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Considering the Role of Adaptive Evolution in Models of the Ocean and Climate System

Ward, BA; Collins, S; Dutkiewicz, S; Gibbs, S; Bown, P; Ridgwell, A; Sauterey, B; ... Oschlies, A; + view all (2019) Considering the Role of Adaptive Evolution in Models of the Ocean and Climate System. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 10.1029/2018ms001452. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Numerical models have been highly successful in simulating global carbon and nutrient cycles in today's ocean, together with observed spatial and temporal patterns of chlorophyll and plankton biomass at the surface. With this success has come some confidence in projecting the century‐scale response to continuing anthropogenic warming. There is also increasing interest in using such models to understand the role of plankton ecosystems in past oceans. However, today's marine environment is the product of billions of years of continual evolution—a process that continues today. In this paper, we address the questions of whether an assumption of species invariance is sufficient, and if not, under what circumstances current model projections might break down. To do this, we first identify the key timescales and questions asked of models. We then review how current marine ecosystem models work and what alternative approaches are available to account for evolution. We argue that for timescales of climate change overlapping with evolutionary timescales, accounting for evolution may to lead to very different projected outcomes regarding the timescales of ecosystem response and associated global biogeochemical cycling. This is particularly the case for past extinction events but may also be true in the future, depending on the eventual degree of anthropogenic disruption. The discipline of building new numerical models that incorporate evolution is also hugely beneficial in itself, as it forces us to question what we know about adaptive evolution, irrespective of its quantitative role in any specific event or environmental changes.

Type: Article
Title: Considering the Role of Adaptive Evolution in Models of the Ocean and Climate System
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2018ms001452
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1029/2018MS001452
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 the Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: evolution, ecology, climate, ocean
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085763
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