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Marine climate change impacts

Annual Report Card 2010-2011

© Matt Parsons, JNCCThe 2010-2011 MCCIP Annual Report Card provides the very latest updates on how climate change is affecting our seas. Almost 100 scientists from 40 leading UK science organisations contributed to this report card, making it our most comprehensive to date. New topics on air-sea carbon exchanges, deep sea habitats, waterbirds and human health are introduced, along with a UK regional seas impact map. This report card also takes a first look at how the UKCP09 climate projections might aid our understanding of future marine climate change impacts.

'Healthy oceans matter and they matter because they are vital to our health, to our prosperity, to our security, and also to our ability to adapt to climate change'

Dr Jane Lubchenco, US Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of NOAA.

Here are just some of the new findings in the 2010-2011 Annual Report Card

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  • Temperatures are generally increasing, but inter‑annual variability is high; 2008 UK coastal sea surface temperatures were lower than the 2003-2007 mean.
  • Some fish distributions have moved northwards over the past 30 years by distances ranging from around 50 to 400km, with coldwater species such as monkfish and snake blenny moving the furthest.
  • Climate change has contributed to a decrease by approximately 9% in the total number of seabirds breeding in the UK between 2000 and 2008. Breeding success has also declined overthe same period.
  • Increasing sea temperatures may have the potential to increase the geographic range of some harmful algal bloom species associated with Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) events.