Ecosystem overviews

Azores Ecosystem Overview

Climate change impacts

At the global level, current greenhouse gas emissions correspond most closely to the IPCC Regional Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5. Within the Azores ecoregion, this scenario projects a 2.5°C warming above mean conditions for the years 2050–2099. There is little spatial variability in projected warming across this relatively small ICES ecoregion (see Figure 6).

Human-induced climate change and ocean acidification may be expected to have a significant influence on the ecoregion in the future. There is, however, little or no information at present on existing or predicted future changes in the biology of the ecoregion as a consequence of climate change.

​This ecoregion is a hotspot for cold-water corals, and laboratory studies have demonstrated that cold-water corals are vulnerable to ocean acidification.

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​Figure 6: Ensemble mean sea surface temperature (SST) from the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), interpolated on a 1° × 1° grid for the entire year in the Azores ecoregion. Left panel: Historical SST for 1956–2005. Right panel: Difference in the mean climate in the future time period (RCP8.5: 2050–2099), compared to the historical reference period.​

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Azores Ecosystem Overview

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