A small team of UQ and GCI researchers will attend the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, where negotiators from countries around the world will decide on the action they intend to take against climate change.
Global Change Institute Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said people were starting to wake up to the fact that the value of the ocean was not "just a great day at the beach".
"The ocean is a valuable earth system which is regulating the atmosphere, stabilising temperature providing food and employment for billions of people and it's a system we can't do without," he said.
"One thing to know about the ocean is it's very hard to get to change, but once it starts to change it almost impossible to stop. And we're at that point in history where we can stop the changes that will have a devastating effect on coastal and marine societies across the planet.
"We've got to (at COP21) take this and the other issues in the climate debate very seriously, because if we don't we're committing future people to a planet which may not be that liveable," Prof Hoegh-Guldberg said.
"Over the past year there's been an enormous evidence base that's built-up. We've seen major studies on non-climate factors and their influence on the ocean, and the impact on fisheries of over-fishing, the pollution and so on. We've also seen the IPCC deliver its report last year.
"All that is on the table now. There is no excuse for negotiators to ignore that," he said.
"This is the best science; it's the consensus science and it needs to be taken very seriously."