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The model, published in the journal PLoS One, combines existing data and models of four major factors: future climate change scenarios, ocean acidification impacts, fisheries management policies, and fuel costs for fishermen.
"What's novel about our work is that it brings together models of changing ocean environments as well as human responses" says Jennie Rheuban, the lead author of the study. "It combines socioeconomic decision making, ocean chemistry, atmospheric carbon dioxide, economic development and fisheries management. We tried to create a holistic view of how environmental changes might play out across different aspects of the sea scallop fishery," she notes.
Oceans - Quarter - Carbon - Dioxide - Atmosphere
Since the oceans can absorb more than a quarter of all excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, fossil fuel carbon emissions can cause a dip in ocean pH as well. That acidity can corrode the calcium carbonate shells that are made by shellfish like clams, oysters, and scallops, and even prevent their larvae from forming shells in the first place.
According to Rheuban, no existing studies have been published that can show the specific effects of ocean acidification on the Atlantic sea scallop. To estimate its impact in the model, she and her colleagues incorporated a range of effects based on studies of related shellfish species. Combined with estimates of changing water chemistry, this new model lets scientists explore how plausible impacts of ocean acidification may change the future of the scallop population.
Rheuban - Colleagues - Levels - Impact - Factors
Rheuban and colleagues tested four different levels of impact in each of the four different factors influencing the model, ultimately creating 256 different scenario combinations.One group of scenarios looks at possible pathways of how ocean acidification may impact scallop biology. Another examines different levels of atmospheric CO2, including one future where emissions continue to skyrocket, and one where they fall due to aggressive climate...
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