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Impacts Hub

MCCIP provides an independent, authoritative overview of UK marine and coastal climate change impacts across ‘Physical environment’, ‘Ecosystem change’ and ‘Societal impact’ themes. Each topic provides headline messages on: what is happening, what could happen and key challenges and emerging issues. Confidence ratings are provided for ‘What is already happening’, and ‘What could happen’ by the topic authors and checked by reviewers based on (1) the amount of evidence available, and (2) the level of scientific consensus.

The underlying evidence is now being updated on a ‘rolling’ basis, ensuring the detailed topic reports, and their ‘highlight’ pages provide the most up-to-date information.
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.

In addition to the comprehensive impacts evidence updates of UK marine climate change science, MCCIP periodically produces Special Topic Reports which focus on a key issue in more detail.

MCCIP has published a suite of outputs on ‘responding to key challenges in UK marine climate change’, building on the evidence presented in the latest MCCIP report card. They provide a snapshot of the key issues facing the UK marine climate change community and guidance on how to address them.

All ‘full’ MCCIP impacts report cards published between 2006 and 2020, and their backing papers, are archived here.

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.

Recent Updates:
November 2022: Shelf-sea stratification and Ocean acidification

March 2023: Sea Temperature, Ocean circulation, Storms and waves and Oxygen

September 2023: Arctic Sea Ice
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.

Recent Updates:
March 2023: Marine Mammals

September 2023: Fish

December 2023: Seabirds and Waterbirds
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.

Recent Updates:
November 2022: Marine aquaculture and Coastal flooding

September 2023: Fisheries and Cultural Heritage

December 2023: Transport and Infrastructure