Vulnerability of the marine ecosystem to climate change impacts in the Arabian Gulf—an urgent need for more research

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 1:40pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2019
Date published: 01/2019
Authors: A. Ben-Hasan, V. Christensen
Journal title: Global Ecology and Conservation
Volume: 17
Pages: e00556
ISSN: 23519894

Climate change, represented by ever-rising ocean temperatures, is a mounting threat to the marine ecosystem and its services. This is most evident in the longitudinal and depth-related migrations of the ectothermic species. Although the impacts of climate change on the marine ecosystem of the Arabian Gulf are expected to be exacerbated—owing to its semi-enclosed basin that limits species range shift, extreme environmental conditions, overfishing, and pollution—very few studies have been carried out to evaluate such impacts. Here, we conduct a systematic review of literature over the period 1950–2018 to assess the status of knowledge about climate change impacts on the Arabian Gulf's marine ecosystem and fisheries resources. We found that this region suffers a significant research gap in this critical subject, with only a handful of studies that explicitly addresses the effects of climate change. Our finding raises an urgent need for initiating long-term monitoring programs, along with establishing effective transboundary institutions to advance the current knowledge in climate change.

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