Antarctic Futures: An Assessment of Climate-Driven Changes in Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Service Provisioning in the Southern Ocean

Peer Reviewed

A.D. Rogers, B.A.V. Frinault, D.K.A. Barnes, N.L. Bindoff, R. Downie, H.W. Ducklow, A.S. Friedlaender, T. Hart, S.L. Hill, E.E. Hofmann, K. Linse, C.R. McMahon, E.J. Murphy, E.A. Pakhomov, G. Reygondeau, I.J. Staniland, D.A. Wolf-Gladrow, R.M. Wright

Annual Review of Marine Science, Issue 12, pages 87-120, 2020, 10.1146/annurev-marine-010419-011028.

In this article, we analyze the impacts of climate change on Antarctic marine ecosystems. Observations demonstrate large-scale changes in the physical variables and circulation of the Southern Ocean driven by warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, and a positive Southern Annular Mode. Alterations in the physical environment are driving change through all levels of Antarctic marine food webs, which differ regionally. The distributions of key species, such as Antarctic krill, are also changing. Differential responses among predators reflect differences in species ecology. The impacts of climate change on Antarctic biodiversity will likely vary for different communities and depend on species range. Coastal communities and those of sub-Antarctic islands, especially range-restricted endemic communities, will likely suffer the greatest negative consequences of climate change. Simultaneously, ecosystem services in the Southern Ocean will likely increase. Such decoupling of ecosystem services and endemic species will require consideration in the management of human activities such as fishing in Antarctic marine ecosystems.

Keywords: climate change, Southern Ocean, biodiversity, impacts
Categories: Antarctic, Natural Science, Publications