The Charting Progress - An Integrated Assessment of the
State of UK Seas report in 2005 led to the formation of
MCCIP, which is now well established as the primary UK tool for
communicating marine climate change information. The second State
of UK Seas report (Charting Progress 2) has drawn
heavily on MCCIP expertise, including the compilation of the
climate change chapter. The chapter brings together evidence of
climate change impacts to date and also considers future impacts in
relation to updated climate change projections.
The 2010-2011 Annual Report Card provides an update on
scientific understanding of climate change impactson our seas. As
in previous report cards, changes in ocean climate set the context
for evidence of impacts on biologically diverse, clean and safe,
and commercially productive seas.
Since the last full MCCIP report card was published in 2008, and the Ecosystem
Linkages Report Card in 2009, there have been some significant
advancements in knowledge, both for 'what is already happening'
(e.g. an emerging picture of how variable the Atlantic heat
conveyor is on short timescales) and 'what could happen' in the
future (e.g. identification of future changes to the distribution
of some species of fish).
There are some changes to the topics in the 2010-2011 Annual
Report Card which are as follows:
Four new topics: air-sea exchanges of CO2, deep-sea
habitats, waterbirds, and human health (vibrios).
A re-structure of the 'habitat' topics covered in the
biologically diverse section, to bring more into line with Charting
Progress 2 reporting (the habitats covered now are 'coastal';
'intertidal'; 'shallow and shelf subtidal'; and 'deep sea').
For this report card, MCCIP has adopted the Charting
Progress sub-divisions of UK waters to provide a stronger
emphasis on regional issues, and to maintain consistency with
Charting Progress reporting. Regional climate change
snapshots for what is already happening, and what could happen in
the future, are included to highlight some key differences by
Charting Progress regions. Some of the topic headline
messages also refer to these regions explicitly and many of the
detailed topic reports provide more detailed information on marine
climate change impacts by Charting Progress regions.
Wherever a topic is referred to in the regional
snapshot map, a UK map symbol appears next to that
UKCP09 is the most recent suite of UK climate change
projections, which has significantly enhanced its consideration of
marine and coastal environments.
It includes projections of changes in air-temperature over the
sea, projected future sea-level rise, sea temperature, salinity,
stratification and circulation, as well as surges and waves.
MCCIP co-authored the marine and coastal projections report and
provided advice on user requirements for the marine scenarios.
MCCIP also has a webpage about the projections
(www.mccip.org.uk/projections) which includes MCCIP briefing notes
Contributors to this year's annual report card have considered
these projections when summarising future impacts.
These projections have also been used to produce the regional charts of sea
surface temperature change.