Marine Species Distribution Shifts Reflect Local Climate Conditions

Climate change has resulted in shifts in where and at what depths many marine species are found. These shifts have not been uniform, and sometimes have occurred at different rates and in different ways than expected. The leading explanation for these changes has been biological differences among species, but a new study suggests that the local climatic conditions are more likely causing these shifts.

In a study published September 13 in the journal Science, researchers from the U.S. and Canada suggest that climate velocity – the rate and direction that climate shifts in a particular region or landscape – explains observed shifts in distribution far better than biological or species characteristics.

Continue reading on the Northeast Fisheries Science Center website...