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Ocean extremes in a warmer world: Discovering risks for marine ecosystems (OceanX)

Applicant Frölicher Thomas
Number 170687
Funding scheme SNSF Professorships
Research institution Klima- und Umweltphysik Physikalisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Oceanography
Start/End 01.08.2017 - 31.07.2021
Approved amount 1'587'895.00
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Keywords (10)

Ocean deoxygenation; Extreme events; Marine ecosystems; Marine organisms; Global warming; Ocean observations; Climate change; High-resolution modeling; Earth System modeling; Ocean acidification

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Als Folge des globalen Klimawandels wird die Häufigkeit, Intensität und Dauer von Extremereignissen über dem Land stark zunehmen. Zurzeit wissen wir aber nicht, wie sich Extremereignisse im Ozean zukünftig verändern werden und was die Auswirkungen von solchen Extremereignissen auf einzelne Arten oder ganze Ökosysteme und deren sozioökonomischen Dienste sind. Dies ist besorgniserregend, da marine Ökosysteme nicht nur einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Klimaregulierung leisten, sondern auch etwa die Hälfte zur jährlichen global produzierten Biomasse beisteuern und lebenswichtige Proteine für mehr als eine Milliarde Menschen liefern.
Lay summary

Unser übergeordnetes Ziel ist es erstmals quantitative Aussagen über die Häufigkeit, Stärke und räumliche Verteilung von vergangenen und zukünftigen Extremereignisse im Ozean zu machen und die Risiken solcher Extremereignisse für marine Ökosysteme abzuschätzen. Dabei werden wir uns auf Hitzewellen, Ozeanversauerung und Sauerstoffverlust fokussieren – dies sind drei Stressfaktoren welche die marinen Lebewesen und Ökosysteme nachweisbar unter Druck setzen.

Im Detail werden wir (i) vergangene Änderungen in marinen Hitzewellen und Extremereignisse in der Ozeanversauerung anhand von Satelliten und in-situ Beobachtungen quantifizieren, (ii) die Prozesse die zu Änderungen in Extremereignissen führen mit einem neuen hochaufgelösten Klimamodell untersuchen, und (iii) die regionalen Auswirkungen von Extremereignissen für einzelne Fischarten und ganze Ökosysteme mit einer Risikoanalyse bestimmen.

Das Projekt wird neue und wichtige Informationen über die Änderungen und die dazugehörigen Prozesse von Extremereignissen im Ozean generieren und erstmals deren Risiko für die marinen Ökosysteme abschätzen. Ein besseres Verständnis ist zentral um die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels auf den Ozean zu verstehen und um passende Massnahmen zum Schutz der Weltmeere zu planen.

 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.05.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Emerging risks from marine heat waves
Frölicher Thomas L., Laufkötter Charlotte (2018), Emerging risks from marine heat waves, in Nature Communications, 9(1), 650-650.
Opportunities for climate-risk reduction through effective fisheries management
Cheung William W. L., Jones Miranda C., Reygondeau Gabriel, Frölicher Thomas L. (2018), Opportunities for climate-risk reduction through effective fisheries management, in Global Change Biology.
Marine heatwaves under global warming
Frölicher Thomas L., Fischer Erich M., Gruber Nicolas (2018), Marine heatwaves under global warming, in Nature, 560(7718), 360-364.
Climate, ocean circulation, and sea level changes under stabilization and overshoot pathways to 1.5 K warming
Palter Jaime B., Frölicher Thomas L., Paynter David, John Jasmin G. (2018), Climate, ocean circulation, and sea level changes under stabilization and overshoot pathways to 1.5 K warming, in Earth System Dynamics, 9(2), 817-828.
Projecting shifts in thermal habitat for 686 species on the North American continental shelf
Morley James W., Selden Rebecca L., Latour Robert J., Frölicher Thomas L., Seagraves Richard J., Pinsky Malin L. (2018), Projecting shifts in thermal habitat for 686 species on the North American continental shelf, in PLOS ONE, 13(5), e0196127-e0196127.
Contrasting Impact of Future CO 2 Emission Scenarios on the Extent of CaCO 3 Mineral Undersaturation in the Humboldt Current System
Franco A. C., Gruber N., Frölicher T. L., Kropuenske Artman L. (2018), Contrasting Impact of Future CO 2 Emission Scenarios on the Extent of CaCO 3 Mineral Undersaturation in the Humboldt Current System, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123(3), 2018-2036.
Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity Obtained From Multimillennial Runs of Two GFDL Climate Models
Paynter D., Frölicher T. L., Horowitz L. W., Silvers L. G. (2018), Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity Obtained From Multimillennial Runs of Two GFDL Climate Models, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123(4), 1921-1941.
Drivers of Continued Surface Warming After Cessation of Carbon EmissionsDrivers of Continued Surface Warming
Williams Richard G., Roussenov Vassil, Frölicher Thomas L., Goodwin Philip (2017), Drivers of Continued Surface Warming After Cessation of Carbon EmissionsDrivers of Continued Surface Warming, in Geophysical Research Letters, 44(20), 10,633-10,642.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Geographical Institute, University of Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Climate and Environmental Physics Institute, University of Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Environmental Physics Group, ETHZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
AOS Program, Princeton University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Climate Physics Group, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETHZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Swiss Climate Summer School Poster Marine heatwaves in the satellite era 27.08.2018 Grindelwald, Switzerland Striegel Sandra;
Swiss Climate Summer School Poster Changing carbon weather altering extreme event characteristics 27.08.2018 Grindelwald, Switzerland Burger Friedrich;
Seminar Individual talk Marine heatwaves under global warming 27.06.2018 Liverpool, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Frölicher Thomas;
Nereus Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference Marine heatwaves under global warming 25.06.2018 Seattle, United States of America Frölicher Thomas;
AOS Seminar Individual talk Marine heatwaves under global warming 15.06.2018 Princeton, United States of America Frölicher Thomas;
Climate and Environmental Physics PhD Day 2018 Talk given at a conference Assessing 21st century ocean acidification extreme events 07.06.2018 Bern, Switzerland Burger Friedrich;
Climate and Environmental Physics PhD Day 2018 Talk given at a conference Marine heatwaves in the satellite era 07.06.2018 Bern, Switzerland Striegel Sandra;
Seminar Geography Institute Individual talk Marine heatwaves under global warming 23.05.2018 Bern, Switzerland Frölicher Thomas;
Swiss Global Change Day Poster Marine heatwaves in the satellite era 19.04.2018 Bern, Switzerland Striegel Sandra;
Swiss Global Change Day Poster Assessing 21st century ocean acidification extreme events under three different carbon emission pathways 19.04.2018 Bern, Switzerland Burger Friedrich;
Swiss Global Change Day Poster Marine heatwaves under global warming 19.04.2018 Bern, Switzerland Frölicher Thomas;
Swiss Global Change Day Poster Attribution of marine heatwaves 19.04.2018 Bern, Switzerland Laufkötter Charlotte;
Seminar Climate and Environmental Physics Individual talk Ocean extremes in a warming world: Discovering risks for marine ecosystems (OceanX) 13.11.2017 Bern, Switzerland Frölicher Thomas;
OCCR Plenary Meeting Individual talk Ocean extremes in a warming world: Discovering risks for marine ecosystems (OceanX) 12.09.2017 Bern, Switzerland Frölicher Thomas;
ICDC10 Talk given at a conference More intense, more frequent and longer lasting marine heatwaves and ocean acidification extreme events under global warming 24.08.2017 Interlaken, Switzerland Frölicher Thomas;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Session 1: Ocean extremes and their impact on marine ecosystem 04.06.2018 Washington, United States of America
Carbon feedbacks in the climate system 25.04.2018 University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Climat : la mer aussi se réchauffe Le Parisiene International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Climate change has doubled the frequency of ocean heatwaves Nature News International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Climate Change Is Cooking the Oceans Earther International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Das Meer leidet unter der Hitze Tagesanzeiger German-speaking Switzerland 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Effective fisheries management can reduce extinction risk of marine fish stocks from climate change UBC main website International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Especialistas alertam que aquecimento dos oceanos ameaça vida marinha Correio Braziliense International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) In hot water: Global warming amplifies risk of marine heat waves Axios International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Jetzt schwappt die Hitzewelle in die Ozeane Blick International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Podcast: Bumblebees, opioids, and ocean weather Nature Podcast International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Restricting global warming to 1.5C would ‘halve’ risk of marine heatwaves Carbonbrief International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Unterschätzte Gefahr: Hitzewellen im Meer Klimareporter International 2018
Media relations: radio, television Warming Waters Push Fish To Cooler Climates, Out Of Some Fishermen's Reach National Public Radio International 2018

Awards

Title Year
Young Academics Support Grant 2018
Lead author, Chapter six, Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change 2017

Abstract

Extreme climate and weather events shape the structure of biological systems and affect the biogeochemical functions and services they provide for society in a fundamental manner. There is overwhelming evidence that the frequency, duration, intensity, and timing of extreme events on land are changing under global warming, increasing the risk of severe, pervasive and in some cases irreversible impacts on natural and socio-economic systems. In contrast, we know very little how extreme events in the ocean, especially those associated with warming, acidification, deoxygenation and nutrient stress will unfold in time and space, as this requires dense observations and high-resolution ocean models. In addition, our understanding of the role of ocean extreme events for marine organisms and ecosystem services is very poor. This knowledge gap is of particular concern as the ocean provides food security and livelihoods for about 15% of the world population.I will move knowledge boundaries by discovering and attributing past and future changes in ocean extremes, and by assessing and mapping the risk of these ocean extreme events for marine organisms and ecosystems. I will quantify historical changes in marine heat waves and ocean acidification extreme events by synthesizing and analyzing novel satellite-based and in-situ physical and biogeochemical ocean observations. Model-derived relationships among physical and biogeochemical variables will be used to underpin the extreme event assessment of the sparse oxygen and net primary production observations. A new high-resolution global Earth System Model version will be applied to quantify and understand the drivers of past and future changes in ocean extreme events and to attribute specific ocean extreme events to human-caused climate change and natural variability. The integration of available and newly developed marine ecosystem exposure and vulnerability indices into the high-resolution modeling framework allows me to quantify regional risk levels of marine organisms and ecosystems to key ocean extreme events. This project aims at a major breakthrough in our understanding of the fundamental processes governing ocean extreme events and whether organisms and ecosystems might be pushed to the limits of their resilience and even beyond, potentially causing dramatic and irreversible changes.
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