Impacts Hub

The underlying scientific evidence base is updated on a ‘rolling’ basis, ensuring the detailed topic reports, and their ‘highlight’ pages provide the most up-to-date information. The topic highlight pages provide clear links between related topics, and to relevant MCCIP adaptation and mitigation outputs.      

MCCIP commissions the contributing scientists and identifies appropriate specialists to peer-review the quality of the science, in accordance with the MCCIP Scientific Integrity and Independence (SIIRMs) model

Each topic page under the ‘physical environment’, ‘ecosystem change’ and ‘societal impact’ themes, provides headline messages on:

  • What is happening   
  • What could happen 
  • Key challenges and emerging issues         

For each topic, confidence ratings are provided for ‘What is already happening’, and ‘What could happen’. A rating of L O W, M E D I U M or
H I G H has been assigned by the topic authors, and checked by reviewers based on (1) the amount of evidence available, and (2) the level of scientific consensus.

The full science reviews are available to download at the top of each topic page.

The information currently provided on the impacts hub page is summarised in the 2020 MCCIP report card. All ‘full’ MCCIP impacts report cards published between 2006 and 2020, and their backing papers, are archived here

Physical Environment
Climate change affects the physical characteristics of UK seas, and surrounding oceans. Long-term observations show air and sea warming, sea-ice loss, ocean acidification and sea-level rise. These trends are expected to continue. For sea level, the latest UK projections show bigger changes than previously estimated, increasing the risk of coastal flooding and erosion.
Ecosystem Change
Across different ecosystems, climate change is having common effects; there is evidence of shifts in both geographical distributions, species community compositions and the timing of life-cycle events. However, disentangling the effects of climate change from natural variability is complex and requires long term datasets, especially for remote and inaccessible areas, such as the deep sea.
Societal Impact
A wide range of economically important marine and coastal industries are being affected by climate change, with impacts on food availability, infrastructure, seasonal operating windows and the movement of goods. Coastal erosion, flooding, sea-level rise and potential changes in storminess present multiple risks to UK industries and coastal communities.