Fish Getting Pushed to Poles by Climate Change Will Hurt Poor People | The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel

8 months ago Comments Off on Fish Getting Pushed to Poles by Climate Change Will Hurt Poor People | The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel

A new study says fish getting pushed to the poles by climate change will put a strain on global wealth resources, hurting fishermen living in poorer countries.

Scientists at Rutgers, Princeton, Yale and Arizona State University found in a new report entitled “Wealth reallocation and sustainability under climate change,” published in the journal Nature Climate Change, that rising global temperatures will significantly disperse fish — an essential food resource — away from the equator, leading to a “mass redistribution of wealth.”

The research team analyzed fish migration data using a mathematical formula to determine their movement’s impact to the economies of developing nations.

Malin Pinsky, one of the study’s co-authors, explained to that their research found strength of resource management was even more important than location “when we think about climate change moving wealth around.”

(MORE: Fish Populations Changing with the Climate, Study Finds)

“An indigenous community might have very strong resource management, and they would be well positioned to benefit,” Pinsky said. “However, if poor communities have low capacity for resource management, they will tend not to benefit as much.”

Pinsky observed that countries that depended on fisheries for employment included “coastal Africa and southern Asia (e.g., Vietnam), but also includes Fiji and oceanic nations,” also noting that nations that relied on fish for their export economy were found in “southeast Asia, Africa, South America, and northern Europe.”

“Fish is an important source (more than 15 percent) of animal protein for 4.3 billion people globally,” he added. “Within low-income countries, fish are even more important and can provide 25 percent or more of the animal protein consumed.”

Eli Fenichel, an environmental economist at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies who also co-authored the report, told in an email that the effects of global warming will “exacerbate inequality.”

“… We ask how does accounting for the way climate change can affect the ability of natural capital to store wealth (it value), in additional to physical changes, influence winners and losers by focusing on the effects of climate change on the value of natural capital,” Fenichel said. “We argue that the ability of regions/countries to effectively manage natural resources can have a big effect on the ability of these resources to store wealth.”

Fenichel noted that wealthy groups are most likely to reap the rewards of this phenomenon.

“In the end, a lot of this boils down to economics 101, as resource become more plentiful, the incremental unit becomes less valuable, and vice versa,” Fenichel concluded. “In the fishery example, that means even if the total number of fish in the system stays the same, the cards are stacked against us for preserving total wealth in the system. This is because if the north and south components of the system were the same to begin with, the fish added to the northern system are worth less in the north (where they are now more plentiful) then they would have been to the people in the south.”

MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Could Climate Change Kill Off These Foods?

Fish Getting Pushed to Poles by Climate Change Will Hurt Poor People | The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel