Azara Blog: Yet another report on climate change

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Date published: 2006/11/29

The BBC says:

The biodiversity and productivity of seas around the UK could already be suffering the consequences of climate change, a report has concluded.

It says damaging storms have become more frequent, and rising sea surface temperatures have led to an apparent northward shift of warm-water plankton.

The "Annual Report Card" pulls together leading research on climate change's impact on the UK's marine environment.

The study was compiled by the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership.

The partnership (MCCIP) - including government departments, academics and NGOs - hoped the publication would give more people better access to the research, and help them understand the issues surrounding the topic.

The report looked at a range of climate-related issues affecting the marine environment; from temperature changes and sea level rise to the distribution of fish species.
Each of the contributing scientists rated their level of certainty about the statements within the report, as low, medium or high, based on the amount and consistency of available data.

It gave a low confidence rating to the impact of climate change on the distribution of fish species because it said that observations of rare fish migrants to UK water cannot yet be directly attributed to global warming.

It also added that although cold-water species had moved further north in some regions, such as the North Sea, the shifts had not happened elsewhere.

But forecasts for increases in sea surface temperatures (SST) received a high confidence rating.
But the study also said that whilst the variety and distribution of marine species were being altered by climate change, it was not the only factor; commercial fishing remained the major cause of changes in fish populations.

Projection of sea levels around the UK's shores rising up to 80cm by 2080 received a "medium" confidence rating, yet forecasts of increased coastal flooding merited a "low" confidence rating, illustrating the complexities of modelling the impacts of climate change on the seas around the UK.

Some interesting current best guesses. Of course as with all studies on climate change, nothing good is ever deemed to be likely to happen, it always has to be negative to get any mention.

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