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The College of Wooster

Publication Date

Fall 2021

Program Name

Iceland: Climate Change and The Arctic


Feedback-driven changes in North Atlantic Ocean circulation are affecting marine ecosystems off the coast of Iceland and are predicted to have differing outcomes by 2100. In this study, data reflecting Icelandic fish stock distributions was compiled on a map with oceanographic temperature and depth in order to observe patterns of population changes with changes in ocean currents. After evaluating past temperature effects on demersal fish stocks, future habitat predictions were estimated in weaker ocean circulation scenarios. A number of assumptions were made in order to pinpoint a correlation between ocean temperature and fish habitat. Iceland’s unique location and climate offers researchers a chance to analyze changes in marine ecosystems that could see an uncharacteristic drop in temperature. Thus, the purpose of this study is to use maps to make inferences regarding oceanographic patterns, then use the inferences to hypothesize what the future may hold. In this study, fishing data on 4 unique demersal fish species from the past 19 years was compiled on a map in coordination with oceanic conditions within Iceland’s waters. A key hope is that future research will delve into studying the magnitude of atmospheric and oceanographic systems in manipulating Iceland’s marine ecosystems. With this, more permanent circulation records in the future can shed light on the island’s environmental response to changes in climate. In the study, the results revealed that ocean conditions and fish habitats appear to be affected by ocean circulation habits, however it is difficult to accurately predict a future environmental state.


Climate | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Studies | Oceanography | Research Methods in Life Sciences | Zoology


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