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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeBinary
Variable Component TypeNatural Resource Unit, Natural Resource System
Variable KindInteraction
ThemeExternal (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD, Fiji fisheries
QuestionHas climate change affected this resource during the time period being examined?
Select Options
Unit
Role
ImportanceClimate change is one of the most important drivers of change of ecosystems (Millennium ecosystem assessment 2005). Climate change might be an external factor in explaining the current status and trend of the quality of the resource.
Definition

"This question is an assessment of whether the resource is affected by climate change. The IPCC describes climate change thusly: 'Climate change refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer). Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use."""

Sectors

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used

Case Usages

CaseInteraction TypeComponentValue UsedExplanation
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceForests in IndonesiaNoAlthough there is little evidence of climate impacts, large forest fires in 1997 were triggered in part be a severe El Nino, which may have been related to a changing climate.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceForests in IndonesiaNoAlthough climate change may have increased the severity of droughts - and thus of fires - in Indonesia during this period, it is not clear that this has had a major effect on the resource.
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower groupersMissingNO DATA
Galapagos Marine ReserveBiophysicalGalapagos Sea Cucumber 
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceWestern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna No
Community D (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity D Fish ResourcesNo
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceEastern Atlantic Bluefin TunaNo
Community G (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity G Fish ResourcesNo
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceEastern Atlantic Bluefin TunaNo
Community H (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity H Fish ResourcesNo
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR coral coverYesExtensive coral bleaching occurred during the 97-98 El Nino. There is concern about cyclone damage to the reefs. Both El Nino events and cyclones (and associated rainfall events that cause sedimentation) are likely influenced by climate change.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR target fishNo
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR coral coverYesCoral bleaching, cyclones, crown of thorns seastar outbreaks are among the stressors thought to be influenced by climate change
Montreal ProtocolBiophysicalOzoneNoMany ODS are also greenhouse gases, but climate change itself has not affected ozone concentrations.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Rocky Shores Ecosystem HealthYesDiseases associated with higher temperatures have been depleting populations in this area (Hewson et al. 2014). Oxygen minimum zones are thought to play a role as well. Species expansions have been observed, as southern California species that were rare or never found in Northern California in 1930 were then quite abundant in the Sanctuaries in 1990 (Osborn et al. 2005).
Montreal ProtocolBiophysicalOzoneNoMany ODS are also greenhouse gases, but climate change itself has not affected ozone concentrations.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR target fishYesTemperature anomalies and extreme events can temporarily and more permanently disrupt fish distributions.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi fish spawningNoNo evidence of these impacts yet.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Royal PenguinNoAt present there is no evidence that Royal Penguin have been affected by climate change during this snapshot. However between the 1960's and 1980's the date at which eggs are layed has come three days earlier.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceLight Mantled AlbatrossMissingAlthough there is some evidence that population at Crozet Island respond to changes in sea surface temperature (Barbraud et al. 2012); no evidence has linked climate change to the population on Macquarie Island, and the population has remained stable. Climate change does, however, remain a potential threat.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Lobster FisheryNono evidence of this
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Green Turtle Climate change is known to affect green turtles through e.g. erosion of nesting beaches, changes in sex ratios, and changes to feeding habitats and patterns. But no data on these impacts from WNP
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Green TurtleNoSea level rise threatens to erode coastal habitat, including nesting habitat. The majority of nesting occurs on French Frigate Shoals, a low-lying atoll vulnerable to increases in sea level (Baker et al. 2006). However, there is evidence of long term accretion of islands, so that this effect may be somewhat mitigated (Webb and Kench 2010).
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Green TurtleYesClimatic events have had an impact on nesting turtles, particularly el nino/nina events
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Sea Cucumber El nino does affect sea cucumber reproduction and recruitment. El Nino in 1997/1998 caused huge increased in recruitment in 2001/2002 years (Schuhbauer et al 2010)
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Trophic DensityNono evidence for climate impacts on trophic density (first mass coral bleaching in NWHI recorded in 2002)
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Sea LionNo
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernancePatagonian Toothfish NoThere is no evidence that toothfish stocks at Macquarie Island have been influenced by climate change, but Trathan and Agnew (2010) suggest that toothfish recruitment is sensitive to changes in sea surface temperature and could therefore be affected by future changes.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi coral coverYesBleaching event in 2010. 65% of corals were affected by the bleaching but mortality was estimated at less than 5% (Wilson et al 2012): https://www.conservationgateway.org/Files/Pages/study-2010-coral-bleachin.aspx#sthash.M8E4LV7y.dpuf
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Sharks 
Community E (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity E Fish ResourcesNo
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Coral CoverYesEvidence of coral bleaching in certain MPAs in 2009-2011 at the Kofiau and Boo Isles area (Purwanto et al. 2012).
Community C (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity C Fish ResourcesNo
Community F (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity F Fish ResourcesNo
Community B (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity B Fish ResourcesNo
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Green TurtleNoNo evidence, but climate change is known to impact turtles
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Reef Fish Nono evidence of climate change impacts of reef fish
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Southern Bluefin TunaNoFor the time period being examined there is no evidence or records that the GABMP (CW) southern bluefin tuna have been affected.
Community A (Fiji fisheries)GovernanceCommunity A Fish ResourcesNoThere is no evidence that climate change has effected this resource during this time period.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard ShrimpYesData suggests that the shrimp population has been moving slightly eastward in recent years towards due to warming waters (NAFO 2012a).
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Southern Right WhaleNoThere is evidence that climate variability affects reproductive output in southern right whales in Australia with El Nino events shown to lead to decreased calf production in a later year (Australia 2012). It is predicted that as Antarctic feeding grounds warm up, the average calving rate of southern right whales will decline (Leaper et al. 2006) – these are predictions and these trends have not been observed yet.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Groundfish HabitatYesSome species have been noted to decline sharply during periods of low oxygen zones (Keller et al. 2015). Climate change will have known impacts on the groundfish fishery, but to which attribution of currently affecting the species is less documented (Hamel et al. 2012).
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceLight Mantled AlbatrossMissingClimate change has caused phenological changes in many other seabirds, especially penguins and including some albatross, but there is no information specifically on light-mantled albatross. (See Chambers et al. 2013; Chambers et al. 2014)
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR Green TurtleYesAlthough it is difficult to attribute climate change directly to changes in population size, there are a few mechanisms through which impacts are likely (GBRMPA 2014). Sea level rise from climate change may inundate nesting beaches, which may have considerable impact because females generally show strong site fidelity to nest at the beaches where they were born (Limpus et al 2003). Warming temperatures can change the sex-ratios of the eggs; warmer temperatures are likely to produce more females (Limpus 2008). Warming temperatures may also affect ocean circulation patterns, and could result in the movement of larvae away from beaches (GBRMPA 2014).
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih coral coverYesIn 2010–2011 Cendrawasih Bay experienced large scale bleaching with some reefs recording 90% mortality (Mangubhai et al. 2012). Recovery has been good http://blog.conservation.org/2011/11/tagging-whale-sharks-in-indonesia-conclusion/
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard KittiwakeNoThe species is potentially threatened by climate change because it has a geographically bounded distribution: its global distribution is restricted to within c.10o latitude from the polar edge of continent and within which 20-50% of current vegetation type is projected to disappear under doubling of CO2 levels (BirdLife International, unpublished data).
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Humpback WhaleYesHumpback whales have been observed in more northern waters than traditionally been observed before (e.g. humpback whales have been documented in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off the arctic coast of Alaska) (Hashagen et al. 2009, NRDC 2008). Climate change could expose humpback whales to new or more diseases, mostly in their feeding grounds, as those habitats have been observed to increase in diseases (IWC 2007). Habitat and food availability are concerns.
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower coral reefsMissingNO DATA
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Polar BearYesAlthough the answer is very likely β€œyes”, it is difficult to directly attribute climate change to the status of the population, especially since there is little literature which directly assesses the polar bear population numbers. In addition, it remains difficult to determine the long-term trend over a short time period (2004-2012), in an environment with considerable interannual variability; Derocher et al (2005) found that polar body mass (an index of health) correlates with the Arctic Oscillation Index. Studies have shown that later arrival of sea-ice in the fall was correlated with lower body mass of adult females, and of their cubs upon emergence in the spring (Stirling et al 1999, Derocher et al 2011). A report by the Polar Institute (2014) notes that Hopen Island used to be a favoured denning site, and suggests that females no longer den in this location because autumn sea-ice no longer extends so far south. Climate change is likely to be highly important in the future as the seasonal sea-ice extent changes (Hunter et al 2010).
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceKing PenguinYesSee above. While data is not available for King Penguins at HIMI, King Penguins (in general) forage at the Polar Front, making them vulnerable to climate change. King Penguin populations at Crozet Island have been recorded traveling further north in response, with a variety of energetic and reproductive consequences. While explicit data for the effects of climate change on King Penguins at HIMI is not available, it is reasonable to assume that climate change is having an impact on their foraging and/or reproductive cycle.
Falkland Islands squidGovernancePatagonian squid (Loligo gahi)YesOnly in episodic occurrences in the case where warmer than normal waters bring Illex to migrate further south and predate upon Loligo in the fishing area (also disperse Loligo).
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih target fishNono evidence of climate change impacts of reef fish
New Zealand squidGovernanceArrow Squid (Nototodarus spp.)NoNo evidence
California squidGovernanceCalifornia market squid (Loligo opalescens)NoNo evidence.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernancePatagonian Toothfish NoThere is no indication that climate change has impacted HIMI toothfish, however Trathan and Agnew (2010) suggest that toothfish recruitment is sensitive to changes in sea surface temperature and could be affected by future changes.