Warning over climate change impact on marine sector

The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) has released a report on the current and future impacts of climate change in the UK warning of disruption to operations – especially ports – from the effects of climate change.

The MCCIP Report Card summarizes information from 26 individual, peer-reviewed scientific reports commissioned by MCCIP and written by scientists from across the country, providing evidence of observed and projected climate-change impacts and highlighting emerging issues and knowledge gaps.

The latest report card suggests that there is clear evidence that warming seas, reduced oxygen, ocean acidification and sea-level rise are already affecting UK coasts and seas. Increasingly, these changes are having an impact on food webs, with effects seen in seabed-dwelling species, as well as plankton, fish, birds and mammals.

It also warns that the upper range for the latest UK sea-level rise projections is higher than previous estimates, implying an increased flood risk. Oxygen concentrations in UK seas are projected to decline more than the global average, especially in the North Sea.

Marine consultancy firm ABPmer prepared the Transport and Infrastructure scientific review for the MCCIP Report Card, evaluating the current and potential impacts of climate change on coastal and marine transport and infrastructure. Among the major risks highlighted are enhanced erosion and flood risk resulting from sea-level rise, the need for coastal defence improvements or re-siting of coastal infrastructure, and increased potential for damage to structures from larger extreme waves.

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