The Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling project (ACLIM) represents a comprehensive effort by NOAA Fisheries and partners to describe and project responses of the Bering Sea ecosystem – both the physical environment and human communities -- to varying climate conditions. It connects research on global climate and socioeconomic projections to regional circulation, climate enhanced biological models, and socio-economic and harvest scenarios. This effort informs managers of the risks of climate change on fish and fisheries and enables the evaluation of a range of adaptation strategies.
ACLIM is a collaboration between 50 scientists including physical oceanographers, ecosystem modelers, economists, social scientists, and fishery and living marine resource managers.
Scientists are focusing on key species (fish, crabs and marine mammals) where changes in productivity have been linked to climate variability. A subset of scientists in ACLIM are also looking at impacts on other species in the food web and the broader ecosystem. To evaluate a range of possible future conditions, scientists are evaluating the effectiveness of existing fishery management actions under different climate scenarios (spanning high and low CO2 futures expected to lead to different degrees of warming). They will also look at how human fishing fleets and communities can adapt to climate change through climate-informed management.