Ocean Climate Change Indicators
This new report, co-authored by Point Blue's marine ecologist Jaime Jahncke, highlights the fact that the impacts of climate change are already being observed. Measuring these indicators will enable resource managers to track, plan for and begin to adapt to future climate change impacts.
“The 12 marine indicators reflect the ocean’s physical and biological responses to climate change. Tracking these indicators helps us ensure we maintain a healthy marine food web off the California coast,” said Dr Jaime Jahncke.
A collaboration of federal and state agencies, academic institutions, and non-profit science organizations released the newly-developed set of 12 ocean climate indicators for the North-central California coast and ocean. Indicators encompass both biological (e.g., seabirds and mussel beds) and physical (e.g., sea-surface temperature and sea level) aspects of the ecosystem. Changes in these indicators could signal that climate change is having an impact on our region.
This set of indicators is part of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) Advisory Council report, “Ocean Climate Indicators: A Monitoring Inventory and Plan for Tracking Climate Change in the North-Central California Coast and Ocean Region,” and was developed by a working group of the Council chaired by Jaime Jahncke of Point Blue Conservation Science. The 2-year project was co-sponsored by GFNMS and US Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center, as part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise (PACE) postdoctoral fellowship program.
Visit the Ocean Climate Indicators Webpage to view the indicators, learn more about the project, and download the report.
The 12 indicators are:
- Air temperature
- Alongshore wind and speed
- Sea surface temperature
- Sea surface salinity
- Dissolved oxygen
- Ocean chemistry (ocean acidification)
- Wave height and direction
- Sea level
- Primary productivity
- Mid trophic level species abundance, biomass and phenology
- Spatial extent of habitat forming organisms
- Seabird phenology, productivity and diet