Posts Tagged 'review'

Slow-onset events: a review of the evidence from the IPCC special reports on land, oceans and cryosphere

This paper reviews the evidence on slow-onset events presented in the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL) and the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), both published in 2019. It analyses how the reports, and recent literature cited in them, deal with the eight types of slow-onset events, specified by the UNFCCC: increasing temperatures, sea level risesalinizationocean acidification, glacial retreat, land degradationdesertification and loss of biodiversity. The authors used qualitative data analysis software to analyse the reports, and for each of the SOEs, they coded and analysed information about the state, rate of change, timescale, geography, drivers, impacts, management responses, adaptation limits and residual losses and damages. The paper provides an overview of the state of the art on SOEs and helps to identify gaps and challenges in understanding the nature of SOEs, their impact and effective management approaches.

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Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources

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A critical analysis of the ocean effects of carbon dioxide removal via direct air and ocean capture – is it a safe and sustainable solution?

Executive Summary

Catalyzed by the 2015 Paris Agreement, there are numerous initiatives for policies and sciencebased solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to achieve net-zero emissions internationally. President Biden plans to achieve net-zero in the United States no later than 2050. Despite forward-moving initiatives, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently reported that two-thirds of the countries that have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have committed to levels that remain insufficient in meeting vital international climate targets [1]. The overarching goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be accomplished by transitioning to a more equitable and environmentally just energy system that reduces pollution while meeting global food, transportation, and energy needs. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is at the forefront of policy change, investments, and technology to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the ocean. We must respond quickly, yet carefully, to the considerable pressure to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere even as we transition away from burning fossil fuels and other anthropogenic CO2-emitting activities. There are a number of emerging technologies based on direct air capture (DAC) and direct ocean capture (DOC) which use machines to extract CO2 directly from the atmosphere or the ocean and move the CO2 underground to storage facilities or utilize the CO2 to enhance oil recovery from commercially-depleted wells. These technological interventions are in contrast to nature-based solutions. These include restoring mangroves and other coastal and marine ecosystems, regenerative agriculture, and reforestation to remove and store carbon dioxide in plants and soils. These nature-based strategies can offer multiple community benefits, biodiversity benefits, and long-term carbon storage, a global benefit.2 This report mainly focuses on the viability and consequences, including potential harm to the environment and livelihoods of the direct air capture and direct ocean capture approaches.

Continue reading ‘A critical analysis of the ocean effects of carbon dioxide removal via direct air and ocean capture – is it a safe and sustainable solution?’

Ocean acidification and marine wildlife: physiological and behavioral impacts (1st edition)


Ocean Acidification and Marine Wildlife: Physiological and Behavioral Impacts provides comprehensive knowledge on how decreases in the pH of the world’s oceans is affecting marine organisms. The book synthesizes recent findings about the impacts of ocean acidification (OA) on marine animals, covering the physiological and behavioral effects upon marine invertebrates and vertebrates, the potential physiological and molecular mechanism affects, and interactions of OA with other environmental factors. Written by international experts in this research field, this book summarizes new discoveries of OA effects on fertilization, embryonic development, biomineralization, metabolism, immune response, foraging, anti-predation, habitat selection, and the social hierarchy of marine animals.

This is an important resource for researchers and practitioners in marine conservation, marine wildlife studies, and climate change studies. In addition, it will serve as a valuable text for marine biology and animal science students.

Key Features

  • Examines the impacts of carbon dioxide increases in the world’s oceans relating to marine vertebrates and invertebrates
  • Identifies environmental factors, including climate change and pollution and how they increase the negative effects of ocean acidification
  • Facilitates a better understanding of ocean acidification effects for conservationism and future prevention
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Climate change impacts on corals in the UK overseas territories of BIOT and the Pitcairn Islands


The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) consists of five atolls of low-lying islands, including the largest atoll in the world, Great Chagos Bank, and a number of submerged atolls and banks. Diego Garcia is the only inhabited island. The BIOT Marine Protected Area (MPA) was designatedin 2010. It covers the entire maritime zone and coastal waters, an approximate area of 640,000 km2. The marine environment is rich and diverse, attracting sea birds, sharks, cetaceans and sea turtles and with extensive seagrass and coral reef habitats. It includes the endangered Chagos brain coral (Ctenella chagius), an endemic massive coral unique to BIOT. BIOT reefs have suffered extensive bleaching and mortality, and they remain vulnerable to current and future climate change and other pressures, including:

The heavy mortality has been caused by recurrent marine heatwaves since the 1970s. Reefs have not yet recovered from the most severe bleaching in 2016 and 2017, with increasingly severe events expected. Deeper fore-reefs may act as refuges, but those colonies are likely to be more sensitive to temperature change. Limiting other pressures will not guarantee resilience to future bleaching.

Ocean acidification
There has been a low impact of ocean acidification on coral reefs so far, but when combined with future bleaching therisk of decalcification and erosion will increase. Under high emissions scenarios, BIOT is projected to become less suitable for corals by the end of the century.

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How to destroy a planet

The focus of climate change research has been with the anthropogenic production of carbon dioxide and the impact of
increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on; the climate, marine biological productivity and
biodiversity. Climate change is an equation, what goes into the atmosphere must be removed. Over the last 70 years since the chemical revolution, starting in the 1950’s, we have been destroying natural ecosystems with toxic-for-ever chemicals and plastic. The oceans represent our greatest carbon bank with a potential to sequester most of the carbon generated from the burning of fossil fuels, but productivity and biodiversity in the oceans are declining, and we could be faced with a trophic cascade collapse of the entire marine ecosystem. All life of earth depends upon a healthy ocean ecosystem, and we cannot solve climate change without protecting the oceans. This report details the sequence of events that are likely to occur and the actions that need to happen to prevent the collapse of the marine ecosystem and to avoid the worst of climate change.

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Aiding ocean development planning with SDG relationships in small island developing states

Promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must contend with the often siloed nature of governance institutions, making the identification of cooperative institutional networks that promote SDG targets a priority. We develop and apply a method that combines SDG interaction analysis, which helps determine prerequisites for SDG attainment, with the transition management framework, which helps align policy goals with institutional designs. Using Aruba as a case study, we show that prioritizing increased economic benefits from sustainable marine development, including those of tourism, provides the greatest amount of direct co-benefits to other SDGs. When considering indirect co-benefits, reducing marine pollution emerged as a key supporting target to achieve SDGs. The results also show that, as in many other small island states, sustainable ocean development in Aruba depends on international partnerships to address global issues—including climate change mitigation—over which it has little control. Using SDG relationships as a guide for institutional cooperation, we find that the institutions with the most potential to coordinate action for sustainable ocean development are those that address economic, social and international policy, rather than institutions specifically focused on environmental policy. Our results provide key methodologies and insights for sustainable marine development that require coordinated actions across institutions.

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Microzooplankton communities in a changing ocean: A risk assessment

Microzooplankton communities are fundamental components of marine food webs and have the potential to impact the functioning of carbon pumps. The identification of common responses of microzooplankton to global change has been challenging due to their plasticity and complex community-level interactions. However, accumulating research is providing new insights on the vulnerability of this group to different climate and other human-related hazards. Here, the current and future risk levels of microzooplankton associated with global change are assessed by identifying prevailing hazards, exposure, sensitivity, natural adaptability, and observed impacts based on available evidence. Most documented hazards for the survival and yield of microzooplankton are ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation, and coastal eutrophication. Overall, heterotrophic protists are expected to respond and adapt rapidly to global trends. Fast growing, mixotrophy, wide internal stoichiometry, and their capacity to track optimal environmental conditions by changing species’ range distribution are among the most important traits that shape their high adaptability to global change. Community-level responses to warming, however, are predicted to be amplified in polar and subpolar regions. At the individual level, the highest risk is associated with the sensitivity to deoxygenation since microzooplankton, especially ciliates, are known to reduce metabolic rates under hypoxic episodes; however, vulnerable species can be readily replaced by specialized taxa from a similar functional type. Microzooplankton seem to act as functional buffers of environmental threats, thus conferring stability, in terms of community connectedness to marine food webs and ecosystems against external disturbances.

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Beyond global warming: Stressed oceans, globe-wide in the Anthropocene

The footprint of human activities on the planet is so profound that many scientists are already suggesting that we have entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene. From among these activities, those that are accompanied by large emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) affect our entire planet and, especially, the oceans. Besides becoming warmer, the oceans are also growing progressively more acidic and less oxygenated. In this article we discuss the extent of these global stresses on the oceans after contextualising the disproportionate anthropogenic increase in CO2 and examining how it is distributed. We conclude with a discussion of mitigation possibilities that use the oceans themselves, stressing the urgent need to tackle the problem, especially during this present decade.

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Kelp aquaculture in China: a retrospective and future prospects

Globally, China has the largest scale of kelp cultivation and production operations. However, its kelp aquaculture industry is suffering from declining germplasm diversity, degradation of agronomic traits, the presence of polluted
environments, changing ocean conditions and increasing anthropological interference. This review covers two of the most commercially important kelp species in China, viz. Saccharina japonica and Undaria pinnatifida. It summarizes the history of their cultivation, production, economic and ecological benefits, their breeding programmes (e.g. inter- and intra-specific hybridization and marker-assisted selection) and efforts towards population genetic diversity and conservation. The article focuses on three significant challenges, for example genetic crosscontamination between the wild and farmed kelp populations, ocean warming and ocean acidification. Accordingly, we outline the steps required to provide several intervention measures, for example (i) collection and preservation of wild and cultivated kelp germplasm; (ii) selection of suitable cultivation sites under changing environmental conditions; (iii) developing stress-resistant cultivars; and finally, (iv) adoption of innovative cultivation models. The review concludes with genome-based, designs for molecular breeding and calls for the establishment of an East Asian Kelp Consortium (EAKC). Collectively, the Chinese kelp industry could provide beneficial goods and services, for example bioenergy to fine chemicals and environmental benefits, such as carbon capture, pH amelioration and provision of habitat for many other marine species of commercial value. The strategies proposed in this article thus have the potential to not only improve but also reinvigorate the kelp industry in China and nearby Japan and Korea, in the context of both environmental health and economic benefits.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book