Assessing Ecosystem Vulnerability to Climate Change Through Optics, Imagery & Models

Active Project
Assessing Ecosystem Vulnerability to Climate Change Through Optics, Imagery & Models

Project Leaders:

Focus Areas: 

  • Natural Ecosystems

This project aims to understand pathways in which ocean ecosystems are subject to change and to quantify states of ecological vulnerability. The researchers propose to use existing satellite measurements, particularly ocean color, in situ datasets, along with numerical model output and theory, to address spatial, temporal and depth-dependent changes to marine ecosystems with a focus on how best to detect these changes and characterize vulnerability using satellite measurements. The project is designed to analyze how ecosystems have changed over the last few decades and how they will continue to change in a future warming world, and how well we can capture these changes from satellite measurements; how interconnected are deep and surface communities, how much they differ in terms of vulnerability, and how they are changing in relation to each other; what are the regional variations in vulnerability of the marine ecosystems; and how we can best determine and quantify ecological vulnerability metrics using a combination of ocean color imagery and a numerical model. By producing such vulnerability, this project seeks to better inform marine ecosystem monitoring, management and policymaking.

Funding Sources