Posts Tagged 'socio-economy'

Mapping cumulative impacts to coastal ecosystem services in British Columbia

Ecosystem services are impacted through restricting service supply, through limiting people from accessing services, and by affecting the quality of services. We map cumulative impacts to 8 different ecosystem services in coastal British Columbia using InVEST models, spatial data, and expert elicitation to quantify risk to each service from anthropogenic activities. We find that impact to service access and quality as well as impact to service supply results in greater severity of impact and a greater diversity of causal processes of impact than only considering impact to service supply. This suggests that limiting access to services and impacts to service quality may be important and understanding these kinds of impacts may complement our knowledge of impacts to biophysical systems that produce services. Some ecosystem services are at greater risk from climate stressors while others face greater risk from local activities. Prominent causal pathways of impact include limiting access and affecting quality. Mapping cumulative impacts to ecosystem services can yield rich insights, including highlighting areas of high impact and understanding causes of impact, and should be an essential management tool to help maintain the flow of services we benefit from.

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Ocean acidification and human health

The ocean provides resources key to human health and well-being, including food, oxygen, livelihoods, blue spaces, and medicines. The global threat to these resources posed by accelerating ocean acidification is becoming increasingly evident as the world’s oceans absorb carbon dioxide emissions. While ocean acidification was initially perceived as a threat only to the marine realm, here we argue that it is also an emerging human health issue. Specifically, we explore how ocean acidification affects the quantity and quality of resources key to human health and well-being in the context of: (1) malnutrition and poisoning, (2) respiratory issues, (3) mental health impacts, and (4) development of medical resources. We explore mitigation and adaptation management strategies that can be implemented to strengthen the capacity of acidifying oceans to continue providing human health benefits. Importantly, we emphasize that the cost of such actions will be dependent upon the socioeconomic context; specifically, costs will likely be greater for socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, exacerbating the current inequitable distribution of environmental and human health challenges. Given the scale of ocean acidification impacts on human health and well-being, recognizing and researching these complexities may allow the adaptation of management such that not only are the harms to human health reduced but the benefits enhanced.

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Using the Health Belief Model to explore the impact of environmental empathy on behavioral intentions to protect ocean health

We examine psychological mediating mechanisms to promote ocean health among the U.S. public. Ocean acidification (OA) was chosen as the focus, as experts consider it as important as climate change with the same cause of humanity’s excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but it is lesser known. Empathy is a multi-dimensional concept that includes cognitive and emotional aspects. Previous literature argues that environmental empathy can facilitate positive behaviors. We tested the hypothesis that empathy affects beliefs and behavioral intentions regarding ocean health using the Health Belief Model. We found that higher empathy toward ocean health led to higher perceived susceptibility and severity from OA, greater perceived benefits of CO2 emissions reduction, greater perceived barriers, and keener attention to the media. Beliefs and media attention positively influenced behavioral intentions (e.g., willingness to buy a fuel efficient car). Theoretical and practical implications regarding audience targeting and intervention design are discussed.

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A case study using the New Ecological Paradigm scale to evaluate coastal and marine environmental perception in the Greater São Paulo (Brazil)


•For most respondents, current environmental changes have been treated with exaggerated concern.

•People’s environmental are related to the relationship to coastal areas.•

The grouping variable reflected different marine environmental perception.

•There’s still a belief that man can rule the nature.

•Educational background and scientific dissemination in Brazil are still unsatisfying.


The individuals’ perception may vary according to their values and life experiences, thus, the goal of the present study was to evaluate if the relationship to coastal areas (work, research and leisure) and frequency of beach attendance would influence the environmental perception of people living in greater São Paulo (Brazil). The environmental values were measured using online questionnaires based on the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale (adapted to coastal and marine environments) and considering that the type of relation with the coastal environment could alter their level of perception. A total of 386 participants answered the questionnaires and the results showed mainly a pro-NEP attitude of all respondents, However, people that establish some kind of relationship to marine environment presented significantly higher scores. In general, although they were conscious that we are reaching the Earth’s limit and that the human interference on the environment is mainly negative, there was still a belief that human beings are able to dominate nature and in the inexhaustibility of marine resources, once we know how to handle it. Besides that, most respondents think that climate change; sea level rise and ocean acidification has been treated with exaggerated concern. The results also showed that age and educational level significantly influenced the participants’ performance in the test. Therefore, we conclude that there is a necessity of educational investment from the beginning of the school age on and the importance of good quality in scientific dissemination.

Continue reading ‘A case study using the New Ecological Paradigm scale to evaluate coastal and marine environmental perception in the Greater São Paulo (Brazil)’

Ocean warming and acidification may drag down the commercial Arctic cod fishery by 2100

The Arctic Ocean is an early warning system for indicators and effects of climate change. We use a novel combination of experimental and time-series data on effects of ocean warming and acidification on the commercially important Northeast Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) to incorporate these physiological processes into the recruitment model of the fish population. By running an ecological-economic optimization model, we investigate how the interaction of ocean warming, acidification and fishing pressure affects the sustainability of the fishery in terms of ecological, economic, social and consumer-related indicators, ranging from present day conditions up to future climate change scenarios. We find that near-term climate change will benefit the fishery, but under likely future warming and acidification this large fishery is at risk of collapse by the end of the century, even with the best adaptation effort in terms of reduced fishing pressure.

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A global assessment of the vulnerability of shellfish aquaculture to climate change and ocean acidification

Human‐induced climate change and ocean acidification (CC‐OA) is changing the physical and biological processes occurring within the marine environment, with poorly understood implications for marine life. Within the aquaculture sector, molluskan culture is a relatively benign method of producing a high‐quality, healthy, and sustainable protein source for the expanding human population. We modeled the vulnerability of global bivalve mariculture to impacts of CC‐OA over the period 2020–2100, under RCP8.5. Vulnerability, assessed at the national level, was dependent on CC‐OA‐related exposure, taxon‐specific sensitivity and adaptive capacity in the sector. Exposure risk increased over time from 2020 to 2100, with ten nations predicted to experience very high exposure to CC‐OA in at least one decade during the period 2020–2100. Predicted high sensitivity in developing countries resulted, primarily, from the cultivation of species that have a narrow habitat tolerance, while in some European nations (France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) high sensitivity was attributable to the relatively high economic value of the shellfish production sector. Predicted adaptive capacity was low in developing countries primarily due to governance issues, while in some developed countries (Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) it was linked to limited species diversity in the sector. Developing and least developed nations (n = 15) were predicted to have the highest overall vulnerability. Across all nations, 2060 was identified as a tipping point where predicted CC‐OA will be associated with the greatest challenge to shellfish production. However, rapid declines in mollusk production are predicted to occur in the next decade for some nations, notably North Korea. Shellfish culture offers human society a low‐impact source of sustainable protein. This research highlights, on a global scale, the likely extent and nature of the CC‐OA‐related threat to shellfish culture and this sector enabling early‐stage adaption and mitigation.

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Bridging from monitoring to solutions-based thinking: lessons from CalCOFI for understanding and adapting to marine climate change impacts

Multidisciplinary, integrated ocean observing programs provide critical data for monitoring the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) samples along the US West Coast and is one of the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive time series, with hydrographic and biological data collected since 1949. The pairing of ecological and physical measurements across this long time series informs our understanding of how the California Current marine ecosystem responds to climate variability. By providing a baseline to monitor change, the CalCOFI time series serves as a Keeling Curve for the California Current. However, challenges remain in connecting the data collected from long-term monitoring programs with the needs of stakeholders concerned with climate change adaptation (i.e., resource managers, policy makers, and the public), including for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. We use the CalCOFI program as a case study to ask: how can long-term ocean observing programs inform ecosystem based management efforts and create data flows that meet the needs of stakeholders working on climate change adaptation? Addressing this question and identifying solutions requires working across sectors and recognizing stakeholder needs. Lessons learned from CalCOFI can inform other regional monitoring programs around the world, including those done at a smaller scale in developing countries.

Continue reading ‘Bridging from monitoring to solutions-based thinking: lessons from CalCOFI for understanding and adapting to marine climate change impacts’

Impact of climate change and ocean acidification on ocean-based industries and society in Norway

This report presents a review of the scientific literature on how key ecosystems, ecosystem services and ocean-based industries in Norway are affected by climate change and ocean acidification today and under future scenarios. The project has also compiled knowledge on how ocean-based actions can help mitigate and reduce the magnitude of climate change, ocean acidification and environmental problems. Further possible trade-off related to ocean-based action were identified as well as how climate change and ocean acidification may potentially affect these ocean-based opportunities. Finally, the report presents published findings on possible future impacts on society and implications for policy and management.

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Climate change and aquaculture: considering adaptation potential

Increases in global population and seafood demand are occurring simultaneously with fisheries decline in an era of rapid climate change. Aquaculture is well positioned to help meet the world’s future seafood needs, but heavy reliance of most global aquaculture on the ambient environment and ecosystem services suggests inherent vulnerability to climate change effects. There are, however, opportunities for adaptation. Engineering and management solutions can reduce exposure to stressors or mitigate stressors through environmental control. Epigenetic adaptation may have the potential to improve stressor tolerance through parental or early life stage exposure. Stressor-resistant traits can be genetically selected for, and maintaining adequate population variability can improve resilience and overall fitness. Information at appropriate time scales is crucial for adaptive response, such as real-time data on stressor levels and/or species’ responses, early warning of deleterious events, or prediction of longer-term change. Diet quality and quantity have the potential to meet increasing energetic and nutritional demands associated with mitigating the effects of abiotic and biotic climate change stressors. Research advancements in understanding how climate change affects aquaculture will benefit most from a combination of empirical studies, modelling approaches, and observations at the farm level. Research to support aquaculture adaptation requires an increasing amount of environmental data to guide biological response studies for regional applications. Increased experimental complexity, resources, and duration will be necessary to better understand the effects of multiple stressors. Ultimately, in order for aquaculture sectors to move beyond short-term coping responses, governance initiatives incorporating the changing needs of stakeholders, users, and culture ecosystems as a whole are required to facilitate planned climate change adaptation and mitigation.

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Impacts of climate change on aquaculture

Aquaculture is a key UK food production sector, and it is particularly economically important to rural coastal communities, and in the deprived urban areas where processing takes place (Alexander et al., 2014; UK MNMP, 2015). UK production value exceeds £590 million (Black and Hughes 2017), with £1.8bn turnover and 8800 jobs supported (Alexander et al., 2014), of this £1.4bn turnover and 8000 jobs are in Scotland, making aquaculture particularly relevant there. There is significant potential for aquaculture to develop further throughout the UK (Black and Hughes, 2017).

UK marine finfish aquaculture is dominated by the production off the west coast and islands of Scotland of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar (156,025 tonnes in 2018; Munro, 2019), and a very small production from Northern Ireland. Freshwater salmon smolt production, for marine on-growing, is more widely distributed. Scottish marine production also includes rainbow trout (Onchorhyncus mykiss), sea (brown) trout (Salmo trutta) and halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). In the past, cod (Gadus morhua) in Scotland, and sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in Wales, were farmed. Recently, a major growth in production of lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) and wrasse (various Labridae species) has occurred in Scotland (Munro, 2019), Wales (Anon, 2018) and England, for use as ‘cleaner fish’ to control sea lice on farmed salmon. The majority of marine salmonid aquaculture takes place in open-sea cages; 86% of freshwater salmonid smolts for marine on-growing are also produced in cages and so can be vulnerable to environmental conditions (Munro, 2019). Other smolts are produced in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) that are protected against the environment, RAS are also used for production of other species such as lumpfish.

Bivalve-shellfish farming produces mussels (Mytilus edulis), oysters (Crassostrea gigas (Pacific) and Ostrea edulis (native), scallops (Pecten maximus, Chlamys opercularis) and clams (Ruditapes sp.). Mussels are the main farmed seafood product of Wales, Northern Ireland and England, and, for shellfish, Scotland. Pacific oyster is the second most-farmed shellfish, with minor production of the other bivalves. On-growing or ranching of prawn, lobster and crab and macroalgal farming remain small-scale (Capuzzo and McKie, 2016).

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book