The Ocean in a Changing Climate

Front cover of MSCC The Ocean in a Changing Climate statement

The UK Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC), of which the NOC is a member, has this week highlighted the importance of the ocean and climate change through the issue of a joint public statement.

This statement, endorsed by all MSCC members, reveals the impacts of marine climate change, including projected accelerated sea level rise causing risk to homes and infrastructure, changes to ocean chemistry, marine ecosystem degradation and negative implications for individual and societal health and wellbeing. 

Welcoming the statement, the NOC’s Head of Marine Science Partnerships, Dr Katy Hill, said “This MSCC Statement highlights that the ocean is at the heart of the climate system. Furthering our understanding of the ocean will inform how society responds and prospers under climate change.

A broad range of ocean research is needed to provide the evidence needed to act on ocean health and climate change. At the NOC, research is focused on understanding the variability of the physical, chemical and biological components of the ocean as well as how the ocean impacts climate, and ultimately society.”

The NOC contributes to international programmes such as the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) to better understand ocean changes, through initiatives such as the Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science (CLASS) programme. 

The NOC is working with institutes across the UK to understand how changes to the ocean impact the UK. Along with the other members of the MSCC, we enable marine science to support decision making through the development of valuable evidenced based statements such as this.

2021 is set to be a significant year, and hopefully a turning point, for climate change, and ocean science with the UK co-hosting the international climate conference COP26 and hosting the G7 Presidency. It is also the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The NOC is looking forward to taking these opportunities to highlight the importance of ocean science, to make sense of changing seas upon which future human prosperity and wellbeing depends.

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