Climate Change and the Ocean Implications for Ecosystems and People*
There has been a growing appreciation of the impact of climate change on the ocean. In keeping with this, the recent IPCC AR5 consensus increases the focus on the ocean, significantly ramping up our understanding of the influence of climate change on the ocean. Various chapters exclusively dealing with ocean issues are found in the AR5. To aid a new and integrated understanding of the oceans under climate change, the authors of this communiqué have compiled a separate volume which contains the key ocean-related chapters and cross-chapter boxes from Working Group II (WGII) in the AR5.
The infomation contained in these chapters is significant and builds on the consensus from WGI that the chemical and physical conditions of the ocean are changing at rates which are, in some cases, faster than any seen during the past 65 million years. The contributions indicate with high confidence that many marine organisms and ecosystems are undergoing fundamental change as the world‘s oceans warm, acidify and lose oxygen. These changes emphasise the serious risks that the world’s oceans face as we approach 2°C above the Preindustrial Period or atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide of 450 ppm and above.
Reducing these risks must be a global priority if we are to avoid grave consequences for ecosystems and society. The evidence, much of it held with high confidence, of these risks and the solutions are contained within this special collection of ocean-related reprints from WGII.
Download the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special collection of ocean-related reprints from the working Group II Contribution of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).