Over the past decade nearly all of the research on the effects of climate change on fish has focused on the effects of warmer water temperatures. Yet, it is expected that temperature variability will also increase, resulting in more frequent incidences of rapid decreases in water temperatures (i.e. cold shock). Cold shock events have caused large-scale fish mortalities, and sublethal impacts are also known to occur but are less well documented. We argue that cold shock will become an important selective force in climate change scenarios. There is a rich history of research on cold shock in the context of industrial cooling effluents and aquaculture, providing a foundation upon which to develop and extend future work on cold shock and climate change. To understand the diverse effects climate change may have on fish populations, future research needs to expand beyond the projected increases in water temperatures to include consideration of variability in temperature and the potential for cold shock.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Climate change, Cold shock, Fish, Research agenda, Water temperature
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3354/cr01404
Journal Climate Research
Szekeres, P. (Petra), Eliason, E.J. (Erika J.), Lapointe, D. (Dominique), Donaldson, M.R. (Michael R.), Brownscombe, J.W. (Jacob W.), & Cooke, S.J. (2016). As I see it: On the neglected cold side of climate change and what it means to fish. Climate Research, 69(3), 239–245. doi:10.3354/cr01404