Pacific marine climate change report card reveals full regional impacts

The first ever Pacific Marine Climate Change Report Card has been launched today as part of World Oceans Day, at events in Fiji and Samoa. The user-friendly report card details current and projected climate change impacts on the Pacific island marine environment, what action is already being taken and what further responses are needed.

Date2018, June 08
 

The Report Card is a product of a year-long project to analyse and co-ordinate the work of 60 Pacific climate change experts, including our Samoa-based regional scientist Patrick Pringle, with marine scientists from the United Kingdom.

Download the Pacific Marine Climate Change Report Card 2018

The report card summarises current scientific understanding of climate change impacts on the region’s marine environment. The document is intended to help Pacific islanders and decision-makers to understand and respond to the likely impacts of marine climate change.

The Report Card initiative is a product of a dynamic collaboration that includes the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), UN Environment, The University of the South Pacific, The Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC) and Climate Analytics IMPACT project.


The user-friendly presentation of the most current scientific knowledge on climate change and the Pacific’s marine environment is particularly important for supporting sustainable decision-making in the ocean-dependent Pacific islands. According to the study, projections of rising sea levels, more intense storms, floods, higher temperatures, and ocean acidification place fundamental needs such as living space, housing, food and water security, culture, health and wellbeing at risk.

The report card underscores the urgency of action, and recommends measures for addressing the projected impacts including:

  • Emphasising the importance of significantly reducing existing pressures from pollution, marine waste, population growth, overfishing and coastal development, to increase resilience to climate impacts.
  • Further incorporation of knowledge and needs of social and cultural groups in adaptation planning.
  • Ensuring that coastal planning and management are adaptable, and can be further developed with time, in line with future climate change.
  • Developing a better understanding of localised climate impacts, by bringing scientists and local communities together.

13 detailed supporting reviews that accompany the report card provide further information on each of the topics.

Climate Change Overview

Sea Temperatures

Ocean Acidification

Sea Level and Inundation

Extreme Events

Fish and Shellfish

Mangroves

Seagrasses

Corals

Settlements and Infrastructure

Oceanic Fisheries

1.5°C Temperature Rise

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