Assessing Marine Climate Impacts in North America Using Species Range Shifts and Climate Velocity

Climate impacts marine ecosystems in many ways, but one of the clearest is through shifts in
species distributions. Species in many regions of North America have already shifted in response
to climate, and further shifts are expected in the future. For commercially and recreationally
important species, including many species of coastal fish and invertebrates, shifts in species
distributions have clear and immediate impacts on coastal communities, economies, and
societies. For example, fisheries shift in search of fish, taking with them jobs and revenue that
may not be easy to replace.
Understanding of these shifts, however, remains limited among policymakers and the public, in
part because information on these shifts is scattered in the scientific literature, difficult to access,
and often out-of-date. In this project, we will develop a suite of indicators of marine species'
distribution shifts in North America along with visualization tools for sharing these indicators
with the public. Indicators will use data from federal (National Marine Fisheries Service) and
state-run bottom trawl surveys. We will develop software pipelines so that the indicators can be
updated in real time as new data become available. Indicator development will be closely
coordinated with the National Climate Assessment Indicators System and with the Northeast
Fisheries Science Center's Ecosystem Advisory program