Clean and Safe Seas
Apart from Human Health and Coastal Flooding, there are no new headlines to report for this theme. This is due to the fact that despite new monitoring data being available for all the topics, the large number of influencing factors (both marine and terrestrial, anthropogenic and natural) means climate change impacts cannot be easily identified.
For Pollution (Bathing and Shellfish) and Pollution (Estuarine and Coastal), an example of key influencing factors is the interaction between rainfall (which may be affected by climate change) and farmland management. Thus, identifying a clear climate signal is problematic.
There is concern over issues with Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) such as continued blooms of Karenia mikimotoi. HABs can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors which may increase or reduce their occurrence and thus the impact of climate change on HABs is difficult to predict. Tracing changes in climate to impacts on Nutrient Enrichment is also difficult; as changes may be driven both by direct human pressures and climate mediated factors such as shelf sea stratification.
Arrows show change in confidence since the 2010-11 MCCIP Report Card