The answer to this question depends on several factors, most importantly on location, fishing pressure, and ocean temperature changes. Ocean temperature regimes are changing in many parts of the world, yet the overall effect of temperature on marine ecosystems, and specifically on fish production, is not well understood. For my research, I will assemble real data on fish catches, plankton abundance and sea surface temperature collected from ships in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans over the last 50 years. I will combine these data with theoretical and computer models to explore how warmer temperatures can cause fish and their plankton food to grow faster, eat more, and interact differently. I will also study how these changes can lead to bigger effects on fisheries harvests and biodiversity in different regions of the world.
Projected surface air temperature change by 2099, from the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Sea
Surface temperatures are closely linked to air temperatures.