Uncertainties in projecting climate-change impacts in marine ecosystems

Payne, MR, Barange, M, Cheung, WWL, MacKenzie, BR, Batchelder, HP, Cormon, X, Eddy, TD, Fernandes, JA, Hollowed, AB, Jones, MC, Link, JS, Neubauer, P, Ortiz, I, Queiros, AM and Paula, JR 2015 Uncertainties in projecting climate-change impacts in marine ecosystems. ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil, 73 (5). 1272-1282. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsv231

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsv231


Projections of the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems are a key prerequisite for the planning of adaptation strategies, yet theyare inevitablyassociated withuncertainty.Identifying,quantifying,andcommunicatingthisuncertaintyis keytobothevaluatingtherisk associated with a projection and building confidence in its robustness. Wereview howuncertainties in such projections are handled in marine science. We employan approach developedin climatemodelling by breaking uncertainty down into(i) structural (model) uncertainty,(ii) initialization and internalvariabilityuncertainty,(iii)parametricuncertainty,and(iv)scenariouncertainty.Foreachuncertaintytype,wethenexaminethecurrent state-of-the-art in assessing and quantifying its relative importance. We consider whether the marine scientific community has addressed these types of uncertainty sufficiently and highlight the opportunities and challenges associated with doing a better job. We find that even within a relatively small field such as marine science, there are substantial differences between subdisciplines in the degree of attention given to each type of uncertainty. We find that initialization uncertainty is rarely treated explicitly and reducing this type of uncertainty may deliver gainsontheseasonal-to-decadaltime-scale.Weconcludethatallpartsofmarinesciencecouldbenefitfromagreaterexchangeofideas,particularly concerningsuchauniversalproblemsuchasthetreatmentofuncertainty.Finally,marinescienceshouldstrivetoreachthepointwherescenario uncertainty is the dominant uncertainty in our projections.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Biology
Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Meteorology and Climatology
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Sea and Society
Depositing User: Jose Antonio Fernandes Salvador
Date made live: 13 Apr 2018 14:37
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:57
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/7268

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