Global imprint of climate change on marine life

Journal article
(Original article)

Publication Details

Author(s): Kießling W, Poloczanska ES, Brown CJ, Sydeman WJ, Kiessling W, Schoeman DS, Moore PJ, Brander K, Bruno JF, Buckley LB, Burrows MT, Duarte CM, Halpern BS, Holding J, Kappel CV, O'Connor MI, Pandolfi JM, Parmesan C, Schwing F, Thompson SA, Richardson AJ
Journal: Nature Climate Change
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Publication year: 2013
Volume: 3
Pages range: 919-925
ISSN: 1758-678X
eISSN: 1758-6798


Past meta-analyses of the response of marine organisms to climate change have examined a limited range of locations, taxonomic groups and/or biological responses. This has precluded a robust overview of the effect of climate change in the global ocean. Here, we synthesized all available studies of the consistency of marine ecological observations with expectations under climate change. This yielded a meta-database of 1,735 marine biological responses for which either regional or global climate change was considered as a driver. Included were instances of marine taxa responding as expected, in a manner inconsistent with expectations, and taxa demonstrating no response. From this database, 81-83% of all observations for distribution, phenology, community composition, abundance, demography and calcification across taxa and ocean basins were consistent with the expected impacts of climate change. Of the species responding to climate change, rates of distribution shifts were, on average, consistent with those required to track ocean surface temperature changes. Conversely, we did not find a relationship between regional shifts in spring phenology and the seasonality of temperature. Rates of observed shifts in species' distributions and phenology are comparable to, or greater, than those for terrestrial systems. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved .

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Kießling, Wolfgang Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt

External institutions with authors

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Edith Cowan University
Farallon Institute
Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science / Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Scottish Marine Institute
Spanish National Research Council / Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Technical University of Denmark / Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
University of British Columbia
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Queensland
University of Texas at Austin
University of the Sunshine Coast

Research Fields

Climate and Resources
Research focus area of a faculty: Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

How to cite

Kießling, W., Poloczanska, E.S., Brown, C.J., Sydeman, W.J., Kiessling, W., Schoeman, D.S.,... Richardson, A.J. (2013). Global imprint of climate change on marine life. Nature Climate Change, 3, 919-925.

Kießling, Wolfgang, et al. "Global imprint of climate change on marine life." Nature Climate Change 3 (2013): 919-925.


Last updated on 2018-11-08 at 00:55