Climate change impacts on ecosystems and food: bridging the land-sea divide

Julia L. Blanchard (1,2), Beth Fulton (2,3), John Dunne (4), Joshua Elliott (5), Mario Herrero (6), Petr  Havlik (7), Hermann Lotze-Campen (8), Christoph Müller (9) , Rob Parker (10), Reg Watson (1,2) & Simon Jennings (11,12)

1 Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania, GPO Box 252-49, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia

2 Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia

3 CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere Flagship, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001, Australia

4 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

5 NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 USA

6 CSIRO Agriculture Flagship, Bioscience Prec 306 Carmody Rd, St. Lucia, Qld, 4067, Australia

7 International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) – Schlossplatz 1 – A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria

8 Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegraphenberg A31, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

9 Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft Laboratory, Lowestoft, NR33 0HT, United Kingdom

10 School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom

All food production systems are inextricably linked through and limited by the Earth’s biosphere. However, marine and terrestrial systems are often treated separately in studies addressing the impacts of climate change on future human food security and nutrition. This is in partly due to assuming ‘average diets’ in global studies, which underestimates the regional importance of fisheries for many island countries and states leading to incomplete assessment of potential impact. Using a portfolio approach we show how published model outputs of climate change impacts on crops, livestock and fisheries production can be integrated to assess potential food and nutrition impacts under climate change. Future developments of this approach could include the coupling of global ecosystem and food production models that span the land-sea divide as well as more holistic assessments of how changes in human diet might help to reduce environmental impacts on ecosystems whilst feeding more people in the future.

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