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A new paper published in the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics emphasizes an unusual approach to researching climate change within marine ecosystems: focusing on variance in addition to trends in ocean temperatures to make more accurate climate change projections.

According to Jon Witman, a professor of biology at the University and one of the paper’s authors, studying variability in ocean temperature is important because it is an “unrecognized area of marine climate change studies” and “has a huge influence” on the resiliency of ecosystems.

John Bruno PhD ’00, a professor of biology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and another author of the paper, noted that a particularly relevant example of this variability is “what are called marine heat waves: a temperature anomaly where it gets really warm in the ocean, just like when you have a heat wave on the land.” READ MORE

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