Earth system models project global ocean fishery declines by 2300

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In New York, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and Cornell University extended the state-of-the-art Earth system models for physical and biogeochemical oceanic processes, projecting conditions through 2300. In 200 years, Earth could see a 20 percent global decline in fishery yields, with a 60 percent decline in the North Atlantic.

“Really nasty things happen when you think further out in time. It’s bad enough in 2100, but when you think about 2300, it is even worse,” said paper co-author Natalie Mahowald, the Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering and a Cornell professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

With higher levels of carbon dioxide and higher average temperatures, the oceans’ surface waters warm and sea ice disappears, and the marine world will see increased stratification, intense nutrient trapping in the deep Southern Ocean (also known as the Antarctic Ocean) and nutrition starvation in the other oceans.