could have a greater effect on biological and economic performance in fisheries than impacts due to warming over the next 25 years.130,131,132 The stability of international ocean and fisheries treaties, particularly those covering commercially exploited and critical species, might be threatened as the ocean changes.134

The fact that the climate is changing is beginning to be incorporated into existing management strategies. New five-year strategies for addressing flooding, shoreline erosion, and coastal storms have been developed by most coastal states under their Coastal Zone Management Act programs.36 Many of these plans are explicitly taking into account future climate scenarios as part of their adaptation initiatives. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA have declared a moratorium on most commercial fisheries in the U.S. Arctic pending sufficient understanding of the changing productivity of these fishing grounds as they become increasingly ice-free. Private shellfish aquaculture operations are changing their business plans to adapt to ocean acidification.51,52 These changes include monitoring and altering the timing of spat settlement dependent on climate change induced conditions, as well as seeking alternative, acid-resistant strains for culturing. Marine protected areas in the National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) System are gradually preparing climate impact reports and climate adaptation action plans under their Climate Smart Sanctuary Initiative.135

Additionally, there is promise in restoring key habitats to provide a broad suite of benefits that can reduce climate impacts with relatively little ongoing maintenance costs (see Ch. 25: Coasts; Ch. 28: Adaptation). For example, if in addition to sea level rise, an oyster reef or mangrove restoration strategy also included fish habitat benefits for commercial and recreational uses and coastal protection services, the benefits to surrounding communities could multiply quickly. Coral-reef-based tourism can be more resilient to climate change impacts through protection and restoration, as well as reductions of pollution and other habitat-destroying activities. Developing alternative livelihood options as part of adaptation strategies for marine food-producing sectors can help reduce economic and social impacts of a changing climate.

Climate Impacts on New England Fisheries

fish iStock.com/©mayo5

Fishing in New England has been associated with bottom-dwelling fish for more than 400 years, and is a central part of the region’s cultural identity and social fabric. Atlantic halibut, cod, haddock, flounders, hakes, pollock, plaice, and soles are included under the term “groundfish.” The fishery is pursued by both small boats (less than 50 feet long) that are typically at sea for less than a day, and by large boats (longer than 50 feet) that fish for a day to a week at a time. These vessels use home ports in more than 100 coastal communities from Maine to New Jersey, and the landed value from fisheries in New England and the Mid-Atlantic in 2010 was nearly $1.2 billion.103 Captains and crew are often second- or third-generation fishermen who have learned the trade from their families.

Figure 24.5: Fisheries Shifting North Fisheries Shifting North Details/Download

From 1982 to 2006, sea surface temperature in the coastal waters of the Northeast warmed by close to twice the global rate of warming over this period.136 Long-term monitoring of bottom-dwelling fish communities in New England revealed that the abundance of warm-water species increased, while cool-water species decreased.65,137 A recent study suggests that many species in this community have shifted their geographic distributions northward by up to 200 miles since 1968, though substantial variability among species also exists.65 The northward shifts of these species are reflected in the fishery as well: landings and landed value of these species have shifted towards northern states such as Massachusetts and Maine, while southern states have seen declines (see Figure 24.5).

The economic and social impacts of these changes depend in large part on the response of the fishing communities in the region.138 Communities have a range of strategies for coping with the inherent uncertainty and variability of fishing, including diversification among species and livelihoods, but climate change imposes both increased variability and sustained change that may push these fishermen beyond their ability to cope.139 Larger fishing boats can follow the fish to a certain extent as they shift northward, while smaller inshore boats will be more likely to leave fishing or switch to new species.139 Long-term viability of fisheries in the region may ultimately depend on a transition to new species that have shifted from regions farther south.32

References

  1. Altstatt, J. M., R. F. Ambrose, J. M. Engle, P. L. Haaker, K. D. Lafferty, and P. T. Raimondi, 1996: Recent declines of black abalone Haliotis cracherodii on the mainland coast of central California. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 142, 185-192, doi:10.3554/meps142185. URL

  2. Alvarez-Filip, L., N. K. Dulvy, J. A. Gill, I. M. Côté, and A. R. Watkinson, 2009: Flattening of Caribbean coral reefs: Region-wide declines in architectural complexity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276, 3019-3025, doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0339. URL

  3. Baker-Austin, C., J. A. Trinanes, N. G. H. Taylor, R. Hartnell, A. Siitonen, and J. Martinez-Urtaza, 2012: Emerging Vibrio risk at high latitudes in response to ocean warming. Nature Climate Change, 3, 73-77, doi:10.1038/nclimate1628.

  4. Balmaseda, M. A., K. E. Trenberth, and E. Källén, 2013: Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 1754-1759, doi:10.1002/grl.50382. URL

  5. Barton, A., B. Hales, G. G. Waldbusser, C. Langdon, and R. A. Feely, 2012: The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, shows negative correlation to naturally elevated carbon dioxide levels: Implications for near-term ocean acidification effects. Limnology and Oceanography, 57, 698-710, doi:10.4319/lo.2012.57.3.0698.

  6. Bates, A. E., W. B. Stickle, and C. D. G. Harley, 2010: Impact of temperature on an emerging parasitic association between a sperm-feeding scuticociliate and Northeast Pacific sea stars. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 384, 44-50, doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2009.12.001.

  7. Bednaršek, N., G. A. Tarling, D. C. E. Bakker, S. Fielding, E. M. Jones, H. J. Venables, P. Ward, A. Kuzirian, B. Lézé, R. A. Feely, and E. J. Murphy, 2012: Extensive dissolution of live pteropods in the Southern Ocean. Nature Geoscience, 5, 881-885, doi:10.1038/ngeo1635.

  8. Behrenfeld, M. J., R. T. O’Malley, D. A. Siegel, C. R. McClain, J. L. Sarmiento, G. C. Feldman, A. J. Milligan, P. G. Falkowski, R. M. Letelier, and E. S. Boss, 2006: Climate-driven trends in contemporary ocean productivity. Nature, 444, 752-755, doi:10.1038/nature05317.

  9. Belkin, I. M., 2009: Rapid warming of large marine ecosystems. Progress in Oceanography, 81, 207-213, doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2009.04.011.

  10. Berkman, P. A., and O. R. Young, 2009: Governance and environmental change in the Arctic Ocean. Science, 324, 339-340, doi:10.1126/science.1173200.

  11. Bjork, M., F. Short, E. McLeod, and S. Beer, 2008: Managing Seagrasses for Resilience to Climate Change. World Conservation Union.

  12. Borgerson, S. G., 2008: Arctic meltdown: The economic and security implications of global warming. Foreign Affairs.

  13. Boyce, D. G., M. R. Lewis, and B. Worm, 2010: Global phytoplankton decline over the past century. Nature, 466, 591-596, doi:10.1038/nature09268. URL

  14. Boyett, H. V., D. G. Bourne, and B. L. Willis, 2007: Elevated temperature and light enhance progression and spread of black band disease on staghorn corals of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology, 151, 1711-1720, doi:10.1007/200227-006-0603-y.

  15. Brainard, R. E., C. Birkeland, M. C. Eakin, P. McElhany, M. W. Miller, M. Patterson, and G. A. Piniak, 2011: Status Review Report of 82 Candidate Coral Species Petitioned Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS‐PIFSC‐27. 530 pp., U.S. Department of Commerce .

  16. Bruno, J. F., E. R. Selig, K. S. Casey, C. A. Page, B. L. Willis, C. D. Harvell, H. Sweatman, and A. M. Melendy, 2007: Thermal stress and coral cover as drivers of coral disease outbreaks. PLoS Biology, 5, e124, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050124.

  17. Burke, L., L. Reytar, M. Spalding, and A. Perry, 2011: Reefs at Risk Revisited. World Resources Institute, 130 pp. URL

  18. Byrne, M., 2011: Impact of ocean warming and ocean acidification on marine invertebrate life history stages: Vulnerabilities and potential for persistence in a changing ocean. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, R.N. Gibson, R.J.A. Atkinson, J.D.M. Gordon, I.P. Smith, and D.J. Hughes, Eds., CRC Press, 1-42.

  19. Campbell, K. M., J. Gulledge, J. R. McNeill, J. Podesta, P. Ogden, L. Fuerth, R. J. Woolsey, A. T. J. Lennon, J. Smith, R. Weitz, and D. Mix, 2007: The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change. 119 pp., Center for a New American Security and Center for Strategic & International Studies, Washington, D.C. URL

  20. Carpenter, K. E. et al., 2008: One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts. Science, 321, 560-563, doi:10.1126/science.1159196.

  21. Case, R. J., S. R. Longford, A. H. Campbell, A. Low, N. Tujula, P. D. Steinberg, and S. Kjelleberg, 2011: Temperature induced bacterial virulence and bleaching disease in a chemically defended marine macroalga. Environmental Microbiology, 13, 529-537, doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.02356.x.

  22. Chavez, F. P., M. Messié, and J. T. Pennington, 2011: Marine primary production in relation to climate variability and change. Annual Review of Marine Science, 3, 227-260, doi:10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163917.

  23. Chen, I. - C., J. K. Hill, R. Ohlemüller, D. B. Roy, and C. D. Thomas, 2011: Rapid range shifts of species associated with high levels of climate warming. Science, 333, 1024-1026, doi:10.1126/science.1206432. URL

  24. Cheung, W. W. L., J. Dunne, J. L. Sarmiento, and D. Pauly, 2011: Integrating ecophysiology and plankton dynamics into projected maximum fisheries catch potential under climate change in the Northeast Atlantic. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68, 1008-1018, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsr012.

  25. Cheung, W. W. L., V. W. Y. Lam, J. L. Sarmiento, K. Kearney, R. Watson, D. Zeller, and D. Pauly, 2009: Large-scale redistribution of maximum fisheries catch potential in the global ocean under climate change. Global Change Biology, 16, 24-35, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01995.x.

  26. Church, J. A., and N. J. White, 2011: Sea-level rise from the late 19th to the early 21st century. Surveys in Geophysics, 32, 585-602, doi:10.1007/s10712-011-9119-1.

  27. Collie, J. S., A. D. Wood, and H. P. Jeffries, 2008: Long-term shifts in the species composition of a coastal fish community. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 65, 1352-1365, doi:10.1139/F08-048. URL

  28. Comiso, J. C., 2012: Large decadal decline of the Arctic multiyear ice cover. Journal of Climate, 25, 1176-1193, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00113.1.

  29. Cook, T., M. Folli, J. Klinck, S. Ford, and J. Miller, 1998: The relationship between increasing sea-surface temperature and the northward spread of Perkinsus marinus (Dermo) disease epizootics in oysters. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 46, 587-597, doi:10.1006/ecss.1997.0283.

  30. Cooley, S. R., H. L. Kite-Powell, L. Hauke, and S. C. Doney, 2009: Ocean acidification’s potential to alter global marine ecosystem services. Oceanography, 22, 172-181, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2009.106.

  31. Coulthard, S., 2009: Ch. 16: Adaptation and conflict within fisheries: Insights for living with climate change. Adapting to Climate Change. Thresholds, Values, Governance, W.N. Adger, I. Lorenzoni, and K.L. O'Brien, Eds., Cambridge University Press, 255-268.

  32. Cressey, D., 2007: Arctic melt opens Northwest passage. Nature News, 449, 267-267, doi:10.1038/449267b.

  33. CSIRO, 2012: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. URL

  34. De Silva, S. S., and D. Soto, 2009: Climate change and aquaculture: Potential impacts, adaptation and mitigation. Climate Change Implications for Fisheries and Aquaculture: Overview of Current Scientific Knowledge. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. No. 530, K. Cochran, C. De Young, D. Soto, and T. Bahri, Eds., Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 151-212. URL

  35. Deser, C., A. S. Phillips, and M. A. Alexander, 2010: Twentieth century tropical sea surface temperature trends revisited. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L10701, doi:10.1029/2010GL043321.

  36. Diez, J. M., C. M. D’Antonio, J. S. Dukes, E. D. Grosholz, J. D. Olden, C. J. B. Sorte, D. M. Blumenthal, B. A. Bradley, R. Early, I. Ibáñez, S. J. Jones, J. J. Lawler, and L. P. Miller, 2012: Will extreme climatic events facilitate biological invasions? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10, 249-257, doi:10.1890/110137.

  37. Dodet, G., X. Bertin, and R. Taborda, 2010: Wave climate variability in the North-East Atlantic Ocean over the last six decades. Ocean Modelling, 31, 120-131, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2009.10.010.

  38. Doney, S. C., W. M. Balch, V. J. Fabry, and R. A. Feely, 2009: Ocean acidification: A critical emerging problem for the ocean sciences. Oceanography, 22, 16-25, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2009.93. URL

  39. Doney, S. C., M. Ruckelshaus, J. E. Duffy, J. P. Barry, F. Chan, C. A. English, H. M. Galindo, J. M. Grebmeier, A. B. Hollowed, N. Knowlton, J. Polovina, N. N. Rabalais, W. J. Sydeman, and L. D. Talley, 2012: Climate change impacts on marine ecosystems. Annual Review of Marine Science, 4, 11-37, doi:10.1146/annurev-marine-041911-111611. URL

  40. Dudgeon, S. R., R. B. Aronson, J. F. Bruno, and W. F. Precht, 2010: Phase shifts and stable states on coral reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 413, 201-216, doi:10.3354/meps08751. URL

  41. Dulvy, N. K., S. I. Rogers, S. Jennings, V. Stelzenmüller, S. R. Dye, and H. R. Skjoldal, 2008: Climate change and deepening of the North Sea fish assemblage: A biotic indicator of warming seas. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 1029-1039, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01488.x.

  42. Eakin, C. M. et al., 2010: Caribbean corals in crisis: Record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005. PLoS ONE, 5, e13969, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013969. URL

  43. Eide, A., 2008: An integrated study of economic effects of and vulnerabilities to global warming on the Barents Sea cod fisheries. Climatic Change, 87, 251-262, doi:10.1007/s10584-007-9338-0.

  44. Etheridge, D.M., et al., 2010: Law Dome Ice Core 2000-Year CO2, CH4, and N2O Data.

  45. Feely, R. A., S. C. Doney, and S. R. Cooley, 2009: Ocean acidification: Present conditions and future changes in a high-CO2 world. Oceanography, 22, 36-47, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2009.95. URL

  46. Feely, R. A., C. L. Sabine, J. M. Hernandez-Ayon, D. Ianson, and B. Hales, 2008: Evidence for upwelling of corrosive “acidified” water onto the continental shelf. Science, 320, 1490-1492, doi:10.1126/science.1155676. URL

  47. Feely, R. A., S. R. Alin, J. Newton, C. L. Sabine, M. Warner, A. Devol, C. Krembs, and C. Maloy, 2010: The combined effects of ocean acidification, mixing, and respiration on pH and carbonate saturation in an urbanized estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 88, 442-449, doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2010.05.004.

  48. Ford, S. E., 1996: Range extension by the oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus into the northeastern United States: Response to climate change? Journal of Shellfish Research, 15, 45-56.

  49. Foster, G., and S. Rahmstorf, 2011: Global temperature evolution 1979-2010. Environmental Research Letters, 6, 044022, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022. URL

  50. Frieler, K., M. Meinshausen, A. Golly, M. Mengel, K. Lebek, S. D. Donner, and O. Hoegh-Guldberg, 2013: Limiting global warming to 2°C is unlikely to save most coral reefs. Nature Climate Change, 3, 165-170, doi:10.1038/nclimate1674.

  51. GAO, 2013: Climate Change: Various Adaptation Efforts Are Under Way at Key Natural Resource Management Agencies. GAO-13-253. 74 pp., U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington D.C. URL

  52. Garcia, S. M., and A. A. Rosenberg, 2010: Food security and marine capture fisheries: Characteristics, trends, drivers and future perspectives. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365, 2869-2880, doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0171. URL

  53. Gardner, T. A., I. M. Côté, J. A. Gill, A. Grant, and A. R. Watkinson, 2003: Long-term region-wide declines in Caribbean corals. Science, 301, 958-960, doi:10.1126/science.1086050.

  54. Graham, N. E., D. R. Cayan, P. D. Bromirski, and R. E. Flick, 2013: Multi-model projections of twenty-first century North Pacific winter wave climate under the IPCC A2 scenario. Climate Dynamics, 40, 1335-1360, doi:10.1007/s00382-012-1435-8.

  55. Griffis, R., and J. Howard, 2013: Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment. Island Press, 288 pp. URL

  56. Harvell, D., S. Altizer, I. M. Cattadori, L. Harrington, and E. Weil, 2009: Climate change and wildlife diseases: When does the host matter the most? Ecology, 90, 912-920, doi:10.1890/08-0616.1.

  57. Hawkins, E., and R. Sutton, 2009: The potential to narrow uncertainty in regional climate predictions. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 90, 1095-1107, doi:10.1175/2009BAMS2607.1. URL

  58. Hemer, M. A., Y. Fan, N. Mori, A. Semedo, and X. L. Wang, 2013: Projected changes in wave climate from a multi-model ensemble. Nature Climate Change, 3, 471-476, doi:10.1038/nclimate1791.

  59. Hettinger, A., E. Sanford, T. M. Hill, A. D. Russell, K. N. S. Sato, J. Hoey, M. Forsch, H. N. Page, and B. Gaylord, 2012: Persistent carry-over effects of planktonic exposure to ocean acidification in the Olympia oyster. Ecology, 93, 2758-2768, doi:10.1890/12-0567.1.

  60. Hoegh-Guldberg, O., P. J. Mumby, A. J. Hooten, R. S. Steneck, P. Greenfield, E. Gomez, C. D. Harvell, P. F. Sale, A. J. Edwards, K. Caldeira, N. Knowlton, C. M. Eakin, R. Iglesias-Prieto, N. Muthiga, R. H. Bradbury, A. Dubi, and M. E. Hatziolos, 2007: Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification. Science, 318, 1737-1742, doi:10.1126/science.1152509.

  61. Hughes, J. E., L. A. Deegan, J. C. Wyda, M. J. Weaver, and A. Wright, 2002: The effects of eelgrass habitat loss on estuarine fish communities of southern New England. Estuaries and Coasts, 25, 235-249, doi:10.1007/BF02691311.

  62. Hughes, T. P., N. A. J. Graham, J. B. C. Jackson, P. J. Mumby, and R. S. Steneck, 2010: Rising to the challenge of sustaining coral reef resilience. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 25, 633-642, doi:10.1016/j.tree.2010.07.011.

  63. Ianelli, J. N., A. B. Hollowed, A. C. Haynie, F. J. Mueter, and N. A. Bond, 2011: Evaluating management strategies for eastern Bering Sea walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in a changing environment. ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil, 68, 1297-1304, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsr010. URL

  64. IPCC, 2012: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. C.B. Field, V. Barros, T.F. Stocker, D. Qin, D.J. Dokken, K.L. Ebi, M.D. Mastrandrea, K.J. Mach, G.-K. Plattner, S.K. Allen, M. Tignor, and P.M. Midgley, Eds. Cambridge University Press, 582 pp. URL

  65. Jansen, E., J. T. Overpeck, K. R. Briffa, J. C. Duplessy, F. Joos, V. Masson-Delmotte, D. Olago, B. Otto-Bliesner, W. R. Peltier, S. Rahmstorf, R. Ramesh, D. Raynaud, D. Rind, O. Solomina, R. Villalba, and D. Zhang, 2007: Ch. 6: Palaeoclimate. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, S. Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor, and H.L. Miller, Eds., Cambridge University Press, 433-497. URL

  66. Juanes, F., S. Gephard, and K. F. Beland, 2004: Long-term changes in migration timing of adult Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) at the southern edge of the species distribution. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 61, 2392-2400, doi:10.1139/f04-207. URL

  67. Jungclaus, J. H. et al., 2010: Climate and carbon-cycle variability over the last millennium. Climate of the Past, 6, 723-737, doi:10.5194/cp-6-723-2010. URL

  68. Karl, T. R., J. T. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, 2009: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. T.R. Karl, J.T. Melillo, and T.C. Peterson, Eds. Cambridge University Press, 189 pp. URL

  69. Keeling, R. F., A. Körtzinger, and N. Gruber, 2010: Ocean deoxygenation in a warming world. Annual Review of Marine Science, 2, 199-229, doi:10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163855.

  70. Khon, V. C., I. I. Mokhov, M. Latif, V. A. Semenov, and W. Park, 2010: Perspectives of Northern Sea Route and Northwest Passage in the twenty-first century. Climatic Change, 100, 757-768, doi:10.1007/s10584-009-9683-2.

  71. Kleypas, J. A., J. W. McManus, and L. A. B. Meñez, 1999: Environmental limits to coral reef development: Where do we draw the line? American Zoologist, 39, 146-159, doi:10.1093/icb/39.1.146. URL

  72. Kroeker, K. J., R. L. Kordas, R. N. Crim, and G. G. Singh, 2010: Meta-analysis reveals negative yet variable effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms. Ecology Letters, 13, 1419-1434, doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01518.x. URL

  73. Kroeker, K. J., R. L. Kordas, R. Crim, I. E. Hendriks, L. Ramajo, G. S. Singh, C. M. Duarte, and J. - P. Gattuso, 2013: Impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms: Quantifying sensitivities and interaction with warming. Global Change Biology, 19, 1884-1896, doi:10.1111/gcb.12179. URL

  74. Lackenbauer, P.W., Ed., 2011: Canadian Arctic sovereignty and security: Historical perspectives. Calgary Papers in Military and Strategic Studies. Occasional Paper Number 4,, Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, 448. URL

  75. Levitus, S., J. I. Antonov, T. P. Boyer, R. A. Locarnini, H. E. Garcia, and A. V. Mishonov, 2009: Global ocean heat content 1955–2008 in light of recently revealed instrumentation problems. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L07608, doi:10.1029/2008GL037155.

  76. Levitus, S., J. I. Antonov, T. P. Boyer, O. K. Baranova, H. E. Garcia, R. A. Locarnini, A. V. Mishonov, J. R. Reagan, D. Seidov, E. S. Yarosh, and M. M. Zweng, 2012: World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L10603, doi:10.1029/2012GL051106. URL

  77. Limburg, K. E., and J. R. Waldman, 2009: Dramatic declines in North Atlantic diadromous fishes. BioScience, 59, 955-965, doi:10.1525/bio.2009.59.11.7. URL

  78. Loeng, H., K. Brander, E. Carmack, S. Denisenko, K. Drinkwater, B. Hansen, K. Kovacs, P. Livingston, F. McLaughlin, and E. Sakshaug, 2005: Ch. 9: Marine systems. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, C. Symon, L. Arris, and B. Heal, Eds., Cambridge University Press, 453-538. URL

  79. C. Meure, M. F., D. Etheridge, C. Trudinger, P. Steele, R. Langenfelds, and T. van Ommen, 2006: Law Dome CO2, CH4, and N2O ice core records extended to 2000 years BP. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L14810, doi:10.1029/2006GL026152. URL

  80. Mann, M. E., Z. Zhang, M. K. Hughes, R. S. Bradley, S. K. Miller, S. Rutherford, and F. Ni, 2008: Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 13252-13257, doi:10.1073/pnas.0805721105. URL

  81. Martinez-Urtaza, J., J. C. Bowers, J. Trinanes, and A. DePaola, 2010: Climate anomalies and the increasing risk of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus illnesses. Food Research International, 43, 1780-1790, doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2010.04.001.

  82. McCay, B. J., W. Weisman, and C. Creed, 2011: Ch. 23: Coping with environmental change: Systemic responses and the roles of property and community in three fisheries. World Fisheries: A Social-ecological Analysis, R.E. Ommer, R.I. Perry, K. Cochrane, and P. Cury, Eds., Wiley-Blackwell, 381-400.

  83. Menéndez, M., F. J. Méndez, I. J. Losada, and N. E. Graham, 2008: Variability of extreme wave heights in the northeast Pacific Ocean based on buoy measurements. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L22607, doi:10.1029/2008gl035394. URL

  84. Miller, J., E. Muller, C. Rogers, R. Waara, A. Atkinson, K. R. T. Whelan, M. Patterson, and B. Witcher, 2009: Coral disease following massive bleaching in 2005 causes 60% decline in coral cover on reefs in the US Virgin Islands. Coral Reefs, 28, 925-937, doi:10.1007/s00338-009-0531-7. URL

  85. Moore, K. A., and J. C. Jarvis, 2008: Environmental factors affecting recent summertime eelgrass diebacks in the lower Chesapeake Bay: Implications for long-term persistence. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 55, 135-147, doi:10.2112/SI55-014. URL

  86. Moore, K. A., E. C. Shields, D. B. Parrish, and R. J. Orth, 2012: Eelgrass survival in two contrasting systems: Role of turbidity and summer water temperatures. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 448, 247-258, doi:10.3354/meps09578. URL

  87. Moore, S. E., and H. P. Huntington, 2008: Arctic marine mammals and climate change: Impacts and resilience. Ecological Applications, 18, S157-S165-S157-S165, doi:10.1890/06-0571.1. URL

  88. Moreno, A., and S. Becken, 2009: A climate change vulnerability assessment methodology for coastal tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 17, 473-488, doi:10.1080/09669580802651681.

  89. Mueter, F. J., N. A. Bond, J. N. Ianelli, and A. B. Hollowed, 2011: Expected declines in recruitment of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in the eastern Bering Sea under future climate change. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68, 1284-1296, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsr022. URL

  90. Mueter, F. J., and M. A. Litzow, 2008: Sea ice retreat alters the biogeography of the Bering Sea continental shelf. Ecological Applications, 18, 309-320, doi:10.1890/07-0564.1. URL

  91. Mumby, P. J., and R. S. Steneck, 2011: The resilience of coral reefs and its implications for reef management. Coral Reefs: An Ecosystem in Transition, Z. Dubinsky and N. Stambler, Eds., 509-519.

  92. Murawski, S. A., 1993: Climate change and marine fish distributions: Forecasting from historical analogy. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 122, 647-658, doi:10.1577/1548-8659(1993)1222.3.CO;2.

  93. NCDC, 2012: Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature. NOAA'S National Climatic Data Center. URL

  94. Neumann, J., D. Hudgens, J. Herter, and J. Martinich, 2010: The economics of adaptation along developed coastlines. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2, 89-98, doi:10.1002/wcc.90. URL

  95. NMFS, 2012: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Listing Determinations for 82 Reef-Building Coral Species. Proposed Reclassification of Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis From Threatened to Endangered. Federal Register, 77, 773220-73262.

  96. NMFS, 2012: Fisheries of the United States 2011. 139 pp., National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Science and Technology, Silver Spring, MD. URL

  97. NOC, 2012: National Ocean Policy Draft Implementation Plan. 118 pp., National Ocean Council, Washington, D.C. URL

  98. NRC, 2010: Ocean Acidification. A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean. 175 pp., Committee on the Development of an Integrated Science Strategy for Ocean Acidification Monitoring Research and Impacts Assessment, Ocean Studies Board, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. URL

  99. Nye, J. A., J. S. Link, J. A. Hare, and W. J. Overholtz, 2009: Changing spatial distribution of fish stocks in relation to climate and population size on the Northeast United States continental shelf. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 393, 111-129, doi:10.3354/meps08220.

  100. Oliver, J., and J. Kaper, 2007: Ch. 17: Vibrio species. Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, M.P. Doyle and L.R. Beuchat, Eds., ASM Press.

  101. Oppo, D. W., Y. Rosenthal, and B. K. Linsley, 2009: 2,000-year-long temperature and hydrology reconstructions from the Indo-Pacific warm pool. Nature, 460, 1113-1116, doi:10.1038/nature08233. URL

  102. OTTI, 2011: United States Travel and Tourism Exports, Imports, and the Balance of Trade: 2010. 23 pp., U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Commission, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, Washington, D.C. URL

  103. Parker, L. M., P. M. Ross, W. A. O’Connor, L. Borysko, D. A. Raftos, and H. O. Pörtner, 2012: Adult exposure influences offspring response to ocean acidification in oysters. Global Change Biology, 18, 82-92, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02520.x. URL

  104. Parmesan, C., 2006: Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 37, 637-669, doi:10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.37.091305.110100. URL

  105. Perry, A. L., P. J. Low, J. R. Ellis, and J. D. Reynolds, 2005: Climate change and distribution shifts in marine fishes. Science, 308, 1912-1915, doi:10.1126/science.1111322.

  106. Perry, R. I., P. Cury, K. Brander, S. Jennings, C. Möllmann, and B. Planque, 2010: Sensitivity of marine systems to climate and fishing: Concepts, issues and management responses. Journal of Marine Systems, 79, 427-435, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.12.017. URL

  107. Pinsky, M. L., and M. Fogarty, 2012: Lagged social-ecological responses to climate and range shifts in fisheries. Climatic Change, 115, 883-891, doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0599-x.

  108. Polovina, J. J., E. A. Howell, and M. Abecassis, 2008: Ocean’s least productive waters are expanding. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L03618, doi:10.1029/2007gl031745.

  109. Polovina, J. J., J. P. Dunne, P. A. Woodworth, and E. A. Howell, 2011: Projected expansion of the subtropical biome and contraction of the temperate and equatorial upwelling biomes in the North Pacific under global warming. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68, 986-995, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsq198. URL

  110. Rothrock, D. A., D. B. Percival, and M. Wensnahan, 2008: The decline in arctic sea-ice thickness: Separating the spatial, annual, and interannual variability in a quarter century of submarine data. Journal Of Geophysical Research, 113, 1-9, doi:10.1029/2007JC004252. URL

  111. Sabine, C. L., R. A. Feely, N. Gruber, R. M. Key, K. Lee, J. L. Bullister, R. Wanninkhof, C. S. Wong, D. W. R. Wallace, B. Tilbrook, F. J. Millero, T. - H. Peng, A. Kozyr, T. Ono, and A. F. Rios, 2004: The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2. Science, 305, 367-371, doi:10.1126/science.1097403.

  112. Sandin, S. A., J. E. Smith, E. E. DeMartini, E. A. Dinsdale, S. D. Donner, A. M. Friedlander, T. Konotchick, M. Malay, J. E. Maragos, D. Obura, O. Pantos, G. Paulay, M. Richie, F. Rohwer, R. E. Schroeder, S. Walsh, J. B. C. Jackson, N. Knowlton, and E. Sala, 2008: Baselines and degradation of coral reefs in the northern Line Islands. PLoS ONE, 3, 1-11, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001548. URL

  113. Scallan, E., R. M. Hoekstra, F. J. Angulo, R. V. Tauxe, M. A. Widdowson, S. L. Roy, J. L. Jones, and P. M. Griffin, 2011: Foodborne illness acquired in the United States—major pathogens. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 17, 7-17, doi:10.3201/eid1701.P11101. URL

  114. Scott, D., G. McBoyle, and M. Schwartzentruber, 2004: Climate change and the distribution of climatic resources for tourism in North America. Climate Research, 27, 105-117, doi:10.3354/cr027105. URL

  115. Sigler, M. F., M. Renner, S. L. Danielson, L. B. Eisner, R. R. Lauth, K. J. Kuletz, E. A. Longerwell, and G. L. Hunt, 2011: Fluxes, fins, and feathers: Relationships among the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas in a time of climate change. Oceanography, 24, 250-265, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2011.77. URL

  116. Smith, T. M., R. W. Reynolds, T. C. Peterson, and J. Lawrimore, 2008: Improvements to NOAA’s historical merged land-ocean surface temperature analysis (1880-2006). Journal of Climate, 21, 2283-2296, doi:10.1175/2007JCLI2100.1.

  117. Staehli, A., R. Schaerer, K. Hoelzle, and G. Ribi, 2009: Temperature induced disease in the starfish Astropecten jonstoni. Marine Biodiversity Records, 2, e78, doi:10.1017/S1755267209000633. URL

  118. Steinacher, M., F. Joos, T. L. Frölicher, L. Bopp, P. Cadule, V. Cocco, S. C. Doney, M. Gehlen, K. Lindsay, and J. K. Moore, 2010: Projected 21st century decrease in marine productivity: A multi-model analysis. Biogeosciences, 7, 979-1005, doi:10.5194/bg-7-979-2010.

  119. Stewart, E. J., S. E. L. Howell, D. Draper, J. Yackel, and A. Tivy, 2007: Sea ice in Canada’s Arctic: Implications for cruise tourism. Arctic, 60, 370-380, doi:10.14430/arctic194. URL

  120. Stramma, L., G. C. Johnson, J. Sprintall, and V. Mohrholz, 2008: Expanding oxygen-minimum zones in the tropical oceans. Science, 320, 655-658, doi:10.1126/science.1153847.

  121. Stroeve, J. C., V. Kattsov, A. Barrett, M. Serreze, T. Pavlova, M. Holland, and W. N. Meier, 2012: Trends in Arctic sea ice extent from CMIP5, CMIP3 and observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L16502, doi:10.1029/2012GL052676.

  122. Stroeve, J., M. M. Holland, W. Meier, T. Scambos, and M. Serreze, 2007: Arctic sea ice decline: Faster than forecast. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L09501, doi:10.1029/2007GL029703. URL

  123. U. Sumaila, R., W. W. L. Cheung, V. W. Y. Lam, D. Pauly, and S. Herrick, 2011: Climate change impacts on the biophysics and economics of world fisheries. Nature Climate Change, 1, 449-456, doi:10.1038/nclimate1301. URL

  124. Talmage, S. C., and C. J. Gobler, 2010: Effects of past, present, and future ocean carbon dioxide concentrations on the growth and survival of larval shellfish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 17246-17251, doi:10.1073/pnas.0913804107. URL

  125. Tans, P., and R. Keeling, 2012: Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Full Mauna Loa CO2 Record. NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory. URL

  126. Tokinaga, H., and S. - P. Xie, 2011: Wave- and anemometer-based sea surface wind (WASWind) for climate change analysis. Journal of Climate, 24, 267-285, doi:10.1175/2010jcli3789.1. URL

  127. Tribollet, A., C. Godinot, M. Atkinson, and C. Langdon, 2009: Effects of elevated pCO2 on dissolution of coral carbonates by microbial euendoliths. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 23, GB3008, doi:10.1029/2008GB003286.

  128. U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, 2004: An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century: Final Report. 28 pp., U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Washington, D.C. URL

  129. University of Illinois, 2012: Sea Ice Dataset. 2012. URL

  130. Waldbusser, G. G., E. P. Voigt, H. Bergschneider, M. A. Green, and R. I. E. Newell, 2011: Biocalcification in the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) in relation to long-term trends in Chesapeake Bay pH. Estuaries and Coasts, 34, 221-231, doi:10.1007/s12237-010-9307-0.

  131. Walsh, J. E., and W. L. Chapman, 2001: 20th-century sea ice variations from observational data. Annals of Glaciology, 33, 444-448, doi:10.3189/172756401781818671. URL

  132. Wang, M., and J. E. Overland, 2012: A sea ice free summer Arctic within 30 years: An update from CMIP5 models. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L18501, doi:10.1029/2012GL052868. URL

  133. Ward, J. R., and K. D. Lafferty, 2004: The elusive baseline of marine disease: Are diseases in ocean ecosystems increasing? PLoS Biology, 2, e120, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020120.

  134. Ward, J. R., K. Kim, and C. D. Harvell, 2007: Temperature affects coral disease resistance and pathogen growth. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 329, 115-121, doi:10.3354/meps329115.

  135. Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, 2012: Ocean Acidification: From Knowledge to Action. Washington State’s Strategic Response. Publication no. 12-01-015. State of Washington, Department of Ecology, Olympia, WA. URL

  136. Wassmann, P., 2011: Arctic marine ecosystems in an era of rapid climate change. Progress in Oceanography, 90, 1-17, doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2011.02.002.

  137. Weil, E., A. Croquer, and I. Urreiztieta, 2009: Temporal variability and impact of coral diseases and bleaching in La Parguera, Puerto Rico from 2003–2007. Caribbean Journal of Science, 45, 221-246. URL

  138. Weis, K. E., R. M. Hammond, R. Hutchinson, and C. G. M. Blackmore, 2011: Vibrio illness in Florida, 1998–2007. Epidemiology and Infection, 139, 591-598, doi:10.1017/S095026881000135.

  139. Wisshak, M., C. H. L. Schönberg, A. Form, and A. Freiwald, 2012: Ocean acidification accelerates reef bioerosion. PLoS ONE, 7, e45124, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045124. URL

  140. Yu, G., Z. Schwartz, J. E. Walsh, and W. L. Chapman, 2009: A weather-resolving index for assessing the impact of climate change on tourism related climate resources. Climatic Change, 95, 551-573, doi:10.1007/s10584-009-9565-7.

  141. Zuray, S., R. Kocan, and P. Hershberger, 2012: Synchronous cycling of Ichthyophoniasis with Chinook salmon density revealed during the annual Yukon River spawning migration. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 141, 615-623, doi:10.1080/00028487.2012.683476.

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

United States Global Change Research Program logo United States Global Change Research Program participating agency logos