The 'Lone Tree' in New Zealand

PML researchers at COP25


This year, the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP25) has been named 'the Blue COP', prioritising the connection between the ocean and climate. Delegates are convening in Madrid over two weeks (2nd-13th December 2019), and PML scientists are taking part, as they have for the last decade, continuing to highlight the enormous role the ocean plays in sustaining life on Earth and the consequences of a high CO2 world for the ocean and society.

This event features the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is designed to guide the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process.

A key objective for this year is to complete several matters relating to the full operationalisation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, for which implementation guidelines were agreed at COP24 in Poland last year. COP25 will take place under the Presidency of the Government of Chile with logistical support from the Spanish Government.

PML scientists will present, lead and partner in more than ten important ocean-focused events at COP25, several of which will be broadcast live. PML events will include special high-level addresses from Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General Special Envoy for the Ocean, Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and Assistant Director General of UNESCO, and government officials from Chile, the Seychelles and the UK.

PML is also one of the organisers of the Oceans Action Day at COP25, partnering with the EU Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (EU DG MARE) for the EU Ocean Day and leading an event on Polar Ocean Day in the Cryosphere Pavilion.  

PML's Head of Science for Sea and Society, Professor Melanie Austen, will focus on how healthy blue ecosystems support healthy blue communities, while Dr Ana Queirós, Senior Benthic Ecologist, will present on climate-ready marine spatial plans. Dr Helen Findlay, an Executive Council member of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON), will focus on polar ocean acidification as well as the GOA-ON North East Atlantic Hub, which is coordinated by PML.

Dr Carol Turley will cover the connections between ocean, climate and society, as well as the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), recently published by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for which she was a Review Editor. Dr Marie-Fanny Racault, who is a lead author in the upcoming IPCC 6th Assessment Report, will focus on Satellite Earth Observation representing both PML and the National Centre for Earth Observation.

With the ocean experiencing substantial changes including ocean acidification, rising seawater temperature, ocean deoxygenation and sea level rise caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions, it is crucial that international decision-makers understand the consequences of a high CO2 world on ocean ecosystems and the people that depend on them.

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