This spring, PML scientists presented to the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee on Marine Science at Westminster, focusing on marine matters of global relevance today.
The Committee informs members of both Houses of Parliament, scientific bodies, science-based industry and the academic world, focusing on issues where science and politics meet. It demonstrates the relevance of scientific and technological developments to matters of public interest and to the development of national policy and PML’s topics were no exception.
Society faces two major challenges over the 21st century: anthropogenic climate change and population growth. During the Committee meeting held at Westminster in March, PML’s Professor Manuel Barange emphasised the substantial impacts these factors could have, most critically on securing sustainable food production to feed the world’s growing population.
PML’s Dr Carol Turley also presented to the Committee, highlighting the issue of ocean acidification; the changing chemistry in our oceans which is affecting organisms, including humans, living in or depending on the ocean for their food and livelihood. Often referred to as a ‘silent storm’, ocean acidification is a phenomenon which cannot be heard or seen, but its effects are already being felt. Dr Turley spoke of its wide-ranging impacts, from oysters and the multimillion dollar aquaculture business on the west coast of North America, to the sea butterfly, a key link in the ocean food web in polar and sub-polar waters.
The evidence given by PML's world-leading experts has been published in the Whitsun 2014 latest issue of Science in Parliament, you can view an extract from this here. Alternatively you can view the Science in Parliament website where the full publication is available to members of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee here.