Symposium 03: Impact of Climate Change on Ocean Ecosystems in the 21st Century

Symposium

03: Impacts of Climate Change on Ocean Ecosystems in the 21st Century

Coordinator: Dr. John Bruno, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC USA

Speakers:

  1. Dr. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Professor and Director, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland
  2. Dr. Mary O’Connor, Assistant Professor, The University of British Columbia
  3. Dr. Steve Gaines, Professor and Dean, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, The University of California at Santa Barbara

Summary

Rapidly rising greenhouse gas concentrations are driving ocean systems toward conditions not seen for millions of years, with an associated risk of fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation. Changes in biological function in the ocean caused by anthropogenic climate change go far beyond death, extinctions and habitat loss: fundamental processes are being altered, community assemblages are being reorganized and ecological surprises are likely. This session will bring together experts from around the world to outline the most up to date science on how anthropogenic climate change is altering the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems.

Primary Messages:

  1. There is a large body of empirical evidence indicating that anthropogenic climate change is substantially impacting ocean ecosystems.  The evidence comes from many taxa, locations and habitats.
  2. Changes in biological function in the ocean caused by anthropogenic climate change go far beyond death, extinctions and habitat loss: fundamental processes are being altered, community assemblages are being reorganized and ecological surprises are likely.
  3. These changes will have significant consequences for people.

 

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