Posts Tagged 'Policy'

Bioeconomics of ocean acidification

Ocean acidification is an additional stressor to many fisheries of today, mostly those targeting calcifier species. Responsible assessment and management of these fisheries should then account for the effect on growth and mortality rates of marine species most sensible to changes in pH conditions. This new environmental stressor could have management implications when determining appropriate rates of exploitation aiming at fisheries biological and economic reference points.

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Adaptation strategies to climate change in marine systems

The world’s oceans are highly impacted by climate change and other human pressures, with significant implications for marine ecosystems and the livelihoods that they support. Adaptation for both natural and human systems is increasingly important as a coping strategy due to the rate and scale of ongoing and potential future change. Here, we conduct a review of literature concerning specific case studies of adaptation in marine systems, and discuss associated characteristics and influencing factors, including drivers, strategy, timeline, costs, and limitations. We found ample evidence in the literature that shows that marine species are adapting to climate change through shifting distributions and timing of biological events, while evidence for adaptation through evolutionary processes is limited. For human systems, existing studies focus on frameworks and principles of adaptation planning, but examples of implemented adaptation actions and evaluation of outcomes are scarce. These findings highlight potentially useful strategies given specific social–ecological contexts, as well as key barriers and specific information gaps requiring further research and actions.

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Climate change alters fish community size‐structure, requiring adaptive policy targets

Size‐based indicators are used worldwide in research that supports the management of commercially exploited wild fish populations, because of their responsiveness to fishing pressure. Observational and experimental data, however, have highlighted the deeply rooted links between fish size and environmental conditions that can drive additional, interannual changes in these indicators. Here, we have used biogeochemical and mechanistic niche modelling of commercially exploited demersal fish species to project time series to the end of the 21st century for one such indicator, the large fish indicator (LFI), under global CO2 emissions scenarios. Our modelling results, validated against survey data, suggest that the LFI’s previously proposed policy target may be unachievable under future climate change. In turn, our results help to identify what may be achievable policy targets for demersal fish communities experiencing climate change. While fisheries modelling has grown as a science, climate change modelling is seldom used specifically to address policy aims. Studies such as this one can, however, enable a more sustainable exploitation of marine food resources under changes unmanageable by fisheries control. Indeed, such studies can be used to aid resilient policy target setting by taking into account climate‐driven effects on fish community size‐structure.

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Adjusting mitigation pathways to stabilize climate at 1.5 and 2.0 °C rise in global temperatures to year 2300

To avoid the most dangerous consequences of anthropogenic climate change, the Paris Agreement provides a clear and agreed climate mitigation target of stabilizing global surface warming to under 2.0 °C above preindustrial, and preferably closer to 1.5 °C. However, policy makers do not currently know exactly what carbon emissions pathways to follow to stabilize warming below these agreed targets, because there is large uncertainty in future temperature rise for any given pathway. This large uncertainty makes it difficult for a cautious policy maker to avoid either: (1) allowing warming to exceed the agreed target; or (2) cutting global emissions more than is required to satisfy the agreed target, and their associated societal costs. This study presents a novel Adjusting Mitigation Pathway (AMP) approach to restrict future warming to policy‐driven targets, in which future emissions reductions are not fully determined now but respond to future surface warming each decade in a self‐adjusting manner. A large ensemble of Earth system model simulations, constrained by geological and historical observations of past climate change, demonstrates our self‐adjusting mitigation approach for a range of climate stabilization targets ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 °C, and generates AMP scenarios up to year 2300 for surface warming, carbon emissions, atmospheric To avoid the most dangerous consequences of anthropogenic climate change, the Paris Agreement provides a clear and agreed climate mitigation target of stabilizing global surface warming to under 2.0 °C above preindustrial, and preferably closer to 1.5 °C. However, policy makers do not currently know exactly what carbon emissions pathways to follow to stabilize warming below these agreed targets, because there is large uncertainty in future temperature rise for any given pathway. This large uncertainty makes it difficult for a cautious policy maker to avoid either: (1) allowing warming to exceed the agreed target; or (2) cutting global emissions more than is required to satisfy the agreed target, and their associated societal costs. This study presents a novel Adjusting Mitigation Pathway (AMP) approach to restrict future warming to policy‐driven targets, in which future emissions reductions are not fully determined now but respond to future surface warming each decade in a self‐adjusting manner. A large ensemble of Earth system model simulations, constrained by geological and historical observations of past climate change, demonstrates our self‐adjusting mitigation approach for a range of climate stabilization targets ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 °C, and generates AMP scenarios up to year 2300 for surface warming, carbon emissions, atmospheric CO2, global mean sea level, and surface ocean acidification. We find that lower 21st century warming targets will significantly reduce ocean acidification this century, and will avoid up to 4m of sea‐level rise by year 2300 relative to a high‐end scenario. , global mean sea level, and surface ocean acidification. We find that lower 21st century warming targets will significantly reduce ocean acidification this century, and will avoid up to 4m of sea‐level rise by year 2300 relative to a high‐end scenario.

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Emerging understanding of seagrass and kelp as an ocean acidification management tool in California

This report communicates emerging scientific understanding of the ability of seagrass and kelp to ameliorate ocean acidification (OA) in a California-specific context. It provides guidance on next steps for the State as it considers future nature-based actions to reduce the negative impacts of OA in California and beyond.

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Socioeconomic risk from ocean acidification and climate change impacts on Atlantic Canadian fisheries

Ocean acidification (OA) is an emerging consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The full extent of the biological impacts are currently not well understood. However, it is expected that invertebrate species that rely on the mineral calcium carbonate will be among the first and most severely affected. Despite the limited understanding of impacts there is a need to identify potential pathways for human societies to be affected by OA. Research on these social implications is a small but developing field of literature. This thesis contributes to this field by using a risk assessment framework, informed by a biophysical model of future species distributions, to investigate Atlantic Canadian risk from changes in shellfish fisheries. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are expected to see declines in resource accessibility. While Newfoundland and Labrador and PEI are more socially vulnerable to losses in fisheries, they are expected to experience relatively minor changes in access.

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Ocean acidification and Pacific oyster larval failures in the Pacific Northwest United States

The Pacific Northwest coast of the United States (Figure 2.1) is home to a lucrative shellfish aquaculture industry that grows mainly (>80 percent) (Barton, et al. 2012) Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). Washington States is the center of this industry. Its hatcheries produce oyster larvae, or spat, that are shipped all over the West Coast to be grown to market size in coastal water by aquaculturists. Washington’s hatcheries – along with its 125 farms, located throughout 12 coastal counties (Northern Economics, Inc.. 2013) – produce more shellfish than any other U.S. state, contributing around $270 million to the state economy and supporting about 3,200 jobs (Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification 2012). The next greatest producer of shellfish in the United States is Connecticut, which has just 23 farms (United States Department of Agriculture 2014). Washington’s entire seafood industry generates more than 42,000 jobs in the state and contributes $1.7 billion to the gross state product via profits and jobs at restaurants, distributors and retailers (Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification 2012). By comparison, the entire state hosts approximately 3 million jobs (Employment Security Department, Washington State) contributing to an approximately $446 billion gross state profit (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). In other words, 1.4 percent of the state’s jobs are located in the shellfish industry, which creates 0.4 percent of the gross state profit. Shellfish generate more than two-thirds of the harvest value of the state’s wild commercial fisheries. Recreational shellfish harvesting in the Pacific Northwest also creates jobs and income for coastal counties. Recreational shellfish harvesting licenses generate $3 million annually in state revenue, and recreational oyster and clam harvesters contribute more than $27 million annually to coastal economies (Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification 2012). Besides the economic impacts of shellfish harvesting, harvesting and eating seafood is an integral part of the culture and everyday life of many Washingtonians.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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