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New Report Card for Australia’s Marine Environment

By Various experts

A massive effort involving 80 Australian scientists from 34 institutions has produced a report card for Australia’s marine environment.

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The Marine Climate Change in Australia Report Card 2012 looks at a range of indicators such as ocean temperatures, acidity and the strength of critical ocean currents and relates these to changes in marine biodiversity such as the southward movement of fish and other marine organisms. Several independent experts as well as several who contributed to the report respond.

Contributing author comments:
Dr Elvira Poloczanska is a senior researcher with the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship and is an overall lead author of the report.

“This 2012 Report Card demonstrates that climate change is having significant impacts on Australia’s oceans and marine ecosystems. Many new changes have been documented since the 2009 Report Card. There is now striking evidence of extensive southward movements of tropical fish and plankton species in southeast Australia, declines in abundance of temperate species, and the first signs of ocean acidification impacts on marine species with shells.

The report card highlights that the Australian science community is widely engaged in research, monitoring and observing programs to increase our understanding of climate change impacts and inform management. The comprehensive information shows that adaptation planning is already underway, from seasonal forecasts for fisheries and aquaculture, to...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Source: AusSMC