Climate Change Impacts on Ocean Ecosystems

12:00 pm on Friday, October 26, 2012
1:00 pm on Friday, October 26, 2012
BU Medical School, Room L210
SCOTT DONEY, PHD Senior Scientist, Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute In this seminar, Dr. Doney will discuss the potentially wide ranging biological effects due to rising atmospheric CO2 and climate change associated shifts in temperature, circulation, stratification, nutrient input, oxygen content, and ocean acidification, with potentially wideranging biological effects. Population-level shifts are occurring because of physiological intolerance to new environments, altered dispersal patterns, and changes in species interactions. Together with local climate-driven invasion and extinction, these processes result in altered community structure and diversity, including possible emergence of novel ecosystems. Impacts are particularly striking for the poles and the tropics, because of the sensitivity of polar ecosystems to sea-ice retreat and poleward species migrations as well as the sensitivity of coral-algal symbiosis to minor increases in temperature. Aggregated effects may modify energy and material flows as well as biogeochemical cycles, eventually impacting the overall ecosystem functioning and services upon which people and societies depend.