Marine wild-capture fisheries after nuclear war

Nuclear war, beyond its devastating direct impacts, is expected to cause global climatic perturbations through injections of soot into the upper atmosphere. Reduced temperature and sunlight could drive unprecedented reductions in agricultural production, endangering global food security. However, the effects of nuclear war on marine wild-capture fisheries, which significantly contribute to the global animal protein and micronutrient supply, remain unexplored. We simulate the climatic effects of six war scenarios on fish biomass and catch globally, using a state-of-the-art Earth system model and global process-based fisheries model. We also simulate how either rapidly increased fish demand (driven by food shortages) or decreased ability to fish (due to infrastructure disruptions), would affect global catches, and test the benefits of strong prewar fisheries management. We find a decade-long negative climatic impact that intensifies with soot emissions, with global biomass and catch falling by up to 18 +/- 3% and 29 +/- 7% after a US-Russia war under business-as-usual fishing-similar in magnitude to the end-of-century declines under unmitigated global warming. When war occurs in an overfished state, increasing demand increases short-term (1 to 2 y) catch by at most similar to 30% followed by precipitous declines of up to similar to 70%, thus offsetting only a minor fraction of agricultural losses. However, effective prewar management that rebuilds fish biomass could ensure a short-term catch buffer large enough to replace similar to 43 +/- 35% of today's global animal protein production. This buffering function in the event of a global food emergency adds to the many previously known economic and ecological benefits of effective and precautionary fisheries management.

To Access Resource:

Questions? Email Resource Support Contact:

    UCAR/NCAR - Library

Resource Type publication
Temporal Range Begin N/A
Temporal Range End N/A
Temporal Resolution N/A
Bounding Box North Lat N/A
Bounding Box South Lat N/A
Bounding Box West Long N/A
Bounding Box East Long N/A
Spatial Representation N/A
Spatial Resolution N/A
Related Links N/A
Additional Information N/A
Resource Format PDF
Standardized Resource Format PDF
Asset Size N/A
Legal Constraints

Copyright author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Access Constraints None
Software Implementation Language N/A

Resource Support Name N/A
Resource Support Email
Resource Support Organization UCAR/NCAR - Library
Distributor N/A
Metadata Contact Name N/A
Metadata Contact Email
Metadata Contact Organization UCAR/NCAR - Library

Author Scherrer, Kim J. N.
Harrison, Cheryl S.
Heneghan, Ryan F.
Galbraith, Eric
Bardeen, Charles G.
Coupe, Joshua
Jägermeyr, Jonas
Lovenduski, Nicole S.
Luna, August
Robock, Alan
Stevens, Jessica
Stevenson, Samantha
Toon, Owen B.
Xia, Lili
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2020-11-24T00:00:00
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Not Assigned
Alternate Identifier N/A
Resource Version N/A
Topic Category geoscientificInformation
Progress N/A
Metadata Date 2023-04-14T21:04:05.425869
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:23905
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Scherrer, Kim J. N., Harrison, Cheryl S., Heneghan, Ryan F., Galbraith, Eric, Bardeen, Charles G., Coupe, Joshua, Jägermeyr, Jonas, Lovenduski, Nicole S., Luna, August, Robock, Alan, Stevens, Jessica, Stevenson, Samantha, Toon, Owen B., Xia, Lili. (2020). Marine wild-capture fisheries after nuclear war. UCAR/NCAR - Library. Accessed 10 June 2023.

Harvest Source