Changes in Migration Patterns of the Capelin as an Indicator of Temperature Changes in the Arctic Ocean

Bjorn Birnir
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Centro De Estudios de la Universidad de California

Migration patterns of the capelin a pelagic species of fish that migrates far north into the Arctic ocean to feed and subsequently around Iceland to spawn, have been simulated and compared with data, collected twice a year over a 40 year period. New methods from dynamical systems theory and large paralell computations permit simulations with sufficiently many fish to predict the migration patterns and reproduce the
data. The migrations turn out to be very sensitive to the temperature distributions in the ocean and given ocean currents and position of landmasses the temperature is the sole control parameter. The availability of the data over
such a long period and the simulations permits a search of temperature changes in the oceans that span decades.

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