Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Ocean heatwaves are more frequent and threaten biodiversity



今回Dan Smaleたちは、既存の海洋熱波の枠組みを用いて、全ての海盆における海洋熱波の傾向と特性を定量化し、生物種から生態系までの生物学的な影響を調べた。その結果、太平洋、大西洋、インド洋のそれぞれ複数の海域が海洋熱波の激化に特に脆弱であり、その原因として、高度の生物多様性が存在していること、温度範囲の上限ぎりぎりで生息する生物種が数多く存在すること、または気候以外の人間の影響が同時に存在することが挙げられることが分かった。海洋熱波にはさまざまな特性のものがあるが、その全てが、種々の生物学的過程と生物にとって有害だった。こうした生物には、サンゴ、海草、コンブなどの極めて重要な生物種が含まれている。


Marine heatwaves are increasing in frequency, with 54% more heatwave days per year from 1987-2016, than from 1925-1954, suggests a paper published online this week in Nature Climate Change. The study finds that these events vary in their physical manifestations, yet all affect key species and ecosystem structure and functioning.

Regional case studies have documented how marine heatwaves (MHWs) can alter the structure and function of entire ecosystems by causing widespread mortality, species range shifts and community reconfiguration. By impacting ecosystem goods and services, such as fisheries landings and biogeochemical processes, MHWs can also have major socioeconomic and political ramifications.

Dan Smale and colleagues used the existing MHW framework to quantify trends and attributes of MHWs across all ocean basins, and examined their biological impacts from species to ecosystems. They found that multiple regions within the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans are particularly vulnerable to MHW intensification, due to the co-existence of high levels of biodiversity, a prevalence of species found at their thermal limit, or concurrent non-climate human impacts. Although the MHWs varied considerably, all were harmful across a range of biological processes and organisms, including critical species like corals, seagrasses and kelps.

The authors conclude that climate change will continue to increase the frequency of marine heatwaves and the associated impacts on marine biology could have broad reaching effects on ecosystems and the services they provide.

doi: 10.1038/s41558-019-0412-1


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