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High Resolution Simulations of Future Ocean Climates in the Northwest Atlantic


Credit: The output of a high-resolution ocean model for the Northwest Atlantic (above) illustrates the predicted change in annually averaged sea-surface temperature between the present climate and a future climate simulation (2046-2065). Temperature changes of up to 2℃ are projected for the Labrador Sea and Maritime shelf seas. Negative temperature changes south of the Scotian Shelf reflect a predicted southward shift in the average position of the Gulf Stream. Credit: Dr. Z. Wang, DFO-BIO.

Fisheries and Ocean Canada requires scientifically sound, high-resolution, ocean-climate projections to inform decision-making, particularly in light of the potential impacts of climate change on coastal areas. The resolution of atmosphere-ocean, general circulation models are not high enough to capture key ocean processes that affect ocean climate variability in the Northwest Atlantic. To address this knowledge gap, a high-resolution (5 kilometres) ocean model will be used to simulate present and future ocean climate for the entire Northwest Atlantic from Hudson and Baffin bays in the north to the Gulf of Maine in the south. Analyses of the differences between present and future (2046-2065 and 2066-2085) climate simulations will also be delivered.

This project will advance knowledge of ocean processes in the Northwest Atlantic and provide climate-change related predictions of coastal sea-level, bottom temperatures, stratification and other ocean variables. It will also explore the potential impacts of future ocean conditions on marine ecosystems, coastal communities and infrastructure.

Program Name

Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program (ACCASP)


Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

David Brickman
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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