Rapid Climate-Driven Circulation Changes Threaten Conservation of Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

TitleRapid Climate-Driven Circulation Changes Threaten Conservation of Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsRecord, Nicholas, Runge Jeffrey, Pendleton Daniel, Balch William, Davies Kimberley, Pershing Andrew, Johnson Catherine, Stamieszkin Karen, Ji Rubao, Feng Zhixuan, Kraus Scott, Kenney Robert, Hudak Christy, Mayo Charles, Chen Changsheng, Salisbury Joseph, and Thompson Cameron
Corporate AuthorsBigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
JournalOceanography
Volume32
Issue2
Date PublishedJan-06-2019
ISSN10428275
KeywordsAtlantic meridional overturning circulation, Calanus finmarchicus, copepod, Eubalaena glacialis, Gulf of Maine, North Atlantic right whale
Abstract

As climate trends accelerate, ecosystems will be pushed rapidly into new states, reducing the potential efficacy of conservation strategies based on historical patterns. In the Gulf of Maine, climate-driven changes have restructured the ecosystem rapidly over the past decade. Changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation have altered deepwater dynamics, driving warming rates twice as high as the fastest surface rates. This has had implications for the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, a critical food supply for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). The oceanographic changes have driven a deviation in the seasonal foraging patterns of E. glacialis upon which conservation strategies depend, making the whales more vulnerable to ship strikes and gear entanglements. The effects of rapid climate-driven changes on a species at risk undermine current management approaches.

URLhttps://tos.org/oceanography/article/rapid-climate-driven-circulation-changes-threaten-conservation-of-endangere
DOI10.5670/oceanog.2019.201
Short TitleOceanog