The Impacts of Climate Extremes on Ocean Ecosystems

Joan Kleypas

Joan Kleypas
Climate & Global Dynamics, Integrated Science Program
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Boulder, Colorado


Images of climate extremes most often involve episodic events that cause catastrophic impacts on humans, such as intense storms, heat waves, and flooding.  This talk will present a different perspective of climate extremes, and in two ways.  First, many climate extremes can also be gradual in nature, and second, they can have profound impacts on marine ecosystems.  Seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean, and climate extremes will affect marine ecosystems just as much as it affects humans and terrestrial ecosystems.  This talk will address some of the climate-related challenges facing marine ecosystems – particularly coral reefs – and how climate science and supercomputing are used to understand what the impacts will be and how to minimize them through informed conservation strategies.