Coral among algae in Kenya

Ocean risk highlighted in new IPCC Report

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have released today the second part of their Fifth Assessment Report. This evaluates the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, including ocean ecosystems.

The report, produced by the IPCC’s Working Group II, is the second of a four-part assessment which deals with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. It has warned that the effects of climate change are likely to be "severe, pervasive and irreversible".

PML’s Dr Carol Turley OBE, world renowned within the field of ocean acidification, contributed to the report through her role as a Review Editor for one of the Ocean Chapters. The  Working Group II author team comprised of experts who assessed thousands of scientific papers to produce a definitive report of the current state of knowledge. Other PML research has also been brought into the mix of recent science used by the panel to reach its conclusions. This includes research into the impacts and potential consequences of ocean acidification, how it might affect benthic and microbial life and how this may eventually influence the goods and services the ocean provides.

Dr Turley commented:

“The IPCC report in 2007 raised concerns about ocean acidification for the first time. Since then it has been a major focus of research around the world. This has enabled ocean acidification to play a more significant part in the IPCC assessment released today. The report states that ocean acidification poses substantial risks to marine ecosystems. We know that ocean acidification, like climate change, is caused by carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. I really hope that the findings of this report will help to encourage decision makers to work together across the world to reduce these emissions and therefore the risks of both climate change and ocean acidification to ecosystems and society.”

The report builds on the four previous assessment reports produced by the IPCC since it was established in 1988. Compared to past Working Group II reports, the latest contribution assesses a substantially larger knowledge base of relevant scientific, technical and socio-economic literature, for a comprehensive evaluation across a broader set of topics and sectors.

You can read the Summary for Policymakers, or the full Report here.

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