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      Physiology and Climate Change

      1 , 2
      Science
      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Climate change affects marine fishes through the oxygen limitation of thermal tolerance.

          A cause-and-effect understanding of climate influences on ecosystems requires evaluation of thermal limits of member species and of their ability to cope with changing temperatures. Laboratory data available for marine fish and invertebrates from various climatic regions led to the hypothesis that, as a unifying principle, a mismatch between the demand for oxygen and the capacity of oxygen supply to tissues is the first mechanism to restrict whole-animal tolerance to thermal extremes. We show in the eelpout, Zoarces viviparus, a bioindicator fish species for environmental monitoring from North and Baltic Seas (Helcom), that thermally limited oxygen delivery closely matches environmental temperatures beyond which growth performance and abundance decrease. Decrements in aerobic performance in warming seas will thus be the first process to cause extinction or relocation to cooler waters.
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            Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change.

            Significant changes in physical and biological systems are occurring on all continents and in most oceans, with a concentration of available data in Europe and North America. Most of these changes are in the direction expected with warming temperature. Here we show that these changes in natural systems since at least 1970 are occurring in regions of observed temperature increases, and that these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone. Given the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely to be due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, and furthermore that it is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent except Antarctica, we conclude that anthropogenic climate change is having a significant impact on physical and biological systems globally and in some continents.
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              A major ecosystem shift in the northern Bering Sea.

              Until recently, northern Bering Sea ecosystems were characterized by extensive seasonal sea ice cover, high water column and sediment carbon production, and tight pelagic-benthic coupling of organic production. Here, we show that these ecosystems are shifting away from these characteristics. Changes in biological communities are contemporaneous with shifts in regional atmospheric and hydrographic forcing. In the past decade, geographic displacement of marine mammal population distributions has coincided with a reduction of benthic prey populations, an increase in pelagic fish, a reduction in sea ice, and an increase in air and ocean temperatures. These changes now observed on the shallow shelf of the northern Bering Sea should be expected to affect a much broader portion of the Pacific-influenced sector of the Arctic Ocean.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                October 31 2008
                October 31 2008
                : 322
                : 5902
                : 690-692
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Animal Ecophysiology, Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany.
                [2 ]Department of Zoology and Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, V6T 1Z4 Canada.
                Article
                10.1126/science.1163156
                18974339
                90dc85d7-41e7-420b-b689-06c019de2f04
                © 2008
                History

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