Climatic Change

, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 111–129 | Cite as

Trade-offs associated with different modeling approaches for assessment of fish and shellfish responses to climate change

  • Anne Babcock Hollowed
  • Enrique N. Curchitser
  • Charles A. Stock
  • Chang Ik Zhang


Considerable progress has been made in integrating carbon, nutrient, phytoplankton and zooplankton dynamics into global-scale physical climate models. Scientists are exploring ways to extend the resolution of the biosphere within these Earth system models (ESMs) to include impacts on global distribution and abundance of commercially exploited fish and shellfish. This paper compares different methods for modeling fish and shellfish responses to climate change on global and regional scales. Several different modeling approaches are considered including: direct applications of ESM’s, use of ESM output for estimation of shifts in bioclimatic windows, using ESM outputs to force single- and multi-species stock projection models, and using ESM and physical climate model outputs to force regional bio-physical models of varying complexity and mechanistic resolution. We evaluate the utility of each of these modeling approaches in addressing nine key questions relevant to climate change impacts on living marine resources. No single modeling approach was capable of fully addressing each question. A blend of highly mechanistic and less computationally intensive methods is recommended to gain mechanistic insights and to identify model uncertainties.


Climate Change Impact High Trophic Level Lower Trophic Level Regional Ocean Modeling System Assess Climate Change Impact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The inspiration for this paper came from discussions during the International Workshop on Climate and Oceanic Fisheries Rarotonga, Cook Islands 3–5 October 2011. We are grateful for the support provided to attend this workshop and the hospitality of the citizens of Raratonga. We are also grateful to Patricia Livingston, Kerim Aydin and three anonymous reviewers who provided useful comments and suggestions that improved this manuscript. This paper is NPRB publication 378 and BEST-BSIERP Bering Sea Project publication 77.


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Copyright information

© U.S. Government 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Babcock Hollowed
    • 1
  • Enrique N. Curchitser
    • 2
  • Charles A. Stock
    • 3
  • Chang Ik Zhang
    • 4
  1. 1.Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Institute for Marine and Coastal SciencesRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  3. 3.Geophysical Fluid Dynamics LaboratoryPrinceton University Forrestal CampusPrincetonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Marine Production System ManagementPukyong National UniversityBusanKorea

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