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Climate Change Affects Top Predators in Ocean Ecosystems

HONOLULU, Hawaii, Dec. 21 - /EWire/ -- Scientists from the University of Hawaii joined more than 150 colleagues at the First Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators (CLIOTOP) Symposium, hosted by the Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas and the Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste, December 3-7, 2007, at La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. The symposium, which was attended by scientists from 25 different countries, marks the start of the 10-year project to investigate the impact of climate change on top predators in the world's oceans. Predators include such economically important fish as tunas, as well as billfish, sharks, whales, dolphins, sea turtles and sea birds. All of these species are affected by such changes in climate as variability in winds, ocean currents, air and sea temperatures, and rainfall levels. El Nino La Nina changes are the most well known and significant aspect of year-to-year climate variability, but climate change also occurs over decades and centuries. The University of Hawaii's Pelagic Fisheries Research Program (PFRP) played an active role in the symposium. Dr John Sibert, manager of the PFRP and a member of the CLIOTOP Steering Committee, helped organize the symposium, and the PFRP sponsored student participation. PFRP-funded research reported at the symposium addresses several aspects of how climate change will affect top predators, for example, how potential changes in the base of the oceanic food web will affect the feeding of top predators, the migration patterns of hatchling sea turtles, and the size of tuna populations. "Oceanic top predators respond to changes in their environment by changing their behavior and shifting their distribution. As a result, ocean ecosystems may experience changes in the relative abundance of different species, as well as changes in overall productivity," said Dr Sibert. "This can have major economic impacts and may determine the food security of many coastal communities in the developing countries of the world." CLIOTOP provides a framework for scientists to carry out collaborative and comparative research across different oceans. Such comparative research will deepen our understanding of the ecosystem impacts of climate change. The CLIOTOP Project has established five working groups to investigate a variety of scientific topics related to the general them of how climate change impacts top predators. One working group is examining how climate change is likely to affect ocean governance. In discussing preliminary results of one PFRP-sponsored research project, Dr. Sibert stated that "global warming may lead to severe contraction of favorable reproductive zones for some species of tunas that will have larger effects than fisheries on tuna stocks by the end of the twenty-first century." For background information on the CLIOTOP Project, including its Science Plan, is available online. Contact Info: John Sibert Manager, Pelagic Fisheries Research Program Tel : 808 956-4109 Email: Website : Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council

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John Sibert Manager, Pelagic Fisheries Research Program Tel : 808 956-4109 Email:



Melissa, My pleasure! I know how lonley it can feel when you are facing these issues. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. I find that women are open to discussing the issues on a blog (probably due to the anonymity) or one-on-one, but in group settings women often feel they have to put on the mask of having it all together. Unfortunately, this does not help us to help each other find solutions to the dilemma. One of my goals is to provide a platform for women to openly and honestly have these discussions and support each other online and via workshops and coaching. I hope that you will continue to join me on this journey toward making it happen, and helping other women in the process. I do not have a good resource for you at this time, but you have inspired a new blog post for me on this topic! Check back, or better yet, subscribe to metaMOMphorsis, and I will share the results of my research! I look forward to continuing the discussion with you very soon!

April 25, 2012, 3:36 AM

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April 26, 2012, 11:24 PM

Chem Flunky,So Let me get this straight, you have no idea how many deaths will occur or have occurred? So if this is the case, let me ask you how you would actually proceed. You have a trillion dollars. You can spend it on saving known lives at risk for any number of problems man faces or on reducing AGW, which do you spend it on? Listening to the scare-mongerers, it sounds like it will be billions. Is this realistic? DO you think a good risk assessment can be done, if we do not even know the risk? My answer to this question is simple. Since we do not know the risk, we go for solutions that will be beneficial outside of AGW causing deaths or not. Nuclear power is an example. We can make nuclear power cheaper than coal and it is already safer than coal. E-cars is another example. Not paying for gas would be awesome. If they can get the price of solar panels to a reasonable amount, it would be as well. Paying for half as much energy and not being totally reliant on the power companies would be great. Note that this solution without the constant scare-mongering, both addresses your issues and does not cause people to believe the world is going to end. Without the scare-mongering, do horrific things like denying third world countries, power plants become unthinkable. Also for your answer to Number 3, are you really suggesting that the earth will not naturally pull excess CO2 out of the air? We may disagree on the timeframe to do this, but your answer suggests that the earth will not pull excess CO2 out of the air at all.I understand why you say a thousand years. They have given the half-life of CO2 in the atmosphere at up to 200 years, meaning that taking out 97% of the CO2 would take about 1 thousand years. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for the scientists trying to determine the length of time, this is not nearly an accurate way of measuring this. Imagine a sink where the drain is pulled, but water is coming in at a faster rate then it is going out. Now in this case, if you lessen the water coming in, then the time to for the level of water to go down has to do with the rate of water going in and going out. It has nothing to do with how long one molecule of water stays in the sink. In fact, the time of a molecule of water being in the sink will likely be much longer. Because of this, it is difficult to figure out rates, but it will be far less than 1000 years.

May 22, 2012, 10:17 PM
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