Impacts of marine climate change demonstrated by decade of scientific collaboration

 
28 July 2017
 
Kelp and cliffs - Lundy Island - UK © Alex Mustard
 

A new report card by the UK Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) demonstrates the important effects climate change is having on UK seas and coastlines. Building on contributions from 400 scientists, key findings 10 years on from the first MCCIP report card are:

  • A long-term underlying warming trend in sea-surface temperature is still clear, despite year-to-year fluctuations.
  • Ocean acidification has become established as a major issue for marine ecosystems, and may be taking place at a faster rate in UK seas than in the wider north Atlantic.
  • Climate change is clearly affecting marine life. Warm-water species, such as squid and anchovies, have become more common place in UK waters; whilst seabirds face an uncertain future with the productivity of fulmars, Atlantic puffins, little and Arctic terns and black legged kittiwakes being impacted by sea-surface temperature rises.
  • Extreme high-water events are becoming more frequent at the coast due to sea-level rise. However, this has not led to a corresponding increase in coastal flooding to date due to continued improvements in flood defences, emergency planning, forecasting and warning.

JNCC are a member of the Working Group which oversaw delivery of this report card and also contributed to the seabirds review paper. JNCC’s Head of Marine Evidence and Chair of MCCIP Beth Stoker said: “This eighth MCCIP report card brings together expertise from across marine and climate scientists in research institutes, industry and government to provide clear, evidence-based messages on the impacts of marine climate change to decision makers and the public”.

 

For further information please contact:

Communications Team, JNCC