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Assessing the time of emergence of global ocean fish biomass using ensemble climate to fish simulations
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  • Nicolas Barrier,
  • Olivier Maury,
  • Roland Séférian,
  • Yeray Santana-Falcón,
  • Matthieu Lengaigne
Nicolas Barrier
MARBEC, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Olivier Maury
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
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Roland Séférian
CNRM (Météo-France/CNRS)
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Yeray Santana-Falcón
Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques
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Matthieu Lengaigne
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Climate change is anticipated to considerably reduce global marine fish biomass, driving marine ecosystems into unprecedented states with no historical analogues. The Time of Emergence (ToE) marks the pivotal moment when climate conditions (i.e. signal) deviate from pre-industrial norms (i.e. noise). Leveraging ensemble climate-to-fish simulations, this study examines the ToE of epipelagic, migratory and mesopelagic fish biomass, alongside their main environmental drivers, for two contrasted climate-change scenarios. Globally-averaged biomass signals emerge over the historical period. Epipelagic biomass decline emerges earlier (1950) than mesozooplankton decline (2000) due to a stronger signal in the early 20th century, possibly related to trophic amplification induced by an early-emerging surface warming (1915). Trophic amplification is delayed for mesopelagic biomass due to postponed warming in the mesopelagic zone, resulting in a later emergence (2000). ToE displays strong size class dependence, with medium sizes (20 cm) experiencing delays compared to the largest (1 m) and smallest (1 cm) categories. Regional signal emergence lags behind the global average, with median ToE estimates of 2029, 2034 and 2033 for epipelagic, mesopelagic and migrant communities, respectively, due to systematically larger local noise compared to global one. These ToEs are also spatially heterogeneous, driven predominantly by the signal pattern, akin to mesozooplankton. Additionally, our findings underscore that mitigation efforts (i.e. transitioning from SSP5-8.5 to SSP1-2.6 scenario) have a potential to curtail emerging ocean surface signals by 40%.
30 Mar 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
01 Apr 2024Published in ESS Open Archive