NOC contributes to report on the impacts of Ocean warming

Methane hydrate recovered from ocean sediments off Svalbard

NOC scientists have contributed to the publication of an authoritative new report on the impacts of ocean warming on species, ecosystems, and ocean ‘goods and services,’ such as carbon management, fisheries and coastal protection.

Launched today at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, the report ‘Explaining ocean warming: causes, scale, effects and consequences’ comprehensively reviews and details the range of problems associated with the warming of the world’s oceans. It also sets forth recommendations and actions to manage these risks and move towards a more sustainable management of ocean resources.

NOC’s Dr Peter Brown, the lead author on a chapter detailing the effects of warming on carbon management and methane hydrates, commented “Ocean warming will affect almost every facet of ocean functioning. This report compiles state-of-the-art assessments of ocean services from pole to pole into a rigorous, peer-reviewed document that suggests a range of actions to undertake in order to inform the development of appropriate policy responses”.

Professor Richard Sanders, who leads NOC’s research on carbon cycling, said “We were delighted to be asked to participate in this authoritative report into the state of the oceans. Our contribution capitalises on, and brings together, expertise from all across the NOC, including our world-class programmes in natural carbon cycling, anthropogenic perturbation and seafloor hazards.”

The key recommendations are:

  • The recognition of impact severity on marine and coastal organisms, ecosystems and service even under low emissions scenarios.
  • A concerted joined-up global policy action for ocean protection and management
  • To close gaps in fundamental science needs and improve observational and modeling capacity
  • Achieve rapid and substantial cuts in greenhouse gases

The executive summary and full 450+page report are available from:

An article on this report in the Independent can be found here

Event dates: 
Thursday 13 October 2016 - 09:45