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|Rapid warming of Large Marine Ecosystems|In: Progress in Oceanography. Pergamon: Oxford,New York,. ISSN 0079-6611, more
The need to understand local effects of global climate change is most urgent in the Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) since marine ecosystem-based management requires information on the LME scale. Reported here is a study of sea surface temperature (SST) change in the World Ocean LMEs in 1957–2006 that revealed strong regional variations in the rate of SST change. The rapid warming in 1982–2006 was confined to the Subarctic Gyre, European Seas, and East Asian Seas. These LMEs warmed at rates 2–4 times the global mean rate. The most rapid warming was observed in the land-locked or semi-enclosed European and East Asian Seas (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Black Sea, Japan Sea/East Sea, and East China Sea) and also over the Newfoundland–Labrador Shelf. The Indian Ocean LMEs' warming was slow, while two major upwelling areas – California and Humboldt Currents – experienced a slight cooling. The Subarctic Gyre warming was likely caused by natural variability related to the North Atlantic Oscillation. The extremely rapid surface warming in the enclosed and semi-enclosed European and East Asian Seas surrounded by major industrial/population agglomerations may have resulted from the observed terrestrial warming directly affecting the adjacent coastal seas. Regions of freshwater influence in the European and East Asian Seas seem to play a special role in modulating and exacerbating global warming effects on the regional scale.